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Soon He'll Have Nowhere to Go

October 22, 1986|DEBORAH CHRISTENSEN

--Parke Thompson knows the true meaning of the phrase, "You can't get there from here." The Akron, Ohio, lawyer has spent the better part of his 67 years getting from here to there and is listed in the 1985, 1986 and 1987 editions of the Guinness Book of World Records as the most-traveled man. Thompson, who has visited 303 of the 308 countries or regions recognized by the Travelers Century Club, a Los Angeles-based travelers' club, said: "The last five years, my fondest memories have been of getting to areas so difficult to get to it takes many resources to make it." It took him 10 years of planning before he finally set foot last month on Pitcairn Island, a dot of land of only 1 3/4 square miles midway between New Zealand and South America. He flew to New Zealand, then paid $1,500 to hitch a ride on a ship traveling across the Pacific. The only places Thompson has yet to see are the island of Fernando de Noronha, off the coast of Brazil, and four regions in Antarctica. Closing in on Thompson are Don Buckley of Denver and John Clouse of Evansville, Ill., both of whom have visited 301 places on the travelers' club list. Clouse's next destination is Bouvet Island, 1,700 miles west of Cape Town, South Africa. Buckley is heading for the island of Grisgangecunda in the South Atlantic.

--Move over, Rhode Island. Delaware, the state ranked 49th in terms of square miles (2,057), is losing ground. And to dinky New Jersey, no less (46th, with 7,836 square miles). Anthony J. Crescenzi, mayor of Carneys Point Township, N.J., claims that over the last 20 years about 20 million cubic yards of Delaware soil have washed up on New Jersey's coastline. And he can't understand why Delaware Gov. Michael N. Castle doesn't want it back. "I think it's almost half the state," Crescenzi said. Delaware remains steadfastly nonchalant, however. Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary John E. Wilson III said his agency has received no complaints about silt problems on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River. "That's one of the hazards of living on a coastline," he said.

--Comedian Chevy Chase, whose pratfalls led to back problems and a dependency on pain-killing drugs, has been released from the Betty Ford drug rehabilitation center at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif., after two weeks of treatment. Spokeswoman Pat Kingsley said Chase will continue therapy for his back problems as well as to keep himself free of drugs. The center is named for the wife of former President Gerald R. Ford, whose own missteps Chase often spoofed on NBC's "Saturday Night Live."

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