The Blue-Haired Lady

The Blue-Haired Lady

The Blue-Haired Lady

Sept. 21 1997 3:30 AM

The Blue-Haired Lady

The New York Times hues explosion.


WASHINGTON, Sept. 18--
Wearing their olive-green prep-school uniforms with bright orange trim, the entire third grade class of Milliard Academy Prep entered the red-oak chamber of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs today to answer allegations that they had made illegal contributions at a 1996 Democratic fund-raiser. Chairman Fred Thompson, whose charcoal-heather suit, ecru shirt and dusty rose tie conveyed both style and authority, wanted to know if the children had been illegally reimbursed for cookies they purchased at a Democratic National Committee Bake Sale held in their school's auditorium in May of 1996. However, at the

time of this printing, it was unclear whether the color of Senator Thompson's belt was moss brown or cordovan. Repeated inquiries to his Senate office went unanswered.


At Issue: Is it a Color or a Flavor?

A group of angry West Side residents stormed the Arts Students League of New York to protest its recent refusal to grant mocha official status as a color, relegating it instead to the realm of flavors and aromas. Led by comedian and community activist Elayne Boosler, the march began at Zabar's coffee counter and made its way down Broadway to the Arts League Building on West 57th Street in an effort to demonstrate how mocha has bridged the gap between coffee and color. The police arrived shortly thereafter, but no arrests were made.


Yellow at a Crossroads

Time was, no one gave much thought to yellow. It was regarded as neutral and benign, the Switzerland of colors. But just as recent events have cast aspersions on the Swiss, so too is yellow's good name in peril. This summer, yellow has been at the forefront of two public relations disasters. It is one of two colors featured in the logo of Burger King, whose recent tainted-meat fiasco caused millions of carnivorous Americans to endure Whaler fish sandwiches. And most prominently, yellow showed its darker, more

orangy side as the signature color of the post-literate, hyper-cynical advertising campaign of ABC TV. This may be a good time to remember that yellow is also the signal for caution at traffic lights. Yellow, ask not for whom the light blinks. It blinks for thee.

In a 1991 editorial titled "Color Me Stupid," this space wrongly scolded cable magnate Ted Turner for colorizing classic movies filmed originally in black and white. The Times regrets the error.

Manfred Kupchek, 79, Inventor of Burnt Sienna Crayon

Manfred Kupchek, a former director of research and development at Crayola Crayons, died yesterday at his home in Nanuet, N.Y., at age 79. Mr. Kupchek is credited with having invented the popular color burnt sienna. In a poll of preschool children conducted in 1990, burnt sienna was the fourth-favorite colored crayon, eclipsed only by plum, brick red and periwinkle.

Burnt sienna was one of many colors Mr. Kupchek invented but the only one to crack the highly competitive Crayola 64 Pack. His failed offerings included toasted marshmallow, charred dogwood, burnt toast and seared flesh.

--Mark Katz

Mark Katz is a speech writer, humorist, and author of "I Am Not a Corpse!": & Other Quotes Never Actually Said.