Bright and Brief
TREVOSE, Pa. (AP) _ Wiseguys, knuckleheads and other fans of Larry, Moe and Curly were whooping it up this weekend. Coitainly.
″Everybody’s been a Stooge at one time in life and can relate to it, from grandparents to youngsters″ said Phyllis Reighter, who organized the third annual Three Stooges convention with her husband, Frank, and Gary Lassin, head of the group’s national fan club.
More than 900 people arrived Saturday for the two-day convention in suburban Philadelphia. Last year, more than 1,500 fans spent two days competing in the annual Curly sound-a-like contest, attending movies and talking with people connected with the comedy team.
Actress Sally Starr, who acted in the Stooges’ last feature film, ″The Outlaws is Coming″ in 1965, was at the conference, Mrs. Reighter said.
On Saturday, organizers held a Three Stooges memorabilia auction, where fans could buy autographs of the three original Stooges - Moe Howard, Curly Howard and Larry Fine - for $1,500.
Mrs. Reighter said that although much of the Three Stooges work is available on videotape, most of the fans were spending their time Saturday in the convention hotel’s theaters, ″nyuk-nyuk″ing at the Stooges’ 15-minute black-and-white comedy shorts.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas ″the Friendship state?″ Maybe ″Don’t Mess with Texas″ would do a better job of lassoing support for a state license plate slogan.
Texans, who pride themselves in their tough, cowboy image, say having their state license plates read ″The Friendship State″ is too wimpy. Now they just say ″Texas.″
Callers on Friday inundated the Texas Department of Highways and Public Transportation over the proposed change.
″I don’t think the defenders of the Alamo would want to defend those kinds of license plates,″ said Austin Police Sgt. Robert Pewitt, who polled his colleagues and offered his opinion to the highway department.
It’s not that Texans don’t want to be known as friendly, Pewitt said. ″We are friendly, but people will realize that when they get here,″ he said.
Lona Reeves, an information specialist with the highway department, said she fielded 50 telephone calls during the first three hours of the working day Friday. All were opposed to the change, she said.
″All of them have been very polite. But one guy was very uncalled for in his description of the new slogan. He said it was too wimpy,″ Ms. Reeves said.
Earlier this week, the Texas Highway Commission approved the slogan for license plates beginning next spring.
Officials said they wanted to put forth a less aggressive image by using ″The Friendship State″ to promote tourism.
″We are surprised people are reacting the way they are,″ said Mark Ball, an assistant to highway commission Chairman Robert Dedman.
Ball said the change was made partially in response to complaints over the highway department’s award-winning ″Don’t Mess With Texas″ anti-littering campaign.
Although the ″Don’t Mess With Texas″ slogan has been successful, Ball said, highway officials continue to hear from a contingent who say it is too tough.
The commission voted 3-0 for the name change, but Ball noted that in 1985 commissioners also voted 3-0 to change the license plate to ″The Wildflower State.″
After a public outcry, officials reversed themselves.