FAIRBANKS SR. MEMENTOS GIVEN TO OSCAR ACADEMY
The folks at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences say they have been given what can only be called a "precious collection" of memorabilia relating to the late silent film icon Douglas Fairbanks Sr. According to the movie group on its Web site, the gift includes more than 3,000 photos and negatives tracing Fairbank's phenomenal rise to prominence in Hollywood. Additionally, the Fairbanks family is donating money to the academy to help in preserving the artifacts. By the way, Fairbanks was the initial president of the academy. He is best remembered for his highly athletic, swashbuckling roles in movies such as "The Thief of Bagdad" and "Robin Hood." Fairbanks died in 1939. His son, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. became a major star in his own right.
DAVID HASSELHOFF TREATED FOR ADDICTION
Popular actor-singer David Hasselhoff has checked himself into the famous Betty Ford Center for treatment of alcohol addiction. According to published reports, the long-time star of "Baywatch" saw his "social drinking" increase to the point that it was out of control. His publicist told media that he was admitted to the clinic last month. There was no information given on how long he will remain at the facility. It's located on the outskirts of Palm Springs, about two hours east of Los Angeles. During the run of "Baywatch" Hasselhoff became an international star. He is also a huge singing sensation in many foreign countries, a fact that surprises many of his American fans. Hasselhoff turns 50 this month.
KENNEDY CLAN BACKING CUOMO
The popular, photogenic son of former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo, wants to follow in his gregarious father's footsteps. And he's enlisted the help of the Kennedy clan to drum up support and find the cash for the campaign. Now the New York Post says that with the help of his wife, Kerry Kennedy, the Massachusetts-based family is about to open the gates of its Hyannisport compound for a major fundraising event. It will be a weekend full of sports, sailing, lobster dinners and memories of the Kennedy's "golden years." There are reports that Mrs. Cuomo has been hard at work, manning the telephones, to try to convince supporters to pay $10,000 a ticket to attend the July 27-28 soiree. The publication notes that it will be interesting to see if the linking of the Kennedy and Cuomo names can garner the support necessary to topple New York's current governor, George Pataki, still riding high in the polls.
'O BROTHER' PROMPTS BLUEGRASS REBIRTH
The release of the George Clooney movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" not only was a big hit, it spawned a soundtrack album that has been on the charts for more than a year and led to the rebirth of the careers of several bluegrass musicians. Now, according to Billboard magazine, the interest in bluegrass has become so strong it's decided to add that genre of music as a category in its weekly listings. The initial tracking of bluegrass albums will begin in two weeks. Meanwhile, many bluegrass CDs will also continue to be shown in their proper rankings on the existing country charts.
JOHNNY CASH STILL OPTIMISTIC
Despite the fact that he likely suffers from an enigmatic condition called Shy Drager's Syndrome, Johnny Cash -- The Man in Black -- continues his love of country music and is participating with many artists in their projects. Cash's condition puts him at constant risk for opportunistic infections and other problems. In a major look at Cash today, Country Music Television's online editions report that the real diagnosis of his medical problems is still in question. One doctor says he has a condition called autonomic neuropathy, an ailment in which more and more motor functions are difficult. To this point, except for a lessened manner of speaking, he seems to have suffered few results of that illness. By the way, Cash has had two major bouts of pneumonia in recent months. In celebration of his 70th birthday this year, a plethora of country stars put out tribute CDs.
ARE AMERICANS READY FOR PAY RADIO?
Ask anyone who teaches American history and they will tell you that the least-honored element of the 20th century was the coming of radio, though among the most important. First the telegraph -- and its dots and dashes -- made it possible, using wires, for messages to be sent from point to point. Then, with the help of such men of genius as Edwin Armstrong and Lee deForrest, communications went "wireless." Finally, with the invention of a way to transmit the human voice, it was suddenly possible for one person in front of a microphone to influence millions at the same time. Here in this country the reception of radio has always been free. Not so in other nations. Now, with the coming of satellite-delivered radio, there are real concerns about whether listeners in this country will be willing to pay the freight. Is America ready for pay radio? The Christian Science Monitor is asking that question in a major article. Several companies are currently competing for the satellite radio market. All promise an endless string of commercial-free programming. The technology is amazing. More and more cars, trucks and even boats are coming equipped with the receiving equipment that, for a monthly fee, can be turned on. It will take a while to sort this out.
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 367
Lately I've begun to notice, at least here in Las Vegas, that the people who abuse handicapped parking spots tend to drive large, expensive cars. So, in light of that, here's today's question: "What has been your experience with handicapped spots, either as a person who uses them or as an observer of abuse?" Put PARKING in the subject line and send to firstname.lastname@example.org via the Internet.
MORE CATCHING UP ON PREVIOUS QUESTIONS
Here's a sampling of replies to previous questions as we attempt to catch up. In response to our REQUEST question about what you would do if you worked for an airline and were faced with an obese or non-hygienic customer: Ali voices what many said, "it's a tough call." Even though when you work for a company you know there are rules to follow, it would be difficult in some circumstances. Len says that having to tell an obese person he or she needs to buy two seats on a plane is wrong. He makes a great point when he says he's a "small" person and wonders if he could only pay half fare! LTin says that although she understands the rules and the rationale, it would still be difficult to tell a person they can't fly. On the other hand, Serena says that she would have no problem enforcing the rules. On the subject of TASTE, Aunt Jo notes that years ago her grandfather gave her a candy called watermelon sparkles. She tried them lately and now reports they are "horrible." Edie reports a brand of sausage, Habberset, used to be the "best." Now it's "awful." On this topic there were too many different comments to print. I would, though, like to mention one from N. Shephard who says that Vernor's Ginger Ale, a Cincinnati favorite, used to be wonderful. Lately, "it tastes terrible." Too bad, when I lived in the Midwest I used to love Vernors. TOMORROW: More catching up. GBA.