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People and Events

<i> From staff and wire reports </i>

Consider the Big Picture. Nann Miller wishes she knew where it was.

The Big Picture was a group photo of 16,000 people, ranging from Mayor Tom Bradley and actor Gregory Peck to singing-telegram man Daryl Tatum, taken on the 4th Street overpass of the Harbor Freeway just before the start of the 1984 Olympics (the L.A. Games, remember?).

The mass greeting “made the front page of 64 newspapers around the world,” said Miller, a publicist who helped think up the idea for the Central City Assn.

The photo was transformed into a billboard three times larger than usual and had brief runs at Pershing Square, near City Hall, and near the Convention Center. Then it disappeared.

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“There was talk about putting it in MOCA (the Museum of Contemporary Art) or of raffling it off for charity,” Miller said, but that apparently was just talk.

“I’d heard that they might put it in the airport to greet visitors,” said photographer John Zimmerman, who took the shot, “but I guess that didn’t work out, either.”

“I saw it in the storage yard of Foster & Kleiser (the billboard company) a few years ago and haven’t seen it since,” Miller said.

Miller was able to salvage a kind of wallet-size shot of the Big Picture--a 6-by-12-foot version--which she keeps in her office. But she mourns the original.

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“Any other city and this wouldn’t have happened,” Miller said. “But you know how people think here--the Olympics, they’re over. That’s the past.”

You think the Discovery shuttle displayed incredible precision Monday morning? How about the crane driver at Mission Road near the Santa Ana Freeway?

He knocked out a power line seven minutes before the shuttle landed, causing a blackout for 65,000 customers of the Department of Water and Power. And when was power restored? At 9:38 a.m., a spokeswoman said--one minute after the Discovery’s dramatic touchdown.

Paul Marques, a mid-Wilshire resident, was one victim of the temporary blackout. He did what any fan who had missed a winning touchdown or home run would do.

“I waited for the replay,” he said.

On Sunday, a 36-year-old paraplegic named Gordon Page was without a wheelchair, after a theft at Dodger Stadium.

Soon, he may have two, after a story about his plight in Monday’s Times.

A wheelchair company, Quadra Medical, brought Page a lightweight wheelchair that he can use until the company builds him a larger, custom model.

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Meanwhile, Bob Smith, director of operations for the Dodgers, said the club was searching for a replacement.

Page, who had left his wheelchair with a guard while he sat in a regular seat Friday night, termed the gifts “marvelous.” And he said he’ll be able to resume going to his daily computer drafting class.

What a local double-header! The Dodgers-Mets playoff game at 5 p.m., the start of lobster season at midnight.

“This is like the World Series for us,” diver Joe Stich said.

He expects maybe 500 fellow certified divers to compete in the annual overnight “Lobster Mobster” weigh-in contest held by the Dive ‘n’ Surf shop in Redondo Beach.

Sometimes the humans have to be fished out.

“One year, a guy dove under the Redondo Pier, which is illegal,” Stich said. “Fish and Game (Department) officers told him to get out of there with underwater microphones. Then they dropped a grappling hook down and took three passes at him. He finally came up on his own.”

From Roy Kammerman’s book, “L.A. Superlatives":

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“The Mensa Society, a national organization whose qualification for admission is a high I.Q., claims more members (612) in the San Fernando Valley than in any other part of Los Angeles.”


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