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To Some, Everything West of Mississippi Is a Blur

Carol Martinez of the L.A. Convention and Visitors Bureau reports that the agency received this puzzler from a tourist: “Where is the mountain with the letters and the four heads?” The visitor, explained Martinez, “actually thought the Hollywood sign and Mount Rushmore were together in Los Angeles.”

Unclear on the concept (cont.): Gloria Greengard of West L.A. saw an ad for presidential dolls that deliver “authentic quotes in the President’s own voice.... Collect them all! G. W. Bush, Clinton, Kennedy, Reagan, T. Roosevelt & Lincoln.”

Yes, Lincoln. What -- no recording of George Washington? I seem to recall that George gave Larry King a heck of an interview a while back.

Guide to Adventurous Dining: Today’s items du column include:

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* A Father’s Day brunch in which Dad gets shoved aside for another member of the family (Alex Baker)

* An offer for those who like their food smooth (Judi Birnberg)

* A lunch that includes reasonable taxi rates (Sylvia Sullivan)

* And, finally, for those who don’t want to lose weight, a suggestion on how to save pounds (Carol Carlson).

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What I did over the summer: The Harvey family just returned from a two-week vacation in Italy, where my daughter and 40 other members of Long Beach Poly High’s choir performed in six churches, including St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

It was a thrilling experience for all involved, even if the kids were introduced at one point as “the scholars from America -- from Milwaukee.”

On the road (cont.): In Italy, I heard numerous accents -- New York accents, Boston accents, Texas accents.... I’ve never encountered so many American tourists. Don’t remember running into anyone from Milwaukee, though.

There were plenty of reminders of Southern California.

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A restaurant in the resort town of Como had dishes named after actors such as Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lopez (each of which featured ham).

Speaking of Hollywood, a Portuguese newspaper began its article on English soccer star Wayne Rooney this way: “Mickey Rooney is the man of the moment for England.” Small or big-sized error, depending on how you look at it.

And there were all the landmarks that inspired imitations in this country. At the Colosseum, I learned that in ancient times, poorly dressed spectators sat in a section separate from the rest of the crowd.

There were Raiders’ fans even back then?

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miscelLAny: Maybe you’re wondering why you just had a three-day weekend.

Well, you can thank the big guy in Sacramento, points out Daniel J. B. Mitchell.

Perusing www.governor.ca.gov, Mitchell learned of the passage of a recent proclamation that concluded:

“Now, therefore, I, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim July 4, 2004, as ‘Independence Day.’ ”

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What a novel idea!

Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LATimes, Ext. 77083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A. 90012, and by e-mail at steve.harvey@latimes.com.


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