Odds & Ends Around the Valley

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Cats, the Sequel

The American Cat Assn. will present its aptly titled apres-New Year's extravaganza, the "Hangover Cat Show," from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Glendale National Guard Armory, 220 E. Colorado St.

The event's title may explain the probable human condition, but does not convey the elegance of the aristocratic animals that will have center stage.

Make that center cage.

This is an occasion where Southern California's sleek, four-foot elite gather with their well-heeled owners to unleash their pleasing personalities, parade their prodigious pedigrees and--excuse the expression--put on the dog.

In other words, about 400 upscale cat people and their 200 or so upscale cats get together on this particular day and place to have the cats formally judged as to best in class, while their owners informally perform the same ritual on one another.

Socially, it's the cat's meow, the creme de la creme event for the kitty crowd.

Crockett Long of Van Nuys, whose wife of 26 years, Marsha, is organizing the show, said it would draw exotic and purebred cat fanciers and their fancied from around the state.

Cats came to Long's Van Nuys home seven years ago after a friend of a friend interested Marsha Long in a young Burmese.

"My wife was always interested in the nicer breeds of cats, and so we brought this Burmese cat home, and it's been cats around here ever since," Long said.

Right now, the Longs have three Burmese, including their ribbon-winning female fatale , Bug. Marsha could probably give chapter and verse on Bug's genealogy and championship performances, but she's not available at this moment, being busy as a volunteer with the big cats at the zoo.

Long says he can't remember exactly what ribbons Bug has won, or why or when she was named Bug, but he says it doesn't matter anyway because when he wants Bug to come, he just says, "Come here, cat," and she does.

The North Hollywood High Mystery

In 1980, Dick Hillyer took early retirement after 31 years at the phone company, seeking to appreciate the finer things in life.

For a while, he contentedly spent time with his family and friends and puttered around the garden. He volunteered for various projects in the Chatsworth neighborhood where he's lived since 1973.

Then everything changed.

In the past year, something inexplicable and mysterious has happened to Hillyer, something that drives him like a man possessed.

He has spent months shut away in his home office poring over endless lists of names and addresses.

Weeks at a time on the phone.

Hours, and sometimes days, at places like the Hall of Records, going through years and years of county and city marriage and property information.

Hillyer, at age 70, has turned into a boy detective. Just like the Hardy Boys, he says, laughing at the image.

Hillyer is spending all his time chasing down missing people, specifically men and women with whom he went to North Hollywood High School 50 years ago.

The golden anniversary of the graduation of the Class of 1942 will be observed the weekend of June 6 at the Airport Hilton in Burbank.

Hillyer, the event chairman and head head-hunter, is determined to round up everyone he can.

"For years, we never had a reunion of our own," he says. "We just showed up when there was a general North Hollywood High School reunion."

Ten years ago, that changed.

"A lot of us who graduated in '42 never left the Valley," Hillyer says. He himself moved 19 years ago from his family home in North Hollywood as far as Chatsworth.

Many of the graduates had stayed in touch with one another in sort of a loose confederation of friends and acquaintances. They knew where most of the people in the 262-member class lived and were the ones who sent out invitations to a 40th reunion, recalls another '42 graduate, Alyne Haun.

Haun married classmate Hollis Clanton 40 years ago and moved to a home in Burbank, where they still live today.

About 125 graduates and 125 mates or significant others showed up for the 40th reunion at the Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City in 1982, Clanton says. Like her, many had gone straight from going steady in high school to the altar.

About five years ago, when most of the members of the class turned 65, Alyne Haun Clanton thought that it would be fun to have a dinner get-together just for "the girls."

More than 50 women showed up for the event at the Burbank Smoke House, leaving Clanton with the same idea that classmate Hillyer had: A Class of Summer 1942 50th anniversary was a must.

"Wherever I go these days, I try to find old classmates," Hillyer says. "I find the women by looking up old marriage records and then hitting the phone books."

With any luck, the reunion should pull in about 150 to 200 of his classmates, and as many of their mates. "And anyone we haven't reached should call me. I'm in the book," Hillyer says.

You're Welcome

Some of you may be unaware of the problem with slurry seals in Burbank.

Some of you may not even know what a slurry seal is.

Well, what with the Depression thing, the Soviet thing and only 358 shopping days until Christmas, you're to be excused, just this once, for this egregious information oversight.

A slurry seal is not something with flippers that got sloshed in the Calabasas Winery tasting room.

It is something used to fill in cracks in the street.

A slurry seal.

After recent roadwork in Burbank, word quickly made its way to City Hall that the slurry seals near Verdugo Avenue and Main Street were not up to snuff.

Mayor Michael Hastings, City Manager Robert Ovrom and Public Works Director Ora Lampman vehemently denied the accusations, but said the situation was being closely monitored.

Nitty Gritty

President Bush may not have a clue, but the Antelope Valley Adult School knows what job-hunting is like out there.

Some folks with two advanced degrees might be happy finding a job polishing floors.

Well, one of the classes being offered this semester out in the Antelope Valley is one that was filled last semester, the first time it was offered-- "Janitorial Services Training." It meets from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays, beginning next week.

For $12, cash only, you can learn how to work in a school or an industrial environment. The course includes training in equipment, machines and properly cleaning classrooms, offices, kitchens, cafeterias and restrooms.

Overheard

" 'Sesame Street' is MTV with training wheels." --Woman at a Woodland Hills dinner party

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