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Original Issue


How did he bring himself to do it? In the current issue of Harper's, Robert Manry, the Cleveland newspaperman who sailed the Atlantic in a 13-foot, 30-year-old boat, says his dream of three decades was possible because his wife Virginia "granted me the boon of self-realization.... I'd seen too many men whose lives were hemmed in by strict adherence to the conventional demands of business or profession or marriage; too many lives made pallid by the fear of being different, of being criticized. The pressure to conform that pervades our society has a basically useful function, I suppose, but I wonder if it isn't [so] intense...that it stifles the freedom of living that gives birth to happiness."

Both of them out of the new cabinet and with time to spare, two of Charles de Gaulle's ex-ministers, Finance's Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and Youth and Spurt's Maurice Herzog, arose early in Chamonix, hailed a police helicopter and hitched a lift to the icy summit of nearby Mont Blanc. There, at 15,771 feet, (below), the two strapped on skis and pushed off headlong down the sheer and perilous North Face—a descent on skis accomplished but once before, and then only by Mountaineer Lionel Terray (who climbed Annapurna with Herzog in 1950). After an exhilarating 3½-hour dash down the mountain, the skiers picked up the helicopter waiting conveniently below and were back in Chamonix in time for lunch. Said Herzog casually: "It wasn't convenient or easy, but there is nothing more beautiful or impressive than skiing in the very high Alps."

It figures, doesn't it, that an undersize boy from Bugtussle, Okla. would go out for the wrestling team once he got up to The University at Norman? And that's precisely what Congressman Carl Albert did back in 1927, long before he became House Majority Leader. Albert, fiercely competitive, might have made the flyweight big time, too, Oklahoma Intramural Director Paul Keen was saying the other day when Albert came back to lecture at OU. He might—except for Marvin (Kid) Leach, a chemical engineer in Texas who, in those days, was the conference 112-pound champion. "Albert was a leader and a good influence," said Keen, "but he could never dislodge that Kid Leach." Carl Albert, as a result, lowered his sights from the varsity and became an intramural wrestler instead.

The eloquent advertisement in the Dominican Republic newspapers urged everybody to turn out and vote in last week's national election (the third free election in a century) in order to "bring peace for all so that we can have revolution without blood." The plea was signed by San Francisco Pitcher (and home-grown hero) Juan Marichal who, perhaps mindful of the good example he ought to be setting, has not bloodied an opponent with a baseball bat all season long.

"Whitman saw beauty in a man sawing a plank in two. I think a track meet is as poetic as anything you could get." And that, said Poet James Dickey, a National Book Award winner this spring, was the substance of his belief that "no human endeavor is alien to poetry." Which does not mean, Dickey told students at Rice University, that poets themselves are qualified to run the world. "Because someone has done something in one field, people believe he should be good in another," he said. "They think because Arnold Palmer can play golf Arnold Palmer can tell you what to wear, or because Frank Sinatra can sing he can tell you how to vote." True, if James Dickey were not already a poet, he too might presume to tell others what to do: "I think I'd really like to be a high school football or track coach."

As the guest of Islamic authorities in Cairo, Cassius Clay was given a 50-disc recording of the Koran, plus the promise that 20 fellowships would be awarded annually to deserving Black Muslims wishing to study Moslem culture in Egyptian schools. He also was received by U.A.R. President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Clay spread the word his aim in life was to hold onto the heavyweight championship for another decade, and after that—who knows?—maybe a movie career in the Arabian Nights motif. Showing an aptness for such a calling, Cassius, on a visit to the pyramids, adlibbed a scenario complete with pursuit by desert bandits, thirst, exhaustion—and last-minute rescue by a friendly passer-by, a role played obligingly (below) by a pyramid guide.

Presented an 8½-foot fiberglass fly rod in connection with Pennsylvania's forthcoming "Let's Go Fishing Week," Governor William W. Scranton switched the handsome instrument back and forth and remarked, "I'm going to have plenty of time to use this." Say, did that portend something? Mighty right. Two hours later at a news conference Governor Scranton surprisingly declared himself unequivocally hors de combat from any state or national elective office, henceforth and forevermore.