Star Tracks

updated 07/23/1979 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/23/1979 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Grace at Lourdes
This was the 100th anniversary of the death of Saint Bernadette, the patron of the French shrine of Lourdes, and Princess Grace personally led the annual visit sponsored by the principality of Monaco. Among her 300 pilgrims was Prince Albert, 21, on a break from his European tour with the choir from Amherst College, where he is a junior. The shrine is famed for its curative powers, and the report spread that they were there because Prince Rainier is ailing. But about the time Albert and his mother prayed at the Grotte de Massabielle (along with her lady-in-waiting Mme. Ardant and church leaders), Rainier was seen at the palace playing an obviously robust game of tennis with Peter Ustinov.

Baez at the barricades
The latest Joan Baez ruckus began when the folksinger took a page ad in five U.S. papers charging the Vietnamese government with "brutal disregard of human rights" (PEOPLE, June 18). Many who had been at her side over the years refused to sign, including Jane Fonda, and radical lawyer William Kunstler went so far as to call Baez' campaign a CIA plot—a charge Joan dismissed as "really weak, cheap." But, typically, she is more sad than angry. "I would still like to get together and talk with Jane Fonda," says Baez. "She has great courage."

Ricky makes a splash
On a day off from shooting his new Disney flick, The Last Flight of Noah's Ark, Ricky Schroder, 9, opted for some more rapid transit. So he carted his family (visiting from New York's Staten Island) to the Waterslides in the San Fernando Valley. Within 90 minutes the Little Champ had rafted down all eight slides—sometimes with Dad Richard Schroder—and was ready to handle the bumper boats nearby. "It's the funnest time I've had in California," allowed Schroder, adding somewhat disloyally to his new employer: "Even better than Disneyland."

Farewell to Fiedler
In his five decades on the podium of the Boston Pops, Arthur Fiedler became America's best-loved conductor. His national-landmark status was memorably confirmed during the Bicentennial Fourth of July celebration in 1976 when, over nationwide TV, Fiedler-crazed Bostonians drowned out the Esplanade fireworks with roars and clapping to the beat of the feisty maestro's trademark, Stars and Stripes Forever. This year, for the first time in 50 years, he couldn't conduct the Fourth bash. A fifth coronary, five months after brain surgery, kept him in bed (but he insisted on following the score). Boston had no fireworks. Six days later he died, at 84.

Carol and Burt meet the Elephant people
Burying forever his rep as Mr. Macho, Burt Reynolds cried through the final curtain of the Broadway drama The Elephant Man. So did another spectator that evening, Carol Channing. But when the two met backstage with stars Carole Shelley and Kevin Conway, they put away their hankies. Burt joshed Conway about their 1973 movie Shamus. "You were lucky," reminisced Reynolds of that relic of his beefcake era. "They cut all your scenes." Channing and Shelley conversed on a higher plane, about the Tony Award, which Carol won in 1964 for Hello, Dolly! Smiled Shelley, who won hers for Elephant: "Yes, it's like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval."

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