It seems we hear stories almost daily...

It seems we hear stories almost daily of residents and companies fleeing the Southland for environs that are less smog-choked and traffic-clogged.

Now, it turns out, even the hoboes have left.

The local chapter of the National Hobo Assn. recently lost its headquarters in L.A. when the building’s landlord sold to developers. So the Hobo Poetry and Music Festival was held in an area that the group described as a “beautiful town” that is “growing” and “treats the hobo well.”



Like U.S. embassies, nuclear test zones and animal-research laboratories, Only in L.A. was picketed Friday. (Finally! It was our first time.)

The protester was Pat Kelly, who marched for several hours outside The Times, condemning Only’s refusal to take the Face on Mars seriously.

Kelly is a member of a small grass-roots group (pardon the earthy term) called the Mars Project. He was upset at our recent suggestion that the Face--a Martian mountain--resembles Elvis Presley.

OK, OK--as usual, we’ll submit to any public display of pressure.

Kelly, a schoolteacher, said that the Face might be a sign made by another civilization. He pointed out that NASA, at the urging of Rep. Robert A. Roe (D-N.J.), has agreed to snap some shots of the Face during its scheduled Mars Observer Mission in 1992.

Kelly explained that it’s vital to prepare people now for the possibility that the Face could be a sign of extraterrestrials. “Imagine the impact it could have on religions,” he said.

Of course, a lot of fans already worship Elvis.

The honorary mayor of Hollywood as well as the possessor of a star on the Walk of Fame, celebrity emcee Johnny Grant has more than his share of distinctions. He’s even become a regular, of sorts, on sportscaster Jim Healy’s radio show on KMPC.

Healy, who spices his show with recordings of everyone from Johnny Carson to Ronald Reagan, invariably follows hard-to-believe gossip items with the same Grant one-liner. It was taped when Grant, as emcee, responded to protesters trying to disrupt a speech by President Bush in the Century Plaza’s ballroom.

Summoning all his oratorical talents, the honorary mayor can be heard exclaiming:

“Ah, blow it out!”

Maybe it’s time for a new list: Best Re-Dressed Faces.

Mr. Blackwell, the fashion designer and publicity seeker who compiles an annual worst-dressed celebrity list, underwent a “complete face sculpturing” by a plastic surgeon Friday.

That is, if you consider cheekbone augmentation, eye restoration, silicone removal and regluing of the nose to be complete. What about the ears? Anyway, the six-hour surgery, which cost $20,000, was videotaped for future airing, publicist Michael Sands said.

Of course, it’ll have to be cut before “America’s Funniest Home Videos” accepts it.

After one school’s commencement exercises Thursday, a graduate in cap and gown was spotted talking on his cordless telephone. Was he closing his first deal?

Well, the school was USC.


George Wyman, who designed downtown L.A.'s turn-of-the-century architectural marvel, the Bradbury Building, at first turned down the job. He relented, he said later, after his dead brother told him during a seance: “Take Bradbury Building. It will make you famous.”

Associated Press