BRAVE NEW WORLD
This is an article from the Sept. 3, 1956 issue
It is doubtful that anyone in the U.S. was startled, or even surprised, last week when the President suggested, at San Francisco, that we can logically aspire to a "brave and new and shining world," a "new era of good life, good will and good hope." His Democratic opponent, indeed, had spoken along the same general lines the week before. Such a concept might very well have seemed like a bitter joke only a few years ago—a very few years ago—but in 1956 the foundations for the kind of future which Ike believes possible have already begun to rise; they also form the foundation of what this magazine likes to call the wonderful world of sport.
It would be presumptuous to imply that sport, even in an Olympic year, is the key to the new brotherhood of man—it is an idea which has, sadly, been disproved too often in the past. It would be cynical, it is true, not to note that sport—particularly on the running tracks, football fields and rowing courses of Europe—has facilitated what the President called "some small degree of friendly intercourse among the peoples" of the West and the Iron Curtain countries. But to regard sport as a sort of political catalyst is to take a limited and inaccurate view. In the U.S. today it is something far more meaningful; it is so inextricably intertwined with almost every phase of living that it now reflects, perhaps more simply and dramatically than any other American activity, the whole climate of national affairs.
One need only reflect upon the fact that the pleasure and inspiration of sport in the U.S. today is for the millions—no longer a sort of luxury but, in one form or another, the right of all—to consider the President's message as a practical plan as well as an expression of hope and faith. It is hard not to feel, too, that the U.S. really does have something of the spirit to offer humanity. Even today it does not, as Ike put it, "seem futile for young people to dream of a brave and new and shining world, or for older people to feel that they can, in fact, bequeath to their children a better inheritance than that which was their own." And we have indeed "brought within our grasp a world in which backbreaking toil and longer hours will not be necessary."
In a sense, as he forecast the future, Ike simply echoed the matter-of-fact, if newly conceived, aspirations of millions of his countrymen:
"Travel all over the world, to learn to know our brothers abroad, will be fast and cheap. The fear and pain of crippling disease will be greatly reduced. The material things that make life interesting and pleasant will be available to everyone. Leisure, together with educational and recreational facilities, will be abundant so that all can develop the life of the spirit, of religion, of the arts, of the full realization of the good things of the world." It seemed only fitting that the President, so saying, could enjoy some of the good things of the world himself on a golfing weekend (see p. 21).
PRIDE OF A YANKEE
The yankee high command decided last week that an old Enos Slaughter was more useful than an old Phil Rizzuto. So, abruptly, on Saturday afternoon, 16 years as a Yankee ended for Phil. He left the clubhouse without waiting for the game to finish, avoiding commiserations. He had received no definite offer to remain with the organization, first heard of a possible coaching job on his car radio.
"That's why the Yankees are so successful," he was able to say next day. "There's no sentiment when they want to make a move to help the ball club. Understand, I have no squawks. I got a lot out of the club and they treated me good and there are no complaints except—" he paused momentarily, "except maybe one."
"And what's that?" he was asked.
"I guess," he said quietly, "maybe now my pride is hurt."
NOT THE SAME FELLER
The awkward, fat-faced youngster moved nervously into a long windup, kicked his foot high and threw. The easy, wide-sweeping delivery sent the ball winging into the catcher's mitt with an impressive, satisfying whop, and the 9,000 people sweltering in the 90-plus heat at Cleveland's League Park stirred and buzzed appreciatively.
It was late August, and the Indians, then as now, trailed the Yankees by too many games and hoped for a miracle. On this Sunday afternoon the St. Louis Browns were in town, and Manager Steve O'Neill was gambling with a wild, fast 17-year-old who was making his first major league start.
He struck out the first batter (Lyn Lary) on three pea-size fast balls, gave up a dinky hit, then struck out two more. Bob Feller won his first major league start 4-1, and fanned 15 nervous Browns, using the erratic, white lightning of his fast ball all the way, the batters afraid to dig in.
For long after that the fast ball worked its magic on major league batters. In more than 16 summers (he spent 44 war months in the Navy) he has won 266 games (3 no-hitters) and struck out 2,573 batters. His fast ball was timed at 98.6 miles per hour.
Exactly 20 years after that hot Sunday in Cleveland, on August 23, 1956, Feller sat quietly in the bullpen at Fenway Park and watched Bob Lemon lose a three-hitter to the Red Sox.
The adolescent chubbiness has long since left Feller's face, and the easy, sweeping motion now delivers curves and sliders and the speed has gone with the youth. Bob is a poised, confident athlete and an insurance executive in the off season, and the awkward farm boy from Van Meter, Iowa is gone.
No one noticed the 20th anniversary of Feller's first major league start, not even Feller. Reminded of it, he said, "It's not that I'm old now. It's just that I got started young."
The stories on the game that marked 20 years for Feller didn't mention his name. The papers that day had a lot to say about a Little Leaguer named Fred Shapiro, who used a blazing fast ball to strike out 14 batters and win a perfect no-hit, no-run game. His fast ball travels about 65 miles per hour.
Duck hunting seems to be on the way to full automation—last year hunters were offered phonograph recordings of duck calls calculated to lure the most cynical canvasback out of the air, and last week a fellow named Robert M. Riley started quantity production of battery-powered, plastic mallard drake decoys which bob their heads into the water and raise them again like live birds savoring some delicious submarine banquet. The electric decoy not only seems to fascinate hunters (who are buying it voraciously at $17.95 a copy) but has driven a live mallard (which was incarcerated with it in a glass tank) to the edge of distraction. The live bird dived under it, swam around it, glared at it and, all in all, "just about went crazy."
Inventor Riley began developing the feeding decoy almost three years ago after racking his brains for a product which might beef up business in his electric motor rewinding shop in Portland, Ore. He spent weeks watching mallards feed at a Portland park and took motion pictures and innumerable still photographs in his quest for accuracy of color and animation. But it took a year to perfect the cam which operates the duck's head and longer to eliminate (by using plastic gears) the startling sounds which emanated from his early model.
Last autumn Riley felt his decoys were ready for testing. He took a set to a duck blind near Jefferson City, Ore., set them out without turning on the power and let a hunter summon wild birds with a duck call. Nothing happened. But when Riley started his decoys up, ducks began dropping down by the dozens. "They had to chase them off the water to shoot them." Riley and his hunting friends feel that a hunter needs only one animated duck per dozen ordinary decoys—the electrical bird lends authenticity to his motionless colleagues and also jiggles enough in calm water to stir up waves and lend them movement. Riley has now shipped 3,500 of his ducks around the U.S., has a new factory at Eugene, Ore., which is producing 700 decoys a day and believes he will soon have enough leisure to correct a glaring gap in his own background: he has never hunted a duck in all his life.
O'ER A PERFUMED SEA...
Honeysuckle, verbena and other fine, old-fashioned plantings bloom along the lawns of Havre de Grace, Md., enough of them to make the whole town smell like a midsummer garden. Yet sometimes, when the wind is off the Susquehanna, a far headier scent than verbena drifts over the back fences. It is Arp√®ge, a perfume by the French house of Lanvin. It has been around for two months now, ever since a 16-ounce bottle of it ($275, plus luxury tax) was used to christen a ketch.
It was not an ordinary christening, and not an ordinary boat. The Arp√®ge, at 42 feet over-all, is a pioneer experiment in plastic boats. The technique for building her flashed into the mind of a young French engineer named Jean Filloux on a movie set in Hollywood, when he saw how sheets of Fiberglas plastic were stretched over light wooden frames and painted to resemble rocks, tree trunks, stone fences and other bits of scenery. M. Filloux knew that small plastic boats had been built on molds, but he needed a big one—big enough to take a crew of four on a scientific expedition to the South Pacific—and he couldn't begin to finance a boat made of conventional materials and by conventional methods.
So he built himself a framework, covered it with a thin shell of mahogany and covered the mahogany with 30 layers of Fiberglas. It was something like putting on layer after layer of wallpaper. Finally, he turned the shell right-side up, removed the framework, poured 4½ tons of concrete ballast into the hollow mahogany-and-plastic keel, and there stood Arp√®ge. It was as simple as that—except that it took two years of hard work by Filloux and others, and the generosity of a great many people.
Arp√®ge was designed by a marine architect named George R. Hofmann. The glass cloth for her hull was given by the Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation, and the polyester resins used in bonding the glass sheets came (free) from the American Cyanamid Co. One after another, large but by no means soulless corporations, fascinated by M. Filloux's boat and by his audacious plans for using their products, gave him what he asked for. Servel, Inc. offered a refrigerator for preserving film in the tropics. Evinrude gave a motor for the dinghy, and Mercedes-Benz supplied the main engine. Now M. Filloux, who stood penniless on a Hollywood set at 29, commands a $60,000 expedition at 31. He has been commissioned by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, the Weather Bureau of France and other organizations to make studies of ocean waves and the low atmosphere over the ocean.
M. Filloux is short, dark, capable and calm. He holds two degrees in engineering from French schools. He first came to this country in 1951, arriving on a 47-foot catamaran which he and three companions had sailed across the Atlantic. He wrote a book about this voyage, scouted around the U.S. for a while and got married. His wife, Odette, will maintain the expedition's headquarters in New York while the Arp√®ge is in the South Pacific, but first Filloux plans to shake down the equipment and crew in Florida waters this fall. He and three fellow scientists will head for the Panama Canal in December.
Why is this plastic boat named for a perfume? Because Edouard L. Cournand, an American businessman of French origin, gave help and encouragement of many kinds. "Without him," says M. Filloux, "there would be no boat, no expedition, nothing." M. Cournand is President of Lanvin Parfums Inc.
That's why it was Mme. Cournand who christened the boat, and that's why she did it with perfume. A crane which had brought the Arp√®ge from the shed in which it was built dangled it over the water's edge while Mme. Cournand smacked it with a flagon of scent, perfuming the town of Havre de Grace. But the lady wasn't taking any chances or defying any traditions. She wanted to be sure that all went well with the Arp√®ge so, just before the crane lowered the boat into the Susquehanna, she smacked it again, this time with a bottle of champagne—the French kind, natch.
CURRENT WEEK & WHAT'S AHEAD
•From Spike Heels to Spikes
Seventeen U.S. women qualified for Olympic track and field competition in Washington, D.C. tryouts. An off track and good showings led officials to abandon minimum-performance rule for running events, raise number of berths from expected total of 10. Mrs. Stella Walsh Olson, 45, tried but failed to qualify in 200-meter dash, an event she won in 1932 Olympics.
•Out and Up
When Phil Rizzuto, 38, was given unconditional release after 20 years in Yankee system, roster vacancy was filled by Enos Slaughter, 40, who was "sick all over" at leaving cellar-bound Athletics—but reported promptly, cracked out a couple of hits to help the Yankees beat Detroit.
The Lawn Tennis Association of Australia, preparing to spend $135,000 to stage the Davis Cup challenge round at Adelaide in December, nervously eyed Suez and sought insurance against cancellation of the matches by war.
•So There, Too, AAU
Wes Santee, a professional miler by AAU decree, virtually gave up his struggle for a new verdict. He said he wouldn't run in an AAU meet "even if I were reinstated." Santee will continue to run "for my own health...but not in exhibitions," feels his peak performances are still in the future.