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FOOTNOTES / JAMES BATES

A Bad Sign

August 29, 1994|JAMES BATES

It's unlikely Gerald R. Ford will ever finish at the top of a list of great Presidents, but he has finished first in one survey.

Autograph Collector magazine, based in Corona, in its September issue ranks Ford at the top of a list of "worst signers."

The magazine based its ranking by talking to autograph collectors, who reported to the magazine that Ford doesn't exactly welcome them.

The magazine says it was "astonished" by the reports because Ford "is so accommodating through the mail."

By contrast, fellow Republican President Ronald Reagan is on the list of "best signers," at No. 3.

"He would sign all day if the Secret Service didn't, on more than one occasion, drag him away," the magazine says.

For the record, others appearing on the "worst list" include child actor Macaulay Culkin, basketball-baseball player Michael Jordan, singer Madonna, former talk show host Arsenio Hall, actress Julia Roberts and former Laker star Magic Johnson.

The best list also includes actors Danny DeVito, Tom Selleck, Jack Nicholson and Angie Dickinson and "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno.

White (House) Sale

Now you can impress your friends by fooling them into thinking you swiped some towels when you spent the night at the White House.

A just-released gift catalogue for the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace in

Yorba Linda includes cotton bath towels for $19.95 that say "White House" and bear the presidential seal.

Also included in the catalogue are a number of other items, including for $25 the official program and eulogy book for Nixon's funeral at the library in April.

There's also a coffee mug with the Nixon quote: "Only if you have been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain"--words he said to his staff after announcing his resignation in 1974 because of the Watergate scandal.

And for $18.95 is the new "The Day Elvis Met Nixon" book by former White House staff member Egil (Bud) Krogh.

Meanwhile, Back at the Lot

No sooner does Walt Disney Co. go through its biggest executive shake-up in 10 years--triggered by the announcement that studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg is

leaving--than shareholders receive a quarterly report with an ironic message inside from Chairman Michael D. Eisner.

The message, written July 31, while Eisner was still at home recuperating from coronary bypass surgery, says he is comforted by the knowledge that "our highly dedicated team of executives is performing as normal."

Briefly. . .

Marina del Rey-based Petkin Pet Care is marketing a deodorant-like stick for pets. . . . People responding to a recent survey by the Accountemps job agency said they dislike 40% of the voice mail systems they reach. . . . An entertainment marketing conference scheduled for next month in Beverly Hills has scheduled an early evening "Schmooze-A-Rama."

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