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SISTERS MAKE QUITE A SPLASH WITH POEMS

SISTERS MAKE QUITE A SPLASH WITH POEMS

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Remember the Rickett Sisters - alias Cindy Hooper and Ann Esclabon - the ``redneck' poets and songwriters?

They were featured in this space a few weeks ago. Hooper, you may recall, lives near Julian in southern Guilford County. Esclabon, her sister, lives in Florida.But they grew up in rural eastern North Carolina - ``po' ,' as Hooper puts it.

They have played around writing poetry and songs for a long time.

``I guess you could say we write 'redneck poetry,' - sort of cornball poetry,' Hooper said. ``It's just about being poor and down on your luck and gee whiz... We're basically poking fun at life's miseries. It's all in good fun.'

The sisters - they write under their maiden name, Rickett - produced a photocopy booklet of their poetry to sell. They also have recorded a song about collard greens.

After the mention of the sisters' poetry appeared here, some 30 people wrote to buy their photocopy booklet of redneck poetry and song.

A Birmingham professor, who studies Southern mores, wrote to get one. ``I don't know how he got my name unless somebody sent him a copy of the newspaper,' says Hooper.

A California woman who was passing through Greensboro read the column and ordered a booklet for her sister who lives in Norfolk.

The sisters have two versions of their booklet: one a salty or ``off-the-wall' version and the other, a sanitized version.

The professor wanted the ``off-the-wall version.'

``I think I sent the woman from California the clean version,' says Hooper.

People didn't write Harrison Hussey to buy anything from him after the column about his hobby.

But several people did call or go by to see him to give him something.

Hussey is the 84-year-old pencil collector whose story and picture appeared in this space a couple of weeks ago.

The Greensboro man has collected pencils since 1934. He estimates he owns 20,000 pencils. They come in many shapes and colors and sizes.

Herb Hussey, the pencil collector's son, says several people sent or took pencils to his father after reading the column.

We don't collect pencils, but friends know we collect lists of unusual personalized automobile license tags.

Speaking of unusual tags, here's one that's enough to keep you puzzling for years: the one reading DIVORCE1 on a sports car tooling down U.S. Highway 220 just north of Greensboro.

The car looked like a white Corvette to us, but we admit that we are not experts on the identification of such spiffy cars. It was driven by what looked from a distance like an attractive young woman.

What could it have meant? Was the handsome car a part of a divorce settlement? Or could it, as a colleague suggests, belong to a lawyer who handled his first divorce?

Anyway, you can see that the possibilities could go on and on.

It's probably better not to know for sure because it's a lot of fun just trying to guess what it meant. At the very least, the license plate is one of the finest conversation pieces we've seen in a long time.

Someone else reported seeing another puzzling license plate on a car in Greensboro recently. It read DID SO.

The same person who reported seeing that one spotted another one that read AMAZYING1.

Right below that was a sticker: My Daughter is an Honor Roll Student.

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