Uh, if it's not too personal, what went wrong in that race for the Senate back in '64? reporters gingerly asked ex-Oklahoma Coach Bud Wilkinson as he passed through Abington, Pa. on a mission for the Lifetime Sports Foundation. "Well," said Bud, raring back, "the Republican party in Oklahoma is run by a bunch of ward leaders who have been going about things the same way for 30 years and losing every time. No coach or manager could survive 30 years without a winner, but these people have, and because it was my first crack at politics I was naive enough to listen to them. And that," said the man who once led Oklahoma through a 47-game winning streak, "was like listening to the alumni before a football game—suicide."
Maybe that was an evil eye and maybe it wasn't, but Billy Graham, looking satanic, put enough something on his golf ball [below) so that it all but picked itself up and holed out unassisted. All else had not gone as smoothly for Dr. Graham, who, hoping to refresh himself during the rigors of his London Crusade, had joined two other preachers and a Crusade coworker at a course in St. Albans. He promptly thunked his first drive into a bunker. Marveled an English journalist of the Godfearing foursome: "The least profane round of golf I have ever witnessed."
While their husbands played the 36 holes of a football coaches' golf tournament at a resort in the Arkansas Ozarks, two wives scavenged for antiques in the surrounding countryside. In Mammoth Spring, for example, Texas' Mrs. Darrell Royal found a set of pressed-glass salt-and-peppers ($1.25) and a green water glass (10¢). Out of cash, she went for her checkbook. What about identification? "I've got a pass to the U.S. Senate here with my name on it," said Mrs. Royal, "and it's signed by the President of the United States." "Anybody could have one of those," brooded the merchant, as he reluctantly took the $1.35 check. But why hadn't Mrs. Royal's companion, Barbara, stepped up to vouch for her? "I was scared to death." said the wife of the Arkansas coach, "that this man wouldn't know who Frank Broyles was, either."
First, Giant Bird and Oak Tree Door, a couple of grand champion sumo wrestlers, had a grunting go at each other in a Honolulu match. Then, retiring to their dressing room, they engaged their collective bulk in tossing back and forth, medicine-ball fashion, the 50-odd pounds of a happily shrieking visitor, namely one John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr., age 5. Secret Service men, unaware that in the East it is known to be ah so beneficial to have one's child touched by a sumo wrestler, let alone by two, bit their lips apprehensively during the exchange and forbade photographs. To Giant Bird's great disappointment. He had hoped for a picture of himself with John-John for his snapshot album back home in Tokyo.
The pros and cons of gambling laws were being argued in the House of Lords along somewhat theoretical lines until Lord Kilbracken, an Irish Liberal peer, rose to bear empirical witness. When only 16, His Lordship confessed, he had been a bookie at Eton—'so conveniently placed for Windsor races and only slightly less so for Ascot." Indeed, he had had 100 clients—some of them future members of the House—but it had turned out to be an unfortunate experience because he not only lost money but was found out by the headmaster as well. But abolish gambling in Britain? Not that, said Kilbracken, but perhaps it might ease the gambler's burden if he were obliged to declare early in the evening how much he was prepared to lose. That way the man can decide "in all sobriety."
"I haven't cracked 90 yet, but it's beginning to bend." said Singer Sergio Franchi in New Orleans. Franchi became mono-maniacal about golf earlier this year when he took 15 professional lessons, but the big difference, he claims, came with his purchase of Arnold Palmer's book, My Game and Yours. "I discovered I wasn't holding the club properly, but most of all my mental attitude was all wrong. What I liked best was Palmer's suggestion to treat the course as a friend, not an enemy."
The pigeon had no name and, in fact, was minus a key feather that came unstuck not long ago. For all that, he finished second against 640 others in a 230-mile race from Monett, Mo. to St. Louis, and proud indeed was Cardinal Infielder Jerry Buchek, a St. Louis pigeon racer from way back (sixth grade) who currently has some 50 of the birds cooped in his backyard. True, that number is subject to change. Pigeons are prey to hunters, hawks and a scrambled sense of direction. Moreover, there is that fate reserved for the not-so-swift: "We have pigeon stew regularly," says Buchek.
Just the other day he kicked off a statewide (blessedly voluntary) physical-fitness program, and then, to prove he wasn't kidding, Wisconsin's Governor Warren Knowles hopped into a rubber raft and, leading the way for 40 members of the state conservation commission, went paddling off down the runaway white water of the Wolf River (below). The exertion had also to do with Knowles's unshakable belief that Wisconsin ought to buy some 35 miles of shore along the river's upper reaches for a wilderness preserve, and the commissioners, once they got their feet back on the ground, approved the necessary $850,000. "We must protect all our remaining resources," said the governor, "and the fabulous Wolf is a good place to start."