It has long been a common practice for newspapers to do what they can for readers sizzling in summer heat by printing a picture of polar bears splashing in their pool at the local zoo. Next week, in behalf of SI readers who may be unable to swim their way out of a July heat wave, SI will carry the polar bear story considerably further by reporting in four pages of color pictures by Robert Halmi and a text by William Fisher the account of a polar bear hunt on the Bering Straits.
For Halmi the hunt began in 115° of heat on a Tanganyika safari when he received a change of assignment from SI. One week and 15,000 miles later Halmi found himself 140° cooler as he peered from a plane with Fisher over the frozen water between Alaska and Siberia for sight of a bear of trophy size. For Fisher, a Bellingham, Wash, dentist, the hunt began when he decided, after years of successfully taking grizzlies and brown bears, sheep and caribou, that it was time to try for what is probably the most infrequently hunted of all big game: the polar bear.
The greatest of many challenges in hunting polars lies in the adverse conditions to be overcome in reaching the game. Halmi learned part of the adversity when they finally met the huge bear they sought. Carrying four Leicas against his chest under the heaviest Arctic clothing, he was able to use only one. The other three were frozen; and Halmi's fingers were frostbitten after he finished the sequence which SI will publish next week.
It is a very cold story for July but one that I think you will find as exciting and beautiful as it is cold. However, just in case it is too cold for you, SI this week, as another solution to the heat of summertime, tells the story of the summer camp and its various activities. I think you will find some of these pictures are perhaps the coolest of all.
July 1, 1956
But as long as it's summertime, there is heat to be enjoyed too. It would be hard to find more of it than in the current baseball race. And so, next week, far from the Arctic, as baseball prepares for its regular All-Star Game pause on July 10, SI will also present the All-Star Preview, the important story of the moment at another and equally exciting end of the wonderful world of sport.