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On the Light Side

September 19, 1989

STURGIS, S.D. (AP) _ Norbert Baker, who keeps his Cessna 150 in a pasture, says he will add one more item to his preflight inspection.

″I’m definitely adding ‘snake’ to my checklist,″ said the Sturgis pilot, who came face-to-face with a 1 1/2 -foot-long bull snake while cruising comfortably at 800 feet Friday night.

Baker and Dale Rovere of Black Hawk were about 10 miles north of Sturgis, a western South Dakota community, when the snake popped its head up through a hole in the dashboard, about 2 feet in front of their faces.

″He was hissing and sticking his tongue out at us,″ Rovere said.

Baker reached for a rag, grabbed the snake and threw it out the window. ″Stuff just flew everywhere. It was a mess,″ Rovere said.

″After it was over, we got quite a chuckle out of it,″ said Baker. He figures the snake crawled up the tail assembly, through the fuselage and into the engine compartment.

The bull snake is nonpoisonous and feeds mostly on rodents.


EL TORO, Calif. (AP) - For Joan Koravos and Larry Guzzetta, Interstate 5 is their freeway of love.

The two said ″I do″ Sunday while parked in a stretch limousine on the freeway.

It was an appropriate spot: The couple first met on the interstate three years ago.

″I was driving along, heading south on I-5, and I could just feel this car tailing me,″ said Ms. Koravos. ″So I pulled into the other lane and looked over to give this person a dirty look.″

Instead, she found herself grinning at a winking Guzzetta. He motioned to her to pull off. She did, and they went out for a drink.

They discovered that a mutual business acquaintance had suggested two days before that the two get together to discuss the direct mail business, which Ms. Koravos was in at the time and Guzzetta was considering entering.

″I tell my friends to forget the single bars,″ said Ms. Koravos. ″If you’re looking for the right person, just drive on the freeways ... and smile.″

Guzzetta, who eventually bought a direct-mail firm, also took an unusual approach in his marriage proposal. He sent her a package of direct-mail ads, including one that asked, ″Dear Joan, will you please marry me? Larry.″

Ms. Koravos answered by calling a Newport Beach restaurant that night and asking the maitre d’ to write on the portable menu board, along with the specials, ″Yes, Larry, I will.″


ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Don Cruse is happy he doesn’t have to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test again. After all, there’s no way to improve on his perfect 1,600 score.

″I can concentrate on some other things now,″ he said.

Cruse was one of only 14 students in the nation who achieved a perfect score on the SAT during the 1988-89 school year. About 1.8 million took the multiple-choice test, and the national average score of verbal and mathematical reasoning was 903.

Most students wait until their senior year to take the college entrance exam. Cruse did it as a sophomore.

″There really is no secret,″ said Cruse, now a 16-year-old junior at Martin High School. ″The test includes material that’s covered in class. And I have to study just like other students.″

Cruse’s class schedule this semester includes Latin II, pre-calculus, physics, English, history and biology. All but Latin II are advanced classes.

He said he was thinking about going to Harvard University as a prelaw major.

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