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People, Dec. 26, 1955

4 minute read

Names make news. Last week these names made this news:

With bedlam in his mind and a quaint profusion of fresh cauliflower in his Rolls-Royce limousine, Spanish-born Surrealist Painter Salvador Dali arrived at Paris’ Sorbonne University to unburden himself of some gibberish. His subject: “Phenomenological Aspects of the Critical Paranoiac Method.” Some 2,000 ecstatic listeners were soon sharing Salvador’s Dalirium. Planting his elbows on a lecture table strewn with bread crumbs, Dali blandly explained: “All emotion comes to me through the elbow.” Then he announced his latest finding in critical paranoia. The gamy meat of it: “Everything departs from the rhinoceros horn! Everything departs from [Dutch Master] Jan Vermeer’s The Lacemaker! Everything ends up in the cauliflower!” The rub, apologized Dali, is that cauliflowers are too small to prove this theory conclusively.

Actress Ingrid Bergman, 39, signed up with 20th Century-Fox studio to do the title role in a film version of the Broadway hit Anastasia (TIME, Jan. 10). The movie will not be shot in the U.S., Ingrid’s adopted homeland until 1949, when she left to star in the film Stromboli (“Raging Island, Raging Passions”), deserted her surgeon husband for Italian Director Roberto Rossellini on the raging Mediterranean island, later married little Roberto’s proud papa.

In the Pennsylvania town of Concordville, lanky, redheaded Colin P. (“Corky”) Kelly III, 15, son of one of the first American heroes of World War II, was promoted to Eagle Scout, got a peck of congratulations from his pretty mother, now Mrs. J. Watson Pedlow. In 1941, soon after heroic Army Air Corps Captain Colin P. Kelly Jr. ordered his crew to hit the silk and then crashed in his crippled B-17 bomber on Luzon, President Roosevelt penned a request to “the President of the United States in 1956.” F.D.R. asked that the airman’s infant son get a West Point appointment as a nation’s thanks for Captain Kelly’s valor. Boy Scout Kelly is now undecided whether to set his sights on West Point or the new Air Academy.

Mellowing (49) Singer Josephine Baker, onetime (circa 1927) light-brown toast of Paris when she danced without wraps at the Folies-Bergère, was far past her spicy past. At her 460-acre estate near Périgord in southwestern France, Expatriate Baker was busily tending the fabrication of a startling memorial to herself.

Items in the shrine: 1) a statuary group depicting La Baker in ancient, saintly wraps, arms outstretched in benediction over the kneeling figures of seven kiddies of various races, corresponding to Josephine’s seven adopted children; 2) waxen images of Josephine and the tots striding up a hill topped by a cross; 3) a figure of Josephine’s husband, French Jazz Maestro Jo Bouillon, on his knees to receive the blessing of a paraffin Pope Pius XII.

Manhattan-born Soprano Maria Meneghini Callas, recent victor in a high E-flat free-for-all with an octet of Chicago process servers (TIME, Nov. 28), plunged a legal fork into an Italian macaroni company. On the tines of her suit: Maria’s ex-physician and husband’s brother-in-law, Dr. Giovanni Cazzarolli, the Pastificio Pantanella Co. and Prince Marcantonio Pacelli, who is Pastificio’s legal eagle as well as a nephew of Pope Pius XII. La Callas, 31, weighing in at a svelte 135 Ibs., charged that Dr. Cazzarolli had issued a false certificate, ballyhooed by the pasta firm in ads, stating that she had shed an unsvelte 44 Ibs. by gobbling quantities of Pastificio Pantanella’s dietetic, “no-cal” macaroni. Maria fumed a scornful phooey on “the physiological pasta.” The prima donna, who once declined singing Madame Butterfly because she scaled an unlepidopterous 212 Ibs., now complained: “The public wants Callas to be noble and delicate . . . Woe betide if, opposed to this idealistic spirituality, the public should discover a behind-scenes maneuver whereby a dainty Butterfly is achieved only through a cure with special macaroni.” Six Roman Catholic Holy Name Societies in southern New Jersey protested because a new $100 million bridge between Philadelphia and Camden, N.J. is named after a longtime Camdenizen, earthy Poet Walt (Leaves of Grass) Whitman. Reason: Whitman portrayed “the common man” as “homoerotic,” i.e., hankering perversely for other common men. A rebuttal came promptly from the former head of the public agency that built the bridge: “We could find [no] evidence that Walt Whitman was homosexual. A genius sometimes does things that some people think is a little peculiar . . .”

Special cops were on duty to untie traffic snarls converging on a San Fernando Valley mansion near Hollywood. The Yuletide cynosure: a rooftop Santa Claus, made of bamboo, hammering away at a wrought-iron piano garnished with a twinkly candelabra, while loudspeakers blared hi-fi recordings of the schmalziest music on the far side of Bethlehem. Beamed the spectacle’s beamish mastermind, Liberace: “I just love Christmas!”

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