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No Bronc Could Buffalo Champ

--Vivian White Dillard says luck saw her through a rodeo career that was more than 15 years long and included enough honors and titles to please the toughest cowgirl. Her most recent honor was awarded to her last weekend when she and five other women were inducted into the 1985 National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Hereford, Tex. Dillard, a 72-year-old Warner, Okla., resident, said she never got thrown from a horse during more than 15 years of title-winning bronc-riding competition. “I was just lucky. I went in to ride and I was serious. I was bucked off in practice plenty of times and I was thrown off bulls many times,” Dillard told the Amarillo Globe News. “I don’t see it as anything to brag about. It’s just one of those things.” Born on a farm outside Enid, Okla., in 1912 and reared by her widowed mother with two other children, Dillard became interested in rodeo when her sister told her she could earn some extra cash by riding a steer in a Western exhibition. Steer-riding led to buffalo-riding before she switched back to more conventional livestock. As for buffaloes, “you just keep your balance and hang on.”

--U.S. House Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O’Neill Jr., 72, said in Boston that the Random House publishing company has won the right to publish a hard-cover book of his memoirs with an advance of $1,050,000. O’Neill has been Speaker of the House since 1977. He served in the Massachusetts Legislature for 16 years before winning the House seat that fellow Democrat John F. Kennedy vacated to go to the Senate. “Part of the unique feature of the book is that he (O’Neill) brings a unique perspective to the modern presidency. He’s seen people up close,” said publishing agent Larry Moulter. When asked if the memoirs would contain any revealing information, O’Neill said: “That wouldn’t be a secret if I told you.”

--When the Rev. Jerry Falwell dies, his top aides will listen to a tape-recording in which the Moral Majority leader outlines strategies for a spiritual empire that brings in $200 million a year. Falwell, 51, said he has been updating the tape annually for more than a decade. The 45-minute cassette is locked inside a vault at his Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va., and he says no one else has heard it. The tape lists the names of the men Falwell thinks could become his successors to lead the 21,000 members of his congregation, the 6,000 students at Liberty University and his other schools, the 6.5-million-member families of Moral Majority or the viewers of the Old-Time Gospel Hour broadcasts. The recording also discusses how the ministries might spend the $35 million from his life insurance policy, he said.


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