BOXING VS. BRIDGE
England's Medical World, a staid monthly journal for the general practitioner, has this to say about boxing in its current issue:
"Some of our brethren have been concerned lately about the dangers of boxing. They have been able to produce nine deaths in amateur boxing in this country in 14 years—about the same number that are killed in three days' motor biking. Smoking cigarettes, which boxers in training eschew, causes about 40 deaths a day. Bridge, because of its tendency to encourage prolonged smoking and its deadly immobility, is probably the most dangerous game played in England now."
NO SALE ON SABLE
June 12, 1960
Sable Island, scene of 400-odd shipwrecks, is a miserable hangnail of sand, 25 miles long, less than a mile wide, lying 180 miles southeast of Halifax, N.S. Its vegetation is practically nil (sprigs of saline bent grass, isolated clumps of whortle and cranberry bushes). Its inhabitants (not counting lighthouse keepers or the ghosts of pirates and beautiful women who, properly, meander along the beaches in the teeth of howling gales) are 300 altogether ornery wild horses.
The horses are descendants of the survivors of a 17th-century wreck (the story goes) and, like San Francisco's cable cars, have been sentimental, unprofitable fixtures on the island for years. Tough, long-coated and stunted, they have grubbed out an existence by sheer pluck and have stubbornly resisted all human interference. Civilized stallions flown to the island in a breeding experiment, for instance, were kicked silly by the locals; an attempt to carry a schooner load of Sable's horses to the mainland ended in a disaster of broken legs; hay bales, dropped by the RCAF in winter, have been scattered to the wind by the proud and defiant young males.
But lately other straws were in the wind—these to the effect that the horses had to go. Not only were they intractable, said governmental busy-bodies, but they cropped off the island's grass cover, the sand blew away and the lighthouse and other vital installations were undermined. Three times the buildings had had to be moved, and that was enough. The horses were now for sale to the highest bidder. Nobody had to say that the highest bidder was likely to own the glue and dog food works.
As could be expected, animal lovers all over Nova Scotia rose in an inflamed body, decried inhumanity and insisted the horses be left alone. Far from despoiling the meager grass, they helped it to grow with their manure, said the partisans, and if inbreeding was a problem, well that was the horses' business. Nature would provide.
Whether nature would provide or not was reduced to academic discussion last week. Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, acting on the entreaties of his constituents, provided instead. The sale of Sable Island's shaggy, storied horses, he said, was off.
The couple from Sioux City, all atingle with excitement, was just settling into two box seats at San Francisco's Candlestick Park when the cop clapped them on the shoulder. How come, he wanted to know, were they using tickets stolen last month from the San Francisco home of Gordon E. Taylor.
"I got them from my brother-in-law who lives here," said the man from Sioux City, wishing he'd stayed put in Iowa. "I got them from my son," said the California brother-in-law, wishing he'd stayed put in bed.
"I got them from Taylor's dresser drawer," said the son as he was marched off to jail, wishing the Giants had stayed put in New York.
What they wanted most of all, said the founding members of Cincinnati's lush new Coldstream Country Club, was a golf course with championship character. So Richard Wilson, accomplished golf course architect (Long Island's Meadow Brook, Havana's Villa Real), was signed on to provide it.
Last week Coldstream opened for business, and it was woefully plain that Wilson had done his work well. The No. 2 hole was accounted par 3 and ran 247 yards off into the haze (250 yards is the USGA limit for par-3 holes). Moreover, the green was nestled cozily behind an L-shaped pond at front and left, and was guarded by trees and traps at back and right.
Understandably, par was not coming easily, admitted the Coldstream pro, Jouett Brown. Out of an experimental 15 balls he drove at the green himself, seven plinked into the pond.
On a memorable afternoon in 1936 Jesse Owens left Berlin with the most impressive array of prizes ever collected by an Olympic athlete: four gold medals. In 1945 he lent them out for exhibition and never got them back. For years Jesse tried unsuccessfully to trace them, finally set out to see if duplicates could be made. A few months ago he located a German firm which still had the plates from which the original medals had been stamped. He immediately ordered a new set, which has now arrived. Jubilant Jesse, who in the 24 years since his historic feat has become a grandfather, said: "Now the kids can see them."
The luckiest man in the world on the first day of June this year was a jet boat designer and pilot named Les Staudacher whose latest project, Tempo Alcoa, blew up that day on Saginaw Bay, Mich. With it blew up Staudacher's dream of breaking the world water speed record of 260 mph, plus $25,000 of Les's own money and $25,000 lent the project by Alcoa Aluminum. Staudacher himself didn't go up, or down, with his boat because he was sitting a half mile away running it by radio remote control.
This is the third time that Staudacher has lucked out while messing with jets. Once, while he was testing a jet engine for his boat in the back of his shop, the jet blew a piece of its innards through Staudacher's cap. Last year, with Staudacher aboard, Tempo went out of control in a test run, hurled itself over a promontory, smacked a couple of boulders en route and finally came to rest, luckily, on sand.
This time, with the repaired Tempo temporarily on good behavior, Staudacher was slowly pushing her toward the record, test by test. On her first radio-controlled run he powered her up to 170. No sooner had she reached that speed than a sponson (a metal shoe on which the boat rides) ripped away, she spun around backward and the cold water rushing up the tail pipes hit the hot engine and blew it right out of the boat.
"I imagine," said Staudacher, as he sadly towed the gutted Tempo away, "that if I had been sitting there, it would have blown my head off."
When St. Paddy won the 181st Derby at Epsom last week (see page 28) it was the fourth Derby victory in eight years for his proud owner, Sir Victor Sassoon. At 78, Sassoon describes himself as a semi-retired banker. His financial philosophy of "sitting with countries that are growing and you'll grow too" enabled him to become a multimillionaire through investments in India, the Far East and, more recently, in South America.
But his first love, even after 35 years of it, is Thoroughbred racing. When Turf Editor Whitney Tower visited him recently, Sir Victor disclosed the secret of his success: "I felt England had been inbreeding too long, and the result was to breed a too delicate horse. I believe in out-crossing—often with French and Italian strains—in order to breed for toughness as well as for distance. All of my Derby winners are out-crosses. I bred for 30 years waiting for my ship to come in. Now I believe the percentages have at last turned in my favor."
CAST OF CHARACTERS
France's once Bounding Basque, Jean Borotra, 61, teamed up with Australia's Adrian Quist, age 47, won the French International veterans' doubles tournament. "I played very badly," said Borotra. "My partner won."...
Russia's canceled invitation to President Eisenhower and his four grandchildren changed nothing for 12-year-old David Eisenhower. "I had already talked it over with my grandfather," said David, "and we decided I should stay here for the Little League season."...
The U.S. will lose its foremost woman badminton players when Maryland's Judy Devlin, the world champion, and her sister Sue marry this summer—Judy to live in London, Sue in Dublin....
For years now Bill Whitmore, sports publicity director at The Rice Institute in Texas, has been belaboring writers who insist on calling it Rice University. Recently the school changed its name, effective July 1, to Rice, of course, University. Whitmore's typewriter is oiled and the safety is off.