Skip to main content
Publish date:



The gentleman above who, for a change, is not looking into a camera, is Actor Robert Taylor. Taylor and wife Ursula Thiess (left) have been touring the world with the Winchester Clay-bird Champions, a motley team of three men, one 13-year-old whiz with a shotgun and one 30-year-old housewife. Taylor has been shooting exhibitions—not in competition. He has shot skeet for 20 years but says, "I really haven't shot competitively for six or seven years, though I enjoy it." Pressed for further details of the tour, the most autograph-hounded member of the group declined with becoming modesty, on the grounds that this was not really his show.

Father of the groom Gene Tunney was called upon for a few words before the wedding of his son Jonathan to former AP Correspondent Kelly Smith. The champ started slow but finished strong. "All of us are in love with Kelly," he said. "She is like—like—well, let's see. She is like a rich jewel glowing in an Ethiopian's ear." He didn't get the quote quite right, but it was close enough so that grownups knew that Gene had not been off in Haight-Ashbury watching hippies, he had been reading Romeo and Juliet.

"The trouble with big-time sports today is that they are too damned professional. Too perfect," Playwright Arthur Miller proclaimed recently. "The play and the fun is out of it for me. It's even true with the college-bowl-team types. People go to watch a machine operate—they admire the efficiency with which it was put together. That wipes out the connection between spectator and team. The human side is out." In Miller's own playing days the only machine he could have been said to resemble was an eggbeater. He was a gangly end for the Brooklyn Abraham Lincoln High School football team. "It was a terrible team, and I was as good as anyone else," he recalls. "I was six feet tall and 125 pounds. All will. But the thing I enjoyed about that team was the comradeship of my teammates. That's the beauty of athletics." The beauty of comradeship was not so great that it fogged up Miller's grasp of essentials when he went to the University of Michigan later. "Of course, I didn't go out for the team." he says. "I would have busted all my bones."

Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, the World War I air ace, was at one time a top American auto racer—he designed his own car and, he claims, was the first man to exceed 150 mph. However, the 77-year-old Rickenbacker recently observed that he has never in his life had either a pilot's or a driver's license.

There is just no pleasing the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Here the Richard Burtons are shelling out $2,400 a week to float a yacht in the Thames to spare their four dogs the trauma of quarantine. The Burtons don't use the thing—they have a hotel suite—so the 120-foot yacht and its captain and crew of nine, to say nothing of the cook, two secretaries and the 24-hour security guard, are all at the disposal of Cuthbert, Georgia, Oh Fie and E'en So. But is the RSPCA satisfied? No. "We don't like the idea of the dogs having to spend eight weeks without going for a proper walk on land," the society says fretfully.

Golfer Barbara Romack (right) had not been to Cuba before, and you can probably believe her when she says, "I never thought I'd get there this way." Barbara was on the Delta DC-8 recently hijacked and diverted to Havana. Everyone on board realized what was happening, she says, except for one man who was asleep, and when the stewardess woke him to tell him to fasten his seat belt because they were landing in Cuba, he said, "Damn! I wanted to go to Palm Beach." The passengers were given coffee and cigarettes, followed by a tour of the airport, including the bar, where, Barbara reports, "The daiquiris were great!" Had the group been detained longer, officials had promised to quarter everyone at the Hilton, but after about 3½ hours the travelers were en route home. "It was harder to get back into the States than it was to get into Havana," Barbara observes. In the case of hijacked airliners, the Reds obviously dispense with red tape.

French Film Star Jean-Paul Belmondo has written the preface to a new book on prizefighting, Robert Colombini's Boxing Stories, and he says of his own career, "In nine fights I performed honorably, winning four, losing four, drawing one and breaking my nose." He says also, "One must be rich in intelligence, health and courage to be a good boxer...boxing is a great lesson in human fraternity." Well, the way human fraternity is going these days, who can say it couldn't learn something from boxing? As for a boxer being rich in intelligence, health and courage, Belmondo, as a sometime puncher of Paris gendarmes, seems richer in the last two qualities than the first.