If I told all, I'd be shot," says Peter Malatesta, who nonetheless hopes a publisher will be interested in a little of what it's like to travel in society circles by virtue of being Bob Hope's nephew, Spiro Agnew's sidekick and host-around-Washington.
With writer and former "7:30 Live" TV gossip Teddy Vaughn, Malatesta is working on a book that he says will include these anecdotes:
At the Nixon White House one evening, Bob Hope's wife remarked to the president that her guest bedroom, the Lincoln room, was a bit chilly. Nixon took some matches from Malatesta and proceeded to light the logs in the room's fireplace. In a matter of seconds the room was filled with smoke: the fireplace had been sealed off three years earlier.
Once when Eva Gabor was Malatesta's houseguest, he noticed she was wearing several expensive rubies. She told him, "Nevah mind, dahling," when he suggested she put them somewhere safe before going to bed. The next morning, as Malatesta began simmering a marinara sauce he'd prepared the day before, he noticed some lumps as he began stirring. He fished the rubies from the sauce as Gabor bounded down the steps yelling, "Dahling! dahling! You don't know what you are doing..."