Something to Celebrate?

The anniversary of Black Monday arrives Wednesday, and it takes real capitalists to, well, capitalize on the occasion. Merrill Lynch is wooing investors back into the market with a splashy seminar-by-satellite today at 47 locations, including three in Southern California.

And Wednesday, six Los Angeles businesses are hosting a symposium and cocktail party with a catchy name, “The First Annual October 19 Meltdown Anniversary Symposium.”

The term “meltdown,” of course, was adapted from nuclear-industry jargon by John Phelan, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, to describe what nearly happened a year ago this week. Not only is it fitting that drinks will follow the talks. Admission is free, no doubt in memory of the fortunes wiped out.

Delisted by the Crash


Speaking of fortunes diminished, it now appears that the stock market crash of ’87 hit two Californians where it hurts--sinking their wealth below the cutoff point for the Forbes 400.

Edmund Wattis Littlefield of Burlingame and Sol Price of La Jolla are listed among the 22 dropouts in the 1988 Rich List edition of the magazine, which an editor once described as written “about the big greedy for the aspiring greedy.”

Littlefield’s fortune in real estate and General Electric stock, estimated last year at $245 million, and Price’s estimated $325 million retailing fortune (in Price Co. stock) have both fallen below Forbes’ 1988 cut-off point of $225 million, the magazine said.

Eight other Californians--notably the movies’ Steven Spielberg--fell from the Forbes 400 this year because their wealth didn’t grow fast enough to keep pace with names such as record impresario David Geffen of Malibu, who hopped onto the list this year at an estimated $240 million.


Unavailable in Sunburn Red

Owners of sunburned schnozzes can find a new product to protect their peeling proboscises.

It is a plastic nose protector called Noz Cloz (that’s pronounced “nose clothes”) and is attached to the wearer’s glasses.

Creators Fred Davis and Peter Lund of Redondo Beach say they were inspired by a similar product that was available in the ‘50s, but was sold only in a sort of unhip milky white. The two decided to emulate the bright colors used in zinc oxide nose creams, but avoid the mess.

Noz Cloz, comes in Passion Pink, Malibu Blue, Radiation Green, Screening Yellow, Block-Out Black and Way Hip White. Noz Cloz is available at some small surf shops and sporting goods stores but its inventors hope to see it in drugstore chains soon.

Fame for Classic Nerd

Steven Jobs, with his new computer, isn’t the only propeller head stirring up attention lately. Peter Norton, the wealthy Santa Monica author of computer prose and software, has turned up in a booze ad. Fondling a keyboard and sporting argyle socks, sweater vest, bow tie and boyish grin, Norton is the picture of success in one of those “profiles” of terrific people who are said to drink Dewar’s Scotch. In the ad, he is appropriately modest about his books, art patronage and other accomplishments: “I’m just your classic nerd who got lucky.”

Another Day in Hollywood


Does anybody know what day it is in Hollywood?

Sometimes they don’t, if the movie industry’s venerable trade publications are any indication. Last Wednesday, the date on the front page of the the Hollywood Reporter read “Monday, October 10.” Just last month, rival Daily Variety made a similar goof.

Therese L. Wells, Hollywood Reporter’s managing editor, blamed the mistake on a new computerized production process. “We’re still working out the bugs,” she said.