People

People

Marsha Boulton September 1 1980
People

People

Marsha Boulton September 1 1980

People

When the government of Nova Scotia decided to re-create the wartime hit musical Meet the Navy to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Canadian navy, John Pratt was ready and willing to report for duty. Pratt, 73, was the star of the original cast that toured Canada and five countries abroad from 1943 to 1946. For this special edition of the show, Pratt has redonned his 37year-old oversized boiler suit costume to sing the hit song You 'll Get Used to It, which immortalized his sad-sack character. In the intervening years, Pratt has been far from a sad sack, however. After resigning his show business commission, he began a political career in Quebec where he served as the mayor of Dorval and the Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Jacques Cartier-LaSalle. “One day I noticed that the water tasted peculiar and approached city council about it,” he recalls. “The pollution around the council table was worse than the lake.” Pratt quit politics in favor of real estate in 1963, but he enjoys delivering his final navy performances in that old showbiz town—Ottawa.

The name Rajiv means “lotus,” although as far as Indian politics is concerned, Rajiv Gandhi might just as well have been called “shrinking violet.” Politics bored Indira Gandhi’s 36year-old son, whose interest centres on stereo equipment, airplanes, his Italian wife, Sonia, and their two children. But with the sudden death of his rising-star brother Sanjay in a stunt plane last

June, Rajiv is being called away from his career as a pilot with Indian Airlines. Moves to draft him into politics started even before Rajiv lit the sandalwood pyre on which his brother’s body lay. Coincidentally, he has been drawn into the periphery of his mother’s power just in time to allow him to fight a byelection. Though he is painfully shy, Western diplomats feel Gandhi will accept the mantle of power out of mother love. “To be surrounded by all manner of time-serving toadies and told that you have suddenly become the white hope of the country is an experience any man of normal instinct must find distasteful,” commiserated an Indian national newspaper.

After spending the summer commuting between his Oshawa riding and headquarters in Ottawa, NDP leader Ed Broadbent flew the country for a political holiday in West Germany last week followed by a few days in strife-riddled Poland. In the meantime his son, Paul, 20, was working his way through boot camp—the better to enter the Armed Forces this fall. It seems the son of Broadbent came under rapid-fire personal/political questioning about his father from his fellow recruits. “Oh, he’s just my cousin’s uncle,” flowed the response from an obviously politicized son.

The U.S. actors’ strike has caused at least one star to find work elsewhere—at Toronto’s Metro Zoo. Spotted lurking in the zoo after-hours last week

was blonde beauty Carol Lynley. She and her canine co-star, London, were taping an episode of The Littlest Hobo in which they investigate mysterious disappearances at the zoo. Lynley, 38, took the job after work on a three-hour episode of Charlie's Angels disappeared when actors took to the picket line. A connoisseur of zoos all over the world, Lynley says she loves working with the animals. “Although you always have to stay a little behind a large cat,” she says. “If they’re going to attack, they’ll always go for the person in front of them.”

Hard-line native singer Buffy SainteMarie’s newest hit single might be a rendition of Melanie’s 1971 hit Brand New Key (remember: “I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates”?). Now championing the cause of roller skating, Sainte-Marie was bitten by the bug when she was scoring the film Spirit of the Wind in Venice, Calif. “Whole families were out on roller skates. Now I go out skating just like anyone else goes out walking.” Her four-year-old son Da-

kota (Cody) Starblanket Wolfchild has

his own skates. “But he really likes to ride his tricycle alongside me,” she says. With her spiffy white boots, equipped with toe stops and soft polyurethane wheels, knee pads and wrist supports, she remains modest about her new talent: “I don’t do any fancy leaps or spins. That’s not what’s happening.”

After opening the Canadian National Exhibition, ambassador extraordinary Ken Taylor admired the technological wizardry of 25 government departments at the Canadian Pavilion, his curly grin fading only once, since his own department wasn’t represented. External Affairs had maintained booths the two previous years, but the candy-floss set had mainly asked: “Where’s the washroom?” and “How do I land a glamorous embassy job?” and External just didn’t find this suitable for the grim ’80s. Deputy Personnel Director Michael Kergin denies terrorist threats are dampening young people’s enthusiasm for a diplomatic career. “It’s still considered an adventure,” he says, “and embassy take-overs are thought to happen to others, not lowprofile Canadians.” But with budget cuts reducing new entrants to a dozen a year he isn’t banging the recruiting drum. Domestic Information Director Henry Lawless says he prefers spending his $350,000 budget making documen-

tary films on consular services and activities, or goings-on at headquarters. So much so, he couldn’t even cough up $22,000 for a proposed CNE mini-theatre. Did External cold-shoulder the East’s Ex? “Definitely not,” he says. “Our major investment and superstar attraction was Ken Taylor himself.”

(f Aflen betray your secrets, your love, Iwlyour trust and friendship, but my animals will never deceive me,” offered Brigitte Bardot as she prepared to “drop out of public life in such a way as to make Greta Garbo look like a piker.” The 45-year-old actress has announced that she plans to end her public displays and spend the rest of her life with “dogs, cats, goats and canaries.” She

will, however, spend some time away from the menagerie to quietly conduct her crusade on behalf of baby seals. As she sees it: “How better can a so-called sex kitten dispose of her time?”

i i^he trouble with punk is that it’s so I serious. All that gloom and end of the world sort of thing,” explains Britain’s Terry Cassidy, who sings and plays punk-parody in a quartet called The Monks. Though Cassidy and his cohorts Richard Hudson, John Ford and Brian Willoughby assumed that such songs as Nice Legs, Shame About the Face and I Ain't Gettin' Any would be instantly spotted as put-ons, it took some time. “No sense of humor,” shrugs Cassidy. Currently The Monks are preparing a “political single” called Don't Want No Reds, which endeavors to explain détente in less than three minutes, and Digital Delay, analysing the problems

of computer lovemaking. Since their album, Bad Habits, appears to have caught the Canadian imagination, The Monks hope to tour here next year. In the meantime, they are concentrating on honing their own bad habits. “Women and alcohol mostly,” admits Cassidy. “We also overindulge in squash and snooker. And sometimes we throw darts at each other.”

The prospect of golden arches is raising hackles in the artsy community of Hampstead, one of London’s most fashionable neighborhoods. It seems the locals object to a planned McDonald’s restaurant that would be located a hillside away from the garden in which John Keats wrote his Ode to a Nightingale while sitting under a plum tree one dewy morning in 1819. McDonald’s has opened 43 shops in the London area in the past six years and the campaign to contain the fast-food empire has become a cultural cause célèbre. “Mind you, I’ve nothing against hamburgers or Americans for that matter,” said petitioner Sybil Wilson. “But must we turn all of Britain into an American junkfood emporium?”

Student of history and shortwave radio buff Karl Samuelson of St. John’s, Nfld., receives plenty of international mail from foreign radio stations, so it was no surprise to him that a letter postmarked Bulgaria arrived recently. The news it contained was that the 23year-old had placed second in an essay competition sponsored by National Radio of Bulgaria. Samuelson’s submission was 3,000 words titled: V.I. Lenin, His Works and Accomplishments. “You have to admit that Lenin was a great man,” says Samuelson, despite his anticommunist bent. The prize for the weighty exposition of how Stalinism subverted Lenin’s goals has yet to arrive, but when it does Samuelson will be the first on his block to sport a full complement of Bulgarian folk carvings.

ffÄÄention SOD to a doctor today and IWlhe’ll think you’re talking about something to put on his lawn,” says Earl Mindell, author of Earl Mindell's Vitamin Bible. Mindell’s SOD is super oxide dismutase—an enzyme that nutritionists believe might help slow down the aging process. But SOD is only one of the good things Mindell says you can supplement your body with for a longer, healthier life. After 10 years of intensive study into vitamins, Mindell maintains that North Americans don’t pay enough attention to what they eat. “Look at what is in a box of cereal these days,” says the 40-year-old son of a Winnipeg meat dealer. “Kids would be better off to shred the box and eat that.” Edited by Marsha Boulton