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Fast Facts | SO SoCal

Reign Men

December 08, 1996|Mary Melton

L.A. boasts enough royal retail dynasties to topple the House of Windsor. As for gender balance--alas, for every Queen Nails there reign 10 King Donuts. Herewith, a sampling of the other Los Angeles Kings:

Title: THE BEDSPREAD KING

Commoner's Name: Al Greenwood

Coronated: early '80s (Initial plan to be "The Bedspread Man" stymied by an artist who mistakenly substituted a crown for a cowboy hat.)

Kingdom: Long Beach

Proclamation: "Buy Today. Enjoy Today."

Heirs: Daughter Susie and son-in-law Bob; grandchildren co-star in late-night TV ads.

Regal Act: No purchase required for a signed 8-by-10 glossy.

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Title: KING TACO

Commoner's Name: Raul Martinez

Coronated: 1974

Kingdom: 20 fast-food locations

Proclamation: "La Mejor Comida Mexicana."

Heirs: Children Raul Jr., Luis (both company vice presidents), Marco and Liliana

Regal Act: Six times a year feeds hundreds at the Los Angeles Mission.

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Title: KING OF BIKES

Commoner's Name: Sean Mejia

Coronated: Inherited the throne last year; his grandfather first claimed the honorific in the '30s.

Kingdom: Long Beach

Proclamation: "None that I know of."

Heir: 5-year-old son Eric

Regal Act: "To keep the store open."

Title: THE KING OF BIG SCREEN

Commoner's Name: Paul Goldenberg of Paul's TV

Coronated: 1980

Kingdom: La Habra

Proclamation: "I am the king."

Heir: None. Son Doug is a biologist for the U.S. Forest Service ("He's a tree-hugger").

Regal Act: Loaned two Mitsubishi big-screens to sequestered O.J. jurors.

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Title: THE KING OF BEEPERS

Commoner's Name: J.J. (Last name withheld)

Coronated: 1992

Kingdom: Originally L.A.; has also conquered Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tucson.

Proclamation: "Because I am J.J. I am the Owner. I am the King of Beepers."

Heirs: None. ("It's all mine.")

Regal Act: "Four years ago I opened the market. Now every child owns a pager. That's why I call myself the king."

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