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CRAZY ABOUT THOSE TURTLES KIDS FLOCK TO FAIR TO SEE MICHELANGELO

CRAZY ABOUT THOSE TURTLES KIDS FLOCK TO FAIR TO SEE MICHELANGELO

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Michael Mitchell made one of the biggest decisions in his life Sunday.

He was about to meet his idol, and he couldn't decide what to say. After five minutes of serious thought, he decided to go with the traditional greeting - ``Hey, dude!'Michael, 6, was talking to Michelangelo, the wisecracking surfer-talking member of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who was making an appearance at the Greensboro Agricultural Fair.

The green- and orange-clad Michelangelo excited the crowd of more than a thousand children with a two-minute dance and martial arts exhibition to the music of M.C. Hammer's ``U Can't Touch This.'

When he finished, he agreed to sign a few autographs. Ninety minutes later, his tired hand had scrawled nearly 2,500 signatures.

``I know all of the words to the Turtle song,' 4-year-old Ben Gleason boasted as he stood in line with his father. ``I watch him on TV all the time - Michelangelo is my favorite.'

As Ben began to name all of the Turtles, his father, B.J. Gleason, looked nervously at the long autograph line.

``It's a long line, but it will be worth the wait when he gets to talk to Michelangelo,' B.J. Gleason said. ``He's crazy about the Turtles.

``Anything that he sees with Turtles on it, he wants it.'

The elder Gleason said he planned to enroll his son in tae-kwon-Do classes soon because Ben wants to learn martial arts after watching Michelangelo.

Bill Mitchell, the fair manager, said he was pleasantly surprised by the large turnout.

``This is the biggest crowd we've had for one event. We thought he would draw real well, but I didn't expect this,' Mitchell said.

There was evidence in the crowd that Turtle power will remain strong for a long time.

As he patiently waited his turn in line with his great-grandmother, 17-month-old Nicholas Davis continually said one word - ``Turtle, Turtle, Turtle.'

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