• U.S.

People, Jan. 5, 1976

3 minute read

“I have always wanted to do the Scarlet Letter because it is an interesting piece of Americana,” explained Modern Dance Choreographer Martha Graham, 81, as she introduced her interpretation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel last week to an appreciative New York audience. While Graham Protegee Janet Eilber danced the part of Adulteress Hester Prynne in the classic Puritan story, the role of the Rev. Dimmesdale went to celebrated Russian Expatriate Rudolf Nureyev. “I see no irony in using a Russian to dance the lead in this very American story,” insisted la grande Graham. “I choose dancers, not nationalists.”

Not even Hockey Stars Stan Mikita, Tony Esposito and their fellow Chicago Blackhawks could cramp the style of Ernie, Bert, Grover, Big Bird and Cookie Monster. The Sesame Street regulars (played by Shipstads & Johnson’s Ice Follies skaters) showed up in Chicago last week for a strictly fun hockey match against the Blackhawks—all for the sake of the team’s annual Christmas party. While 80 of the players’ wives, children and friends looked on, the Hawks lost the match when Big Bird grabbed the puck in his beak and tossed it in for the winning goal. And how would the animals fare against the Philadelphia Flyers, the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Champions? “They’d have to take a lot more body contact,” reflected Blackhawk Phil Russell. “Especially Big Bird.”

“I go there to work,” says Actress Natalie Wood of the Anatomy Asylum, the newest hangout for Hollywood heavies. The health spa and its adjoining 25-ft. salad bar, which were opened two months ago by a slimmed-down model for chubby fashions and a former A.A.U. gymnast, already serve a clientele that includes Sally Struthers of TV’s All In The Family, Singer Diana Ross, Actress Yvette Mimieux and Comedian Woody Allen. Not everyone is willing to accept the full star treatment apparently. “The food is really excellent,” says Struthers, who confesses that she has not yet entered the gymnasium half of the establishment.

He munched extra vitamins, hired six runners to act as pacesetters and a nurse to administer alcohol foot rubs. For all that, protean Hustler Bobby Riggs, 57, won his 25-mile foot race across California’s Death Valley against Aussie Distance Runner Bill Emmerton, 56, by a scant 40 minutes. Emmerton had to run the 25-mile course twice and still managed to finish in less than nine hours. “I was ready to play some tennis, but the Death Valley courts aren’t lighted, and it was dark by the time Emmerton came in,” said Bobby with typical modesty after pocketing $25,000 in prize money from the lollipop company that he endorses. Will the aging pair race again? “If the terms are right,” answered Riggs. “We’re already talking about Iran or Australia. Or maybe the Great Wall of China.”

It should cost more than mere peanuts to put Presidential Contender Jimmy Carter into the White House. At least that may be the result of an Oregon law that prohibits Carter from providing peanuts—or anything else of value—to prospective voters. Carter, a peanut farmer and former Democratic Governor of Georgia, recently gave Florida voters plastic bags with a campaign slogan on the outside and 17 shelled peanuts stuffed within. Their cost: 1.5¢ per bag, which Carter’s campaigners insist is less than the price of the buttons and bumper stickers permitted under the law. Politicians don’t need laws “to discourage them from providing anything of value to their constituents,” joked Jimmy, who then offered two final words on the Oregon ruling: “Aw, nuts.”

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