PEOPLE

PEOPLE

MARSHA BOULTON March 2 1981
PEOPLE

PEOPLE

MARSHA BOULTON March 2 1981

PEOPLE

MARSHA BOULTON

This will do great things for the people of the North,” advised Yukon Commissioner Doug Bell at the opening of the Yukon’s Frantic Follies, now playing in St. Petersburg Beach, Fla. The Follies has been going strong for 13 years, toured Canada twice and made guest appearances on Parliament Hill, but this is the first time they have played a beach. However, getting to Florida wasn’t easy, since U.S. immigration officials didn’t take kindly to the Canadian cancan girls and their combo kicking sand in the face of U.S. entertainers. Fortunately, the company had an ally in former U.S. ambassador to Canada Ken Curtis, who twisted a few elbows to get the appropriate visas on the last day of his ambassadorship. St. Petersburg entertained two million Canadian tourists last year and Commissioner Bell hopes that by hearing the poems of Robert Service under palm trees, sunning Canadians will become so enamored that they will plan their next vacation for the Yukon. “It’s obvious,” he says, “you’ve got to get them in their winter playground.”

“I

t is our national sport,” declares .Haim Gevaryahu, chairman of the Israel Bible Society, which cosponsors the World Bible Quiz for youths between 14 and 18. Though 60,000 foreigners compete in the quiz, 12,000 Israelis will participate, and when the finals are televised on May 11 most of the

you bring home food sometimes—the good stuff. You don’t have to take home doggie bags of not very good food,” explains Stephen Yan, whose weekly CBCTV show Wok With Yan has the same sort of cult following as Graham Kerr’s spicy Galloping Gourmet. Vancouverbased Yan has made the art of stirfrying into an industry. Besides banging the gong for wok cooking on TV, he also runs a successful restaurant, a cooking school, a cookware and condiment import business, and has sold 1.8 million copies of his four cookbooks. After finishing work on his fifth book and taping 130 Wok With Yan shows, the chef was off to the Orient where he will be making a special, Wok With Yan in Thailand, which he sees as being

country will be watching. “In connection with what story was the ‘land of Israel’ first mentioned in the Bible?” is one question, submitted by Prime Minister Menachem Begin; “and in that story, what profession was mentioned whose tools would later be part of a messianic prophecy?” The answers to Begin’s questions lie in 1 Samuel 13:19 and Isaiah 2:4. “Begin always asks questions of a historic and patriotic nature,” explains Gevaryahu, noting that Begin holds regular Bible classes in his home. Gevaryahu says the idea for the quiz came from 1950s TV shows such as The $6k,000 Question, which was later revealed to be a hoax. The Bible quiz, however, proves to be above foul play. Says Gevaryahu: “We have never had any question of rigging or cheating.”

Being the host of a Chinese cooking show has definite advantages. “Not only do you make an income, but

“something similar to Dinah Shore in Singapore, except with cooking instead of singing as the main course.”

Killer bees are threatening the sanctity of Canadian hives. This dire warning was pronounced by B.C. entomologist Mark Winston at the Manitoba Beekeepers Association meeting last month. The killer bees, which were accidentally released in Brazil in 1956, are expected to swarm into the southern United States by the end of the decade, but the threat to Canada was thought to be minimal because the bees can’t survive the winter temperatures. The problem Winston sees is that killers could mate with colonies that are sold to Canadian beekeepers and render hives aggressive and unmanageable. “Beekeepers are now looking at ways to overwinter their bees instead of buying new colonies each year from the U.S.,” says Winston. Fear of the killer bees has

already prompted such suggestions as trapping all 10 million swarms loose in South America, installing oil jets in the Panama Canal to shoot 150-metre flames into the air and “nuking Panama” to put a radioactive barrier in the bees’ path. Winston, however, believes the solution lies in isolationism: “It’s becoming more and more important to keep our colonies pure.”

I was a woman and a rock singer who wanted to write songs—not a great combination 20 years ago,” says Carol Connors, who saw a brief flash of stardom at 14 singing with The Teddy Bears, who topped the charts with To Know Him Is to Love Him. Settling for the writing side of a career, Connors wrote the Ripcords’ 1964 hit Hey Little Cobra while recovering from a 110metre plunge in her own car resulting in 27 stitches and four operations. In Hollywood she picked up an Oscar nomination for her songs in The Rescuers and Rocky’s theme song, Gonna Fly Now, but, at 37, Connors has decided it’s time to do what she always wanted—sing her own songs. Having now recorded two compositions she has written for the Canadian film Tulips, Connors says she has learned how to succeed: “I’ve survived in movieland by being tenacious, aggressive and always feminine.”

“Tknow some see me as a clothesAhorse,” admits Steve Harrington, a

British trend-setter in post-punk fashion who calls himself Steve Strange when performing with his futurist combo Visage. Against the stark back-

drop of Britain’s economic reality, Strange’s followers regale themselves in the pirate look, the Robin Hood look, the Highlander look and pretty well any other fantasy image as long as it’s outrageous. For Strange, it is nothing to wear his hair in a Veronica Lake-style one day and wrapped in a turban the next. Devoted poseurs, who call themselves Blitz kids, can’t wait to copy what he does next. “I don’t dress like this because I’m something special,” says Strange. “I’ve been like this since I was 14 and banned from school for having orange hair.”

Wheeler-dealer sports and real estate magnate Nelson Skalbania

has never been one to miss a good deal when it stares him in the face, as the tax department for the city of Regina has

discovered. The Vancouver entrepreneur, whose most recent coup was the purchase of 50 per cent of the Montreal Alouettes, is president of 1550 Alberni Ltd., a company that has yet to ante up $28,000 for 1980 in back taxes on 18 properties in Regina. Overdue taxes are levied at only a one-per-cent per month interest charge for each of the first six months and an additional 10 per cent a year thereafter—considerably less than any bank would offer. Skalbania’s company has opted to keep the money invested elsewhere. “We should be increasing our penalty to at least bank rates. I don’t know why we are being so nice to these guys,” complains Regina’s director of taxation Hugh Jenkins, who notes that the city had more than 1,000 properties owing $2 million in overdue taxes at the end of 1980.

He has written some of his best lyrics for Frank Sinatra, including such 01’ Blue Eyes classics as Call Me Irresponsible and Come Fly With Me. But now Sammy Cahn, 67, finds himself penning phrases for some far less imposing vocalists. He has just written 30 songs for Sesame Street’s furry Muppets, including a potential Top 10 number for Oscar the Grouch called I Love the Rain. Cahn has also recently completed 16 songs for a feature-length cartoon version of Heidi which features the fetching tune The Lament of An Alpine Herdsman and the lyrics: You can munch my Sunday dress/You can munch my Sunday coat/But you can’t get my goat. Will Cahn ask the venerable chairman of the board to try some of his catchy new lyrics? Rejoins Cahn diplomatically: “Let’s just say I

wouldn’t mention it to him.”

-EDITED BY MARSHA BOULTON