Smoke and Firewater Keep Thatcher's Spouse Fit at 70

--Denis Thatcher, husband of Britain's first woman prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, turned a philosophical 70 Friday, saying that he keeps fit with "gin and cigarettes." Thatcher was interviewed by his journalist daughter, Carol, for the London Daily Telegraph. "I agree with Maurice Chevalier, who said, 'It feels fine when you consider the alternative,' " Thatcher said about growing old. "I can still play 36 holes of golf in a day. It gets a bit like hard work sometimes, but I can still walk around." Thatcher, who married the then-Margaret Roberts in 1951, said he acts as his wife's consort out of "love and loyalty." "Years ago, if anybody had said to me you'll be doing all this, I'd have told them, 'You've got to be out of your mind . . . . I've had to learn my way, which hasn't been easy, because I'm shy by nature." Thatcher, a former oil company executive, said he tries to represent Britain and promote British companies when he accompanies his wife, 59, on overseas trips. "I'm just doing what I've been doing for 30 years. I'm a bagman selling Britain."

--Songwriter Irving Berlin turned 97 Saturday and surrealist painter Salvador Dali celebrated his 81st birthday. Berlin, a Russian immigrant, wrote such songs as "God Bless America," "White Christmas" and "Easter Parade." Berlin intended to celebrate quietly at his New York home, his secretary said. Dali, who lives in seclusion in his hometown of Figueras, Spain, said he wants only "silence, tranquility and the company of friends, which are my books."

--Shaw Divinity School in Raleigh, N. C., awarded an honorary degree to the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the Unification Church founder who is in federal prison for tax evasion. Moon's wife, Hak Ja Han, accepted the award. "He is thanking God in the prison because he has been used as an instrument to rally and inspire the American people to fight against all forms of oppression and injustice," she said.

--Elma Becker, 74, and Jack McCauley, 75, who were divorced almost 50 years ago, remarried in Corsicana, Tex. Becker said the earlier marriage failed because they were too young. They first married in 1928 and were divorced in 1935. They had two children together and four more in subsequent marriages. Their second spouses have died. Becker said the spark that brought them together is still alive. "I'm a long ways from dead," she said. "We're only planning on having two more kids this time."

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