Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on January 22, 1993 · Page 56
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 56

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Friday, January 22, 1993
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2F DETROIT FREE PRESS FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 1993 Readers have mixed view's about romantic strangers Dear Ann Landers: This letter is in response to the woman who answered a personal ad in the paper and then wrote to warn your readers against it. She knew what she was talking about. Here's my experience: I placed such an ad and received 12 responses worth following up. Bob (not his real name) was above average in intelligence, but he had no outside interests and too many problems with his kids, ex-wife, etc., etc. "Carl" never called back even though he said he would. "Pete," it turned out, was living with a woman. "David" was a kind, sensitive person but still carrying a load of hate for his father who died 10 years before. "Lloyd" had such a foul mouth and nasty attitude I hung , up on him. What prompted me to write this letter is the frightening experience I had with "Gerald." I answered his ad for "a sophisticated, moral, single, white Christian woman," and we met for coffee. He was tall, handsome and well-dressed. When I asked him to tell me about himself, he replied with a nervous laugh, "I'm Mr. Wonderful." He said his ex-wife was a workaholic who was never home, and he was starved for companionship. After about 10 minutes, I responded to a gut feeling and decided not to see him again. One week later, the newspaper headlines read, "Man slashes ex-wife's throat, then drives to the police station." Sure enough, it was "Mr. Wonderful." According to his neighbors, he was a "nice guy." His wife's neighbors reported that he tormented and abused her. They described the woman as a kind and loving person who held two jobs to get her kids through college. So please, ladies, don't take a chance with strangers. Stick with people in your own circle. Lord knows what could have happened to me had I gotten involved with that creep. Never Again in San Antonio Dear San Antonio: Thanks for ' the warning. For years, I have . cautioned against becoming involved with strangers, but I would be less than honest if I did not tell my readers that I received several dozen letters along the following lines. This one is from Florida: Dear Ann: When I was visiting my sister in Miami, I picked up a Shopping News and saw an ad in the personals section, placed by a single, 31-year-old man. He was looking for a nonsmoking, nondrinking, Protestant woman between 25 and 30, who loved camping, music and poetry, and wanted children and a good life. I fit the description perfectly and called him up. "Jay" and I met the ' next day. We dated for four months, and we were married in my sister's home. That was 12 years ago. We now have three children and ' are very happy. I could not have found a better man had I searched the world for years. If you print this letter, no name please. My parents Ann uras i i fin . 4 , J 1 F - ; BERT EMANUELEDetrolt Free Press A RICHARD (NIGHT TRAIN) LANE SALUTE From left: Mel Farr, Richard (Night Train Lane), Robert L. Rewey, and Lem Barney. It isn't often that so many of Detroit's sports glitterati gather in one place. But Tuesday night, some 2,000 people, including Cecil Fielder and Lomas Brown,got together at the Fox Theatre to honor former Lions star Richard Lane, who received the Detroit Police Athletic League Leadership Award for 17 years as the organization's executive director. Each year, PAL sponsors athletic programs for more than 20,000 inner-city children. The tribute raised more than $120,000. and friends think I met Jay in church. Lucky in Florida Dear Florida: I'm happy your Shopping News Romeo turned out so well. Consider yourself lucky. I go back to my original position that strangers looking for intimacy can be dangerous. If "Mr. Wonderful" was so terrific, why would he have to advertise to find a mate? Surely somebody would have noticed his sterling attributes and snatched him up. But there are exceptions to every rule, and apparently you found one. Congratulations. Dear Ann Landers: Having laughed at my mother for treating your column as gospel for so many years, it is now my turn to voice an opinion concerning a hot topic you dealt with several months ago. It was about interest-free loans for children. Here's the perspective of a recipient: I am fortunate to have parents who were willing and able to loan me interest-free money for college in order to supplement the part-time job I had during school. My parents raised me to appreciate the value of a dollar, and for that, I will be forever grateful. I'm certain that without their help, I would never have had the chance to get the engineering degree I have today. Every month, I send my folks a check toward repayment of that loan. Their decision not to charge me interest has not spoiled me nor has it denied me the opportunity to learn that money doesn't grow on trees, as many of your readers would have you believe. I will remember their generosity for a lifetime, particularly when it comes time to send children of my own off to follow their dreams. I will do for them what my parents did for me. Graduate in Connecticut Dear Graduate: The Bible tells us that a "thankless child" is "sharper than a serpent's tooth." By the same token, a grateful child is beautiful to behold and "a joy forever." How nice for your parents that you are the latter. Dear Ann Landers: This is in response to your column about staying home from the office when you are sick. Until September, I worked in a bank vault where the employees were virtually locked up together most of the day. People would come in sick as dogs. They touched the code buttons to get in and out. They touched all door knobs. They coughed all over the place. The supervisor's evaluation sheet I am enclosing explains why no one dared stay home when they were ill. It plainly states that if you miss more than six days a year, you will be disciplined and put on probation, and can lose your job. Anonymous in Seattle Dear Anonymous: What a self-defeating, senseless approach. I hope your boss sees this. Dear Ann Landers: When the coffee is hot and the talk is good, and the feeling is easy and the laughter is light, and the memories are many but the time is too short, you know you are with a friend. 89-Year-Old Fan in Phoenix Dear Phoenix: How true every word of it. Thank you for the reminder. Ann Landers appears Sunday through Friday in the Free Press. Write her and other columnists at PO Box 828, Detroit 48231. e LA TimesCreators syndicates Jane Brody BRODY, from Page 3F Human Services (Donna Shalala). She's a dynamite human being and if she can't get something done then I don't know if anybody can. But the most important thing that needs to be done in health care reform is to emphasize prevention, to mandate that insurance companies reimburse for preventive health measures. Everything from routine checkups to all the major health tests that we should have from mammograms and prostate exams and colonoscopies. Q. What chance do you think Presi- dent Bill Clinton has of introducing a universal health care system? A. I think a universal health care system will take a lot longer than one administration. In two terms he might be able to accomplish something. We have to be very careful in moving to a universal health care system. I certainly believe in health care availability, but the kinds of systems they've established in Great Britain and in Canada they have their downside. . . . There has to be an overseer set up so that the proper kinds of things get done and patients don't get short shrift and don't have to wait days when they should be seen within hours. Q . What do you think of the new federal labeling act? A a It's not ideal. I was hoping to see a pie chart label. I think people can understand that. There's instant recognition if you see what proportion of the pie is fat, protein, starch or sugar. Q . Do you worry about the effects of biotechnology on our food? A, Trained as a scientist as I am, we can only hope for good things to come out of biotechnology to improve the quality of our foods, the nutritional value of our foods, to speed the breeding process. This business of breeding good things into foods takes 25 years in some cases. With biotechnology, you can do it overnight. I don't see any reason to fear this as long as we understand the genetics and it's properly handled. Everything should be tested, not tested for a millennium, but tested for a reasonable amount of time. Q . What needs to be done to improve health care for women? Carter bob back on his presidency and ahead to Clinton's CARTER, from Page 3F It was only later, after "things started going wrong," that Washington soured on Carter's town meetings, cardigan sweaters and pared-down presidential style. Uneasy with the comparisons Those were just a few of the comments that Carter, 68, made recently as he sipped pumpkin soup at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. It has never been easy being Jimmy Carter. But particularly now, when columnists, political savants and even old-time Democrats giddily salute the the new president as an improved version of the Georgia peanut farmer warmer, more politically adroit, more worldly (more Rhodes, and less Plains) Carter has reason to find some of the comparisons galling. The former president was in New York to promote his new book, "Turning Point: A Candidate, a State and a Nation Come of Age" (Times Books, $22). It is a memoir of his first political race, a campaign for the Georgia state Senate in 1962. But inevitably, conversation turns to a more recent election. He says he identifies with the self-made man from Little Rock, up to a point, and wishes him the best in the crises he predicts will soon beset him. But his is a generosity laced with a faint undercurrent of paternal rivalry: Carter is fatherly about Clinton, but with a Freudian twist. Meeting the cocky Arkansan The first thing Carter noticed about Bill Clinton when they met in 1974 was that the promising young Arkansan had, unlike him, won a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University. Carter says he did not hold Clinton's better fortune against him when they met, saying he was "favorably impressed." But the former president couldn't repress a small grin when recalling Clinton's "ignominious defeat" in 1980 after one term as governor, when voters in Arkansas "brought him down a notch." Carter notes: "He was brash and arrogant. He had never failed before the way I was for a large part of my life." Carter's 1980 landslide defeat to Ronald Reagan brought him an acute familiarity with failure. It drove him to seclusion ("nobody was begging for my presence"), writing books and doing good. Carter has tirelessly pressed for human rights abroad and, through Habitat for Humanity, a volunteer organization, has worked to build housing in cities of the United States. gets to the heart of women's health I f V .-A "Don't eat by numbers," advises health and nutrition expert Jane Brody, in town for a Women's Economic Club luncheon. mphasize the starchy foods, fruits and L vegetables, use moderate amounts of a lean protein and small amounts of sugar.?? Jane Brody Am The most important thing that's missing in the society at large is a support system for the working mother. It has been shown repeatedly that when employers provide the kind of support that women need to be total human beings, to have children, to run a household, that they get better work, there's fewer absentees, there's less turnover in personnel and there's more enthusiasm and "Turning Point: A Candidate, A State, And A Nation Come Of Age" REVIEW, from Page 3F Court "one man, one vote" ruling of 1962, which led to the end of Georgia's undemocratic county-unit system of voting. Most of "Turning Point" deals with his 15-day campaign in the primary and his struggle, which became an "obsession," to challenge the boss of Quitman County over blatant ballot-box stuffing. Among other time-honored sleazy practices, the boss produced ballots from dead citizens who had the courtesy to appear at the polls in alphabetical order. Against great odds, an idealistic and to some degree naive Carter fought clever Democratic politicos to overturn the results of a crooked election. As he narrates A new wave of approval Lately, Carter has enjoyed a wave of high-approval ratings in public opinion polls, a revisionist shift from the days when the word "failed" automatically preceded the words "Carter presidency," such as "manifest" and "destiny." Carter's book, which recounts how, in defiance of newly passed civil rights laws, good ol' boy county bosses stole the election and how Carter worked to redress the wrong, has won respectful reviews. But the most intriguing fact in the book comes when Carter admits to a small wrong of his own. The politician, who grew so reliant on his wife's counsel that he had her attend Cabinet meetings, did not inform her ahead of time that he was running for the state Senate. He wrote that in 1962, Rosalynn Carter's first intimation that her husband had become a politician came this way: "I put on my Sunday pants instead of the work clothes I always wore to the warehouse." Carter says that in retrospect, he could not explain his failure to consult his wife, who even then was his partner in the family peanut business. "I could not believe I did that," he says. "To me, it's the most shocking thing in the book." Signing at assembly line pace In New York City, at the Barnes & Noble bookstore on Fifth Avenue, the line of people waiting to have Carter autograph a copy of "Turning Point" stretched up the street. Michael Lavin, an accountant, says that he lost his first job in the late it : t ... fNJ appreciation for the employer. It pays. Q . Should people look to their doctors for nutritional information? A, Doctors are a poor source of nutrition information because most of them have not been at all educated in this field. It does help if the physician himself or herself is physically active and eats properly. events, we meet then relatively obscure figures such as Griffin Bell, who later became attorney general (and is now George Bush's Iran-contra lawyer), and Charles Kirbo, who became one of President Carter's most trusted advisers. This slender volume's charm rests in its depiction of local Southern politics of an earlier day, when, as recently as the 1930s, a campaign rally failed because the rural audience was more interested in watching a bread-slicing machine than in the candidate. "Turning Point" is a pleasant memoir about the beginning of the end of the old South and the origins of Jimmy Carter, politician. Mel Small is a professor of history at Wayne State University. 1970s but did not hold Carter directly responsible. "Even though there were bad things," he says, "he was a people's president." Inside the store, as admirers filed quickly past him, murmuring "thank-you, Mr. President" or "it's an honor, Mr. President," Carter sat at a desk in a blue blazer and gray flannel slacks, quietly scribbling his name on books at an ever-increasing clip; at some moments, he looked perilously like Lucille Ball feverishly working the candy factory assembly line. Fans spoke reverently of his accomplishments in office and after, but the bookstore clerks were mostly awed by his Indy 500 speed-signing. "He's really quick," one whispered as she watched Carter seamlessly scoop up a book, autograph it and slide it down the line. Advice to Clinton Later, the former president relaxed over a leisurely lunch and even showed signs of mellowing. He ate sparingly ("Rosalynn knows everything about nutrition") but ordered a glass of red wine, a loosening since his days in the White House, when the Carters served wine only after dark and banned liquor altogether. He wore a non-rep floral tie that he picked up in Majorca, an island off the coast of Spain. And he told a funny story. "Yesterday," he says with a sly smile, "a woman came up to me and says, 'If you still lust in your heart, Mr. President, I'm available.' " But he bristled at the oft-repeated warnings to Clinton to avoid Carter administration mistakes, particularly its neglect of Congress. "V" Then they're much more likely to advise their patient properly. What I hope the doctors will do is refer their patients to experts in the field who can help them integrate a good eating and exercise plan into their lives. Q. Why have none of your cookbooks included a nutritional analysis of recipes? 1 do not believe people should eat by numbers. You can paint by numbers but you can't eat by numbers. Why should you penalize one recipe with this? And anyway, how would you keep it? Would you walk around with a calculator and a notebook writing down everything you eat? I don't think that's right. I think you should learn to eat by concept. If you emphasize the starchy foods, fruits and vegetables, use moderate amounts of a lean protein and small amounts of sugar, you will automatically get the right numbers. And that's what you should aim for because no one is going to give you figures on everything you eat. Q. Are there personal health issues that we're going to be hearing more about in the coming years? A, I think we'll hear more about testing and making sure that you get the right kinds of checkups. I think we will have more and more patient care delivered by non-physicians, by other kinds of health professionals, everything from meditation consultants to nurse practitioners. There's some very valuable things in alternative medicine. Just because it's called "alternative medicine," it should not automatically be labeled quackery. A lot of it is not quackery. I do not believe acupuncture and acupressure are quackery. I think they're very valuable aids and we should really be studying them because they're safer and perhaps even more effective than drugs. Q . How come you don 't have a clothes drier? Am It died some years ago and I realized that it didn't fit into my life-style because when the clothes hung on the line, they could hang there until I was ready to take them down and put them away. But when they were in the clothes drier and I wasn't ready to put them away, they got all schmooshed up. "Reporters keep saying this is the first time a President-elect has gone to the Capitol and sat down with Republican leaders if only Jimmy Carter had done that," Carter complains. "I probably did it five times as much as Bill Clinton." He says he had spoken with Clinton several times before Clinton became president, mostly giving him advice on Haiti and its refugees. Some of Carter's former aides says that early in the Democratic primary race, they felt affronted by Clinton's failure to pay a visit to Carter, unlike Paul Tsongas and others, reportedly because some Clinton aides warned the candidate against appearing with him. Carter says he personally did not feel slighted. "I am accustomed to that," he says. "There was a time after I came out of the White House when nobody wanted to be associated with me." He voted for Clinton in the Georgia primary. Everything is a big mess He had gloomy words of warning for the president, stating, "In my opinion, Clinton is inheriting the biggest bag of headaches of any president since . Truman." He called the world stage "a big mess" and says Bush had left his successor with so many international commitments, Clinton could find himself trapped in "quicksand." Carter advised Clinton to focus on a few priorities, conceding that his administration had not. But he was not in the least bit comforting about the overwhelming opposition Clinton will face from the health-care lobby if he tries to create a national health insurance system. Calling the lobbyists who work on behalf of hospitals and doctors "the most despicable on earth," he sourly wished Clinton luck. "I know, the political scars are still extant," he says rather bitterly about his own efforts to impose hospital cost containment. "I lost." On the issue of the Clinton family and their loss of privacy, Carter sounded a little like a retired officer wearily listening to a cadet's account of hazing. He endured all the stories about his high-powered wife, his adolescent daughter, his colorful mother, Lillian, his colorful, hard-drinking brother, Billy. So could Clinton. "Let it all hang out," he advises. "And don't try to conceal anything." Carter figured that, if anything, Clinton would have it a lot easier on those matters than he ever did. "I held office in the wake of Watergate, when everyone wanted to be an investigative reporter," he says. "I think now there is far less interest in trying to embarrass the president." , , t

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