Bush campaigns for new book, gets celebrity treatment 

DALLAS – Autograph-seekers lined up around a Texas shopping center Tuesday as former President George W. Bush officially kicked off the release of his new memoir at a bookstore about a mile from his Dallas home.

First in line were Terry and Tammy Jones of suburban Justin, who had camped out since the previous afternoon with sleeping bags and a portable DVD player. They said when they told Bush of their wait, he said he would sign their books “with admiration,” shaking 53-year-old Terry Jones’ hand and kissing his wife’s.

“Eighteen hours for two seconds and a kiss on the hand,” Tammy Jones, 52, said with a smile.

Terry Jones said they wanted to tell Bush “thank you.” He said he admired Bush because “when he makes a decision, he sticks with it.”

In an interview that aired Tuesday on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” Bush told Winfrey that writing the memoir “was an easy process.”

“A lot of people don’t think I can read, much less write,” Bush joked to the TV host.

As in the book, Bush also recounted the mistakes of his presidency, saying he still feels “sick” about the fact no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. His response to Hurricane Katrina could have been quicker, he said, and he acknowledged he didn’t see the financial meltdown coming.

It’s official: Betty White finally a Forest Ranger

 

WASHINGTON – Betty White has had countless roles over her award-winning career, but now she has a gig she’s always wanted: “Forest Ranger.”

The actress known for her roles on “The Golden Girls” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” was made an honorary ranger Tuesday by the U.S. Forest Service. White, 88, said that as a young girl she wanted to be a forest ranger, but women weren’t allowed to have the job.

On Tuesday, the Forest Service presented her with a badge and a ranger’s Stetson hat, which she donned during a ceremony at the Kennedy Center.

Said White: “In my heart I’ve been a forest ranger all my life, but now I’m official.”

The nominee is: ‘Twilight’

 

LOS ANGELES – “The Twilight Saga” has a chance to eclipse the competition at the 2011 People’s Choice Awards. Nominations were announced Tuesday, and the vampire love story and its stars racked up a leading eight bids.

The film is up for favorite movie and favorite drama, while stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner are nominated for favorite on-screen team.

Another multiple nominee in the movie category is Robert Downey Jr., of “Iron Man 2,” who’s up for favorite actor, favorite action star and favorite on-screen team with Don Cheadle.

Neil Young’s storage building hit by fire

SAN CARLOS, Calif. – A fire at a San Francisco Bay area warehouse early Tuesday damaged a vintage car and other memorabilia belonging to singer Neil Young, authorities said.

The 10,000-square-foot building in San Carlos contained only items belonging to Young and his family, including six vintage cars and paintings and what appears to be cases of musical equipment, said Belmont-San Carlos Fire Chief Doug Fry.

Some of the memorabilia was removed as the fire burned, but it’s not clear how much was salvaged, Fry said.