The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on November 11, 1999 · Page 171
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 171

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Thursday, November 11, 1999
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Page 171
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JiyRSDAYNOVEMBER 11, 1999 The Palm Beach Post SECTION E FLORIDA FAVORITES Ton Florida locations claim top spots in a Southern wng magazine reader poll this month. Winners include: Cypress Gardens (named one of the South' top five gardens); Orlando and Destin (family destinations); St. Augustine (historic site); Copt, Anderson's Restaurant, Panama City, and Joe's Stone Crab, Miami (seafood restaurants). Palm Beach County Living CGENT 'MURDER' SHOWS STRONG VITAL SIGNS Ratings hike for Van Dykes 'bloodless' whodunit mystifies network, delights fans By Paul Umartirt I'uim lUuk W stuff Wnttf one is going to throw a party for Dicwwsis Murder, bo they're tossing one for themselves. After a 12-hour shooting day, cast and crew take over the bar at the upscale Harsae Brasserie in North Holly-wood. Hatters pass hand-to-hand fried calainari, wanton stuffed with chicken, canrese salad and pancetta (bacon) with olive oil as they hush to watch their 8 p.m. Thursday show. With WJ HTcent of new network prime-time shows failing, this party celebrates survival. For seven seasons, Dick Van Dyke, as crime-solving Dr. Mark Sloan, and his homicide detective son (Harry Van Dyke) have solved bloodless murders by unraveling whodunit plots. "We're not cutting edge," says Dick Van Dyke. "In a way we're an anachronism. We've inherited the audience from Murder, Site Wrote, Vie Andy Griffith SJww, 'Pie teve Aw. All those shows are gone. We're the only game in town for this kind of show. We're low on violence and si x. We try to be a family show, and that's becoming really rare today." Diagnosis Murder is neither sexy nor splashy. No industry buzz. Not one Km-my nomination. lWious little publicity. Not so much as a T-shirt offered at the CHS souvenir Web site. "This show is an orphan," Van Dyke says. "Our (CHS) wiles department would like us to disapcar into thin air ' f-uvsWAGNOSIS', 3E 66 WViv low Oil violcnre and sex. V- I rv fo he a nullify show and that's i lM-romiii" mtllv ran' lodav.' Dick Van Dyke, on Diagnosis Murder r mi ; LA :A Thom Smith r Worming his way into the j police reports Are you ready to rummmm-ble? Only hours after being released by Miami Beach police Saturday, Carmen Electra was back in action. She was spied beside the stage at the National Car Rental Center cheering on Ump Bizkit's Fred Durst Furtive kissing at first, then heavy necking. No sign of ex-hubby Dennis Rodman, the co-defendant with Electra in the domestic dispute at the Bentley Hotel on South Beach. Actually, the police reports make for amusing reading. Electra's real name, for example, is Tara Leigh Patrick. Height 5-foot-4. weight 110, brown hair, blue eyes. Alias: Carmen Electra. Date of birth: 42072. By comparison, Dennis Keith Iiyyjwwww, iwuiiiaii, ana?, i lit '' . . 1 Worm (honest, it's on the report), is 6-foot-8, 280 pounds, brown hair and eyes, born 51361. The tiff started about 4:30 a.m. Sat- ..-,1..,, D,wl, L. I claimed, when Elec- I ' tra poked him with Electra a rose (how sweet) while he was sleeping then punched him. He "forcibly escorted" her out of the room. Her story: They were watching MTV at 4:30 and when her "ex-boyfriend" (Durst) appeared in a video, Rodman uttered a few choice words, then told her to go with Fred. He threw her around the room and finally into the hall. She cut her toe. They went back inside and she started punching Rodman. They wrestled on the bed and he bit her on the side of the head (the old Mike Tyson distraction gambit). She ran out, and ran upstairs to the room of a "witness." (Some sources believe the witness was Fred.) Rodman followed, threw her purse, which hit her in the face and cut her lip. She went downstairs to leave in a limo, but not before Rodman ripped a silver chain from her neck. Here's the clincher, according to Miami Beach police officer Christi Tanner's report: "After being brought to the MBPD's holding facility, Def . (Rodman) stated to please tell Co-Def (Electra) that he was sorry, he overreacted, and that he loved her." Hot stuff at the Bake Sale When he started early bookings last year for the Buzz Bake Sale, The Buzz's (VVPBZ-FM 103.1) John 0'Connell had no idea what was in store when he landed Kid Rock. He was selling records and drawing crowds to concerts, but he wasn't the juggernaut that hit Coral Sky Sunday. 4 Quite a stage show. Especially the dancers, brought in especially for the occasion, reportedly from some of the local nudie bars. The bare breasts and simulated sex didn't seem to upset the audience. The night before, at the Sundome in Tampa, he had dancers, but they kept their tops on. It did get a little testy backstage, however, as two professional wrestlers one reportedly ' Randy "Macho Man" Savage engaged in a little shoving match. Ain't it wonderful. And no doubt, he'll be back in South Florida. Maybe sooner than any of us expected. B thomsmithpbpost.com !L LLd JJ In Mnrr Aor II Memories Of a t Teresa 'James '' ) James wore the jiv 'f ' ana new lis planes, but it took 30 1 years for her and other J WASPS J to win the I right to call V themselves h V 'Ht-M veterans. if 1 lit x- Teresa James prepares to make her first solo flight in the 1930s. Courtesy Teresa James By Douglas Kalajian : ' Palm Beach Post Staff Writer 9 0ms& his veteran's story is not set on a battlefield, nor on foreign soil. Not a shot was fired. No one got a medal. But it is a story of courage as certain and admirable as any, and of service to a country in desperate need. It's about a woman who flew America's war planes. For 27 months during World War II, Teresa "Jamesy" James and her comrades at the Women's Auxiliary Service Pilots ferried fighter planes, trainers and bombers from factories to airfields to ports across the country. The planes were shipped to Europe or the Pacific. The pilots quickly found they had no place in a man's Army. Jamesy and her pals bivouacked in the corners of dank hangars, behind oily tarps hung from beams. They flew in the worst weather with no radios, often alone for days on end. They flew planes they'd never seen before, and some they prayed no one would have to fly again. The danger was real: 38 of the women died in crashes. The Army gave them no flags or funerals. The survivors had to pass the helmet until they'd chipped in enough to send the body home. Then they'd go back up in the air. They kept flying until male pilots started to come home from Europe in late 1944. Then suddenly, with planes still waiting for them on the field, the WASPS were Please see FLY GIRL, 4E Teresa James of Lake Worth looks through old clippings that capture her flying exploits. Her heroics as a WASP during World War II won the government's full recognition and veterans benefits 30 years after the fact. CALUE LIPKIN Staff Photographer f y V' 'y-W '"Tmsfi, .... ,isrj ... .. . .-f-sisawB4'1.- a...:-- j , - f ' '' I ' ?t ,j4 t"- ; p" "'-s! i,-iwr. -. - '''I -s. ''.aft . S f " ; j ' d L - Y .... ... ...... VsO rm-TlinrT-rfiio ihittt,, , rrt 'V' u" i I tUN H Loretta Grantham ALAN DIUThe AstaXialuU floU Gladys Knight never meant to: become a star she just wanted to make herself useful. Knight's quest: End diabetes, for Mom's sake If Gladys Knight hadn't grown up on grits, Midnight Train to Georgia would've been Midnight Plane to Houston. "That's how the song originally went," says the Atlanta native, referring to the 73 ballad she's best known for. "And I said uh-uh, I'm not satisfied. We were playing along the East Coast and in the South then, and we rode the train. "I called the guys together (songwriter Jim Weatherly and the Pips), and I said, This just doesn't ring true. We're from GEOR-gia, honey!' " So, in fact, am I. Gleeful to learn that I'm a fellow "peach," Gladys squeezes my hands as if we go way back. Today, Knight has ventured to Miami from Las Vegas, where she's lived since the late 70s, to promote a statewide diabetes blindness-prevention program for the Florida Cytometric Association Charities. November is American Diabetes Month, and Knight's mom, Elizabeth, was . blinded by the disease before she died in '97. The singer also has established a diabetes research fund in her memory. "My mother didn't believe in idle minds or being still or staying in bed all day. Even when I was an adult in the entertainment business, working almost all night, she wouldn't stand for me sleeping past 10." Knight, 55, has been in the entertainment business since she belted out Nat King Cole's Too Young on Ted Mack's The Original Amateur Hour and nabbed the $2,000 first prize. She was 7. "I got a big ol' trophy," she recalls with a wide smile. "It was bigger than I was." , Knight's teeth, like her eyes, are sparkling. And there's a definite radiance about her. Maybe it's the bright yellow turtleneck under her black St. John Knits pantsuit. Or maybe it's the 40-some pounds she's dropped. Or maybe, come to think of it, it's the man she's dropped (third husband Les Brown, whom she divorced in '97). And the answer is . . . none of the above. The best thing that's ever happened to her? "Becoming a Mormon," she replies without pause. "I'm happier than I've ever been in my life because I've found the gospel and the fullness of it. All along, it was right under my nose. I was bora to get to this place." Gladys Maria Knight was one of four kids born to Merald Knight, a postal Please see LORETTA, 7E

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