Chatter

UPDATED 05/31/1982 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/31/1982 at 01:00 AM EDT

Catch Him If You Can
Soon after J.D. Salinger published The Catcher in the Rye in 1951, he went into hiding up in Cornish, N.H. This month, though, he made a rare public Outing in Jacksonville, Fla. at the theater where actress Elaine Joyce (Bobby Van's widow) was starring in 6 Rms Riv Vu. Characteristically, Salinger, 63, refused to pose for pictures or talk to reporters. Instead, he released a statement through Joyce, which read: "We've got a mutual admiration society because she helped me carry my books to school, and I have never forgotten it. Even 30 years later I never forgot that she carried my books for me." Actually, Joyce, 36, confided, "We never went to the same school, 30 years apart or anything else." What was it, then, that enticed the reclusive author out into the open? Sheer wizardry, it seems. He first called Joyce after seeing her recently on TV's short-lived magic series, Mr. Merlin.

An Offer He Couldn't Refuse
According to a soon-to-be-published posthumous biography of Michael Wilding, it was Elizabeth Taylor who was the aggressor in their courtship. "We were having dinner at Romanoff's when I produced a sapphire-and-diamond ring I had bought for her earlier that day," Liz's second husband recalled before his death in 1979. "I reached for her right hand, but she snatched it away, putting out her left hand and waggling her ring finger. That's where it belongs,' she said. Then, admiring the ring, which now adorned the appropriate finger, she kissed me and said, 'That makes it official, doesn't it? Or shall I spell it out for you? Dear Mr. Shilly-Shally, will you marry me?' "

Hot Property
In Michigan, where filming on Stephen King's Firestarter begins this fall, Universal Pictures is looking to buy a Southern-style mansion, complete with a fenced-in yard, stables and a nearby lake. Considering the depressed state of the real estate market, it comes as no surprise that more than 75 homeowners have offered to sell, with prices ranging well into six figures. For their part, the folks at Universal clearly have money to burn, since they plan to torch the mansion shortly after they buy it.

Tight-Lipped
Ronald Reagan is having the same problem countless Presidents before him have had: that annoying drip, drip, drip of leaks from the White House. But Ron has come up with a solution. "Since this Administration is determined to be open and aboveboard," he told some White House correspondents, "I want you to know that we are installing a tape system in the Oval Office—adhesive tape right across the mouth."

Bat Man
The San Francisco Giants have a new mascot—not a chicken or a mule, but a real, live person: actor Robert (The Paper Chase) Ginty. It began, Ginty explains, when he played with a Hollywood celeb team in San Francisco's Candlestick Park and had his picture taken in a Giant uniform for his father, a rabid fan. He returned to the City by the Bay to film a movie, started hanging around the field, and soon was adopted by the team. Ginty, 33, has his own uniform (No. 59) and locker ("It might not be as big as everybody else's, but it's there"), and he's planning to go on a four-city, nine-day tour with the team in July. Though the Giants have been struggling to stay out of the cellar, they haven't gotten desperate yet. As Ginty puts it, he only plays "until the National Anthem begins."

Furthermore
In a recent interview, Henry Kissinger was asked what he thought of Gore Vidal's campaign for the U.S. Senate in California. The former Secretary of State diplomatically replied, "I think he's a great novelist." To which Vidal later rejoined: "After reading his memoirs, I can return the compliment. Mr. Kissinger is a great novelist."

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