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Buttons, Buttons, He's Got the Buttons

December 14, 1987|Herbert J. Vida

In a way, Dennis C. Doran's 5,000 buttons--the kind you hook on your lapel--are meant more for others than for himself.

"The public usually doesn't get a chance to see what (collectors) have," said Doran, who works in the Cypress College admissions office and wears a different button every day. "So I try to exhibit these as often as I can."

Naturally, he's known as "Buttons" around campus.

He has shown the colorful collection in libraries throughout the county and is exhibiting them at the Anaheim Museum through February. "It's the first time I've shown them in a museum," he said.

But the buttons aren't just for everyone else, said Doran, who traded his coin collection for some buttons that started his collection.

"I'm still like a little kid in a way," he said while dipping into one of the 32 shoe boxes that contain his collection of buttons of different colors, shapes and sizes. "I get a kick out of collecting them, and I get good vibes from people who look at them."

And money doesn't have anything to do with his collection, since he doesn't sell any of the buttons and rarely buys any.

"Ask me how much it's all worth, and I'll tell you, 'I don't know,' " he said, pointing out that he gets most of them free and that the most he's ever paid for one was $20--and only because it fit into a category he was trying to complete.

"I don't like to buy buttons," he said. "I try to talk people into giving them to me."

As a matter of fact, aside from political buttons, which command handsome prices, "there's not a large market for buttons," he said. Doran only knows of one other major button collector--and he lives in New Jersey.

While that collector has political buttons, "most of my buttons are in other fields, and I get a kick out of them because each one is a part of history." He emphasized his point by showing a button with a fruit fly with Jerry Brown's face on it.

One of his newer buttons reads, "Say No to Drugs." The easiest to find these days, he said, are buttons touting movies, music and religion. He gets most of them from college colleagues, friends and family.

While there are serious messages on some buttons, most contain tricky, catchy, funny or colorful messages.

And there is life outside his button collection, said Doran, who likes to write science fiction and has started penning one-act plays. When life for him gets too serious, he turns to another outlet.

"I sometimes work as a clown and juggler," he said.

Picture this scene:

Your eyes flutter closed in ecstasy as he takes you in his arms, his lips descend to meet yours in a slowing shattering study. Your pulse raises as his kisses trail along soft sensitive skin on your ear lobe.


One of the people in that steamy scene and others like it could be you. Just imagine you and a fantasy lover lost together in the pages of a romance novel.

It's a clever venture promoted by Evelyn M. Brown of Placentia, a one-time manufacturer's representative who switched to the love-and-romance field.

She writes romance novels and for $20 will drop in your name and one other as the two romantic leads in reprints of her newest book, "Our Love."

For $35, you get it in hard cover.

"I expect to have six romance novels written by next year, so people will have a wider choice," said Brown, 30, who writes, publishes, binds and markets the books under the banner of Swan Publishing.

She feels that using real names for main characters in a love story is a good gift idea. Besides the names, she includes a personalized four-line dedication.

"All the story lines will be the same," she said. "Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. They all have a happy ending."

For a year, Roberta Williams, 71, and husband Jack, 74, of Santa Ana, went about collecting newspapers from friends and from members of the Santa Ana Women's Club whenever she attended a meeting.

Well, they accumulated 14 tons, drove it to a recycling center, netted $700 and gave it to the women's club, which donated it to the Western Medical Center/Bartlett Meals on Wheels program.

"The club didn't even give me $1 for gas," cracked Jack.

Remember when professional golfer Lee Trevino shot a hole in one on television and won $175,000 for the shot? Insurance man Jim Cain of Seal Beach shot a hole in one the same day. But it cost him $75, the tab for the customary drinks an amateur golfer buys when he scores an ace.

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