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Why am I not surprised that a major league baseball player with a high-stakes gambling habit like Lenny Dykstra of the Phillies was the first multimillionaire in the players' union to suggest he might just be willing to cross the picket line and break the strike?

Roger Antin reports that in the crucial travel category, Bride's magazine in its February/March issue was up 21% in travel ad pages over the same issue a year earlier.

Meanwhile, at hot Allure, Sandy Golinkin reports the Conde Nast book is 35% ahead for the first quarter over the period in '94, or 75 additional pages.

Larry Little, in from Newport Beach for the motorcycle show, says the April issue of Cycle World (Hachette Filipacchi) with 100 ad pages was the biggest issue in 10 years.

Save the date! The Northeast Alpaca Reunion will be June 24-25 in Newport, R.I.

When you see what happened to Don Nelson of the Golden State Warriors, you wonder why any sane person would want to grow up and coach in the NBA.

Speaking of San Francisco and area, catch the Travel & Lei-sure February feature on good eating, drinking and having sport in SF.

And enormous doings are under way as his colleagues in both media and academia salute Clay Felker, founder of New York magazine and so much else. At Berkeley this fall the grad school will inaugurate the Felker Magazine Center with Clay as its director. And to celebrate all this and raise a few bucks, at the Pierre in New York, Monday, April 10, his pals will gather in reunion ($150 a head). Dinner chairs are Milton Glaser, Gloria Steinem, Tom Wolfe and Steve Florio.

They'll choose Miss Teen-age America March 29 at the New York Palace this year. 'Teen magazine sponsors. A dozen youngsters compete for a $15,000 college scholarship.

George Gruenwald in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., sends along a delightful description of the time Walter Winchell's TV show lost a sponsor and of the rage and foul language out of WW when he encountered the unfortunate young adman delegated to give Winchell the bad news, the very next morning in the barbershop of the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Carlo Vittorini of Parade delivered the annual A.P. Phillips advertising lecture at U. of Florida in Gainesville on Thursday. The series commemorates the late Austave Paul Phillips Jr., who founded Florida's oldest ad and PR shop.

John A. Limpert, editor of Washingtonian magazine, tells me Washingtonian Online is now in the Internet with lots of info including stuff too late to get into the mag. "For now it's free," says Jack. And hooray for that!

National Geographic isn't free. But it's flourishing. Scott Crystal says first-quarter ad pages were up 45% over the quarter a year ago, from 61 pages to 89. New advertisers include IBM, Merck, 3M, Irish Tourist Board and like that.

Cathy Westerberg sends along the new Meredith book, home garden (all lowercase), and it's handsome indeed. What with Conde Nast reviving House & Garden and Chris Meigher's exciting Garden Design, the category is booming. Even The New York Times says so.

Mademoiselle now has its highest average ABC-audited circulation ever, topping 1.3 million (a bonus of 200,000 copies plus). And just in time for the mag's 60th anniversary celebration. Chapeaux off to Editor Elizabeth Crow.

Carolyn Kremins says Bon Appetit had a very tasty first quarter, up 41% over the year before.

Media Ventures Inc. (MVI) of Norwalk, Conn., was assigned by Bell Atlantic to design and edit Showcase Pages, a magazine-style section that is featured in 96 of the company's phone directories.

Cathy O'Brien joined Wenner Media as corporate publicity director. She'd been with Hearst Magazines and is a real pro.

Wesley Pedersen of Public Affairs Council in Washington writes to note there's nothing new about the CIA's not being on top of things (see my Jan. 23 column). Pedersen, formerly with the State Department, recalls in early 1953 all about him were preparing for Stalin's death but the CIA declared the fellow couldn't possibly be ill if they didn't know it. Stalin, alas, died in March of that year.

Is there anyone in this whole damned O.J. case who isn't a wacko?

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