Lake Wobegon becomes real

Garrison Keillor, after a search of Minnesota, has finally come up with a real-world location for Lake Wobegon.

"Holdingford (pop. 638) is the town that looks most Wobegonic to me," the humorist declares in December's National Geographic. "It has a fine little downtown of elderly brick buildings."

The choice surprised even him, for his stories about the fictional village were based on his memories of growing up in Stearns County in central Minnesota. But a recent trip there revealed a changed place.

"The eastern approach to Lake Wobegon is Division Street, St. Cloud, a four-mile strip of free enterprise in full riot," he reports.

Penn kicks the habit

Sean Penn doused his longtime, four-pack-a-day cigarette habit on his 40th birthday in August. "It was time not to be a slave to this nonsense," he says in December's Details magazine. "I had always told myself that I really should quit smoking at 30. OK, 35. Always, 40 was, 'There is no choice anymore, you just have to do it.' "

An afternoon with the queen

Magazine editor Tina Brown celebrated her 47th birthday in style Tuesday � at Buckingham Palace, with Queen Elizabeth II.

The British native, who left The New Yorker to start the magazine Talk, was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to journalism overseas. She previously edited Vanity Fair.

"I'm very moved to be here because, when you live abroad, you come to value everything British," said Brown, who lives in New York.

"People in America don't really understand what a CBE is � they think I'll now be going to work in a gunboat or something!" she added.

Movie auction East

Harrison Ford's "Indiana Jones" bullwhip and the caterpillar Leonardo DiCaprio "ate" in "The Beach" are among the items up for sale at Christie's movie-memorabilia auction Dec. 12 in London. The bullwhip could fetch $9,000, while the rubber caterpillar could bring $500, Christie's said.

Julia Roberts' satin evening jacket and Hugh Grant's olive corduroy jacket from their movie "Notting Hill" are expected to pull in $1,300 each, the New York Post reported. Material from such blockbusters as "Titanic," "Gladiator" and "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" also will be sold.

Movie auction West

Want to buy one of Marilyn Monroe's bras or the pink pantsuit she wore in "The Seven Year Itch?"

Those items as well as gowns worn by Cher and Lucille Ball are part of a vast memorabilia collection being sold by actress Jane Withers.

The Jane Withers Collection of celebrity memorabilia are available for viewing on the Internet at

Bidding starts Friday.


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