'Baby Jessica' Graduates
For 58 hours in October 1987, the world was riveted to a drama unfolding in Midland, Tex.: An 18-month-old toddler had fallen into an abandoned well and become stuck in an eight-inch-wide pipe. Reporters descended on Midland, and "Baby Jessica" became a household name as emergency workers struggled to free her.
Racing against time, they dug a parallel shaft, then finally broke through the well wall. The dramatic moment of rescue was covered on live television. The nation cried with relief with the Chip McClure family.
In the aftermath, the town itself, which was suffering bust times after a roaring oil heyday, was rejuvenated. In 1989, thousands of people relived the tragedy through the ABC movie "Everybody's Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure," starring Patty Duke, Beau Bridges and Pat Hingle.
Now there's a postscript: Baby Jessica graduated from high school this weekend. Eighteen-year-old Jessica McClure joined more than 100 other seniors at Greenwood High School near Midland in receiving their diplomas Friday night. A proud mom, Cissy Porter, commented on her daughter's behalf: "We're just trying to get back to having a normal life."
Feel like your life/job/week has been like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic? Well, here's something for you:
A wooden chaise from the ill-fated luxury liner is expected to go for $50,000 to $60,000 at auction June 10 at New York's South Street Seaport Museum. Three major collectors are selling treasures from the Titanic, from china to artwork and menus salvaged off Newfoundland after the sinking April 15, 1912.
According to Guernsey's auction house, the deck chair is one of a handful found; the others are said to be in museums. This is "the most comprehensive, significant, exciting collection ever to be presented on the Titanic," says Guernsey's president, Arlan Ettinger.
Items for auction include:
* A cork life jacket and liner said to have been removed from a doomed passenger. Estimated price: $30,000 to $40,000.
* A canvas body bag: $25,000 to $30,000.
* An S.S. Titanic plaque from lifeboat No. 2: $75,000 to $100,000.
* An address slip recovered from the body of a postal clerk named Oscar Woody, who was celebrating his 44th birthday. He and fellow postal clerks tried to save 200 sacks of registered mail bound for New York. None of the clerks survived. Estimate: $15,000 to $17,000.
More than 1,500 people, including prominent New Yorkers John Jacob Astor and Macy's founder Isador Straus and his wife, Ida -- who refused to board a lifeboat without her husband -- died less than three hours after the Titanic hit an iceberg; 704 survived.
Meals Fit for a President
Back in 2002, Dan Tang, owner of Heaven Dragon Chinese restaurant in suburban Denver, told Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard that his dream was to cook for the president. Allard passed along a recommendation and -- presto! -- he got to serve President Bush. It must have been an impressive meal, because now Tang has been asked to deliver Peking duck, sesame chicken, Hunan chicken and crispy shrimp to the president and about 20 people traveling with him today. Bush is giving the commencement address tomorrow at the Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs.
"I feel excited, even more excited than the first time," Tang said. "He came back like a return customer."
His excitement has nothing to do with his politics, apparently. Tang said he's registered as an unaffiliated voter: "It's best for business if you don't pick sides."
Bono's Third World Interest
U2 frontman Bono continues his campaign to help Third World countries today by addressing a Dublin meeting of European Union ministers, hoping to persuade them to extend debt relief programs.
On May 20, he told a U.S. congressional hearing he was ashamed by Europe's lukewarm support for punitive sanctions against military-ruled Burma, and its failure to support activist Aung San Suu Kyi, to whom U2 dedicated its Grammy-winning song "Walk On."
-- From staff and wire reports