NEIGHBORS : Trolley's Trek : The vehicle journeyed 3,500 miles and it didn't even have to travel on its own steam.

Dave Taylor, general manager of the Buenaventura Trolley Co., and company owner Barbara Ketchum must really enjoy public transportation. To get their new and improved trolley to Ventura County from the manufacturer in Maine, the two had to drive it 3,500 miles cross-country.

"It took nine days," said Taylor, who returned home Aug. 26. "We got a lot of attention. One truck driver literally leaned out of his cab on the highway to take a look at us. He couldn't believe what he was seeing."

Taylor said the trip went pretty smoothly (except when he nearly drove, by accident, into the Grand Canyon.) In fact, it went more smoothly than the trip to Maine, which was by airplane. "We ended up stopping over in Washington, D.C., for five hours. Our flight from LAX had mechanical problems so we were late."

Ventura author Ray Maloney will read excerpts from his book "The Impact Zone" at the Ventura Bookstore Friday at 7 p.m. as part of a weeklong nationwide protest against book banning.

Maloney's story tells of a teen-age boy who runs away from his mother and stepfather in Ventura in search of his real father and his true self in Hawaii. In 1988, a patron of the Multnomah County Library in Portland, Ore., asked for the book to be removed from the library because it contained profanity and sexual references.

"It means that the book wasn't as pure as the driven snow," the 38-year-old author said. "It means that the kid is a typical 15-year-old kid who has thoughts, feelings and emotions that a regular person would have, and I guess that's not acceptable."

Maloney joins the likes of Noel Coward, Stephen King, John Steinbeck, the Merriam-Webster dictionary editorial staff, Dr. Seuss and Garfield the Cat--whose books were banned or challenged somewhere in the United States in the last two years.

"It shows you how stupid adults can be," Maloney said. "Supposedly we're encouraging children to learn. But then we're taking things away from them and saying, 'You can't read that because I don't agree with it.' "

Speaking of authors, Simi Valley's Robert Plunkett will read from his book "California Dreamer in King Henry's Court" on Sunday at the Camarillo Library. The story tells of a 20th-Century California college graduate who gets transported to the 16th Century and manages to be accepted into King Henry VIII's court. With any luck Plunkett will appear in a Tudor costume. Story time is 2 p.m.

If you write the letter d and it comes out tall and looped, then you may be conceited and may not take criticism well.

This personality profile comes courtesy of Camarillo's Maureen Moore, who began teaching a four-week course Wednesday in handwriting analysis offered by Ventura College Community Services.

Moore said that although handwriting analysis is not an exact science, she can pin down certain personality traits with a fair amount of accuracy.

Impulsive behavior: "Impulsive people have a slant that leans far to the right," she said. "People with a left slant are withdrawn."

Temper: "If the T -bar is to the right of the stem, not touching it, it shows that the person has lost his or her temper," Moore said.

Ambition: "The higher the T stems are, the more ambitious the person is." Moore will begin another session next week.

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