King of the Road
Back before Willie Nelson was a Texas establishment hero and one of Jimmy Carter’s fave C&W singers, he had earned himself a red restricted driver’s license for two speeding violations. Willie, who once said he liked to “drive on tequila,” could take the wheel only during his normal working hours—4 p.m. to 2 a.m. By last year all was forgiven and the Texas Department of Public Safety starred Willie in a series of TV spots urging Texans to stick to the 55-mph speed limit, tunefully urging them to travel “laid-back at 55, the Texas way.” Then, early this month, Willie was trapped and ticketed on the road to Abilene for traveling laid-back at 85. Despite the citation, Texas DPS director Col. James Adams says he won’t pull the Willie spots off the air. “I wouldn’t junk something that effective,” he said, “just because someone gets a speeding ticket.”
It won’t be easy for any government to ask its sports heroes to stay out of the Summer Olympics. But how would it be for a head of state whose husband has already enthusiastically inspected the stables in Moscow as president of the International Equestrian Federation, whose son-in-law is expected to win a place on the equestrian team and whose daughter is spurring him on? If the prime minister, after conferring with Her Majesty, orders a boycott, God save Queen Elizabeth II at home.
One of Our Votes Is Missing
Rose Kennedy has cast her quadrennial vote for President from her winter home, Palm Beach, since 1960, when she last had a chance to vote for an offspring. Last week, just as she was about to get a go at another one, with the March 11 state Democratic primary looming, the county supervisor of elections dropped her from the voter registration rolls for failing to return a re-registration card. Rose can reinstate herself by filling out a new affidavit of residence. And will she? Says daughter Pat Lawford: “Definitely.”
Most Supreme Court justices are too busy to scribble much outside their own opinions, but now it can be told that three years ago superachieving Justice William Rehnquist surreptitiously submitted a novel, to be published under a pseudonym, to Doubleday. The plot revolved around the personal and ideological conflicts of judges on a federal court in Phoenix, where Rehnquist had lawyered for 16 years. But what might have been a microcosmic The Brethren was found unpublishable and politely turned down.
Veteran comic Carl Reiner, who directed Steve Martin in The Jerk, is blatantly honest about Martin’s peculiar shtick. “He’s been doing the same act almost since he was a little boy,” says Carl, “and until recently people weren’t laughing. I never saw a man so insistent. I would have given up or retooled my material. Now, if they don’t laugh, he gets terribly upset.” None of that’s pejorative, though. Martin and Reiner are plotting another script together, tentatively called, as a switch, The Genius.
•Why does Israeli Defense Minister Ezer Weizman believe women make the best bodyguards? “When I was Chief of Operations, the entrance to my office was guarded by women soldiers,” Weizman explains. “I found that this was the most secure guard one could have because around each female roamed at least five males.”
•Here’s heartening news from ex-revolutionary Jerry Rubin. After too many long lonely nights working on his book on sex, he says, “I sold my typewriter, so I won’t be tempted to write another one.”