People: Feb. 14, 1964

  • Share
  • Read Later

At 1:20 p.m. the jetliner touched down at New York's Kennedy International Airport, and the whole place went up for grabs. Some 2,000 hooky-playing, caterwauling teen-agers stomped, whistled, screamed, sang or just plain fainted while the plane slowly disgorged 105 passengers, eleven crew members and four British Beetles. Oops, Beatles. On their first U.S. tour, the mop-topped, top pop waiters, John Lennon, 23, George Harrison, 21, Paul McCartney, 21, and Ringo Starr, 23, grinned amiably at the whole mad display. What was their secret? "A good pressagent," chirped Ringo. (They have 17.) And how about the Detroit movement to stamp out Beatles? "Oh, we have a campaign of our own to stamp out Detroit," said McCartney reasonably.

"There was James, Margaret, a nun in New Zealand, Stanislaus, who died in 1955, Charles, who died five days after James, George, who died at 14, Eileen, who died last year, myself, Eva, who died in 1957, I think, Florence, who is still living, and Mabel, the youngest, who died at 17. James loved her." The James who so dominates the fam ily is James Joyce, and his sister, May Joyce Monaghan, 74, was talking about him during a visit to New York on the 82nd anniversary of his birth. "Jim, as we used to call him, was very gentle and quiet. He wasn't a fighter, you know. He used to say everybody recognized he was a genius except his six sisters." At that, May has managed better than most readers. "I've read the Portrait and Dubliners over and over. I've read Ulysses," she boasted. But even sisterly love falters. "I've read Finnegans Wake as far as I can get," she admitted. "I like to hear it read."

Between now and May, no fewer than four little noble bundles will be dropped on the doorsteps of Princess Alexandra, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and the Duchess of Kent. With Britons as crazy about betting as they are, it was only a matter of time before a Royal Stork Stakes was organized. Now in Portsmouth two enterprising bookmakers have announced that they are accepting bets on the sex and names of the royal tots-to-be. George, Mary and Philip are 10-to-l favorites for Elizabeth's baby, but the odds makers are covering all angles. For example, says Bookie Harry Garcia, "we're ready to lay 50,000 to 1 against the Queen—Her Majesty, that is—having a boy and calling him Prince Nikita."

In December, 1962, on an icy highway outside Moscow, a light car crashed into a truck, and Russia's leading physicist was pulled from the wreckage all but dead. His body was crushed from head to thigh; he was in a deep coma for seven weeks and clinically "died" four times in a single week. Miraculously he survived. And last week word came from Moscow that Lev Davidovich Landau, 56, had finally been released from the Neurosurgery Institute of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. But the Nobel Prizewinner (it was awarded to him ten months after the accident) still appears unable to think in the A-then-B-then-C sequence necessary to scientific theorizing, and his colleagues fear that despite his physical recovery, he will never return to his work.

  1. Previous Page
  2. 1
  3. 2