Running for the Presidency two Octobers ago, Richard Nixon offered himself and his brand of "new leadership" to the country's confused and worried voters, and they warily elected him by a slim plurality. Has his conduct in office matched the confidence--and the promises--of his campaign? New York Times columnist Tom Wicker herein answers that question and many others that have been raised since then about the President and his Administration. Before becoming associate editor of the Times in 1968, Wicker covered the White House both as a correspondent and as head of his paper's Washington bureau. He has written two book-length studies of Nixon's predecessors: Kennedy Without Tears and JFK & LBJ: The Influence of Personality upon Politics. With this portrait, Nixon's the One--But What?, Wicker continues his tradition of perspicacious Presidential analyses.
Playboy, October, 1970, Vol. 17, No. 10. Published Monthly by HMH Publishing Co. Inc., Playboy Building, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the U.S., its possessions and Canada, $24 for three years, $18 for two years, $10 for one year. Elsewhere add $2 per year for foreign postage. Allow 30 days for new subscriptions and renewals. Change of address: Send both old and new addresses to Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60611, and allow 30 days for change. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director; Jules Kase, Joseph Guenther, Associate Advertising Managers, 405 Park Ave., New York, New York 10022, MU 8-3030; Sherman Keats, Chicago Manager, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60611, MI 2-1000; Detroit, Robert A. Mc Kenzie. Manager, 2990 West Grand Boulevard, TR 5-7250; Los Angeles, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 8721 Beverly Boulevard, OL 2-8790; San Francisco, Robert E. Stephens, Manager, 110 Sutter Street, 434-2675; Southeastern Representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont Rd., N.E., Atlanta, GA. 30305, 233-6729.
The press in America has had to liberate itself repeatedly. The rising cost of publishing has turned many cities into one-newspaper towns and made too many publishers beholden to advertisers and to the status quo. In recent years, the irreverent underground press has acted as a watchdog on the established media while covering the rising hip-youth subculture; but even more recently, the underground press has become addicted to a point of view as doctrinaire--and therefore as unreliable--as the most boneheaded pro-establishment papers, with wishful thinking replacing factual reporting and only two stylistic gears: shrilly hortatory and murkily pseudopoetic. Not long ago, however, two newsletters appeared that may signal the emergence of a third level of the press--one that reports on experimental life styles, radical politics and current events with objectivity, skepticism, brutal candor, factual reliability and, not incidentally, good writing: Hard Times and The Public Life.
Generally, when visible agencies of the supernatural are introduced into modern fiction, it's for laughs--but Kingsley Amis is playing for more than laughter in his latest novel, The Green Man (Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich). Along with the sardonic social satire and cool sexual comedy that we expect of him is a horror story that, on the way to its freezing climax, presents us with an offbeat incarnation of the Deity and a ghoulish reincarnation of a disciple of the Devil. The protagonist is the middle-aged proprietor of a rural inn in England who owes his periodic hallucinations and bouts of amnesia to the fact that he is never off the bottle. His sexual adventurism, which culminates in a pseudo-orgiastic threesome, and his foolhardy attempt to conjure up the murderous spirit of a 17th Century black magician derive as much from sturdy appetite and curiosity in these respective fields as from a stubborn desire to push experience beyond common bounds. Cranky yet personable, and proved courageous in trying to save his daughter from deadly peril, he shows up well against most of his family and friends who offer him the kind of patronizing advice to which alcoholics and oddballs are accustomed. In the course of what is, after all, a genuine, if somewhat bizarre, journey toward self-knowledge, he is able to drip some acid fun upon the erotic mannerisms of his mistress and the incongruous worldliness of a couple of Mod parsons, not to mention the purported charms of rustic life. Whatever Mr. Amis intends the reader to make of his supernatural machinery, the effect of this closely worked and highly readable novel is to give back to life some of the mystery that our know-it-all culture has tended to erode. The special targets of its attack are our numerous life-denying cliches of behavior and thought.
Considering the flood of films aimed at moviegoers under 30, one begins to wonder whether the new American cinema (or the old, for that matter) has said anything definitive thus far on the subject of being young and alienated in the restless U.S.A. of 1970. There was a gleam of antisocial significance in Easy Rider and a joyous whoop of love and togetherness in Woodstock; Frank Perry's Last Summer looked with rare objectivity at the upper-class young as disoriented, dangerous animals. Otherwise, youth's cause has been served by such earnest but flawed works as Alice's Restaurant, Medium Cool, The Revolutionary,Antonioni's ill-conceived Zabriskie Point and The Strawberry Statement, a respectable attempt to make cinematic sense of James Simon Kunen's first-person book about student unrest at Columbia. Scratch most other movies that owe their existence to the nation's preoccupation with youth, and chances are that you'll find a film maker merely exploiting the shock potential of indiscriminate drugs, sex and revolutionary confrontation.
Bob Dylan Self Portrait (Columbia), a double album, might well be called "Bob Dylan and Friends," the personnel on the recording numbering an even 50, including Cajun fiddler-singer Doug Kershaw and Robbie Robertson, guitarist of The Band. Producer Bob Johnston has made full use of all hands without slipping into overproduction. Highlights of this new chapter in Dylan's "get-back" period include Blue Moon, featuring some fine fiddlework by Kershaw, and Dylan's version of Quinn the Eskimo--which, as The Mighty Quinn, was a hit for Manfred Mann some years back. Fans of Kershaw, incidentally, will be delighted with Spanish Moss (Warner Bros.), a foot-stomping, howling celebration of life from start to finish, enhanced on two tunes by the presence of Mama Rita, Kershaw's triangle- and guitar-playing mother.
As Bruce Jay Friedman sees Him in Steambath, God is a Puerto Rican steam-bath attendant named Morty, a not entirely frivolous notion that leads the playwright into some comic contemplations on the state of mortality. Into Morty's place of business, an astonishing duplication of a steam bath by David Mitchell, come an assortment of recently deceased "neurotics and freaks," waiting their turn to move on (Friedman doesn't say to where) and regaling their master with tales of their demise. There are a much-traveled old-timer, a flop stockbroker, two fags, one naked girl (a nicely unabashed performance by the comely Annie Rachel) and a writer named Tandy. Tandy, deftly underplayed by director Anthony Perkins, is the hero of the comedy and the only one to challenge God on His own turf. Even though he admits that Morty is a "pretty interesting guy--for a Puerto Rican," he simply can't believe that he is God. Morty is Friedman's cleverest invention and, as acted by Hector Elizondo, he is the most fully realized and funniest person onstage. Elizondo's is a theatrical Puerto Rican to rival Alan Arkin's in the old Second City days. Morty at first tries to prove his godliness with two-bit magic tricks ("Pick a card, any card"). Then, as he mops up the bath, he turns on a TV set and offhandedly orders and disorders the world, wishing woes and occasional beneficences on mankind. Unfortunately, except for Morty and Tandy, the characters are only characteristics, and some, such as the fags, are nonentities. In the end, the author runs out of steam. Even so, as it stands, Steambath is still very funny and, in a way, convincing. What makes you so sure God isn't a Puerto Rican steam-bath attendant named Morty? At the Truck and Warehouse, 79 East Fourth Street.
If Abbie Hoffman, Stokely Carmichael, Jack Ruby, Tom Hayden, Martin Luther King, Father Daniel Berrigan, Adam Clayton Powell and Dave Dellinger have anything in common, it's the attorney they've shared over the past decade: William Kunstler. Nothing in his early life indicated that Kunstler would find himself in such controversial company. The son of a physician, he attended Yale, where he swam on the varsity team and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa; he then went on to serve in the Army during World War Two, attaining the rank of major and earning a Bronze Star. After discharge, he look a law degree from Columbia University and became what he now calls "a legal tradesman" in commercial and divorce cases. He practiced law, wrote books, raised a family and generally prospered, until the civil rights movement of the early Sixties began to capture more and more of his time and attention. Kunstler's transformation from defender to advocate seemed complete when he defended the Chicago Conspiracy Seven this year in a trial that critic Dwight MacDonald has said set the pattern for "new-style radical courtroom tactics" intended to create "a head-on collision, a public confrontation between the extremes of American politics and life styles, the radicalized, alienated youth versus the bourgeois establishment."
Wanda Barnett, born in 1945, received her bachelor's degree at Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart in 1965, as class valedictorian, received a fellowship from the University of Michigan for graduate studies in English in the fall of that year and, in the spring of 1969, accepted a temporary lectureship at Hilberry University, a school in southern Ontario with an enrollment of about 5000 students. On September 9, 1969, she met Saul Bird; someone appeared in the doorway of her office at the university, rapping his knuckles loudly against the door. Wanda had been carrying a heavy box of books, which she set down at once.
Even if you press him hard, Jim McBrair still isn't sure which one he shot first. In court, the police said it must have been his 15-year-old sister-in-law, Barbie. But all Jim remembers is being dressed in his tan-plaid hunting parka, holding the .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle he'd picked up back at the house and standing in the darkened kitchen, not quite knowing why he was there. Suddenly, he spotted a shadowy figure moving toward him from the living room and he shot at it. He heard a scream and the kitchen filled with light and someone was coming through the door and Jim wheeled and fired again. Then he fired again and again, the bullets punching the figure back over the telephone table. The tiny cabin exploded. People were running about, wailing and yelling, trying to get away from the man with the gun. And as if it were one of those little shooting galleries in a penny arcade, where a bear with the light in his shoulder lurches in and out of cardboard trees, Jim automatically pulled the trigger every time something came into view. Finally, his 15-shot magazine spent, he walked out the kitchen door into the chilled winter night, jamming fresh rounds into his rifle as he went.
These days, at the box office, all that glitters seems to be Gould. Elliott the omnipresent has come a long way since his Broadway debut 14 years ago as a chorus boy in a short-lived musical called Rumple. His first wide recognition followed a role in I Can Get It for You Wholesale, a hit Broadway show that also featured a young singer-turned-actress named Barbra Streisand. As everyone knows, Elliott and Barbra were married (in 1963); when they separated six years later, Streisand was a superstar and Gould was still a promising actor with a long list of credits. After Wholesale, he starred in the London production of On the Town, then returned to tour the U.S. in The Fantasticks. He next demonstrated his versatility as an actor, singer and dancer in Once Upon a Mattress (on television) and starred in Drat the Cat, a musical spoof of old-time melodrama, which--despite great reviews--closed after one week. He followed this with another near flop, Jules Feiffer's Broadway play Little Murders. While the show was not a commercial success in its first incarnation, Elliott's performance won high praise. (He recently formed a production company that owns the film rights to Murders as well as to Bernard Malamud's The Assistant.) After touring the summer-theater circuit with Shelley Winters in Luv, he was signed for his first movie, The Night They Raided Minsky's, then returned to New York for what proved to be another ill-starred stage venture, A Way of Life. Hollywood again beckoned Elliott for Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, in which he played (as he puts it) "one quarter of the title role." His performance earned him more than fractional acclaim, however: He was nominated for an Academy Award as best supporting actor. His second screen role completed, he reported to 20th Century-Fox for M.A.S.H. From his s.m.a.s.h.i.n.g. portrayal of a wild Army surgeon with total disdain for military protocol, he went into Getting Straight as a close-to-30, uptight graduate student. When Move is released this fall, it will be the fourth film Elliott has made in little more than a year. (In yet another starring role, he'll be the subject of next month's Playboy lnterview.) Move is probably his most physically demanding movie to date: He's in over 90 percent of the scenes, one of which has him leaping onto the back of a policeman's horse. Herein we present some of the more physically rewarding scenes from the film to commemorate the advent of Hollywood's Goulden Age.
Two years ago this month, Americans were in the final stages of choosing a new President; and a lot of Democrats, liberals, moderates, independents and doves of all stripes thought there were excellent reasons for electing the conservative Republican candidate, Richard Milhous Nixon. So they helped put him in office and most of them are holding their heads today.
Thanks to such raconteurs as Buddy Hackett and Myron Cohen, many trusting souls have been led to believe that Jewish cooking is the shortest distance between matzoh balls (leaden) and heartburn (chronic). This may be a boon to the stand-up comic's repertoire, but it hardly does justice to a cuisine as tempting as any in the world--one with culinary delights as diverse as that first bite of cold gefüllte fish, with its sharp deep-red horseradish, or hot stuffed-to-bursting cabbage simmered in a sauce of honey and lemon juice.
1985. The suburbs. You get up at 9:30, enjoy a leisurely breakfast from your computerized kitchen and read the morning paper (which feeds out of a teleprinter attached to your phone). In the headlines this morning, you notice that the A. M. A. says it is no longer necessary to carry recyclable bottled air in the central city--even if you must spend many hours outdoors or in unsealed buildings. Likewise, the story goes on, the surgically implanted "noise rectifiers" previously recommended by the National Institute of Mental Health are no longer needed. Finally, you note that noise and air pollution are rapidly receding to the low levels of the early 1940s.
They call him Diogenes, the seeker after truth. In truth, he has been one of the biggest bettors on college football in the nation, customarily wagering between $550,000 and $1,100,000 a week on the game.
A Beau Brummellish preoccupation with elegance, we predict, will be the dominant trend in men's fashions during the next six months. Suit lapels, both notched and peaked, are certain to continue to expand, thus providing an increasingly broad frame for ties of four- to five-inch widths. Woven patterned cravats will have a lush Renaissance look designed to complement the lean, almost tubular lines that will mark the near-future shape of suits and jackets.
The most satisfying aesthetic experience I've had, the one in which reality and the work of art most immediately and thoroughly interpenetrated--an eyeful of shadows stuffing my arms, a magic-lantern genie, black-haired, shoeless, asking, "What is your desire?"--occurred midway in my moviegoing career and cost $3.50.
Madeleine Collinson and Mary Collinson, Miss October, 1970
Identical twins have been a perennial theme of folklore and literature since Romulus and Remus shrewdly picked up some real estate in what turned out to be Rome. After a look at our October Playmates--18-year-old Mary and Madeleine Collinson--it's easy to understand why Shakespeare, Thornton Wilder and Lewis Carroll, to name a few, felt compelled to express their fascination for this unusual sibling relationship. Although these brown-eyed beauties agree that being look-alikes is great fun, their biological uniqueness can be a problem. "Sometimes people treat us differently from other kids just because we're twins," says Madeleine. In an uncannily similar voice, Mary concurs: "They think we're special, but we don't like the distinction. This is one of the reasons we left home." Home for the Collinson girls--the second pair of twins in their family--is Malta, the tiny formerly British island in the Mediterranean whose inhabitants speak an exotic blend of Arabic and Italian dialects. Over a year and a half ago--when they both decided life there was too orthodox and insular--the pair migrated to London to embark on a career in fashion modeling. "At first it was a difficult adjustment," recalls Mary, "since we had no close friends or relatives to help us. We didn't know how to manage a career and we had to learn the hard way. Some people tried to take advantage of us because of our inexperience and often promised us jobs we never got." Happily, things have changed for this free-spirited twosome. Because of the enthusiasm they share for almost everything they do (and with a little help from each other), their disappointments were short-lived. "I don't think age has anything to do with a person's ability to get along," says Mary's alter ego. "We were capable of taking care of ourselves and we did." With more modeling jobs coming their way--the most recent on location in Spain--the twins find that their hectic schedules leave them little leisure time. Since most of their assignments are à deux, they make their daily rounds together, visiting photographers, taking test shots and going over their picture layouts. "Modeling is like a continuous holiday--wearing pretty clothes and getting paid for it," they echo, but Madeleine confesses it's not an easy life. "The competition is tremendous. There's always going to be someone who's better or prettier than you are, so you have to be in tiptop shape all the time, and it's very tiring." Her counterpart nods approval, remembering periods of utter exhaustion after working seven days a week. "But I have to be doing something," says Madeleine. "I couldn't stay home for very long. Modeling keeps me busy and the pay is good." True to their genetic make-up, the girls not only look alike but mirror each other's thoughts and opinions on subjects that run the gamut from career and marriage to politics and pastimes. "Talking to one of us is like talking to the other," Madeleine says. "There's really little difference in the way we think and in the things we like to do." So it's not surprising that the two spend their free time as well as their working hours together. If they aren't reading (they prefer fiction) or listening to music (Johann Strauss is a favorite), you might find them testing their expertise on the slopes in Gstaad, Switzerland (they plan to become expert skiers). A recent junket was a tour of Austria, Germany, Belgium and Italy by car with a group of friends. Although they like the gaiety of London's discothèques and pubs, M and M's idea of a perfect day is a stroll through Hyde Park, where they enjoy rowing on the Serpentine, or visiting the Regent's Park zoo. With so few vacations and such long and unpredictable working hours, however, the girls find it difficult to date and almost impossible to have steady boyfriends; but it's an occupational hazard they accept willingly--for the present. As Madeleine explains, "When we have to break dates because of an assignment, men just don't understand. But if we have to choose between our social life and a job, our work is more important. We just don't want to be involved with anyone--at least for now." Even though both of them claim impatience as one of their vices, neither is in a hurry to give up her independence for matrimony. With predictable agreement, they plan to work for at least five more years "to earn enough money to be independent, even after marriage." Self-sufficient though they may be, a trip home--four hours by air from London--to be with family and friends is a welcome relief for this hardworking team. They take maximum advantage of Malta's salubrious climate by going sailing and taking moonlight swims on their favorite beaches. Malta's blend of Old World and New is alluringly tranquil, but the girls prefer the "freedom and excitement" of London. Ideally, they'd like to own a retreat on Malta where they could vacation two months every year, but both agree that they'll never return to stay. "It's too backward and parochial," explains Madeleine (or is it Mary this time?). "The ideas, freedoms and even the fashions of young people aren't readily accepted. Each generation is the same and the Maltese want to keep it that way. Once you've traveled, you feel trapped there, and we're too free-thinking to conform to its customs and traditions." Although the twins have spent a lot of time traveling, a recent visit to the States--highlighted by a stay in Chicago for their Playmate assignment--has been the most exciting adventure to date for this nomadic pair. In fact, they were so impressed with what they saw that they've considered the possibility of moving here. "We'd probably live in California, but we'll have to give it serious thought before moving so far from our family and friends." It would be quite a step for the twins, but we hope they take it.
After he entered a packed subway train, the young man was crushed against a shapely blonde. Several stations later, as he started to get off, she kicked him in the shin. "What the hell did you do that for?" he asked.
The Giant Chicken-Eating Frog will Soon be Extinct Unless we Take Action Now!
Professor Morton Stultifer, Ph.D.
Of all the Amphibians, the Salientia, or Benevolent and Protective Order of Frogs, has most often been immortalized in story and song. Frogs appear in such widely diverse songs as The Merry Widow Waltz, Camptown Races and Tara's Theme from Gone with the Wind. The full extent of the part played by a Colorado River toad in inspiring the Chilean national anthem will probably never be known. Aeschylus, Mark Twain, Jane Austen, Balzac and Jack E. Leonard are among the beloved storytellers who have paid tribute to the frog, and Henry James's novels are replete with frog imagery, occasioning William Dean Howells' remark that James's prose "literally leaps off every page."
"Describing himself as a concerned grandparent," it said right there on page five of my Paris Herald Tribune, "Senator Barry Goldwater has called upon Congress to crack down on 'smut peddlers' using the mails to pander to children. While conceding that there are differences of opinion over what is obscene, the 1964 Republican Presidential candidate said: 'As a father and a grandfather, I know, by golly, what is obscene and what isn't.' "
The well Accoutered music buff intent on updating his listening rig should check out some of the so phisticuted new cassette gear that's available this fall, Tape cassettes--which hold up to one hour of stereo sound in a plastic container smaller than a pack of cigarettes--have been highly regarded for their compactness and ease of handling, though they've never won kudos for outstanding fidelity. Today, however, as the result of recent technical breakthroughs, the sound quality of cassettes has been drastically in proved. Indeed, it's almost certain to become a favorite tape-recording medium for all but pros and semi-pros, and within the next few years could conceivably give the long-playing disc some very lively competition.
The 200 or so convention delegates and guests were milling sociably about in the grand ballroom of the hotel, waiting for the contest to begin. Under the supervision of an assistant hotel manager, waiters were arranging chairs in rows to face a large table on which had been set some glasses and a carafe of mineral water. "Ashtrays, ashtrays," ordered the assistant manager, snapping his fingers. Two waiters obediently hastened off to bring some. The assistant manager narrowly surveyed the scene. Everything was almost ready. He allowed himself a few moments to listen to nearby conversations. He couldn't understand a word, though. It was all Greek to him--Greek and Lord knew what else, such a confusion of tongues as hadn't been heard since the Tower of Babel itself, he supposed. These language professors--wasn't plain English good enough for them?
San Francisco was Freedom! Owen Willicks knew it in his blood as he stood in the damp night at the edge of Union Square and felt the life of the city vibrate around him. The cable cars rumbled up the impossible steepness of Powell Street. The people crowded past him--beautiful women in furs, bearded youths in ragged coats, impatient businessmen in sharp creased suits. They all radiated a vitality that filled the air and reflected from the wet pavement like the lights of the passing cars.
Fact: Lainie Kazan is Jewish. Fact: Lainie Kazan is sexy. The two, according to the singer whose vocal style is positively aphrodisiac, are not unconnected. "A certain eroticism is inherent in the Jewess," says Lainie. "There have been many Jewish sex symbols, but we've forgotten about them." She cites such examples as Esther--the Biblical Jewish maiden who became queen to a Persian king and later saved her people from destruction by using her abundant charms to gain his favor--and Delilah, whose hair-razing exploits with Samson are well known. On these pages, Lainie offers a graphic contemporary illustration of her points. But Miss Kazan's cantilevered configuration doesn't tell the whole story. She's also an internationally acclaimed singing star--and she grooves on it. Lainie tackles every song as if it might be her last. When her sensual delivery becomes too intense for singing, she shifts into breathless speech. As far as Lainie is concerned, however, one of her career problems has been that she's too good at singing. Since her Brooklyn childhood, she has wanted to act, a desire partially fulfilled when she played the lead in Funny Girl. She has since appeared in several films but didn't land her first big dramatic starring role till recently. "Actually, I started in this business as an actress and got into singing later," she says, "but most producers think of me only as a vocalist." Lainie makes use of both talents during her night-club performances. She combines a big, sultry mezzo-soprano with some effective acting that turns on her audiences while setting her apart from them. One critic, after viewing Lainie's expressive delivery, said he felt like a Peeping Tom. "My biggest self-criticism," Lainie says, "has been that I try to be everything--a little girl, a woman, sad, funny--all in one song. I'm learning that you can't be naked onstage. People get confused by seeing all of you at once. But I want to move people, whether it be for good or for bad. I just don't want them to be indifferent." Considering her bountiful assets--visible and audible--that's not very likely.
i learned a thorny language of the dead; attacked and kicked and pounded on my brain with book and tape; a word, another word, until i knew the ancient wizard way to freeze my dreaming, pin my whirling mind down to a piece of paper like a moth, and watch it twitch and flap and maybe die. but no, it did not die, it grew, branched out, becoming very like another me. another me that reached around the world. the act of teaching language to my mind kept me afloat, kept me from killing me, kept me from going mad, and kept my mind from brooding, in my lonely life, on love.
The ubiquitous belt, quite obviously, no longer is a skinny piece of leather doomed to nought but a life of drab utility. Belts in a variety of fabrics and closures--from needle point and antiqued metal to stretch ropes with hooks to sueded leather with tie thongs--now are being wrapped around shirts, sweaters, suits and sports jackets when not performing the prosaic function of filling the loopholes in your trousers. The raison d'être for the belt-over-garment look is this: Today's slim, body-conforming fashions appear even slimmer when cinched with a handsome accessory at the midsection. So, stylishly gird your loins--there's an exciting new waist land to check out, as our comely explorer is seen doing here.
Our first music poll appeared in October 1956. It was devoted exclusively to jazz, although the name Bo Diddley did appear in the guitar category and the Cadillacs, who had recorded some rock hits, were listed under vocal groups--along with such groups as the Blue Stars and the Bradford Specials. The music scene has changed since then, to say the least, and many of the names in this year's poll--extended in 1967 to include pop as well as jazz--were unheard of in 1956. Some, in fact, were unknown a year ago. Even the voting procedure is different this year: Instead of putting checks next to the names of your choice, you need only fill in the blanks on the foldout ballot that follows the listings. One thing that never seems to change is the fans' fascination with the shifting fortunes of their poll favorites.
To the Barge at Billingsgate, awaiting when the tide would turn for Gravesend, came passengers of all sorts. When the bargemen put out from the stairs and, being under sail and going smugly down, everyone began to chat of one thing and another, all of mirth, some of knavery. There was a tinker of Turvey in the barge, who soon began a merry tale. When he had done, a cobbler followed, making them all laugh with another that ended, "So he was made a cuckold, and with a heavy head was the poor smith fain to go to his hammers, being ever after noted for a cuckold through all Canterbury."
In the United States, Italian restaurants are invariably run by Italians. Virtually every Chinese restaurant is operated by Chinese. But French restaurants? Chances are that Chez Albert or Café Normandie is owned by a Levantine, boasts a Greek chef and is staffed by Sicilian waiters. No matter that the menu is garbled Gallic, the prices atmospheric and the cuisine fit for cochons. Somehow, the very appellation "French" carries a magic that few Americans can resist--once.
Bombay-Born Zubin Mehta was the first conductor ever to direct two major North American orchestras concurrently--the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Montreal Symphony--and, at 26, was one of the youngest to conduct a leading U. S. orchestra (in L. A.). His father, who conducted the Bombay Symphony, "brainwashed me with classical music from the cradle," later taught him the rudiments of the baton and allowed him at age 16 to conduct a symphony rehearsal. Two years later, Mehta entered the Vienna Academy. He still reveres Vienna as the center of the musical world and strives to re-create the Viennese sound. A first prize in the 1958 Royal Liverpool Philharmonic competition for young conductors resulted in a position as assistant conductor of the famed British orchestra after graduation from the Academy--and he was on his way. After numerous guest appearances, he became the Montreal Symphony's music director in 1961 and took the same position in L. A. in 1962. Now 34, Mehta might start his day by contributing to his $1500-a-month phone bill with a call to Vienna to hear its Philharmonic play live. Then he'll more than likely rent a sporty car and careen around the freeways of L. A. to the homes of his many Hollywood friends before heading for Philharmonic Hall, where he is known to adoring audiences as "Zubie baby." (Too heavy a schedule forced him to give up his Montreal position in 1967.) He recently shared the podium of the Philharmonic with the Mothers of Invention rock group in a disastrous attempt at cultural intermarriage; but even when the music is 17th Century Baroque, he admits he's quite a showman: "Sometimes you have to help the superficial along with a few gestures." With his theatrical batonwork, his eclectic musical tastes and his liberated life style, Mehta is in the fore of a new breed of hip young maestros dedicated to peaceful coexistence for longhairs both classical and pop.
"In Rodeo, the all-round cowboy usually comes out ahead of the guy who just rides broncs." Peter Revson, though anything but a cowboy, applies that maxim to automobile racing. Since his days as an amateur in S. C. C. A. competition. Revson has worked his way through the Formula cars, Trans-Am sedans, Can-Am Group 7 racers, GTs and Indianapolis specials: his performance in each has earned him recognition as one of the most versatile and promising drivers in world racing. A 31-year-old New Yorker whose relatives control the Revlon cosmetics empire, he entered his first race in 1960 while a student at the University of Hawaii (he previously attended Columbia and Cornell). Revson drove a Plus Four Morgan in a local club event held on an abandoned airstrip and finished second; he won the next one. After he returned to New York later the same year, racing gradually took precedence over his jobs as a marketing analyst and advertising account executive. In 1963, he decided to race professionally and spent a year barnstorming Europe in a Formula Junior towed behind a battered English bread van. He soon won rides in various team cars and, in 1969, he became the top-placed rookie in the Indianapolis 500 by finishing fifth--despite carburetor problems--in a Brabham-Repco special. In post-race balloting, he was runner-up for Rookie of the Year honors. During the 1969 season, he recorded seven top-five finishes in the Trans-Am series in a Mustang; and in 1970, his fast finishes in the Carl Haas L&M Lola made him a top contender in the Can-Am races. Personable, successful and conspicuously single, Revson is the archetype of the freewheeling international racing driver. When a woman reporter once questioned him on marriage plans, he explained that he preferred to play the field: "Racing gives me a good excuse for not settling down. I always keep a packed suitcase in full view."
Odds are that if any other actor had turned in the powerful performances delivered by Robert Blake in Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here and In Cold Blood, instant superstardom would have been the result. But Blake, hardly another pretty face, is a self-motivated social outcast who abhors the public part of an actor's life. "I'm no star," he says, "because I don't look like Van Johnson or Jesus Christ, I won't kiss anybody's ass and I won't even attend my own premieres. To me, being an actor means getting paid for what I do in front of the cameras. Period." If Blake seems hard-boiled, his attitude only reflects the hard facts of his life: Born in Nutley, New Jersey, he was taken to Los Angeles at the age of three when his father headed West in search of work. Blake soon found himself in front of cameras as a stand-in and extra. "But I wasn't a child actor; I was a child laborer," he says. His first starring role came in 1958, when he helped lead a Revolt in the Big House. Soon afterward, he stopped performing and began to teach acting, then got briefly hooked on heroin before returning to work--on television as a member of The Richard Boone Repertory Company. "After that, I got married and split for two years with my wife; we traveled through Mexico and America." When the Blakes ran out of money, Robert went back to work in This Property Is Condemned, after which he once again dropped out. Two years later, he began playing an assortment of heavies on TV's The FBI, which ultimately led to his role as In Cold Blood's pathological Perry Smith. Currently, Blake, 32, is still searching for parts that will help him achieve his goal as an actor: "All I want to accomplish," he says, "is what Muni and Bogart were able to do--make three or four films that outlived them and hope that one day my great-grandchildren will see one of my movies and say, 'Hey, man, that motherfucker up there was really cool, you know?' "
Shortly before noon on Monday, August 1, 1966, Charles Joseph Whitman barricaded himself on the observation deck of the University of Texas tower in Austin and began shooting everyone he could see through the telescopic sight on a high-powered Remington hunting rifle. Because of the many buildings surrounding the tower and the vantage point it afforded a sniper, people on and off the campus were slow to realize that the distant, reverberating booms were gunshots; many understood what was happening only when someone nearby fell dead or wounded from a well-aimed bullet. In the first 20 minutes, Whitman hit at least two dozen people. Before police broke through his barricade, over an hour later, he had shot a dozen more--firing from an elevation of 231 feet and hitting his victims at ranges up to 500 yards. The final toll was 14 dead and 31 wounded. Unlike most mass murderers, Whitman had prepared his offensive with meticulous attention to details and apparently knowing that his actions would be recorded as an atrocity. During the previous night, he had killed his wife and his mother and left letters and a poem--never before published--that offer chilling insights into the workings of a mind that could remain lucid and analytical while planning and committing murder.