September 01, 1975 12:00 PM

Kong lifts Luft

King Kong, that fickle beast, has apparently deserted longtime true love Fay Wray in favor of a younger woman—entertainer Lorna Luft. Kong returned to the spot where he and Fay made Manhattan tremble four decades ago for a bash promoting Theodore James’s new book, The Empire State Building. There he delighted guests by giving a quick pick-me-up to a compliant Lorna, which was made even easier by the fact that the late Judy Garland’s 22-year-old daughter has recently dropped some 25 pounds.

Carter’s trial horse

Democratic presidential hopeful Jimmy Carter doesn’t horse around—or does he? The 50-year-old former Georgia governor had reason to feel his oats when he mounted a valiant steed in Chattanooga, Tenn. Reason? He had personally raised enough hay to qualify for federal subsidies for his ’76 campaign (he is the fifth Democrat to do so). Carter is also gathering the right sort of backers as he leaves the gate, most recently at a $1,000-per-person cocktail party given by Californian Max Palevsky, an ex-McGovern backer.

Jack and Kristi spinning

Recent Utah State forestry grad Jack Ford brought a willowy houseguest, Kristi Vail, on the First Family’s recent retreat to the Rocky Mountain White House. The couple met at school where Kristi, who comes from Fargo, N.D., will be a senior this fall. Although the rumor mills were spinning, Jack and Kristi insisted they were “just friends.” When the twosome later accompanied Jack’s dad on his presidential trip to Des Moines, no one thought to ask Mother Betty what she would say if Jack told her he was having an affair.

Caine plants

“Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made/ By singing ‘O how beautiful’ and sitting in the shade, wrote Rudyard Kipling, and fellow countryman Michael Caine has taken these words to heart. His seven-acre spread near Windsor is filled with vegetables—plus cherry trees sent by Lord Laurence Olivier. All the spade-work keeps the 42-year-old actor—in the past, renowned as a Cockney Casanova—close by the hearth with wife, Shakira (a former Miss Guyana), and their daughter, Natasha, 2. And presumably the now mature Alfie has finally found out what it’s all about.

Reuther-Ford unity

Peace and harmony did not exactly characterize the relationship between Walter Reuther and Henry Ford during the Detroit labor wars of the ’30s. But Alfred Brush Ford, the automotive pioneer’s 25-year-old great-grandson, and Elizabeth Reuther, 28, daughter of the late United Auto Workers’ leader, apparently don’t give a hare about their backgrounds. The pair are both members of the Krishna Consciousness Temple in the Motor City, and since the faith discourages single men and women from socializing, any communication between the two will have to be in the form of autosuggestion.

Fonda and Stewart

The two natty old codgers taking it easy on a bench in London’s Grosvenor Square go back a long way—to 1932, in fact, when midwesterner Henry Fonda shared a bachelor flat with Princeton grad Jimmy Stewart. Currently charming English theater audiences (the 70-year-old Fonda in Clarence Darrow, the 67-year-old Stewart in Harvey), the two met to reminisce about the time they sang on the streets of New York—and netted a grand total of 80. “Things have changed a lot, but one thing is the same,” drawled Stewart. “Henry Fonda still can’t sing.”

Miler Walker

“It was the one night I was going to do something,” said 23-year-old John Walker at Sweden’s Göteborg games. “It was do or die.” The rangy, 6’1½”, 185-pounder, who grew up on a New Zealand sheep farm and began his running career as a barefoot jogger, then proceeded to streak the mile in 3:49.4—the first human to break the 3:50 barrier. When he learned of his new record, he cried, partially in gratitude for the ideal, windless, 75° conditions, “Oh, good God.”

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