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Hope decides to switch deserts, entertain troops

Comedian Bob Hope has decided to travel to the Persian Gulf to stage Christmas shows for U.S. troops, but he'll change his act to make it acceptable to Saudi Arabian censors. "How am I going to go without the girls? I'd hate to think I was the only pretty face there," Hope said Monday night at dedication ceremonies for the downtown Long Beach-Bob Hope USO.

For decades, Hope has been accompanied on his Christmas season tours by a platoon of starlets and Hollywood beauties.

The 87-year-old comedian wouldn't say why he changed his mind.

"Palm Springs is my desert," he had said in August. "The only way I'm going to the desert is going to Palm Springs."

Dylan's legend growing

Next up at the University of Mississippi in Oxford: Mick Jagger performing his classic hit Blowin' In The Wind.

It would only be fair play for the Ole Miss' public relations department to give the Rolling Stones lead singer credit for the Bob Dylan hit after its press release touting Dylan's appearance Thursday night at the school.

"With numerous gold records to his credit, Dylan's most popular recordings include Knockin' on Heaven's Door, Like a Rolling Stone, The Times They Are A-Changing, It Ain't Me Babe, Sgt. Pepper, Beggar's Banquet, and Music From the Big Pink," the press release said.

Actually, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, often regarded as the most influential album of rock, was recorded by the Beatles. Beggar's Banquet, another recognized classic, is by the Rolling Stones, and Music From the Big Pink was recorded by The Band.

"I am not a Bob Dylan fan," said Jan Robertson, director of the school's news department. "It looked accurate to me."

Et cetera . . .

Actor John Goodman, the blue-collar husband on TV's Roseanne, has agreed to become the first celebrity Santa Claus in a Christmas parade down Canal Street in New Orleans on Dec. 9.

Country singer George Jones was hospitalized Monday with bronchitis at Huntsville Hospital in Alabama, a spokesman said. The hospital did not list a condition for the performer known for such ballads as He Stopped Loving Her Today.

A royal T-shirt

The Duchess of York looks at one of the T-shirts given to her daughters by the Daytop Center, a drug rehabilitation program she visited this week in New York.