For some reason, signatures of the famous are more valuable than, say, a regular dude's John Hancock on a rubber check. Go figure. And the scrawl of the sportsman remains as popular as ever, especially on a photo or an official sweat-stained game jersey. Tri-Star Productions, Inc., a Houston-based sports memorabilia and collectibles promoter, is hosting the Tri-Star Collectors Show, where visitors can score mementos while mingling with some of their favorite sports celebs, including Jerry Rice, Carlton Fisk, Jim Brown and Kirby Puckett. Cards, clothing and other collectibles will be for sale, and for a fee, you can take a photo with Roy Oswalt (Astro), Torrie Wilson (wrestling diva), Corey Bradford (Texan) and many others. Noon to 8 p.m. Friday, June 6, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 7 and 8. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. For information, call 713-666-9595 or visit www.tristarproductions.com. $7.50. -- Eric Norvell
If exhibits about the outdoors and water sports aren't enough to suck you into the 2003 SEASPACE Expo, then how about this: The host of the convention is a "live mermaid" (that is, someone in-cod-nito). Should you follow her siren song to the event, which is sponsored by the Houston Underwater Club, you can try out water sports like kayaking at a swimming pool in the arena. The competitive in spirit can try their luck at the Scuba Challenge, a contest in which a group of panelists tests teams' scuba knowledge. And the show offers seminars, workshops and educational exhibits, including an Environmental Awareness Area. Dive into the expo 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 7, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 8. Reliant Arena, 8400 Kirby Drive. For information, call 713-467-6675 or visit www.seaspace.org. $6; free for kids 17 and under. -- Eric Norvell
You Paid For It
If you pay taxes, then don't fork over any dough to join a gym. Here in Houston, our tax dollars fund swimming lessons for babies, toddlers, kids and adults; youth clinics in soccer, basketball and football; and tennis and golf lessons for youngsters. Just watch out if you take part in the swimming lessons for babies. It'll be a couple more years before they can be convinced that peeing in the pool causes embarrassing red rings to form in the water. For a full schedule of classes and opportunities, call 713-845-1000 or visit www.houstonparks. org and click "Power Pack." Most classes are free and get under way at the beginning of June. -- Cathy Matusow
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