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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania • Page 19
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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania • Page 19

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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fwrrf y''rKrty William M. Rimmei Out Past SATUKDAY, OCTOBER 28, 1967 WOMEN'S NAMES dot the history of the city. Some made their mark in literature and art. Others in education, medicine and science. And still others for their philanthropic work.

But only a few are still re Ball Lightning 'First Cousin' Theory Told By HENRY W. PIERCE Post-Gazette Staff Writer MORE DETAILS about ball lightning, the strange glowing globes that glide along metal objects and play pranks in people's homes, have been sent to this column by Philip J. Klass, senior avionics editor of membered. This is the story of one of those who is still remembered. Few Alleghenians knew Miss Jane Holmes back in the late 1880's.

Although she was one of the city's socialites her name rarely appeared in the papers. And only a handful knew of her many charitable gifts. But with her death Miss Mr. Rimmcl 4 Aviation Week Space Technology. Klass contends that many people who think they've seen flying saucers have really Hall became first page news.

For the shy socialite had bequeathed an annuity of for a Home for Protestant Boys provided it should be started in the City of Allegheny within two years of her death. 1 1 mm seen a "first cousin" to ball 1 1 lightning. This "first cousin," he maintains, can be triggered by natural causes or by sev- eral man made 1 mechanisms," mably 1 A 4 it -Associated Press Wlreoholo All over the country, In special, secret spots, practice runs are being made by prospective witches and goblins for the big day Halloween. On trie outskirts of Rochester, N. on a wind-swept hill, witches and goblins with the names of Donna, Broom Boom Jeffrey, Nancy and John try a practice run.

It looks like fun. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiuiiiiitii iiiiiiiiiiiitiiiiimi mi mini ii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinii ti ilium iiimiii i iiiiiiitiiiiiiiiimi in i iiiiiiiiiiiiiini i if iiimi inn iiiiiiniiiiiiiiiiiiif mi riiiiiiiini Sweepstakes' Winners Computerized No More Writing; Just Sign Name The proposed home was to be modeled after the Lincoln Institute in Philadelphia that had impressed Miss Hall on her many visits there. And she specified in her will that the institute which she thus liberally endowed should be a shelter for boys between the ages oi 12 and tl years who came to Allegheny to either wofk or be educated. i In accordance with her desire a group pf Allegheny women began the job of seeking 'a building that would fit into the plans for home. And in 1886 shortly after the death of Miss Hall the old Palmer mansion at Anderson and Robinson Street was secured.

The house which was constructed along the colonial style had many large rooms and was at the time known as the Young Working Women's Boarding Home. I The property was purchased and its occupants were moved to the Brunot home on East Stockton Avenue, where it continued until tlie building was torn down several years ago to make way for the new Allegheny Center. After a number of changes the Anderson Street property was opened as the Protestant Home for Boys under the direction of Mrs. E. H.

Donehoe. Inside of a month 26 boys ranging in age from 12 to 19 years were housed in the institution. Some worked as errand boys in shops and factories. Others were students at the Western University of Pittsburgh. Each boy was charged $3.00 a week for room and board.

The home was headed by Mrs. William Mc-Creery, of North Lincoln Avenue, president; Mrs. Charles Frisbee, of Taylor Avenue and Mrs. E. Holden, of Library Place, vice presidents and the following directors: Mrs.

Perrine. Mrs. J. Ewing, Mrs. James Aiken, Mrs.

Eli Edmundson, Mrs. John McClurg, Mrs. Jane T. Patterson, Mrs. D.

Riggs, Mrs. John S. Slagle, Mrs. G. W.

Foster, Mrs. D. Ure, Mrs. J. K.

Becker, Mrs. Annie Thorn and Mrs. William M. Kennedy, wife of one of Allegheny's former mayors. Parties were held regularly for the young men in the parlor of the home.

And now and then they were entertained by the members of the YWCA in downtown Pittsburgh. One night they were given a garden party by Mrs. G. W. Foster at her home in Highland Avenue.

In the years that followed hundreds of bdys and young men passed through the doors of Holmes Hall, as the boys affectionately called their home away from home. When the home was closed because of lack of tenants a number of years ago the structure became a half deserted apartment house. Today it stands in the path of the proposed urban redevelopment changes and the highway leading to the Bridge to Nowhere and the proposed sports stadium. riviera) Mr. Pierce large electrical and electronic devices, which have appeared on the scene during the last 20 years.

He is currently writing a book on the subject. Klass says in his letter: "According to the surveys to which you referred in your paper (Post-Gazette, Oct. 14), one by Dr. J. R.

McNally Jr. of the Oak Ridge National Laboratories, and the other by Warren Rayle, of NASA's Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio: "1. Thirteen per cent of the persons who had seen ball lightning in the McNally survey estimated its size at larger than 36 inches in diameter, and four per cent said it was more than 60 inches in diameter Rayle's survey shows that in 12 per cent of the ball lightning sightings, its size was estimated to be larger than 33 inches. "2. As for duration in McNally's survey, seven per cent of the respondents said they watched ball lightning for more than 30 seconds, and two per cent said it lasted for more than two minutes.

Rayle's survey showed that in 12 per cent of the sightings the plasma remained in view for more than 30 seconds." Obviously, Klass says, this is a great deal larger than the "orange or grapefruit" I compared ball lightning with in this column Oct. 14. Apparently, it also persists longer than "several seconds," as I had said earlier. If anything, this makes ball lightning more fascinating and mysterious than ever. "Your description of ball lightning," he continues, "pertains to one end of the spectrum, i.e, the smallest, short-duration, and most frequent variety.

But, if I told you that the average height of human beings is five-feet-ten-inches, and if tomorrow you saw a man who was seven-feet-six-inches high, you would NOT be justified in concluding that he must necessarily be an extra-terrestrial visitor, simply because he is outside the norm. "If UFOs were simply ball lightning, the UFO mystery would not have persisted so long. If, however, it is a first cousin to ball lightningv which is largely a product of man-made things which have appeared in recent decades, we can understand its persistence." It will be interesting to see how Klass explains the alleged sightings that bear no resemblance to glowing balls the reports of UFOs which are described as having a definite structure. It will also be interesting to see how he explains the many photographs of alleged flying saucers which do not look remotely like ball lightning. Perhaps these are all hoaxes and perhaps Klass will say so but there's no point in trying to explain the UFO reports in terms of ball lightning if you're going to fall back on the hoax theory anyway.

Those of us who are neither believers nor disbelievers in flying saucers we who are merely curious to know the real explanation-are not satisfied with what we've heard from science so far. We get the impression that many of the attempts to explain away UFOs strain the facts and, in some cases, are wholly inappropriate. We also get the impression that many disbelieversand this includes some scientists are as eager to disprove the existence of flying saucers as the believers are to prove their existence. So, Instead of explanations, we get courtroom-type arguments reminiscent of a trial lawyer addressing a fatuous and uninformed jury. Klass' book may prove to be a worthwhile step in the right direction but we must reserve final judgment until we have read it.

larger companies have turned to the sweepstakes promotion as well." DO THOSE who buy something have a better chance of winning than those who don't? "No," says Richard Kane, executive vice president of Marden-Kane, which specializes in promotions. "Your odds are just as good whether you buy or not. That's because the winning numbers have been preselected." A computer picks as many winners as the company wants to give prizes. These numbers then are placed under lock and key and the promotion mailing is made. At the end of the contest period, the entries are hand-matched against the winning numbers.

The winners are checked to make sure they are not ineligible because they are relatives or associates of employes of the firm sponsoring the sweepstakes. When this is done, the remaining winners are notified by mail and their prize is delivered. i KANE SAYS the names of winners rarely are published because the sweepstakes are of short duration and quickly forgotten. A list of winners, however, generally can be obtained by writing the sponsor. "Many people think that sweepstakes contests must be rigged or that there must be a gimmick somewhere," Poncher says.

"But nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone stands a fair chance of winning, and the industry goes to great lengths to make sure the sweepstakes is legitimate in every sense of the word." By PHIL THOMAS Associated Prest Busineu News Writer NEW YORK Almost everybody likes something for nothing, and a few people are getting it from games that they don't really play but only enter. All they usually have to do to have a chance at winning such prizes as sports cars, original oil paintings, mink coats, trips to Europe, color television sets or cash is sign their name and address and mail in a numbered card or entry blank. No more writing in 25 words or less why this product is better than that one, or trying to match two halves of something and hoping it makes one. The numbered card or the blank does the work.

These promotions are known as "sweepstakes" in the industry, JERRY PONCHER, board Oiair-man of International ne of the firms that think up the games, says the sweepstakes promotions are modern versions of the 25-word contest. "The old-style contests have just lost their punch," he says. "People don't have time to sit down and scribble 25 words or less about a product." There are two basic types of sweepstakes. The first usually requires a visit to the marketplace, such as a supermarket, drugstore, or restaurant to get an entry card or to check whether an entry card received by other means is a winner. The card is then mailed to the promotion sponsor or his agent.

Recent examples of this type are Happened Recent examples of this type have been used by the Longines Sym-phonette Society and the New International Illustrated Encyclopedia of Art. Top prize in the first is a sports car and in the second an oil by the French Impressionist, Renoir. Why the spurt in sweepstakes promotions on which many firms spend millions annually. "The giant companies are just beginning to jump on a successful promotion bandwagon," says Ponchcr. "The smaller, more aggressive companies have used the sweepstakes promotion to make inroads in markets controlled by bigger companies.

In order to meet this competition, the the "Olympic Sweepstakes" in which entry blanks are obtained at Howard Johnson's restaurants, and the Anacin "Holiday From Headaches Sweepstakes" which requires a trip to a store where Anacin is sold. The top prizes in each are trips the first to Mexico City and the second to Europe. THE SECOND TYPE is handled by sending numbered cards through the mail or by inserting them in magazines. These numbered cards carry appeals to buy or subscribe to a variety of products, but all also emphasize there is no obligation to buy. Last Night By EARL WILSON NEW YORK-Joanna Pettet can make any part of her body ache she learned this in studying acting-and when she's tossing around in bed unable to sleep with an ache in her stomach or head, she may transfer the ache to her big toe.

"So now you've got an ache i tlllllllMIIIIIIIllIllllllllMllllllllllllllIllllllIIIIIIIIlIIMIIIllllIllllIlIlllIIIItlllllllilllllllllllllllllllllflllllllllllllllllltlllllllllllllllllfll Arthur H. Lewis Recounts Earthy Exploits La Belle' Provides Entertaining Reading in yum uig loe: 1 asKea ner. "Is that better?" "Yes! The ache is less in my big toe and I go to sleep." Miss Pettet, a 23-year-old "gawky" and leggy blonde beauty from England and Montreal, is an outstanding example of the brainy actresses that are making movies today. She believes in the LJO-J Mr. Wilson transcendental Words Wisdom By WILLIAM MORRIS iiiiiMiiiirjiiiiiiiimiimiiiiMiiiimni LA BELLE OTERO By Arthur H.

Lewis Trident $5.95 iiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiitmimmimiiiii to full houses. She performed Gypsy steps, South American, Spanish and Italian dances, sang light melodies, multilingual ditties and even tried opera. Critical scorn to the contrary, Otero kept packing 'em in because she exuded one thing: sex. As Maurice Chevalier told the author: "Spell sex with capital letters when you talk about Otero." Author Lewis writes: "Otero had a life no woman In her profession ever matched Even today, mention La Belle's name to almost any Frenchman, including those who knew Otero only by hearsay (there are pathetically few others), and you'll get eyes raised heavenward, breath drawn sharply through expanded nostrils, prodigious sighs of longing and gentle nods of regret." FOR 25 YEARS Otero was better known through photographs, paintings, interviews and news stories than any of the later publicized Hollywood stars. She not only had busy managers and others extolling her theatrical doings but countless chroniclers of her clothes, her jewels, her dining and her contacts.

And these weren't minor. On the occasion of her 30th birthday she met with five gentlemen in a private dining room in a famous Paris gets up early. When she arises she is rubbed down with sliced cucumbers before she runs out. As the sun is rising she walks barefooted through the cold dew. Then she plunges into the brook and takes a swim, after having stood naked in the sun and air and gone through a scries of breathing exercises that would make Hindu Yogi hesitate.

"Then Otero goes back to her bedroom and has a glass of sour milk and cream and goes off to sleep About the time other people are stirring she starts in on a day of bicycle riding and rowing. "At noon she has raw fish, raw vegetables, unleavened bread, more sour milk. When she gets ready to go to bed she takes a special bath of whites of eggs one night, another night champagne, another olive oil, another milk, another vaseline." And this is the fact of Otero's reaction: "Pure, unadulturatcd That kind of life would have killed me. The only time I ever saw the sun rise was when I was coining home alter being out all night. As for the hideous diet, I ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it and my favorite food has always been potatoes and corn and meat." LEWIS'S SUBJECT would be frowned upon in any era, but he recounts her exploits with such a light heart and such a flair that it becomes entertaining reading and I think that's what he set out to do.

O'ER THE LENGTH and breadth of Europe she was a broad. Oh, perhaps in the jargon of her time, about the turn of the century, she was better known as a courtesan, but the facts are the same. This singer, dancer and companion of uncounted hundreds of men, who was baptized Augustina, called Caroline, and known as La Belle Otero, started poor, went to immense riches, and dropped back to nothing without complaint. Otero was born In squalor in a Spanish village, the second of seven siblings, each with an unknown and different father, born of a mother who hardly knew her chiH'n to say nothing of her frc visitors. Otero's fortune, accumulated between 1890 when she first sang and danced in an American music hall and 1914 when she retired in Nice, was between $15 million and $25 million.

When she died in 1905 at 97 she was without two francs to rub together. But she had pursued a life she chose: men, jewels, money, eating, gambling, dancing and singing. Critics of the stage did not think she was supreme. In 1890 the New York Sun's critic reviewed her first appearance in ten words: "We have seen Otero sing, we have heard her dance." The Spanish exhibitionist seems to care little. She swung her hips and her shoulders on stages here and In most countries of Europe restaurant.

It was 1898. She was the mistress they had all been sharing, more or less, for years. "It was a distinguished gathering," writes Lewis. "Only royalty was included. Among those present were: King Leopold II of Belgium; Prince Nicholas I of Montenegro; Prince Albert of Monaco; the Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich of Russia, and Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, soon to succeed his mother, Queen Victoria, as Edward VII." Missing were some American admirers, such as William K.

Vanderbilt, whose 312-foot yacht was quite familiar to Otero. Also missing was another yacht fancier, "Willy," perhaps better known as Wilhclm II, Emperor of Germany. From this type of admirer the one-time Spanish waif seldom took cash. She preferred jewels from royalty, wore as much as a million dollars worth at one time, but regularly turned them into cash as she indulged her passion for gambling, almost all at Monte Carlo. SHE WAS NOT averse to cah.

She knew which men had it and she knew how to get it. Listen to this: "A retired croupier at Monte Carlo, where La Belle tossed away her money sometimes more quickly than she earned it, claims that Otero, attempting to end a losing streak, earned $110,000 within 24 hours from 11 gentlemen In the Hotel dc Paris, a two-minute Vfalk meditation that Mia Farrow and Shirley Mac-Laine are going to pursue in India, and says she transfers her aches and pains around to different parts of her body merely by "total relaxation." 1 However, while she's totally relaxed everywhere else she's concentrating on that big toe. "An actress has to learn to concentrate totnllj. Because if her mind wanders while she's act ing, she's lost," Joanna said. Sitting In her beautiful apartment In llir Murray Hill section, wearing the shortest mini-skirt I've seen, her long hair fallihg down over her shoulders, Joanna played with her overgrown poodle, Bcttina, and spoke the Puritanism that still exists in America especially in the movies.

"Everything that Is should be said, am' should be shown," she said. Joanna's frankness sometimes scares an Interviewer who tells her, "The country isn'i ready for you just yet." Candidly, Joanna said she and Victor Lownes, one of the founders of "Playboy." have broken up, and I want to fall in lnv again. I have been in love, and lo be in lovlp and to be loved, makes mc a heller pcrso. I have so much more to give when I'm In love." i A- She hates "the dating game," Joanna eni- phasized. "A man saying, 'How about next Thursday It's only Sunday, and I don't know how I might be feeling or wanting to do Thursday night.

If you have a regular boy friend, there's none of that involved." Joanna has found that she doesn't rirci! hundreds of friends a few good ones niv enough "and if you don't like better to let them know than to be ni try to make them think you do." from the Casino." There is only one mention of Otero where money or jewels didn't enter her arrangement. She wanted to meet the Prince of Wales, then regularly seeing a ct "in Emilie Langtry. Otero ealcd to an Englishman cd Rene Webb, who hi: sending her expensive gifts and proposing marriage. (The gifts she kept; marriage she had no time for.) So she got in touch with Mr. Webb, who arranged a meeting.

"The Prince and I talked for only a few minutes but I could see he was interested," Otero related. "He promised he'd call on me when I returned to Paris in September and I knew he would." What did Mr. Webb get in return? "Oh, I spent the night with him," said La Belle. "It was the very least I could do." LEGEND MADE this demimondaine exotic; fact made her earthy. Author Lewis (who wrote "The Day They Shook the Plum Tree' about Hetty Green, and other books) uses both legend and fact.

Otero turns out shady, but never stodgy, dirty or dull. This Is a legend about her In a 1910 newspaper: "Otero DEAR MR. MORRIS: Recently you wrote about misspelled and mispronounced words that somehow sounded more appropriate than the correct ones. An example you gave and that I treasure was "lascivicious" (lass-ih-VISH-us) for "lascivious." May I suggest another, heard recently on a TV newscast. A law enforcement officer, reporting the seizure of a cache of marihuana, reported that he had "confisticated" (con-FISS-tich-kated) the lot of it.

David Deems, Washington, D. C. A A worthy addition to our list. You don't suppose the agent had been sampling the haul, do you? Dear Mr. Morris: In an article by Norman Vincent Peale I find this: "Abraham Lincoln said it seemed to him that people by and large were about as happy as they made up their minds to be." I would like to know the origin and meaning of "by and large." Clarence S.

Hunter, Washington, Pa. Dear Mr. Hunter: This expression comes from the sea and sailing. In the days of sailing ships, when a vessel was running close-hauled, the helmsman might be given one of two orders "full and by" or "by and large." The first command used with a skillful helmsman, meant "sail as close to the wind as you can." The second meant "sail slightly off the wind" and was used with inexperienced helmsmen. So the present-day meaning of "by and large" as "generally speaking" or "on the whole" derived from the fact that a sailor ordered to steer "by and large" was considered less than expert at his job.


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