Reagan's son says bio gets it mostly...


Reagan's son says bio gets it mostly right

At least one person close to Ronald Reagan thinks the much-maligned biography about the former president is right on the money.

In his first public remarks about "Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan," the ex-president's son, Ron Prescott Reagan, tells Lesley Stahl that he thinks author Edmund Morris "was as fair as anybody ever has been to my father." The interview will be broadcast on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday.

Reagan does disagree on one aspect of the book. His father's becoming president, he says, was more due to Nancy Reagan's pushing than his own inner drive. "She has more ambition than he does," Ron Reagan says.

Do-it-yourself Jesse

Even if you don't have the body, for less than $20 you can look like "The Mind."

With Halloween fast approaching, necessities for becoming a miniature Jesse Ventura -- feather boas, bald-head wigs and fake mustaches -- have been hot sellers at some costume stores in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minn.

"He's certainly put a boom in the boa business," said James Berg, manager of Twin Cities Magic and Costume Co. in St. Paul. "And bald caps are blossoming. It's a huge phenomenon."

So far there is no licensed mask for the Minnesota governor, a former pro wrestler.

"Usually you have to make it to Washington to get a mask," Berg said.

A bit of Beethoven

Beethoven is back. Isn't it about time?

Fifty-one seconds of a previously unknown composition got its first public airing in a London auction house yesterday. And secrecy was at a premium before the performance; even the musicians were only allowed to see the piece 20 minutes beforehand.

The single page of music written by the German composer in 1817, lay hidden in a private collection of papers in a house in Cornwall, southern England, was discovered by Stephen Roe of Sotheby's auction house last August.

The manuscript is due to be auctioned by Sotheby's in December and is expected to fetch between $250,000 and $330,000.

Stevie Wonder, grandfather

Stevie Wonder became a first-time grandfather last week when daughter Aisha gave birth to a 4-pound boy.

Proving what goes around comes around, it was Aisha's 1975 birth that led Wonder to write the song "Isn't She Lovely?"

Today's birthdays

Entertainment reporter Rona Barrett is 63.

Actor Paul Hogan is 60.

Rhythm-and-blues singer Fred Cash (the Impressions) is 59.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson is 58.

Comedian Chevy Chase is 56.

Author R. L. Stine ("Goosebumps") is 56.

Country singer Susan Raye is 55.

TV personality Sarah Purcell is 51.

Actress Sigourney Weaver is 50.

Rhythm-and-blues singer Robert "Kool" Bell (Kool & the Gang) is 49.

Producer-director Edward Zwick is 47.

Country singer-musician Ricky Lee Phelps is 46.

Actor Michael Dudikoff is 45.

Actress Stephanie Zimbalist is 43.

Rock musician Mitch Marine (Tripping Daisy) is 38.

Rock singer Steve Perry (Cherry Poppin' Daddies) is 36.

Rock musician C.J. Ramone (the Ramones) is 34.

Singer-producer Teddy Riley is 33.

Actor-screenwriter Matt Damon is 29.

Rhythm-and-blues singer Byron Reeder (Mista) is 20.

Net Byte du Jour

For a look at gadgets that never quite caught on, check out the list of odd patents at The gravity-powered shoe air conditioner and the flushable vehicle spittoon were the standout patents featured on this site when we checked.

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