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LOVE HELPS MAKE THE OLYMPICS COME 'ROUND

LOVE HELPS MAKE THE OLYMPICS COME 'ROUND

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Was it Just Love that brought the 1996 summer Olympics to Atlanta?

Am I serious! Just Love was a part of the campaign that led Atlantans to spend Tuesday celebrating the victory.I'm talking Just Love Inc. As in Bonnie Blevins Love.

Seasoned sojourners here know that Bonnie, now of Charlotte, for some years added a distinct flamboyancy to the Greensboro scene.

She left us for Myrtle Beach, where she still has a summer place, and with another marriage to David McGuirt, moved on to the Queen City. Professionally, Bonnie retained the Love name, having come by it through a marriage (it ended in divorce) to Richard Love, a son of the late Spencer Love, as in Burlington Industries. Bonnie has done a lot of modeling, including quite a bit for the Foxy Lady at Myrtle Beach.

Six years ago, when marriage prompted the move to Charlotte, however, Bonnie says life ``took on a new light.' Her husband remanufactures machine parts, and Bonnie began helping him in the office.

She never thought of herself as an artist, she says, but during spare moments she began to draw. Rather pleased with her creations, she hauled her 1960 sewing machine to the office and, when time allowed, converted those designs on paper to fabric.

She decided to buy some shirts on which to applique the designs. On a visit to a shop to take advantage of a ribbon and fabric sale, she wore one of her creations. The women in the shop, she says, nearly took the shirt off her back. She then decided to make some to see if they would sell.

The sewing machine was put to use daily.

When the count reached 70, Bonnie and her husband, having called some Myrtle Beach stores, went down to show the shirts. On arrival, however, Bonnie first called some of the women in their Maisons condominium and invited them to come see what she'd been up to. They did, the word spread, and Bonnie sold every shirt she had.

She called the stores, reported an emergency and said she'd be back in two weeks with her line of Just Love. She kept the date and sold them all.

Of course Bonnie's daughters, Julie and Hollie, were the first to get shirts. Then there was a gift to a cousin who works in a Texas department store. The store called Bonnie. A similar thing happened in Florida.

Now there are copyrights to the design and manufacturing of the shirts. Just Love is in full production with Bonnie at the helm. So on to the Olympics.

An Atlanta customer of Bonnie's husband became the happy owner of a shirt.

She also happened to be on the Atlanta Olympics campaign committee, and asked Bonnie to do some shirts in the primary Olympics colors to be used in the campaign in Atlanta and Tokyo (where the vote was taken). Bonnie shipped the shirts back in June.

A local firm, U.S. Label (Allen Andrew, president), makes the Just Love labels and, as it happens, prints more than a million a year for the Olympics through J.C. Penney.

Patrons at tonight's fund-raising soiree sponsored by the Center for Creative Arts will have chance to bid on a Just Love. Sue and Earl Barbour have a place at Maisons, too, and Sue got two of the shirts to auction at the dinner dance at the City Club. Sue herself has one of Bonnie's holiday creations.

Mattie's birthday The other Sunday night, Virginia and Earl Fitts of Siler City drove to Greensboro with Virginia's aunt and uncle, Mattie and Sam Walters of the Bear Creek community in Chatham County. They came to celebrate Mattie's 90th birthday with dinner at Green's Supper Club.

They chose Green's because Al Pierson was leading the Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians orchestra, and Mattie and Sam have long been fans of the late Guy Lombardo's music.

Mattie got a special treat when the band extended birthday greetings to her and played the birthday song.

Mattie is having an extended birthday. She says right up front, ``I am going to celebrate the entire year.' She started last month when her church, Tyson Creek Baptist, honored her with a birthday dinner.

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