Student Artist’s Skill Is Well-Posted

Compiled by David Johnston

Fidel Santana’s skill with a paint brush has won him his fourth poster contest, this time the Music Center Mercado competition for Los Angeles County High School students.

Santana, 15, is a sophomore at La Mirada High School. Posters made from his watercolor and Prisma crayon pencil depiction of a tapestry will be hung at the Music Center Plaza on June 6-8 during the annual fund-raising sale of merchandise donated by area retailers. In all, 3,000 posters and 20,000 flyers plus other smaller reproductions of the design are planned, a Music Center spokeswoman said.

“I’ve had a lot of top-notch talent in my 14 years of teaching and Fidel is one of the best,” said his teacher, Jack Friedrich. “And he’s only a sophomore so he’s got a lot of time to develop his potential.”

Santana, who wants to be a commercial artist, won $1,000 plus another $1,000 for his school art department. In addition, Fidel and his parents will be flown to Washington, for a four-day visit to the National Gallery of Art and other cultural institutions.


Michael Ramirez of Fairfax Visual Arts High School in West Hollywood won the $500 second prize. Donald Hayes of Morningside High School in Inglewood won the $250 third prize and Sharon Meymarian of Alverno High School in Sierra Madre won the $100 fourth prize.

Real Globe Hoppers

Thelma Leonard of Marina del Rey has seen more of the world than almost anyone else. Until January she was, unofficially, the most traveled woman on Earth.

The Travelers’ Century Club, whose members each claim to have visited 100 or more of the 308 countries the club recognizes, says Leonard has stopped off in 258 countries.

Leonard and the four other most widely traveled people in the world will be honored at a Sheraton Grande luncheon Saturday.

The world’s most traveled woman now is Edie Irish of Flint, Mich., who has visited 278 countries, according to Russ Davidson, the club founder and himself a visitor to 238 countries who modestly observes that “I haven’t traveled much compared to other club members.”

The most widely traveled people in the world are three men, each of whom claim to have been to 300 countries. C. Don Buckley of Denver, and John D. Clouse of Evansville, Ind., reached the 300-nation level some time ago, Davidson said.

Parke G. Thompson of Akron, Ohio, is also coming to the luncheon, flying here by way of San Andreas Island in the Caribbean to reach the 300-country level.


The club will also give one of its awards--an eagle astride a globe--to Clouse’s son G. Chancy Clouse who has visited 114 countries in his six years of life.

“It’s very expensive to visit this many countries,” Davidson said. “One estimate I’ve heard is $500,000 to visit 300 countries, but I would think the cost is much greater.

“No one in the club has been to Norwegian Antarctica, the French Southern and Antarctic Territory or to U.S.S.R. Antarctica and about the toughest country in the world to get into is Albania,” Davidson said. “Those members who have gotten into Albania usually did so only by arranging to make an airline connection.”

His Reptilian Friends


Monte Krisan has crisscrossed the continent with his little troupe, appearing in big and not-so-big cities and towns for nearly a dozen years. And during that time no one has dared break into his truck or mess with his 30-foot display trailer.

Which proves there’s one advantage to traveling around with a rig full of rattlesnakes, iguanas, pythons and a Gila monster or two.

“Monty’s Traveling Reptile Show” is on the road 10 months of the year, appearing at schools, shopping malls and county fairs. Those who have encountered Krisan and friends at one of the more than 7,400 one-hour presentations he has made over the years, are likely to get a stern lecture on the role of reptiles in the environment. Krisan, 43, generally appears with Tee-Beau, a 14-year-old raccoon-sized rhinoceros iguana who looks like a relative of those creatures you see in low-budget monster movies.

Although he is the only performer with a speaking part, Krisan said the reptiles are the definite stars of his show. “People will look at snakes for hours and hours and hours,” he said recently during an appearance at Long Beach City College.


A New Leash on Life

Picture grown men and women frantically racing around supermarkets and shopping centers beeping and pointing 9-inch antennas this way and that.

Not to worry, they’re just tracking down wandering offspring equipped with Protek Guardian-I, a $99.95 transmitter about the size of a belt buckle strapped to little Johnny or Jenny. When the kid strays more than 300 feet from Mom or Dad, a receiving unit in hand or purse commences beeping.

At first beep, the parent springs into action: out with the portable antenna, snap it onto the receiver, and tally ho! Away goes the tracer of lost children, beeping ever more frequently as he or she closes in on the wayward kid.


A mildly ingenious child who wants to lead a parent on a merry goose chase can take off the transmitter, an act that sets the receiving unit to beeping. Then, if the parent is quick afoot, at least he or she will rescue the transmitter before it’s picked up by a passer-by.

Salt Lake City inventor Woody Norris and his eight children are responsible for bringing this electronic leash into our lives. “When they were little, the kids kept wandering away all the time,” Norris said. So he came up with the tiny transmitter and the 4-by-6-by-1 1/2-inch receiver, a smaller model of which will be on the market this summer, Norris said. For more information on child beeping, call (800) 441-3636.