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Harsh medicine:"As an M.D. alum of Georgetown...

Harsh medicine:

“As an M.D. alum of Georgetown Medical School, I was contacted to see if I could assist medical students and residents in L.A.,” writes Linda Reid of West L.A. “I know the perception is that managed care has changed California health care but . . .”

She enclosed a checklist of courses for the alumni participation program, including one for “patient care, undeserved.” (see accompanying)

STEPPING UP TO THE PLATE: One day after we thought we had translated the LO IM VE license plate to everyone’s satisfaction--as “I’m in love"--we’re hearing new theories.

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Len Miller of Hollywood writes: “I think the driver is ripe for a date--'I’m in between love.’ ”

And a wise guy in The Times’ sports department speculates it means, “Hello, I’m Van Exel.”

NO AMBIGUITY HERE: Robert Riedel of Torrance came across a sign shop displaying this placard:

Push

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If That Doesn’t Work

Pull

If That Doesn’t Work

We’re Probably Closed

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MYSTERY OF THE DAY: Performer Phil Proctor (“The Firesign Theater”) shot a real puzzler at the old Howard Hughes aircraft facility on Centinela Boulevard (see photo).

The sign hangs in some office space built above two old hangars. Near the sign is a special light, which goes on when the janitorial crew enters the facility to clean the floor below. The light was apparently installed to prevent office workers above from dropping trash on the cleaning crew.

Notes Proctor: “That Hughes invented everything!”

REBEL WITH A CONTEST: A scale model of the silver-gray Porsche Spyder that James Dean was driving when he was killed will be given away in a July 10 drawing at the Petersen Automotive Museum in L.A. To enter, write “James Dean” on a postcard and mail it to Mediavision Publications, 9200 Sunset Blvd., Suite 404, L.A. 90069.

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And hope the post office doesn’t deliver it to someone named James Dean.

BUT, WAIT--THERE’S MORE: Thirteen runners-up in the Dean drawing will receive copies of Mediavision’s new book: “James Dean: The Untold Story of a Passion for Speed.”

It’s interesting that Petersen and Mediavision would use the number 13 in this promotion. As car customizer George Barris told The Times several years ago, Dean’s Sept. 30, 1955, crash near Paso Robles was just the start of a run of bad luck linked to the actor:

* Dean’s house in the San Fernando Valley later burned down.

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* When Barris bought the Spyder from Dean’s estate and brought it to L.A., it slipped from a tow truck and broke both legs of a bystander.

* The engine was sold to a doctor who was killed in a car crash.

* The transmission was sold to another buyer, who crashed and was seriously injured.

* After the Spyder’s mangled body was displayed in an exhibit hall in Fresno, the hall burned down.

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* And there were the tragic deaths of Dean’s fellow actors in “Rebel Without a Cause”: Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo and Nick Adams.

THE WORLD’S MOST ELUSIVE WRECK: The car body itself was last seen in 1958 when Barris had it trucked west from Florida. “Eight days later we open the truck, there’s no car,” he later recalled. In the intervening years, the celebrity heap has supposedly been traced to garages, graves, haylofts, trucks. . . . It’s had an afterlife surpassed only by that of Elvis.

miscelLAny

We’re surprised that the Southern Baptist Convention, which is urging a boycott of Disney, hasn’t pointed out that no record exists of a marriage between Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

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