Curiosity seekers collect memoribilia

Updated: October 10, 2003, 8:32 AM ET
Associated Press

EAGLE, Colo. -- George Zinn of Salt Lake City got two keepsakes for his scrapbook by showing up for Kobe Bryant's court hearing on Thursday: a photograph of the court docket showing Bryant's scheduled hearing, and an autograph from O.J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark, who was covering the hearing for Entertainment Tonight.

"I don't consider Kobe a role model," said Zinn, 49.

Zinn was one of a handful of people who showed up to get tickets to watch the preliminary hearing.

Many fans of the Los Angeles Lakers superstar showed up at Bryant's last appearance on Aug. 6. But there was less fan support evident on Thursday when Bryant got out of a white sport-utility vehicle at the courthouse.

Aaron Champion was there in a Lakers jersey with Bryant's name on it.

"I'm here to support Kobe and show him he has supporters behind him and we believe in him," he said.

The hearing was just another interesting stop on Virginia Ricke's trip south for the winter. Ricke, a retiree from Ames, Iowa, visited Aspen Wednesday and decided to spend Thursday in Eagle after hearing of Bryant's court appearance.

"I kind of believe that whatever happened in that room was dumb -- whether it was rape or not -- because he had such a good clean image before," Ricke said.

The event created some business opportunities.

Men wore sandwich boards advertising a hotel in Colorado Springs with the slogan, "Escape The Madness" while Daysi Spath of Bonjour Bakery sold lattes and danishes to reporters and photographers from the back of her SUV.

College students announced the launch of a new business called Protect Condoms, which offers a box containing two condoms and a "pre-sexual agreement" with a list of acts the signers agree to before a casual sexual encounter.

"It can make a potentially awkward situation more comfortable," said Sebastian Cane, a University of Colorado student who was distributing press packets complete with condoms.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press