“So long, my child. Hello, my friend.” With those words directed at Elizabeth, his second of three daughters, Alan Alda concluded his commencement address at her graduation from Ohio’s Kenyon College. Alda, an alumnus of Fordham University (class of 1956), received an honorary degree and shared his ideas about nuclear war, politics and democracy with his drama major daughter and her 328 classmates. But when the speechifying was over, only one lucky grad got a hug from Hawkeye.
Paper bag players
It was one thing when irate Texas Ranger fans, embarrassed by a 12-game losing streak, copied a ploy devised several years ago by New Orleans Saints supporters and hid their shame under paper bags. But then players Larry Parrish and Doc Medich followed suit, going incognito on the bench before a game. Manager Don Zimmer (left) simply chose to ignore the brown baggers, but Medich, who is doing his residency in orthopedic surgery in the off-season, felt a little levity was the right Rx for the slumping Rangers. “We had to do something,” he said, “to lighten up the clubhouse atmosphere.” The prescription worked, if only briefly. The Rangers won the game, 5-3.
Even haughty Miss Piggy would have given her “oink” of approval to the tony crowd who turned up at L.A.’s Beverly Hilton for a March of Dimes benefit honoring muppeteer Jim Henson. While Milton Berle, Paul Williams, Rich Little and 450 others paid respects to the Muppet Man, Linda Ronstadt entertained another honoree, the city’s poster child, Tracy Taylor, 7. Tracy had never heard of the songstress but enjoyed their meeting nevertheless. “It was fun,” says Tracy. “We talked about having our pictures taken and about meeting celebrities.”
Mac Davis grudges no nurses
“Baby, baby, don’t get hooked on me,” sang Mac Davis in his No. 1 hit of 10 years ago. But a pair of marriages and a string of celebrated liaisons would seem to indicate that Mac’s warning has gone unheeded. Now the 40-year-old singer-songwriter, who does some boxing in Sting II (due out next year), may be ready to enter the marital ring again. On his arm at a Beverly Hills charity bash was Lise Gerard, 24ish. Friends report that Gerard, a nurse and frequent Davis date, is now answering to the title of Mac’s fiancée.
Though a Manhattan manufacturer’s showroom might have offered less temptation than a rural campsite, William Christopher (a/k/a M*A*S*H’s devout Father Mulcahy) gladly reenacted the summer camper’s sacred ritual: He sneaked out of the display tent where he was promoting a new line of M*A*S*H brand-name beddings to hug the surprised female in the next bunk. Ellen Gerstell, who sometimes models as Strawberry Shortcake, yelped in shock at the transgression by a man of the cloth (even in mufti). But Christopher explained, “I’m nothing like I am on the show. I could stay like this all day, little girl.”