On The Light Side
MIAMI (AP) _ Sometimes the blue language and heavy breathing of the broadcast soundtracks at the X-rated drive-in merge with the hard-preaching sound of the gospel radio station on a nearby frequency.
″It’s like going from something heavenly to something that comes from the pits of hell,″ said announcer Jim Cress of WRMB-FM. ″My concern is that a bona fide listener trying to get our station one night might pick up that garbage instead.″
Cress said he shudders at ″just the thought of it,″ but Turnpike Drive-In manager Willie Hernandez, in a Miami Herald interview published Friday, said he hasn’t had any complaints.
″Besides,″ Hernandez said, ″to pick up the dialogue real good, you have to be right here in the parking lot.″
ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) - If love really is the best medicine, patients with pets can get healthy doses of it at Swedish American Hospital’s new pet room.
″As soon as I heard what they were doing, I asked them to bring me my dog,″ said Anita Sturm, a patient who scratched the ears of her big, tail- wagging black Newfoundland, Aegis, at their reunion Thursday.
The idea for the pet room came from registered nurse Vicki Euhus in the hospital’s intensive care unit, who said she has long felt patients could be improved by visits with their pets.
‘We’ve snuck ’em in before,″ she said. ″One time we had two German shepherds in intensive care.″
After checking with the Health Department, hospital officials agreed to allow regular pet visits and set up the first-floor visitation room decorated with animal portraits by a professional photographer.
″If we get an elephant, of course, we’ll have a problem because the room isn’t large enough,″ said hospital spokeswoman Jan Hagenlocher. ″We might have to use the back parking lot.″
SHELBY, N.C. (AP) - Merle Mills has been delighting county fairgoers on the East Coast for months with his racing pigs, a string of petite porkers who pound a racetrack in a dash for the mash.
Mills, 53, of Gaithersburg, Md., said he bought a 42-foot-long horse trailer, loaded 25 small pigs and a ton of feed aboard and hit the road last July.
Mills, who serves on the board of directors of the Montgomery County, Md., Fair, said a pig race there last fall went over so well that he decided to take the show on the road.
″It takes about five weeks to train these little fellows,″ Mills said of the racing pigs, which weigh about 30 pounds each when they start in the business. ″Running is the easy part. I ring a bell and they run out to play. Then they find out there’s something to eat on the other end.″
Mills said he already has his eye cast on the next animal racing event he’ll run.
″Ducks,″ he said. ″That’s the big thing already out West, racing three white ducks.″