Franco is gone, but his love life lingers on in lettersThe...

People And Places

October 25, 1997

Franco is gone, but his love life lingers on in letters

The late Spanish dictator Francisco Franco is still dead, but his love life was revived briefly yesterday in Madrid, where letters to his first love, written in 1913, were sold at auction for $10,000.

Antonio Bacieros, a professional pianist, was the sole bidder for a series of 33 postcards.

A lovestruck Franco, then a 20-year-old second lieutenant, poured out his heart in sometimes clumsy prose to 15-year-old Sofia Subiran, the teen-age daughter of a fellow Spanish military officer.

"I love you greatly or rather very, very much," he wrote in one.

Bacieros told reporters he bought the postcards not for any political reasons but purely because of his "love for history."

Billy Joel falls short for rockers' hall of fame

Billy Joel will have to wait 'til next year. Despite reports he would be among the next group of rockers to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the list made public this week left the Piano Man out. The class of 1998 will include the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, the Mamas and Papas, Lloyd Price, Santana and Gene Vincent.

"Jelly Roll" Morton, a pianist and composer who often boasted he invented jazz, will be inducted under the "early influence" category, and New Orleans music legend Allen Touissant will be inducted in the "non-performer" category. The 13th annual induction ceremony will be held Jan. 12 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.

JFK Jr. visits Cuba, perhaps to interview Castro

Thirty-five years after his father faced down the Soviet Union during the Cuban missile crisis, John F. Kennedy Jr. is in Cuba.

Sources at the Melia Cohiba hotel in Havana said Kennedy was staying there but declined to give details of his visit. He left the hotel by a back entrance to go out yesterday morning, apparently wanting to avoid foreign journalists, waiting at the front entrance, the sources said.

There was speculation in Havana that Kennedy, editor of the magazine George, was there seeking an interview with Fidel Castro.

Today's birthdays

Jazz musician Chubby Jackson is 79. Actor Billy Barty is 73. Former American League president Dr. Bobby Brown is 73. Actress Marion Ross is 69. Actor Tony Franciosa is 69. Singer Helen Reddy is 56. Actor Brian Kerwin is 48. Rock musician Matthias Jabs (The Scorpions) is 42. Rock musician Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) is 35. Actress Tracy Nelson is 34. Singer Speech is 29. Rock musician Ed Robertson (Barenaked Ladies) is 27. Country singer Chely Wright is 27. Violinist Midori is 26. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jerome Jones (Immature) is 16.

Where's William Tell?

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