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Now, Ride Is Into Personal Space

September 15, 1987|DAVE JOHNSON

Sally Ride, America's first woman in space, is rejecting offers of money for speeches and interviews. Ride, who will study arms control at Stanford, "does not want to be a public figure," her father, Dale Ride, said. Theresa Johnston of the Stanford News Service said the service has received at least 100 requests for meetings with Ride since she accepted a two-year fellowship at the university. A mounting pile of mail contains substantial offers of money, said David Bernstein, who handles press inquiries. News service director Bob Beyersof said: "We're not NASA, and she's no longer an astronaut . . . . Sally would like to have some degree of privacy and a chance to settle down and do sound, technical work on arms control issues." Ride, who already holds degrees from Stanford in English, physics and astrophysics, began her flight to stardom in 1977, when she answered a NASA ad in the Stanford Daily. She went into orbit on the space shuttle in 1983, and again in 1984, and was named to the presidential task force that investigated the 1986 explosion of the Challenger. That bureaucratic experience led to Ride's departure from the agency, said a longtime friend, Fred Hargadon.

The "Man of the House" said he never wanted a building named after him, but he thanked the gathering of dignitaries anyway. Former House Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill Jr. (D-Mass.) told the crowd of about 300 people that his family and the Kennedys talked him into having his name put on the new federal building in Boston. "I don't think I ever voted in the Congress for a building named after a man who had just left the Congress and was still alive," O'Neill, 74, said. His son, former Lt. Gov. Thomas P. O'Neill III, quoted the elder O'Neill's wife, Mildred, as saying: "Oh, that old fool! He'll get over it." The ex-Speaker beamed as he greeted old friends and joked about "Man of the House," his autobiography.

Burglary victim John Hennessey couldn't identify the man who broke into his home, but there was no mistaking his taste in clothes. "When I saw this guy walking down the road with my clothes on, I immediately stopped," Hennessey said. "I didn't know whether to get out and stomp him or yank him by the collar and beat him up." Instead, he offered a ride to the teen-ager, who was wearing a green hat and sneakers stolen from Hennessey's home in Lake Worth, Fla. He drove to a convenience store, where he stopped on the pretense of buying cigarettes, and phoned the police. The youth, whose name was withheld because of his age, was arrested as a suspect in 11 burglaries.

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