The mysterious first-class ticket that Olympic Airlines prepared for departure last week read like an itinerary for someone perhaps about to be deeply involved in petroleum politics—Athens, Beirut, Amman, Teheran, Kuwait (four days), Jidda and some extra spaces left open for unexpected stopovers. At the bottom was the notation, “Ex-VP,” which was not a typo for “VIP.” The mystery passenger was Spiro Agnew.
With a boat abuilding, four cars (including a Jag), seven motorcycles and Ali MacGraw, who could ask for anything more? Steve McQueen, that’s who. McQueen told an Italian publication he could be “really happy, satisfied in every way” only in “a kind of bigamy,” with first wife Neile and Ali “under the same roof, in the same bed.” Not that Steve is totally selfish. “I’ve founded an acting center,” he revealed, “to discover and help young talent. I want to find a second Steve McQueen, so when I retire I won’t ruin the American film industry.”
It was less of a trial balloon than a kite flown in a vacuum, because it all took place on an obscure PBS radio show in Washington. But Dr. Emilio Rabasa, Mexico’s foreign minister, remarked that Cuba’s Fidel Castro had spoken flatteringly of Dr. Henry Kissinger as “a very pragmatic man who looks to the future and wants changes.” Meanwhile, the U.S. Secretary of State, Rabasa continued, “has confided to me that for him it would be very interesting some day, at some given place—not now—to meet with Castro. I don’t know precisely if I am a link,” Rabasa concluded, “but I always try.”
For French director Roger Vadim, 46, the credits are perhaps more remarkable off-screen than on. He had one child by Catherine Deneuve, without marriage; was married to Brigitte Bardot, without issue; and was married and had one child by both Danish actress Annette Stroyberg and Jane Fonda. Now, Roger reports, he and his latest amour, 29-year-old munitions heiress Catherine Schneider, “are seriously thinking of marriage.” And why not? They just gave birth to their third son.
Longtime expatriate and stream-of-confusion novelist William (Naked Lunch) Burroughs, 60, now repatriated and currently lecturing on creative writing at the City College of New York, was asked by one of his students: “Do you believe in afterlife?” The straight-faced author drawled back, “What makes you think you’re not already dead?”
A National Guard helicopter suddenly swooped down on a football field in suburban Clayton, Mo. A contingent of security agents emerged and fanned out cautiously, reinforced by a posse of local police. Then, stealthily, a solitary but dignified figure approached a clump of trees with binoculars at the ready and spotted, from a safe distance, the quarry: some 10 to 20 nesting European tree sparrows (Passer montanus), a rare and perhaps disappearing species. The airborne bird-watcher, squeezing in pleasure among official business in nearby St. Louis, was Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger.
The marriage of John and Martha Mitchell seems finally kaput. John was spotted dining out with his toothsome, young secretary Sandy Hobbs, whom he had bussed smack on the lips after his acquittal. Martha, meanwhile, retained flamboyant lawyer Melvin Belli and sued her husband for $2,500 a week separate maintenance, plus custody of their daughter Marty, 13. Belli did concede, however, that the marriage “is not irrevocably aborted. I think she’s still fond of him. She says she loves the man who was, not the man who is.” Of course, Belli added, the whole thing could turn into an alienation of affection suit: “As the third party, I’d name Richard Nixon.”