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Paper lion has an absorbing tale

Local PE teacher becomes a Brawny towel pinup boy

Men are like paper towels. Some are strong, dependable and don't fall apart when the going gets tough. Others just seem to be quicker picker-uppers.

Sally Crain knew which kind her husband, Paul, was when she entered him in the 'Do You Know a Brawny Man?' contest, sponsored by the makers of Brawny paper products.

'Paul's very good-looking, but I look past that,' she says. 'He's an incredible husband and an even better father. So when I read the entry form, I thought, 'He's the man!''

Her convictions were confirmed recently when her husband was picked from 4,000 hopefuls as one of 12 men to be featured in the 2003 Brawny Man calendar.

Although he didn't make the final round of competition Ñ which will decide whose image will grace packages of Brawny paper towels and napkins Ñ Crain had enough of the right stuff to impress a panel of judges.

'We were looking for men who share the characteristics of the fellow on the paper-towel wrapper, including strength in body and character, toughness and dependability,' says Taryn Filiberto of Edelman Public Relations, the New York firm that spearheaded the contest. 'Paul Crain embodies these characteristics.'

Crain, a PE teacher for the David Douglas School District, says no one was more surprised by the announcement than he:

'I thought, 'This can't be true; I'm just a regular guy.' '

Crain and his wife, who live with their three daughters in Southeast Portland, received a three-day trip to New York City, where the calendar photo shoot took place.

'They asked us to dress like we do for our job,' Crain says, 'so I brought things like a stopwatch and a whistle. But what they really liked was an old workout shirt that I keep in my bag; they thought it looked rugged.'

Crain, a former collegiate weightlifting champ, doesn't know which month he'll represent yet, but one thing's certain: For at least 28 days next year, Brawny Man calendar owners will be treated to the sight of Crain's oiled-up muscles clad in little more than shorts and a ripped-up T.

Crain says he enjoyed being the focus of attention at the photo shoot.

'They made me feel like I was a star Ñ it was great,' he says.

Contact Jill Spitznass at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..