People, Sep. 25, 1972

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"Bye-bye, I'm free, free as a bird. I'm going to have a ball in New York," said Martha Mitchell to Washington Post Columnist Maxine Cheshire as she packed up to leave the capital for good. After several months of unaccustomed silence, the chatty wife of the former Attorney General wanted to clear up some unfinished business. For one thing, "I want to be sure my side is revealed in that people know I'm not sitting here a mental case or an alcoholic," she told another reporter. Martha also wanted to identify the brute who had ripped the phone from the wall of her California hotel room last June just as she started to answer a question about the Watergate bugging. He was Steve King, her bodyguard, she said. Since then King has been promoted to security director of the Committee for the Re-Election of the President. All this was so fascinating that Cheshire went back to the Mitchells' apartment for a second interview the next day. She found the apartment guarded by a burly man who told her, "You can't talk to anybody." Seeing Martha on the stairs, Maxine asked: "Why won't you talk to me?" Looking harassed, Martha replied, "I can't, honey. I just can't."

"I always wanted a real training camp in the mountains," said Muhammad Ali. "Real logs, hard beds, coal stoves." Ali already has two log cabins and a gym at Deer Lake, Pa.; he plans enough additional cabins and mobile homes to sleep 20 people, including his wife, one son and three daughters. Ali figures such sylvan simplicity is worth the $150,000 it will eventually cost. So far, the 30-year-old ex-heavyweight champion can afford it—this week's Madison Square Garden bout with Floyd Patterson guarantees him $250,000—but after that, Ali plans to go easy on the spending. "I'm going to make my wife make her own clothes. Man, if I don't watch it, I'll be broke. I don't want my kids to end up being waitresses."

There happens to be a pool table in the White House, but Julie Nixon Eisenhower has never used it. Still, Julie didn't hesitate when, visiting a home for senior citizens in a Cleveland suburb, she saw a pool table. She chalked up, promptly missed two shots in a row. Later, at a speech to a Kiwanis women's meeting in Columbus, Julie offered to put her life on the line for Dad and country. Asked if she would be "willing to die for the Thieu regime" in South Viet Nam, Julie answered, "Yes, I would," and went on to defend the President's policy of gradual withdrawal.

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