• U.S.

People, Apr. 19, 1971

5 minute read

Other maestros may prepare for a major performance by going over the score in solitude. Not Austria’s white-maned Conductor Herbert von Karajan, 63—flyer, skier, yachtsman and fast-car buff. A few hours before the première of a Karajan-produced, Karajan-directed, Karajan-conducted Fidelio at Salzburg’s Easter festival, he climbed into his souped-up Ford GT 40 and took on a twisting mountain road at speed. When he whined around a curve to face a juggernaut diesel on the wrong side of the road, Karajan took evasive action, turned the Ford over twice and totaled it. Unscathed and cucumber cool, he unsnapped his seat belt and phoned from a farmhouse for his chauffeur to bring the Rolls. After the Fidelio that night—a smash success, of course—he called his dealer to order another souped-up GT 40.

“I got a mommy down here. I might not come back if she wasn’t here.” But while he was down there in Beaufort, S.C., World Heavyweight Champion Joe Frazier consented to address the state legislature in Columbia—one of the few black men to do so since Reconstruction days. “We must save our people,” he told the packed chamber. “And when I say ‘our people,’ I mean white and black. We need to quit thinking who’s living next door, and who’s driving a big car, who your child is playing with, and who your child is sitting next to in school. We don’t have time for that.”

“One million women have an abortion every year in France. I declare that I am one of them.” Who? Actresses Catherine Deneuve, Jeanne Moreau and Micheline Presle, Writers Françoise Sagan and Simone de Beauvoir—plus 338 other Frenchwomen who signed a statement that was published in a Paris weekly last week favoring legalized abortion. The admission made each one of them liable to a fine of up to $1,300 and six months to two years in jail, though most women who are apprehended get suspended sentences. One of the few female headliners whose names were missing was Brigitte Bardot. Was it possible that she had not had what Simone de Beauvoir had? “For intimate personal reasons, Brigitte didn’t wish to sign the petition,” explained one of the fetal-freedom fighters. “But she offered us her financial backing.”

Pope Paul VI has strong feelings about priests who have asked to be relieved of their vows. So strong, in fact, that last week he put them in one of the bitterest possible Christian contexts. In his Holy Thursday sermon, before performing the traditional foot-washing ceremony at the Cathedral of St. John Lateran, the Pope harked back to the presence of the traitor Judas at the Last Supper and asked: “Who cannot but feel a shiver in his heart at the grave and terrible comment of Jesus: ‘It were better for that man if he had not been born.’ I cannot think of that tragic Easter drama,” he went on, “without associating it in my mind, as bishop and pastor, with thoughts of the abandonment, of the flight of so many brethren in the priesthood.” His voice shaking, the Pontiff castigated the “vile earthly reasons” many had for leaving the priesthood and asked the congregation to pray “for those runaway brethren and for the communities they deserted and scandalized.”

With a toot and a screech and a cloud of steam, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Britain’s Admiral of the Fleet and India’s final Viceroy, realized a childhood ambition. He drove a real choo-choo train. Almost real, anyway. It was a miniature replica of the famed Royal Scot, and the track on the Yorkshire estate of his friend, Robin Compton, landowner and miniature-railway buff, was only half a mile long. But it was a larky ride while it lasted, and Mountbatten inaugurated the new rail service with a paraphrase of the traditional naval christening: “May God bless this train and all who rail in her.”

The squeaky-clean image of Singer-Actor Pat Boone is no stage illusion; he is an all-out, 24-hour-a-day Christian and a dedicated drum beater for the growing “Jesus movement” among the young. All the more surprising, then, that Pat and Wife Shirley have just been dropped by the fundamentalist Churches of Christ. The reason: they have been practicing faith healing and glossolalia, the “speaking in tongues” that is mentioned in the biblical account of Pentecost and in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. Boone, who has personally baptized about 100 Christians in his heated Beverly Hills swimming pool, does not know where he and Shirley will end up, denomination-wise. “Since the word sort of got out that we had been disfellowshipped,” he says, emissaries from the Mormon Church have been around at least ten times, and there have also been invitations from the Methodists and the Assemblies of God.

“There are certain things I will not do,” Britain’s Princess Anne told an interviewer. Such as? “Wearing hot pants. People complain one isn’t with it, but honestly they are the absolute limit.” Anne was equally forthright about one of her ambitions—riding in the Olympics—and her relations with Brother Charles, the Prince of Wales. “We live in the same house but have rooms at opposite ends of a corridor,” she said. About the only time she sees him is during the school holidays of their younger brothers, Princes Edward and Andrew—”and that’s enough, roughly speaking.”

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