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Visitors Reflect on Whether They've Seen the Light

October 27, 1987|ANN CONNORS

One man said it took away his "pain and sorrow." Another viewer called it "godly-like." Others said it is simply a reflection and one dismissed it as a trick of the light. Whatever it is, thousands have flocked to see what they say is a shining silver cross visible through an opaque window in the front door of the Wynne, Ark., home of Darlene Andrews. Andrews says the cross became visible a few hours after her husband, Jerry, died Oct. 17. Since that time, about 3,000 people, some on crutches and in wheelchairs, have come to see the light. "It's been a strain on us, but the people have been so nice," Andrews said. "There's no way to describe how many people have been saved, how many people have been touched." Lana Neisler, a neighbor, described the cross as shining "like a star" and as bright as "if you flashed a camera." Although Neisler said the previous owner of the house had never seen the cross, physicist Allen Grommet theorized that "what I could visualize it being is the way the light is being refracted, a natural thing that nobody has noticed before."

--The din from the constant revels is so loud that at least one neighbor is reportedly thinking of selling for a loss. And what particularly perturbed residents of a white suburb in Pretoria, South Africa, was when, for one party at the home of black U.S. Ambassador Edward Perkins, the U.S. Marine Band played Dixieland music for an entire day. The ambassador's official residence has been turned into "what amounts to a country club," said Janice Farquharson, who said she represents a group of residents weighing legal action to stop the noise. A U.S. spokeswoman said the house was being renovated but only Farquharson had complained about noise.

--For months, executors of the will of Kate Smith and officials at a Lake Placid, N.Y., church had been haggling over the specifications for a mausoleum in which the late singer would be buried. Negotiations have been resolved and the burial in the pink granite mausoleum at St. Agnes Catholic Church will finally take place on Nov. 14, the first above-ground interment to be permitted at the small church cemetery. The body of the singer, who died June 17, 1986, at age 79, meanwhile has been kept in a vault in a nearby cemetery. Lake Placid Mayor Robert J. Peacock has declared Nov. 14 "Kate Smith Day" and U.S. flags will be flown along Main Street in honor of the celebration's theme: "God Bless America." Smith, who was born in Virginia, spent vacations and summers at her Lake Placid residence.

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