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Bright and Brief

January 4, 1987

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Most folks with a passion for lawn ornaments go for pink flamingos or elaborate bird baths. Not Phil Rush and Michael Emrick.

Each man owns a 6-foot-tall, 1,000-pound concrete polar bear covered in peeling white paint.

″There’s a mystique about these things,″ Emrick said of the statues, recently found in a vacant lot. ″They’re sort of a cult kind of thing. They’re the ultimate in yard art.″

Rush, who lives across the street from Emrick, said he wouldn’t go that far. ″They’re more just a funny part of Nashville history,″ Rush said.

Amelia Whitworth, of Columbia, said her father’s Nashville ornament shop made four bears to stand in front of the first frozen custard stores in the city, in 1931.

Clarence Hill said his father bought the bears in the early 1940s and placed one pair at his home and the other at his funeral home.

The Hills sold the house long ago, but the bears remain. However, the fate of the funeral home bears has been a mystery since that business was sold in 1952. Local observers deduce that the mystery bears are the ones now owned by Rush and Emrick.

Rush has placed his bear on his front porch and Emrick said he will display his in front of his home once the creature’s broken arm and cracked legs are repaired.


ST. LOUIS (AP) - Leonard G. Lipic wants to make sure President Reagan has just the thing to thank those who inquire about his health during his hospital stay.

Lipic, a penmaker, is sending Reagan 1,000 ball point pens inscribed with ″Thanks for your prayers″ and ″ Bethesda Naval Hospital, January 1987.″

Reagan entered the Maryland hospital Sunday for prostate surgery and tests. Lipic said he hopes the president will hand the pens out to well-wishers.

″Being in the pen business all my life, I know people like to have a pen with their name on it,″ the 74-year-old Lipic said.


LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - Rover just won’t sit? Spot chews the furniture? Help is just a phone call away.

Barbara Jordan, a professional dog trainer since 1946, operates a free dog training hot line here for frustrated masters.

Since it began in August, the hot line has received about 150 calls on such problems as jumping, digging, barking and chewing. Barking is the most common complaint, she says.

Jordan cautions that circumstances, not the dog, often cause the problem.

″You’ve got to understand what is going through a dog’s mind,″ she said. ″If you know what you’re working with, you have a basic idea of how to get the end result.″

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