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Timothy O’Farrell wrote the note, put it

September 8, 1997

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) _ Timothy O’Farrell wrote the note, put it in a bottle and threw it off the coast of Oahu. That was back in 1974.

Six years later, Ramona Costa found it down the chain of Hawaiian Islands, on Kauai. For years, she never paid attention to the note, but found solace from the bottle.

``Every time I had a bad feeling I would hold this little bottle,″ she said. The bottle even survived Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

As her father lay dying, he made her promise to find who wrote the note. She kept her promise _ and made new friends on the other side of the country.

The note had the name and address of Anne O’Farrell and promised a reward. Costa tracked down the O’Farrells and now corresponds with them.

``I still remember throwing it in the water,″ O’Farrell said. ``At first I thought maybe someone would find it, but after a couple of days ... you figure it just got buried.″

As for the promised reward, Costa said the message itself was enough.


LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Pucker up, sailor.

In a contest of who could kiss the boat the longest _ to win a $15,000 Century craft _ two people had enough lip to wear out even the judges.

Maureen Huertas and Jesus Vega were still kissing the boat at 7 p.m. Saturday, 55 hours after the ``Kiss of the Century″ contest began.

Organizers called it a draw.

``We were down to two people and they vowed they’d go to the bitter end,″ said Mike Walker, a spokesman for sponsor Yamaha Marine Group. ``It’s hot and humid, so we decided to give a boat to each of them.″

Contestants kissed for four hours at a time and were given 30-minute breaks. Vega said he would use his time to eat, use the restroom and jog around to ``get my blood flowing.″

``I was sitting all the time and my lips were just stuck to the boat,″ Vega said. ``It is uncomfortable because your neck kind of sticks.″

Many of the 18 unsuccessful contestants fell asleep. One glued his lips to the boat, while another taped himself to a chair to keep from falling over.

``When people would drop off they all looked relieved _ unhappy but relieved,″ Walker said.


BOLIVAR, Mo. (AP) _ The quadruplets the Skopecs could handle. It was the giant baby shower they are recovering from.

Sara and Steve Skopec were busy trying to care for their three-month-old quadruplets and two-year-old son. So sister Michelle Skopec threw a baby shower, inviting nearly all of this town’s 7,000 residents.

On Sunday, the gifts rolled in: four rubber duckies, four rattles, four sets of pajamas, even a stroller with seating for four. There were stacks of diapers and baby wipes.

``Diapers are gold,″ said Sara Skopec, 27. The babies go through about 30 diapers daily or nearly 11,000 a year.

In return for the gifts, residents got to hold the quadruplets _ Ryan, Seth, Kyle and Kathryn. Quadruplets occur about once per 700,000 births.

``We wanted to see them because they’re special,″ said Ruth Truitt, a family acquaintance.

The babies, who were born June 5, have forced the Skopecs to learned new ways to do things.

``You learn all sorts of unusual ways to hold bottles,″ said Sara Skopec. ``You twist your body in ways you never thought possible.″

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