Long one of the most proficient skiers in the jet set, Lance Reventlow, heir to lots of Woolworth's nickels and dimes, forgot what goeth before a fall. Trying to impress his new wife, Actress Cheryl Holdridge, on the slopes, Reventlow felt an understandable urge to bravado. That was his first mistake. His second was reminding friends of his 12 years of skiing without an injury. Moments after that bit of self-congratulation Reventlow pushed off down California's Mammoth Mountain, ended soon afterward in Santa Monica's St. John's Hospital with a fractured left leg.
Whoever started the scurrilous rumor that Notre Dame Coach Ara Parseghian's mother kept him in curls and a dress until he was 6 years old had better stay out of Akron. Mrs. Michael Parseghian can be fierce when she's mad, even at age 66. "I wouldn't have done that to Ara," she protests. "Sure, I wanted a girl and did keep him in dresses when he was a baby (below), but we had his haircut and Ara started wearing clothes just like all the other boys when he was 2."
Jake LaMotta was in Baltimore, explaining how he came to write an autobiography. "One day I was home doing nothing," said the former middleweight champion. "All of a sudden I told my wife, 'Be quiet, don't talk no more.' Then I wrote my life story in four days and two nights." LaMotta claims Universal and MGM want to make a film of the book. "The movie will open," says Jake, "when I am a kid in The Bronx. It's early morning. I am hungry. I see a bookmaker I know. I sneak up behind him and hit him over the head three times with a rolled-up newspaper. He slumps to the ground. I take his pocketbook and run. I stop and drop the paper in a gutter. A pipe rolls out. I open the wallet. There's nothing in it. This always preys on my mind, and when I become a fighter I don't care how much punishment I take. One day I win the title and they throw me a big reception. I see this guy I hit at the party. He had never been killed." The autobiographer paused for effect. "How about that?" he said. "That's only part of the story."
Down East Humorist John Gould applied last week to the selectmen of Lisbon Falls, Me. for a special permit to carry a slingshot. The selectmen took the application as a joke, but Gould insisted that for once he was being quite serious. Then the town fathers looked up the law and found that Maine specifically considers the slingshot a dangerous weapon. Carrying one concealed on the person is a violation subject to fine or imprisonment. Not wanting such a fate to befall the town's top celebrity, the Lisbon Falls selectmen convened in special session to grant Author Gould his permit.
It was almost like being back in the '20s, what with a member of the British royal family falling off a horse. But where the Prince of Wales used to do it by accident, his sister-in-law, the Duchess of Gloucester, did it on purpose. Unable to restrain a new mount with more determination than ability in its headlong rush toward a high wire fence, the doughty duchess deliberately dove off, badly straining her knee. She celebrated her 63rd birthday Christmas Day wearing a cast from ankle to thigh.
Walter (Fritz) Mondale, Minnesota's new Senator and successor to Hubert Humphrey, is just one more product of a law office that collected athletes and spawned political celebrities. From the Minneapolis firm of Larson, Loevinger, Lindquist, Freeman & Fraser have come former Minnesota Governor and present Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman, a Gopher quarterback in the 1930s; Federal Judge Earl Larson, one of the Twin Cities' ranking amateur golfers for years; and Congressman Donald Fraser, former Minnesota swimmer. Mondale himself captained his high school football and basketball teams as a 145-pound halfback and guard. His basketball team missed going to the state tournament only because another of its stars was injured feeding the hogs.
The best thing Yogi Berra ever did for Yankee Infielder Phil Linz was to end his famous harmonica solo. Because of the attendant publicity, Linz is negotiating with a number of companies interested in manufacturing a harmonica shaped like a baseball bat and bearing Linz's signature. The deal already looks "fantastic," says Phil, but he's not signing any contracts until the price gets even better. One reason is that the Yankee front office doesn't like the arrangement, much preferring that everyone forget the whole incident. Yogi, however, approves. "The day after the harmonica thing," says Linz, "Yogi told me to take advantage of the publicity if I could. Heck, we're such good friends we're liable to wind up partners." Linz envisions billboards depicting Berra restraining himself with a bottle of Yoo Hoo while Phil hits flat notes on his harmonica. "I can see the caption now," he says. "Don't blow your top, just drink our pop."
When unlucky-in-love Princess Anne, daughter of the Comte de Paris, finally announced her engagement to Prince Juan Carlos de Borbón y Borbón, no one gave the mode of courtship enough credit. According to official releases, the courting was conducted largely on horseback, a most romantic venue. Anne spent much of her summer at Ciudad Real, the royal digs near Toledo, and Carlos left his bank-clerking in Madrid to join her there for many a summer afternoon of equestrian adventure. Since the marriage would unite royal houses pretending to the thrones of France and Spain, it was a clear case of two kingdoms for a horse.
There has been a lot of talk about what's wrong with baseball but, according to Fidel Castro, it's capitalism. To remedy this defect, the Maximum Umpire installed his old University of Havana teammate José Llanusa as director of the Cuban Sports Institute. In that capacity Llanusa has just announced that Cuba will take it upon herself to teach baseball to the comrades in China, the Soviet Union and North Vietnam. One of Llanusa's objectives is to replenish Cuba's all-but-extinct supply of overseas competition. "Our problem," explains Llanusa in Marxist dialectic accented with Spanish dialect, "is that we are getting too good. Only United States professionals are better and we are not going to be playing them. We have made great progress. Our ballplayers are better because they have a better attitude. Before the revolution all they thought about was money, and then they would gamble it away."