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NEIGHBORS : In Tune : The California Lutheran University Choir and the Ventura County Master Chorale will sing their way to Europe.


Let's all wish a bon voyage to members of the California Lutheran University Choir.

They leave today for a 22-day tour through Germany and Austria, which includes stops in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin and a number of small towns.

It's the ninth such trip for choir Director James Fritschel, who said one of the best things about the experience is that the students get to stay in private homes for most of the trip.

"Even when the language differences are there, they are able to communicate," he said. "They find things in common."

But not everything in common. "The Germans always close all the doors," Fritschel said. "When you're a stranger in the house, you never know which door is safe to open."

Speaking of musical tours, the Ventura County Master Chorale has begun preparations for a June trip to the World International Festival of Music in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

Is this group prepared for the culture shock?

"I have a feeling it's going to be learn as you go," said Lee Montemorra, the chorale's personnel director.

Montemorra said she is responsible for making sure that the singers show up on time to their various engagements and was glad to hear that the hotels in which the group will be staying are near the performance site.

"Communicating on the telephone in Prague would not be one of my favorite things to do," she said. "But we shouldn't have too many people wandering around. These are all adults, and I hope they act accordingly."

Sports trivia question: Who was on the winning team at the U. S. Polo Assn. Open in Indio last month?

Answer: The Moorpark trio of Sue Sally Hale and her daughters Stormie and Sunny.

"It was kind of neat that all three of us won it," Stormie said. "We all won the first sanctioned tournament for women 10 years ago in Carmel. My mom is kind of a legend in the sport--she was the first woman in the USPA in 1972."

By the way, other members of this nature-themed family include daughter Dawn and sons Trails and Brooke.

While we're on the subject of Moorpark accomplishments, here's another--of sorts.

Comedian Jay Leno's new book of newspaper gaffes, titled "More Headlines," has this example from a local publication:

"Moorpark residents enjoy a communal dump"

Actually, it's not as odd as it may seem. The story beneath the headline is about a neighborhood cleanup project.

A few months back, we spoke with Frances Harwood, co-owner of American Eagle flags in Ventura, to see how the conflict in the Mideast was affecting patriotic purchases.

Back then, sales of American flags were slightly on the rise. But now, she said, business is pretty much back to normal.

"The Saudi desert thing doesn't seem to be affecting things," she said. "Around Jan. 15, if there's a war, that will boost sales, I'm sure. I'm one of the ones to benefit, but I don't want to."

One flag that has seen increased popularity is the white flag with the peace symbol on it, Harwood said.

"The other day, I got an order for four of them. I'll get them custom-made because we don't have them in our catalogues. We're back to the '60s."

If you believe Ojai numerologist Ed Brough, though, the new year will be quite peaceful. "1991 vibrates to 20," he said, "which is a year of balance and especially a year of arbitration."

In other words? "I don't look for any fighting this year in the gulf," he said. "It may take a lot of talk and it may take a lot of time, but it will be held in abeyance."

The crisis aside, Brough had further predictions for '91.

"As far as the United States goes, we are going to find that the colors cherry, lemon and pink are going to dominate, like in car colors," he said. "Clothing and home decorating will be the same way."

Brough said blue, coffee, silver and a medium shade of green will be the "in" secondary colors. "And the accent colors will be hot pink, lime and orchid."

Time to get a new wardrobe.

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