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THE JUICE ON A JUICY ROAD
Edwin Shrake
August 19, 1974
Has any athlete ever capitalized on his fame like O.J., star of screen, banquets and shopping centers? Cheered by flacks and sales reps, he scores for shades, shoes and toys
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August 19, 1974

The Juice On A Juicy Road

Has any athlete ever capitalized on his fame like O.J., star of screen, banquets and shopping centers? Cheered by flacks and sales reps, he scores for shades, shoes and toys

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"All right, for a little while," Marguerite said.

"We have to sacrifice a lot of privacy," said O.J. "When we go out to eat, for example, there's always somebody coming over to talk or get an autograph. Sometimes it bothers the people I'm with but it doesn't bother me."

"He likes it," Marguerite said.

As soon as they stepped off the elevator they disappeared into a forest of toy people. O.J. was shaking hands, signing autographs, laughing, answering questions, grinning for cameras, being steered through the room. Marguerite's eyes went sort of glassy. The makeup didn't hide that.

In the morning O.J. went on a bus tour with the toy people over to the plant where Kenner makes Play-Doh, a substance that can be modeled somewhat like soft clay into little airplanes and heads and so forth. Play-Doh, in case you have never eaten any, is made largely from cake flour and tastes pretty good. Kenner sold more than $ 10 million worth last year.

"Sports toys are getting to be a hot item," a Kenner man was saying. "I don't mean games, they've done pretty well for a long time. I mean toys. We've got a girl doll that can swing a baseball bat or hit a golf ball. We've got a motorcycle toy that works on compressed air. You pump it up just right and the little guy on the motorcycle shoots off down a chute and flies off in the air. We also have the T.P. Challenge Set, endorsed by Debbie Lawler. That's her over there."

Sure enough, there was Debbie Lawler, the pretty blonde girl who jumps over obstacles on her motorcycle and endorses nearly everything she is riding or wearing. She was still limping slightly from her last wreck.

"O.J., I know you'll believe this just by taking a look at me. I'm an eater," the woman said.

O.J. looked at her and smiled. She was decidedly an eater. He was standing now at the gate to the tennis courts at Crest Hills Country Club, tennis racket in hand, tennis outfit on, ready to play tennis with the toy people. "For an eater like me to skip my lunch just to come over and shake hands with you, well, you know it just has to be a supreme compliment," the woman said.

She shook O.J.'s hand and walked off through a dozen other women who were studying Simpson as if they'd like to offer him the keys to the car.

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