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NEIGHBORS : Moving Art : A portrait by a Westlake Village photographer is chosen as part of a traveling exhibition.

July 11, 1991|LEO SMITH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Remember the item about Mark Brandes, the Westlake Village photographer with the unique portrait business? In addition to the regular sit-and-smile shots, he creates elaborate scenes appropriate to each client.

Well, one of his family portraits--of two adults, four kids, a dog and some wallpaper--has been selected for the permanent traveling collection of the Professional Photographers of America. Only 308 of the more than 6,000 portraits submitted were chosen.

Two other Brandes works will be part of the association's general collection, going on display tomorrow at the International Exposition of Professional Photography in Dallas.

So what's all the fuss about today's solar eclipse?

"I put together a list of the most incredible experiences in my life--watching my baby being born, that is No. 1," said Hal Jandorf, an astronomy instructor at Moorpark College. "No. 2 is seeing a total solar eclipse."

Oh, is that all?

Needless to say, Jandorf isn't letting this planetary phenomenon pass him by.

Today he, his wife and a group from the Los Angeles Natural History Museum are in Cabo San Lucas, one of two ideal sites from which to view the eclipse. "I've been planning it for at least 10 years. . . . In my dreams it's been more like a billion years," he said last week. "I can't even sleep."

Jandorf and company are hardly alone. "It's going to be so crowded that the tip of Baja might break off. They're expecting 500,000 people," he said. "You know how many restaurants they have at Cabo San Lucas? Fourteen. You know how many gas stations? Two."

This will be Jandorf's third total eclipse. He admits he wasn't as giddy before his first. "I thought, 'So what? It gets a little dark. Whoop-de-do. Big deal. It gets boring,' " he said. "But the first time--I tell you--the feeling, it's a sensory feeling, not just visual. People are screaming, laughing, crying, praying on the ground."

Well, I hope everyone's been enjoying Man Watcher's Compliment Week. If not, you've still got time before it ends Saturday.

This is the week that members of Man Watchers Inc., a Los Angeles-based group, promote their policy of handing out compliment cards to men they deem deserving--for appearance, looks, manners, etc. I asked Simi Valley member Kari Ann Patterson (a.k.a. Miss Tri-Counties 1991) about it.

"I gave a card to one of the bag boys who gives me my golf bags" at Wood Ranch Country Club, she said. "I put on the card that he had a nice smile and a nice body."

Patterson said the cards are just about the only way a woman can give such praise to a man.

"You walk down the street and guys will say, 'Ooh baby, sexy legs,' but we can't say that to a man in this society," she said. "You can't go, 'Ooh, great buns, nice smile."

And what does Patterson's boyfriend think of her handing out compliments to all these guys? "I gave him the first card," she said. "It helped."

The playbill for "Eat Your Heart Out," the Plaza Players current production at the Livery in Ventura, includes this line in the biography of star Alan Price:

"Alan can be seen as Man No. 2 in the upcoming feature film, 'Night of the Armadillos.' "

It's not the role of lead armadillo, but it's something, right? Well, as it turns out, it's nothing.

"It's kind of a standard joke in Santa Barbara-area theater," said Price. "It was supposed to be in everybody's bios."

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