• U.S.

People, Dec. 24, 1979

3 minute read

Tiny but hardly fragile, she flew tourist class, praying briefly before the jet touched down at Oslo’s Fornebu Airport. Dressed as always in blue-trimmed white sari and sandals, with a threadbare wool overcoat her only concession to subfreezing temperatures, Serbian-born Mother Teresa, 69, the “angel of the slums” of Calcutta, arrived to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. At her request, the Nobel committee eschewed the traditional banquet after the presentation and donated the $7,000 that the dinner for 135 would have cost to her Calcutta-based Missionaries of Charity, who will use the money to feed 400 poor people for a year. The $190,000 award money that goes with the Nobel Prize will be used to build homes and hospitals for lepers.

Actress Jean Stapleton might well be considered a new driving force behind the Equal Rights Amendment. Currently on a ten-city tour with a production of George Kelly’s Daisy Mayme, she has been steering limousine services onto the road toward employment equality by requesting female drivers whenever she needs a chauffeur. A feminist, Stapleton has been able to have her cake and Edith too. In Boston, two women drivers were added to a once all-male payroll, and in Washington, she was expertly guided through the city’s busy streets by Joann Wernke, 24. In Seattle, how ever, Stapleton suggested that a local limo service was taking the wrong route by keeping it all in the family just a little too much: it hired only women. Said she: “I hope that’s only transitional, because that’s not the goal of feminism. The goal is to forget about it and regard everybody equally under the law.”

His handling of last winter’s record blizzards helped bury the political career of for mer Chicago Mayor Michael Bilandic. Now a sculpture of Bilandic and his socialite wife Heather, by John Setick, has created another blizzard, this one of controversy. Sefick’s The Bilandics, which the sculptor describes as “a Chicago rendition of Grant Wood’s American Gothic, “went on display in the city’s Daley Center in mid-November. The work depicts the couple relaxing, with a taped voice coming from the former mayor’s figure saying: “Put another log on the fire, Heather. I think it is beginning to snow again. My God, there must be eight feet out there now, Heather. I don’t know what to do.” After only a few hours of showing, the Chicago Council on Fine Arts had the exhibit covered up and charged the artist with “character assassination.” The matter wound up in court. The result: Art 1, City Hall 0. Sefick, who is now preparing The Bilandics for exhibit, is still mystified by all the excitement. “I just meant it to be funny,” he says.

Leroy (“Satchel”) Paige, 73, the lanky pitcher who over four decades terrified opponents and electrified fans with his artistry on the mound, is about to get the TV-movie treatment. In Don’t Look Back, an ABC film to be aired next year, Lou Gossett Jr., will portray Hall of Famer Paige. Gossett, 42, who played sandlot ball in Brooklyn with a lefty named Sandy Koufax, is thrilled to be portraying Paige, the man who did not believe in looking back, because, as he explained in a phrase that has entered the language, “someone may be gaining on you.”

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