May 24, 1976 12:00 PM

A Justice digs in

When U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren E. Burger doffed magisterial robes in favor of a hard hat recently, it was for a labor of love: a groundbreaking in Williamsburg, Va. for a new $3.25 million National Center for State Courts. The Chief Justice had proposed to President Nixon five years ago a sort of “think tank” for the 50 state court systems, modeled after the federal judicial center. Delighted that his idea was soon to be a reality, the Chief Justice had the earthmover in the background wait for a moment while he did some legal spadework.

The Velvet Fog kisses

There was none of the cheek-to-cheek, bird peck stuff when Chita Rivera, singing and dancing star of Chicago, met up with jazz singer-composer Mel Tormé, 50, currently singing at the Waldorf-Astoria. The occasion was a gala fund raiser for the New York Public Library, and it produced a real old-fashioned pucker-up smooch. But one kiss does not an item make. In fact, Tormé, known in his heyday as “The Velvet Fog,” managed the whole osculation without a tremor of the hand or spilling a drop.

Gregory’s sore toe

The loneliness of the long-distance runner is not the only problem facing comedian-turned-activist Dick Gregory, currently in his 75-day “Run Against Hunger” protest that will eventually take him from Los Angeles to New York. Before starting out, Gregory broke a toe, and jogging is painful to the injury. So his staff is transporting a whirlpool bath so that Gregory can be sure of a good soak at the various motels and hotels along the way.

Ahoy, Charles

Looking every inch an old sea dog—and now that he has grown a beard, the spitting image of his forebears, King Edward VII and George V—Prince Charles, 27, stood proudly on the bridge as he took his minesweeper HMS Bronington into Barry, Glamorgan, in south Wales. Docksiders cheered the new skipper as he docked in seamanlike fashion. And how did the Prince of Wales feel about his first command? Said Charles, a Royal Navy lieutenant who took over the ship in February, “I’ve aged about 10 years.”

Cry me a winner

Only evenings before, she’d won the prelims for poise. But when 18-year-old Lenne Jo Hallgren was crowned the new America’s Junior Miss—by last year’s winner Julie Ann Forshee—she lost her cool. “It was a childhood dream come true—and I just went blank,” says the petite (5’2″) daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bob Cassell of Clarkston, Wash. The honor came after she had recited a poem of her own composition, titled “Let Me.” The $10,000 scholarship prize money should indeed let her pursue her intended career, helping retarded children.

The party’s over

Out of the liquor closet and into the TV limelight stepped 52 celebs, all of them proud to announce that they are recovered alcoholics, including (from left) Arkansas Rep. Wilbur D. Mills, Garry Moore, Dick Van Dyke and former astronaut Edwin E. (“Buzz”) Aldrin. Aim of the gathering, sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism in Washington, D.C., was to “dispel the myth that alcoholism is something which does not happen to ‘nice’ people.” The serious purpose did not rule out ribbing. Los Angeles TV announcer Johnny Grant recalled that one retired Air Force general present used to be known as Berlin—”because he was bombed, day and night.”

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