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NEIGHBORS : Prom Nights : A tuxedo rental shop's most memorable young customers ended up wearing their finery to jail.


Tomorrow night marks the end of senior prom season for the Gingiss formal-wear shop at The Oaks Mall. And as can be expected, prom season meant plenty of work for the folks there.

Of course, nothing compares to a couple of years ago when two guys wearing Gingiss tuxedos got into a fight and were thrown into jail.

"We had to wait until they got out to get the tuxes back," said store manager Lynn Klufetos. "Unfortunately, during the busy season we need them every weekend. We kept calling, 'Can't you get them a change of clothes?' "

The good news for the kids was that bail was the only financial setback they were dealt. "At that point we just had to get them back," Klufetos said. "We didn't charge them an extra charge."

Three days in close confines, wearing the same clothes and no extra cleaning charge? Not a bad deal.

Exit, stage left: Saturday night's Ventura College performance of "Ring Round the Moon" will mark the final show for longtime theater arts instructor Eddy Barron. After 20 years directing campus shows he will call it quits.

Over the years, the 65-year-old Barron has done about 40 shows, most of them from off-Broadway and regional theater. "They're often more interesting and better than Broadway," he said. "Broadway has sort of petered out."

Barron said the biggest change since his early days at the school is that students come and go more quickly nowadays. "When I first got here there was a group of Vietnam veterans and other students who stuck around three or four years. It was like a small repertory company," he said. "It was possible then because parents weren't so uptight about 'You gotta get your computer courses . . . . ' "

What's next for Barron? He'll go to his home in Ashland, Ore., site of the Shakespeare Festival. "I'm going to rest for a year," he said. "I'm going to get up late, feed the ducks at the duck pond and do the crossword puzzles in the Portland Oregonian. I don't have to get up in the morning and face the youth of America anymore."

Here's one for local elementary school kids who think school is too demanding:

Ellen Marshall, a physical education teacher at Los Altos Intermediate School in Camarillo, just came back from a trip to China. She was there with a group of other P.E. teachers representing the Citizen Ambassador Program of Seattle, Wash. Their mission: to share and learn educational techniques.

What did she discover there? An emphasis on physical education in elementary school. "Five hundred kids get out in the morning and go through 15-20 minutes of what we would classify as slow-moving activity," she said. "They also have roughly two hours of P.E. a week and then they have to run about half a mile to three-quarters of a mile every day. They feel there that the mind is related to the body and vice versa and they educate that way."

Yes, but do the children enjoy the activity? "They seemed excited," she said. "There's a different discipline there. You're told to do something and you're going to do it. With a group of 500 American children you wouldn't see that."

Speaking of the Orient: Long-time Ojai potters Vivika and Otto Heino just got back from Shigarake, Japan, where they attended the opening of Ceramic World Shigarake '91.

Ceramic World is a facility dedicated, obviously, to displaying ceramics and exhibiting the latest in ceramic technique. "It is a big compound, almost like Disney World," Vivika Heino said. "Shigarake is a great center for ceramics."

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