- The Washington Times - Monday, April 17, 2006

East meets West

Steven Spielberg will join filmmaker Zhang Yimou in designing the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Mr. Zhang, whose films include “Hero” and “House of Flying Daggers,” was named Sunday to lead a team that includes Mr. Spielberg, Associated Press reports.

He said his hiatus will start after he finishes his latest project, “The City of Golden Armor,” starring Chow Yun-fat and Gong Li.

Mr. Zhang is to stage the world premiere of countryman Tan Dun’s opera “The First Emperor” for New York’s Metropolitan Opera later this year. It wasn’t clear how that commitment would be affected by his new Olympics role.

Mr. Spielberg’s films include “Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan” and “Munich.”

Sentimental value

The diamond-studded watch Buddy Holly was wearing when he was killed in a plane crash has been sold at auction for $155,350.

The buyer was a woman near San Francisco who wants to remain anonymous, according to AP, citing Heritage Auction Galleries spokesman Doug Norwine. Mr. Norwine said the buyer was a “tremendous” fan of the rock ‘n’ roll pioneer and even had flown to London and New York to see a musical based on his life.

“She didn’t buy it as in investment,” Mr. Norwine said. “She just really loved his music and is starting her collection.”

Mr. Holly received the diamond-and-white-gold Omega wristwatch as a gift from his wife, Maria Elena Holly. He wore it “the day the music died” on Feb. 3, 1959, when he and singers Ritchie Valens and J.P. “the Big Bopper” Richardson were killed in a plane crash in Iowa. Mr. Holly was 22.

The watch is inscribed “Buddy Holly 12-1-58,” the date his wife gave it to him as an early Christmas present. It was recovered at the crash site. Later, Mr. Holly’s father, Laurence, wore it in honor of his son in the family’s hometown of Lubbock, Texas.

Also sold at the auction Saturday was Mr. Holly’s passport, for $26,290 to a different buyer, who also wanted to remain anonymous.

Despite his short career, Mr. Holly wrote several legendary songs, including “Peggy Sue,” “That’ll Be the Day” and “Maybe Baby.”

Stashes of cash

Marshall Mathers, the state of Michigan has something of yours.

The 33-year-old rapper, better known as Eminem, may not be hurting for cash, but if he ever runs low, he can pick up unclaimed property turned over by Michigan National Bank to the state Treasury Department. The department lists Mr. Mathers on its unclaimed property Web site, AP reports.

Dennis Dennehy, Eminem’s publicist, declined to comment.

The Treasury Department holds on to millions of dollars in forgotten bank accounts, uncashed paychecks, dividend payments and other property sent to the state when a company can’t find the person owed the money or property. It’s up to people to look on the Web site and make a claim.

“A lot of it is bank accounts; people moved and maybe forgot about them,” department spokesman Caleb Buhs told the Detroit News. “If the account remains dormant for a year, the banks are legally obligated to turn it over to the state.”

Other well-known names on the list include Aretha Franklin, Domino’s Pizza founder Thomas S. Monaghan and former governor John Engler.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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