People

People

Marsha Boulton August 11 1980
People

People

Marsha Boulton August 11 1980

People

When self-made millionaire and super-trucker Tyrone Malone was a 15-year-old high-school dropout, he lurched across California’s cotton fields on a mechanical picker dreaming of smoking tires and three-window coupés. Thirty-five years later the man who “didn’t want to end up on a tractor at 60” is touring Canada from a “copcar” Corvette with his $1-million fleet of racing diesel Kenworths. Featured is the “Super Boss”—a 16,000-pound monster that “blew them out of the tub” by turning 102 m.p.h. in a 13.4-second quarter-mile and 144.42 m.p.h. top end. The trucking game has made Malone the P. T. Barnum of six-wheel drive. He started in the truck business in 1964 and used his first Kenworth to haul Little Irvy, a 20-ton, 11-metre frozen whale which he still charges 75 cents to see. Obviously, Malone has diesel fuel in his veins and his love of the public shows in his bank balance. “I’ve known recordsetters who never made a quarter,” he says. “Speed is nothing if you’re not a showman.”

Coincidence and politics make suspicious bedfellows. Days after the Republican convention in Detroit, police routinely arrested a man for attempting to burglarize an advertising specialties firm. The unlucky criminal was named Jimmy Carter. And the arresting officer—an eight-year department veteran—Richard Nixon.

Ifllived off day-old doughnuts for a I long time,” says 25-year-old Sherisse Laurence, who broke into show business via the Miss Teen Canada pageant (first runner-up, circa 1971) and singing with Winnipeg bands. Today, Laurence has more healthy eating habits and also works regularly as the host of CTV’s Circus. “I’m just real goofy,” says Laurence, who resembles her idol Linda Ronstadt and, some say, Hugh Hefner’s former playmate Barbi Benton.

The look-alike syndrome has not, however, bogged Laurence down. This fall she will be seen in a children’s TV special and after that she wouldn’t mind trying her hands and feet out in a musical extravaganza in the Carmen Miranda tradition. “I just don’t know if I could dance with all the bananas on my head.”

The Motels don’t have to worry about “no vacancy” signs and, since they are planning to tour with The Cars, transportation is no problem. As any of the other four members of the L.A.based band happily acknowledge, success has had more than a little to do with sultry Martha Davis, lead singer/songwriter. “You can call us metal cabaret,” says guitarist Tim McGovern. “We’re the metal and she’s the show girl.” “Without the legs,” quickly adds Davis, who prefers long

skirts to short ones and who, despite the constrictions of playing guitar, likes to wear dresses. “The kind I’m really going for are those coat-over dresses that you can wear slacks under, just like they used to on I Love Lucy." Davis accepts the labelling of “chick singer” with good-humored maturity, which may have something to do with the fact that, like a new wave Loretta Lynn, at 29 she has two daughters aged 12 and 14. “They’re our worst critics,” says keyboard player Marty Jourard. “They don’t cut no slack.”

Thirteen years ago a group of ragtag leftovers from the free-speech movement invaded the solitude of the New York Stock Exchange visitors’ gallery and showered the trading floor with dollar bills. “So what,” shrugged the money establishment, which promptly installed bulletproof glass to protect traders from falling objects. One of the ragtaggroup was Jerry Rubin, a streettheatre guerrilla; a self-confessed Yippie (hippies in politics for fun) and a stand-up subversive who disrupted the 1968 Democratic convention as one of the Chicago Seven. Last week, Rubin, 42, stalked the corridors of Wall Street once again, but his dollar bills were firmly entrenched in his pocket. “Money is power,” he announced as he joined the John Muir and Company investment firm as a research analyst. Rubin says his goal is to become a “creative financier.” Now a psychedelic relic in a two-piece suit, Rubin still manages to cast a baleful eye toward

politics: “John Anderson’s going to win. Ronald Reagan is too old and Jimmy Carter’s the worst president since Calvin Coolidge.”

The bloodlines of the Kennedy clan may be as blue as the Boston bay but their table manners are strictly backwater, and that has once-and-future Democratic presidential candidate Ted Kennedy’s campaign strategist worried. It seems the candidate resembles an errant Cuisinart when he eats. This explains the reason why the words “Pat Lawford’s chicken sandwiches” produce gales of laughter from campaign workers. In an effort to squelch the problem, campaign workers have developed a game plan they call “hide the food.” It became official after an incident, known internally as the “Day of the Lobster,” featured the candidate consuming four huge lobster sandwiches without so much as a “pass the napkin.” Such indelicate excesses can lead to larger problems as well. “We have to help him watch that waistline,” confided a campaign worker. “He gets fat so easily.”

Highway drivers are nervous, state troopers are baffled and the man they call the Vanishing Hitch-hiker still has not materialized. In three separate incidents since June, drivers near Little Rock, Ark., have picked up “a welldressed man in his early 20s” thumbing on an interstate highway. He turns the in-car conversation to religion, weather and the declining morality of the world, then disappears in transit. Poof! “We’ve never experienced anything like it,” says state trooper Dempsie Coffman. Midway through the U.S. heat wave, the Hitch-hiker gravely announced to one sun-slaked chauffeur, “It will never rain again,” then vanished into thin air. With no law against hitch-hiking, the

police could be at a loss if they do snaffle him. “We can’t for our lives figure out if there is any hazard involved,” says Coffman. But there’s no panic in Little Rock. After all, it rained last week.

Old Italian burlesque stars don’t fade away—they make pasta. Then, if they are particularly wise and have married an exceptionally good pastamaker—they write a book of recipes. So to the booksellers’ shelves goes 99 Ways to Cook Pasta by Tony Award-winning actor Robert Alda (a “senior” at 66) and his Sicilian-born wife, Flora. The 148page ode to carbohydrates is presented theatrically in two prologues and six acts which range in dramatic depth from “The Meatless Scene” through “Baked and/or Stuffed.” As in most partnership books there were the usual share of editorial disagreements. Explains Flora: “Roberto made me crazy. He kept asking me how many cups of this, how many spoons of that? How do

I know? I don’t measure, I throw!” Though he is still devoted to both Flora and pasta, Alda recently returned to his burlesque roots as a top-billed banana in the touring Broadway show Burlesque U.S.A. On a play-date last week in Toronto, he caught up with a gang of former gag-meisters with whom he worked in the late ’30s on the stage of the Casino and Shea’s.They ate Chinese food. But next October the Aldas return to Toronto for the opening of an Italian home for the aged—and that’s no pasta.

Interviewers be warned. When Peter Gzowski hits the autumn authors parade with his new book, The Sacrament, there are some questions that will not be tolerated. Sacrament is the true story of Brent Dyer, 26, and Donna Johnson, 19, of Estevan, Sask., who survived a 19-day ordeal following a 1979 plane crash on an Idaho mountain. One of the ways they survived was by eating the flesh of the third person on the plane, Johnson’s father. “I didn’t want to write a grisly book,” says Gzowski, who doesn’t savor the prospect of answering grisly questions. Instead, the journalist - turned - TVhost - turned - author would prefer to discuss “the religious process” that he believes gave the survivors the will to live. “Essentially, they believe that God took them off the mountain,” explains Gzowski, who discovered during his interviews that “a little bird” guided the pair to safety. “A fiction writer wouldn’t have been able to put that in a book.”

Marsha Boulton