IKE TAKES A REST
There are those who think "a good rest" means lying on a sunny beach or rocking on a porch, but Dwight D. Eisenhower is not one of them. Fifteen minutes after he arrived at George Humphrey's Georgia plantation, Ike had changed to shooting dress and was afield with a .410 over-and-under shotgun, looking for quail. And thereafter he golfed, hunted and played bridge—and worked—with only brief intervals given to passive repose. It was the sort of vacation that a man of active bent finds far more restful than lying in a hammock could ever be.
The President and his host flushed two coveys on that first afternoon's hunt but bagged no birds. Next day, which was warm and drying after a downpour of the night before, the Humphrey pointers were finding birds under ideal scenting conditions, and Ike had armed himself with a trustier weapon, his 20-gauge double-barreled Winchester. He shot a limit of 12 birds.
He played bridge, too (with Humphrey, John Hay Whitney and William E. Robinson, Coca-Cola presidents), and above all he played golf—the President's first round since the day before his heart attack, when he went 27 holes at Denver's Cherry Hills. This time, at Glen Arven Country Club, he essayed only nine holes, over which he was driven in a golfmobile.
Ike had announced he would play, weather permitting. Heavy mist and soft drizzle didn't exactly permit, but he played anyway, teaming up with the club pro, John H. Walter, against Press Secretary Jim Hagerty and Lloyd H. Megahee, club president.
"I've been looking forward to this for a long time," Ike told Hagerty. It was not only the President's first round since his illness, it was the first time doctors had permitted him to take more than a three-quarter swing in practice sessions. His woods and long irons were, therefore, rusty. He was quite sharp, however, with short-iron pitching and chipping, and he finished with a creditable 47 score, 11 over par. He and the pro, playing on a combined score, point-a-hole basis, won the match 1 up when Ike got down on the 166-yard ninth in 4, despite three putts, and the pro got down in par 3, to their opponents' 4.
Afterward, walking over to the locker room, Ike told Megahee: "I'm a little frightened not only of the strokes, but also I'm a little frightened of myself."
This remark drew a sporting interpretation from Jim Hagerty and a medical one from Major General Howard McC. Snyder, White House physician. To Hagerty it meant that the President had not been hitting down into the ball hard enough on long fairway shots and also was skying the ball a bit. To Dr. Snyder, it was the normal psychological restraint that follows heart attacks. "You're longer getting over the psychological factor than you are the physical," he said. He checked the President over after the match and found him in very good shape and looking forward to playing again in a few days.
That night there was bridge, and next day Ike and Humphrey spent more than six hours in the piney woods and fields, gunning for quail. He shot 10, to Humphrey's four, and after dinner there were two tables of bridge in the plantation living room.
While hunting, Ike and Humphrey wore ankle-high boots and special brush pants as protection against rattlesnakes, now abounding in the area. The pants, of heavy tan duck fitting snugly over the boots, are covered in front with heavy suede and supposedly are impervious to the rattler bite.
In between these forays the President did lie down for an hour or two and he also got in hours of work on matters forwarded to him from Washington. It was a good, satisfying kind of rest.
MESS IN WASHINGTON (CONT.)
The university of Washington acquired a new athletic director last week to replace Harvey Cassill, who had resigned the week before at the height, of the storm over Seattle's downtown "slush fund" for football players (SI, Feb. 20). The new director, while by no means the people's choice or even a 100% Washingtonian, at least claimed the advantage of neutrality. "I do not belong on anybody's team at Washington," he had said on learning that his appointment was confirmed. H. P. (Dick) Everest, the university vice-president who did the appointing, described him as "a man with completely clean hands." The new man, George Coyle Briggs, is only 31 years old, making him a mere babe in the northwoods, where football can be a mighty serious business. His claim to local loyalty stems from his attendance at Seattle's Roosevelt High School and a year and a half at Washington as a Marine V-12 student during World War II. But his real alma mater is the University of California, where he was student body president. He stayed on there in the athletic department, and when Everest tapped him last week he had risen to assistant athletic director.
Briggs's first job will be to find a new Husky coach to follow John (Cowboy) Cherberg. Already, disgruntled alumni are saying that Briggs was picked to rubber-stamp the selection of Joe Kuharich as the new coach. Not that there is any serious objection to Kuharich, who was just recently named "professional coach of the year" after his fine first season with the Washington Redskins. It is just that Kuharich is supposed to be Everest's selection, and some of the alumni haven't forgiven Everest for his role in the disposal of Cherberg. With that kind of talk going on, it looks very much as if nothing at Washington has changed yet except the athletic director.
SANTEE AND THE AAU
The 15 members of the Executive Committee of the Amateur Athletic Union who met in New York City last Sunday to consider the charges of professionalism directed against Wes Santee, the great mile runner, have been called many things in the few days since, some of them highly uncomplimentary. One of the milder adjectives is bumbling, which they sometimes certainly were. Another is irresponsible, which they just as certainly were not.
The Santee case was simple enough: he was accused of accepting more expense money at certain track meets than the maximum permitted under amateur rules; the evidence seemed to indicate that he had. If so, he was guilty of violating the amateur rules and, under those same rules, would have to be barred from amateur track for life. Yet the committee sat from 10:30 in the morning until 8:30 that evening, with time out only for lunch, listening to the evidence, debating, arguing, hearing Santee, before announcing their decision.
This was because their decision, though simple, was an agonizing one to make. They had to consider that Santee is a young man thrust into vast prominence as a star athlete, and that he had thereby become exposed, ready or not, to the dangerously competitive economics of big-time sport.
The Executive Committee had to consider, too, that there were others, athletes and meet promoters alike, who had almost certainly violated the letter of the amateur law, but who were not at the moment under attack. There were articulate critics who said it was unfair to single out Santee.
But on the other hand, here were the charges and here was the evidence. Santee's only real defense was his claim that the National AAU had no jurisdiction over his case and that it should be returned to his local district association, the Missouri Valley AAU. He did not deny the letter of the charges that he had received excessive expenses (in aggregate, perhaps $1,500 more in the course of a year than he was strictly entitled to under the rules). He argued only that he had spent all the money he had received for legitimate expenses and that he had not made money from track and field.
His defense failed to counterbalance the evidence in the committee's eyes. By a vote of 14 to 1 they suspended him from further competition. That was the bad part of it: it means Santee will never run again.
Then they went a step further—a big, significant step. They pointed the finger of guilt at two meet promoters who had contributed to Santee's fall from grace. They released details of Santee's expense figures, revealing discrepancies and variations in amounts paid that raise a dozen questions concerning the methods and motives of certain meet directors and that seemed to cry for a continuing investigation.
It took the AAU a long time to do what it felt it had to do last Sunday. But what they did may prove to be a milestone in the regeneration of amateur sport, which has suffered bitterly from overcommercialization.
MOTHER, I DID IT
Carol Heiss looked small and blonde and infinitely pretty as she glided to the center of the rink at Garmisch-Partenkirchen to perform her climactic free-skating program in the world figure-skating championships. A light powdery snow fell on her turquoise costume. Her movements were quick and flowing, her lightness and speed over the ice breathtaking as she picked up the music to begin her jumps and whirls. This was Carol's moment.
The Olympics at Cortina had definitely not been her moment. There, she finished a close second to the reigning queen of figure skating, Tenley Albright. And although a silver medal seemed a fair trophy for a 16-year-old, the Heiss entourage thought otherwise. Mrs. Heiss, one of the determined phalanx of skating mothers (SI, Feb. 13) who shepherd their prodigies through every meet, hustled Carol indoors just at the moment when custom and protocol called for her to congratulate the winner. And when the U.S. skaters moved to Garmisch for the world championships, the Heisses installed themselves in a hotel several miles from the one reserved for the U.S. squad.
None of this won any special admiration from the press, or from the powers in U.S. ice skating, who promised a special report next month on the "awful" behavior of some of the skaters, their mothers and coaches.
But when the skating competition at Garmisch finally began, Carol immediately served notice that her days as a disappointed runner-up were over. Skating better than she ever did before, she won the first of the precise school figures, held her lead through the second and third; and at the end of the fifth figure, was still narrowly ahead. Then Tenley came back to win the sixth and final figure. Carol, afraid that another title was about to slip away, clutched for the maternal hands.
"Now, now," comforted the uncomfortable Mrs. Heiss. "It's not over yet." And it wasn't. After several hours of mysterious calculations, the judges ruled that, for the first time in nine meetings, Tenley Albright had lost to Carol Heiss in school figures. Carol heard the news at the lunch table at the Alpenhof. With nothing ahead but free skating, she sensed that this was, indeed, her moment. "Mother," she said, "I can win."
Win she did. With the sequins on her turquoise costume flashing, and her pony tail whipping through the air like a propeller, Carol opened up with two double axels from both left and right foot, and hit them on the bottom. Timing her maneuvers perfectly to the strains of If I Were King, she wove a dazzling pattern over the ice. When she ended with a spectacular sit spin, the public roared approval, and a judge, Ercola Cattaneo, burst spontaneously into applause before he remembered who and where he was. Carol bowed winsomely and skated back to wait for the verdict while the crowd chanted "Six! Six!" thus calling for the highest marks given out in skating.
There were no sixes, but enough 5.9s to make her the new world champion, and second youngest to win the title since Sonja Henie took it at the age of 15 in 1927.
Overwhelmed, the new champion threaded through a platoon of photographers and into the arms of her waiting mother.
"Mother," she whispered excitedly, "I did it. I did it."
There was no doubt that she did. But Tenley Albright, in losing, seemed no less a champion. As soon as the decision was announced, she congratulated her rival.
"Carol was great," said Tenley. "Better than ever. I have absolutely no complaints. The judging was O.K."
NOTE FOR NEXT JANUARY
One of our favorite correspondents is a man who signs himself Sparse Grey Hackle (see page 30) and generally writes about the great sport of fishing with an angle. His latest communication is on a fresh subject and commences: "Make a memo on the assignment book for January next year. I noticed this time, but was too busy to say anything about it, an interesting phenomenon."
The editors are making a cuff note for January 1957, but meanwhile pass on Sparse's reflections:
"To people, January is the middle of winter. But dogs know that spring is coming and no matter how bad the weather, they start to get restless and lively. I don't mean just girl-watching but a sort of emergence from hibernation. They come visiting down our street and after a while start roving around in groups. This is a sure harbinger of dog runaway time which is due when the willow leaves get as big as a mouse's ear. One bad dog decides to run away, and, if you don't look out, he will pull every dog in the street along with him.
"He picks up a friend or two and they start playing, and as they play, they move along. First thing you know, there is a flying circus of strange dogs inviting the local residents to come on out and play. As they play they move, and, once they have gone around two or three corners, all of them are lost because dogs seem to have little sense of direction.
"When it gets dark it's too late to do anything about it; they break up and start battering back doors for a flop and a handout just like real hoboes. Once your dog finds out that he can get himself taken in for the night by strangers, you've got a runaway dog, a hobo, a bum; and even if you get him back, he'll run away again. And again. And again. Everybody who likes dogs has taken in a stray dog only to lose him just the way they got him. He'll stay a day, maybe two; and the instant he stops getting 100% of everyone's attention, he'll be gone.
"I also think there is an opportunity to do a full-scale job on a dog's wooing. I don't mean anything vulgar-no physiological dissertations—nothing offensive to any reasonable person. But true love as opposed to just mating. Love is a great psychological experience for a dog, particularly the first time, just as it is for man.
"It forms character. Think of the handicaps under which a dog operates—no privacy, for one thing; not merely from people but from other dogs. The competition is tremendous and the disease takes a long while to run its course, during which it monopolizes its victims.
"My mother-in-law used to bring a little Pekingese bitch to the house when she visited us, and it pulled in dogs big enough to saddle and ride, from two miles and more off; we identified many of them.
"They all come up to the door in the morning and ring the bell, so to speak, and put on their best smiles and selling manners. Dogs not only have a sense of humor, embarrassment, guilt and other human characteristics but they are the world's best salesmen. They ask, 'Can Millie come out and play?' as if butter wouldn't melt in their mouths. They always made my wife laugh, they were so obviously trying to butter her up.
"When that doesn't work they settle down to the endless vigil, and instead of being bad-tempered they usually get acquainted and play—of course being careful to stay within reach of the front door. They were really sort of grateful to me when I bought an air gun and started stalking them; it was like a game and they enjoyed it. It took them half an hour to get educated to the range of that gun. Before the afternoon was up I had them as wary as wild animals.
"As you doubtless know, a dog who is Cupid's victim wouldn't think of going home at night, and, as a matter of fact, I have often wondered how they do it in shifts—go home and gulp and then gallop back. But they stand guard all night.
"Experience is just as valuable in love-making as in any other endeavor, and the newcomer who lacks it has just as hard a time as any freshman at West Point. It is funny but also appealing to early psychological wounds now hidden with scar tissue, which all of us bear, to see the young pups on their first run making chumps of themselves and finally getting run off when things begin to come to a head. It is always touching as well as inspiring and, to be sure, amusing to see a boy grow up into a man overnight.
"What this piece needs is a No. 1 dog man with a philosophical outlook and vivid memories of his own youth, and all the free time in the world, and competence with a camera. I lack all of those things except memories of my youth."
Winter is the time when bird watchers strain their eyes in hopes of spotting one of those rare winter visitors—which is to the birder what the hole-in-one is to the golfer. Feeding stations are under lengthy scrutiny in search of the unexpected.
Residents of eastern states down through Pennsylvania and New Jersey were rewarded this winter by wandering flocks of evening grosbeaks. This species is at home in the coniferous forests of the north, mostly in Canada. But occasionally there comes a winter when evening grosbeaks get the wanderlust and move southward. The reasons for these irruptions are not clear but when they happen even people with only a casual interest in birds get excited.
An airplane pilot swore that he had seen a bunch of small parrots in his backyard. This conclusion was not too farfetched because evening grosbeaks, particularly the males, are brightly marked with yellow, white and brown and have large, ivory-colored beaks.
In Bucks County, Pa. Mrs. Loraine Rudy peeked out her window in hopes of seeing a grosbeak or two, but instead she saw a horse eating the grain on the food tray. This seems to be the only report this winter of a horse on a bird-feeding station.
Down in Florida, Ornithologist Alexander Sprunt Jr. recorded two triumphs, a Greenland wheatear and an American eider duck. The wheatear, a small brown thrush, normally breeds in the arctic regions and winters in tropical Africa and southern Asia. The American eider is seldom found south of Long Island, N.Y. Why either bird happened to go to Florida is anybody's guess.
It also was hard to explain why an Atlantic fulmar happened to be sitting beside a road near Ramsey, N.J. This bird also is at home in the arctic. Harry Breitenback of Ramsey caught it. After the bird had rested and had been admired by birders, it was turned loose. It headed northeast.
Other ornithological discoveries of varying importance were reported from over the country. They included a communication from one of Si's correspondents that bird watching is backed by a scriptural imperative of sorts. Matt. 6:26 enjoins: "Behold the fowls of the air."
TRY, TRY AGAIN
Those lumps upon my head today,
Keep swelling with a bang;
How do you ever throw away
A used-up boomerang?
—IRWIN L. STEIN
CURRENT WEEK & WHAT'S AHEAD
Nashua and Swaps, running again after long layoffs, have won their races and now the odds that they will meet again in the Gulfstream Park Handicap on St. Patrick's Day are better than ever. A new factor in the rivalry is Social Outcast, a head behind Nashua in the Widener Handicap. He goes to California for the Santa Anita Handicap, where he will come up against Swaps (see pages 42-45).
The first men's national curling championship in the U.S. since 1869 will be held at Chicago Stadium in April 1957. Prime mover for the national bonspiel is Hughston M. McBain, Marshall Field chairman and son of a famous curler. There are 73 curling clubs in the U.S. and about 7,000 active curlers. In Winnipeg there are 32,000 people and 15,000 curlers.
Income-tax returns of Blinky Palermo, Philadelphia fight manager, and Herman (Muggsy) Taylor, fight promoter, have been ordered sent to Washington by the Department of Internal Revenue. A mysteriously ominous spokesman said: "It does not exactly mean that this is an income-tax probe or a probe of just these men."
The pickled sands of Daytona Beach, the roughest in years, limited the speed-trial program of the National Association for Stock Car Racing (NASCAR) to practice acceleration runs at first, then smoothed out to permit hope that most scheduled events could be crowded into the remaining week.
The Cincinnati Redlegs this season will wear a uniform of elastic-knit nylon and durene. Trousers will be on the order of football pants and the shirt will be very like the vest style once worn by the Chicago Cubs.