Precedent in California
Dr. David Groshong of San Francisco likes to bark at dogs. One evening not long ago he was sauntering down Grant Street in the heart of the beatnik district when he was confronted with two forlorn poodles in a pet shop window. Dr. Groshong forthrightly dropped to all fours and barked engagingly. The poodles responded. And so did the cops, who arrested Dr. Groshong for disturbing the peace. This got Dr. Groshong's hackles up. He decided to fight the case as a matter of principle: free speech, free barking; that sort of thing. The other day the case came up in court. Several friends testified in his behalf, as did Mrs. David Groshong, a charming and loyal wife, who says proudly, "He's very good at barking at dogs and always has been."
Lovers of freedom and sport will be glad to know that Judge Andrew Jackson Eyman found Groshong not guilty. But the judge went on to restrict Groshong's hobby by admonition: don't do it again unless you're in your own backyard. Sighed loyal Mrs. Groshong: "It's hard to have fun any more."
The lowering disapproval of Dr. Robert Maynard Hutchins has long since ceased to exercise a direct effect on intercollegiate football in the U.S. Midwest. There are even some signs on what used to be Dr. Hutchins' own campus that the distracting monster which he banished in the early 1940s may be inching its way back. The present dean of the University of Chicago's newly revamped undergraduate college is far less enamored of pure intellectualism than was Hutchins and has invited a return of "beauty and brawn" to accompany the "brains" at U. of C., and there is some hope that within the next decade it might even field a varsity football team once more.
Meanwhile, the intellectual assault on intercollegiate football throughout the rest of the Middle West has grown apace, most notably in the faculty camps of the Big Ten Conference.
For those who care about football on either the pro or the con side in the Big Ten, its outstanding symbol has long been the Rose Bowl—the celebrated New Year's Day game for which the pick of the prairies journey annually to Pasadena, Calif. to play the best of the West.
Big Ten athletic directors and coaches, almost to a man, favor the annual bowl game because of the inevitable prestige that accrues from its enormous publicity. Many from the academic side of the Big Ten believe, as well, like Iowa's Dr. Robert Ray, that the prestige of the bowl "is not athletic alone in nature."
Other Midwest faculty men, however, argue with commensurate fervor that the very prestige afforded by participation in the bowl gives football an importance at home that it in no way deserves. To many of these the Rose Bowl is practically a synonym for overemphasis. Year by year this group has made its influence more apparent in the councils of the Big Ten. By last week, when representatives of the 10 colleges met in Ann Arbor, Mich. to vote once again on renewal of the Rose Bowl contract with the reorganized western colleges, the conflict of sentiment between those who oppose and those who favor big football had combined to produce an exact dead center.
Casting their votes as units, under the instructions of the majority at their home campuses, the 10 representatives (often voting contrary to their own convictions) reached a five-five deadlock on each of two vital bowl questions, making positive action in either case impossible. The first question was whether to renew the conference contract with the West by which the conference as a whole sent a team to the bowl. The deadlock vote automatically barred renewal. The second question, which by all logic was integrally involved with the first, was whether to strike out the clause in the conference rules which permitted Rose Bowl competition. As before, the deadlock vote automatically barred action, so that the Big Ten found itself in the untenable position of refusing to send a team to the Rose Bowl and at the same time refusing to forbid any team that wished to from going. In place of a contract by which each member of the conference shared more or less equally in the visitor's $500,000 Rose Bowl cut, the vote had produced a chaos by which any one team could go out and grab all the boodle for itself.
This unsatisfactory vote, which had taken twice as long to reach as had been expected, pleased nobody. When the weary conferees trooped out of the meeting room at 6 p.m. to make the announcement they had planned for noon, Michigan's Herbert O. (Fritz) Crisler was scowling darkly. "Was it a rewarding day?" someone asked. "For whom?" he barked and relapsed into silence.
After a night to sleep on it, the 10 official faculty representatives went back into session gloomily aware that nothing had been properly solved. As Michigan's Marcus Plant, the meeting's chairman, explained, neither side wanted the bowl game to become one team's personal property. They particularly wanted to prevent, as he said, "any single school from walking home with all the booty."
To solve the impasse the faculty men appointed a committee of professors to study ways to break a deadlock vote in future and appointed another committee of athletic directors to devise new ways of keeping the Rose Bowl games under conference control, both committees to report at the next meeting in December.
"We had no idea," said Plant, "of the complications a tie vote could develop."
Alpine Pick 'em
We now enter the beautiful Aosta Valley, says the guidebook, referring to that high, secluded, 62-mile-long valley on the Italian side of the Saint Bernard passes over the Alps. There stands the fortress of Bard, whose capture by Napoleon started him on the way to his empire. This valley of castles with its 13 hidden side valleys, its fresh, tonic air, its French-speaking inhabitants, noted for their health, gaiety and good spirits, is also a considerable dairy center, and the hefty, blunt-muzzled, black-and-white or cocoa-colored dairy cattle occupy a prominent place in Val d'Aosta folklore.
Every herd in the Val d'Aosta contains one cow wearing around her powerful neck a broad leather collar supporting a melodious cowbell. This animal is the queen of the herd, a right won by her ability to outpush every other in it. Each spring younger cows try to push the queens out of their ascendancy. For generations the natives have observed these struggles and matched the best pushers in their valleys against the best of other valleys. Last year the Val d'Aosta Tourist Bureau decided to transform this folk custom into an organized sporting event, with elimination contests ending in a championship cow-push and the crowning of a queen.
Early rounds have not been as grotesque as you might think. All through pleasant Sunday afternoons, around green pastures in the shadow of porcelain mountains, the villagers have watched a series of cowpushes, betting modestly on the outcome. Val d'Aosta cattle struggle with great dignity and considerable grace. The younger cow confronts the queen of the herd, head lowered, forefeet pawing the turf, and the two lock horns and push. Twisting their heads and shifting around a thousand pounds of beef to get the maximum advantage of their weight, they shove until one weakens or is forced backward and gives up, backing away lightly. The winner resumes grazing.
Queen of the Val d'Aosta cattle is a handsome beast named Allegra, owned by a proud farmer named Paolo Limonel, who won the title last year plus her share of $64 prize money and traveling expenses. Allegra (weight, 1,225 pounds) was expected to repeat. But in the elimination contests this spring a magnificent 1,298-pound cow owned by Giuseppe Henchoz, of Nus, near the entrance of the valley, has pushed everything out of her way. Her name is Contessa, and a genuine rivalry has developed between the backers of Allegra and those of Contessa in their impending push for the championship.
The date for this epic contest hasn't been set, and we have no mercenary interest in the outcome; still it seems worth recording as an instance of pure rivalry in a world of often fictitious struggles. Speaking of Contessa, Giuseppe Henchoz managed to sound almost like a fight manager. "Mine is a ferocious beast!" he cried. "She comes by it naturally! Her mother was more terrible still! One day she almost sent the whole herd to the other world!"
"Moo!" said Contessa.
Karl Baedeker was a tireless German who scurried around Europe in disguise, staying at one hotel after another and meticulously noting the character of each. He made his name synonymous with the guidebook; with each monument precisely located, every spire of every cathedral exactly measured.
Travel habits have changed so much that it is fitting that the hundredth anniversary of Baedeker's death sees the publication of a guidebook that would have baffled him: Kenneth Chasey's Camping Digest, which lists the public campgrounds of the United States.
Chasey's volume, published at $3.50 by the Naylor Company in San Antonio, isn't the first guide to campgrounds—George and Iris Well's Auto Camping is a standard work—but the field is so enormous that there appears to be plenty of room for everybody. And, in addition, Chasey includes Canada and tries to list all known camps. It appears that there are upward of 3,420 campgrounds in the U.S. alone. Where Baedeker listed hotels according to class status—luxury, first class and so on—Chasey lists campgrounds as free, or at a 75¢ fee, and covers such matters as available firewood and water.
Go to Crown King, Ariz., population 55. Follow dirt road south seven miles to Horsethief Basin. Room for 35 tents and trailers. Attractions: rugged mountain country, fishing, deer hunting, pack trips, winter sports. Water, toilets, fireplaces and tables provided. But 'ware the 13-tent campground at Granite Creek. The water supply is irregular.
Or take U.S. 101 to Orick, on the northwest tip of California, and turn off six miles north to Prairie Creek (100 tents), modern facilities, attraction: a large herd of elk. Or follow 101 south to the campgrounds in the Los Padres National Forest, where the attraction is wild boar hunting. The seven camps in the Six Rivers country are recommended for deer and bear hunting and fishing for steelheads. Wild turkey at Pinetop camp, 12 miles from Show Low, Ariz.; mountain sheep in the country around Agate camp (six tents and trailers) in western Colorado; deer, elk, grouse and duck in the vicinity of Steamboat Springs, Colo.; mountain lion around Cherry camp, 20 miles west of Durango on U.S. 160; moose in the Targhee National Forest west of Yellowstone; mountain goat around the camps near the Grand Canyon of Snake River in Idaho; cougar around the fine camps in the Siuslaw National Forest of Oregon; and fish almost everywhere indicate the sort of native wonders available to campers, in place of all the birthplaces of tyrants so scrupulously sought out by Karl Baedeker.
As for Kenneth Chasey, he is a geologist who began collecting information years ago to aid his own field trips. His personal feelings emerge very rarely: of Upper Clear Creek Camp (west of Idaho Springs on U.S. 40 in Colorado, five tents), he says, "Poor fishing." He generally lists nearby ghost towns and abandoned mines and remarks offhandedly that around Honeysuckle (seven tents) in Idaho's Coeur D'Alene National Forest there is still a lot of zinc, lead and silver.
There is now a public campground (room for three tents) at the mouth of Two Hearted River in Michigan, the scene of Ernest Hemingway's classic Big Two Hearted River. Minnesota has 200 canoe campgrounds "along canoe routes in primitive wilderness where no roads penetrate." Camps are being built on the Pacific Crest Trail which, in emulation of the Appalachian Trail, is being built from Canada to Mexico (870 miles have been completed in the Oregon Cascades). There are 381 campsites in Mount Rainier National Park alone, with 12,000 campsites in all the national parks and forests and 16,000 more to be built by 1966—when the number of annual visitors to the national parks and forests (50 million in 1955) is expected to hit 80 million.
From the newsletter of the Lakeside Golf Club, Los Angeles: "Because of the greatly increased play on the golf course by both sexes, the board of directors has voted to require all men golfers to wear covering above the beltline."
The Play's the Thing
Sometimes at second, sometimes at short;
The manager shifted him just for sport.
Shakespeare had words for such as he
When he wrote "2b or not 2b."
—RICHARD F. ARMKNECHT
"Think hard. Precisely when was it that you began to feel sorry for Casey Stengel?"
They Said It
Joe McCarthy, onetime New York Yankee manager, when asked whether he could offer any advice to Casey Stengel: "First, it's none of my business. Secondly, I don't follow the game well enough now to know the strength and weakness of the club, and thirdly, I don't know that anyone can come up with an answer that will produce hits and runs."
Ray Robinson, middleweight boxing champion, commenting on the New York Boxing Commission's prolonged hearings to determine his willingness to fight Challenger Carmen Basilio: "Before they get through with this I'll be back down to a welterweight."
Ed Hurley, American League umpire, taking exception to Yankee Pitcher Bob Turley's ball-and-strike criticism (as quoted by Turley): "You can say whatever you want and I'm not gonna throw you out of the game. I'm gonna let them knock you out."