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NEIGHBORS : Librarian Hobnobs With Celebrity Poets : Camarillo resident Nagiko Sato Kiser's haiku verses draw praise from a crowd including Milton Berle and Steve Allen.

July 15, 1993|PANCHO DOLL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Milton Berle presented Camarillo resident Nagiko Sato Kiser with a commemorative medal from a recently created poets society in Beverly Hills.

In a ceremony that observers called surreal even by Hollywood standards, the Poetry Academy hosted a weekend-long bash to celebrate "Uncle Miltie's" 85th birthday over the Independence Day weekend.

"It was like Oscar night," Sato said. "I read a colorful haiku and it was appreciated."

Berle, in turn, got a lifetime achievement award from the society for his song lyrics and poems. Sato, who writes haiku in addition to her duties as librarian at the Camarillo State Hospital, was on hand with gobs of celebs for a weekend gathering at which John Keats would surely have been uncomfortable.

The black-tie affair at the Beverly Hilton Hotel was hosted by Steve Allen. He shared emcee duties with Gary Coleman of "Different Strokes," "Laugh-In's" Gary Owens and Bernie Kopell from "The Love Boat."

Admission tickets for Berle's Bash started at $1,000 per person, definitely not attainable for practitioners of a literary form associated with consumptives living in garrets, or for that matter librarians employed by the state.

To boost the erudition quotient, poets like Sato got in free.

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The authors of the book "50 Fabulous Places to Raise Your Family" didn't find any towns to their liking in Ventura County, but they were gracious enough to expand our boundaries to include the community of Valencia.

The book listed the Santa Clarita Valley community as being in Ventura County, a clear error that's resulted in a bit of finger pointing.

"A real estate agent told our researcher that it was in Ventura County," claimed co-author Sara Lee Rosenberg. "He might have said that because he thought L.A. County would be a deterrent."

"We have checked two or three times with the county, believe me," pleaded the public relations representative for the publisher, Career Press. "They told us it was in Ventura County."

The Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce notes that Valencia is located 35 miles north of Los Angeles, rather than 60 miles as the book says.

Rosenberg said the error(s) only got out on the publicity copies sent to newspapers. Later editions were corrected, returning Valencia to Los Angeles County.

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The following is a preemptive publicity strike.

Camarillo's, nay Ventura County's, most successful publicity hound Robert (Gypsy Boots) Bootzin is approaching another birthday.

In years past, the health food guru and consumer of unmentionable edibles has peppered the landscape with signs announcing the anniversary of his birth on Aug. 10.

As a service to our readers, we are making public notice of the date in hopes that the community can be spared the onslaught on the occasion of Bootzin's 83rd.

Editor's note: This column marks a reunion of sorts between Bootzin and Steve Allen (see above). In the early '60s, Bootzin appeared regularly on "The Steve Allen Show" as the kooky "Nature Boy."

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