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Newsmakers

For Sale: Well-Traveled Trash (Barge Not Included)

November 08, 1987|DAVE JOHNSON

Now you can buy a souvenir that comes from Belize, the Bahamas, Mexico and six of the United States. For $10, a mail-order house will send you a plastic-coated packet of garbage from the refuse barge that was turned away from all those places. "It's designer garbage. We sent some to Tiffany's. We haven't heard from them yet," Laurence Halstead said from his office in Arlington, Va., where he calls himself Chairman of the Mania at the mail-order house Bradd & Hall. "It's a limited collector's item," Halstead said. "The cockroach eggs are starting to hatch." Besides that, most of the 3,186 tons of well-traveled trash was burned in September after the barge returned from its 6,000-mile odyssey of rejection. So how can the wary customer know that it's the real, pariah garbage and not the pedestrian landfill variety? The package includes a letter from Vito Turso, public relations director of New York City's Sanitation Department, verifying that the trash is the real thing. New York gets 50% of the profits for recycling projects. Turso explained that the city saved a 1 1/2-ton bale of trash from the famous load, "crickets and all."

--New York warmly greeted another vessel upon its return from a 2 1/2-year voyage. After all, it carried Tania Aebi, 21, who chose to sail around the world alone rather than spend her dad's money on college tuition. Her father, Ernest Aebi, and other family members met her with roses and champagne as foghorns sounded and hundreds of spectators cheered. Aebi, said to be the first American woman to sail around the world alone, also got a telegram from President Reagan. Her father had given her a choice--a small boat or full college tuition--and she said she had no regrets about the route she took. She also said she was not sorry she gave a lift to a hitchhiker in the South Pacific, a decision that cost her a chance to be named in record books as the youngest solo circumnavigator.

--Frank Sinatra and the Vienna Boys Choir vowed never to perform again in South Africa while its apartheid system remains, so the United Nations Centre Against Apartheid said it is removing their names from its blacklist of entertainers who appear there. Sinatra and Boys Choir Director W. Tautschnig Jr. made their promises in separate letters to the U.N. group.

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