By People Staff
May 06, 1974 12:00 PM

Lunch with Smiley

When 8-year-old Tricia Deckert of Erie, Pa., was asked to feed the new baby elephant at the zoo, Smiley, for a fund-raising photograph, she happily agreed. But as the meal got underway, Tricia must have wondered whether it was she, and not the outsized milk bottle, that was on the menu. When Tricia regained her composure, she bravely said of her new friend: “He just needed a place to rest his trunk.”

Stripped of a title

In 1967 Kellie Everts won a contest called “Miss Nude Universe,” and since then she has used the victory in promoting her nightclub strip act. Now a New York judge has, well, stripped her of that title, acting on a complaint from the legitimate Miss Universe contest organizers, who fretted that people might confuse a Miss Nude Universe with a Miss Universe without clothes. Under the ruling, the 25-year-old, 44-18-38 Kellie may no longer use the offending words in her act. She will appeal her case to a higher court, where, she hopes, the wheels of justice will grind—or bump—in her favor.

Misunderstood Melina

“Oh, my bad English,” lamented exiled Greek actress Melina Mercouri. “Why don’t I talk in Greek so people understand what I am saying?” Mercurial Melina had more or less said that she hated Americans because of their apathy toward the dictatorship in Greece. Paramount Pictures, for whom Melina is making a film, was reportedly furious. But Melina’s film director-husband Jules Dassin later amended her message: “Melina meant the Nixon administration, not the American people.”

The Saxbe sound-off

Since he took over as attorney general four months ago, William Saxbe has initiated a weekly gab session with reporters in his spittoon-equipped office—a marked difference from some of his tight-lipped predecessors. But Saxbe, a former Republican senator from Ohio, has turned out to be a little too gabby. After he described Patricia Hearst’s participation in the San Francisco bank robbery as the work of “a common criminal,” an accusation which his own FBI is not sure about, Patty’s father Randolph exploded, calling Saxbe’s remark “irresponsible.” Also upset was American Bar Association president Chesterfield Smith who has been known to shoot from the hip himself. He huffed that Saxbe’s remarks conceivably could botch a prosecution in the Hearst kidnap case.