New York's Mayor John Lindsay walks, bicycles, boxes and plays tennis, baseball and football with his constituents, all with a considerable degree of at least political success. Last week another politician who tried to go the Lindsay route did not make it. Milwaukee's Mayor Henry W. Maier toured the city's poorer neighborhoods and joined in a basketball game (below). A few days later his office was invaded and ripped to shreds by demonstrators who seemed to feel that his efforts at civic improvement were about as effective as his basketball technique.
With thoroughly mixed feelings, Groundkeeper George Toma heard recently that Billy Graham was going to conduct a crusade in Kansas City's Municipal Stadium, and an agronomist he consulted confirmed his worst fears. A Billy Graham crusade could cause more damage to the grass than a rodeo. "I realize that a crusade is important to the religious elements of this town," Toma said carefully, torn between the temporal and the spiritual, "but it certainly would not look nice on color TV if a lot of grass was killed right near the center of the field." Well, last week the crusade got under way. Graham spoke from behind second base, with wooden walkways leading from the stands and when some 850 people surged toward him on the first night he advised them to stay off the grass. Some listeners claim there was a caustic note in the evangelist's voice, but the people heeded him and 850 souls and George Toma's grass were saved in Kansas City that night.
In 1946 Billy Talbert and Gardnar Mulloy retired the National Doubles Cup. In 1965 they retired the Seniors Doubles Cup. Last week a visitor at Talbert's apartment in New York City observed that the trophies, planted with philodendron and ivy, respectively, sat at either end of the mantlepiece. Since Talbert and Mulloy took the Seniors again last month, they need only two more wins to retire a third cup. What to plant in it? Some of their younger competitors favor poison ivy.
That other athletic politician, Senator Robert Kennedy, was at it again over the Labor Day weekend. On a visit to Port Clyde, Me., Kennedy engaged in a touch football game. John Glenn, the astronaut, threw him a long pass. Kennedy went back, fell into a rosebush and landed near the edge of Route 131 where he was angrily informed by a motorist that he could get killed that way. He made the touchdown, though.
A sizable crowd of people gathered at the boxing ring set up in a Philadelphia street last week even before anyone knew what was going on, and as it turned out they hit a jackpot. TV's Mike Douglas had arranged for his show's co-host, Actor Ryan O'Neal of Peyton Place, to receive an on-camera boxing lesson from Mystery Guest Joe Frazier. Frazier alone would have been enough for a Philadelphia crowd, but Douglas had an additional surprise for them. Floyd Patterson was flying in to referee. And Douglas' production assistants had an additional surprise for Douglas. Muhammad Ali was dropping by to announce. What with Douglas himself not knowing about Muhammad Ali, and Ali not knowing about Patterson, a little genuine confusion was added to Douglas' mystery-guest bit. "Actually, we were very nervous about the whole thing," confessed the show's production coordinator. "But they all got along very nicely."
Pilot and Hydroplane Racer Mira Slovak found a girl friend who shared his interests in Actress Susan Oliver. But now doubts have arisen. The slender blonde is about to take off on a solo flight to Europe and Moscow via the Arctic Circle. "The Aero-Commander 200 is a single-engine plane," Susan says, "which doesn't make this a game. This is not a publicity stunt. It is quite a risk and you have to be well trained." Slovak has been helping out. "He puts a hood on me, takes me up in the plane, then tells me that I am lost. I take the hood off and have to find my way back." The fact is, Slovak is not sure she is ready. "I tried to keep her here for two more weeks," he says, "but she did not take my advice." There is one other point upon which Susan and Slovak do not quite see eye to eye. She has been studying Russian in addition to aerodynamics, and Moscow is to be the high point of her trip. Slovak, a man who was so desperate to get out of Communist Czechoslovakia that he hijacked a loaded passenger liner to escape, says only of her enthusiasm, "I do not see why she wants to go."
Actor Chuck Connors (above) is filming a new TV series, Cowboy in Africa (he is shooting it in California), and it was all his own idea to clamber down a rope ladder from a helicopter to jump a man on horseback. Connors managed his part of this maneuver all right. He climbed out of the helicopter and down the ladder, but then the pilot, instead of lowering him into pouncing position, made a small mistake. The copter shot upward to about 100 feet. Connors hung on grimly until he was returned to the ground, but he was obviously annoyed. Even an adventurous passenger expects his pilot to know which way is up.