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City Motto : Oxnard Tries a New Line

June 23, 1988|MEG SULLIVAN | Times Staff Writer

They compared Oxnard to Miami, St. Moritz, the Emerald City and Atlantis.

They praised its harbor lights, strawberries, beaches and "undiscovered charms." Then came the allusions to paradise.

Participants in the monthlong contest for a new motto for the perennially maligned city trotted out "Oxnard, This Side of Eden" and "Surfside Paradise" and "Eden (e-den), n., see Oxnard."

But the five judges of the contest, sponsored by the Oxnard Convention and Visitors Bureau, opted for a slogan that conjures earthier images.

"Oxnard . . . Kissed by the Sun, Hugged by the Sea" was unveiled Wednesday as the city's official slogan.

Its creator, a 40-year-old medical secretary, said she wasn't surprised when her slogan won.

"My teen-age kids loved it," said Barbara Hensley, an Oxnard resident for 12 years. "And, if it passed their scrutiny, I knew it would make it."

For her effort, she waltzed off with dinners for two at five Oxnard restaurants, a night at an Oxnard hotel, an Oxnard poster and four wine glasses etched with strawberries.

Ties Into the Sea

Judges liked the slogan because "it tied itself into Oxnard being by the sea," said Robert D. Varley, executive director of the visitors bureau. Another slogan, "Oxnard: Where Summer Spends the Winter," placed a close second, but judges complained that "you had to think about it for a moment," Varley said.

In a separate effort to promote Oxnard, organizers of the city's annual Fourth of July parade announced that the grand marshal, for the second year in a row, will be Dick Wilson, the actor who plays Mr. Whipple on Charmin toilet-paper commercials.

"He's a recognizable character," Cleo McCormick, the event's organizer, said of the friendly grocer known for telling shoppers, "Please don't squeeze the Charmin."

"He fits the image we're trying to portray of a homey, hometown kind of place."

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