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Newsmakers

Pair Who Work Apart, Live Apart

January 23, 1985|JENNINGS PARROTT

At the tender age of 10 weeks, Amanda Smidt is the product of a broken home. Her parents split up to keep their jobs. "We're paying a lot of money for baby sitters," Jeffrey Smidt said from his rented home in Oconomowoc in Waukesha County, Wis., 20 miles west of Milwaukee, where his wife, Cheryl, a licensed practical nurse, is sharing an apartment with a friend. Jeffrey Smidt, 28, is a deputy with the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department, and his job requires him to live in the county. His wife, 25, is a paramedic for the Milwaukee Fire Department, which requires her to live in that city. "It's kind of like joint custody without being divorced," she said. Amanda is shifted back and forth between the parents, or left with a baby sitter. "A lot of people say, 'Why don't you get another job?' Cheryl Smidt said. "Well, it's not that easy. Both of us enjoy what we do."

--Interior Secretary William P. Clark, unveiling the official portrait in Washington of his predecessor, said that James G. Watt "left his mark" on President Reagan's policies toward national parks and energy development. A grinning Watt inspected the portrait by artist James Fox and told the audience of about 200 lawmakers, Interior Department employees and friends: "No matter from what angle you view it, the face is looking at you--be careful."

--Former President Jimmy Carter's ex-press secretary, Jody Powell, lectured Boston College students for two hours on "Politics and the Media." Powell began his tenure as the third Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. Professor of American Politics under a $1.3-million endowment created six years ago for the longtime U.S. House Speaker, a 1936 Boston College graduate. Since Carter's 1980 defeat by President Reagan, Powell has written a syndicated newspaper column and worked as a correspondent for the American Broadcasting Co. A resident of Washington, Powell plans to commute for his once-a-week teaching chores.

--A teen-ager entered the Irvona, Pa., Volunteer Fire Co., 90 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, and stood there, looking shy and saying nothing, as the 10 firefighters proceeded with their monthly evening meeting. When a lull in the long conversation ensued, Andy Smarsh, 15, said: "I think my house is on fire." The firefighters immediately rushed to the Smarsh home, about a block away. But the only thing afire was creosote, deposits caused by burning wood, that had built up inside the chimney. Fireman Curt Queen said of the youth: "He must have been standing there for about 10 minutes. He didn't have to be so polite."

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