Garth Drabinsky provides a new climax, Marshall Bush learns her p’s and q’s, and CBC staff get a chemical surprise

December 18 1989


Garth Drabinsky provides a new climax, Marshall Bush learns her p’s and q’s, and CBC staff get a chemical surprise

December 18 1989


Garth Drabinsky provides a new climax, Marshall Bush learns her p’s and q’s, and CBC staff get a chemical surprise


Acquiring vital social skills often begins at an early age in Washington's ruling circles. According to a White House staff member, George and Barbara Bush have enrolled their 3 1/2year-old granddaughter Marshall in a Christmas-season etiquette course entitled "Petit Protocol: Children's Holiday Table Manners." John Bennett, 5, the son of federal drug policy director William Bennett, and four-year-old Ashley Atwater, the daughter of Republican National Committee Chairman Lee Atwater, are also among the children who are scheduled to attend the course in a Georgetown hotel this weekend. There, they will be joined by Elizabeth Hannah Rowan, 6, the granddaughter of Washington celebrity and newspaper columnist Carl Rowan. The children, who range in age from 3 to 7, will learn such skills as greeting the hostess and pouring the holiday punch. Declared a White House spokesman: "There are a number of adults who could use this course." A toast—in ginger ale naturally—to good manners.

Every picture tells a different story

When a nonprofit arts group in the city of Washington installed an outdoor portrait of Jesse Jackson last week, the reaction was more a backlash than a measured criticism of art. That is because black painter David Hammons attempted to pay an ironic tribute to Jackson’s lengthy fight for civil rights—by depicting Jackson as a white man. Hammons’s enamel portrait, on an expanse of tin sheets 14 feet wide and 14 feet long, showed Jackson with blond hair and blue eyes. Near the figure’s mouth was the inscription "How ya like me now?” The response was swift and unequivocal. Immediately after workers installed the artwork, an angry group of blacks took a sledgehammer to the portrait. Jackson him-

self said that the painting—and even the reaction it had provoked—underlined blacks’ constant need to fight against racism.


Several male employees at CBC Radio’s Halifax station came particularly close to toxic waste last month when technicians poured 10 gallons of used photographic chemicals down the drain. That is because the noxious substances backed up in some urinals, prompting firefighters to evacuate the building. Certainly, the environmentally conscious CBC might have avoided such embarrassing revelations if the building’s plumbing had worked smoothly. But, said area engineer Rich Knowles, “We ran into a blocked drain. ”

No more work for a dedicated smuggler

Sweeping changes behind the Iron Curtain, including pledges of religious freedom, are threatening to end one source of steady employment for a Michigan-based private detective: smuggling Bibles into Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. According to Ted Grevers, he has smuggled “hundreds of thousands of Bibles” during the past 15 years through such means as cars, barges, airplanes and the luggage of sympathetic tourists. Grevers told Maclean's that he had worked for little pay for various U.S. churches. Now, he adds, he is happy just being “an unemployed Bible smuggler.” Amen.


Its stars include Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Sally Field and Daryl Hannah—an impressive cast that has helped to make Steel Magnolias one of Hollywood’s biggest money-makers this fall. But as the film grossed $30 million at week’s end, Columbia Pictures’ publicity department was fielding numerous telephone calls from viewers who claimed to be puzzled by the movie’s newspaper advertisements. In those ads, the six stars of the film, which also features Olympia Dukakis and Julia Roberts, stand in line em-

bracing each other—but the names above their heads are mismatched. The source of the confusion: the names are listed according to the actresses’ order of billing on the film—but that does not conform to the lineup in the ad. Columbia spokesman Mark GÜl conceded that the advertisement might appear to be an error, but agent Mort Viner—who represents MacLaine—professed to be unconcerned. Said Viner: “It has made people talk.” And the names are spelled correctly.


The U.S. Congress quietly approved a request recently to allow fortune hunters to enter the U.S. army's top-secret White Sands missile range in New Mexico. There, the heirs of prospector Milton Noss will search for a multimillion-dollar treasure that is supposedly hidden within the vast, bomb-littered range. In 1937, according to local lore, “Doc" Noss sought shelter from a rainstorm in a cave—and found stacks of gold bars that might have been left by stagecoach robbers. Noss could not retrace his steps to the cave, but his heirs say that he left them information about its location. The army will provide transportation and accommodation—at the family's expense—which could reach $2 million. Declared a Pentagon spokesman: “If they don't find the gold, this could be an expensive adventure."

No trading for two years on home turf

George de Rappard, Alberta’s chief deputy minister for economic development, spent six days in New Zealand last month publicizing the province’s investment opportunities. But, in the midst of the tour, the Alberta Securities Commission imposed an embarrassing penalty onde Rappard: it barred him from trading stock for two years. The ASC did so on the grounds that de Rappard had violated its regulations in 1979. At that time, the ASC ruled, de Rappard—as chief executive officer of Edmon-

ton-based Dial Mortgage Corp.—had signed a prospectus that concealed the financial condition of a firm that went bankrupt in 1981. Back in Edmonton last week, de Rappard said that he would appeal the ASC ruling—brushing aside opposition members’ demands that he resign a post that pays up to $107,000 yearly. Said New Democratic leader Ray Martin: “How can a guy promote Alberta when he can’t even promote anything on the Alberta stock market?” Stay tuned.

Scriot changes

Author Gina Mallet set out last April to write the definitive story of Garth Drabinsky, the Toronto-based tycoon who

built Cineplex Odeon Corp. into the second-largest theatre chain in North America. After losing a bitter fight for control of the company, Drabinsky resigned on Dec. 1, but Mallet said she planned to finish the still-tmtitied authorized biography—with some significant additions. Said Mallet: “It is still a great story, but it will certainly have a new climax. " That’s showbiz.