Because no money was promised, Cassius Clay turned down a request that he don a leopard skin and ride an elephant in a Miami production of Aula, explaining: "I love the opera, but I am a practical man." But only three days later came what looked like another impractical proposition: his country reclassified him 1-A. "Why me?" Clay wailed. "I have no quarrel with those Viet Congs." For that Clay landed in a squabble with the governor of Illinois who threatened to cancel Chicago's Clay-Terrell title fight.
Last year she picked a 100-to-8 winner, and for this year's Grand National her choice is Carrick-beg (one current price: 200 to 1). Routine, really, for Melanie Bartley, daughter of Actress Deborah Kerr, who writes a horse-racing column for her student newspaper at Reading University, near London. "I study form and mix it up with some feminine intuition," says Melanie, who is 18. Ever make random guesses with a pin? "Never. This is too serious a business."
Those were fine-looking steel-head that Comedian Dick Gregory was clutching (below), but he didn't get any laughs after he was arrested by Washington state conservation officers for fishing with a net. That, presumably, was part of his plan to dramatize the issue involving an 1854 treaty between the Nisqually Indians and the Federal Government. On one side (with Gregory as an ally) are those Indians who say the treaty allows them an ancestral right to fish anywhere, anyhow. On the other side is the state, holding that the treaty applies only to reservation waters. In between stand the neutral Indians—the "Uncle Tomahawks," as they are being called.
New Zealand's Communist Party was shivered to its timbers by leaders swinging out of China's orbit and into Russia's, but the man credited with masterminding the international upheaval diverted public notice with a fishing rod. While driving through the Canterbury countryside, Soviet Minister (and occasional mountaineer) Boris Dorofeev came across a dead opossum in the road. Stopping, he took a hair from the corpse, tied it to a hook with a fluff of red darning wool, cast it into a nearby lake and landed a five-pound trout, which he fried for lunch. Politics aside, for sports-loving New Zealanders Dorofeev's feat made him the man of the hour.
Athletics and dancing are brothers under the skin, said Gene Kelly in Manhattan, and, as he found out years ago, where one doesn't work the other may. In any event, the guys who got the attention at Peabody High in Pittsburgh, Kelly discovered, were the actors in the school plays, not the pint-size second-string halfback on the football team. So Kelly, giving up the game (and a semipro hockey career as well), learned to do a buck-and-wing, "and they all thought it was nifty." Surely there was also an inner impulse to dance for the sheer love of it? Not at all, said Gene. "It was just a way to meet girls."
Under the new Lindsay administration, New York City's cumbersome recreation programs are in for massive overhaul, and one visionary scheme for improvement is an annual Youth Olympics for teen-age children sponsored by New York and other interested cities in the nation. A great idea, but can anyone make it work? A number are willing to try, among them Wilt Chamberlain, Bus Mosbacher, Chuck McKinley and José Torres, who, along with nine other prominent athletes, have volunteered their services to the mayor's new Sports Commission.
New Mexico's outnumbered Republicans are itching for Don Perkins of the Dallas Cowboys to run for the state house of representatives. The halfback's teammates are urging him not to. "They don't think my running for office this fall would hurt the team," says Perkins. "They're just worried about me. What they say is, 'Stay out of that kind of scrimmage.' "
Trigger was loafing in the barn in California, and Roy Rogers, working on a television circus show in North Carolina, was making do with a Lipizzan stallion from Vienna. Though most of them are mannerly to a fault, this Viennese took instant exception to Roy's spurs, reared and flipped him off onto the seat of his pants in full view of thousands of disbelieving children. Whispered Dale Evans as her husband, despurred, climbed back aboard: "Be careful, honey."
The only way to play on a U.S. Ryder Cup team is to be a "class A" member of the PGA, and the only way to reach that elevated position is to serve a five-year apprenticeship—or a four-year apprenticeship plus a week's attendance at a PGA business school. Jack Nicklaus, with four years on the professional tour behind him, has taken the latter option. He enrolled the other day in a PGA school (below) in San Antonio. Emerging from five mornings and afternoons of lectures in Turf Management and Golf Course Design, Press Relations, Golf Cart Operation and Policies, and Personal Appearance and Conduct, Nicklaus was moved to say: "I take pride in my professional organization, and I want to be a full citizen in its activities."