For eight years, between bouts with Parkinson's disease, Sidney Dorros wrote a first-person book about his disease (Parkinson's: A Patient's View) with "the passion of an erotic novelist," according to an early review. Seven Locks Press publishes the book this month by the former National Education Assocation executive whose son, Arthur Dorros, also just became an author. Greenwillow recently published a children's book written and illustrated by the younger Dorros called Pretzels ... Kevin Mulcahy, the man who told The New York Times all about working with Ed Wilson and Frank Terpil, says he's written 40,000 words of an as-yet-untitled book. But friends say relations between Mulcahy and his Times collaborator, reporter Seymour Hersh, have deteriorated. Hersh says only their relationship is "not bad, it's bittersweet" and that he's sure Mulcahy "will get a movie deal if he wants" ... Washington's bar scene regulars get their own gossipy monthly, a newsletter called The Bar Rag and published by Debbie Dietz, co-owner of M Street's Sign of the Whale ... The woman who plays the lead role in Evita on weekends, Joy Cober, is an item on the nightlife circuit with restaurateur Mo Sussman.
Author Victor "It Didn't Start With Watergate" Lasky has an unusual explanation for why his current unauthorized biography of Henry Ford II (Never Complain, Never Explain) has not made it to the top of the bestseller lists: he fell into a pothole at the outset of his promotion tour this summer.
After a promotion appearance in Boston last July, Lasky was walking down Boylston Street, lighting his Partagas cigar, looking forward to dinner with some friends, when all 210 pounds of him fell into a pot hole on the sidewalk. Later that night, delerious, he was taken by ambulance to a hospital. Lasky says he suffered internal ruptures and had to cancel several months worth of promotional appearances.
"And running against all the sex and diet books on the New York Times nonfiction list, I was 17th or 18th," says Lasky. "But I just couldn't get over them because I couldn't promote."
So Lasky is suing the city of Boston. He retained attorney Gerald Alch (he represented James McCord in the Watergate era) and, armed with photos of the sidewalk pothole, Lasky says he'll make the case that he was deprived of earnings because his injury kept him off the promotion circuit.
BEFORE: As a high school student in suburban Philadelphia, Lona was a skinny girl with no figure. Then she grew up and met an entrepreneur and body builder named Ken Dion who introduced Lona to the Nautilus system of body building and to matrimony.
AFTER: Today, 27-year-old Lona Dion is Philadelphia's princess of pin-ups, a curvy brunette who poses in tiny bikinis for ads that promote a chain of health clubs she and her husband run. And she's coming to Washington.
"Women started coming in our clubs and saying, 'I want to look like you,' " says petite (106 pounds, 5 feet 6 inches) Lona Dion. "So Ken thought, 'Why don't we put you in the ads to show women they aren't going to develop large muscles?' "
In the fall of 1980, the Dions designed their first ad, a color portrait of Lona in a black bikini. They bought a full-page in Philadelphia magazine for $4,000, and before you could say "Wow," an institution was born.
A survey found that of 87 ads in one issue of Philadelphia magazine, the one starring Lona ranked at or near the top in tests measuring readers' recollection and identification. So successful were the ads in attracting new business to the Dions' Philadelphia-area Nautilus Clubs, that the ads became monthly affairs. There was Lona in a hardhat with the line, "We build them better." With her back toward the camera, looking over her shoulder, Lona appeared with the caption, "A means to an end."
"Women took the ads and put them on their refrigerator doors," says Lona. Students pasted them to the inside of lockers. Receptionists at the Dions' clubs fielded suggestive phone calls. And the business came rolling in.
Nautilus is a line of weight training equipment used widely by professional athletes. Neither a franchise nor chain of health spas, Nautilus sells equipment to anyone. In 1978, after using the equipment themselves, the Dions decided to open their own clubs using Nautilus machines. Their clubs don't offer the usual panoply of swimming pools, snack bars and sun rooms--just the forbidding looking exercise machines and locker rooms.
Now, with some 42 investors, the Dions run (and partly own) clubs in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Florida. Poised to open is a Club Nautilus in White Flint Mall and another later next year at Tysons Corner. The first of a series of ads featuring Lona in Washingtonian magazine caught the attention of James Ostmann, a Washington lawyer and part- time song writer. Inspired, he wrote a rock song called "Love For Lona" and sent a tape of it to the Dions. At the Dions' request, Ostmann softened a few suggestive lyrics and is cutting a record he'll issue under his own label, Counsel of Record Company.
"I was thinking about writing a song about a lady, and I wanted to use a name I had not heard before in a title," says Ostmann, 37. "I opened up Washingtonian and saw her picture and that was the inspiration to write the tune. I think she's the most beautiful woman I've ever seen, pure and simple."
Wasn't Rep. Phil Gramm--the Texas Democrat who David Stockman said quietly helped steer Ronald Reagan's budget through the House Budget Committee--a juvenile delinquent?By his own admission, Gramm was something of of rowdy youth. He recently told D magazine in Dallas that he failed the 3rd, 7th and 9th grades ans was such a discipline problem that his mother sent him to a military academy. Once, Gramm says, he went joyriding (without a license) in his mother's car and left it abandoned and out of gas by the side of a road.
Is the attorney who is representing the man accused of trying to assassinate Ronald Regan the same lawyer who is establishing the legal outlets in Washington- area Dart Drug stores?
No. William Hinckley's lawyer, Vincent J. Fuller, is associated with Edward Bennett Williams' law firm. He has represented, among others, such clients as Westinghouse (accused of bribery abroad), former Rep. Charles Diggs (convicted of congressional payroll padding) and a Korean businessman alleged to have given cash to congressmen. Helping to open the legal services offices at Dart Drug stores is Virginia lawyer Vincent Fuller Jr., one of several lawyers who will help run the cut-rate legal outlets. The two Fullers are not related.