Linda Lay got a little help from a friend According to...

PEOPLE AND PLACES

January 31, 2002

Linda Lay got a little help from a friend

According to her sister-in-law, Linda Lay spent a week under the tutelage of a public relations expert before her teary-eyed appearance this week on NBC's Today show where she defended her husband, Kenneth Lay, Enron's former chairman.

His sister Sharon told the Houston Chronicle that she enlisted the help of a friend, M.A. Shute, who had worked for the public relations firm Hill & Knowlton and represented Enron.

Shute spent a week at Sharon Lay's home advising the family on how to deal with the media.

He takes the cake

It was Vice President Dick Cheney's birthday yesterday but President Bush got the first piece of cake - a big corner wedge with lots of frosting.

"I love frosting," the president beamed during a surprise party White House aides threw for Cheney's 61st birthday that featured a chocolate cake with white frosting.

Cheney appeared with a bruise on his lip. It seems he was playing with his two Labrador retrievers earlier this week at his residence when one of them bumped him on the mouth, spokeswoman Jennifer Millerwise said. "The Secret Service did not take action" against the dog, she joked.

The bruise didn't hamper his ability to blow out the six tall rainbow candles on cake in one breath.

Lapsed fan returns to fold

Keith Lockhart says he's a lapsed football fan, but on Super Bowl Sunday, the Boston Pops conductor plans to root for the New England Patriots.

Lockhart will lead the orchestra when it performs a selection of American classics at the Super Bowl pre-game show.

"Who could have known that the Patriots would have ended up as AFC champions?" Lockhart said Tuesday.

The 15-minute program at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans will feature the Pops accompanying Mariah Carey singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" and show a 12-by-8-foot flag rescued from the rubble of the World Trade Center towers three days after the Sept. 11 attacks.

U2 will perform during halftime. There's no word about who they're rooting for.

Babyville

Actor Andy Garcia and is wife Marivi Lorido Garcia are parents for a fourth time, but comic Eddie Murphy and his wife Nicole have them beat - with baby No. 5.

Andres Antonio Garcia-Lorido weighed 7 pounds and 13 ounces when he was delivered Monday at a Los Angeles area hospital, publicist Stan Rosenfield said Tuesday.

The couple have three daughters, ages 18, 14 and 10.

Bella Zahra Murphy arrived Tuesday night at a Los Angeles area hospital weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces, publicist Arnold Robinson said. She joins three sisters Bria, 12; Shayne, 7; and Zola, 2; and brother Myles, 10.

Today's birthdays

Author Norman Mailer is 79.

Actress Jean Simmons is 73.

Composer Philip Glass is 65.

Actress Suzanne Pleshette is 65.

Rep. Richard A. Gephardt, D-Mo., is 61.

Baseball Hall-of-Famer Nolan Ryan is 55.

Singer Phil Collins is 51.

Rock singer Johnny Rotten is 46.

Actor Anthony LaPaglia is 43.

Actress Minnie Driver is 31.

Singer Justin Timberlake ('N Sync) is 21.

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