People

People

Jane O’Hara December 18 1978
People

People

Jane O’Hara December 18 1978

People

If you think that person following entertainer Shirley MacLaine around last week looked familiar, you’re right. It was Canada’s Petra Burka, the 1965 World, North American and Canadian figure-skating champion. Burka, now 32 and a free-lance film researcher, was hired as MacLaine’s personal assistant during the star’s week-long song-anddance stint at Toronto’s O’Keefe Centre. “My job was to make things as easy as possible for her while she was here,” said Burka, who slept in a room adjoining MacLaine’s suite and was on call 24 hours a day. Her tasks included screening MacLaine’s phone calls, arranging meals, ordering cars and making sure the star had oatmeal after her performance. Once a star in her own right, Burka was given the following advice when she accepted the work: “Don’t take anything personally you hear in the next week.”

rö^y coming down hard on the canine L?J community in her recently published book, The Dog Crisis, Toronto author Iris Nowell has been hounded by puppy lovers who are angry with her conclusions. Three years in the writing, the book deals with the problems of dog overpopulation and defecation and, in particular, takes aim at owners who buy pets for ersatz human affection. “I’ve had a huge response from people calling me dangerous and disturbed,” said Nowell, once a dog-owner herself. “I think that if I wasn’t stable, I’d be in a rubber room right now.” There’s no truth to the rumor that Nowell is considering getting a guard dog to protect her from further onslaughts.

crp he devil did not make Vancouver LJ hotel detective George Peden do it—his “conscience” did. Peden, who recently implicated two British Columbia judges in liaisons with prostitutes, said his motive for the busts was to have the laws on prostitution changed. While Chief Justice of the B.C. Court of Appeal John Farris resigned after Peden leaked his name to reporters, Provincial Court Judge Erik Bendrodt underwent a humiliating inquiry which established him as an alcoholic driven to drink and illicit sex in despair over his wife’s crippling illness. Said the 26-year-old Peden of the affair: “What if he had been seen by someone other than me, someone with not quite my comprehension of life? Someone who might have done it only for the glory of bringing a judge down?”

¡"o} y and large, the Maritimes major1 °J league loyalty doesn’t run west-

ward to either the Toronto Blue Jays of the American League or the Montreal Expos of the National League. Canada’s east-enders are Boston Red Sox fans who, for the past 10 years, have come to know the Beantowners through Ned Martin, the radio vox of the Sox. Not any longer. Martin, one of baseball’s most literate broadcasters, was recently fired by the Sox for balking at his station’s request to litter his play-by-play with commercials. But there is some joy in Sackville. Martin is still in the running for a television job doing games on Boston’s Channel 38. Thanks to cablevision, Down Easterners may hear Martin again.

["cTjointing out that it only sells legal LT drugs, Britain’s Boots pharmacy chain has banned reggae star Peter Tosh’s recently released album entitled Bush Doctor. Boots, also one of Britain’s largest record retailers, hastily removed the disc from the shelves because of a malodorous scratch ’n’ sniff sticker printed on the sleeve. It seems that after obeying the injunction to scratch, Boots executives took one whiff and were treated to the unmistakable scent of cannabis. EMI, who produced the record, said the sticker was intended to smell like the Jamaican herbal remedy Patchouli. However, considering that one of the dreadlocked star’s earlier albums was called Legalize It, Boots remained unconvinced.

n\ lthough her former husband says Zr-u she looks “frumpy” these days, 33year-old Sarah Ragle Weddington isn’t interested in making the list of America’s best-dressed women. As the recently appointed special assistant to President Jimmy Carter on women’s issues (replacing mighty mouth Midge Costanza), however, Weddington will undoubtedly rate high on this year’s poll of most powerful women. After graduating from law school when she was 21, Weddington made her national reputation five years later when she won the landmark Jane Roe Supreme Court case which struck down state anti-abortion laws. Although still a national champion of women’s issues and the pro-abortion lobby, Weddington has learned her diplomatic lessons well, assuming a somewhat lower profile since entering the conservative White House. Nonetheless, a lot can be learned about Weddington from her favorite nursery rhyme. “It’s Mary Had a Little Lamb. Except this Mary grows up to own the largest sheep farm in Texas.”

/pà anadian expatriates and National Lumpoo»ists Sean Kelly, 38, and Ted Mann, 26, returned to Canada last week, glad to be back in a country where “parsley is still a side order and corn-

starch considered a condiment.” No sentimental journey this, however. They came to promote their recently published book, Slightly Higher in Canada*, on what they called a “tour of major Canadian cities—Toronto.” Naturally, they agreed to appear on Canada After Dark and to comment on the “province of Canadian humor.” According to Kelly, the funniest thing about Canadians is that “they all want to be Americans, without being crass and vulgar. Right now we’re working on a Canadian movie called Film Festival. Everyone wears white shoes and bikinis, which is fine, except it’ll be shot in Saskatoon in February.”

*In fact, at $6.95 in paperback, the price is the same in the U.S.

n eading into his seventh season as Lin star of British pantomime in the colonies, Montreal-born Lionel Blair is hoping, at least in one way, that history doesn’t repeat itself. In his role as Silly Billy in Goldilocks and the Three Bears (which opened in Ottawa last week and will tour Toronto and Hamilton), Blair has the task of keeping thousands of kids glued to something other than a TV set. In doing so, he has gimmicks such as giving gifts to the audience and inviting kids on stage to participate. “It never fails,” said Blair, a British TV star in the off-season. “As soon as the children come up they have to go to the bathroom. I remember one show in Ottawa where a little boy did—front and centre stage.” Edited by Jane O’Hara