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Bright And Brief

April 24, 1986

BEAVER, Okla. (AP) _ Let the chips fall where they may, the 17th World Chanmpionship Cow Chip Throwing Contest is on the line for Beaver’s centennial celebrations this weekend.

Leland Searcy, the world record holder who now lives in Taloga, will defend his title in the men’s open division. Searcy won last year with a toss of 177 feet, 9 inches. The world record is 182-8, which he set in 1979.

There are also a women’s open and VIP divisions for women and men.

″We limit the entries to 25 in each division, and we fully expect all four divisions to be full,″ said Jim Calhoon of the Beaver Chamber of Commerce.

Contestants get two throws apiece, using regulation pasture patties at least 6 inches in diameter, selected from a wagon load provided by B.S. Enterprises Committee.

Of course, there’s more to do this weekend than shoot the chip in this Panhandle town of about 1,700 people.

There’s the Cow Chip Classic, 10,000- and 5,000-meter runs held Saturday, the re-enactment of an Old West gunfight, the mud-pit pig contest, and ″We’ve added cow patty bingo,″ Calhoon said.


SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) - Early returns from the University of California at Santa Cruz suggest that students would like the less-than-heroic banana slug to replace the sea lion as school mascot.

The banana slug, a creature that abounds in the cool, wet forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains, was the overwhelmingly mascot choice five years ago, but Chancellor Robert Sinsheimer opted for Sea Lions after talking with athletes.

In an April 10 letter to the student newspaper, he said: ″As a symbol of our athletic ambitions, consider that the banana slug is: spineless (ipso facto), yellow (cowardly), sluggish (slow of foot) and slimy (enough said).″

Eric Satzman, head of the student government, said the banana slug is a symbol of the school’s non-competitive nature, in which learning takes priority over grades.

Students are voting on the proposal this week.


SAN ANSELMO, Calif. (AP) - The llama, that nimble South American beast of burden, is more than a camel without the humps that’s good with children and cheap to keep: It’s a good investment, say owners and breeders.

The regal-looking, long-necked beasts were introduced into the United States in the 1930s by William Randolph Hearst for his San Simeon estate.

There are about 10,000 llamas in the United States, mostly in the West, compared to about 3,200 in 1982, said Sam Granato of the International Llama Association in Washington.

As the demand for llamas increases, so does their value. A male llama that sold for $800 four years ago could sell for twice that today, Granato said. And a female worth $2,000 might cost $10,000 or more.

Llamas can live as long as 25 years, grow as large as 400 pounds, stand six feet tall and thrive in any climate except extreme, constant heat, he said.

There’s one other nice thing about llamas.

″They have a charming hum,″ said Helen Bodington, who sometimes takes Canelo, her 350-pound llama, for rides in her van.

″It comes at different times that indicate different attitudes,″ she said. ″Mine has a freeway hum.″

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