Advised and Content
As a struggling young actor, Burt Reynolds idolized Spencer Tracy, and he fondly recalls his first meeting with the grand old man on a movie set in 1959. “I used to follow him from the set to the dressing room every day, hoping he’d notice that there was this guy following him,” Reynolds remembers. “One day he did—after 50 days. Tracy asked, ‘Are you an actor?’ I said, ‘Yes, sir. I’m trying to be.’ He said, ‘Don’t ever let anybody catch you at it.’ It’s the best advice I ever had.”
He can’t walk or talk, much less follow an order, but that hasn’t prevented the Citadel, the noted South Carolina military college, from announcing that it has reserved an appointment to the Class of 2004 for newborn Prince William of Wales. The gesture was meant as a tribute to Prince Charles, with whom the Citadel has felt allied since he gave an address there five years ago. Still, the school’s PR director, Lieut. Col. William Clarke, stressed that the appointment was “provisional,” hinging upon the Prince’s College Board tests, his recommendations from high school guidance counselors and his fitting the Citadel’s image of the “well-rounded, physically fit young man.”
Dumping on the Locals
After a recent cruise down New Brunswick’s picturesque St. John River, writer-skipper William F. Buckley Jr. sent a letter to the St. John Telegraph-Journal praising a fellow whom he dubbed “the Angel of Craigs Point.” According to Buckley, the man had helped his crew dispose of its shipboard garbage. Aubrey Pope, 67, a local businessman, recognized his description but surfaced with a somewhat different version of Buckley’s tale. As he told it to an editor at the Telegraph-Journal, three of Buckley’s crew members had indeed sought to unload their trash—by dumping it all on Pope’s private dock. Pope happened to intercept them and ordered them off. “I’m not very big, but I can get ugly,” he said, adding that he “would have been glad to help”—if it hadn’t been for their “arrogant attitude.” Buckley’s response was to dump his trash without permission at a scenic spot farther downriver and then fire off his sarcastic missive, in which he “thanked” Pope for his help, gave the exact location of his dock, and advised mariners passing through not to cruise by Craigs Point “without paying respects to its Angel” by dropping off their garbage there.
In Vancouver, B.C., Barbara Sharp-Barker sued the drunk driver who killed her husband in an auto accident last year; she was awarded $130,000. Supreme Court Judge Charles Locke based the amount on what he thought her loss would have been over 20 years, although Mrs. Sharp-Barker was only 26 and had an infant son when her husband, a miner, died. “Long-term marriages went out with wide-bottom pants,” declared the judge. Considering the current divorce rate, he explained, he couldn’t assume that the marriage would have lasted longer than two decades. Besides, he added, Mrs. Sharp-Barker was young, attractive, liked the company of the opposite sex and would likely remarry. Mrs. Sharp-Barker is reportedly pleased, yet some feminists are up in arms about the judge’s logic. Huffed British Columbia legislator Rosemary Brown: “The criteria he used were irrelevant and sexist.”
Bowling ‘Em Over
The success of NBC’s Hill Street Blues has meant a career boost for everyone connected with the show, and Emmy-nominated Betty (Officer Lucy Bates) Thomas is no exception. Back in 1975 she was touring with the Second City improvisational theater group and recalls performing at a shopping mall supper club on the outskirts of Pasadena, Calif. “It was terrible,” she recalls. “Nobody knew we were there except the bowlers waiting for lanes to open next door. They would walk in with their bowling shoes on, plunk their bowling bags down on the floor, and order a drink. No matter what was happening onstage, they’d pick up their bags and split a half hour later when their reserved lanes were ready.”