Thursday, September 14, 2000

Davy Jones won't be monkeying around




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        Whew, hope Monkee Davy Jones isn't expecting any sleep while he's in town this weekend.

        Officially, he's here to lead the world's largest kazoo band and chicken dance at 4 p.m. Saturday on Fountain Square.

        Unofficially, they're going to run him ragged, beginning tonight at 7 p.m. when his plane lands. Handlers, including ad exec Rob Riggsbee and promoter Omar Farag, will take him to Jeff Ruby's for drinks, then eat there or at the Albee in the Westin.

        Come Friday, they have him booked on four TV stations, two radio stations and the list was still growing at press time.

Davy Jones
Davy Jones
        In between, he's booked at a batch of Oktoberfest events. Then a 5 p.m. Fountain Square do where he'll sign his book Davy Jones: Daydream Believin' ($35). A year ago at Eastgate Mall he had a 3-hour line for a signing.

        The book is available through his fan club (www.davyjones.net), though he often brings a batch with him. He also has a tableful of Monkee memorabilia.

        He has Saturday free 'til 4 p.m. when he toots his kazoo.

        “He'll sign more books after that, then we'll have a quiet dinner because he's going to need it,” Riggsbee says. “But knowing him, he may just want to hang around and eat a brat.”

        Whatever he does, naps don't seem to be on the agenda.

        Seen around town: That would be Bob Vila, handyman, TV host and Sears spokesman.

        He was here last week to spend time with Habitat for Humanity, the agency that builds houses for low-income families. He worked on one in South Cumminsville for Sabrina Trollinger, single parent of three.

        The way Habitat works: It buys the material, then volunteers, including the new owner, build it. The new owner buys it for the price of materials, usually around $50,000, with a no-interest loan. Habitat houses are usually valued at $75,000.

        Vila showed up to give a pep talk and share tips with 45 volunteers before helping reopen several Sears stores.

        “The unique thing about Vila is that he really knows construction,” says Habitat director John Cerniglia. “He was giving a class in framing walls and autographing volunteers' hammers.

        “He also talked about when he joined the Peace Corps, and how it was there he learned to care about communities and tie that in to his interest in construction.”

        Vila left Saturday for New York to join former president Jimmy Carter and his Work Project.

        Psst! appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Have an item to report? Call Jim Knippenberg at 768-8513; fax: 768-8330.

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