Southern California, which has spawned such caviar for the national tennis palate as Ellsworth Vines, Jack Kramer, Pancho Gonzales and Maureen Connolly, has again taken the initiative in rejuvenating the sport in this country. This fact became abundantly clear two weeks ago when a group of 96 of the area's front-line executives—merchants, financiers, oilmen and others—called a luncheon at the California Club in Los Angeles to announce the formal launching of the Youth Tennis Foundation of Southern California. Reese Taylor, the big, genial chairman of the board of the Union Oil Company and a man who was quite a baseball player in his younger days, has been a key figure in the organization of this tax-exempt foundation and, as its president, he made the key speech of the day. "Our aim," said Taylor with a fine tongue for a phrase, "is to keep our youngsters on the courts and out of court."
No tennis project in southern California would be complete without the help of Perry T. Jones, who for the past 30 years has been the father-confessor, patron and czar of the area's young tennis hopefuls. Fittingly, Jones will be the on-the-spot, day-to-day boss of the foundation's program. He told the luncheon guests that in the past there was seldom "more than $10,000 a year available for the promotion of young tennis talent. Already $15,000 has been spent on the program in its first year and in subsequent years the expenditures will probably go as high as $50,000. "I can tell you," he said, "that what has happened in southern California tennis in the last 25 years is just peanuts by comparison with what is going to happen."
Jones then told of the four ways the foundation plans to develop and hold the interest of the local boys and girls: 1) by providing expert instruction for any who want it; 2) by offering visual aid and incentive through motion pictures; 3) by making sure that all interested youngsters have the best possible equipment and facilities; and 4) through increased promotion of southern California tennis activities by local press, radio and television.
Meanwhile, American tennis is already showing signs of a new vigor in its junior ranks. A fortnight ago Miriam (Mimi) Arnold, 18, of Redwood City, Calif, stirred old London memories of Maureen Connolly by winning The Queen's Club women's championship, major pre-Wimbledon test. This 5-foot-2 daughter of Mrs. Ethel Burkhardt Arnold, former Wightman Cup player and No. 2 ranked nationally, showed a brilliant backcourt game which promises to make her a future champion.
She is just one of several bright young girl stars pictured on the opposite page who are preparing to carry on the U.S. supremacy in women's tennis. Of the others, Mary Ann Mitchell of San Leandro, Calif, is ranked second among the junior girls; Jacqueline Tegland of Oxnard, Calif. won the Southern California Midwinter Junior Tournament last December; Donna Floyd of Arlington, Va. shared the National Junior Girls' Indoor Doubles crown with Nancy O'Connell; and Carole Wright of Brooklyn is ranked fourth in the eastern women's rankings.
On the page following, you will also find a gallery of some of the up-and-coming boys. Worth particular mention right now is Earl (Butch) Buchholz Jr. of St. Louis—a strapping 6-foot-3 16-year-old who has drawn rave notices from Jack Kramer and Don Budge. They contend he only needs to iron out a few rough kinks in his game and temperament to achieve greatness. Taught since childhood by his father, he has powerful, sweeping ground strokes. He hits a service like a rocket and volleys beautifully. He moves remarkably well for a big boy—"like a jungle cat," says Former Champion Dick Savitt.