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On The Light Side

February 10, 1989

ATLANTA (AP) _ Now that he’s experienced sunshine, grass and trees, Willie B. will get a chance to learn about the birds and the bees.

The sheltered lowland gorilla, who spent 27 years caged up with a spare tire and a television set, will be placed in a menage a trois with two female gorillas from the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center, according to a deal worked out by Zoo Atlanta.

It will be the first major social move for the 30-year-old gorilla, who has only experienced outdoor life for less than a year. He was moved into an outdoor habitat last year.

Officials hope that, over the next few months, Willie B. will learn how to relate to other gorillas and, with a little luck, make his first addition to the world’s ape population.

Willie B. has been targeted for high priority breeding by the Species Survival Plan of the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums, according to zoo officials.

″The SSP recognizes what an unusually fine specimen Willie B. is and how nice it would be to see him again as a social animal,″ Dr. Lester Fisher, chairman of the gorilla SSP committee, said recently.

Zoo officials intend to start Willie B.’s socialization with about 30 days of close visual contact with 26-year-old Katoomba and 6-year-old Kinyani, females who already reside at the zoo.


OKEMOS, Mich. (AP) - Sam Worland-Esquith’s participation in a project to teach fifth-graders about small business led him to this market insight: ″Kids seem to like slime a lot.″

One of 13 young retailers at the Wardcliff Elementary School, Worland- Esquith found that his product, slime, sold very well.

And success didn’t deter him from disclosing his manufacturing secrets. ″I just mix cornstarch with water, add some food coloring, put it in Zip-Loc bags, and sell it for 25 cents,″ the fifth-grader said.

Slime buyers got notes to inform parents that slime is non-toxic, might stain, and should be stored in the refrigerator.

With costs at $6 and revenue at $8, Worland-Esquith counted a $2 profit in the first wave of selling Wednesday.

But he noted that private enterprise has its pitfalls.

″I don’t think it’s easy to make a good profit,″ he said. ″You’ve got to know what people want at the time and sometimes you just aren’t lucky enough to get customers.″

Worland-Esquith wasn’t really sure why slime was selling so well: ″Maybe it just seems fun to them to have something kind of gross.″


HOUSTON (AP) - ″Lonesome Dove″ is over, but interest in Western wear spawned by the television miniseries is raging in Houston.

Western wear stores are being flooded with requests for hats like the ones Gus and Captain Call wore in the movie, for coats like Jake Spoon’s and for spurs. And there is a stampede for copies of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Larry McMurtry novel on which the CBS miniseries was based.

″They want (Western) hats, spurs and dusters - those long-waisted coats,″ said Rick Cowen, manager of Stelzig’s, a Western wear store.

At The Hat Store, salesman Wayne Mills chuckled when asked if he’d heard anybody talking about ″Lonesome Dove.″

″Just everybody that comes in here,″ he said.

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