Everybody who was anybody, it seems, was right there at ringside covering the big tight for the nation's press. There was, for instance, the fashion world's perennially best-dressed Mrs. Loel Guinness, taking notes about Sonny Liston's monogrammed trunks for Harper's Bazaar. George (Writers at Work) Plimpton had his ears peeled in case Cassius Clay should drop a mot worthy of reprint in Harper's. Murray Kempton was there to get the political angle for The New Republic, while Norman Mailer and Budd Schulberg scribbled notes respectively for Esquire and Playboy.
This is an article from the March 9, 1964 issue
Approaching the plate at a Christchurch hotel after he landed a 587-pound thresher shark off the New Zealand coast, caught a rainbow trout in a stream near Rotorua and bagged a deer in the bush 70 miles away—all in a single day—Boston's onetime Home Run King Ted Williams gasped, "I'd sure like to do it again, but right now where do I get a cup of coffee and a sandwich?"
"Maybe what we need is handball in the Olympics," said 54-year-old Russell De-Young, President of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. "I didn't see a court in Russia, so I'll bet we could take them, and I'd like to be on the team. I can take out a lot of frustration from the plant, slamming that ball," said the hard-hitting president of the world's largest rubber company, "and besides, don't forget the ball is made of rubber."
If there is a parallel between golf and war, that trouble out in South Vietnam should be cleared up in short order now that Admiral Ulysses Simpson Grant Sharp Jr. has been named to head the Pacific command. The pro at Washington's Army Navy country club says of the admiral (who shoots in the low 80s): "He always plays at a brisk clip and has a very strong will to win, and he is really excellent at bouncing back from trouble."
Still smarting from last year's blisters, Nevada's Governor Grant Sawyer firmly vetoed the suggestion that he lead another Bobby Kennedy-type 50-mile hike, and he was not alone in the decision. "I'm not going on any more idiot marches," echoed press officer Chris Schaller, the 220-pound Nevada equivalent of Pierre Salinger, while old statehouse hands Richard Ham and Robert Faiss chorused: "We may be unhealthy, but we're not stupid."
In Africa to woo wavering Communists away from Khrushchev, Mao Tse-tung's traveling salesman, Premier Chou En-lai (below, far right), stopped long enough in Accra to persuade Ghana's President Kwame Nkrumah (left) that Red China packs a powerful punch on the ping-pong table, even if it so far lacks the atomic serve of rival Russia in other arenas.
Ping-pong was a matter of contention between two members of the diplomatic set in another corner of the cold war as well. "Cabot always beats me," complained the wife of U.S. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge after a fast game with her husband in Saigon, "and it's infuriating because I still think I am better than he is."
In San Francisco to represent his father at Sweden Week, King Gustav Adolf's third son, Prince Bertil, attended as many smorgasbord banquets as his digestion could stand, then crept away unannounced to enjoy less Nordic pleasures. "It would be unthinkable," said the sporting prince defiantly, "to visit the Bay area without playing some golf at Cypress Point and Pebble Beach."
As Beatrice (Actress Jacqueline Brookes) lightly tossed her quarrelsome lover Benedick (Actor Philip Bosco) to the mat in a New York gym, Shakespearean Director Allen Fletcher explained that these and 24 other members of his Stratford, Conn. troupe were taking judo lessons. Why? "It is excellent conditioning, gives them physical confidence and makes them light on their feet," said Fletcher. As for the women, "they seem to have an instinct for it."
"The real reason Ted Sorensen is leaving the White House," explained Sorensen's outspoken deputy, Mike Feldman, "is that he failed the White House tennis team. We lost to the correspondents, so it was necessary to trade Ted to Harvard." Feldman characterized himself, McGeorge Bundy and Tazwell Shepard as varsity material, but dismissed their teammates, Pierre Salinger and Arthur Schlesinger Jr., as "fair players."
Fed up with the futility of trying to lower the scores of all duffers—including himself—Golfer Fred Charlton renounced the links, quit his job as teaching pro at the De Soto Lake Country Club and announced that he would devote himself exclusively to the sport of which he has been world champion since 1954—yo-yo. "It's a less frustrating game," he explained.