Updike amuses students by downplaying college Author...

PEOPLE AND PLACES

April 07, 2001

Updike amuses students by downplaying college

Author John Updike told students at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that he isn't particularly fond of higher education.

"I enjoyed my four years of college. But I didn't feel the need to extend them," Updike said during a lecture Thursday night, while joining the school's celebration of its 150th anniversary.

He read a short story, a long passage from a novel, and a handful of poems, all dealing at least tangentially with university life. The 69-year-old author drew the biggest response with the banter between pieces, recalling his graduation from Harvard University with mixed feelings.

"I always kind of resented being educated," he said, drawing laughs from the crowd. "It takes away the self you brought to college."

The Queen and her soaps

Aretha Franklin may be a diva, but she doesn't live like one.

The Queen of Soul says a typical day at home in her native Detroit includes watching television and doing daily tasks.

"I get up and have my breakfast, do some other little necessaries for others, and CNN, I like a lot. ... And I watch my soaps," Franklin, a fan of "The Young and the Restless," told the Associated Press.

The road to Evel

Evel Way? Knievel Avenue?

A Butte-Silver Bow County commissioner wants a street named in honor of daredevil Evel Knievel.

Calling him "perhaps the greatest motorcycle daredevil in the history of the world and undoubtedly one of Butte, Montana's most famous sons," Commissioner Mike Sheehy argued in a letter to fellow commissioners that Knievel, 62, should be honored.

It's all in the eyes

For Danny Meyer, the eyes have it.

"I stand and watch guests' eyes," the owner of Union Square Cafe said in People magazine. "If I see eyes looking elsewhere -- someone needs something, they're bored -- that's my opening to greet a table."

Meyer must be doing something right. Union Square Cafe, with its new American cuisine, has been Zagat's top-rated New York restaurant for the past five years. His Gramercy Tavern is ranked second.

Maybe politics are in his future. The 43-year-old says, "I see the guest base as a constituency. You want to win every state out there."

Today's birthdays

Sitar player Ravi Shankar is 81.

Actor James Garner is 73.

Country singer Cal Smith is 69.

Actor Wayne Rogers is 68.

Actor Ian Richardson is 67.

Media commentator Hodding Carter III is 66.

Jazz musician Freddie Hubbard is 63.

Oakland, Calif., Mayor Jerry Brown, is 63.

Movie director Francis Ford Coppola is 62.

Television personality David Frost is 62.

Singer Patricia Bennett (The Chiffons) is 54.

Singer John Oates is 52.

Singer Janis Ian is 50.

Actor Jackie Chan is 47.

Actor Russell Crowe is 37.

Pop singer Victoria Adams Beckham (Spice Girls) is 26.

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