Thursday, August 10, 2000

Waterfront secret was 98` show

        Finally. Jeff Ruby and his crew over at the Waterfront can stop lying to people.

        For a week, diners have been asking, “What is that in your parking lot?” referring to a massive stage going up. All full of tunnels and bridges, it's 50-feet topped with light towers.

        Ruby and staff have been telling them the Democratic National Convention was moving to Covington. Up until last night, that is.

        The stage, a $250,000 number, was built for Wednesday's free 98` concert, part of a documentary Disney has been in town filming all week. But Ruby wasn't allowed to say so, lest the 60 workers building the stage be overrun by fans.

        Alas, Ruby couldn't hide the concert from Wednesday's storms. Many ticketholders had to scurry for cover under the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge. The concert was rescheduled for 8:30 p.m. today.

        98` — which includes three School for the Creative and Performing Arts grads — Drew Lachey, Jeff Timmons, Nick Lachey, Justin Jeffre — is on the cover of the September Teen People with a line promising “Their most intimate interview ever, plus sexy new photos.”

        Not that they've had time to read it. The Disney crew has been keeping them busy at a Reds game, SCPA, Bengals camp and heaven only knows where else.

        Oh, this too: Ruby says the group has agreed to sing the national anthem at his Sept. 6 roast and will be back in October for a wedding rehearsal dinner at his steakhouse.

        Salvation: Meanwhile, on the esophageal front, wasn't that Dr. Henry Heimlich tossing the first pitch at a recent Tampa Bay Devil Rays-Cleveland Indians game ?

        Yep, but why?

        Turns out sportscaster Dick Vitale was at an earlier Tampa Bay game and started choking on a hunk of fruit. A St. Petersburg firefighter name of John King rushed over and did the Heimlich Maneuver.

        When Tampa Bay management decided to honor King, they invited Heimlich to toss the pitch.

        “I've never done that and knew I was going to screw up. So I practiced a whole week.”

        If you don't believe Heimlich is no kind of sports fan, consider: He's told several people the Devil Rays won the game by two points.

        Underwater: Look who's back in town. It's Eddie Lane, owner of EDB's Diamond Showroom, back from his annual City Slicker trip — the one where Lane and friends, including Dr. David Zipfel (and his ukulele), traipse off on a boys-only wilderness trip.

        In past years it's been mountain climbing and horseback tours. This year it was a kayak in the rapids of the Upper Colorado.

        Which waters, by the way, Lane got to know plenty well when he wiped out on some rocks in an especially nasty stretch.

        “But I survived and had such a fine time we're thinking of taking wives next year for a hut hike from Vail to Aspen.

        Hut hike?

        “There's a trail from Vail to Aspen with a hut every nine miles. What you do is hike nine miles and then stay in the hut. They sleep 16 or so and run $22 a night.

        “We also used this year to visit an ex-Cincinnatian — Tom Backhus, a Moeller football player who now owns the Four Eagle Ranch in Wolcott, Colo. A lot of Cincinnatians go out there.”p>         Knip's Eye View appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Have an item to report? Call Jim Knippenberg at 768-8513; fax: 768-8330.