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1993 Not All Bad--Just a Bit Weird

The South Bay had its share of increasing crime, decreasing jobs and flat economic growth, just like the rest of the Southland. But 1993 also had some intriguing, sometimes downright weird, moments that allowed us to overlook the gloom, and wonder why Tori was heckled on the set of “Beverly Hills, 90210" in Hermosa Beach. Or what a man named Big Willie was up to on Terminal Island? And what price Phyllis Diller at the Normandie Casino? A quizzical look at the year gone by for inquiring minds:

Q: Vietnam veteran Willie (Big Willie) Robinson--a legend to Angelenos who love wheels--begged and badgered the Board of Harbor Commissioners into permitting what activity on Terminal Island?:

a) Drag-strip racing.

b) Shipboard roller-skating competitions.

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c) Antique car shows and demonstrations.

A: a

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Q A South Bay clinical social worker was named in a state accusation for allegedly using unusual therapeutic approaches in her work, including:

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a) Requiring patients to watch videotapes of “Oprah” around the clock.

b) Using psychic healing to chase an angry spiritual rat out of a patient’s back.

c) Encouraging patients to check out Phyllis Diller at the Normandie Casino.

A: b

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Q In an effort to increase business, Del Amo Fashion Center, the largest mall in California, has taken several steps, including:

a) Signing up reduced-price retailers like Marshall’s and T.J. Maxx.

b) Adding a Tilt-a-Whirl in the atrium.

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c) Annexing the South Bay Galleria and building a glass connector called Mallway.

A: a

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Q To what country did San Pedro resident Dick Myers fly with 175 people in protest of State Department travel restrictions?

a) Iraq.

b) Russia.

c) Cuba.

A: c

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Q Calling the Hollywood invasion a nuisance and violation of zoning laws, a group of Hermosa Beach residents went to court to halt the filming of “Beverly Hills, 90210" at a beachfront house. But what really upset producer Aaron Spelling was a banner hanging from a boat near the set. What did it say?

a) “Full House twins, Yes. Brandon and Brenda, No.”

b) “Go Home, Tori.”

c) “Apt. available: Melrose Place. Contact: Heather Locklear.”

A: b

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Q Several doctors-in-training from UCLA Medical Center traveled to Santa Catalina Island to:

a) Assist in a federal study on how skin is affected by prolonged sunburn.

b) Work as family doctors to complete a required rotation in rural medicine.

c) Serve as consultants in a new television pilot from the producers of “Northern Exposure.”

A: b

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Q At $20 a pop, Phyllis Diller recently appeared at the Normandie Casino, which uses acts from the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s to boost publicity. Who else has appeared at the Gardena nightspot?

a) Zamphir, Master of the Pan Flute.

b) Peter Lemmongello.

c) The Captain and Tennille.

A: c

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Q What unusual thing did relatives of legendary San Pedro biker “Wild Bill” Cottom do after his funeral?

a) Held a road rally in his honor.

b) Put his cremated remains in a motorcycle fuel tank and mounted it on a wall in his bike shop.

c) Circled his grave on their Harleys.

A: b

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Q El Camino College professor and Torrance City Council candidate Burton Fletcher created a stir on campus in November by removing dozens of copies of the student newspaper. Fletcher, who later apologized in a full-page advertisement in the paper, was reacting to:

a) An editorial endorsing an opponent in the Torrance election.

b) Student writers’ grammatical and spelling errors.

c) An article critical of Fletcher’s teaching methods.

A: c

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Q The son and daughter-in-law of the late oil baron J. Paul Getty landed in Torrance Superior Court in a dispute over their luxurious $8.6 million Boeing 727. What was it about the plane that caused the legal trouble?

a) The caviar in coach was just sub-par.

b) No way could a grand piano be considered carry-on.

c) An aircraft broker sued them for failing to pay a $400,000 finder’s fee.

A: c

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Q Some South Bay residents celebrated Thanksgiving, not with turkey but with a main course of whole-wheat stuffing cradled in garbanzo beans, a lentil-rice-and-walnut mixture and a tofu skin. Who were they?

a) Leaders of the South Coast Healthy Heart Society.

b) Vegetarians.

c) Owners of a new Manhattan Beach cafe specializing in Middle Eastern dishes.

A: b

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Q The Centinela Unified School District tried a new way to keep students on campus during lunchtime. What did the district do?

a) Allowed fast-food outlets such as McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut to operate on campus.

b) Showed “Beavis and Butt-head” on wide-screen TV.

c) Posted Marines at all exits.

A: a


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