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A Stargazer’s Search Leads to Film Location in Encinitas

I’m as star-struck as the next reporter.

I’ve bumped rear ends with Mary (of Peter, Paul and Mary) on a Waikiki dance floor, spotted James Caan on Sunset Strip and interviewed Buddy Ebsen.

An unimpressive trove of celebrity anecdotes, I’ll admit.

If I want to get close to the stars, I better invest when they’re still in ascendance and not yet pummeled by the tabloids.

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That’s why I’m at the La Paloma Theater in Encinitas watching the filming of a low-budget love story-thriller, “Dead Girls Don’t Tango.” It’s 3 a.m. Friday.

The film is being shot entirely in Encinitas: at the La Paloma, the Radisson Inn, the beach and the Flower Festival Parade.

Director John Carr (“Scream Your Head Off,” “Fugitive Lovers”) and screenwriter Philip Yardin (“King of Kings,” “55 Days at Peking”) are veterans. Karen Black and Joseph Campanella have done small parts and departed.

The rest of the cast is young and unknown.

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I talk to Robyn Hussa, who plays Lola. She’s 20 and a drama student at San Diego State University.

I watch Hussa and Christine Burke do and redo a three-line scene:

Hussa, very sexy: “I’m looking for Jack Barrow.”

Burke, very suspicious: “Does he know you?”

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Hussa, even sexier: “We had dinner the other night.”

Hussa looks familiar in her slinky black gown and long hair.

The makeup man says he modeled Lola’s look after Jessica Rabbit, a cartoon character from “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”

Hussa tells me she got the role because the actress who had been selected was in a car wreck just before filming.

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Jessica Rabbit! Got the role only when a competitor ended up in traction!

I leave happy.

When Hussa hits it big and is being chased by the paparazzi , I’ll have anecdotes about her salad days that will be the envy of star watchers everywhere.

Would You Settle for the Zoo Tram?

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There’s always someone who doesn’t get the word.

* A dozen out-of-town visitors have shown up at Brown Field looking for the Air/Space America show.

This despite widespread publicity about the cancellation, including on a telephone hot line for private pilots.

The disappointed tourists came from Japan, Europe, Miami and Los Angeles.

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It fell to airport manager Mike Tussey to make the city’s apologies and point them toward San Diego’s other delights.

“This is not exactly the Gobi Desert,” he notes. “There are other things to do.”

* Sagon Penn uses the name Macee Parks when he fights in martial arts tournaments.

* The Encinitas Coast-Dispatch is asking its readers to snitch on their water-abusing neighbors.

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An editorial suggested that readers phone in tips about runaway sprinklers and driveways being hosed. A photographer will be dispatched to get a shot for the weekly “Water Hog Hall of Fame.”

The paper calls it “shock therapy.”

Hey, Lots of Houses Are White

Take the item and run.

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* Your post office at work.

Cynthia Mildfeldt-Morgan, a San Diego library aide and volunteer at the San Diego Zoo, wanted to send a letter to President Bush about the environment.

She addressed it simply: The President, The White House, Washington, D.C. 20500.

It came back, stamped “Returned for Better Address.”

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* North County bumper sticker: “Positrons Are Another Matter.”

* Much of the evidence against Richard T. Silberman is from FBI wiretaps in which Silberman allegedly makes incriminating statements.

That could cause big trouble for the defense.

To test the stereo system that will be used to play the wiretap evidence, prosecutors last week played a Crystal Gayle tape. All that could be heard was the line " . . . ‘til I can get in trouble again.”

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