In June Anita Bryant left her manager and husband of 20 years, Bob Green. She moved from their 25-room Florida mansion into a modest rental in Tulsa with her four children. “I was raised to fend for myself, so I’ll get by,” said the former Miss Oklahoma. But in Tulsa she met a wealthy oil man (whose name is so far a closely guarded secret) and romance flourished. Now, just 10 weeks after her divorce from Green, Bryant has told friends she will marry again by Christmas. Green, reportedly upset, has tried to phone her, but she won’t accept his calls. He did manage to reach Anita’s new love to plead for a delay—but without success. Bryant’s life in Tulsa has not been without difficulties. “I’m shopping, doing the dishes and cleaning,” she recently reported. “I’ve broken all my nails by now, darn it. It takes a lot of readjusting, but I’m getting there.” Marriage into the oil business would presumably mean an end to worries over things like waxy buildup.
After Fear of Flying came out in 1973, Erica Jong says she was typecast as “a monster of depravity. Every male who interviewed me expected me to reach over and grab the zipper of his pants.” Has her public image changed now that her historical (though still X-rated) novel Fanny has made the best-seller lists? Jong wouldn’t know. “I canceled my press clipping service years ago,” she says. “I couldn’t take it anymore.”
“Short people shouldn’t be allowed to drink,” says Bette Midler. “There’s nowhere for it to go.” Explains the divine but diminutive (5’1″) Miss M, “It takes half as much to get a short person drunk as a tall one.” Though researchers say weight matters more than height, Bette has her proof. “When I’m out with tall people,” she says, “I always seem to be drunker than they are.”
Reportedly worth more than $150 million, John Lennon stands to augment that considerably when his new album, Double Fantasy, which he made with wife Yoko Ono, comes out this month. Where does all that money go? Well, the ex-Beatle has been investing heavily of late in the works of a young artist. Patrons of a gallery on Manhattan’s Upper West Side saw one of the canvases when an employee of the Lennons brought it in to be framed. The artist turns out to be son Sean, 5, who painted a green-and-brown cottage for Dad’s 40th birthday in October. A white wood frame was added for $44. According to a salesman, the Lennons have had nearly 100 of Sean’s paintings framed there. This is not merely a case of indulgent parents. With five giant apartments in New York’s Dakota, four dairy farms, a Palm Beach mansion and assorted country homes, the Lennons clearly have a lot of wall space.
Artist Alice Neel, 80, surprised the New York art world when her contribution to a show of self-portraits turned out to be a painting of herself in eyeglasses and nothing else. Painted recently enough to be delivered to the Hal Reed Gallery “soaking wet,” the canvas hangs in a prominent spot just opposite the entrance. At the opening, Neel sat in front of the picture wearing the same eyeglasses and huddled in a coat. “I feel so cold,” she said, “because it doesn’t have anything on.”
In Vietnam the Communists to the north are frequently the butt of jokes. One making the rounds describes an exchange of cables between Hanoi and Moscow. “Tighten your belts,” wires a Soviet official in rejecting a Vietnamese plea for increased economic aid. Hanoi’s response: “Please send belts.”