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A Chronicle Of The Passing Scene


The Very Picture of a Winner

Javier Zubiran, a second-grader at Haddon Avenue School, is a proven winner.

His mother, Rosa Lopez, who cleans houses for a living, never had a doubt.

Javier, 7, has won a first place in a special drawing contest. His brother, Jorge, now 12, was one of the contest winners last year.

For three years, youngsters at three elementary schools in Pacoima have been challenged to create pictures of something totally conceptual. They are asked to create a drawing of Pacoima pride.

Pacoima Pride is the name of a contest that allows teachers in classrooms at Pacoima Elementary, Haddon Avenue and Mary Immaculate schools to discuss with students some global and local issues such as brotherhood, neighborliness and what it really means to "get along."

The contest is sponsored by TransWorld Bank in Pacoima. Winners were selected by local politicos and dignitaries, including Manuel Velasquez, a muralist and head of Community Youth Gang Services in the Northeast Valley.

Javier's picture--described by Haddon Street School Vice Principal Nancy Oda as sort of a series of blocks--shows the unity of several ideas. They include keeping local parks clean and safe, keeping the city free of graffiti and helping to feed the needy and the poor.

Real Live Cops and Robbers

The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently gave Ava Campbell and Linda Rubio, both of Lancaster, certificates of appreciation--for their nosiness.

The two women provided information that led to the arrest and conviction of a bank robber.

The dynamic duo's detecting went something like this:

Last June, Campbell, 35, who is manager of the Lancaster branch of Downey Savings Bank, noticed what seemed to be a suspicious person. The man appeared to be casing the bank wearing sunglasses and a wig, covered by a baseball cap.

Campbell asked Rubio, 32, a member of the building management staff in which the bank is located, to try to keep an eye on the man.

Rubio followed him to his car and jotted down his license plate number. The next day, the man once again showed up at the bank wearing the same clothes and get-up. This time, he had a gun pointed at a hostage as he demanded money from each of the tellers.

When he left, Campbell called the cops, and Rubio was there with the suspect's license plate number.

It only took the FBI a day to trace the plate and make an arrest.

Rainy Day Brainstorm

This might come under the category of "thank goodness somebody finally thought of it." Then again, maybe not.

How do you feel about an umbrella for two? The folks at Coast to Coast Traders, a Canoga Park mail-order house, are offering one.

The Double Up Umbrella is about twice the size of a regular bumbershoot and has two domes designed to protect you and a friend.

The umbrella goes for about $45, which includes the thing itself plus handling and shipping charges. The two-for-one umbrella condenses to the size of a conventional one when you aren't using it.

Do the Doublemint Twins know about this?

This Is Your Life, the Video

Some of us suspect the way we have faced life's trials is inspirational.

Some of us further suspect, if one could find the time, writing a book on those experiences could benefit mankind. There is an old saying, in fact, that there is a book inside of all of us.

There should be another old saying to the effect that inside is probably where it should stay.

If you, however, feel your autobiography is ripe for recording, never mind the word processor, check out Life Story Video, a company that will make a pictorial record of your life.

Under direction of Ira Heffler and Jerry Schneider, the Studio City company creates video scrapbooks with interviews, photographs, home movies and other personal memorabilia, starting at about $400. And you get what some of Hollywood's biggest names strive for: The final cut.


"Thank heaven there is the fashion statement called the grunge look. Now I can smile when my teen-agers leave the house looking like something flash frozen from a production of 'Hair.' "

--Sherman Oaks mom to a sympathetic friend

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