OPENING NOTES

Barbara Bush tells Millie’s tales, Margaret Atwood takes cover, and Jim Bakker scrimps and saves

August 6 1990

OPENING NOTES

Barbara Bush tells Millie’s tales, Margaret Atwood takes cover, and Jim Bakker scrimps and saves

August 6 1990

OPENING NOTES

Barbara Bush tells Millie’s tales, Margaret Atwood takes cover, and Jim Bakker scrimps and saves

HIGH HOPES INDEED

Former television evangelist Jim Bakker, now serving a 45-year prison sentence at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minn., is paying his dues in more ways than one. According to prison officials, Bakker has elected to use the money he earns working as an orderly in the prison hospital to pay off the $500,000 fine that was also part of the sentence he received after his conviction last year on 24 charges of fraud and conspiracy. Said Suellen Pierce, a representative of the U.S. attorney's office in Charlotte, N.C., which prosecuted Bakker: "We appreciate the measure." And although 45 years seems to be ample time to work off most debts, Bakker earns only 11 cents an hour (for a total of $4.13 a week). At that rate, it will take him 2,331 years to pay his fine. To date, Bakker has paid back $25. Said John Chreno, assistant to the warden for the medical facility: "He hasn't missed a day yet, and he'll be eligible for a raise soon." Crime pays, but not very well.

A woman never too old for an ace

Lightning never strikes in the same place hole in one, fine. If you don’t, keep golfing and

twice, according to the legend. But Myrdon’t worry about it.” Words to golf—and tie Williams of Old Bams, N.S., has experilive — by. enced a pleasant equivalent. The golfer recently carded her second hole in one. Said Williams, who scored them both at the Truro Golf Club: “I really never thought I’d get another hole in one at my age.”

Williams was a youthful 75 when she stroked her first—a 150-yard direct hit. Now, at 88, she has holed a 120-yard shot. Williams, who has been golfing for 58 years, added that most people her age “decide it’s time to go into a rocking chair.” But she advocates exercise and says that co-ordination “is simply a matter of making the body do what the brain tells it to.” Still,

Williams is realistic: “If you get a

WEARING OUT A WELCOME

Mark Blumes has been playing around with Quebec’s language laws. The owner of the Calgary-based Mark’s Work Wearhouse chain named each of its 16Quebec outlets La Ouèrâsse, a word that does not exist, but when it is pronounced in French, it sounds like “warehouse. ” The language police did not notice the ruse. Customers complained and Blumes is renaming the stores L’Equipeur. Said spokeswoman Kathryn Cathcart: "There's been no dramatic change in sales, but people appreciate the change.” The customer is right again.

Voyage of the overcrowded

All is not calm around the frigate HMCS Nipigon. Sources in Sydney, N.S., where the ship docked two weeks ago, say most of the 58 female members of the 250member crew are unhappy with their cramped quarters. In 1989, the federal human rights commission ruled that by 1999 the Canadian armed forces must integrate women into all combat units except submarine duty. The Nipigon voyage is the first time that women have accompanied men on a combat vessel. But a navy spokesman denied that there had been trouble at sea. Said Lt. Jeffrey Agnew: “These rumors are sexist.” Mutiny on the Nipigon?

A CANINE VIEW OF WHITE HOUSE LIFE

In the dog-eat-dog world of U.S politics, it appears that the presidential pooch will have the last bark. Millie, Barbara Bush's English springer spaniel, is publishing her memoirs, entitled Millie's Book: As Dictated to Barbara Bush. The First Lady's press office insists that the book, which will include photographs of Millie and her pups playing with Bush and her grandchildren, "is really by Millie. All Mrs. Bush did was write it down," said a spokesman. Another spokesman, from publisher William Morrow and Co., said: "This is Millie's book. She uses it to talk about living in the White House from a dog's point of view." All of the profits are to go to the First Lady's foundation for fighting illiteracy. Among people, presumably.

A house of horrors

Stornoway, the Ottawa residence of the leader of the Opposition, is due for another renovation—its third in seven years— before Jean Chrétien takes up residence

when he wins a seat in the House of Commons. Indeed, taxpayers have paid close to $1 million in repair, renovation and maintenance costs since Brian Mulroney moved into the Rockcliffe mansion in 1983. Hamilton Southam, chairman of the Official Residences Council, says that the house "probably wasn’t very well built.” Despite the large amount of money already spent on the house, Southam said that it still needs new plumbing and wiring. But he said that, as yet, there are no plans to build or buy a new residence.

George Drew was the first Opposition leader to live there, in the 1950s. Said Southam: “Cost is important, but heritage is difficult to price.” An expensive history lesson.

WRITER IN THE LINE OF FIRE

It appears to be open season on Margaret Atwood. When Canadian cultural guru Robert Fulford took a critical look at the author in his 1988 memoirs, Atwood’s reaction to his not-always-flattering musings culminated in a short story that she wrote for the current issue of Saturday Night. In it, Fulford claims that he is cast as the bald and portly journalist Percy Marrow, who, in his memoirs, betrays a female colleague. In response, Fulford wrote a humorous article that appeared in The Globe and Mail on June

25 expressing surprise at his apparent ability to get under the author’s skin. Meanwhile, the feud sent ripples of delight through the literary community. Now, however, less savory comments on Atwood and her work have surfaced. Writer Scott Symons wrote a biting piece about her in the latest issue of The Idler, which led theatre critic Ray Conlogue to add some sharp comments of his own in the Globe. He says there is more to come. Meanwhile, Atwood understandably has left the country.

Freedom’s song

Joyce Milgaard is using music in an effort to have her son David, 38, released from a Manitoba prison where he is

serving a life sentence for a murder that he says he did not commit. Federal Justice Minister Kim Campbell is considering a request for a new trial. Now, Milgaard has composed and recorded a musical plea for her son’s freedom—and will send it to Campbell. Said Milgaard: “It’s a song from the heart, from a mother’s heart. ” A few bars for freedom.