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On the Light Side

November 20, 1985

BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) _ It’s a free country and if a man wants to walk backwards he can, says Marvin Staples, who has been walking backwards since the Fourth of July.

″I got tired of people telling me, ’You have to do things this way; you have to do this,‴ Staples, 47, said recently. ″I want to do it my way. It’s my right to believe what I want to believe.″

As long as he’s exercising his freedom of choice, Staples is working on a world record. He is trying to match Plennie L. Wingo of Abilene, Texas, who is listed in the 1985 Guinness Book of World Records as having walked 8,000 miles backwards.

Staples has a long way to go. He’s walked only 300 miles so far.

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Say hello to the McCormack brothers.

Lech Walesa did. Bishop Desmond Tutu did. Nancy Reagan did.

The list goes on. But the celebrity testimonials, Michael McCormack said, aren’t really what he and his brother, Brian, are seeking.

For the last 12 years, the McCormacks have been asking celebrities, world leaders and just plain folks to participate in ″World Hello Day″ by simply saying ″Hello″ to 10 other people they don’t know.

″What it amounts to,″ Michael McCormack said Tuesday, ″is that this is the one time every year that people in 130 countries have a chance to do something personal and meaningful and enjoyable to promote peace.″

This year, ″World Hello Day″ is Thursday.

The McCormacks have mailed 5,000 copies of a 26-page booklet to government leaders, citizens and the news media in 130 nations asking everybody to spread the idea.

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NEW YORK (AP) - So what do you do for an encore after balancing a milk bottle on your head while walking for 24 miles and springing somersaults for 10 miles?

Health food store manager Ashrita Furman, 31, followed those acts with an 11-mile pogo-thon to set a record Tuesday for traveling on a pogo stick.

Furman, noted in the Guinness Book of World Records as holder of several such stunt records, hopes to submit his latest achievement to the book.

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