During his last-ever recording session, country and rock icon Carl Perkins recorded a song called "The Fireman." It was never released. Now the producer of that 1998 recording session, Bob Johnston, tells country.com that the song will finally be made available on CD and on a Web site. Proceeds from the sale of "The Fireman" -- which, by the way, is a spoken word recitation by Perkins -- will go to benefit New York City firemen and their survivors. The song will also be released in January as part of a compilation to be called "Celebration." That CD will also feature material by Sir Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Tom Petty and others.
NO. 70 FOR BARRY BONDS
It was a long time in coming. And the world was watching. Thursday night Barry Bonds hit homer No. 70 for the season. Published reports indicate that Bonds' hit was a long blast over Houston's bullpen that landed deep in the second deck, going an estimated 454 feet. In making the shot Bonds tied Mark McGwire's three-year-old record. He also went into 7th place on the game's all-time homer list, passing Reggie Jackson. Bond's latest was his 564th.
POLICEMAN SACKED FOR ANTI-ARAB REMARK
The police department of Griffin, Ga., confirms that one of its officers has been fired after sending an e-mail suggesting that millions of Arabs in this country be killed and that America "wipe out" Arab nations to stop terrorism. The Atlanta Journal and Constitution is reporting that former officer Ray Sanford was a crime analyst for his department. He allegedly posted the message to fellow law enforcement officers two weeks after the 9/11 attacks. Sanford, who is 58, has since apologized for the remarks. The publication says that he manages a Web site for criminalists around the world.
GREYHOUND DRIVER GRIEVES FOR PASSENGERS
The driver of that Greyhound bus that veered off a Tennessee highway this week after he lost control when a passenger cut his throat, says that he wants to go home. Garfield Sands also says that in spite of his potentially life-threatening injuries, his first worries were for the safety of his passengers. He sustained a cut that was two inches deep. Luckily no vital arteries were severed. He's been a bus driver for nearly a quarter of a century and says that people should not let the bizarre incident keep them from traveling.
ARNESS TO MAKE RARE RADIO APPEARANCE
Actor James Arness will make a rare public appearance this weekend. Arness portrayed Marshal Matt Dillon on TV's "Gunsmoke" -- television's longest-running series (20 years and 633 episodes with basically the same cast). Arness will be on the Yesterday USA Radio Network on Sunday night at 7:30 Eastern Time. He has recently released his long-awaited autobiography and will discuss the book on the broadcast. Before being chosen to be Dillon when the immensely popular program was switching from radio to TV, Arness had been "the monster" in 1951's "The Thing." His big break was appearing with Loretta Young in "The Farmer's Daughter." He was selected over more than two dozen actors who wanted the role of Dillon on TV. John Wayne turned it down, saying that television would not last. He is now in his late 70s and in recent years has kept a low profile. (By the way, "Gunsmoke" was born on radio with corpulent actor William Conrad in the lead. Conrad was great for radio, but producers knew that TV audiences would not accept a "Humpty Dumpty-shaped" marshal. The 6-foot-7 Arness was perfect.
FITNESS GURU STILL GOING STRONG
If there were ever proof that leading a "clean" lifestyle can add years to the calendar, just look at fitness guru Jack LaLanne. The "golden boy" of the fitness set on early TV, LaLanne just celebrated his 87th birthday, as spry and gregarious as ever. Lately he's being seen by a new generation of viewers as an occasional guest on "Politically Incorrect." The New York Post says that LaLanne celebrated his 87th with fellow "TV veteran and golden-ager" Joe Franklin at Franklin's Memory Lane restaurant in New York City recently.
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 175
Several weeks ago, just after the events of 9/11, we asked if you were afraid to fly and travel. Here is today's question: "Now that some time has elapsed after the terror attacks, is your attitude about traveling different than it was a few weeks ago?" Put TRANSPORT in the subject line and send to email@example.com via the Internet.
RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 170 (REGULARS)
Last week we threw open the forum for you to make comments without an assigned topic. Here are few more responses that came in. AM wrote to say: "I'm pretty ticked off by the fact that I have telemarketers calling me. Why would you call asking for money when the Red Cross and other organizations like that need it now more than ever. My first call happened on the Friday night (after the attack)." Anjel, who writes from the Philippines (thanks for joining us, Anjel) notes that "our finals are coming, so right now my mind is on my major subjects ... namely History of Arts, Marketing, Advertising Design and Graphics." Anjel, best of luck. Those are great fields of endeavor. Finally, Christy voices concerns over something that is not often spoken about, the terror of being buried alive. She prays for the souls lost and wonders what many went through in the days of entrapment prior to their final breaths. Christy, having talked to journalists who covered the earthquakes in Mexico City and in Japan, I can only tell you that what many went through are the stuff of which nightmares are made. It is better we don't know. GBA.