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ORANGE COUNTY NEWSWATCH

March 12, 1994|Jerry Hicks and Lily Dizon and Vicky Clepper

LOOKING BACK: At the Old Courthouse in Santa Ana this afternoon, you can step back to 50 years ago, when America was deep into World War II. The Old Courthouse Museum Society will preview its new yearlong exhibit, "Homefront Orange County." . . . It commemorates those years--when the county housed 40,000 soldiers--with film, posters, pictures and memorabilia. "Those of us who are older will do a lot of remembering," says society President Elynore Barton. "For young people, we hope it will be an education."

WOMEN'S WORK: The exhibit includes many written remembrances by local residents about their lives at home during the war. Barton, a granddaughter of Orange County's first sheriff, Theo Lacy, says women here "did more than dance with soldiers." . . . She worked in a war support factory, and her mother organized a local home away from home for soldiers. Women also turned in grease from breakfast bacon, which the government used to make ammunition. "We all did what we could," Barton says, "and the exhibit is going to include many wonderful stories."

WELCOME PRAISE: The past year wasn't kind to Gene Lu, whose Advanced Logic Research computer company in Irvine took an 18% sales drop. But here's some good news for him: Fortune magazine this month still picked him among its 40 smartest "Young Entrepreneurs." It praised his willingness to make serious changes to combat sales losses. Says a Lu spokeswoman: "How nice of them."

FINAL STEPS: More than 50 elderly residents born in Vietnam are scheduled to show up at the Asian Senior Center in Santa Ana today to take their U.S. citizenship tests. The center, which conducts the tests monthly, has never had this many applicants. . . . Says Minh Le, center director: "I guess the main reason there are so many people who are interested in becoming a citizen now is because they finally realized that this is the one important thing they must do to become a part of this country."

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