Brazil's Santos and France's Stars met in Paris for a charity soccer match recently, and on hand for the symbolic kickoff was Brigitte Bardot. Brazil's Pelé, as it turned out, was not at the top of his form, but of Brigitte Claude Lambert, the track reporter for the daily France-Soir, noted: "It's rare to see a person run so harmoniously. She kept her rear leg stiff, as it should be, to give the forward push. She was not the least bit ridiculous, I assure you. She will never be another Wilma Rudolph, but she has the style of an athlete." Nice story, fella. Funny, though, until you mentioned it we had never noticed the part about the stiff rear leg.
There is a Reverend Donald Walker in Mankato, Minn. who was one of Buster Mathis' sparring partners for a while and is now busy teaching little kids how to box. "It's strange," the associate pastor of Mankato's Bethlehem Lutheran Church explains, "but boxing teaches a real respect for other people. And you end up loving, somehow." Fine, if you say so, pastor. We have to take seriously any guy sporty enough to produce a sentence like: "It was my high school boxing coach who went to bat for me and helped me get on the football team at Northwestern."
One of the wire services recently identified millionaire sports entrepreneur Jack Kent Cooke in a photograph as "Clark Kent Cooke." Ahh, yes. We remember that picture. The one of Cooke changing his clothes in a phone booth, wasn't it?
The new mayor of La Rochelle, in France, is Radical Socialist lawyer Michel Crépeau, and M. Crépeau has this neat idea. "I'm going to ride around the city on a bike, to set an example," he has announced. "The citizens of La Rochelle must get rid of the habit of clogging up the city with their automobiles. If my idea works, we'll put a lot of municipally owned bicycles all around the town. People will be able to pedal from one place to another, and then leave the bike for someone else. The bikes will be free, like those baggage carts at Orly airport." Terrific! In good weather, at least, it would solve pollution, parking and a number of logistical and esthetic problems. Also, when everybody got used to public bikes they would be less tempted to steal private ones. Like M. Crépeau's semi-racer, which somebody pinched during the mayoral campaign.
April 12, 1971
Now here comes John Erickson, 17-year-old sky-diving nut, riding home on his motorcycle after a jump. John is wearing his chute, tucked into its pack, when, ZAP! A strap works its way out of the pack and into his back wheel and yanks him off the bike, which zooms on to hit a pickup truck head on. Erickson hits the concrete, but is able to scramble safely to the divider strip. John is shook, as they say. But never mind, fella. Better it should open when you don't want it to than, uhh, vice versa.
Now, from those wonderful people (us) who brought you the story of Dean Martin's horse and his mouthful of gold teeth (SI, March 15) comes word of a dog named Thunder. Thunder recently fractured a tooth and had it replaced with, you guessed it, a gold one by a Texas dentist. The doctor then went on to do a couple of root-canal jobs on a Labrador retriever named Skeemo, who got to sit right up there in the chair. Dean Martin's horse, as we understand it, had to stand up.
Larry Mahan, the rodeo circuit's reigning champion cowboy, reports he had an offer to play a role in a John Wayne movie but he couldn't cut it. Seems his hair was too long and his clothes too mod and, worse, he couldn't say "dawg" or "fer"—as in "He works us like dawgs fer no pay and no grub," his big line in a two-line part.
Perhaps Mahan wasn't emotionally suited to the role anyway. He and two partners were to pull out and leave Wayne stuck with the entire herd. "I don't think I could have done it at all," Mahan says. "What kind of rat would leave John Wayne all alone with 1,500 head of cattle?"
Rex Allen, the Singing Cowboy, was galloping into the Canadian Western Rodeo in Edmonton, Alberta, white hat held high and all that, when a flash of light blinded his horse. The horse stopped. Allen didn't. Meet Rex Allen, the Cowed Singingboy.
And up there is Carl Furillo—way up there, on the 60th floor of Manhattan's new 110-floor World Trade Center. The onetime super-armed rightfielder of the Dodgers and the National League's 1953 baiting champion is now a foreman installing elevators and he has been working on the Trade Center since 1969. Does he miss the game? No. "I have no connection with baseball whatsoever anymore, and I'm not sorry for it," he says flatly. "I haven't seen a game in 11 years, except for oldtimers' days. I'm not interested. I just don't care." And that's why, on a clear day, you can see Furillo.