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Water ski show will be blast from beauties past

There will be no Harvey the Rabbit during the water show for the 2011 Lake Oswego Heritage Council's Classic Car and Collector's Boat Show Saturday.

But there will be a bevy of beauties in a spectacular water chorus line, plus other incredible water ski routines on Saturday at 3 p.m. on Lakewood Bay. So the bunny won't be missed too much.

'Nobody wanted to wear a bunny suit,' explained show director Bob Barnum.

Still, Barnum is confident that show patrons will be properly ecstatic with the six water ski ladies, decked out like the famed Water Ski Girls of Lake Oswego's golden age of water skiing shows in the 1950s.

'It's going to be something special,' promised Barnum. 'They're going to be wearing the costumes of yesteryear.'

However, when faced with doing something similar, Barnum included himself out.

'Lita (Grigg) asked me to wear a tank top suit like they did in the 1920s and 30s,' Barnum said. His answer was: 'Naaaah.'

The water beauties will be led by Lita Schiel Grigg, Miss Oregon of 1966 and also a Lake Oswego water ski queen in the early 1960s. It was Grigg who immortalized Yogi the Surfing Dog.

Yogi has passed on to Surfer Dog Heaven, but Grigg will be joined on the water by Lisa Magnilana, Judy Westwood, Karen DeStefanco, Lisa Schaller and Sandi Swinford.

Helping Barnum hold up the masculine aspect of the show will be Steve Schaller, Lisa's husband. In all there will be five routines performed, including Barnum's own astounding disc routine.

This year's water spectacular is a result of the grand reception that met the first water ski show from last summer. It was remarkable because the skiers involved hadn't been on water skis in more than 40 years, but they recaptured the glory of the past.

'It was great fun. It was a kick,' said Barnum, who is 68. 'The public reaction was jubilant. People said it was great, neat, special, a real different treat. I think it brought back a lot of older water ski fans.'

It was so much fun that Barnum hopes the water ski show becomes a tradition for the car-boat classic.

No bunny? No problem.