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PERSISTENCE, HOPE GOT THEM THEIR MAN

Bob Hope will speak at Palm Springs (Calif.) High School's graduation Thursday thanks to the persistence of senior class leaders.

Repeated inquiries to Hope went unanswered, so Robert Shahnazarian, the senior class president, and Greg Schmalle, the vice president, decided to visit the comedian's Los Angeles office on the spur of the moment."We told his secretary what we were there for," he said. "She went away for a few minutes and when she came back, she said he had agreed to speak."