There is a Gentleman living in an Appalachian cottage that belies his wealth, in a town that he used to own, who will celebrate his birthday this month. The only thing notable about that is that it will be the 90th for Major William Purviance Tams, Jr., a pioneer of the coal-mining industry who is profiled by Laurence Leamer in Twilight for a Baron. Leamer, a free-lance writer from New York---'''free-lance' is usually another word for unemployed,'' he says---got into mining when he and his wife went to visit a friend in Roanoke soon after he had finished his book The Paper Revolutionaries. When the friend mentioned his acquaintance with the local United Mine Workers headman, Leamer's reportorial juices began to flow. A call to the union man got him permission to work in the mines and to write about them, provided ''nothing political'' was dealt with (a coal-company executive just happened to be in the labor man's office at the time of the call). Leamer then went underground, where the miners---unaware that he was a writer---hipped him to such things as how to tie his shoes so that he wouldn't get caught in the conveyor belt and be crushed by the machinery and which wires not to step on if he valued his life. Later on, a newspaperman told him that Major Tams---who built the mine Leamer had been working in---was still around. Very much so, as you'll learn by reading Leamer's story.
Playboy, May, 1973, Volume 20, Number 5. Published Monthly by Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the United States, its possessions and Canada, $24 for three years, $18 for two years, $10 for one year. Elsewhere $15 per year. Allow 30 days for new subscriptions and renewals. Change of Address: Send both Old and New Addresses to Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611, and allow 30 days for change. Marketing: Robert A. Gutwillig, Marketing Director; Nelson Futch, Marketing Manager; Michael Rich, Promotion Director; Lee Gottlieb, Director of Public Relations. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director; Jules Kase, Joseph Guenther, Associate Advertising Managers, 405 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10022; Sherman Keats, Chicago Manager, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611; Detroit, William F. Moore, Manager, 818 Fisher Building; Los Angeles, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 8721 Beverly Boulevard; San Francisco, Robert E. Stephens, Manager, 110 Sutter Street; Southeastern Representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont Road, N. E., Atlanta, Georgia 30305.
New evidence that the earth was visited in prehistoric times by beings of superior intelligence comes to us this month from Poland. Polityka, a Warsaw weekly, reports that construction workers, digging a foundation for a cement plant near Poznań, unearthed a three-ton bulldozer. ''We consulted an archaeologist,'' the paper remarked, ''and he said the find cannot be taken as an indication of high technological development among ancient Slavic tribes.''
Philip Roth couldn't be completely unfunny if he tried. And The Great American Novel (Holt, Rinehart & Winston) has its moments, such as a one-liner about the midget who is ''a credit to his size.'' But generally, this novel about baseball wanders around too many bases too randomly to yield much in the way of either impact or enjoyment. Indeed, it turns out to be one of those books by established writers that call more for a caution than a review. The story has to do with a war time baseball team in a fantasized third league that is without a home, forced to journey through a desert of mythical cities, doomed always to bat first. The characters, or caricatures, are legends and prototypes, derelicts and dwarfs, misfits and grotesques. Mostly, though, they are the exercise of a comic imagination seemingly so impoverished that it has to resort to names for laughs, to ranting for style. There are attempts to satirize everything from Moby Dick to Martin Dies, but finally only the reader gets hit by the buckshot. Somehow, Roth has forgotten that the prime requisite for pitching comedy is control.
If there's one thing you'd expect to find in Atlanta, it's Southern cooking, and Pittypat's Porch (25 Cain Street N.W.) probably serves the best in town. The name is a coy reference to the famous site of Southern hospitality in Gone with the Wind, and the restaurant fairly oozes with down-home antebellum charm. China cabinets, old portraits and rocking chairs line a balcony overlooking the main dining area--- and the fan-shaped menu is chock-full of cornball references to damn Yankees and Dixie pride. The whole idea of Pittypat's is to make you slow down and savor life just like folks used to do back on the ole plantation---perhaps by just sitting in a rocking chair sipping a three-dollar mint julep or a four-dollar ankle breaker (General Jackson supposedly broke one after imbibing half a dozen of them). If the prices seem high, it's because you're also paying for the drinks' containers---which you're invited to take home; it's that kind of place. All of Pittypat's 13 entrees include a relish buffet, soup, vegetables, hot breads (try the corn bread) and dessert. Hint: Restrain yourself at the buffet, since Pittypat's management expects you to do justice to its hefty main-course helpings. For an entree, try the superb Southern Ham, which comes with---what else?---redeye gravy, hot grits and a Georgia peach. Then there's Pittypat's Chicken and Dumplings served in a skillet with mushrooms in wine sauce. (Those who accept Pittypat's offer to take the skillet as a souvenir, y'all be sure to hang it right next to your silk pillow from Niagara Falls, hear?) Pittypat's Jambalaya is the best we've tried outside Louisiana: a huge portion of seafood, ham and rice with the restaurant's own Creole sauce. Or try the Roast Pheasant or the Braised and Stuffed Quail; the latter is served with white grapes in madeira sauce. Pittypat's Porch is open for dinner six days a week from 6 P.M. to 11 P.M. and on Saturdays from 5:30 P.M. to 11:30 P.M. Cocktails in the lounge from 4 P.M. to 7 P.M. All major credit cards are accepted. Reservations (404-525-8228) are taken until 7 P.M., after which guests are seated in rotation. But don't you fret: If you arrive late on weekends, just pull up a mint julep and set a spell.
For his second film role, as Michael Corleone, number-one son and heir of The Godfather, Al Pacino won a National Society of Film Critics citation as top actor of the year. While he was at work on his third film, Scarecrow, there were rumors in the trade that as a result, Pacino was becoming a bit touchy and inaccessible. Forget it. Here he was in New York, with a temperature of 102 but amiable as hell, saying come join him for breakfast at his hotel, then on a flight to Boston, where he was due to attend a reading for a Theater Company of Boston production of Richard III. His performance in the title role later earned him raves.
What's it like growing up suburban poor, playing in punk-rock bands in Asbury Park, meeting violence and comedy around every corner, being ''the cosmic kid in full costume dress''? Bruce Springsteen tells you about it, a lot about it, in Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. (Columbia). First off, you will think of Dylan, without whom Springsteen's music could never have existed. Blinded by the Light is a surreal Subterranean Homesick Blues, even to the internal rhymes, though the tune is a funky r&b riff, complete with tenor sax. The rich lyrics of these songs, however, are Springsteen's unique accomplishment, and the best of them, such as Lost in the Flood or Spirit in the Night, tell stories that are by turns desperate or fantastic. Occasionally, the songs slop over into sentimentality and smugness (For You) or preciosity (Mary Queen of Arkansas). But this is an album that takes all kinds of risks; and usually they pay off, eminently.
Jean Kerr's Finishing Touches is a comedy about being too late---too late for a meno-pausing professor to chance a fling with a seductive young actress, too late for his 40-year-old housewife to let herself be swept off her feet by a Don Juanly neighbor. Unfortunately, it's also too late for the sort of comedy in which the husband delays his prospective affair to buy Gelusil at the drugstore, in which the wife is astonished and outraged that her Harvard-senior son is sharing his college bed with a woman (and asks him if he's still going to church) and in which the neighbor finally dares a kiss on the housewife's mouth and says, ''That was worth waiting for.'' Mrs. Kerr has, as usual, her comic-essayist's ear for the absurdities of domestic chatter; the production is slick; and the actors, particularly Barbara Bel Geddes as the housewife, Robert Lansing as the professor and Gene Rupert as the neighbor, perform with humorous aplomb. But the play is last decade's model---with unseasonable sentiments. At the Plymouth, 236 West 45th Street.
Sex manuals inspire the reader to explore the primary and secondary erogenous zones of the human body. I have responded to the call, but sometimes I feel like I'm traveling through California with a map of New England. What is primary for one woman is secondary or nonexistent for the next. I enjoy variety, but the inconsistency is unnerving. Can you recommend a reliable tour guide for the young man on the move?---D. H. B. III. San Francisco, California.
When most of the American public first heard of him, it was as a name on a button, a graffito scrawled on subway walls: Free Huey. Huey, it turned out, was Huey P. Newton, ''defense minister'' of the Black Panther Party, a paramilitary organization (founded by him and ''chairman'' Bobby Seale) with a flair for self-publicity and inflammatory sloganeering. He became a martyr for black militants---and a cause célèbre for white liberals---after being convicted of and imprisoned for manslaughter following a 1967 shoot-out with Oakland police that many called a frame; he swore he wasn't even carrying a gun.
Sitting in the bright July sunshine, two men ordered a drink one day at a café in the Rue Miollin. The Englishman's name was not Barrie---that was borrowed from a dimly remembered writer---and the Corsican's name was not Calvi---that was a village in Corsica where he had been born, but these were the names they used for the moment. A voice on the telephone, belonging to a man they had never seen, had arranged the precise time and place of this meeting. It was to last no more than 20 minutes.
Most people seem to think that the automobile was invented so provide a more efflcient mouns of transportation. Not so. Of prime concern to the creators of the sarltest autos was getting sex off the porch swing and onto wheets. This is why the world's first automobile component was the back seat; only then was an engine invented to move it around. This 1909 E. M. F. Touring Car was an early effort, as is evident from its draftiness, cramped quarters and lock of privacy: but at least there was no horse to watch the occupants. So, with all its faults, the primitive auto found ready acceptance among the more adventurous folk during the Naughty Oughties.
''You Start With a Body. Bodies in back alleys, in parking lots and playgrounds and automobiles, up on rooftops, in town house and tenements and housing projects.'' Lieutenant Detective Edward Sherry, head of Boston homicide, is talking. ''Bodies butchered into eight pieces and stuffed into three suitcases, in a trunk in the cellar, in an old mailbag at a deserted corner of an express station. And John Rooney---no head, no arms, just a single leg and a torso found in the marsh grass at Squantum.''
On the morning of my 16th Birthday, in London between the two world wars, my mother, who was a snob, decided that her beer man was no longer giving satisfactory service and fired him. He had begun his week's work every Monday morning by delivering several gallons of light beer that was used exclusively to wash our polished-wood floors, thus bringing up their color and grain. On that particular morning, she had caught him in her drawing room drinking the beer from the pail instead of using it on the floor. When she reprimanded him, he merely smiled. My mother thought that was altogether too forward a gesture. She was convinced that servants should ''keep their distance'' and provide service without a smile.
Major Tams is sitting in his favorite cushioned chair in the parlor of his cottage. He looks up at the portraits on the wall, portraits of his ancestors by Anna Peale and Gilbert Stuart, and he sighs. ''I'm like John Randolph of Roanoke. John Randolph said in his old age there wasn't a drop of his blood in the veins of any living creature. No, I'm the last of my gang. No great loss.'' His small eyes brighten and his mouth purses into a semblance of a smile. ''No use pulling up now no use pulling up one two three years Christ I'm eighty-nine I'm living on borrowed time now. No use picking up and trying to put down roots somewhere else. People come over here to see me when they want to discuss anything of importance.''
At The Annual Meeting of the American Dietetic Association in New Orleans, I lived in constant fear that the dieticians would find out what I had been eating all week. The discovery would be made, I figured, by an undercover operative---some strict diet balancer who normally worked as the nutritionist in a state home for the aged but was posing as a mad-dog glutton in order to trap me. ''How were the oyster loaves at the Acme today?'' she would ask casually, chewing on a Baby Ruth bar and fixing me with a look of pure food envy.
It's Not For Everyone. We all like to talk about being free, but it's a long way there and usually a quick look is all we get. Anulka Dziubinska seems to have found her own answer: mobility. For Anulka, it's not a matter of finding freedom; the looking for it is what counts---and what keeps you free.
The pretty secretary wasn't saying much on the phone one morning, just smiling sweetly to herself as she listened to the voice at the other end of the line. Finally, she hung up and turned dreamily to the girl at the next desk. ''My boyfriend's boss must have walked into his office,'' she murmured. ''Just before saying goodbye, he thanked me for letting his firm have a shot at my prime location.''
With a three-day growth of stubble on his chin, even Bogey would leave the ladies colder than the Petrified Forest. Beards and burns still have plenty of face value, of course, but there's a growing trend among guys to forsake the fuzzy look in favor of one that's a bit more barbered. So for all you old and new smoothies out there--from lather-and-blade purists to those who prefer the clean, luxurious sweep of an electric razor's edge--here's a selective gathering of some of the slickest shaving gear available. None will make the morning mirror any easier to face. But it's nice to know that under all those whiskers there's a matinee idol waiting in the wings. Ready when you are. Raquel!
Out in the Coachella Valley, where the Los Angeles basin meets the Colorado Desert, lies a glittering elephants graveyard known as Palm Springs. It's where fading movie stars simmer in the sun, where golf courses glisten and hot springs burble and there's never really much happening, and that's why you go there. Which is true enough---except that Palm Springs also has a black ghetto, busing for racial balance, smog (from L.A., 100 miles away), overgrowth, high-rise hassles, an Indian war (in the courts, anyway), hippies, street demonstrations, a community relations coordinator and a population that---when a mile-high resort area in the nearby mountains is finished---could reach 100,000 in a decade or so.
A Wave Of Numbness surged through my body with stunning force. At last I knew what it felt like to be sitting with that brass hat on your skull with those straps around your ankles as the warden pulls the big switch. Out of the corner of my eye I caught the glint of Mr. Pittinger's horn-rims and the ice-blue ray from his left eye. As the giant baroque equation loomed on the blackboard, my life unreeled before my eyes in the classic manner of the final moments of mortal existence. I was finished. Done. It had all come to this. Somehow I had always known it would.
In New York, a 22-year-old woman has been fighting a Civil Service Commission order that she be fired from her job as a substitute postal clerk. The commission had learned from FBI files that this woman---exercising her First Amendment rights---had taken part in a campus demonstration at Northwestern University in 1969. She was also, according to the FBI, a member at that time of Students for a Democratic Society---a legally constituted organization.
Her closest friends call her ''Indian.'' So it follows that beautiful Barbara Leigh would own an Appaloosa horse named Cherokee---and a Maltese puppy named Quanah, the latter her tribute to Quanah Parker, an Indina hero who knew Cochise and Teddy Roosevelt and was the last chief of the Comanche tribe. Barbara's own Indian origins go back to her grandmother, a full-blooded Cherokee. Born in Georgia. Barbara grew up in a broken home, married and divorced when just out of her teens, moved to Hollywood and began attracting attention---which she always has found easy to do. Seeing Barbara on a Swiss ski slope with director Roger Vadim, taking bike lessons from Steve McQueen, holidaying in Mexico with MGM prexy and longtime friend James Aubrey or tooling around Beverly Hills in the Mercedes said to be a gift from Elvis might well create grand illusions. But professionally, its been uphill all the way. Her screen career started a few years ago with The Student Nurses, from which she graduated to playing rock Hudson's wife in Pretty Maids All in a Row, thence to a phone-booth tryst with Steve McQueen in Sam Peckinpah's Junior Bonner. At home in Westwood, Barbara insists she's ''a semirecluse'' who does needlepoint, writes poetry and prepares for her next role, a deaf-mute murderess in Terminal Island. Instant stardom is only in the fan magazines.
The Chief of Bonna Dearriga, when he was lying on his deathbed, called for his son and heir to hear his last words. Illan bent close to listen but hardly to believe, for he was a headstrong young man who often fleered at his father's bits of old wisdom. Never, the chief warned, refuse to sell a beast after you've had a fair bid for it; never marry a woman whose family is not familiar to you; never wear ragged clothes when asking a favor. Only the fact that the old man expired in the next moment kept Illan from laughing: What a stock of wisdom this was!
The little airplane shown here taking shape and cruising at close to 200 miles an hour is powered by a German snowmobile engine. And its radical shape owes much to sailplane design, in which Europe has been the leader. But the concept behind the BD-5 is as American as Kitty Hawk. It's almost as American is its builder.
''Broadway Theater is a theater for old men. And it will die because the people who produce most of it won't accept young ideas.'' Those may sound like the words of an outcast, but the speaker is one of Broadway's newest and best-connected insiders, Godspell and Pippin's composer-lyricist, Stephen Schwartz. Though only 25, Schwartz began his involvement with music and theater when he took his first piano lesson 19 years ago, while living next door to a musical-comedy composer. ''I had barely learned the scales,'' Schwartz recalls, ''when my parents took me to see a show my neighbor had written. I was overwhelmed and knew immediately that musical theater was going to be my life.'' On his way to the big time, Schwartz interspersed his grade school, high school, college classes and study at New York's Juilliard with songwriting and play production. Though he didn't know it then, a musical based on the life of the son of Charlemagne, which he wrote while attending Pittsburgh's Carnegie-Mellon University, was all he needed to get there. His score for that musical helped him get a job as a record producer, through which he met Leonard Bernstein's sister Shirley, who, in turn, heard and liked the score enough to become Schwartz's agent. His subsequent assignment to write the title song for the hit show Butterflies Are Free led to the chance to turn college friend John-Michael Tebelak's adaptation of the Gospel According to Saint Matthew into a commercial musical. Godspell, which premiered as a movie last month, earned no fewer than four awards for Schwartz (among them, a pair of Grammys), not to mention the interest of producer Stuart Ostrow, who---along with director Bob Fosse and writer Roger O. Hirson---transformed Schwartz's Charlemagne score into Pippin. All this, Schwartz says, hasn't made him less critical of musical comedy. But whether he's on Broadway to change it or because, like Pippin, he's just ''got to be where my spirit can run free,'' we're sure that for Stephen Schwartz, it's home.
Heads Have Been Turning more than usual on the French Riviera since Eleanor Hicks became U. S. consul in Nice last July. A slim, attractive black woman just past her 30th birthday, Miss Hicks is anything but the stereotype of the staid Foreign Service officer. She has sung with a rock group, composes songs herself, has written two plays in English and is working on one in French (she patterns her work after Ionesco). ''I lead a very intense life,'' she says. ''I have so many interests, I just can't keep up. One lifetime isn't enough.'' Miss Hicks is one of about 15 black women in the U. S. Foreign Service, and eventually may be the first ever to become an ambassador. While both the black and the feminist movements could claim her as a symbol, she prefers to be regarded as an individual. ''I've never been a group person or a movement person. I'm not attached to causes with a big C. My goal is simply to be myself---to pursue the things that interest me.'' As a teenager, Miss Hicks became fascinated with languages and resolved that ''whatever I would do in life would entail being around the world.'' After graduation---Phi Beta Kappa---from the University of Cincinnati, she interned for two summers with the Foreign Service and earned a master's in international relations at Johns Hopkins University. In her first full-time assignment, she served two years as a political-military officer in Bangkok, then was brought back to Washington for another two years on the State Department's Thailand desk. Miss Hicks expects that the bulk of her remaining career will be spent in Asia; she sees her current assignment in Nice as an opportunity to broaden her experience: ''I have a variety of tasks. One moment I'm working on a cultural project, then on a high school project or helping find a lost passport. All the while I'm refining my managerial skills.'' But the job has its glamorous side as well; Miss Hicks attends a multitude of social functions in Nice and Monaco. ''Fortunately, however, I need only a few hours' sleep. When most people go home to sleep, I go to work on my new play.'' Even if it were all work and no play. Miss Hicks would be anything but a dull girl.
''Professional Track is an idea whose time has come,'' says Mike O'Hara, president and organizer of the new International Track Association. But O'Hara must find fans to fill the seats of dozens of stadiums across the country and Europe---most of them indoors---where stars such as Jim Ryun, Kip Keino and Bob Seagren, all under contract, are competing in their respective specialties this spring; and track-star-turned-broadcaster Marty Liquori will emcee each meet. The purses will be small at first ($500 to the winner of each of 12 events), but O'Hara plans season-end prizes for top performers and next year he hopes for a $1000 purse to the winner of each event. A former Olympic volleyball star, 40-year-old O'Hara was a founder of profitable franchises in both the American Basketball Association (the Kentucky Colonels) and the World Hockey Association (Quebec's Nordiques) after he picked up a business-administration degree from USC. The financial success of the new pro tennis tour convinced him that the timing was right for pro track. ''There are already hard-core track-and-field enthusiasts who support amateur track beautifully, and we hope to do as well; but we're not counting on it, because we have other sources of revenue.'' Those sources include sportsequipment manufacturers such as Uniroyal, whose products I. T. A. will use and advertise. And O'Hara is negotiating for large TV contracts. ''We want to make track and field the primary sport in the world,'' he says. ''We're going to produce our meets like we would a stage show, with music and lighting and all kinds of special effects.'' Among O'Hara's gimmicks: a Munich-type electronic scoreboard, a trackside ring of worldrecord pacer lights for runners and a 60-yard-dash ''celebrity challenge''; he's trying to match Elke Sommer against Raquel Welch. Track purists may blanch at that sort of thing, but it sounds like more fun than watching the East Peoria Twirling Leathernecks at half time on Sunday afternoon.