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He Draws Attention With Hobby

December 01, 1987|SHIRLEY MARLOW

Roy Kohl gets right to the point when he talks about his hobby--collecting pencils and pens. "Oh, I get a great kick out of it," Kohl said. "I enjoy it when somebody comes to look at them." The 82-year-old Kohl's collection of more than 38,000 pens and pencils lines the walls and ceiling of his basement recreation room in Lidgerwood, N.D. Kohl started his collection with a pencil from the J. J. Osteraas meat market in Claire City, S.D., just across the border. "I got it as a boy when my brother and I went into town with our father. . . . My brother sharpened his and took it to school," Kohl said. "I put mine in a box." The pencil's eraser has hardened and its lettering has faded with age. Earlier this fall, a group of Girl Scouts toured the basement and each received a pen with Kohl's name on it, he said. "Who knows, maybe one of those girls will have her own collection some day and her first pen will have my name on it," Kohl said. "That would be a kick, huh?" Kohl is one of 2,000 members of the American Pencil Collectors Society.

--A 13-year-old Boca Raton, Fla., girl will talk with Raisa Gorbachev about establishing a pen-pal program for American and Soviet children. "I'll tell Mrs. Gorbachev . . . 'I'm glad to see you and . . . I hope you can start a pen-pal thing in Russia,"' Laura Weneck said. Details of the Washington meeting, which is to occur during the Dec. 7-10 summit between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev, have not been released. Laura's father, Robert L. Weneck, former lobbyist and White House media liaison in the Gerald R. Ford Administration, said he had several phone conversations with Soviet journalists in Washington about the idea. "I told them, 'Let's talk about how we can take the fear out of the children on your side and ours,' " he said.

--Uxbridge, Mass., High School students are all shook up because a health-conscious official removed salt from the cafeteria tables. Virginia Peterson, school food service director, said she decided last month to remove the salt shakers from the cafeteria because she was concerned about the effect the sodium in salt can have on blood pressure. But the students say that while they are aware of the health issue, they want to make their own decisions. "We want to be treated like adults, but we don't feel like adults if we can't even decide if we can have salt," Kathy LeMay, a senior, said. The Student Council plans to meet with the food services director to try and come to a salt accord, LeMay said.

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