Clintons Go From Noisy New Year to Solitary Tropical Retreat

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

After clattering in the new year at the annual Renaissance Weekend retreat at Hilton Head, S.C., President Clinton and his family moved their holiday to St. Thomas, where they plan to stay until late Sunday.

Knots of islanders lined the motorcade route through the winding, hilly streets on the way to the Sand Dollar, a private villa on the Caribbean island’s Peterborg Peninsula.

White House aides said Clinton was intent on rest and relaxation at the Caribbean resort, a contrast to chilly and windy Hilton Head, where revelers banged pots and pans to herald the new year.


First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton wrote in her newspaper column this week that her father let her stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve for the first time at age 6 and that they banged pots and pans. So an organizer of Renaissance Weekend, Linda LeSourd Lader, wife of the U.S. ambassador to Britain Phil Lader, spread the word among hundreds of guests at a New Year’s party that they would uphold the tradition.

“When midnight came in they banged these pots and pans in honor of the Rodham family tradition,” White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said.

Clinton enjoyed the show as he stood with his arm over his wife’s shoulders.

Picking up where President Bush left off, Clinton chose New Year’s Day to resume the Daily Points of Light program for people distinguished for volunteer service.

Bush has continued the program in private life with his Points of Light Foundation.

Clinton decided to join Bush in resuming the program at the national level to encourage more Americans to volunteer.

A statement issued in Hilton Head said the first recipients were Amy Achor of Waco, Texas, and the Give a Parent Support Program in Tucson, Ariz.

Achor, 17, is co-founder of Loving Hands, a youth group that meets with nursing home residents and elderly shut-ins.


The Give a Parent Support Program provides parenting skills, infant care, education and job training assistance to first-time and at-risk parents.