Learning the truth “at 17” put singer/songwriter Janis Ian’s career
temporarily on ice. The child prodigy, who became famous at 15 with her song about an interracial relationship called Society’s Child, is now committed to her music and her marriage to Portuguese writer Tino Sargo. “No kids yet, but cross your fingers and knock on wood,” she says. In North America after a successful Australian tour where kids “slept on the streets overnight to be first in line for tickets,” Ian is a long
way from the confused, embittered hasbeen-at-20 of a few years ago. What would she tell a 15-year-old who had a hit record? “Get a good lawyer and a good accountant.”
A legitimate cry of “stop the press” may be in order at the Bowden Institution where the prisoners’ monthly newspaper, Parallax, has an exclusive on its hands: the editor escaped. Randy Warren Johnson, 20, was supposed to attend the medium-security penitentiary for five years. He was reported missing last week, just after he went to work on the newspaper. In an editorial last month Johnson had seemed quite contented. “I know this isn’t the best place to be,” he wrote for his fellow inmates, “but it’s all we’ve got right now and it’s a hell of a lot better than some of the other places I’ve been.”
íílthink a lot of people don’t know Iwhat teen-agers really are,” explains Chris Von Baeyer, 18, who joins the cast of the Vancouver-originated show Juve in an attempt to show a slice of what it’s like to be an urban adolescent in Canada today. Juve was developed by B.C. stage director Campbell Smith in 1979’s International Year of the Child and it is now enjoying a crossCanada revival. The compendium of growing up was culled from more than 300 interviews with teens and distilled into 16 characters for eight actors, all recruited from local high schools. Though young audiences can readily identify with the jocks, brains, bozos, beauties and street-wise punks who inhabit the play, Smith also finds that geriatrics over 20 can get the message. “A lot of social workers enjoy the show because it gives them a chance to rethink why they’re doing what they’re doing,” he says. “They tend to become jaded working with kids day in and day out.”
At 52, Billy Martin, the cantankerous manager of the Oakland A’s, is still bounding out of dugouts with his veins popping and limbs flailing in defence of baseballs that don’t go the way he thinks they should and umpires who don’t see their true paths. But last month Martin displayed uncharacteristic restraint when former boss and owner of the New York Yankees, George Steinbrenner, considered legal action over Martin’s new book, Number 1. Reportedly among the contentious points is Martin’s claim that Steinbrenner promised him a tugboat—yes, a tugboat—if he helmed the Yankees to the pennant in 1976. Steinbrenner says the tugboat question involved bigger stakes—the World Series, which Martin lost. A spokesman for the two “players” says the whole thing is a joke. But Martin may be able to buy his own tugboat anyway, since a second printing of 1 is already scheduled.
What does a bachelor want with a house that has 115 rooms? It seems that Prince Charles simply tired of attempting to maintain his country place in the county of Kent, so he gave it up last month. In its place the 31-year-old Prince has acquired a nine-bedroom 18th-century estate. Announcement of the purchase and the reported price tag of $2.7 million immediately angered anti-royalist Labour-party-MP Willie Hamilton of Scotland, who contends that with Britain in such severe economic difficulties money should not be spent on putting a roof over the Prince’s head. Charles, however, appeared unmoved by the squawking and spent the day after the purchase teaching former King Constantine of Greece the delicate art of wind-surfing off the Isle of Wight.
Actor Saul Rubinek would like to make one thing perfectly clear—he is not a carrot and he is not comfortable wearing the color orange. “There are some roles an actor has to really work at. There are others that you know you were tailor-made for,” says Rubinek. “Then the problem is not overworking.” He claims to be ready-to-wear for his role in Ticket to Heaven in which he alternates between a daytime job as an accountant and nighttime indulgence as a stand-up comic specializing in vegetables. Ticket is a pseudo top-secret project filming in Toronto with an almost all-Canadian cast including Nick Mancuso, Kim Cattrall and R. H. Thomson. “I can’t talk about the plot, we’ve all been warned not to say a word,” says Rubinek through tightened lips. In fact, the story has something to do with a cultlike kid-snatching and the producers would prefer to avoid being hounded
halfway to the moon.
Banff National Park guides Bernie Schiesser and Lloyd Gallagher of the
Association of Canadian Mountain Guides brainstormed an idea for Alberta’s 75th anniversary celebrations. The two would lead Premier Peter Lougheed, 52, up the flanks of 10,190-foot-high Mount Lougheed, named for the premier’s grandfather. Lougheed, who prides himself on keeping in fighting trim, has agreed to make the climb on Aug. 17. But after a few inquiries from friends about how dangerous the project might be, he dispatched two top aides to scout out the territory. They never got beyond the base thanks to bad weather, so the premier is on his own in his first alpine expedition. His guides are confident there’ll be nothing to it except a little rope work to make things interesting. But then, Gallagher’s idea of a real challenge is his planned Mount Everest expedition in 1982.
When Sara Botsford was growing up in Dobie, Ont. (population: 177), near Kirkland Lake, the biggest thing that happened was bears. “In the spring, the bears came close to town to eat blueberries. Sometimes someone would shoot one and we kids would all go bounce on the thing and have our picture taken on it,” explains Botsford. Botsford discovered that such reminiscences made public in New York, where - she now lives, garner hoots of “gross.” Currently, the red-headed graduate of every commercial from Resdan to MilkBone is back in Canada to take a starring role in Bells, a suspense-thriller movie involving murder by telephone. Botsford, 29, plays a wealthy, high-tech artist working on a mural for the phone company when she meets an activist turned professor played by Richard Chamberlain. Though murder and mayhem form the plot, Botsford is looking forward to the romantic-interest side of her role. “After all,” she laughs, “I grew up on Dr. Kildare.”
f (In a society that’s becoming increasingly mealymouthed, this type of personality is very precious,” intones Vancouver playwright and humorist Eric Nicol. The “personality” he is referring to is B.C.’s pioneering newspaper woman Ma “Fer Damshur” Murray, 93, whom Nicol plans to enshrine in a new play Ma! A Celebration of Ma Murray. The play is being written according to the adventures set down by Murray’s daughter, Georgina Murray Keddell, in her book The Newspapering Murrays. It will be a chronological look at the cussin’, whiskey-drinking ex-publisher of The Bridge River-Lillooet News and her long-suffering husband, George. Keddell is happy to co-operate with Nicol, but she has some reservations about a planned CBC sitcom titled Blunder and Lightning which is loosely based on her mother’s life. In Blunder, the feisty old publisher is named Ma Murdock and she runs a B.C. paper with her inept nephew Elmo T. Buss, who is given to malapropisms, buzz words and old army expressions. “Nobody’s come near me and said anything about it,” frets Keddell. Murray, in the meantime, is in the long-term care unit of Lillooet’s hospital where, Keddell says, “they treat her like the Queen of the May.”
Though the official word from Quebec’s Buckingham Hospital, 30 km east of Ottawa, is that the whole thing is a tempest in a teapot, nurses’ aides say the problem is serious. The aides want permission to refuse to handle the genitals of patients of the opposite sex because the few who become sexually aroused tend to become rambunctious. So rambunctious, in fact, that the police have been called to assist in quelling disturbances four or five times this year. Buckingham Police Chief Hugh Bendt says the calls usually occur at night and often involve intoxication. “They see the police and then they calm down,” he explains. Now it seems even the police would prefer to avoid handling the delicate problem. “They have security guards,” says Bendt. “Why can’t they handle it?”
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