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The charms of L.A. living:Amulets to ward...

The charms of L.A. living:

Amulets to ward off evil have been around for centuries. But designers Katya Miller Wallin and Lila Wahrhaftig, being from California, have made some trinkets with the special power to protect against earthquakes. The pieces, which cost $50 and up, will be on sale Nov. 18-19 at the Festival of Jewish Artisans at Temple Isaiah in West L.A.

We can’t think of anything more important for an L.A. homeowner than a quake charm. Except perhaps a St. Joseph statuette. That’s the item that--if buried in your front yard--will enable you to sell your house within 30 days.

SPEAKING OF SPIRITS: Gerald P. Jones and Scott Dewees each found stops for liquor customers who are particular about where they buy. In the case of the psychic’s shop, we hope the visitors get to have a shot of hooch beforehand if the news is going to be really bad.

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McGHOSTS: What the Taj Mahal is to India, what the Eiffel Tower is to France, what the Tail O’ the Pup hot dog stand is to L.A.--that’s what the red-and-white tiled McDonald’s on Florence Avenue and Lakewood Boulevard is to Downey. An architectural treasure.

The corporation shut down the 42-year-old landmark in January, 1994, citing poor business as a reason. But the eatery’s fans haven’t forgotten. Downey City Councilwoman Joyce Lawrence, a leader in the fight to save it, says people still stop to have their photos taken there. Not only that--many bring lunches and dine at the outdoor tables for old times’ sake.

“I know,” she said with a laugh, “because I’ve picked up some of the food wrappers they leave behind.”

The corporation has shown no inclination to reopen the stand or move it elsewhere, despite urgings from U.S. Rep. Steve Horn (R-Long Beach), Gov. Pete Wilson and America’s First Fast-Food Fan, President Clinton.

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In fact, in what amounts to a cruel joke on Downey, the corporation has been marketing a collector’s plate that depicts its rejected eatery, saying it represents “all the warmth and 1950s nostalgia of the very first McDonald’s.”

INSURANCE COMPANIES FEELING STRESS: Linda Reid of West L.A. received a call from her health care provider, who surveyed her for about 20 minutes. Was she satisfied with her doctor? Etc., etc.

Two days after that, she says, she received another call from the company, which was “surveying the surveyors. Was I satisfied with the survey? Did I feel the appropriate questions were asked?” Etc., etc.

Added Reid: “I told them I’d be very satisfied if they would promise not to phone again to see if I was satisfied with this call. I could see this going on infinitely.”

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miscelLAny What type of business would prompt an industry publication to write an article titled, “How to Sleep at Night,” to comfort newcomers to the trade? An article with soothing words for workers whose “sense of justice, decency, morality and peace of mind” may be threatened. Here’s a clue: The article appears in California Lawyer magazine.


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