• U.S.

People, Jul. 31, 1978

4 minute read

“No frills” is still his motto. When Skytrain Boss Freddie Laker learned that he was on Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday Honors list, he let out the word: “I’ve been called Freddie all my life, and I’m not changing it to something highfalutin like Frederick simply because I’ve been knighted.” But at the ceremony last week at Buckingham Palace, he wore a proper top hat and morning suit and told photographers: “If you think I’m going to do anything daft today, you’re wrong.” Sir Freddie is especially pleased with his insignia and title because he has long attacked the government for its air policy. “The last thing you expect is to be told you’re a good lad,” he says. “You expect a kick in the arse.”

Some guests thought it was a lot of bull. But others were delighted to dress formally for the invitation-only cattle, horse and art auction in Houston’s Shamrock Hilton hotel. Among the sponsors: John Connally, former Governor of Texas, who now practices law in Houston and breeds livestock. Besides cattle and horses, art by the likes of Frederic Remington was up for bids. At evening’s end $507,400 worth of paintings and livestock had been sold. Best price paid for an animal: $26,000 for Connally’s bull Boxcar.

“There’s just something about me … something that just doesn’t work.” The speaker was Author Truman Capote on WABC-TV’s Stanley Siegel show. Before his TV appearance, Capote, 53, had taken booze and drugs. Rambling and incoherent, he spoke of eventually killing himself. The TV show followed a two-part article in the New York Times Magazine about Capote. Freelance Writer Anne Taylor Fleming wrote that the publication in 1975 of a gossipy chapter about his high society friends from Capote’s long overdue novel, Answered Prayers, “quite simply changed his life.” The result: instead of being famous, he became infamous and took heavily to drink and pills, “a longtime habit at last grown serious.”

No gaps or deleted expletives. The taped conversations between Japan’s Emperor Hirohito and 55 of the guests who were invited to his semiannual parties are a source of pride in the imperial palace. They are in fact being made into a record album. Among the voices of prominent Japanese on the LP is that of Sadaharu Oh, the home-run king who last fall topped Hank Aaron’s 755 record. “What exactly was the most difficult thing in setting your home-run record?” asked Hirohito. “The overwhelming expectation on the part of my fans,” replied Oh. “But you will continue to improve your record?” came the royal question. “Yes, your majesty,” promised Oh, who obeyed and is now up to home run No. 788.

On camera she has been a double agent in Marathon Man and a Palestinian terrorist in Black Sunday. Off the set, Swiss-born Marthe Keller is a homebody who has just finished furnishing a Manhattan apartment and plans to settle in New York City. “Some day I would like to play a nice American girl,” she says. First, she is off to Europe, where she has the title role in the movie Lulu, yet another adaptation of the Frank Wedekind play about a German seductress compelled to destroy the lives of her lovers. “Lulu is decadent and perverse. She is the Don

Juan of women,” says Keller. After Lulu, Keller will play a tamer type: Masha, a gentlewoman in Chekhov’s The Three Sisters, on the Paris stage. “Masha is like me,” says Keller. “She talks about Moscow, Moscow, Moscow. When I was growing up in Basel, which was very boring, I yearned for ‘Paris, Paris, Paris.’ ”

On the Record

Patricia Schroeder, Colorado Congress woman, urging that a proposed dollar coin portray Suffragist Susan B. Anthony rather than Miss Liberty: “We have real birds and real buffalo on our coins; it’s time we had a real woman.”

Frank Robinson, manager of the Rochester Red Wings, after his team lost to the Toledo Mud Hens 7 to 9: “Close doesn’t count in baseball. Close only counts in horseshoes and grenades.”

Mike Mansfield, U.S. Ambassador to Japan: “Many Americans think that Japan is Japan Incorporated and [Prime Minister] Fukuda presses a button and he can get things done. It’s not a true picture of the Japanese economic system.”

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