Billy Carter has gone back home to Plains. All the upsetting tourists who cluttered the tiny Georgia town when brother Jimmy was president are gone, so he feels there's room for him to return. The former president's 49-year-old younger brother had lived about 150 miles away in Waycross, Ga., for the past four years and had vowed never to return to Plains.
Billy had never been happy about what had happened to his home town after his brother was elected president. He said he regretted his brother hadn't lived in Atlanta because "Plains has gone straight to hell." He began drinking heavily and saying and doing things embarrassing to his brother. Billy entered an alcohol treatment program seven years ago and says he hasn't touched a drop since.
Until January, Billy Carter was vice president of Scott Housing Systems, a mobile-home manufacturer in Waycross. He left the business to set up mobile-home lots of his own in Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama.
Walters' Own Duvalier Coup
Barbara Walters has done it again. She returned to her ABC News "20/20" offices in New York Sunday after getting the first interview with deposed Haitian dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier and his wife Michele in their rented villa in Grasse, France. The interview with the couple, who left Haiti Feb. 7, will be broadcast Thursday night.
Walters said yesterday that the Duvaliers expressed no sense of guilt or wrongdoing. "He really believes he tried to help his country," Walters said. "And he's not the fat wimp we've been told he is. He's very much in charge and his wife defers to him." Walters said Michele Duvalier denied living an excessive life style while sitting at the interview wearing diamond earrings.
Duvalier said he hopes to return to his country one day as a private citizen and doesn't believe that democracy can exist in Haiti at this time. What comes through, Walters said, is the couple's belief that they were simply following the accepted paternalistic custom of rule they had inherited.
Return of the Sequoia
On June 22, the former presidential yacht Sequoia will be rededicated after a $2 million restoration at the Norfolk shipyards. On that day nine years ago, President Carter made the decision to get rid of the boat that had been used by presidents dating back to Herbert Hoover.
Carter said the 106-foot vessel was an unnecessary perquisite of the presidency and unceremoniously sold it. It was an unpopular decision, given the history of the boat -- it was on the Sequoia that Franklin Roosevelt met Winston Churchill and where John F. Kennedy celebrated his last birthday. Once the historical restoration is completed, so that the yacht will look as it did when it was built in 1925, it will be returned to the U.S. Navy to again enter service as a presidential yacht.
The Sequoia will be sent on a national tour in 1988, and when it returns to Washington it will be officially turned over to the Navy and assigned to the White House on Nov. 15, 1988. It is operated by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Presidential Yacht Trust, which has set up a nearly $3 million endowment to pay for its operation and maintenance.
One of the first public events for the Sequoia following its rededication will be during the July 4 weekend, when ABC News uses the yacht as a television anchor position in New York Harbor during the centennial ceremonies for the Statue of Liberty.
That was the evil Norman Bates, better known in acting circles as Anthony Perkins, at the Washington premiere of his new movie, "Psycho III," last night at the Uptown Theater. He is out promoting the new "Psycho" movie, which he also directed. The man who took all the fun out of taking a shower was at the door greeting the invitation-only viewers . . .
Hospital report: Bo Derek's husband, producer and former actor John Derek, was released from Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Sunday. The 59-year-old Derek, who starred in such films as "Knock on Any Door," "Exodus" and "All the King's Men," suffered a mild heart attack at his 32-acre ranch near Santa Barbara June 1 . . . Former astronaut James B. Irwin, one of a dozen Americans to walk on the moon, was off a respirator and improving yesterday. He suffered a near-fatal heart seizure last Friday while jogging. The 56-year-old Irwin is in serious but stable condition at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs . . .