Somewhere in the United States a small boy is hightailing it across the backyard toward the nearest open field or patch of woods. Increasingly and unhappily, he and hundreds of other apprentice Dan'l Boones are glooming their way back home after finding the last nearby bit of Injun territory preempted by a real estate "developer" and his bulldozers. When this happened to Scott Turner of San Diego, age 7, he wrote a letter to President Kennedy, complaining that "we have no place to go out in the canyon because they are going to build houses." Answering for the President, Secretary of the Interior Udall filibustered briefly about new national seashores and similar distant irrelevancies and then, perhaps remembering his own Arizona boyhood, sympathized, "I am more sorry than I can say that you have lost your canyon playground. I hope you will be able to find another one not too far away."
The Turner-Udall letters were publicized, and The Denver Post reacted to them with a stern editorial titled, "Look to the Future, not the Past." Said the Post, "Udall knows that the boy won't be able to find another canyon 'not too far away.' About the best the lad can hope for is that he will quickly become numb to the disadvantage of organized recreational areas.... Udall knows that his young correspondent is going to grow up into a world in which he will live most of his adult life separated from the reality of the soil."
Having stated the problem, the Post proceeded to solve it—but in the manner to be expected of a paper that has recently supported extermination of Colorado's willows and cottonwoods as weeds. "We're not really certain that [this boy] is being denied anything that is vital for his growth into a responsible and contented adult," said the Post. "His elders would do well to spend less time and energy in nostalgic reveries." Admitting that a more spacious life seems "simpler, cleaner and infinitely more relaxing and pleasant," the Post nevertheless grew lyric in its prescription for the new "good life." All that is really necessary, the Post stated, is renunciation of "guilt feelings" over confining children to cities and "cheerful acceptance of the inevitability of urban living."
We have heard this viewpoint expressed before, but never so explicitly and publicly, and never in a region geographically so well-endowed as Colorado. We can't even be flip about it. We keep thinking of a new and bitter definition of the word ' 'develop" that we heard recently. "Develop—a verb meaning to ravage, to lay waste, to destroy."
THE INSIDE TRACK
•Colonel Earl (Red) Blaik, ex-Army coach, has been helping General Douglas MacArthur arrange details for the AAU-NCAA arbitration meeting.
•Insiders say that Joe Garagiola, who quit his broadcasting job with the St. Louis Cardinals in December to join NBC (he'll do Game of the Week telecasts next season), left his fellow Cardinal broadcaster, Harry Caray, on decidedly unfriendly terms. Caray wants his son, Skip, to take Garagiola's place.
•The Hambletonian will be televised this year for the first time. Under an agreement between Hambletonian promoters Don and Gene Hayes and NBC-TV all heats of the race will be taped and shown the night of the race.
•Ford has proposed to the Automobile Manufacturers Association that starting in 1964 all cars be supplied with seat belts as standard equipment. Industry-wide cost for putting in belts would run to an estimated $75 million. Whether or not AMA agrees, Ford intends to go ahead with the idea.
Kentucky basketball Coach Adolph Rupp's move in benching All-America Cotton Nash for most of the Georgia Tech game (and for all of the two overtimes), a game Kentucky lost, was not based on any sort of long-range psychological maneuvering. Rupp was simply trying to beat Tech, Nash was having a miserable night and his replacement—Ted Deeken—played well (13 points, 14 rebounds). Of course, it also involved Rupp's firm belief that Nash should play outside, where he can best utilize his deadeye long shot. Nash, on the other hand, believes people will think he is shying away from action if he doesn't move into the foul lane. It was there he was playing against Tech.
In practice after the Tech game Nash hit 26 of 33 from outside, but in the next game (against Vanderbilt) he went back into the foul lane in the first half and made exactly one basket. In the 13 minutes he played in the second half before fouling out, Nash stayed outside and threw in eight baskets and a total of 19 points. "If he didn't learn anything from that, he never will," Rupp growled after the game.
The annual tournament for the chess championship of the U.S. ran its grueling course in New York, where 12 top-ranking masters played 11 rounds and in the process demonstrated that as a group chess players are perhaps the greatest crowd displeasers in modern sport. Traditionally, of course, chess masters are as aloof and temperamental as concert pianists, frowning with awesome solemnity before making the simplest move, pacing desperately back and forth no matter what the state of the game, and limiting their attention to their audience to hoarse growls of "Quiet, please" or "Shut up."
Even so, the demonstration this year was striking. In the first round Robert Steinmeyer, a newcomer playing in his first championship tourney, defeated the defending champion, Larry Evans; another unknown, William Addison, easily walloped Sammy Reshevsky; and to make the triumph of the newcomers complete, Edmar Mednis, never a serious contender before, knocked off Bobby Fischer. This was akin to three small-town pros outplaying Palmer, Sncad and Nicklaus. But was there elation and excitement? Did three new chess heroes come beaming on the national scene? No. Taking their cue from tradition, the newcomers were taciturn and brooding, and it appeared that any master could become a crowd pleaser by the simple expedient of not snarling at the audience.
The tournament plodded on. By the eighth round, Arthur Bisguier, a relatively amiable veteran, had beaten all the newcomers and was in first place, leading Fischer by two points. Four times national champion, Fischer did not defend his title last year, and this year, at 19, he was determined to have it back. He did. He won a phenomenal six of his last seven games, a rare feat in chess where draws prevail. When Fischer met Bisguier in the last round, with the television cameras playing upon them, he was frowning darkly: Bisguier still had a chance to tie. When Bisguier finally resigned, giving Fischer the championship, there was a light flurry of applause, quickly stilled amid annoyed glances from the players whose games were still going on.
"I think I played pretty well," said Fischer, with a steely glance at a television interviewer. Why did he think the crowds were so small at chess events, asked the interviewer. "Aw, they don't advertise," said Fischer, jumping up abruptly and stalking out into the night.
What most impresses the casual visitor to New York's 53rd annual national boat show is the ease with which a landlubber can become a blue-water sailor. Where the construction and commissioning of an oceangoing sailboat once involved time, patience and dependence on the specialized skills of many artisans, a man can now buy a windjammer as easily as he buys the family car.
This is due in great part to the increasing use of fiber-glass plastic, that marvelously adaptable material that has brought what amounts to mass production to the once rarefied art of boat building. Of the 500 boats in this year's show, half are made of plastic and more than 100 are sailboats, many of them designed for light housekeeping at sea. They range from the Jaguar and Continental level (Chris-Craft's 35-foot Sail Yacht at $25,000, Ray Greene's 25-foot New Horizons at $12,000, Douglass & McLeod's 27-foot Tartan at $11,750) to a flock of comparative Fords, Plymouths and Chevies (Nautica's 18-foot Corsaire at $2,175, General Boat's 17-foot Picnic 17 at $1,985, Siddons & Sindle's 20-foot Nomad at $4,000).
Even the merchandising techniques are impressively up-to-date. They are not actually giving away trading stamps at the show, but there is a definite trend in that direction. Anyone who buys an Owens cruiser at $6,000 or less gets a free transistor radio. Over $6,000 rates a portable TV.
DOCTOR OF BASKETBALL
Virginians wince these days when they tune in their most powerful radio station, WRVA, Richmond. For the basketball games broadcast on WRVA are those of none other than the West—by God—Virginia Mountaineers. You remember, of course, that West Virginia broke away from the Old Dominion in 1861, and you realize that broadcasting Mountaineer games from a Richmond station is somewhat akin to broadcasting Israeli folk songs from Radio Cairo.
This bizarre situation is the responsibility of one zealous West Virginia basketball fan, Dr. Lowell W. Schwab, a 28-year-old native of Kingswood, W. Va., who is now a resident obstetrician in Richmond. Stunned to learn that no station in the West Virginia basketball network was able to beam Mountaineer games over the mountains to Richmond, Schwab obtained Richmond rights to the broadcasts and persuaded WRVA to carry the games—which WRVA agreed to do if a sponsor could be obtained. This was no easy thing; lack of a sponsor was keeping the games of Virginia's own Virginia Tech and William & Mary off the air.
The station and its representatives couldn't get a sponsor. Schwab could—in one day. He made five unsuccessful calls. On his sixth he sold the games to the Old Dominion Candy Company. Then he started rounding up contributions to pay the $1,500 due for broadcast rights and line charges. Everything is working out fine. Donations are still pouring in, some from as far away as Michigan, for some strange reason, and Dr. Schwab, a happy man, has retired to his hospital, his babies and his radio.
WINNER ON THE LATE SHOW
At the end of the two-run slalom race at the professional ski championships in Aspen, Colo. last week, Christian Pravda was first by 1.7 seconds over Adrien Duvillard. But, said a course official who seemed alone in his opinion, Pravda had missed a gate on his second run and was therefore disqualified. Usually these gate-missing questions provoke long, bitter arguments, and everyone goes away disbelieving. This time, however, the principals crowded into the American Broadcasting Company's big electronic van and ran the video tape back to check. Sure enough, on the fifth gate Pravda hit the top pole, stopped uncertainly, then raced on. Over the tape came the voice of Tom Corcoran, Olympic skier and amateur TV Commentator: "He almost lost it right there." And an instant later in the semidark of the van the live voice of Tom Corcoran added,' 'And, as a matter of fact, he did."
The judges concurred. Pravda lost the race, and Duvillard won the $800 first prize. But the town of Aspen gained a precedent: the first place in the world where a sports event was decided by video tape.
THEY SAID IT
•Pat Culpepper, Texas linebacker, in accepting the Swede Nelson Sportsmanship Award: "I've been thinking a lot about 'sportsmanship.' It's hard to define—especially in football, which starts with premeditated mayhem."
•James Donn Jr., president of Gulf-stream Park, after recommending that the legal betting age be lowered from 21 to 18: "We need new blood in racing, but under present laws by the time a boy or girl is 21 he or she may have taken up some other hobby."
•Louis J. Fisher, president of the AAU, after the NCAA announced it would boycott the big indoor track meets: "The NCAA gang has the effrontery to practically tell the President they are going ahead to sabotage U.S. international teams. . . . They put themselves in the same category as Castro of Cuba and Mao of Red China."
•Johnny Morriss, Houston track coach, after the AAU suspended several Houston runners for competing in a "non-sanctioned" meet: "The AAU is trying to put a scare on, but it doesn't scare the intercollegiate coaches because we knew it was coming."