December 30, 1997 in Nation/World

The Slice So They Loaded Up The Bus, And They Moved To Beverly Cougar Fans Take In Sights ‘A Long Way From Costco’

By The Spokesman-Review

It’s hard to imagine a place more unlike Pullman and the Inland Northwest than Beverly Hills.

But the celebrated upscale district has taken on a slightly crimson and gray look this week.

Swimming pools. Movie stars. And now, Cougs.

Take our word for it. There’s something about the sight of middle-aged couples in WSU sweat shirts strolling past the designer shops on Rodeo Drive that makes you wonder whether you’ve slipped into some weird parallel universe.

“This is a long way from Costco,” said one woman who, fearing she would come off sounding like Jed Clampett, declined to give her name.

A pot of jealousy bruin: At the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica, a Cougar apparel shop has been set up in a nicely appointed room about the size of a convenience store.

The hats and jerseys are selling fastest, said Ben Bartell, a WSU senior from Bellevue, Wash., who was manning the cash register Monday afternoon.

And it’s not just Cougs buying the stuff. A steady stream of L.A. residents with Pac-10 ties have been acquiring WSU shirts and whatnot.

This conference solidarity has one glaring exception, however:

“UCLA people,” said Bartell. “Not only are they not buying anything, but they are harassing me.”

Maybe he’s angry at bad tippers: Russell Hughes, a ‘96 University of Michigan graduate (environmental policy and behavior) and waiter at Il Fornaio Della Spiaggia in Santa Monica, was asked to predict the final score of the Rose Bowl. “Wolverines, 31-14.”

Paradise is a relative concept: We interrupted WSU sophomore Jennifer Benson as she was studying the food court at a shopping complex called Santa Monica Place. One question: Could you live here?

The engineering major from Olympia didn’t have to mull it. “I don’t think so,” she said. “With the weather and all the people, I just don’t think so.”

No, we didn’t coach her to say that.

Whole new ballgame: “During my years in Pullman, I never thought about a trip to Pasadena. It was that Christmas present you knew you were never going to get, so you just turned the page of the catalog.” - from a column in the Los Angeles Times on Monday, written by staff writer and WSU grad Susanna Timmons.

Today’s Slice question: In the Spokane area, how often do you find yourself seeing a stranger and saying, “Hey, isn’t that someone famous?”

, DataTimes

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