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Albuquerque Journal from Albuquerque, New Mexico • Page 11

Albuquerque, New Mexico
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TRENDS Television 4 Tuesday, May 4, 1993 Albuquerque Journal Page 1, Section Jim Belshaw OF THE JOURNAL if if 4, 1 X- A Dab of Floss And A Decent Beaujolais KNOW A WOMAN who flosses every day. To the layperson, this awesome act of I discipline goes well beyond the reach of mere mortals. rfi -r j. 4 FREDERICK WARNE CO. A scene from "The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny," a six-part series to premiere this spring on the Family Channel.

Ov Beatrix Potter's Endearing Bunny Turns 100 Stories by Sue Leeman THE ASSOCIATED PRESS I EAR SAWREY, England He's the despair of his mother, a sneak thief with a FXT7 ft if i Plump Herdwick sheep grazing the high fells testify to her work in building up stocks of this longhaired breed indigenous to the Lake District. And long before Britain had a state health service, Potter endowed a charity to provide a district nurse for all the ailing of the Near Sawrey area. "As a Victorian woman, she was ahead of her time," says biographer Judy Taylor. "She had great spirit and determination and she got things done." The child of wealthy parents both inherited Lancashire cotton fortunes Helen Beatrix Potter was born on July 30, 1866. "My brother and I were born in London because my father was a lawyer there," Beatrix wrote later.

"But our descent our interests and our joy was in the north country." Like many other children of rich Victorian families, she was raised by governesses and nannies and saw little of her mother, a rather remote MORE: See BEATRIX on PAGE B2 McGregor will get to put poor Peter in a pie, marveled at the dexterity of hedgehog washerwoman Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, and gasped at Squirrel Nutkin's maritime exploits. "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" has sold more than 10 million copies in the United States alone and has been reprinted more than 250 times. Potter books have been translated into more than 20 languages, including Japanese and Afrikaans, and Beatrix Potter memorabilia is a multimillion-dollar industry. The little books, inspired by her love of animals, gave Potter the wealth to preserve large tracts of the Lake District.

But her fame has added to the tourist flood which threatens the fabric of the fells. Seventy thousand tourists come each year to Hill Top, Potter's tiny house in Near Sawrey village, to see the room filled with personal treasures where the writer created many of her tales. Climbers follow her footsteps across the rugged, pristine peaks around Near Sawrey to enjoy some of the 4,000 acres of land that was her legacy to the nation. huge appetite for contraband vegetables and a naughty habit of losing his clothes. But to millions of children, Peter is the world's most popular rabbit.

At 100, he's the oldest, too. "My dear Noel," wrote his creator, Beatrix Potter, to a sick young friend on Sept. 4, 1893, "I don't know what to write to you, so I shall tell you a story about four little rabbits whose names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter. She included whimsical ink drawings of the little creatures and of Mr. McGregor, the farmer who lost his lettuce and his temper because of the gluttonous Peter.

Noel's letter became "The Tale of Peter Rabbit," the first of 23 Beatrix Potter tales which have endeared children of all ages from Tokyo to Turin and Tacoma. Generations of small readers have wondered breathlessly whether Mrs. To the medical expert, though, it means only that the ante must be raised. "They said I was supposed to floss each side of each tooth seven times, until it squeaks," She said. "That's why you can't use the nice coated wax stuff; you have to use the very fine floss, almost like thread, because the squeaking indicates that the tooth is clean.

My daughter laughs at me when I do this." Her daughter is not a medical research expert. Her daughter is only 10 years old. But the laughter indicates a possible career in medical research never mind the stress induced while flossing until your squeaking teeth drown out the laughter of your daughter. Medical research experts have caused me to pull for the lab rats. No matter what they eat, no matter how much they eat, no matter the strength of the carcinogens and fatty fats medical researchers stuff down their tiny gullets, I want the lab rats to pull the lever and ask for more.

If lab rats live to ripe old ages, medical researchers will issue no more bulletins. So I have been pulling for lab rats. Meanwhile, I worry about my flossing friend's peace of mind. I started to suggest a good red wine after flossing each tooth seven times until it squeaks. I thought a glass of wine would calm her.

But the cancer scare I didn't want to be responsible for something that awful. A Boston doctor said his research showed a drink of alcohol a day or two or three drinks a day increased "good" cholesterol. But then another researcher (there's always another researcher) said alcohol could also cause cancer, among other things. Even if I ignored the contradictory experts, I couldn't remember the red wine advice, either. Was it the French who drank wine all their lives and didn't have heart attacks in spite of a somewhat surly national character and intense dislike of American tourists that often manifested itself with strokelike emotional spasms? Or was the red wine heart attack theory in the Caribbean? Wasn't there something about red wine combined with a Caribbean diet that produced "good" cholesterol when mixed with an occasional cheeseburger if prepared in former French colonies? Was that it? I couldn't remember.

So I didn't say anything about having a drink. "For the traditional brushing part," my flossing friend said, "you hold a soft bristle toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line and make gentle, sweeping circles. To reach that part past where your teeth end, you turn the brush I couldn't suggest a sweet to relieve the stress of flossing and brushing six hours a day. There might be fat in a sweet. Fat is bad, though I think I read somewhere that fat is good, though I couldn't remember if doughnut fat was good fat or bad fat.

Was French cruller fat good? Or was French cruller fat bad unless washed down with a decent Beaujolais? I didn't suggest a sweet. I thought aspirin might help. Aspirin is supposed to be good for your heart if it doesn't eat enough holes in your stomach to make your gastroenterologist mistake it for the Dodger infield. Maybe conversation and a good cup of coffee would do the trick. But I couldn't remember if decaf raised your cholesterol or caffeine sped up your heart or which was worse.

(And if you did half-caf and half -decaf would it mean you'd die of a slow heart attack?) So I settled on conversation. I started to suggest a phone call to a good friend. But I didn't know if the woman who must floss until her teeth squeak had a cellular phone. Who am I to tell the poor woman to take a chance on brain cancer? I thought a good night's sleep might cause her to forget her flossing stress, but I couldn't remember if you had a better chance of having a heart attack in the morning or if you woke up in the middle of the night. Oats, I thought.

Of course. Oats. And bran, too. Aren't they good? Or they were until about six months ago when a medical researcher said oats and bran wouldn't hurt you, but Always "but." "Then you get this gadget that has a hole in the end and you stick a toothpick in it," my flossing friend said. "You hold the gadget as you would a pencil and you outline each tooth where it meets the gum.

You have to do the inside, too, which is hard because A walk. A long walk is good, calming exercise if she doesn't get too close to electromagnetic fields, and if she remembers sun block, and if the air quality meets EPA standards, and if I told her to go home and pour three drinks. In one glass. I It's what the experts do. Beatrix Potter at her home in Near Sawrey, England, around 1905.

U.S. Opened Heart To Beatrix Potter Exhibition Celebrates Author As Conservationist ONDON Through most of her 1 1 literary career, Beatrix Potter L3 received bags of fan mail from the United States, where Peter Rabbit was an early hit. "I have been surprised at the number and the friendliness of the packets of dozens of letters from (the) U.S.A.," she wrote to one admirer. "I don't receive English letters like that a good many from children, some wanting autographs, some enthusiastic, grateful parents. But never does anyone outside your perfidiously complimentary nation write to tell me that I write good prose!" In the early 1920s, Fining Warne, then managing director of her publishers, Frederick Warne Limited, visited the United States.

He wrote to Beatrix that "Peter himself, from the various ways and manners in which he is being pirated and reproduced and made use of by American exploiters, is possibly the most popular juvenile character in literature, bar none." Anne Carroll Moore, superintendent of children's work at the New York Public Library, is credited with reigniting Potter's flagging muse when she visited the writer in 1921. Moore, who had been helping rebuild libraries in war-shattered France, wrote to ask Potter if she could come and tell her about it. MORE: See U.S. on PAGE B2 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS A wax model of Beatrix Potter patting a Herdwick sheep is part of an exhibition in the Lake District near Keswick, England. TESWICK, England Visitors I to this bustling town stop to Uu gaze at the tweedy model of an elderly woman in a museum window.

Few recognize her right off as Beatrix Potter, best-selling children's author. Potter the farmer and conservationist is the focus of a new $450,000 National Trust exhibit here on the shores of Derwentwater, where the writer spent vacations and set "The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin." "Lots of people know her as a writer, but she was more of a landowner and farmer in her latter years," said Ann Bishop, exhibition manager at "Beatrix Potter's Lake District," on show in a former hotel ballroom. "We want to show the other Beatrix." Any profits "will go straight back into the landscape," said Nigel Sale, National Trust regional public affairs manager. Beatrix Potter used her book royalties to buy large properties in the Lake District, which she farmed traditionally and with care, local farming practices and there are videos about local plant and animal life. Since 1987, the trust has spent $19 million preserving the craggy peaks and azure waters of the Lake District, and plans to spend another $25 million by the end of 1996.

It draws funds from its own faculties in the park including campsites, cottages and shops and from trust subscriptions. Any shortfall is made up by public MORE: See AUTHOR'S on PAGE B2 replenishing stocks of indigenous Herdwick sheep. On her death, she left 14 farms comprising 4,000 acres to the National Trust, a conservation body co-founded in 1895 by pioneering environmentalist Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, an old friend of the Potter family. The bequest is one of the largest which now make up the Lake District national park, visited by 11 million people every year. The exhibit opens with a 15-minute film, in which Dame Judi Dench plays Potter.

Wall displays explain.

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