Canadian heavyweight champion (if he is still champion — there’s some argument about that) George Chuvalo is planning a comeback at the end of October. He hasn’t fought in 18 months, and his weight is up around 260, and he’s 38 years old, but he insists he can get down to 215 or 220 by October 30, and be on the card at Maple Leaf Gardens. There’s one more problem: he doesn’t
know who he’ll be fighting. Promoter Vince Bagnato, who’s running the card (which features Clyde Gray) offered $2,000 to Bobby “Pretty Boy” Felstein—who hasn’t fought in a year-and-a-half either—but Felstein demanded $3,500. The only other Canadian heavyweight around is Paul “The Investment” Nielsen. Therein lies the problem that led to Chuvalo’s troubles with the Canadian Boxing Federation: the CBF has stripped Chuvalo of his title (or claims it has) because he hasn’t defended it in two years. But Chuvalo hasn’t defended it because there was nobody around to defend it against; his last two fights were against nobodies in the United States for pocket money. Besides, he’s mad at the CBF, which he calls “a bunch of gutless nincompoops,” for not helping him get a shot at the Commonwealth title, something he’s been after for the past 18 years.
Until she raised that .45 automatic and pointed it at President Gerald Ford on September 5, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme was not one of the best-known siblings of the Charles Manson Family. But her action has vaulted her above such “stars” as Tex Watson and Susan Atkins, and given her equal billing with Charlie himself in a just-released documentary called Manson. The newspaper ad for the film, which was put together from actual footage by sometime actor Robert Hendrickson (he’d lived with the family for a few months on the Spahn ranch in the days before and after the Tate-LaBianca killings), features a head-and-shoulders shot of Manson, and a cut-in of Fromme fondling a rifle captioned: “The girl who pointed the gun at the President.”
America’s newest sweetheart, supplanting Fanne Foxe (of Wilbur Mills fame), is a blond go-go dancer from Florida named Cat Futch. A few months ago her topless performance aboard the U.S. submarine Finback cost the captain his job, and in early October she was banned in Boston. Futch was hired by Wonder Muffler Company of New Jersey to demonstrate its products at a convention of tire dealers, and to provide a little entertainment. Some of the dealers thought it would be more entertaining if she went topless, so Futch obliged. “What could I do?” she said later, having been hustled from the hall. “I’m in show business.”
For five months the judge’swife-mother-of-five mixed with the hookers of Vancouver’s Hastings Street, enduring endless queries about “What’s a nice girl like you ...” Now those questions are answered and Monique Layton has become the source of allhell-breaking-loose in the city. Using her status as an anthropology PhD candidate to get police cooperation, she moved among the whores, pimps and homosexuals of the tenderloin, and visited the massage parlors, cathouses and “baths.” Then she produced a report, which recommended, among other things, that prostitution be decriminalized, that clamps be put on pimps coming in from the United States, that hasslefree centres be established for homosexuals. Layton still isn’t sure why the Hastings Street community accepted her so quickly and so thoroughly, but guesses that her obvious commitment to feminism was one thing (as far as girls were concerned) and her non-judgmental attitudes—“for some of them ... it was the only way they could survive”—another.
It’s been a big year for Gordon Sinclair. His book, Will Gordon Sinclair Please Sit Down, was a hit. He was asked to officially open the Canadian National Exhibition. And the Broadcast Executives Society gave him a Friars-style roast. Among the roasters was Sinclair’s old buddy and fellowpanelist on Front Page Challenge, Pierre Berton. Once, Berton recalled, there was a 13year-old girl on the show, and Sinclair went after her unmercifully, attacking her, Berton realized, on entirely the wrong premises, for positions she never took. He mentioned this to Sinclair after the show, and the old man snorted: “I know, but the show was dying!” Another time the guest was a nun, a saintlike woman who’d just returned from 30 years in the Congo. “Keep her away from me,” Sinclair whispered, knowing what he might do, “keep this nun away from me.” Berton nodded, then asked her one question and said: “Now 1 want to turn you over to our reigning religion expert, Mr. Gordon Sinclair.” Sinclair never flinched. Berton recalled. “He really skewered that nun.”
When Betty Ford told Morley Safer on 60 Minutes last summer that she wouldn’t be surprised if her children engaged in premarital sex, or even experimented with marijuana, she evoked a snarling response in the United States which ranged from red-neck preachers fulminating from the pulpit, through condemning resolutions passed in Legion Halls, to William F. Buckley predicting that, thanks to her, the country would soon teem with broken homes, abortions and prostitutes. Then she followed up by saying she liked to sleep with her husband. More furor. And then son Jack Ford, 23, announced that he had indeed smoked marijuana, and didn't think doing so was very exceptional for someone who had grown up in the Sixties. (Bad enough the week before, he appeared in public, his arms wrapped around Bianca Jagger!) When Mrs. Ford made her first comments, her husband predicted, only half-smiling, that it had cost him 20 million votes. The most current polls show he has lost a lot of support, that only a minority of Americans would like to see him reelected, and that Ronald Reagan is moving up fast on the right.
In a radio interview, Steven Truscott claimed that back in 1959, when psychiatrists were examining him prior to his trial for the murder of Lynne Harper, he was given LSD as well as the usual truth serum, sodium pentathol. Truscott, subject of a new Canadian film. Recommendation For Mercy (see Maclean's October 6), also told Brian Thomas of CHUM-FM in Toronto that he knew the real killer of Lynne Harper, though he couldn’t prove it. Truscott, released from prison six years ago, now lives in a small Ontario town under an assumed name, is married and has two children. He was 14 when he was convicted of killing 12year-old Harper, and was sentenced to death, which made him a cause célèbre and the subject of two books. The sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Ironically, Truscott believes strongly in capital punishment “where there is actual positive proof beyond any doubt.” The Truscotts say they will tell the children who he really is when the kids are 12 or 13. His wife said that if she ever found out Truscott did kill Lynne Harper, she’d leave him.
The legal competence of former White House counsel John Dean is under question again. Dean was boasting that he’d gone over the manuscript of wife Maureen’s new book. Mo: A Woman 's View, on the Watergate scandal “word-by-word” looking for potential libel. But Nan Tálese, the Simon & Schuster editor who’s responsible for the book, says the firm’s libel lawyers have been furiously red-penciling the manuscript, and she’s more than a little concerned that the reviewers who received unlawyered galley proofs may end up quoting things that won’t be in the final product.
Erica Jong, whose Fear Of Flying has been hailed (rightly and wrongly) as a breakthrough book in the field of sexual literature, has returned to New York from California, clutching the sequel. How To Save Your Own Life. She had gone to California on a pilgrimage, to sit at the feet of the guru of all sexual liberationists, Henry Miller. Miller, now 83, wrote Tropic Of Cancer in 1934. It was banned in Britain and the United States as obscene for 27 years. In 1964, after three years of court battles, it was ruled not obscene by the U.S. Supreme Court, a decision which made Jong possible. Miller read the manuscript of her new novel, and commented gravely: “Frankly, Erica, there’s just too much sex in it.”
Just two years ago actor, stunt man and former pro footballer James Stacy was lying on a highway near Los Angeles, his left arm and leg destroyed. A car had side-swiped him while he and a woman sat on a motorcycle; she died instantly. When friend Steve McQueen (another motorcyclist) visited him in the hospital, Stacy announced he planned to tackle every sport he could, onearmed and one-legged, once he got out. “You should film it.” McQueen said. There was a benefit for Stacy and he ploughed the money into a documentary of his comeback, from the fittings for the artificial leg, through skiing with Jean-Claude Killy and scuba diving with Jean-Michel Cousteau.
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