November 09, 1981 12:00 PM

Gin and Bitters

Married three months, and the nagging’s begun. During a visit to the Gordon Highlanders’ headquarters near Balmoral Castle (they’re the unit of the British Army assigned to guarding the Queen’s Scottish household), Prince Charles, normally quite abstemious, accepted a gin and tonic and downed it in a gulp. Shy Di had her say from beneath her bangs. “I saw you,” she said. “That’s the second one you’ve had this evening.”

Scar Wars

A hit again at 61 (on Broadway, in Sugar Babies), Mickey Rooney jokes about his appearing at the Rose Bowl with his all-wife marching band. (He’s had eight.) But more seriously, he notes that the split-ups did not come easily. “No one can really defend being married eight times,” he says, “but I’ve never been a philanderer. I make jokes about marriage, but every one of those divorces was a car crash. My heart must look like a cauliflower.”

The Jock Justice

The man who made Sandra Day O’Connor what she is today—one of the Supreme Court’s best golfers—is instructor Steve Dunning, who has coached the jurist for several years in Arizona. “She can hit a driver 180 to 200 yards,” he says, his pride in his 18-handicap pupil showing. “She’s rangy, has good hand-eye coordination and is serious about what she does.” Tough to teach? Not with the right motivation. “During one of the first lessons I had with her,” Dunning says, “I told her I didn’t want her hitting the ball like a girl. Sandra liked that.”

Muffled Missive

Jihan Sadat, widow of the slain President of Egypt, has told friends she received a message of condolence from King Hussein of Jordan, with whom her husband had a strained relationship as a result of Sadat’s Camp David accords. The mutual acquaintance who delivered the message, though, had asked that Hussein’s gesture not be announced in the press, as was the procedure with the other expressions of sympathy. Madame Sadat sent the message back because, she says, “I don’t want a message from anyone who would not send it openly.”

A Puff of Pride

It could only happen in Washington, where the slightest gestures are fraught with subtle meanings. After a luncheon at the Capitol to honor King Juan Carlos of Spain, House Speaker Tip O’Neill selected one of the standard Senate cigars for a post-lunch smoke. The King leaned over and lit the Speaker’s stogie. Then he pulled a ripe and luscious Cuban out of his own pocket and lit up the taboo (since the early ’60s) cigar that many D.C. status seekers would kill for. He did not offer one to O’Neill. All the same, says an aide, the Speaker, who is from humble Irish origins, was “happy enough to have his cigar lit by a king that he didn’t care what kind it was.”

New Do

“It was very daring for her,” said Washington hairstylist Robert Weir of the regal topknot he gave Nancy Reagan for her state dinner with the François Mitterrands in Williamsburg, Va. The coif in question was a braided hairpiece wrapped like a crown around the top of the First Lady’s head and secured with three-inch hairpins. The execution was a little tougher than Weir had imagined. Nancy’s quarters at Lightfoot House in Williamsburg were so tight that he had to stand in the bathtub to get the pins in.


Aging pitcher Gaylord Perry, 43, who is a genuine son of the soil and runs a farm in Williamston, N.C., says he’s not dismayed that he hasn’t been asked back to play for the Atlanta Braves in 1982. “That’s okay,” he says. “I’ll be pitching something next year, either horsehide or hay.”

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