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Souvenir Sales Lagging, Some Prices Falling

September 14, 1987

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AP) _ Pope John Paul II may be a prophet to some, but to souvenir peddlers he was a loss.

″It was really sorry,″ said T-shirt and cap seller Allen Henry of Austin. ″We didn’t make enough to pay for the help - five people at minimum wage.″

Even going-out-of-business prices didn’t help. As the papal motorcade left downtown Sunday, souvenirs were marked down to half price or less.

″Nobody’s got any money,″ Henry concluded ″When they came, they came with no money. And if you’re not Catholic, you don’t have much use for this stuff.″

Henry sold 50 caps and 15 shirts at his stand near the Alamo.

He had 400 of each.

″I think they overestimated the crowd and scared everybody off,″ said a vendor whose grill was full of sizzling, unsold meat.

Camera store owner Joe Kboudi had stocked up with 6,000 extra rolls of film. He said he sold less than 1,000.

″Very disappointing, very disappointing,″ he said.

Popescope saleswoman Pat Fairr saw the slow sales trend early in the day. There were few customers for the cardboard periscopes intended to guarantee a good view of the pope as he passed.

As it turned out, most spectators could get a good - though brief - view of the pope with the naked eye and had no need for the devices.

″L.A. is the next place you’ll see these babies,″ Ms. Fairr said. ″Just get a black pen and black out San Antonio.″

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