Always in the forefront with newthink, Valerie Harper says her divorce from Dick Schaal (after 14 years of marriage) is a good example of a largely ignored phenomenon, the happy divorce. Now linked with fitness trainer Tony Cacciotti ("I've never been this married to anyone"), Valerie's still in close touch with her ex. "I'm still involved with his parents, his daughter. And in fact, Tony and I went to Dick's wedding to Tasha last February. They're an important part of our lives." Ah, Hollywood.
Once in Showbiz...
Daily Variety, the entertainment industry trade paper, has a column called "Who's Where" that keeps track of where the industry biggies are at any moment (e.g., "Linda Ronstadt to Nairobi," "Roman Polanski in from Paris"). Last week the lead item was "Ronald Reagan to D.C." Can this keep up with shuttle diplomacy? Says editor Tom Pryor: "With a man who's lived in this community for so long, who's been a part of show business and is now moving into another form of show business, we might continue to list his comings and goings."
Sally Struthers, who is headed for Broadway in the comedy Wally's Cafe after it opens in L.A., admits it's been a longtime dream. Two years ago she tried out for They're Playing Our Song, but lost out to Lucie Arnaz. "I went to see her backstage," says Sally, "and said, 'I'm glad it was you. I made a deal with God. If I wasn't going to New York to do a Neil Simon play, I wanted to have a baby. Now you're on Broadway and I'm pregnant.' Lucie told me she felt that in a couple years it would be just the other way around. And now look—she's just had a baby, and I'm going to Broadway!"
Ham in the White House
As Jimmy Carter headed home to Georgia, stories began to surface about his tightfistedness. One involves a choice local ham he was given on a trip to Tennessee. The ham was passed on to a Secret Service agent to check for explosives, then to the local advance man, who ate it that night. On his return to the White House, the President looked around for the missing meat and demanded it for dinner. "The President wants his ham," messaged the White House back to Tennessee, where the guilty advance man went out into the night to seek a replacement. He raced the new ham to the airport and had it flown to Washington. Until this moment, the story goes, the President never knew his ham was a stand-in.
•Kingman Brewster, the former Yale president and outgoing ambassador to Great Britain, disclosed his plans on the eve of his departure. "I'd like to work on something based on speeches here and at Yale," he ventured. "It would be a pretentious book."
•It's a bit chummy as a nickname for a lieutenant governor, but it's said with reverence. At the Massachusetts statehouse, the No. 2 executive, Tommy O'Neill, the 35-year-old son of Speaker of the U.S. House Tip O'Neill, is called Tip-Squeak.
•Author Barbara Cartland, British queen of gothic romances, says men "prefer a handful" and she doesn't mind a bit being plump. "When you get past 50, you have to decide whether to keep your face or your figure. I kept my face."