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September 20, 1993|JAMES BATES

Got $5,000 for a Horse's Tale?

Add this to the list of unusual investments being sold today. . . .

A letter being circulated by Branson Productions Inc. in Beverly Hills is soliciting investors to put up at least $5,000 each for a play called "Roy, Dale and Me."

The production is described as an account of the life of cowboy star Roy Rogers and wife Dale Evans.

"Me" turns out to be Rogers' longtime horse, Trigger. According to the letter, the story is told "through Trigger's eyes."

The letter says the play will be produced in the burgeoning country-music town of Branson, Mo., with Roy Rogers Jr. serving as co-producer and Edward Cohen and Fred Bauer (who both made "The Buddy Holly Story" film) also serving as producers.

Trigger can be found at the Roy Rogers Dale Evans Museum in Victorville, Calif., where he has been "mounted" (the term the museum prefers to the word "stuffed").

Here's One for the Books

Joseph Tabler is giving up his fight with the world's largest media and entertainment giant to sell his "Ms. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations."

The San Diego owner of a used bookstore wrote the book--which he describes as "feminist humor"--under the name Ms. Bartlett and sold copies for $6.95 apiece.

Time Warner Inc.'s Little, Brown publishing house--which owns all the rights to the well-known "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations," didn't like that much. Over the past six months, company lawyers have sent Tabler a series of letters saying that he is violating trademark laws.

Tabler says he has sold 1,500 copies, but is stuck with 2,400 unsold ones filling 40 boxes in his garage. All told, he estimates he will lose about $2,500 on the venture.

It Took Investors for a Ride

A souvenir from one of Southern California's most bizarre investment scams is for sale this week in Ventura County.

Included in a Movieworld Collection auction in Santa Paula is the prototype of the "Dale," a highly publicized three-wheeled car touted in the 1970s as a safe and energy-efficient vehicle.

The car was the brainchild of Geraldine Elizabeth Carmichael, who once vowed that the Dale's parent company would be bigger than Chevrolet.

As it turned out, authorities accused Carmichael of bilking investors out of $3 million. Authorities charged Carmichael with grand theft, alleging the car company was a hoax. Then came the strangest twist: Carmichael the con woman turned out to be a con man, a self-described transsexual once known as Jerry Dean Michael.

Carmichael, 65, was convicted of grand theft and served time in state prison. Carmichael's lawyer said Carmichael has been paroled and now lives in Texas.

Briefly . . .

Popular item: A "How to Go Out of Business Kit" is being sold via a toll-free number. . . . A parody map of North America post-NAFTA circulating in offices shows Mexico labeled as a manufacturing zone, the U.S. as a retail area and Canada as a parking lot. . . . The National Cattlemen's Assn. newsletter is called "The Beef Brief."

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