Last year grizzly bears in Glacier National Park attacked and killed two girl campers (SI, Oct. 30). Now comes word of an attack in Canada. A fortnight ago three men went off to Jasper National Park to scout mountain-sheep hunting possibilities for this fall. Members of the expedition were Steve Rose, a well-known hunter and millionaire from Pasadena, Calif., Dave Slutker, a wealthy hunting companion from Edmonton, Alta., and Leonard Jeck, an outfitter-guide.
The three men made camp, rode their horses a while deeper into the wilderness, then tethered them and began scouting on foot. They were unarmed. As they rounded a bush they were confronted by a mother grizzly and her cub. The grizzly charged Rose, who clambered 15 feet up a tree. Grizzlies are not supposed to climb trees, but this one did. She grabbed Rose, threw him to the ground and jumped on him. Slutker ran to help. The grizzly turned on him, biting his face. Jeck now charged the bear, which charged back, and Jeck was knocked to the bottom of a 40-yard embankment where he lay stunned. The grizzly returned to the attack on Slutker who was trying to assist Rose. In a life and death struggle with the bear Slutker rammed his fingers up the bear's nostrils, and she promptly fled.
The three men hiked a mile and a half back to their horses, mounted them and rode to camp. There, incredibly enough, they photographed one another in color, and Jeck, the least injured of the three, rode another three miles to a ranger's cabin. A helicopter flew in to pick up the men. The chopper was too small to take them inside, and so they were bundled into their sleeping bags and lashed to the pontoons for the return flight.
June 23, 1968
The physician who treated the men says that Rose and Slutker have no business being alive. Rose's entire clavicle was bitten out, leaving his arm hanging useless. It took 200 stitches to close the wounds on the face of the heroic Slutker; his nose was completely bitten off.
Aside from the ferocity of the attack, there seems little resemblance between this incident and the ones in Glacier. In human terms, at least, those were unprovoked. In Jasper the victims were deep in bear territory, and the aggressor presumably felt her cub was threatened. A ranger says, "There will be no attempt to hunt this bear down, because she was just doing what comes naturally, and she was in such an isolated area that there is little chance she will encounter people again."
LACK OF LEADERSHIP
The avarice of some major league club owners is notorious, and last week's muddle over the scheduling of games following the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy should really come as no surprise. What was shocking—if not exactly surprising—was the wishy-washy attitude of Commissioner William Eckert, who let the owners run off on their own. As the very model of a modern three-star general Eckert should have had some notion of the need to see to it that the major leagues jointly observed the occasion in proper and orderly fashion. After all, baseball does pretend to the title of "the national game." Then again, a former general, however powerless in his present post, should have exerted what is known as command presence. General Eckert did not, and accordingly we must again give him an unsatisfactory fitness report.
What does it take to make a champion? Talent and ambition, obviously. Ah, hold on there, says C. M. Jones, a British tennis player and coach for 35 years. According to Jones, who describes the wonders of Wimbledon on page 45 and has just published a book in Britain, TENNIS: How to Become a Champion, certain personality traits are likely to be found in a champ. For instance, a champion is more likely to be interested in people than ideas. He is loyal to his friends, and he will have a few close friends rather than a wide circle of acquaintances. At times he might get wrapped up in his own thoughts and even be slightly absent-minded. A champ has "the digestion of an ostrich," and he probably is a sound sleeper. He will not brood about the past, and he is not concerned by trivia. He takes criticism in stride. Socially, a champ is something of a conformist and is likely to be soft spoken.
Will the real Cliff Richey please stand up?
All is calm now on the coast of Maine—the worm diggers have gone back to work. The worm diggers are a brown-faced, lean-stomached breed of men. More than 1,000 strong, they work the mud flats between tides, using rakes with special tines to gather bloodworms (Glycera dibranchiata) and sandworms (Nereis virens). On a good day a top digger can collect 4,000 worms. The diggers sell the worms to local wholesalers who ship them down the Atlantic coast—and often to the Pacific as well—where anglers snap them up as prime bait for striped bass and other fish.
A worm digger's life is tough. A digger does more bending than a potato picker. The worms can bite. Moreover, the diggers have to put up with the weather, fair or foul, and many diggers do not consider themselves well paid by the wholesalers. They have gone on strike several times in the past few years (SI, Aug. 15, 1966). Recently the diggers of Wiscasset, dubbed the Wall Street of Wormdom, struck. The issue was not shorter worms, as suggested by a cynical angler, but a higher price for sand-worms. Instead of getting $1.90 a hundred, the diggers wanted $2.15. The diggers sat out three days, then gave up when diggers down the coast refused support. "We tried to put some pressure on them to go out," says Milford Cronk, one of the leaders of the strike, "but it just didn't work. All some of those fellows want is enough money for a bottle of beer and a sandwich."
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
The first football game of the season, the Coaches All-America Game, will be played next week in Atlanta. In recent years there has been a ludicrous lengthening of sports seasons that can only bring bafflement and boredom to the public. Pro-football exhibition games start on August 1, and play does not conclude until the NFL Pro Bowl game on January 21. If players get their way and an NFL-AFL All-Star Game is established, pro football could go on into February. The game, presumably, would take place in Florida at just the time baseball starts spring training. Once a fall game, football now starts in the summer, waltzes through the fall and expires in the dead of winter. Baseball has stayed within its traditional April-to-October season, but now that the majors have expanded to 12 teams apiece new divisional playoffs could conceivably take baseball almost to Halloween. Then there is the National Hockey League, which began play last year before the World Series was over and didn't conclude it until Frank Howard had hit seven homers this year. (Montreal was then three goals ahead of Babe Ruth's pace.) The schedule of the National Basketball Association is both absurd and instructive. On the average, the NBA has added about a game a season to the regular schedule for the last 20 years. In the 1946-1947 season each NBA team played 60 games. Last season each team played 82 games, and the Boston Celtics, who went through 19 playoff games to win the championship, didn't get to call it quits until two days before the Kentucky Derby. In New York, where state politicians look upon horse racing as a tax gimmick, Thoroughbreds now run from March into December. There are nine races on each card to help swell the take, and it is no wonder that the quality of racing is often dreadful. Harness racing in New York is even more ridiculous. The harness tracks run all year round, except for a two-week break at Christmas. Owners, trainers and drivers can then do some shopping and maybe even send out the laundry.
The National Hockey League is expanding at such a rate that clubs are having trouble keeping up with players and the schedule. Meeting in Montreal last week, the St. Louis Blues drafted Winger Myron Stankiewicz from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League for $30,000. The Blues then traded Stankiewicz to the Los Angeles Kings for Forward Terry Gray. The very next day the Kings left Stankiewicz unprotected on the roster and the Blues drafted him back again. In another move that brought puckish smiles, the Blues drafted a startled Jacques Plante, alltime goalie great who retired three years ago. As if the seemingly frivolous movement of players (and non-players) wasn't enough, the NHL had to fall back on using real, live people to draw up the 456-game schedule for next season. A computer just could not do the job because there were too many variables, such as conflicts with ice shows. Indeed, the computer failed to schedule 13 of the games.
Governor John McKeithen of Louisiana is emoting like Broderick Crawford in his effort to build a stadium in New Orleans. A 1966 state constitutional amendment specifically forbids direct state backing of stadium bonds, but the governor apparently is free to sign a lease with the stadium commission, pledging the state to pay any amount that may be due each year on bond payments. Many Louisiana taxpayers have been understandably angry about footing what may add up to a $200 million tab (SI, May 20), but the word is that McKeithen wants the stadium as a memorial to himself, like the 34-story state capitol Huey Long built to mark his turbulent reign.
A state legislator introduced a bill for a statewide referendum on the entire stadium project, and last week in an arm-waving speech the governor threatened to kill other public projects around the state, including a new basketball arena at LSU, if his scheme was defeated. He singled out Judge Roy Hofheinz of the Houston Astros as the villain behind the opposition to the stadium. In recent weeks the judge has become to sport's disgruntled what the Establishment is to hippies. McKeithen denounced Hofheinz as a "con artist," while a legislator called the judge a "Houston crackpot."
Somehow it's nice to know that Louisiana politics, strangely quiet since the demise of Earl Long, is getting back to normal.
IN THE SWIM
Ben Schlossberg and Steve Friedland are songwriters and pals. Friedland writes songs under the name of Brute Force, while Schlossberg has turned out Karate Knuckles, Blue Sunny Daze and other forgettable folk stuff. When the pals aren't rhyming chop with bop, they kick around crazy, beautiful ideas, like swimming the Bering Strait from the U.S. to the U.S.S.R. In fact, in company with a Monmouth College junior, Linda Larue, they plan to swim from Cape Prince of Wales in Alaska to Mys Dezhneva, 50 miles away in the Soviet Union. This week the trio, which has been doing 25-mile training laps off the Jersey coast, is off to San Diego; there the three will further their training under Dick Long of Diving Unlimited. Then, early in July, it's into the Bering like a herring. The water should be a chilly 40°, but Linda, Ben and Steve, usually cool cats, will wear hot-water-circulation suits.
Swimming to Siberia is only half the fun. In an effort to assure a friendly reception Schlossberg talked with Ambassador Dobrynin. "The world is separated into two hemispheres, two ideologies," says Ben. "This is one place where you can see the two hemispheres pointing to each other, reaching for each other. You might say it's an interideological swim. It's a groovy idea." Schlossberg even talked to Dean Rusk. The Secretary didn't give the idea his official blessing, but he didn't knock it, either. Gotta build bridges, eh, Deano?
THEY SAID IT
•Jim McDonagh, a 40-year-old New York City building superintendent, after winning the U.S. Olympic marathon qualifying trial at Holyoke, Mass.: "I train on eight bottles of beer every day, and I got ready for this marathon by drinking 16 bottles of beer and two bottles of Irish ale."