updated 08/23/1982 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/23/1982 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Old Soldiers Never Die
Unemployment is becoming to Alexander Haig. At the American Bar Association convention in San Francisco, the former Secretary of State kept his audience clapping and chuckling for 35 minutes, beginning with a thank-you to the emcee for his nice introduction, "the kind I so richly deserve and find so difficult to receive these days." Haig admitted he's going through some "decompression" now that he's no longer "fourth in line in succession" to the President. "I have to struggle to get precedence in the checkout line at the supermarket." Yes, Haig is able to laugh about the flap over the time he was "in charge" at the White House. "I don't know what all the fuss was about," he says with a shrug. "So I made a little mistake. Golly, that's how I became a four-star general."

And That's the Way It Is
"What we do here today is being watched by every island from Nantucket to the Falklands," auctioneer Art Buchwald intoned to begin the fourth annual "Possible Dreams Auction" for charity on Martha's Vineyard. Lots of locals—with the exception of the most famous, Jackie O—offered to sell themselves for a good cause. The highest bid—$1,250—was for a tour of the 60 Minutes studios, conducted by Mike Wallace, with a chance to meet Harry Reasoner thrown in for good measure. Also on the block were lunch with pundit James Reston (which brought $800), cocktails with reclusive islander Lillian Hellman ($700), a sailboat picnic with Beverly Sills ($600) and. a fishing trip with author John Hersey ($300). But even on the Vineyard, times are tough. Last year a chance to sail on Walter Cronkite's yacht brought the top bid of $1,300. This year it went for a mere $1,200.

San ford and Son's Demond Wilson, who will be back in prime time this fall playing Oscar to Ron Glass' Felix in The New Odd Couple, recently turned down an offer to appear in a commercial for an amusement park with his children, aged 1 to 8. Demond says he doesn't want them to have to work—even though he started acting at age 4. "There are various ways people get out of the inner city," he explains. "The way for me was show business. But my children don't need a way out of Bel Air. Could be they need directions, though."

Cut-Rate Connoisseur
Pat Paulsen, comedian and onetime presidential hopeful, has joined a growing list of celebs who've become vintners, from Dick Smothers to Wayne Rogers. Off his Sonoma Valley, Calif. grapevines come good wines—cabernets, chardonnays, you know, the kind with corks. "Since I've been producing fine wine," he confides, "I've learned how to drink it: You don't hold it at the top or at the bottom but in the middle so the paper bag doesn't fall off."

When it absoutely, positively has to be there on time, Lockheed Missiles and Space Co. sends messages by air, of course. Yes, one of the country's largest aerospace corporations sends messages by carrier pigeon. Research chemist Werner Deeg explains that it's easier and cheaper to strap microfilm onto a pigeon's leg and let it fly from the company's Sunnyvale, Calif. headquarters to a test base 30 miles away (as the pigeon flies) than it is to send the material by regular mail. "Pigeons just need a little love, care, feed and water," says Deeg. And you don't even have to use a zip code.

As he starts a new season of Dynasty, John Forsythe says he's keeping his eye on the scales because "I can't afford, with my limited talents, to bulge. Being a 64-year-old sex symbol is a hell of a weight to carry."

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