It wasn't a Democratic fund raiser, but nobody would have guessed—GOP jokes got the most laughs at a Los Angeles testimonial dinner for Shirley Temple Black, former child star and Chief of Protocol under President Ford. Now, Shirley quipped, she's just "female, Black and unemployed." The evening peaked when actor Pat Buttram, a Republican and the emcee, reminisced pointedly: "I liked it when Gerald Ford was President. It was nice having a President that wasn't our fault."
On the House
Henry Ford II likes to dine well at the Old Place, a fancy restaurant in the Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe Park, so owner Diamond Phillips was understandably tense when a waiter sped over from the Ford table recently, bearing a folded napkin. "Mr. Ford found this fly in his soup," quaked the waiter. A shaky Phillips opened the napkin and did indeed find a fly—an outsize plastic model. Ford remained deadpan. So did Phillips, and later sent the Ford party a round of after-dinner drinks, plus another napkin for Ford—with a Chevrolet logo.
Though the Carters are watching the White House food budget to fight inflation, at least one family necessity still comes from Neam's, a pricey grocer in fashionable Georgetown: Crutchfield's Hush Puppy Mix. A White House messenger frequently sweeps the shelves clear of Crutchfield's at 59 cents a package. Hush puppies are small balls of fried corn meal favored by those of the Southern persuasion. They are not to be confused with grits, which are coarsely ground grains of hominy. Grits is also Amy's dog, who eats neither hominy nor hush puppies. Clear?
Mom the Director
Polly Fawcett was on location in Acapulco with her daughter Farrah when she got arm-twisted into doing an extra's role in the upcoming flick Sunburn. The scene is a party, where Farrah huddles in conversation on a couch while Mom joins a crowd behind it. Nine hours and too many takes later, Polly's dogs were aching in a pair of her daughter's spike-heeled shoes. "Farrah," she blurted, "will you get your lines straight so we can go home?" The cast roared, Farrah came through the next take without a hitch, and Mom went off to soak her feet. Her day's booty: $25. Her reaction: "I'll never do that again."
Stockard Channing, whose own show debuts on CBS later this season after she wowed 'em in Grease, says she was barely allowed to go to the movies as a kid. While her Grease character Rizzo represents, as Channing puts it, "the dark side of adolescence," Stockard as a teen was "bookish and timid, and a very proper young lady. I had my legs crossed firmly at the ankles." Now 33, the patrician Channing is on her third hubby—producer David Debin. What happened? She confesses: "I learned to uncross my ankles."
The gynecological team of Dr. Patrick Steptoe and Dr. Robert Edwards brought the world the first authenticated "test-tube baby," but in private life the exuberant Dr. Steptoe, 65, has yet another partner in producing music. He and his chum of a decade, Dr. John Marlow of Washington, D.C.'s Columbia Hospital for Women, entertained the troops at the pre-Christmas meeting of the American Association of Gynecological Laparoscopists in Hollywood, Fla. Steptoe tickled the ivories while Marlow belted out tunes from opera and Broadway musicals. One number, as always, got the gynecological duo a big hand: What I Did for Love.
•While the OPEC ministers huddled to fix their oil price increase, Treasury Secretary Michael Blumenthal joined some Washington reporters in making book on what it would be. The gamble cost him five nondeductible dollars. As the world knows, OPEC decided on 14.5 percent. Blumenthal's guess was a madly optimistic six percent.
•The New York Philharmonic's macho maestro, Zubin Mehta, makes grown women feel faint at the wave of his baton. But it isn't his masculinity that makes his second wife, actress Nancy Kovacs, swoon. "Sure he's sexy," she says, "but I love my husband for his ethics. I get turned on by his ethics."
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