Former president Ronald Reagan isn't revealing much, at least in the excerpts from his upcoming memoir published in two installments in Time magazine. In the Simon & Schuster book, "An American Life," Reagan does write that the summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, in October 1986 produced "one of the longest, most disappointing -- and ultimately angriest -- days of my presidency." After believing that remarkable arms reductions would be achieved at the summit, Reagan wrote that his hopes were dashed when Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev "threw us a curve" after "everything had been decided" and insisted on restrictions on the Strategic Defense Initiative, the so-called Star Wars missile defense system.

Reagan did not mention, at least in these excerpts in the current and upcoming issues of Time, that both he and his advisers have said previously that they knew Gorbachev was trying to limit SDI from the first day of the summit. In an introductory essay to this first installment, Time's deputy chief of correspondents and former White House correspondent, Barrett Seaman, writes, "There are no juicy revelations here. At least none intended. As to the inner Ronald Reagan, the mystery remains unsolved."

Out and About

Montgomery County Circuit Judge J. James McKenna, who is bringing together some of the hottest "top gun" lawyers in the country at the Georgetown University Law Center, describes the gathering as the "Woodstock of Lawyering." It will be more than that when the powerful, self-confident trial lawyers gather for a two-day display of courtroom skills Nov. 9 and 10 at the Moot Courtroom on the Law Center's Capitol Hill campus. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will preside at the opening session, which will bring such courtroom combatants as Brendan "Potted Plant" Sullivan, lawyer to Iran-contra star Oliver North; Howard L. Seitzman, who persuaded a jury to acquit carmaker John DeLorean; Richard "Racehorse" Haynes, the colorful Texas criminal lawyer; and master malpractice attorneys Joseph H. Koonz Jr. and Jack H. Olender. McKenna, the chairman of the conference, has given himself the unenviable role of ruling on the all-star performances ...

The death of Elliott Roosevelt, the son of Franklin D. Roosevelt, comes at a time when University of Arizona historian Dean Smith has a proposal making the rounds for a book on the former president's frequently married, colorful son. Smith, who co-wrote the 1961 "Biography of a Conservative" about former senator Barry Goldwater, has a working title for the Roosevelt book: "The Rebel Roosevelt" ...

Bandleader Lawrence Welk's daughter has said the family is "astonished" and "embarrassed" that a controversy has developed over the $500,000 congressional appropriation to restore her father's birthplace near Strasburg, N.D., as a tourist attraction. "We actually didn't know until last week that the funding had even been asked for," Shirley Fredricks said. The family had preferred that money for the project come from private sources. But, she explained, North Dakota Sen. Quentin Burdick sought the federal money. Now some North Dakota farmers are complaining about the appropriation for such a project, and Rep. Silvio Conte, never at a loss for words, asked: "What will they do for an encore? Earmark funds to renovate Guy Lombardo's speedboat? Or restore {much-married} Artie Shaw's wedding tuxedo?" ...