The Beaver Kill and Willowemoc Creek, which wind through the Catskill Mountains, are perhaps the most legendary of American trout streams. A fair chunk of both of them is in danger of becoming mere memory.
The New York State Department of Public Works wants to run a seven-mile stretch of four-lane highway along the banks of the Willowemoc and another 16-mile stretch along the Beaver Kill. Here and there the state also plans to build a dozen bridges to span the streams. The completed road would help link an express highway between New York City and Binghamton, N.Y.
The people who live in the area, particularly in the town of Roscoe, where the Willowemoc joins the Beaver Kill, have long wanted a four-lane road. The only trouble is that many of them do not want the one proposed by the state. Harry Darbee, the celebrated flytier and a native of Roscoe, says the bridges would be especially damaging to the streams because they would force water to scour the bottom and fill in the pools. A number of Roscoe businessmen say stream-route construction would wipe out part of the town's small business section. Darbee has proposed that the state run the road higher up in the hills, where a natural bench could be used.
But Public Works Superintendent J. Burch McMorran is unmoved. Although McMorran promised to meet with Darbee and a local committee before deciding on final plans, he recently announced that the road and bridges would go in as proposed and that contracts would soon be let. He dismissed the bench route as "utterly impractical" and said a meeting was "pointless."
Darbee, local businessmen, Trout, Unlimited and others are preparing for battle. Among other things, Darbee plans to ask the Federal Government, which is supposed to foot half the bill for the road, to send in river-basin experts. "I feel angry because I don't think it's necessary to do business this way," he says. "And I feel depressed when I think of how we're being robbed of our streams by highwaymen. It may be easier to build this way, but it is very expensive for the American people."
ONE OF OUR PLANES IS MISSING
At Hialeah Park a few days ago, a plane circled over the infield towing a banner: "On Your Way Home, Get Even At Bowie." Hialeah officials promptly dispatched a telegram to the Bowie publicity department. It read: "Your plane shot down at 4:23 p.m. today."
A young man named Jim Jacobs is a most remarkable athlete. Now 32, he set all sorts of track, basketball and football records as a high school boy in Los Angeles. He has won 16 national handball titles. He is also remarkably astute. Since the age of 14, he has been collecting fight films, and he now boasts the largest collection in the world: 13,000 films dating from the Corbett-Fitzsimmons melee in 1897. In recent years, Jacobs has turned his collection to business use. For instance, in association with The Big Fights, Inc., a company owned by Bill Cayton, a New York ad man, he co-produced a turn-of-the-century fight spectacular for CBS. Now Jacobs and Cayton have produced another fascinating program, The Sonny Liston vs. Cassius Clay Special, a preview of the February 25 bloodletting in Miami Beach, which they will show to TV officials this week.
The Liston-Clay special is interesting not only for what the contestants have to say about each other (Clay appears more outrageous than ever, even to the point of adding sound effects), but also for what is shown of them in fights past. Here, for example, is Clay getting off the floor to knock out his rival for a berth on the 1960 Olympic team. Here is Clay trouncing George Logan, a tough pro, in his first test, and here is Cassius beating Archie Moore. Pictures can be deceptive, but so can Clay. He is a clever boxer with, as Jacobs points out, 203 amateur fights behind him.
The image of Liston, of course, is overwhelming, even as a youngster battering an opponent in the Golden Gloves. Of special interest is the film of his fight, the one he calls his toughest, with brawling Cleveland Williams. It is a rare sight to see Liston taking a pounding. But strangely, perhaps, the most impressive shots of all are of Sonny in training. Liston skipping rope to the thundering music of Night Train is menace personified.
Basketball Coach Horace (Bones) McKinney of Wake Forest is perhaps the most excitable of his excitable breed. When a game is on, he just cannot sit still. He is up on his feet, pacing the sidelines, waving his arms, exhorting Wake Forest to victory. Four years ago, the Atlantic Coast Conference passed a rule aimed at curbing his antics: a coach had to stay on the bench or a technical foul would be called. Try as he might, Bones could not stick to the rule.
Last week Bones announced he would strap himself to the bench with an automobile seat belt for a home game against Maryland. "If I'm going to stay in this business," Bones said, "I'm going to have to do something about the tension."
When the game started Bones strapped himself in with a red belt selected to match the flaming red socks he wears for luck. For most of the game he only fidgeted with the belt. Then, with only nine minutes remaining and favored Wake Forest kicking away the game, the referee made an unfavorable call. Off went the belt, up raged McKinney, but to no avail as Wake Forest lost, 91-82. Bones will probably continue to buckle down at home. There is little else he can do. Last season he told an assistant to pull him down by the coattails if he stood up. The assistant did as ordered, only to have Bones snarl threateningly, "Take your hands off me."
The downhill race in Alpine skiing has become a sport for the young, fearless—and some say foolish—athlete. Wearing a crash helmet, the downhill skier bends into a tuck on the steep straightaway, his nose just above the snow, his skis streaking at better than 70 mph. Last week in Innsbruck, the evening before the men's downhill course opened, a Swedish expert warned, "The downhill is becoming too much."
His words were proved true the next day. Ross Milne, 19, of Australia, only three years a skier, was killed, and two members of the Liechtenstein team were gravely injured. Milne, swerving to avoid another racer, hurtled head first into a pile of rocks.
Says U.S. Alpine Coach Bob Beattie: "The real problem is that the Olympics have reached the point where they need to put the less experienced racers into another grade and let them qualify. The course was beautifully prepared, but it was dangerous because you go off the course when you fall, and there is no snow on which to land. Finally, there was no control at the starting gate. Too many slow ones got on at the same time as too many fast ones."
For human safety, the Olympic downhill field must be cut to a class A group of no more than 30. This does not contradict the idea that racers of all countries be given a chance. The chance should be to compete, not to be killed.
Every boy who attends England's Eton is supposed to have an acquaintance with a large variety of sports to fit him for his later role in life—governing the world, it used to be. Etonians have been schooled in everything from boxing to following beagles.
Now the new headmaster, Anthony Chenevix-Trench, has shocked old Etonians, such as Harold Macmillan and Sir Alec Douglas-Home, along with dozens of dukes, earls and marquesses, by threatening to ban boxing at Eton even though as a boy he was good in the ring himself. At Bradfield College, where he was headmaster before going to Eton, Chenevix-Trench got the idea of banning boxing from the school doctor, because of supposed danger to the boys' health. "When the health of other people's children is at stake," remarks Chenevix-Trench, "you cannot be too careful." "Plain ridiculous," retorts Onslow Fane, chairman of the British Boxing Board of Control. We are inclined to agree with Mr. Onslow Fane. Before Etonians learned to box with one another, in times gone by, they were fond of beating up the lower orders, particularly local Thames bargemen. A truly beastly pastime was a ram hunt, which involved clubbing the unfortunate animal to death. After one wild chase of a ram over Windsor Bridge, Eton authorities interceded. They were upset not by the fate of the ram, but because they felt that the exercise might make the boys hot and endanger their health.
NEW CREW FOR KSU
For reasons apparent to anyone who has ever passed through the state, most Kansans are more familiar with the prairie schooner than with true boats. But, with creation of the $90 million Tuttle Creek Reservoir, an expanse of 15,800 acres, that may now be changed. Kansas State University is about to have a crew. This is all so new to KSU that the university's announcement of the development explains carefully that the "rowing team" is referred to as "the crew."
The crew plan was the inspiration of Don Rose, night director of the Student Union and former coxswain at the University of Wisconsin. He wangled a 30-year-old shell from Purdue University and sets of sweeps from Rollins College and Marietta College. Thus equipped, Rose sent out a call for candidates. Only one with previous experience turned up—John Wundrock, who had rowed at Wisconsin. Wundrock became captain.
This spring KSU's crew hopes to compete against Minnesota and Purdue and in the Dad Vail regatta. The latter, limited to small colleges and schools new to rowing, is usually held in Philadelphia but this year goes to New York as part of the World's Fair celebration.
Beware of the next golfer you meet with glasses. Up in Calgary, Alta. a clever chap has invented a gadget called a "Puttaide," which is a set of eyeglasses with a built-in prism. The prism allows the golfer to get a straight line from the flag to the ball. All he has to do is putt the ball along the line, which is as clear as though chalk-dusted on the green.
Canadian golfers have snapped up Puttaides at such a rate that a Japanese manufacturer is now selling them for around $9 each. Plans call for invasion of the U.S. market soon. Unfortunately, the USGA, which frowns on artificial aids, is likely to declare the Puttaide illegal for tournament play. A couple of years ago, the USGA banned a putter with a built-in periscope.
THE LAST WHALE
Few track fans remember the Whales. Ah, they were a fine lot, big strapping lads who threw the 16-pound hammer and the 56-pound weight in the early days of this century. Among the Whales were Matt McGrath, Martin Sheridan, John Flanagan, Pat McDonald and Simon P. Gillis—and they got their nicknames because they ate like, well, whales. Now comes word from Phoenix, Ariz. that Simon P. Gillis, the last of the Whales, is dead.
Simon P. was 88, and he had had a life of achievement and fun. A mountain of a man, he was born in Nova Scotia and came to New York, where he performed with the Irish-American Athletic Club. He and his pals were the envy of other athletes. They were stuffed with food on the theory that they would throw farther, and much of the legend of the Whales has to do with eating. Once Gillis and two Whales phoned a restaurant to order 27 dozen oysters and six steaks. Upon arrival, they found the table set for 33. "Will you wait for the group, gentlemen?" the headwaiter asked. "We are the group," replied the three Whales.
In London for the 1908 Olympics, Gillis, McGrath and a shotputter acquaintance hired a cab. At their destination, they stood up simultaneously, causing the cab floor to collapse. In 1919, Gillis settled in Arizona and became a successful contractor. In 1928, when he was 52, he came out of retirement to appear at a Phoenix track meet. He threw the hammer 172 feet two inches. It was a Southern Pacific AAU record.
THEY SAID IT
•La Salle Coach Bob Walters, on his team's 31-point upset loss to Duquesne: "I can't say any one player caused this. It honestly was a team effort."