All that glitters will be bold, mostly muscular and certainly masculine at next Friday's opening of the 21st annual Anaheim Motor Cycle and ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Dirt bikes for canyon crawling will be displayed. So will two-wheeled, flying nacelles faster than the takeoff speed of a Lear jet. Concept bikes that will foretell tomorrow, big touring bikes ready for open roads to Connecticut, pocket bikes fit only for backyards, doughnut-wheeled terrain vehicles that could tackle the backside of the moon . . . everything, in fact, that currently rockets and varooms through a man's world and his heart.
Except this show is organized by women.
And women who neither own nor ride motorcycles.
There's Carla Parlee-Rose, wife, mother, general manager and director of expositions for Harcourt Brace Jovanovich who organized the show. Another wife and mother, Katherine Mielke, is production director.
Then come Janet Thompson, Debra Avolio, Lori Bailey, Sally Marchese, Fay Byrnes . . . with only one man, consumer show sales manager Andy Goodman, rounding out the eight-person team.
Mielke said the group--that tours similar shows to Houston, Boston and Daytona, Fla.--evolved by professional progression and not as a feminist statement.
"I know that people are surprised to find that the show is run by women," Mielke said. "I certainly got the funniest looks two years ago when I stood on the stage, nine months' pregnant, giving away motor cycles."
Mielke said there's also a distinct benefit to the role reversal.
"About three or four of the girls . . . sorry, women in the office buy their leather skirts and pants at the show and you really get some good deals."
The Men in Blues
The Los Angeles caller to the Spokane, Wash., Police Department was placed on hold. Piped radio music began. The lyrics seemed quite appropriate: "Who can I turn to, when nobody needs me . . .?"
Breaking the Code
For followers of today's news and novels--from the fiction of John Le Carre to the facts of John Poindexter--there now is a dictionary for untangling the covert and clandestine.
Written by Bob Burton of Santa Barbara, a former member of civilian and military intelligence communities, the 127 pages of "Top Secret" (Paladin Press, P.O. Box 1307, Boulder, Colo. 80306) reads like teatime with George Smiley.
"Sheepdipping: Placing an officer or agent within an organization for the purpose of establishing credentials that can be used later. . . .
"Snuggling: A covert broadcasting technique that involves radio broadcasting on a frequency just next to the official government frequency. . . ."
"Pocket litter: The usual litter found in pockets, coins, tickets, keys, etc. Pocket litter is planted so that if the agent is caught, incidental-looking items will reinforce his cover story. . . ."
The A (abort) to Z (zone), in fact, of spy jargon.
And apparently not for amateur eyes only.
"One of the first orders, about three dozen or so, came from the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Va.," said Burton. "Then the Soviet U.N. Mission in New York ordered a couple of dozen."
The intelligence to be drawn from that?
"At least everybody will know what the other side is talking about."
Tracking Down a Banner
The troop train was typical of those pulling out of San Diego in 1945.
It wore a banner, a stout thing made from a GI mattress cover, that announced: "Forgotten Battalion Returns!!"
It carried U.S. Marines, survivors of the 2nd 155mm Howitzer Battalion, a unit forgotten by most World War II news accounts despite its three years spent clawing across islands now synonymous with military history: Tulagi, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Guam and Iwo Jima.
Now they were going home, heading toward peace and civilian jobs in all states. They made it. Their flag was destined for the Marine Corps Museum in Washington. It went AWOL somewhere in Mississippi.
And James Francavilla of Monterey Park, the battalion artist who painted the banner, would like it back. So does Lew (Sniper) Payne, then of Texas, now of San Francisco. It is needed, they say, to fly again for the battalion's first reunion set for San Francisco in March.
Francavilla and Payne, however, are the first to admit their chances are slim. When last seen, train and the flag were at a depot in southern Mississippi. Or central Mississippi. No one is quite sure.
What is known is that a churlish railroad employee removed the banner.
If it fails to surface, Francavilla will paint a replica.
"But I just think it's out there in Mississippi somewhere," Payne said. "If I could just press the right button."