• U.S.

People, Nov. 18, 1974

5 minute read

To Rachel Fitler, 77, Philadelphia heiress and aunt of Happy Rockefeller, employee-employer relations are obviously something special. Last month Filler’s engagement to her former chauffeur, 29-year-old Michael Wilson, was announced. Now comes word from an earlier Filler employee, ex-Chauffeur Hans von Aczel, 38, that he had been a Fitler fiance last year. “She asked me to marry her,” claims von Aczel. “I’m not going to lie. I would have liked to live that kind of life.” Aczel says he was promised $3,000 a month for pocket money, which would have put an imperceptible dent in the Fitler estate, said to total at least $2.5 million. The romance began to fizzle, however, when Aczel injured himself while loading a lawnmower onto Ms. Filler’s Jeep, and she refused to foot the medical bills. Moreover, says Aczel, “I slatted gelling phone calls. My apartment was broken into. My car was stolen. I think it was people who were jealous of me, people around her who wanted her money.”

“To paint a person I practically go to bed with him,” declared Artist Jamie Wyeth. “I just stay with a person; I follow him around for days.” Which is not lo say that the son of Artist Andrew Wyeth and grandson of Illustrator N.C. Wyeth ignores other subjects. At Wyeth’s second one-man show in New York last week, many of the portraits presented at the Coe Kerr Gallery were of animals. Referring to his painting, Pig, Wyeth observed: “Pigs are very moody animals who have great depressions. In fact, a guy who raises pigs told me lo pul a radio near the animal with some soft music. The pig just stood there, kind of swaying.”

“The idea was, instead of a drunken cocktail party, lo have a poetry reading,” explained Poel Allen Ginsberg. The grizzled guru of the ’60s then sat down cross-legged before a Manhattan audience of some 200 to celebrate his new book, Allen Verbatim, in verse with harmonium accompaniment Afterward, when asked what he considered the role of the modern poet to be, the winner of the 1973 National Book Award for Poetry replied with a new work titled “Ego Confession.” “I want to be known as the most brilliant man on earth,” said Ginsberg, “who overthrew the CIA with silent thought … who sang of blues that made rock stars weep and moved old black guitarists to laughter in Memphis … who could call the Justice Department and threaten to blow the whistle … who wasn’t afraid of God or death after his 48th year.”

Between state banquets in the South Seas and his more serious duties with the Royal Navy, Britain’s Prince Charles has found lime for yet another avocation, that of literary critic. Writing for Punch, the satirical English weekly, Charles offers some regal praise for portly Comic Harry Secombe, veteran of Ihe BBC’s Goon Show and author of the recently published Twice Brightly. Freely admitting his “hopeless bias” in Secombe’s favor, the rookie reviewer disclosed to his readers that he “was shaken with spasms of helpless mirth al frequent intervals” over Secombe’s novel. For his 635-word article, which was sent to Punch’s office immaculately typed on Buckingham Palace stationery, Prince Charles received a not-so-princely standard fee of less than $150. Explained Punch Literary Editor Miles Kingston: “It would be ridiculous to pay him 5,000 guineas — or nothing al all.”

John Dean may have helped expose the Watergate coverup, bul this past summer his Beverly Hills neighbors fell a bil exposed as well. Charging that a second-story room above Dean’s garage violated local height restrictions, a group of local residents demanded that it be removed. A case of Peeping John? “Of course not,” protests Novelist Gwen Davis, who used lo skinnydip in her nearby pool. “Still, Ihe federal marshals slayed up there,” adds Davis, who has since moved. Last week in a Santa Monica court the matter was settled peacefully when the builders of Dean’s Spanish-style stucco home agreed to construct a fence and add a little judicious landscaping. The room will remain, presumably to serve as Dean’s office after his release from prison.

Charles de Gaulle used to enjoy singing La Marseillaise, but French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing apparently does not even like to hear it. “The President of the Republic thinks Ihe familiar version is too rapid, loo chromatic. He just does not like it,” says Roger Boutry, professor of harmony at the Paris Music Conservatory. Boutry should know, since he was commissioned by le Président to compose a new version of the national anthem last June. “I have done a new arrangement,” explains Boutry, “taken the drums out, changed the rhythm and the harmony, altered a few notes.” While the 1792 version was a stirring march, the revised edition is more like a hymn. After a private audition recently, Giscard pronounced it great. Les citoyens are reserving judgment until the song’s official debut this week.

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