There were several firsts in a recent French horse race, though one of them sort of canceled another out. Queen Elizabeth's racing colors appeared for the first time in France when her horse Hopeful Venture ran in the Prix Henry Delamarre at Longchamp. Venture came in ahead of the field, and for a minute that looked like another first. However, for the first time, an English jockey challenged his Queen's horse. Brian Taylor, riding In Command, claimed that Hopeful Venture had crossed his path in the stretch. Venture had, films showed, and sternly conscientious French stewards had to disqualify him. So for the first time in France, Queen Elizabeth's horse finished second.
England's Circumnavigator Sir Francis Chichester, fit and spry again after his bout with ulcers, turned up for the Anglo-American Sporting Club boxing in London recently and was moved to reminisce about his own boxing career. Chichester is a former middleweight boxing champion, it seems, but the circumstances of his winning that title are, to say the least, special. He was working in the coal mines on the west coast of New Zealand, "A remote and pretty tough sort of place in those days, 1919," as he says. "Boxing was the passion of my life, and I entered the middleweight class of the amateur championships. My trainer rubbed me all over with elephant embrocation, and I was not only the most warmed-up but the strongest-smelling boxer who ever went into the ring. Perhaps that had something to do with the fact that all the other five middleweight fighters scratched, and I was left as champion but feeling a proper Charley." Sailing around the world alone is quite a feat and so is taking a boxing championship from five opponents without meeting them in the ring. Sir Francis certainly has a remarkable record for solo achievement.
Smothers Brothers Tommy and Dickie have pretty much the same leisure interests—photography, fast cars, motorcycles, sailboats and, for a while there, ant farms, but below is a rare and valuable photograph of a single Smothers Brother doing something only he still does. Tommy, a former college gymnastics parallel bars champion, has had equipment installed at home and is combating, of all things, underweight with regular workouts and a tasty diet of avocado sandwiches.
What we need in a functioning democracy is a real choice of candidates, right? Well, a thoroughly distinct alternative to Shirley Temple Black has declared himself in the race for that congressional seat in California. He is a 4'10¾" ex-jockey named Willie Slocum, who says, reasonably enough. "As a little guy who knows what it is to be a little guy in more ways than one, I will be the candidate of the little guy." Willie's racing career was not distinguished, except as it is distinguished to be beaten by the likes of Shoemaker, Arcaro and Longden, and it came to an end in 1954 after some bad spills. His subsequent sign-painting career ended with another bad spill, this time from a ladder, and at the moment his political prospects do not promise to ascend satisfactorily either. As to campaign funds he says, "I'll be lucky if I can raise the starter fee—$300. Some of my neighbors gave me money, but I'm not sure whether they want me in Congress or out of the neighborhood."
You can lead students in meditation, but you can't make them think, at least net around Boston on the opening day of the Series. That was the conclusion reached by the Archbishop of Canterbury (above right), scheduled to lead a full day of meditation for students of the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Mass. on Wednesday, Oct. 4. At a banquet held in his honor on Tuesday night the Archbishop arose, clad in a brilliant red cassock, and announced. "Unfortunately, I have left my own red socks at home, but I have heard what is happening in Boston tomorrow afternoon. It hardly seems possible I could talk to the students about the wave of godliness with such a game going on, so I have decided to end the meditations at noon. Just another instance," said His Grace, above the cheers, "of the happy alliances coming about these days between the sacred and the secular." The Archbishop was presented with an official Red Sox cap, which he doffed repeatedly during a standing ovation. Wednesday afternoon found him with Boston's Richard Cardinal dishing, and it is not known whether they discussed the wave of godliness or the infield-fly rule.
Marlon Brando fans have been sighing in the darkness of movie theaters across the country for the last few years, whispering sadly to each other, "He's getting fat." They can all cheer up. Brando and George Englund, a producer of Brando's new film, have been seen at 7 in the morning clad in track suits and huffing and puffing around London's Hyde Park. Apparently Brando has succeeded in shaping up (or down) because before the filming of a weight-lifting scene he offered to bet $50 that he could lift a 200-pound barbell with either arm. He won.