Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 13, 1976 · Page 172
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 172

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 13, 1976
Page 172
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INTELLIGENCE CONTINUED THE 'GODFATHER WEDDING CAR' I Ever hear of the Godfather Car Limousine Service? It's a Queens, New York City, outfit with this motto: "We Take People for Rides." It's headed by Gaspar Como, who's particularly proud of the "Godfather Wedding-Car," a late-model white Cadillac with white ermine-covered upholstery and luxurious off-white carpeting. The Godfather Wedding ' Car, booked for the next two years, is the brain- child of Como, a former actor who sees to it that his drivers are dressed in appropriate "Godfather" style with wide-lapel, pin-striped, double- breasted suits, black patent-leather shoes and pearl-gray, wide-brimmed fedoras typical of the Al Capone era. Although many couples regard the Godfather limo as pure camp, others consider it a special service. Como says: "To me it means more business. I intend to add a $90,000 Rolls-Royce to my fleet." MAMEVflll won't like this, but according to studies made during the past six years by the national Assessment of Educational Progress, males generally do better than females in four major subjects: math, science, social studies, and citizenship. In four other educational areas, females consistently outperform males: in writing; they maintain a slight advantage in music; in reading and literature they top male achievement levels at age 9, then drop behind males by the ages of 26 to 35. In the male-dominated areas (math, science, social studies, and citizenship) males and females-at age 9 show fairly equal scholastic standings. By age-13, however, females begin to decline in achievement in these fields, with the decline continuing through age 17 and into adulthood. One possible explanation, of course, is the traditional social environment which does not envision girls as mathematicians and engineers. Surely, females are as capable as males in all avenues of educational attainment if society expects or demands it of them. Simon and Schuster, publishers of "The Final Days" by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, have sold the paperback rights to that book to Avon for $1,550,000. Avon is a Hearst subsidiary. The sale establishes an . all-time high for paperback rights to a nonfiction book. Simon and Schuster, will split with the authors Q% to 40£, the authors getting 60. The previous high for a nonfiction paperback was set in 1973 by "The Joy of Cooking," authored by Irma Rombauer and Margaret Rombauer Becker. New American Library bought that one for $1,500,000. The record for a work of fiction goes to E.L. Doctorow's "Ragtime," which last year brought $1,850,000 from Bantam Books. "The Final Days," which deals with Richard Nixon's last days in office, was originally offered to Warner Paperbacks, because Warner had published the paperback edition of "All the President's Men" by Woodward and Bernstein. Howard Kaminsky, head of Warner's, allowed "The Final Days" to go to auction, reserving his right to top the final bid by 5%. Seven paperback publishers offered amounts ranging from $400,000 to $1,500,000 in the auction. Avon finally came up with $1,550,000 and a promise to spend an additional $200,000 for publicity and promotion. Warner's declined to top that offer. Avon therefore has the right to publish the paperback edition of "The Final Days," commencing May 3, 1977, one year after the hardcover appeared, or one week after the book drops from the best-seller list of The New York Times, whichever comes first. How do most people in West Europe spend their leisure time? Photography is the one hobby shared by the majority. The organization for consumer research in Nuremberg, Germany, re- ports that more than 7Q% of all households in Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden own at least ** one camera. In France, Austria, and West Germany, the figure is just under 70%. Japanese and Americans probably have the most cameras per family. SEX IN PRISON One of the major evils of the American prison system is that it breeds homosexuality. In Sweden and Denmark, to avoid the growth of , that practice, prison authorities permit male and female inmates to participate in sex relations. Sweden began the liberalization by designating a "Knulla Rum" (a cohabitation room) in its prisons. Since early this year the.Batshagen Penitentiary near Orebro has allowed male and female prisoners to keep keys to their own cells. Members of the opposite sex may visit each other but must* be in their own beds alone by 10 p.m. In Denmark, the new Ringe Prison on Funen Island has two wings where men and women live in adjoining cells and are also allowed to visit each other. When asked whether married prisoners aren't encouraged to engage in adultery, Ringe Prison director Erik Andersen explains, "Adultery OCCU»*TI outside of prisons, too. Moreover, most of our prisoners are young and unmarried, and while pregnancy is always a possibility, our doctor here sees that every possible contraceptive is made available. We are trying to promote a sense of responsibility in our inmates, and that sense of responsibility carries over to the area of sex."^ Andersen reports that women have a "civilizing effect" upon men and that to date the Danish experiment is working well. Men without women frequently brutalize each other, especially in prison. The Scandinavians are seeking to avoid that brutaliza- tion. Q LLOYD SHEARER 1976 25

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