Sunday, July 18, 1999

Area folks prove worth watching

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Dang, we're going to have to make watching former Cincinnatian Sarah Jessica Parker and present Cincinnatians Chris Payne and Johnny Arnett a full-time job. They're everywhere ...

        YO, DRAGONS: Anybody catch Johnny Arnett Saturday on cable's Animal Planet?

        Arnett, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden's Komodo dragon keeper, went to Komodo in late 1997 with researchers from Antibody Systems of Fort Worth, Texas, to collect dragon saliva for medical research.

        Arnett's job was to handle the dragons while the researchers scooped up drool. Fun, 'eh?

        Komodo: To Capture a Dragon is a documentary about the trip, how Arnett, armed with a forked stick, held the fierce snapping dragons at bay while Dr. Terry Fredeking did a swab job.

        DRESS-UPS: That's Parker surrounded by clothes in August's In Style magazine — the sexy clothes she wears on Sex and the City (HBO, 9 p.m. Sundays), complete with prices and phone numbers for home shoppers. Such as: Nicole Miller spiked heels in a hologram design, $160; a strapless Sheri Bodell dress, $165; a slinky Calvin Klein black dress, no price; and a Rafe floral purse, $166.

        COVER BOY: Elsewhere in New York, Payne turns up on the cover of the New York Times Book Review section of July 4 with a drawing of Eleanor Roosevelt.

        It's for a Maureen Dowd review of Blanche Wiesen Cook's Eleanor Roosevelt Volume II, 1933-1938, about Roosevelt's evolution from wife to crusader. Payne does her with a biiiiig smile and lots of teeth. Very much his style, given his work for the mural at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.

        YOO-HOO: Oh, so that's what happens when you drink enough Yoo-Hoo: They put you on tour.

        That's what happened to six Highlands High School 1999 grads, says Chris Atwell, speaking for the group.

        The story begins, he says, early in the school year with a group of friends, the Founding Fathers they call them, having a chocolate Yoo-Hoo between classes. The group grew in to YooHoo Friday, a large crowd that met at 11 a.m. Fridays for a Yoo-Hoo slurp. Almost always chocolate, Atwell says, because they're purists.

        It also led them to create a Web site ( and then discover the Yoo-Hoo Guru. She's a marketing exec with Yoo-Hoo who began sending T-shirts, stickers, boxer shorts. Next thing you know, Yoo-Hoo invited the gang to go on tour.

        Which they did. Atwell and five other founders — J.D. Battle, Adam Schiff, Brad Weyman, Larry Brown and Ron Ketterer — boarded an RV Tuesday and headed to Chicago and Cleveland on Yoo-Hoo's second annual Van Warped Tour. It's a 30-city concert and extreme sport tour.

        “None of us has ever done anything like this,” Atwell said before the tour. “It was really a shocker to get to go. Awesome.”

        The Founders' job on tour was to man the “Mobi-bottle,” pass out samples, then enjoy the concerts — Cypress Hill, Less Than Jake, Black Eyed Peas.

        They returned Friday for summer fun before college.

        Knip's Eye View appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Have an item to report? Call Jim Knippenberg at 768-8513; fax: 768-8330.


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