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A Chronicle of the Passing Scene

August 07, 1992|SUE REILLY | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Stirring Things Up in Publishing

It's one of the stranger Cinderella stories of publishing, this book with no mental, emotional or physical violence.

That is unless you count beating eggs and chopping chives.

This $19.95 hardcover tome, "California Kosher," was put out by committee. It is a testimonial to the fact that too many cooks don't always spoil the pudding.

When the members of Sisterhood of Temple Adat Ari El in North Hollywood decided to do a fund-raising project, cookbook was a word that arose as fast as chocolate.

The year was 1987 and Pearl Roseman was recruited to do the editing honors. She had done other cookbooks and knew how to get the job done.

About 550 recipes were collected from temple members and tested three times by volunteers. Four hundred were judged good enough to be included in the 300-page book.

The women then realized they needed about $30,000 to get the artwork done and the book printed. Thirty angels gave interest-free loans of $1,000 each and 5,000 books rolled off the vanity press.

In addition to selling to friends and family, the sisterhood talked Nordstrom in Topanga Plaza into taking six books in November. The six sold. Then a second, larger order sold. Then other Nordstroms started a small ordering frenzy.

The initial printing of 5,000 sold out by the first of the year and another printing of 10,000 was ordered. Now, chains such as Waldenbooks and B. Dalton are beginning to order the book.

To celebrate its success, the sisterhood held an "Authors and Angels" luncheon last week at the Longridge home of Alice Spilberg. The highlight of the event came when the sisterhood paid all of its investors back.

Still Flying From Rio

Adam Rogers, the ecologically correct editor of the Agoura-based Earth News magazine, has returned from the Rio Earth Summit electrified.

"It wasn't just the rush of seeing all those people convened to wrestle with problems about environmental survival. It was the idea that the ecology brought all these international enemies together in peace."

Rogers says some of his most indelible memories are of seeing President Bush and Cuba's Fidel Castro lunching together, and of watching others who ordinarily try to destroy each other working together.

"Even though the results of the conference were not impressive in terms of agenda specifics, it was incredible to realize that enemies will work together when it's in their best interest," Rogers said.

Rogers, whose camera, film and tape recorder were stolen when he was mugged on the streets of Rio, says even that misfortune turned out to be a lesson in getting along.

"When other photojournalists heard about what had happened to me, they gave me a camera, film, everything I needed, so the experience turned out to have a positive side," he says.

There's Only One Ad Campaign

There's only one Johnny Carson.

A sign at the northeast corner of Woodman Avenue and Victory Boulevard says so.

There's nothing else on the sign, no clue as to who wrote it or why, just those words.

The only thing for sure is Jay Leno didn't put it up, but who did?

Bicycle-riding 9-year-old Taylor Tanzi, who had stopped for the light, said: "I don't know. Who's Johnny Carson?"

A pedestrian said it was probably put up by some nutty fan who misses the golf swing.

It turns out this is not an isolated case.

For the past two weeks, signs like this have been going up all over the Valley, saying that there is only one: Garbo, Monroe, Bogart, Gable, Cary Grant and Jimmy Dean, among others.

A call to the VM Martin Sign Co. in search of news of this explosive new trend of star-struck sign renters, revealed that the signs were about selling, not about stars or trends at all.

The teaser ads were created for a new mall in Burbank. A new sign, now up in some places, says, "There Is Only One Burbank Media City Center."

Trend spotters don't have it easy.

So it's back to Elvis sightings and outing the cultural elite.

Let's Hair It for the USA

Swimmers like it all off, shooters like spikes and soccer players want it layered.

This from Rose Ann Cope of North Hollywood, who spent a week finding out what Olympians want and need.

No, she's not writing a torrid book about strange and kinky habits of Olympic athletes. She is sharing her hair-cutting experiences.

Cope, 36, a 12-year veteran shearer at the North Hollywood Supercuts, takes her job seriously.

This spring she got a special assignment to go to the Supercuts salon at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, where many of the athletes-in-residence were gearing up.

"The company held a competition to select the people who would work in pairs for a week cutting hair at the center," Cope says.

During the week in March that she was at the center, she and her partner from Honolulu cut the hair of more than 100 athletes, each of whom made an impression on her, she says.

"These were people who started working at 5:30 in the morning and often ended with classroom sessions that lasted until 10 p.m. or so. They were kids who showed us adults what discipline really means," she says.

Overheard

"Most of us can relate to Princess Di because we have so much in common: the bossy mother-in-law, the spoiled kids and the husband who makes our lives an endless chain of Maalox moments."

Studio City woman to friends after watching a TV special on the Princess of Wales

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