At the Village Pantry in Rancho Santa Fe, owner John Seyfert and friends are rallying to the defense of Ollie North.
Having heard that North is facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs, Seyfert put out an empty jellybean jar to see if the local folks might want to contribute a buck or two.
Indeed they have. After a week or so, close to $100 has been collected in ones and fives, Seyfert said.
"Only about 2% of the people who come in don't approve of it; everyone else really likes being able to help," Seyfert said.
"People see it and say, 'Hey, count me in.'
"One man in town sent some money to North on an individual basis and got a thank-you letter back, so as soon as I send this money in, we'll frame his reply for everyone to read," Seyfert said.
Dishing Up Dirt
Then there's politics, Fallbrook style. Consider this three-column headline in last Thursday's edition of the local newspaper, the Enterprise:
"Mudslinging campaign planned by candidates."
Literally. Robert Olds, a local cabinet store owner and candidate for the town's honorary mayor post, challenged another candidate, Pearl Marsh, a grove manager, to a high-noon duel where they'll throw gobs of wet dirt at each other.
Mudslinging is only half the story in Fallbrook politics, where money really talks. Votes for mayor are sold for $1 apiece (six for $5 for high-rolling ballot stuffers); the Chamber of Commerce will decide what to do with the loot.
Holding Out Hope
Father Joe Carroll is a never-say-die sort of fellow who has raised about $9.5 million in private funds toward the construction of the new, three-story St. Vincent de Paul shelter for the homeless and hungry.
Given that success in the private sector, he's holding out hope that President Reagan will come to San Diego on Aug. 31 for the center's formal dedication. After all, Carroll figures, here's a case where people believed in volunteerism and put their money where their mouths are, and they're worthy of a presidential tip of the hat.
What's got Carroll a little excited is that so far, the White House hasn't turned down the invite. In the past, the "thanks but no thanks" had come quickly.
Reagan is currently vacationing at his ranch in Santa Barbara County and will be in California until Labor Day weekend, "so it's a matter of whether San Diego can be squeezed in," Carroll said.
Stretching the Issue
Earl Wallace used the droopy underwear argument when he appeared at the Escondido City Council last week to oppose a day-care center being proposed for his neighborhood.
Not the children's droopy drawers, but his own.
Seems his brand-new Munsingwear underwear would give out in the elastic waistband after just a few washings, a predicament that had dogged him for years.
Finally, his wife shipped 30 pairs back to the manufacturer, who discovered that the latex rubber elastic in Wallace's relaxed shorts was disintegrating because of overexposure to ozone, which, among other ways, can be generated by arcing motors and electrical generators.
Indeed, Wallace's underwear had been dried on a clothesline attached to the same electric pole that carries a 12,000-volt line.
The electrical wire-ozone-elastic connection was news to San Diego Gas & Electric Co., but Wallace thought the problem with his not-so-brief briefs might contain a lesson for the City Council, since the child-care center would be beneath a 69,000-volt line.
"If 12,000 volts is going to rot the elastic in my undershorts, do we want these toddlers running around the day-care center with their pants falling down?" he asked as the council chambers dissolved into laughter. But he made his point.
The City Council sent the issue back to the developer for a second look-see.
And Wallace has bought a gas dryer.
Bullish on Finches
Some people like to talk turkey. Lila and Harvey Hetrick like to talk finches. That's why you might see their bumper stickers on cars around town that proclaim, "Let's Talk Birds" with their phone number, 444-0133.
It's a come-on for the Finch Society of San Diego County, which has 200 or so members.
Lila Hetrick admits that not that many people apparently want to talk birds.
She says she receives about one call a month, sometimes from people wanting to know why their bird isn't behaving properly.
Lila Hetrick does offer one plea to finch owners: Please, please, do not keep them in those little cages that are taller than they are wide.
"Birds don't normally fly up and down," she notes. Members of her group have outside aviaries, usually built around trees and measuring, say, 12 feet by 16 feet and 8 feet high.
After all, you don't want to have a finch in a pinch.
Among the moving companies listed in the local Yellow Pages are these, all pulling for the sympathy vote:
Starving Students, Starving Actors and Starving Veterans.