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At 520 Pounds, Dieter Is Less Than Half His Old Self

--At 520 pounds, Walter Hudson is not exactly a shadow of his former self. But, considering that he weighed 1,200 pounds a year ago, it is an accomplishment. In another milestone, Hudson stepped outside his Hempstead, N. Y., home for the first time in 18 years, an event carried live on a local television show. “It feels good. I shouldn’t have waited this long,” he said as he gazed at the sky. Hudson, 42, came to public attention last fall when he became wedged in a doorway and had to be rescued by firefighters with saws. The frightening episode made him realize that something had to be done. “I would have kept eating more and more,” he said. “It was a gift from God.” Under the guidance of entertainer-turned-nutritionist Dick Gregory, Hudson started on a regimen that includes a liquid diet formula and calls for him to fast every other day. He said his goal is to reach 180 pounds.

--In what is being billed “the find of the century,” a collection of Lincoln assassination material, including the handcuffs used in the capture of a John Wilkes Booth accomplice, will be auctioned at Swann Galleries in Manhattan on Oct. 6. Other items to be sold are four signed affidavits from soldiers who helped catch Booth and accomplice David Herold and a four-page handwritten letter from Boston Corbett--the soldier who shot Booth--to his commanding officer, Lt. Edward Doherty, concerning their reward. The affidavits are a significant find because no other manuscripts written at the time of the assassination by any of the other participants are known to have survived, according to Eric Caren, a rare book dealer who owns the collection. Caren purchased the items from a part-time antique dealer in Maryland who acquired them from Doherty’s family, which had owned them since 1865. He said: “Several noted scholars have praised the collection, calling it the find of the century. Personally, it’s my greatest find.” President Abraham Lincoln was shot by Booth in Ford’s Theater in Washington on April 14, 1865.

--About 200 followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh are expected for a weekend reunion at their former central Oregon commune, a spokesman for the Indian guru said. At its peak, the commune, incorporated as Rajneeshpuram, was inhabited by thousands of disciples who showered the self-proclaimed “rich man’s guru” with Rolls-Royces and jewelry. Rajneesh returned to India in 1985 after pleading guilty to federal immigration charges. The commune disbanded after his departure.


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