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He Wrote These Commandments

June 13, 1997|ROY RIVENBURG

Still can't decide if you should get Pop the Porsche or the "How to Get Bass to Jump Into Your Boat" video for Father's Day? This week, Shortcuts has looked at books with dear old Dad in mind. And now, a few words from Moses . . .

Actor Charlton Heston, a.k.a. Mr. Ten Commandments, has apparently entered the burgeoning male-psychology genre, with "To Be a Man: Letters to My Grandson" (Simon & Schuster).

Heston offers snippets of Hollywood lore, advice on parenting and impassioned defenses of conservative values:

* When his wife was pregnant with their son, Fraser, Heston was filming "The Ten Commandments" and director Cecil B. DeMille suggested casting the impending child as the infant Moses. "The morning Fray was born, the first message we got in the hospital (at 5 a.m.) was a wire: 'Congratulations: He has the part. C.B. DeMille' "

* Heston says his most valuable lesson on raising kids came on another movie set, away from home and family: "The best thing you can give your child is your time. It's often not easy, sometimes not doable, but it's time you must find somehow, and seize, whether you're a senator or a street cleaner. It doesn't matter what you do . . . wash the car, hit tennis balls, shop for Mother's Day, as long as you do it together."

* He laments what he sees as the splintering of America by special interest groups: "We seem to have slid a long way from what the Founders had in mind. 'One nation, under God, indivisible . . .' If we retreat from that, if we fall back into little enclaves of this religion, that language or race . . . then we're nothing, we're Albania, Bosnia, Zaire!"

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