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Generous Couple Hoofs the Bill so Trojans Can Trot Out Mascot

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

Things are going so well for USC’s No. 1-ranked football team that two fans have even donated money to its horse, Traveler.

And, the Daily Trojan reported, the amount was $2 million, which ain’t hay.

The donors, Bill and Nadine Tilley, pledged the dough to the Traveler Mascot Program to support the horse that gallops around the Coliseum during games.

The money will pay for Traveler’s trainer, rider and other expenses, though not for schoolbooks.

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Traveler’s controversial past: Speaking of expenses, a USC official told the Daily Trojan that it requires “12 to 15 trained people” on the Coliseum floor to “make sure everything is safe for Traveler during home games.”

Traveler and bystanders, that is.

A few years ago, after Traveler had had a series of collisions, including one with a Stanford song girl, USC officials issued instructions for the horse’s rider to “slow the gallops” and exert “greater control” at the games.

Now, Traveler’s path is roped off and he has an entourage of humans that run alongside him during his sedate trot.

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Unique animals (cont.): Jan Crocker spotted an ad for what sounded like a Christian cat (see accompanying), leading her to wonder: “Does that mean it wouldn’t like gefilte fish?”

Talk about a strong fabric: M. Rosenfeld of Sherman Oaks saw an ad for some lingerie that seemed a throwback to the age of chastity belts (see accompanying).

To live and drive: In New York City, Steve Stillman of Redondo Beach noticed someone had edited a traffic sign to create a sentiment that would be familiar to L.A. motorists (see photo).

Movie financing: David Terlinden of Long Beach walked by a movie theater whose malfunctioning marquee lights, instead of spelling out “NOW SHOWING ...” said “NOW OWING ... " Observed Terlinden: “Maybe the theater stopped taking credit cards.” If so, I hope it still takes checks, considering the high price of movie tickets these days.

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Bring your sunglasses, just in case: If you haven’t had a chance to see Disney Concert Hall in person, here’s the next best thing. The building, whose shape has been likened to that of a shoebox left out in the rain, makes its screen debut in a jewel-thief yarn starring Pierce Brosnan and Salma Hayek.

I’m not sure whether the movie-makers were nervous about complaints by concert-hall neighbors of being blinded by the sunlight reflecting off the metal exterior during the day. But I notice they did title the film, “After the Sunset.”

miscelLAny: Perhaps you heard about Ruby, the 43-year-old African elephant who was moved from the L.A. Zoo to the Knoxville Zoo about 18 months ago but has now been returned because she “would push the other cows around,” according to one official. At the same time, I noticed there were reports out of northeast India about elephants invading villages, guzzling the inhabitants’ rice beer and going on rampages. I hate to say it, but maybe Ruby should be given a breathalyzer test.


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