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Letterman Alley Ceremony Protested

December 6, 2002

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MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) _ Television talk show host David Letterman wasn’t even there to see his college town name an alley for him _ and he was still upstaged.

City leaders were displaying a sign Thursday night dubbing one of the city’s busiest alleys, ``Dave’s Alley _ Open 24 hours,″ when fans of Garfield, the cartoon cat, showed up to protest.

Cartoonist Jim Davis, who created Garfield, is a Delaware County resident; Letterman only lived there while he attended Ball State University.

The two protesters, costumed as Garfield and dog Odie, held picket signs saying ``Dave Bites,″ ``Cats Rule, Dave Drools″ and ``Alleys are for cats.″

Mayor Dan Canan said the eastern Indiana city was planning a parade next June to honor Garfield’s 25th birthday.

Apparently, all Letterman gets is the alley, though officials plan to install a 24-hour Internet camera.

The new name was inspired by Letterman’s recent campaign on his CBS show to have Indianapolis officials rename Interstate 465, the highway that encircles the city, the Dave Letterman Expressway. That came about a year after a running gag on his show in which he tried to persuade Ball State to name its football stadium after him.

Even though it wasn’t a stadium or an interstate _ or even an actual street _ Canan said naming the alley after Letterman was an appropriate honor.

``Tongue in cheek, he talks about us a lot,″ Canan said. ``So why not pay him back a little bit?″

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