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Back At His Old Uplifting Job at Kobey’s Downtown

One of those most delighted by the opening of Kobey’s Downtown in the old Walker-Scott building in downtown San Diego is 54-year-old Harold Potter. He was an elevator operator for several years for the now-closed department store, and Kobey’s hired him back to operate one of the four elevators in the building.

So he’s back to his old song-and-dance, elevator style. He offers a history of the building to interested passengers: the building was constructed in 1919, Walker Scott came in 1935 and yes, the building’s got the oldest escalator in San Diego.

There are only a few operator-assisted elevators in the San Diego area. Others are at Hotel del Coronado and at the Plaza Hotel. “People are always amazed. They get in, and there’re no buttons for them to push. There’s just me standing there,” he said.

Cultural Exchange

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The old folks at the Green Valley Manor retirement center in Poway are having company on Thursday--half a dozen senior citizens from Japan, who are on a three-week tour of the United States and who want to see what it’s like to grow old in America.

They’ll be spending part of the day at this swank new place--perhaps hardly a representation of life for the elderly in this country--and discuss such things as medical care, financial planning and government help for the elderly, and how the two cultures vary in terms of how children and their aging parents relate to one another.

The round-table discussion, said general manager Bob Brooks, will continue through lunch (hamburgers and tostadas), followed by a tour of the center, peeks into private apartments and, to conclude the visit, a rousing game of bingo.

Dignified Duties

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So, what was all that hoo-rah at the Embarcadero last Friday afternoon? A military helicopter overhead, a couple of unmarked police cars, men strolling around with walkie-talkies, and finally, that old but cheery limousine at the center of attention.

The U.S. State Department, it turned out, was staging a class for local police on how to escort dignitaries in San Diego.

Dollars and Scents

In Vista Superior Court, attorneys trying a civil lawsuit--a motorist was hit from behind by a sand truck--were questioning prospective jurors to decide the issue of fault and possible monetary damages.

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“Have any of you been involved in a traffic accident?” one of the attorneys queried.

A young woman in the jury box raised her hand. Once, she ran into a box that fell from a nursery delivery truck, slightly denting her front bumper.

Did you sue, she was asked.

“No,” she said. “The other driver offered me $10 and some flowers. What more could a girl ask for?”

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Zoo Zanies for Hire

The zanies who make up the “B-Morning Zoo” on KFMB-FM radio are moonlighting and daylighting for extra bucks. They’ve hired a personal manager--Sonny Sturn, who helped promote Horton Plaza in its early days--and have taken their act on the road, for hire.

“For a fee, we’ll do any multimedia event,” said Pat Gaffey, a quarter of the act. “We can do statue unveilings and ribbon cuttings. We do great snip jobs.

“If you want to launch a ship, we’ll christen it and even bring our own champagne. We do book-signing parties too. We don’t care whose book we sign. And we’ll make courtroom appearances for whichever side will pay us the most.

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“And we’d like to do grand openings, like for new dry-cleaning establishments. It’s an industry that’s under-represented, and we think we can bring dry cleaning out of the closet,” Gaffey said.

“We can also do testimonials to say we like your product. If you think it would be better for you if we say we don’t like it, we can say that too.”


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