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The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts • Page 44
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The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts • Page 44

The Boston Globei
Boston, Massachusetts
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44 Ms "1 LDWDffOg THE BOSTON GLOBE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 1990 A Seattle mayor's move to Cambridge DEALING WITH MEN WHO FEAR COMMITMENT lmatmmQ, i By Linda Killian SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE CAMBRIDGE For Charles Royer, the "wake-up call," as he describes it, came while trying to cash a check at Star Market. He couldn't do it And while that may not seem extraordinary to most people, it is for someone who is used to people recognizing him wherever he goes. After his seven years as a television news analyst for KING-TV in Seattle and 12 years as the city's mayor, Royer face was pretty familiar to Seattle, residents, and cashing a check there wouldn't have been much of a problem. But he's not in Seattle anymore. He's in Cambridge as the new director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. ROYER, Page 49 Best-selling love guru Steven Carter brings his self-help message to Boston By Pamela Reynolds GLOBE STAFF GLOBE STAFF PHOTO MARK WILSON Charles Royer, new head of Harvard's Institute of Polities. ooking at Steven Carter now, you would never suspect. He looks so normal on this morning in his Brookline condo, wearing tennis shoes and jeans and an affable smile. 1 I'fiH. -stf'-' iwfc iA $kMy i 1-h'f. i i 11. 1 a rli? I I ifcF 7 7 tS -A- VrW 2 1 But Carter, when pressed, will admit the truth. He's just like a lot of guys. He Comedy Review Wrist's comic vision starting to lose focus By Steve Morse GLOBE STAFF has the tendency, and if he didn't fight it, he would probably surrender to it. 1 Commitment phobia. "I cannot sit here and say to you I have no commitment-phobic tendencies," Carter says sheepishly. "I realized that in relationships I did have this tendency of diving in, in the beginning, and beating a retreat Now, for the first time, I can say I know I'll get married. I could never say that before." It is a grievous admission for Carter, who has become, at 33, one of the nation's emerging romance gurus. Here is the man who has made a career out of helping women identify the commitment-phobes lurking in their own lives. Here is the man to whom women turn when black clouds roll across romantic skies. And yet, when it comes down to it, the amicable love guru himself admits to harboring the dark tendency. The news will undoubtedly horrify many women. Carter is author of the phenomenally popular "Men Who Can't Love." His self-help guide, co-authored with Julia Sokol and first published in 1987, was on the New York Times best seller list for six weeks. As a hardcover book, "Men Who Can't Love" went to seven printings, selling more than 100,000 copies. Today the book, as a paperback, continues to be popular. Women pass around tattered copies of the book, and some carry it with them in their purses. Carter says he still receives a stream of grateful letters from women writing things like, "Thank God, you saved my sanity' or "I can't believe you wrote this book without meeting Fred." Now Carter is in Boston, hoping to bring his advice and support to all women in the area who have ever been dumped, duped, or otherwise strung along by a COMMITMENT, Page 50 teven Wright, the guru of the absurd, was fresh out of Boston's Comedy Connection when he first played Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" in 1982. His cerebral, deadpan humor was an immediate hit, leading to more talk shows and to "Saturday Night Live" spots where his geeky, angst-ridden -r style became further enshrined. Soon he added a side career in films, playing an eccentric dentist in "Desperately Seeking Susan" and an oddball paranoiac in "Appointments of Dennis Jennings," which. he wrote and steered to an Oscar for best film short last year. Wright, who's from Burlington, is a comic genius who celebrates the mundane even as he forces you to reconsider it through his devilishly skewed comedy. It's a style that has spawned many imitators, but that also has worn a little thin if last night's sold-out Symphony Hall show is WRIGHT, Page 47 GLOBE STAFF PHOTO MARK WILSON Steven Carter, co-author of "Men Who Can't Love," and Rhonda Rudner will lead support groups for women in the Boston area. i 1 MM A holiday only a retailer could love -t 1 HATE BLAND, AND THE flabbiest holiday in America is "Presidents' Day." It used to be Washington's Birthday, in everv state of the union. We LS' -C3 chin whiskers was less than' ingenuous. Washington never charged boldly and blindly against superior arms; he had seen the results of such foolishness as a young man, seen Brad-dock cut down in the wilderness. There would be no Charge of the Light Brigade in Washington's army. He drove the British from Boston without sacrificing a man to any glorious engagement; he brought in the big cannon, aimed them at the British, and waited for their own common sense to put an end to it The final victory at Yorktown was not a battle, it was the closing of a bloodless trap. Lincoln worked his way slowly through a laundry list of general officers until he found one both willing and able to fight but he never made the mistake of thinking that the title Commander-in-Chief made him a military thinker. He was no arrogant Churchill in that respect though Churchill's equal in political infighting and public rhetoric In the White House, Lincoln put up with a collection of the most insufferable cabinet members and congressional leaders ever assembled, because he needed them, and he knew it Such men are rare, and deserve to be remembered by name. rights movement started. He owned slaves and didn't worry much about it. This makes him a hard sell even to small children, who have a strong sense of fairness. Now we've swept slave-owning George and Honest Abe into the same meaningless holiday, and made sure everybody takes the rest of the week off from school, preventing any timely American history lessons pegged to the natal days of our two most remarkable presidents. Of the two, Lincoln was the one with a touch of genius, the one who seldom wrote a less than interesting sentence. Washington's diary entries and letters are mundane at best, his speeches, however powerful the ideas, contaminated with a school-boyish rhetoric. Lincoln had wit and comic humor at his command. Washington, to the best of any contemporary's recollection, never even tried to tell a ordinary joke. But they shared several qualities: Dedication, loyalty to the country, single-mindedness, common sense. They were selfless patriots, although each was capable of vanity: Washington's expense-account bills for good wine, shoe polish and wig powder are the stuff of a satirist's dreams, and Lincoln's affectation of military also had Lincoln's Birthday in all states north of the Mason-Dixon Line and west of the Rio Grande. Washington was The Father of Our Country and Lincoln was The Great Emancipator. Anyone reading a modern calendar would assume that today was in honor of everybody from Millard Fillmore through Rutherford B. Hayes to George Bush. Life made more sense when we acknowledged that some presidents were better than others. Presidents' Day is a great compromise. When Republicans began to make gains in the Solid South (that's what we used to call it, back before Nintendo), the one thing they had to do was shut up about Abraham Lincoln. That was the end of the annual Lincoln Day observance with its appropriate Republican oratory, and they quit lobbying for Lincoln's birthday to be made a national holiday. That is how we ended up with Presidents' Day, and if schoolchildren can't tell the difference between Yorktown and Appomattox, who's to blame? Washington wasn't much more popular than Lincoln once the dvfl GLOBE PHOTO RICHAKU CARPENltrt Executive editor Carroll Robbins: "embarrassed and hurt" when the Ryan story broke. Scooped in Springfield Why the local newspaper missed the big story By Stephen J. Simurda SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE PRINGFIELD When veteran re porter Don Ebbeling returned home from a vacation in Florida three I weeks ago, he found a fat envelope stuffed in his door. Inside were arti District Attorney Matthew J. Ryan Jr. and reputed organized crime leaders. Reading the articles "kind of extended my vacation a couple of hours," says Ebbeling, wlio has written about organized crime, politics and the courts for more than 20 years at the Springfield Newspapers. "I was pleased that finally something was published in a widespread newspaper" about Ryan's behavior, says Ebbeling. But if the reporter was happy to see the SPRINGFIELD, Pagf 48 cles that had appeared in The Boston Globe while Ebbeling was away. The articles, published Jan. 21 and 22, raised questions about the rationship between Hampden County

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