Cathy Head, a Santa Barbara native now living in Las Vegas, is collecting autographed pictures of the rich and famous with a perseverance the most dedicated celebrity-watcher would admire. But Head is no groupie--she is the mother of a Down's syndrome child for whom she hopes the collection can be sold or traded to raise the down payment on a home.
"Life has not been the easiest," said Head, who until her recent remarriage was a single parent working off and on as a waitress to support this child, David Coxon,15, as well as a daughter, Angie, who at 12 has undergone three kidney operations. "I'm 32 years old. I feel like I'm 60."
A major concern has been what would happen to David if she were gone. Then, two years ago, she hit upon the autograph idea, sat down and wrote her first letter explaining her mission. It went to Johnny Carson, whose office promptly responded with an autographed picture.
"The only thing I want in life is a home to give to David," said Head. "If I get that, I'll be happy. I'll never ask for another thing."
David's collection has now grown to 350. "He's got the four living Presidents," Head said, "and he's got the whole soap, 'General Hospital.' He's got Frank Sinatra, Paul McCartney, numerous baseball players, all the governors but three. He's got Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Liza Minnelli, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, George Burns, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, Jane Fonda, Raquel Welch, Jack Lemmon, Bette Davis, Phyllis Diller, Sally Ride, Farrah Fawcett, Nancy Reagan, Linda Evans. . . .
"I write whenever I get a few extra dollars for stamps," said Head, who hopes to build a collection that will bring "a few thousand" dollars. "David doesn't understand that I'm collecting them for a down payment on a home. But he does understand that he's getting a lot of pictures. When he sees someone on TV, he'll say, 'Mom, I'd like that one.' He does get excited about his pictures."
A home for David, she said, would be "the dream come true," a place she would fix up with "a lot of love" in return for the enormous love he has shown her.
Meanwhile, she's still pursuing an autograph from Michael Jackson, "David's favorite entertainer." She's hoping, too, to get some of the older stars like Lucille Ball and Jimmy Stewart, as well as famous singers, tennis players and race car drivers. David's address is 4413 Shoen Ave., Las Vegas 89110.
Those ubiquitous yellow-and-black "Baby on Board" signs in car windows may have started as a warning to other drivers, but Southern Californians have responded by turning on their humor. In our freeway travels we have seen: Compulsive Shopper on Board, Unicorn on Board, Bloodhound on Board, Sexy Senior on Board, Maniac on Board and a curiosity--We're Staying Together for the Sake of the Cats.
But by far the most startling was one glimpsed recently in the window of a young woman's late-model car. It read: EX-HUSBAND IN TRUNK. Closer inspection revealed the end of a necktie dangling out from under the closed trunk lid.
Peace: Think About It
With the release of 100 white doves and white balloons carrying messages of peace, The Million Minutes of Peace, an International Appeal will be launched at the Founder's Church of Religious Science at midday Sept. 16 in Los Angeles and simultaneously in 42 nations around the world.
To date, 200,000 in the Los Angeles area have pledged their support toward the goal of "collecting" 1 million minutes of prayer, meditation or thoughts for peace from each country by Oct. 16 in support of the United Nations International Year of Peace. These minutes will be presented to U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar about Oct. 22, U.N. Day.
Co-sponsors of the U.S. effort--Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization, Child Development Foundation, Human Unity Institute and Planetary Citizens--are asking people to "donate" at least a minute a day for one month to help create "a powerful atmosphere of peace in the world."
Joan Derry, who is coordinating the Southwestern regional effort out of Los Angeles, emphasized: "You don't have to pay money. Anyone can be a part of it--while they're washing the dishes, or in a grocery line, or driving a car." One participant is a 91-year-old convalescent home resident who is enlisting other residents.
"We're just asking people to think a peaceful thought," Derry added.
Celebrity supporters include actor Ben Kingsley ("Gandhi"), who sent this message: "A minute of peace is a truth that hands can touch."
Pledge cards are available by calling (213) 850-1530. Pledges may also be sent on post cards to 8033 Sunset Blvd., Suite 486, Los Angeles 90046.
'Touch and Feel'
"An inexpensive way to experience the yuppie life style"--that's co-creator Andy Mayer's rationalization for "Pat the Yuppie," a new "touch and feel" book for adults. The miniature 3-D volume takes the reader through yuppiedom with Robert and Kathleen, who "own many nice things" and "keep very busy."