Sir Francis Chichester is to sail out of Plymouth again this week, hoping to smash speed records by covering the 4,000 miles between Portuguese Guinea and San Juan del Norte, Nicaragua in 20 days. He has stowed six bottles of brandy and two of champagne to celebrate Christmas. A speed record is not all that is going to be smashed.
Nice People Award: I
Goes to President Jomo Kenyatta, who has warned all hunters to stay away from Ahmed, a big, tusky, battle-scarred old bull elephant who is now legendary around Kenya. When word got out recently that two Americans planned to shoot Ahmed, 5,000 letters, wires and cards of protest poured in, and Kenyatta proclaimed that Ahmed is not, in his twilight years, to be "hunted or harassed by any person." Way to go, sir. And since Ahmed doesn't lumber around wearing a big sign saying "Ahmed," the twilight years of a lot of other battle-scarred old elephants are bound to be a lot better, too.
Nice People Award: II
Goes to Leon Ozols and Mirdza Malins, who work in the Toronto-Dominion Centre in downtown Toronto. Birds just keep banging into the Centre's twin towers, knocking themselves silly, and so far this season Ozols and Malins have saved more than 100 of them. They do it with gentle, mouth-to-beak resuscitation.
No wisecracks, please. But, well, it is a sort of tweet story at that.
Here's a seasonal cheer for those 11 Butler University football players who are moonlighting around Indianapolis as department-store Santas. They are big and chunky enough to be believable, suiting up at, oh, around 230 pounds, and great With kids. When a big tackle rears back and hollers "Have a Merry Christmas!" what little kid is going to dare not to?
Bobby Orr, SI's Sportsman of the Year, is swell for our cover, but for the middle of a $10 bill the Massachusetts police still prefer Alexander Hamilton. The phony bills bearing Orr's picture have been floating around the Boston area since October and, though blank on one side, they are convincing enough when folded and handed over in a dim light to have fooled several bartenders. Not the barmaid in a Marlborough, Mass. pub, however, where an unemployed draftsman recently tried to get rid of one. He was arrested and charged with "uttering," which is the legal term for passing counterfeit money—and the everyday term for what recipients do a lot of when they get it.
A Sporting Salute to our Muscular Men on Capitol Hill:
First, Wisconsin Senator William Proxmire tried to bound athletically onto a rostrum to impress his constituents and pulled a leg muscle. He is still a bit sore but claims he keeps in shape by doing his usual daily 328 push-ups plus sit-ups. For now he has stopped being a bounder.
And Representative James Fulton of Pennsylvania is a walking nut. Carries this pedometer on his belt while walking around and around the Rayburn Building and claims he clicks off 25 to 30 miles a week. Last time he got in to see the President he insisted on giving him a pedometer for his belt, too. And that's probably the last time he'll get in to see the President.
And one must not forget Illinois Representative Kenneth Gray. He keeps in fine shape by flying his brand-new helicopter. But it is not all one gay, mad whirl. He had to make a forced landing in a pasture. He went for help and came back to find his nice new copter surrounded by cows. They had licked off all the paint.
A special yuletide toast to:
Anne Hayes, otherwise known as Mrs. Woody, who appeared with Ohio State's big daddy on a Columbus TV show. "I was approached three times by people asking me if I was going to get a divorce," said Anne. "That's not true. Just because Woody hasn't been home since August is no sign we don't get along. Now the season is over, I'm going to keep him for another year." To which Woody growled, blushingly, "Awww, she just wants to go to the Rose Bowl game."
Some added starters on television's Sesame Street team for 1971 will be Ed Kranepool and Art Shamsky of the Mets and Mike Riordan, Dick Barnett and Walt Frazier of the Knicks. The boys will be teaching kids to count from one to 10 and even beyond, and none of them, please note, is a boxer. Tactful, those Sesame Street people.
Meanwhile, the season's BAH, HUMBUG! Awards go to:
England's Angus Primrose, who learned that Prime Minister Edward Heath has commissioned the New York firm of Sparkman & Stephens to design his new yacht. Said Primrose: "It's absolutely ludicrous. Britain has always been able to build good boats." Primrose designs yachts, by the way.
To Pete Rozelle, who has banned the use of those festive air horns to salute touchdowns at NFL games. For eight years now retired Baltimore cop Leroy Moody has been tootling his horn at Memorial Stadium, and he says everybody likes it, even Spiro Agnew, who said so himself the time that he sat behind Leroy at a game. But Rozelle sent a letter to the Colts, and they sent security guards around to Leroy (that's Section 7, Row 22, Seat 7) to tell him one more time and they'd take his horn away.
To British Major Gerald Gundry, who convinced the R.A.F. Red Arrows aerobatic team to go fly somewhere else besides over Kemble, Gloucestershire during the Duke of Beaufort's fox hunts. Until Gundry got into the act, the howl of the jet planes would put off the dogs something awful. And when the hounds were confused, the foxes would get away.
And to Dr. Neil Bass, who is a marine biologist and ought to know better. Dr. Bass says he is pretty sure there is a monster in Scotland's Loch Morar, about 35 miles from Loch Ness, where everybody's true favorite monster lives. Another monster, indeed. Pay no attention to him, Nessie.