Lansing State Journal from Lansing, Michigan on August 23, 1970 · Page 79
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Lansing State Journal from Lansing, Michigan · Page 79

Lansing, Michigan
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 23, 1970
Page 79
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Nation's Best Known and Probably Best Loved Entertainer Says Country Being Undermined Hope Speaks Out for U.S. ator of television's Meet The Press) gets on the air and said to six governors Did you sec that show? He said well, a lot of people think our country is going down the drain . . . This was his line, you know. more and more frightening, that out there somewhere the country is whole and thriving. The bearers of bad tidings anger him. ". . . When a fellow like Spi-vak (Lawrence Spivak, moder Honor Guard Marine Stationed At White House Door ous, affable, and earnest, but never confiding or deep. Even his closest friends have difficulty penetrating that surface. ("Bob hasn't had the time to develop a close relationship with any other human being in the world, including his wife," one of them said. "He comes as close to being an island entire unto himself as any man I know.") "Campus violence is a ridiculous thing," Hope was saying. "When you take our place of learning and deny an education to the kids. Because I travel around and see so many of the campuses where there is no violence. And why should a majority be denied an education for a few? "I played (the University of) Maryland on May 8, I think it was the same day as the Moratorium. There was a hell of a lot of violence. "But I walked in and did a show that night. I said I thought the Cambodian thing was right and I got a boo from one kid. That's the way it goes. Let them boo. 'IN IT FOR THE KICK "I don't think those kids know what they are doing half of them. I think they're in it for the kick.- I'm sure of it.' Does he feel the public outcry about the war and other issues is justified? "Oh, a lot of them are. I'm only convinced where the outside forces get in and try to upset . . . Did he think there is some kind of Communist conspiracy going on? "I think so. There's a help. You know, right after Maryland I was supposed to be in Nashville and they found a bomb right in the college. Now who would put a bomb in . . . one of our kids?" Hope's view of America is the view from the middle from places like Montana and Indiana; he insists, as t h e news of internal turmoil grows the war in Vietnam Bob Hope would have no place to go.) HOW MUCH IMPACT? The big question, u n a n-swered and likely to remain so, is how much of an impact Hope is having. There are some guesses, however. "You have to start from the premise that Hope is alone in the history of the entertainment business," said Thomas W. Sarnoff. NBC's west coast chief, who handles Hope's long business association with the network. "If anybody has risen to an institution, it's Hope." Added Nathaniel Lande, Hope's son-in-law: "I think Bob is a very powerful man. Anyone who has this sort of exposure at 50 million at a crack, who listen to him and adore him, any man who has this sustaining power is a phenomenon." There is probably no other way to describe Hope than as a "phenomenon." He is in perpetual motion, a man driven to action. Besides his vast show business interests, his friendships with the leading figures of public life, he is a phenomenal businessman. Over the years, he has acquired 15,000 acres of real estate, much of it considered worthless at t h e time he bought it. Now, he is probably the richest man in show business and one of the wealthiest in the country, with a gross worth of anywhere from $50 million (his own estimate) up to the hundreds of millions. SHOWS MEMENTOES With that kind of success story, America looks pretty good to the 67-year-old son of a British stonemason who emigrated with his parents to the United States in 1907. A visitor to his home on Moorpark Street is given a tour of several showcases full of mementoes of a long career: Golf trophies, Emmy statues, a sheet of Hitler's personal stationery, given him by the 82nd Airborne; a By I.EROY F. A A RONS The Washington I'osl NORTH HOLLYWOOD. Calif. Like many of his neighbors in this quiet bedroom community above Los Angeles, Leslie Towns Hope thinks we should have really zapped Hanoi when we had the chance. He thinks campus violence is largely a Communist plot. And he's crazy about Spiro Agnew. There's nothing particularly unusual about this, especially in southern California, where in some circles Curtis Le.May is considered a liberal. But Leslie Towns is also known as Bob Hoe, the fellow who for more than 30 years has been the country's best known and probably best loved entertainer. When Hope speaks, 50 million people listen. And of late, Hope has leen publicly speaking his mind about his views on the war in Vietnam, on domestic woes, and even politics. More and more often he departs from the role of the non-partisan political wiseeracker and satitist and assumes the role of spokesman. Thus in recent months, in personal appearances on campuses, state fairs and at news conferences, he has openly declared his support for President Nixon's southeast Asia policies. TAPES FOR FRIENDS He has for the first time in his career made personal appearances and tapings for political friends including Sen. George Murphy, Lenore Rom-ney, Ohio Gov. James Rhodes and the Los Angeles County sheriff, and he intends to do more. And, everyone remembers his leading role in putting together the massive Honor America Day ir Washington, July 4. Hope has taken up the cudgel because he has the feeling the United States is being undermined. Undermined by the press, by malcontents and left-wingers ami nuts. And he firmly believes he's got to do something about it. "I just hated to get involved in politics," he said, relaxed in golf shirt and trousers at his comfortably unostentatious estate recently. "It used to be considered corny to be too patriotic . . . like you are almost commercializing on patriotism. There was that danger. I stayed away from it until this past year, when I figured that it had to be pretty important. "I got a very negative feeling that the country was getting very little support from the news media. And I felt that they were being unfair. SAVE SOUTHEAST ASIA "What bothers me was I go to do a show for our kids overseas. I've been doing it since "41. The majority of the kids know what they are fighting for over there. They know that they are trying to save this country. Maybe save all southeast Asia from an aggressor. "There were so many problems in the country. I played all the colleges and I would talk to all kinds of people. About the way I felt about the Vietnam War, the sacrifice . . . I have been emotionally involved with the troops. Been in hospitals, in burn wards. So you become affected by this. You look at it from a little different angle." It is not the first time an entertainment figure has gotten into polios and other public issues. But probably no other individual in the business enjoys the massive public adulation Hope receives from all classes, races, ages and political persuasions. This immense potential influence has raised liberal hackles and exposed Hope to criticism from people who think he should keep his famous nose out of public affairs. (Hope himself is annoyed by a recent cartoon which speculated that if the President really ended Tilt: STATE JOLKIMAL lntin Ert Lninf, Miction Sun., Aug. 23, 1970 H-3 that our country's collapsing. That's the way he used it. That's a great line, isn't it? CONFIDENCE IN t'.S. "N o w the people outside don't believe that. Like last week I was at the Montana State Fair. Next week I'll be at the Indiana State Fair. They're all kinda like in the gallery watching all this. And they have so much confidence in this country, they really do, no matter where you go." "I followed Abbie Hoffman into Bradley University in Peoria last year. When I got to the airport all the buys jumped me and said you're following Abbie Hoffman. I said, was he wearing Crosby's old clothes? And, I walked right in on the same platform and talked pro-America. I was still a hawk then." Hope now calls himself a "dove chicken" or a "chicken-owl." A year ago he favored doing anything, including saturation bombings and blockading Haiphong ("We can't stand around like a big impotent giant"), but now he supports the President's withdrawal policy. His attitudes, he admits, were shaped by his long exposure to the military, his overseas tours of GI bases and his friendships with generals from Eisenhower, to Bradley, to Westmoreland. USES EYES, EARS "Bob's not an intellectual," said a close friend, "He picks all this stuff up with his eyes and ears. He talks on the highest ievels to Laird, Nixon; he listens to them and his high-up buddies in the military establishment. With that kind of an intake, I'd end up the same way." Hope sometimes seemed so out of touch that one wondered if it were a put-on. He likened the youth rebellion today to the traditional uppityness of adolescents. "It's happened in all By STUART II. LOORY The Los Angeles Times WASHINGTON President Nixon has added a 23-year-old Marine sergeant, a heavily-decorated Vietnam war hero, to his staff as a doorman. The sergeant, Terry August Strassburg of North Tona-wanda, N.Y., is one of three Marines who went on duty at the beginning of the month in front of the west wing of the White House where the chief executive and his key aides have their offices. White House Press Secretary Ronald L. Ziegler said last week the men, who stand smartly at ease outside the doorway in their dress blue uniforms with white gloves, were stationed "to add dignity to the White House." Strassburg and his two fellow Marines open car doors for visitors to the west wing and then open the door to the building itself. NOTABLE RECORD Before j o i n i n g the White House staff, Strassburg was the "color sergeant of the Marine Corps," an honorary job in which he carried the American flay during ceremonies involving the Marine Corps. By tradition, he was the only man in the military allowed to carry pa I BOB HOPE ring from Dachau, inscribed "II. Himmler. 21.6.43"; rifles, machine guns, keys to several dozen cities, including his hometown, Cleveland. "I've got four or five vaults full," he said. "Every stop, they give you something, you know. We're actually planning to build a museum, proceeds to the USO." Elsewhere there are dozens of photos of Hope with the famous. Eleanor Roosevelt, several presidents, Neil Armstrong, an old shot with Francis Langford, a picture of Gen. George Patton at the Rhine. Hope displayed all of it with the unselfconscious pride of the individual who has been everywhere, and known everyone. He has become slightly paunchy, but is remarkably fit for his age (golf every day, no smoking, little drinking), except for a persistently troublesome hemmorrhage in his left eye. SERIOUS, AFFABLE Settled in an easy chair overlooking the swimming pool and a one-hole minigolf course, Hope talked about himself, his view of America. He was seri SGT. STRASSBURG "FAMILY WAKIT-A . . . a new form of . . 4 the Presidential colors in such ceremonies. Strassburg earned his honors in the Vietnam war. He enlisted in the Marines in January, 1967. and within a year, before his 21st birthday, he had won a Silver Star for gallantry in action, a Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts and several other American and Vietnamese decorations for bravery. He was wounded in the battle for Hue during the 1968 Tet offensive. Strassburg's two fellow doormen the Marine Corps lists them as "military receptionists" are Sgt. George Daniel Cutting and Sgt. Arnold Alvin Laramie, according to the records of the White House military affairs office. The marines man the doorway from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. when the President is working, except on Sunday. They work two hour shifts, each serving four hours a day. FANCY HATS DISCARDED The White House duty is considered an honor. The men who man the post were carefully considered by a screening board after an examination of the records of dozens of candidates. Ziegler said the idea for the Marine "honor guard," as he called it, was the President's. Questioned by newsmen, he said the idea did not come from Nixon's 1969 trip to Europe during which he noted how much better dressed the guards of foreign chiefs of state were than the White House police. That resulted in the brief appearance at the White House of hats on policemen that looked as if they had come from Viennese operettas. Those hats were discarded after a spate of news stories and resulting criticism. Mm generations. When we yelled for Rudy Vallee or Russ Col-umbo . . . our folks were still going for some other guy. They say you don't know what you are talking about." His idea of today's youth symbols was Tom Jones and Rod McKuen. His most earnest plea was for the press to feature fewer "provocative" stories and more "about good things that are happening," adding with a totally straight face, "a taffy-pull or something." Did he agree with Spiro Agnew? VIEWS ON AGNEW "Yeah, he's developed into something. He's sort of our country's house detective. I told him, I said, he's got a black belt in golf. .No. he's quite a guy. A marvelous fellow. Do you know vow popular this guy is? You know why? Because he's got guts. Just guts. You have to admire a man that just stands up and lets it go." Hope admires guts. He finds Ronald Reagan "gutsy" and will support him financially in the upcoming gubernatorial election in California. He will appear for George Murphy at a fund-raiser next week. In general, his public participation will be limited by his many other projects movies, TV, personal appearances. "But I'd like to do things for people who could help our situation, I don't care who it is," he said, "I'll help the President anyway I can." Is he concerned about criticism? "No, no. You always get critics, no matter what you do. People know that I've traveled, that I've talked to an awful lot of people. They want to hear from me. They want to know how I feel. I've got some invitations out there that you wouldn't believe." "My father has been getting some bad press," said his son, Tony, a 30-year-old film producer. "And he knows he was going to. He felt it was something to be done. He was capable of doing it and he was going to do it in spite of personal consequences. He didn't cop out." NOW YOU CAN ADVERTISE 50 Items and Under 3 illS HOLLARS .0) DAYS NO REFUND-AD CAN BE CANCELLED Playful Elephant BULAWAYO, Rhodesia (AP) A playful elephant recently delayed a train for nearly three hours 100 miles north of Bulawayo. The beast uprooted a telephone pole near Gwaai, on the edge of Wankie Game Park, disrupting all communications, a railway spokesman said. EXAMPLE BICYCLE 28 Chair $40. Plertnr NanKM S30. rug shamponer MO. 1W hose S20. mangle $30. Ph. 0OO-000O. Teacher Calls It Quits Your ad can be cancelled before it runs 6 days, but no refunds may be made. (6) All Family Want-Ads will be grouped together in the center of the Classified Section under a special heading. Your ad will appear in 80,000 papers daily, your telephone number will make it easy for readers to check to see if you still have their items of interest before they make a trip to your home. "3-6-3" will be one of the greatest House Cleaning Formulas ever offered to State Journal Readers. Because Family Want-Ads earn a special lower rate the following conditions apply: (1) Family Want-Ads can be used by private individuals for used merchandise only. (2) The price of any single item cannot exceed $50. However, any one ad may contain more than one item and the total value may be more than $50. (3) Every item in a Family Want-Ad must show the price. (4) Three lines is both the minimum and maximum size, you may buy as many 3 line ads as you want. (5) The Family Want-Ad cost of $3 is a flat net charge. PHONE I'J 5-3211 AD-TAKER Concluded from Page H-2 privacy. I can truthfully say I've never been lonesome. My children have been the chi'-dren of others but I've loved them as my own. One year a former pupil sent me a five-pound box of candy on Mother's Day." Living alone. Miss Aussie seems totally self-sufficient. Last March she fell and gashed her forehead tripped over a wire when the phone rang while she was out watering the garden. She picked herself up. drove to the doctor's office holding a handkerchief to her head, had eight stitches and drove home. Whether Miss Aussie inherited it from her father or came by it herself, her optimism about the essential goodness of humankind is so bouyant it borders on naivete: she doesn't even own a key to her house. Her compassion, likewise, is so incurable she won't even attend the horse races at the local country track. "They whip the horses." She gave her life to leaching and succeeded at it because, as she said, she did it for the sheer love of it. And, one could add, the love she gave it. She believes teachers ought to be well paid but cannot conceive of a teacher going on strike. Indeed, she is unable to say precisely what her salary was. "I just had the superintendent send the check to the bank. The only money I ever accumulated is a coin collection." The senior class twice dedicated its yearbook to Miss Aussie and the Chamber of Commerce gave her a silver bowl when she retired but she never sought honor or reward. "I would like to travel now," she said. "That would be a nice reward. I've never been farther than Colorado. I've had many opportunities but school was always in session. I intend to catch up on my reading, too, that will be a nice reward. "But I don't need a reward because I already know what mine will be. I've thought almut it often "I will go to heaven and all the pupils 1 ever taught will he there, all the thousands of them. I will walk through the gates and they will all stand up and say, 'Good morning, Miss Aussie.' And I will know them, every one." CLASSIFIED DEPARTMENT MONDAY thru SATURDAY 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. THE STATE JOURNAL LANSING HAST I .ANSI N(J MICHIGAN'S COMPLETE NEWSPAPER

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