STATUE HONORS MARY TYLER MOORE
Remember the opening credits for the old "Mary Tyler Moore Show?" It ends with Moore, as Mary, throwing her hat into the wind on a downtown Minneapolis street. Well, now that moment has been immortalized forever ... in Minneapolis, home of fictitious WJM-TV. A bronze statue of Moore as Mary has been unveiled, capturing the moment just before she lets go of her hat. Guess it would have been tough to have a bronze hat suspended in midair. The Star-Tribune newspaper, in reporting the unveiling at the city's Nicollet Mall, says that a large crowd gathered under damp skies to see Moore, whose show ran for seven seasons, pull the cord to unveil the statue. To further honor the show and its classic opening, replicas of Moore's hat (actually a tam) were given to many in the crowd. They tam were tossed skyward -- in Mary-esque fashion -- at the conclusion of the theme, when it was played over loudspeakers. The statue is the second in a series sanctioned by the TV Land cable network. The first depicted Jackie Gleason as bus-driving Ralph Kramden. That statue is in front of Manhattan's main bus terminal ... where else?
RENO IN FENDER-BENDER ACCIDENT
Police in Miami confirm that former attorney general, now Florida gubernatorial candidate Janet Reno, was involved in a slight traffic accident Thursday. According to published reports, Reno's pickup truck was bumped by another vehicle while she was doing some shopping. Neither Reno nor anyone in the car that struck her was hurt. A spokesman with the Reno campaign called the incident a "minor fender-bender." It was quickly pointed out that Reno's physical condition played no part in the incident. You may remember that the Reno, now in her early 60s and suffering from Parkinson's disease, fainted while giving a speech in Rochester, N.Y., earlier this year.
NEW MANSION FOR JENNIFER LOPEZ
The entertainer affectionately referred to by many as "J-Lo," Jennifer Lopez, is about to move into new, multi-million dollar digs. The Miami Herald confirms that Lopez paid a reported sun of $9.5 million for what is described as a "bay-side mansion on Miami Beach's star-studded North Bay Road." Her neighbors will be two of the Bee-Gees ... one on each side. Brothers Robin and Barry Gibb, part of the great disco group of the '70s, have homes on either side of the new Lopez property. Ricky Martin's humble dwelling is eight blocks down the road. Lopez's new estate is a 10,800-square-foot Mediterranean villa. It reportedly has eight bedrooms, 11 fireplaces, a gazebo and deck and, of course, a pool. Not bad for a 31-year-old.
MALCOLM X'S DAUGHTER TELLS IT ALL
In a new memoir, Ilyasah Shabazz, the daughter of the late civil rights activist Malcolm X, describes her life and the tragic death of her mother, at the hands of an arsonist ... another member of the family. In the book, "Growing up X," Shabazz says that her loving mother instilled wonderful memories of the father she never knew; Malcolm X was assassinated when she was only two. Columnist Avis Weathersbee says that she grew up pretty normally, informed about the work of her late dad but not told to be in awe of him. She went to school, summer camp, mosque, and did the things most of her contemporaries did. The book is published by Ballantine and is priced at $35. Shabazz is now 39.
'TURANDOT' TOUR FAILS TO EXCITE
Opera fans can't wait until some promoter announces an upcoming staging of the Puccini spectacle "Turandot." Recently, fans in Houston were delighted that the same promoter who handles Luciano Pavarotti and the famous Three Tenors was bringing a massive road company of "Turandot" to the city's Compaq Center. Now, according to the Chronicle, not enough tickets have been sold. The promoter says the troupe will bypass Houston. The Compaq Center could have been a bad choice, considering the cost of renting it vs. the number of opera fans in the area and the need to fill it to show a profit. The touring company features members of the Chinese National Opera and a replica of the Forbidden City. Originally the show was to have visited 18 cities. Because of poor ticket sales, the event will now only be seen in six. If you're not familiar with the opera, you have likely heard its sweeping final chorus with high tenor part rising above the chorus on many late-night ads for CDs of opera music.
R&B'S KELLY COUNTERS ACCUSATIONS
Rhythm and blues singer R. Kelly went on TV this week to discuss allegations of sexual misconduct. But, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, he offered very little new information. The publication says that Kelly was interviewed on BET and Fox Television, and accompanied by a minister, said to be his spiritual advisor. Kelly was recently sued by three women who claim that the singer took liberties with them while they were still underage. A videotape purporting to show the encounters was delivered anonymously to the newspaper, who turned it over to Chicago police. Kelly calls the tape "phony." A video expert tells the Sun-Times that it would be nearly impossible to have faked the video and would have required exhaustive, time-consuming frame-by-frame manipulation of the 26-minutes of video.
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 330
Recently I mentioned that I had my car stolen, but got it back, with only minor damage (to the ignition switch area). Last night I had a flat tire. AAA tells me that the "teeth" you drive over to leave my apartment complex must have malfunctioned causing the "severe tire damage" that is warned will happen if you try to ENTER instead of LEAVE through that gate. A block or so later, after discovering the flat, I parked the car in a lot, turned on the flashers, and eventually had to call AAA. While I was at the pay phone someone stole my lug wrench. So, today's question: "What's the most important or expensive thing you've ever had stolen, other than a car (which was Monday's question)?" Put THEFT in the subject line and send to email@example.com via the Internet.
RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 325 (OLDEST)
Last week we asked what was the oldest thing in your wallet or purse. Here is a random sampling of the replies: Peggy, a frequent contributor, tells us that she has a photo that dates from 1984 in her billfold. "It's of a beloved friend, now deceased." She also says, if you count the minting date on money, there's a 1978 penny in her purse that was received in change in a shopping trip. BobW says that the oldest thing in his wallet is the wallet itself. It's so old he has no memory of when he bought it. Melba has a gold compact with her name on it that dates from the 1940s. She loves it and its mirror and still uses it. AFA reports having his old college ID card in his billfold, dating from the 1960s. In the sampling I saw, no one mention having his draft card. I don't have mine (is that against the law now?) but I remember the number: 12-12-47-55. To understand draft numbers, you read them in reverse order. I was the 55th person born in 1947 to register at the No. 12 draft board in the 12th state alphabetically. Wonder who thought that up. NEXT: Reports of stolen cars. GBA.