Will 1977 be an exciting year? Don't ask.
What could be dull about a year in which Cary Grant marries a teenybopper he met while both were trapped in the elevator of a London hotel, scientists discover an herb growing in the Arizona desert which cures both multiple sclerosis and diabetes, and Farrah Fawcett-Majors, after leaving "Charlie's Angels" because it's much too risque, teams up with husband Lee in a TV series about a space colony on an alien planet that becomes one of the tube's all-time greatest hits.
These predictions and other more or less like them are all the rage in January's magazines. The National Enquirer put together a 10-person psychic all-star team for its picks, the National Star made do with the venerable Jeane Dixon, while Photoplay relied on the services of "actress/astrologer Joyce Jillson" for its future shocks.
The only person turning up on all three lists is that well-known former First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. While Jeane Dixon pussyfoots around and says there's the strong possibility of an engagement" for the lady by mid-year, the Enquirer comes right out and marries her to a wealthy European businessman. No names, please. And according to Photoplay, while "a former escort will tell all in an unauthorized magazine article," Jackie will bounce back "to be given some very important appointment by the President." Oh yes, daughter Caroline may announce "that she is thinking about marrying a very famous rock star.
Don't say you weren't warned. Come Fly With
BIll Lear, according to the January Town & Country, had lots of laughs when designing the prototype Lear jet. Told about the plane's tight headroom, he said, "If you want to take a walk, go to Central Park." And when folks complained about having to move around in a crouch, Lear shot back, "You can't stand up a Cadillac either."
Still, the Lear jet prospered and now has lots of rivals, including one from Israel dubbed the "Yon Kippur Clipper." Moost private jet owners, according to T&C, use them to gratify whims: Elvis Presley once flew his ailling ten-year-old chow, Gitlo, from Nashville to a vet in Massachussetts, country singer Ray Prince went from Nashville to Phoenix to attend a racing pigeon auction, while the Beach Boys travel in matched pair, one for smokers, one for non.
It is the Arabs, however, who really do the private jet bit in style. King Hussein has a 727 with a thirty-seven seat "tourist section" for armed-to-the teeth bodyguard Saudi Arabia's King Khalid is building one complete with a hospital room, but one of his relatives, Prince Tallal Bin Abdul Aziz threatens to outdo everyone. According to the Prince's designer, I'm telling the history of Saudi Arabia in carved wooden bas-relief panels . . . In the master bedroom I have an $8,000 bedspread of matched fox fur . . . And then we'll have a lavatory with real marble surrounding the gaol bowls, and the doorknobs are gold with earth-colored onyx inlay."
Bring back Smilin' Jack. The Terror
Good Housekeping, usually a Goody Two-Shoes kind of magazine, has a story in its January issue that would freeze the blood of Count Dracula. Entitled "Three Years of Terror - A Real Life Ordeal," it tells of the Mobley family of Nashua, N.H., whose life, according to Mrs. Mobley, "was like a script for an Alfred Hitchcock horror movie." She isn't kidding.
The problem, in a word, was bats. Close to one hundred made it through a small crack in the Mobley's roof. DDT was the only sure way to get rid of them, but could no longer be legally obtained, and all the help the family got from the U.S. Wildlife Service were some bulletins with the words "Good Luck!" penciled across one corner.
The Mobleys tried various noxious remedies to exercise the bat, but these only made them madder. Soon the scratchings of their long nails on all the walls and ceilings and the fear that they might escape from behind those walls and enter the living quarters forced the Mobleys to abandon the house.
Finally,a loophole in the Federal DDT ban was exploited and, after three sprayings, all the bats were eliminated. Still, the ordeal is not quite over, as Mrs. Mobley reports that bats from other roosts still dive at the sealed entrance of the old nest in some kind of bizarre communion with the dead."We sometimes feel like the Addams family," she says "living in the haunted house on the hill." Picture This
Picture is a most extraordinary new magazine that takes its name quite literally. It is all pictures. There are no words.
Editor-publisher Don Owens, a 38-year-old Los Angeles-based former art director, felt strongly that magazines today fell into two broad categories: skin magazines and the service type. Life, Look, all the picture magazines are gone. I wanted to get back to images. People are really hungry for great images."
So Owens scraped together some $20,000 and began Picture early in 1976. It is a gigantic, (13 inches by 19 inches) lush publication with marvelous color and black-and-white reproductions of both photographs and original art in the semi-outre, Helmut Newton mold. The result is very unlike Life. Circulation is closing in on the 3,500 breakeven point as Owens continue to "try to make the magazines itself a piece of art."
For once this is more than propaganda. Picture's address is 3818 Brunswick Ave., Los Angeles, 90036, and subscriptions cost $24 for six bimonthly issues. Money Talks
Taking a hint from Esquire's dubious achievement awards, January Money magazine lists fiscal "Winners and Losers of the Year." Most awful contrast comes in the insurance category, where winner Michael Day of Fairbanks, Alaska got $3 million for an ankle injury that only bothers him when he puts pressure on it.
The loser was an Ogden, Utah skydriver, who got blown off course and landed on the roof of a car, breaking both legs and one arm. The State Farm Insurance agent agree that the man had "occupied" the car under the terms of the Utah no-fault law, "but the company wouldn't pay him because he hadn't the owner's permission.
In other money news, Cosmo asked 37 stars "What Di d You Spend Money On When You First Felt Rich?" Best answers came from Dr. Joyce Brothers, who said "I knew things were looking up when I stopped reusing aluminium foil and was buying new rolls with reckless abandon," and Eva Gabo, who went to five-and-ten cent store and purchased an armload of panties, "sixty pairs at thirty-six cents each." Teheranicide
New York Magazine film critic John Simon, never mistaken for Mr. Nice Guy, met his match when he took an all-expenses-paid trip to the Fifth Teheran Film Festival. "I lack space," Simon writer huffily, "for all the ludicrous, pitiful, absurd, infuriating mishaps that dogged us all the way." Still he tries.
MOst of the interesting anecdotes center around producer/director Otto Premiget, whose bad luck start* ed at the airport when the Iranians insisted he was Elia Kazan. Then Preminger was forced to share a room with his son, even though "in vain did Otto fulminate that he wasn't incestuous." The final indignity came when Otto's pal Paul Mazursky was detained by a restaurant waiter for luck of a jacket.
"While Paul wa considering what to do, Otto reared up before the waiter and shouted, 'I am Otto Preminger and he is with me, and he doesn't have a jacket, so shut up!" Kid Stuff
Starting from Graham Green's premise the "Perhaps it is only in childhood that books have any great influence on our lives." Rolling Stone devotes a big chunk of its Dec. 30 issue to Maurice Sendak, pre-eminent creator of children's books, author of "Really Rosie," "Where The Wild Things Are," "In The Night Kitchen," and innumerable others. Among Sendak's thought:
On babies - "They're enormous kvetches with those mean little faces - 'Gives me this!' - and at the same time there's a look that they get that makes them so vulnerable, poignant and lovable."
On relatives who threatened to "eat him up" as a child - "I was very nervous because I really believed they probably could if they had a mind to. They had great big teeth, immense nostrils and very sweety foreheads. I often remember that vision and how it frightened me."
On his own childhood - "I was miserable as a kid. I couldn't make friends, I couldn't play stoopball terrific, I couldn't skate great. I stayed home and draw pictures. You KNOW what they thought of me: sissy Maurice Sendak. When I wanted to go out and do something, my father would say: 'You'll catch a cold.' And I did. . . I did whatever he told me." Little Sure Shot
Latest woman to be rescued by Ms. from the horrors of being "%character assassinated by the feminine mystique" is none other than sharpshooter Annie Oakley. No, says Ms., Annie did not throw her shooting match with husband-to-be Frank Butler because "You Can't Get A Man With A Gun." The truth apparently is that liberated Frank was more than happy to live 50 years with a woman who was a better and bigger star than he was. So there.
Annie started her shooting career at age 14, becoming much in demand for procuring game since she always "shot birds through the head and thus spared hotel guests the unpleasant surprise of chewing buckshot with their dinners." As her career progressed she once at a distance of 30 paces shot the ashes off a cigarette reposing in the mouth of Kaiser Wilhelm II, and in one exhausting, nine-hour day, attempted the feat of shooting 5,000 glass balls. She hit 4,772 which list bad. Even for a woman. More Money
1975 was a great for baking soda, but don't ask about the dry beans and peas. Disposable lighter folks and smiling, but there is no laughter in the world of frozen synthetic orange drinks. And eggs, eggs are in worse shape than Humpty Dumpty.
All this information ans lots more comes out of a recent issue of Supermaketing, the magazine of grocery retailing, whicch knows all and tells all in its 29th annual consumer expenditures study. In nearly 20 pages of tiny type, Supermarketing can tell you how much the American shopper spent on literally everything. Drain pipe solvents pulled in a hefty $13.7 million, mayonnaise outsold catsup, $339 million to $316 mmillion, while chewing gum pulled in an astonishing $666 million. You live and learn. Tidbits
Three others magazines - House & Garden, Town & Country and Better Homes and Gardens - join Vogue this cutting down to a standard 8 1/4 by 11 inches in order to save money on paper and postage. Only Ebony, Saturday Evening Post and Antiques remain large-sized. . . High Times magazine, pipeline to the drug culture, has opened a Washington office at 2000 P St., NW . . . Atlas, the world press review, offers the hot tip that the next pope just might be Franz Cardinal Konig of Vienna, the first non-Italian in 500 years . . . the Smithsonian Magazine reports that the coldest inauguration ever was U.S. Grant's second in 1873. The guests danced in overcoats, food froze on platters, and hundreds of canaries, intended as charming warbles, were instead frozen stiff.