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It's Toot, Toot, Tootsie Goodby for Grand Ole Lounge

April 01, 1985|JENNINGS PARROTT

--Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, the legendary Nashville watering hole across the alley from the former home of the Grand Ole Opry in Ryman Auditorium, has closed after 25 years as a mecca to country music stars, would-be stars and unknowns. The house was packed as the last call for beer sounded, and one of those present, Lois Riggins, director of the Tennessee State Museum, said she hopes the lounge will be preserved as a historic site. Tootsie's has become a financial burden, according to owner Howard Dodson. The lounge was named for Dodson's mother, Hattie Louise (Tootsie) Bess, who died in 1978. She was known for extending credit to musicians and songwriters down on their luck. The lounge's walls are covered with photographs of celebrities and autographed dollar bills. The nightspot once attracted dozens of country music stars, including Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Roger Miller.

--Geraldine A. Ferraro says the press was generally fair to her during her 1984 Democratic vice presidential campaign, even though one newspaper printed stories she says were "totally false." Ferraro, speaking before the New York State Press Assn. in Albany, said that during her campaign certain New York Post articles implied that her family was connected to organized crime. "The implication they lodged was totally false and unsupported by the facts," she said. "Am I unjust in believing that some members of the press are unfair--worse than unfair, that they abuse their power so as to harass, defame and try to defeat a candidate for public office?" Ferraro said she will announce late this summer whether she will run in 1986 for the seat now held by Sen. Alfonse M. D'Amato (R-N.Y.).

--A woman skin diver swept out to sea at Wellington, New Zealand, by a powerful riptide crawled ashore after more than 18 hours in choppy seas. Rosemary Keating, 21, was separated from her companion shortly before noon and carried four to five miles out into the Cook Strait. She failed to attract the attention of three passing ferries, a small boat and a helicopter searching for her. After sunset the wind changed and began taking her back to land, where she staggered ashore about 7 a.m. "I made this sort of plan with God," she said. " 'I'll kick and get back to shore and you look after the sharks.' It worked."

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