As Governor of California, Jerry Brown grew accustomed to being let into his home in the Hollywood Hills by the state troopers always on duty. But now that Jerry is just a citizen again, he has started carrying keys for the first time in eight years. And it’s befuddling him. Friends report that it takes him at least a minute to find his keys and open the door. It’s also been years since Brown carried car keys, not to mention actually drove a car, and friends aren’t exactly eager for him to start again. Says one: “I’d rather drive him around town than let him loose on the streets at the wheel of a car.”
Phone Home and Stay Home
An American movie has been banned for children in Sweden, Finland and Norway. And it isn’t Deep Throat. It’s E. T. How come? Because the little alien parades around in his birthday suit? No, harrumphs the Swedish Board of Film Censors, it’s because the flick portrays adults as enemies.
Gag Me With a Microchip
Things tend to come in pairs, fer sure. First there was Moon Zappa’s Valley Girl, and now we have Silicon Valley Guy. Sung by Don Data and the Rez-Tones, it tells of a Val guy who lusts after a pulchritudinous programmer because “I mean, like, she’s wearing all this softwear.” A selected excerpt: He’s a Silicon Valley guy/Clip-on tie and tennis shoes/Thinks he’s it but he’s blown a fuse/Hangs out at the Radio Shack/Buying chips for his Univac…/Got his degree from M.I.T./Knows square roots to infinity.
Statue at Liberty
Australian sculptor Brett Strong spent seven months and $65,000 on a three-ton, seven-foot bronze statue of his hero, John Lennon. The statue was meant to go in New York’s Strawberry Fields, the Central Park memorial to the late Beatle. But New York couldn’t afford it. So Strong took it to L.A. and dedicated the likeness near City Hall on Lennon’s 41st birthday, Oct. 9, 1981. The city of L.A. was supposed to buy the statue but backed out when what Strong calls a “silly controversy” arose over paying homage to a man who, some say, glorified drugs, sex and rock ‘n’ roll. Last December the exasperated sculptor put his work up for auction, but nobody met his opening bid of $75,000. So now he’s removing it to his Pacific Palisades studio, where he will “put it quietly away.”
The Secretary of Commerce is not a man to be fenced in behind a desk. Malcolm “Mac” Baldrige has been competing in rodeos since he was 14, and at 60, he’s still at it. “My kids beat me in skiing,” he says, “my wife beats me in tennis, and almost everybody beats me in golf.” So, to take a break from shooting the bull in Washington, the Secretary goes out and ropes a few. At the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver in January, Mac and his professional partner, Stan Harter, vied with 86 other teams for the $13,500 steer-roping championship. They were eliminated after two attempts. “It’s a great change for me from the Washington party circuit,” Baldrige says. “Someone asked me once what the difference is between the rodeo circuit and the Washington circuit. I told him that on the rodeo circuit, the cowboys don’t talk unless they have something to say.”
1 Rm No Vu
For that special someone who has everything: Why not give him Gary Gilmore’s jail cell? Dave Fitzen and his wife, Afton, got it for free when they were hired to demolish the Utah County Jail in 1977. Gil-more lived in the cell for a few months during the murder trial that sent him to the firing squad. The Fitzens say they’re not out to glamorize Gilmore, only to make some money. “He did some drawings and carved on the cell, and that is still there,” Afton says. “Some of the words are pretty dirty.” And for a mere five figures (the Fitzens hope for $50,000) it can be yours, dirty words and all.