NEIGHBORS : Nimble Fingers : Typists will compete for national honors next week. A Thousand Oaks woman won second place last year.


Next week is National Secretary's Week, which means it's time for the annual Western Temporary Services national typing competition. And Ventura County has quite a reputation to uphold.

It was just last year that Suzy Robertson, owner of a typing service in Thousand Oaks, took second place in the contest ahead of several thousand other entrants. Her speed was clocked at a blistering 135 words per minute.

"She only made two errors. She's unbelievable, really," said Patty Simpson of the local Western Temporary office, who admitted that she personally tops out at only about 35 w.p.m.

So what's Robertson's secret? "I tried to figure that out," Robertson said. "To some degrees it's a familial trait. My mom's a fast typist, I'm a fast typist and my son is a fast typist. Plus when you do it eight hours a day for 22 years, you've got to be good at it."

Robertson's success last year makes her ineligible for the event this year, but Marilyn Johnson, her friend and employee, will be competing.

"Last year, I did 97 words per minute and the year before I did 114," said Johnson, who anticipates a good performance.

"You've got to get a rhythm going," she added.

It began in 1962, went on hiatus in 1977 and came back in 1986. Now the Port Hueneme Men's Follies will be celebrating 20 years of men dressing up as women with "The Best of the Follies," tonight through Sunday at the Port Hueneme Cultural Center.

"The very first show, we had a woman who played the piano and six men who played the drums. We had whistlers and we had a stripper," said Dama Hanks, a member of the show's board of directors. "We had the superintendent of schools and the mayor of the city involved. They were all community leaders, all family people. It was a big hit.

"In a small town, everybody knew all the people who were in it."

For show times and ticket information, call 486-3272.

Congratulations to Regina Saum of Camarillo. The 43-year-old Ventura College student just received a geography scholarship to UCLA. She's set to begin there next fall.

"My interest is pretty much in urban geography," she said.

And talk about dedication. Not only did this mother of two return to school in 1987 while holding down a job, now she's going to have to commute from Camarillo to Westwood several times a week. Of course, who better to tackle the L.A. freeway system than someone studying geography and transportation?

"If you leave at 6 a.m. it takes 45 to 50 minutes to get there. It's really not a bad drive," she said.

Happy birthday to trash totem artist Kim Loucks.

If you recall, a few weeks ago Loucks displayed her junk mail totem at Plaza Park, across from the Ventura Post Office.

Well, she'll be celebrating her birthday Saturday with an exhibit of another totem, "Flotsam and Jetsam," at the Land-by-the-Sea Fair at the Ventura Marina. The artwork features garbage she and Ventura Arts Council Executive Director Maureen Davidson collected in a 45-minute spree at Driftwood Cove near Anacapa Island.

What did they find there? Wood, metal, plastic, balloons and, more than anything else, said Loucks, tennis balls.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World