Demarche on theKhimki
There was notvery much that Americans in the Moscow Embassy, or Americans at home, for thatmatter, could do when the Embassy was besieged by a drilled crowd of 100,000shouting, rock-throwing Russians last Friday—though next day the StateDepartment dispatched a stiff note of diplomatic outrage. Among the Americansin Moscow, however, was a drilled bunch of crewmen from the University ofWashington and, in a manner of speaking, they took things into their ownhands.
Next day on theKhimki Reservoir, just outside Moscow, the Washington Huskies piled into theireight-oared shell and rowed out, by longstanding previous engagement, againstthe Russian crew that had beaten them (by a length and a quarter) at Henley afortnight earlier.
With an excess ofenergy and feeling that had come to them during the fortnight—possibly evenovernight—they took the lead after the first few strokes, held it and beattheir Henley conquerors by a good length and a half. Then, as 6,000 Russiansapplauded with the traditional good grace of sportsmen, the Huskies climbed outonto the banks of the Khimki Reservoir and tossed their coxswain in the Moscowwater supply.
For many anAmerican, it was a demarche every bit as satisfying as the protest which wassent off by the State Department.
As all four ofAmerica's would-be cup defenders wallowed in a flat calm off Newport, R.I. oneday last week, their British counterpart huddled helplessly in a Dorsetshireharbor immobilized by unseasonable gales. The brisk breezes on Poole Bay,however, failed to dampen Sceptre's ardor for long. Throughout most of the restof the week the British challenger was busily footing through the choppy watersof the bay showing her heels to the veteran pacemaker Evaine with a regularitythat seemed impossible only a few weeks before.
After adiscouraging period of early trials in which she was bested time and again bythe older boat, Sceptre is sailing with new confidence under a new skipperplucked straight from the quarterdeck of Evaine herself. "I can't think whythey didn't pick him in the first place," said one seasoned Britishyachtsman of the challenger's new captain, Stanley Bishop, a salty professionalwho had long since proved himself a master tactician in 12-meters. "Stan isthe sort of chap that is popular with everyone," said one Sceptre foremasthand. "His arrival is a tonic to all of us."
"We've got tofind a way to make Sceptre faster," said Bishop himself when he took over,"and I think we can do it." From almost that moment on, the Britishchallenger's crew has been displaying an unwonted new smartness at sea and anew confidence ashore. Day after day they have been up at 6 a.m. or before tobegin the arduous maneuvers under sail that make for a perfectly coordinatedracing team. At the long evening skull sessions at Royal Motor Yacht Club atSandbanks, the atmosphere sparkles with new enthusiasm. Meanwhile Sceptreherself has been tuned and retuned to achieve a new efficiency of handling.Every winch in the boat, for instance, has been relocated since her launching.Last week she broke out a massive new red, white and blue spinnaker.
"I am notgoing to make any rash prophesies," said Sceptre's helmsman Graham Mannlast week, "but there is no doubt that Sceptre is sailing very fast now.All we need is our share of luck." As the challenger entered the last weekof trials before being loaded (on July 28) aboard the Cunarder Alsatia for hertrip to the U.S., most Britons were beginning to share Mann's optimism.Decrying the fact that a certain U.S. yachtsman had called the British boat a"$125,000 lemon," one London salt-water critic wrote: "All we cansay to that is: the more rotten the lemon, the bigger the splash when it iswell and energetically directed at its target."
Usually at thisseason, a Mantle or a Mays is a day or two ahead of Babe Ruth's home runrecord, but when a Mantle or a Mays fails, inevitably, to break it at the longseason's ending, he does not go to jail. But now in Miami, the celebrated oldpitching man for the Miami Marlins is going straight to jail unless he finishesthe season in a heroic fashion; Leroy (Satchel) Paige faces a 12-day sentencein the county stockade by latest count, for a highway violation and drivingwith a license perhaps older than he is.
Last April JudgeCharles Snowden found Paige guilty of mashing down too heavy on the acceleratorin a 30-mph zone. The judge told Leroy he would spend 20 days in jail when theInternational League season was over but gave him the opportunity to work offhis time in this manner: one day less for each hit he makes; one day less foreach run he scores; one day less for each win he pitches; and one day less foreach time he strikes out Buffalo's Luke Easter.
At the time Paigekept his own counsel, except to say: "That policeman should of waited justa minute. I was just tuning up when he gave me the whine." Said Easter:"If the judge wanted to make it just right, he should have said Satch wouldget an extra day in jail for every hit I got off him. That would have keptLeroy in meal money next winter."
Leroy hardlyneeds the public trough to survive. For 40 years in the Negro leagues and onhis hemispheric barnstorming tours, he never climbed the mound without a fatcontract stashed in his hip pocket. Today, one of the best pitchers over threeinnings, Satch does all right at the pay-table. And deservedly; the pitchingman's record at week's end was eight wins and five losses, his ERA was 3.23 andthe long right arm was as loose as ever. But the opposing pitchers and Easterweren't doing anything about lightening his burden. Paige hadn't gotten a hitin 15 at-bats, nor had he scored a run or struck out Easter. Easter has awhammy on Paige which devils him. Groans Satch: "That Luke don't exactlyfall down when I give him the bat-dodger." But if the prospect of lookingthrough prison bars instead of pine trees for quail in October is nettlingSatch, he does not show it as he stalks through the league, cool and slow, withhis strange, lofty dignity.
Long before BillVeeck brought him to the Cleveland Indians in 1948, Paige was a mystery man,but he never was a buffoon. The man who thinks so is abruptly rebuffed. Paigehas stock answers for those who ask his age. "I try to go along with whatthey want to hear," he says. "But I'll be 50 in September."
"Paige isabout 55," says Veeck, "but more likely a shade more."
Whether Satchwill go along with any 50th birthday party remains to be seen. He once was toldthat the fans in Columbus, Ohio planned a big do for his birthday, whichcoincided with Satch's appearance there.
"Ain't nobirthday," said Paige.
"You can'targue with the calendar," he was told.
"Birthday'sfor home," said Paige.
In Miami, home isthe Sir John Hotel, a comfortable hidey-hole where Paige baches while his wifeand five children wait for him at their four-bedroom residence in Kansas City.There Satch winters, hunting and "playing leapfrog with my oldbuddies," who pile in off the road. Paige gets along with his newteammates, too, although he doesn't know their names. To Satch they includeWild Man, Second Base and Loud Holler.
Paige seldomsuits up for pregame drills when the Marlins are at home. But whenever ManagerKerby Farrell looks out to the bullpen for help, there is the lean, dark manthrowing. If there's no trouble in sight, Paige isn't either; he's in thestands with a buddy or meditating off by himself.
Last summer,though, something happened which upset the aloof pitching man. The Marlins'place in the standings was set before the first pitch of the last game and ayoung Miami pitcher was out there just tossing baseballs, obviously unconcernedwhether the Havana batsmen lost them or not.
Paige was hoppingand he gave the youngster a piece of his mind when the ball game was over.
Satch is stillbothered by this incident and by the attitude of many of the generation'spampered darlings.
"There ain'tno man can avoid being born average," he says. "But there ain't no mangot to be common."
Leroy (Satchel)Paige never was and never will be, not even in the county stockade.
The Rev. WalterJessup, a left-handed Methodist minister, took the lead in the 19th AnnualLeft-Handers' Golf Tournament when he came in with a 2-under-par 70 the otherSaturday morning. That was the trouble. It was Saturday. "I certainlyenjoyed playing," said Pastor Jessup, as he disqualified himself from thenext day's round, "but the church comes first.... I love the game, but notenough to offend any church members by playing on the Sabbath."
This was at theend of 54 holes at Fort Lauderdale's Plantation Golf Club, where 136 of thenation's best left-handed golfers appeared to a casual visitor to be swingingall wrong. Jessup's 70 gave him a two-stroke lead over lanky Harry Shoemaker,who had won the national championship two years in a row. The minister thenplayed another 18 holes on Saturday afternoon—which were not counted in thestandings—and went around in a respectable 79, after which he left the courseto more latitudinarian worshipers.
Next morning hemounted the pulpit of the Melrose Park Methodist Church in Fort Lauderdale topreach a sermon: "Christianity and Golf, They Go Together." First, hesaid, "there must be a desire to play the game of golf.... Likewise, beforeone will ever become a Christian, there must be generated thedesire...."
Next, saidJessup, comes the proper gear: "You need woods and irons with the correctswing weight and stiffness of shaft. In Christianity our equipment is first ofall the conversion experience.... The professional and the practice tee may becompared to the minister, the church school teacher and the church.
"You discoverbefore too long that it was easier to hit straight shots on the practice teethan it is on the course. Likewise, in everyday life it is more difficult tolove your neighbor and be honest than it sounded under the inspiration of theworship service."
Tournamentgolfers generally find it particularly difficult to love their neighbors duringthe last round of a championship tournament, but at Fort Lauderdale thecontestants played the last 18 with great good fellowship and pretty good golf.Harry Shoemaker came in with a 71, to win the championship for the thirdsuccessive year, six under second man Pinky Thorpe, assistant fire chief ofCorpus Christi, Texas, whose 299 equaled Pastor Jessup's total. "It'samazing," said the club manager. "We didn't have a single beef aboutstarting time, not a mention of a rule dispute, the course got nothing butcredit, and everybody shook hands with everybody else."
Upward with theDaisy
For the past fewweeks—but you probably already know this—there has been a general situation oflow inventory in the national supply of BBs. A major BB manufacturer, the DaisyAir Rifle Co., has been preoccupied in moving its operations, locks, stocks andbarrels, from Plymouth, Mich. to Rogers, Ark., and that is the why of it. Nodoubt many a sparrow, windowpane and street light, who are cousins of a kind,would feel, if they could feel, that the move has been motivated by a coarsedesire to produce more BBs and more BB guns to propel them. That, say the Daisypeople, is it, precisely.
Seventy years oldthis year, the Daisy BB gun has been boyhood's side-arm companion ever sincethe president of the old Plymouth Iron Windmill Co. saw the first model of anair-spring gun designed by one of his employees. Thereupon, as they tell thestory, he exclaimed, "It's a daisy!" and seeing more future in air gunsthan windmills, changed the company's name. From that modest start, the companyhas since sold some 30 million Daisies (it holds exclusive patents on theair-spring mechanism) and skyfuls of ammunition. In its new $4 million plant,it is geared to produce an additional 2 million rifles and 25 million BBs ayear. It hopes to make some $10 million in the process.
A conservativefirm in the light of contemporary rockets, satellites and the like, Daisy hasnevertheless moved onward and upward. For one thing, prices have kept abreastof the times, and the old $1 model now costs $4.95, while the $5 model costs$13.98. This last is the Eagle, equipped, you must understand, with a two-powertelescopic sight. Indeed, while the basic mechanics have remained the same, theDaisy has been refined over the years in other ways. No longer will the cockinglever bash three fingers if inadvertently or advertently left open (once goodfor callow laughter); no longer need one run out of BBs, for the better modelshold 1,000 rounds. No longer, either, is the BB gun solely in the province ofboys. The Annie Oakley is trimmed with white and gold. Just the thing for yourlittle tomboy.
Survival at sea,from the earliest times, has been achieved by a combination of common sense,thorough training and discipline under stress. No amount of legislation—andboth federal and state governments are bursting with proposals—can insure thesafety of the vacationer who takes to the water without proper knowledge of itstreacherous ways; no precaution can guarantee the survival of the sailor whopanics when trouble strikes.
On a bright,sunny day in Arkansas last week, two vacationing couples and their threechildren piled into a 14-foot outboard for a day's fishing. The day was toofine and the sky too clear for them to heed the gloomy warnings of the oldboatman on shore that their craft was overloaded. "Come on, let's go!"they cried as the outboard sputtered and roared. The result? Only a few yardsfrom shore the badly trimmed craft struck a submerged cypress stump. Everyonein the boat but one distracted mother was drowned.
Contrast thiswith the picture of some 300 well-trained and sternly disciplined kids pursuingtheir favorite sport on Long Island Sound a few days earlier during the NewYork Yacht Club's Junior Regatta. Good sailors all, each one had been firmlydrilled by young sailing counselors in yacht clubs all up and down the LongIsland and Connecticut shores to observe a basic rule of safety: if a stormstrikes, stay with your boat.
The race was halfover when the storm did strike—a line squall ripping down from the northeastwith the suddenness of a thunderbolt. All over the course the boats wereknocked down, Lightnings, Bluejays, Thistles, 110s and the rest. All over thecourse cool and collected kids busied themselves treading water and getting thesails off the spars. Then they clung or sat on the capsized hulls and waited.One by one, committee boats and Coast Guard cutters picked them up, wet,stimulated, a little scared, but mostly proud.
Casualties? Ofcourse not.
Complaints? Well,there was one at least from a spirited young lady of 14 who didn't capsize. Thecommittee boat had hauled anchor to oversee the rescues—thus furnishing atantalizingly mobile finish line. She caught up with it, though.
Few golfers evenwith a bagful of clubs would care to try their luck over a water hole as wideas the Mediterranean with a sand trap as treacherous as the politics of Lebanonlying just beyond it. But stanch and courtly Admiral James Lemuel (Lord Jim)Holloway, commander in chief of U.S. naval forces in the Mediterranean andleader of the U.S. Middle-Eastern landing force, is a fearless and resourcefulman. In more peaceful times, when not at his post in London, Lord Jim spendsleisure hours on the 7,000-yard golf course of the Wentworth Club in Surrey,which he covers in the low 80s.
It is not for ushere to comment on the touchy situation in the Middle East, where AdmiralHolloway's relatively tiny task force now holds a portion of the world's fatein its hands, but there may be comfort for some in the fact that, as a golfer,the U.S. commander, a man used to doing the most with the least, faces allhazards with but a single club—an adjustable affair which he adapts to whatevertask, drive or putt, lies ahead.
She came in blue,a formal gown,
In answer to his call;
He thought he said for tennis,
And she—a tennis ball.
--S. F. Caldwell
—DANIEL WEBSTER (January 1830)
—CASEY STENGEL (July 1958)
They Said It
Exuberant seattle booster, on learning of theWashington Huskies' victory over five Russian crews in Moscow: "Maybe weought to move that shell down to the Mediterranean to help out the SixthFleet."
Jim Tatum, North Carolina football coach: "As acoach, I feel I have to be optimistic and predict big things for each fall.After all, I'm not a millionaire today but that doesn't make me gloomy. I mightinherit a bank tomorrow."
Ernest Marples, Britain's Postmaster General, atNational Sporting Club dinner in London for Antarctic Conqueror Sir VivianFuchs: "There are very few natural leaders of men. Only about 1%, I'd say.The other 99% are followers of women."