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Original Issue


They were all just sort of over at Arizona's Lake Havasu for water skiing when somebody said, "Here," to Elke Sommer, handed her a fishing rod—making sure she had hold of the right end, etc.—and dared her to cast the lure. No sooner said than a largemouth bass clamped its greedy teeth around it, to be followed, in quick succession, by four more—all of them going a couple of pounds or better (below). Where, exactly, wondered Miss Sommer, wearying of the new game, is the sport?

Everybody in society, from the tycoon to the man on the lowest rung, pays attention to the athlete, says Tommy Hawkins of the Cincinnati Royals. In fact, he adds, "when the normal channels of communication with the youth of less-privileged areas have been closed, the kids will still listen to us." Thus assured, Hawkins has organized in Los Angeles, his home town, a social service group called Athletes for a Better America, and the first board of directors includes the likes of Jerry West of the Lakers, Willie Davis of the Dodgers and Roosevelt Grier of the Rams. Some 40 other athletes have agreed to donate two hours each week to appear at playgrounds and recreation centers in support of the ABA's program. "You can read studies and reports about problem situations until the mind boggles," said Hawkins, "but until we achieve face-to-face communication we are, at best, only long-distance observers."

Down on the farm in Gettysburg, Dwight David Eisenhower, approaching his 50th wedding anniversary, asked that all presents be sent to Eisenhower College, now abuilding in Seneca Falls, N.Y. All, that is, except an honorary membership in the pastoral Charnita Golf Club (SI, Feb. 21) about nine miles over the hills and through the apple trees. Ike has not shot a round of golf since he returned to Pennsylvania from California two months ago, but now that his arthritis is on the ebb, he announced, "I may send up one of my electric carts and just keep it there."

Buying themselves a piece of an Indianapolis Offenhauser, Astronauts Gus Grissom and Gordon Cooper got their baptism by fire as the car burst into flames during a pit stop at the Atlanta International Raceway. "Tough luck," said Pitman Grissom, "but I still like it. Astronauts are sort of like race drivers." To the extent of climbing into the cockpit of a race car? "I haven't driven one, no, and I don't expect to," said Grissom. Cooper? "Never have, never will."

Blowing into a strange town, where's a man to look for the action? "I usually call up the local bridge club and join a game," said Actor Omar Sharif. "I spend all my evenings that way, rather than in a smoky nightclub." Feeling so keenly about a game that "probably kept me from becoming a degenerate," it's little wonder that Sharif and two associates (one of whom is Benito Garozzo, the world's foremost tournament player) are making plans to open a bridge school in Los Angeles and, in addition, to establish a national touring all-star team "like Jack Kramer had with his professional tennis stars." As Sharif envisions it, he and European bridge experts will match themselves against blue ribbon teams selected to represent the host U.S. city or state. But frankly, says Omar, his all-stars will win consistently. That's because they will be using the Neapolitan Club bidding system, "which is better," he says, "than any system now being played in the U.S."

Raised in a foster home after losing her father in the Russian-Finnish war, a waitress in a Goteborg, Sweden hotel lamented to Sonny Liston and Geraldine that because of family problems she had been forced to place her own child, Daniel, in an institution. Something of a cream puff when it comes to the plights of little children, iron-fisted Sonny suggested a solution: he would take the 2-year-old tot back with him to America and bring him up on an informal guardianship basis. The mother agreed to the arrangement, but no sooner had Sonny happily carted off his prize to Stockholm (below) than a yowl of protest went up from everyone not concerned. The din was so loud that the Listons reconsidered and the deal was off for now. "We were only trying to give Danny security," said Geraldine, shaken. "We never thought our offer would arouse so much outside criticism."

Since Chicago Caponeman Joseph Aiuppa already had a pretty good reputation with a gun, federal agents in Kansas were not surprised to find 500 doves in his car when he and his wife returned from a 1962 hunting trip. They were merely irked that Mr. and Mrs. Aiuppa's bag exceeded the legal limit by 452. O.K., but how can the government prove they were doves, Aiuppa's lawyer argued the other day in Fort Scott, where the case was still being tried. They could, he suggested, just as well have been passenger pigeons. The jury, a trifle more up to date on natural history, found the defendant guilty.