When an airline president can say after a trip on one of his company's planes, "Fine flight!" I imagine he feels much as I do now.
I've been rereading some of our recent major articles: Lord Dunsany's reminiscences of his sporting life (Dec. 23); Bill Mauldin's series on flying the Caribbean (Jan. 13, 20, 27); Herbert Warren Wind's two-part report on sports in Japan (Feb. 24, March 3); Virginia Kraft's safari to Kenya (March 10); and Gerald Holland's Say Hello to Jimmy Jones (March 17).
Although they vary in subject, style and treatment, all these articles have things in common. Printed toward the back of the magazine, they are about a person, place or idea which is large in comparison with the events and personalities of a particular week. But their most common quality is an uncommon literary quality which will stand in relief against the panorama of sports—for a week, a decade or, if all goes well, forever.
Around the office we call them bonus pieces; and because he now plans to run one every week, I asked Managing Editor Sid James what I have to look forward to.
•Next week: My New Kentucky Home by Gene Markey, novelist, movie producer, rear admiral USNR (ret.) and husband of the gracious lady whose Calumet Farm in Lexington is one of the prides of the Bluegrass State. A comparative but convinced late-comer to Kentucky, Markey writes a paean to the land of Thoroughbreds, cockfighting and corn—a good way to get set for the Derby this or any year.
•Then Robert Shaplen tells the untold story of Horace Stoneham, the San Francisco Giants' president—a penetration into the lonely nature of one of the two men who faced the tremendous decision of moving a ball club across a continent, a man who may be one of the world's loneliest.
•John Wesley Powell made his famous Colorado River run through the Grand Canyon in 1869. Since then some 300 people have repeated the feat. One is Writer Joel Sayre, who in a two-part series will tell of the beauty, terror and challenge of this most dangerous of rivers.
This week, as every week, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED reports the full spectrum of sport, from the wrestling Russians to catching by Crandall to the Masters by Wind, from SCOREBOARD to the 19TH HOLE, from COMING EVENTS to TIP FROM THE TOP. And, as every week, there is a bonus: Martin Kane's distillation of two years' notes and thoughts on elusive Cus D'Amato.