WAR CANOES ON THE MOISIE
Atlantic salmon have begun to come into Canada's Moisie River, and they are big ones. With them has come trouble.
The Moisie, which runs southeast from near the Labrador border and empties into the St. Lawrence River east of Sept Iles, is one of the world's great salmon rivers. It attracts hundreds of sports fishermen every year at this time. And the Montagnais Indians, for whom it is a prime resource, have always netted the salmon although, by white man's law, it never has been legal to do so. Until about 10 years ago, when salmon were more plentiful than they are now, fish and game authorities turned their backs on the violations. Then, pushed by conservationists who warned that the stream was in danger of disastrous depletion if unrestricted fishing continued, they began making arrests in 1965. Last week the situation turned ugly. Wardens arrested scores of Indians, who responded by throwing rocks and bottles.
In the thick of the controversy was the famous Moisie Salmon Club, owned by wealthy Americans. It controls a 20-mile stretch, and the Indians, who number about 1,000, have been netting it, as well as other areas, despite police and guards hired by the club. A club official, describing the situation as a "nightmare," said the Indians had prevented guests from fishing their beats. They also chased several guards into the woods and threatened to burn down the club and kill some of the members. They intimidated some patrons, roughed up others, threw food on the floor and damaged a staircase.
Stripping the Indians entirely of a food supply they badly need cannot be justified. On the other hand, unrestricted netting seems certain to accomplish the same sad end eventually. If the Moisie is to survive as a great salmon river—and many others like it or even better have shrunk drastically over the years—it is imperatively incumbent on Canadian authorities to work out an acceptable compromise of the conflicting interests involved. Handling the situation "by the book" obviously is not the answer.
LOOK, MA, ONE HAND
While he was playing football for Montclair (N.J.) High School, Buzz Aldrin, No. 2 man on the lunar-landing crew, displayed a certain virtuosity in football. He centered the ball for punts with one hand.
In his sophomore year Buzz played quarterback in the old Notre Dame box formation, but, he says, "I don't have an arm for throwing." Then in his junior year he dropped out of football to bone up scholastically for the competitive West Point exams. Coming back to the team in his final year, he found it already had a quarterback but needed a center, which is when he discovered the one-hand trick.
"You know how everybody does it with two?" he asked the other day. "Well, whenever I tried to center the ball with two hands it would end up wobbling. I could get it back there in a pretty good spot with one hand—so I did it all with one hand from then on. The coach was a little surprised at first—but he went along with it."
At West Point, he found that Red Blaik had no need for a 160-pound, one-handed center. So he went out for track instead and vaulted 13'9", which, as Buzz says, was "not bad in the pre-fiber glass pole era."
His next vault will top that by quite a bit.
THE MARTYRED MOTORBIKE
Immolation has become sort of the ultimate protest, and now it has come to Memphis.
Michael Wadley, a motorcycle enthusiast of seven-months standing, became convinced that police were persecuting motorcyclists, himself included. After being stopped several times within a week and asked for his license, Wadley was not surprised when still another police squad car halted him. This time the cop told him his license was not valid because a special $4 stamp was not affixed to it. Wadley was given a ticket.
"The police think we're all members of Hell's Angels," he said later. "We're not any different from people who like to go boating and play golf. Motorcycling is more fun when it's done with people, and we shouldn't be treated like we're members of a rat pack."
Having convinced himself, Wadley took action. He drove his bike up to the steps of the Shelby County Courthouse, unloaded a can of gasoline and soaked...not himself...the motorcycle. Then he set fire to it.
Police charged him with arson, not martyrdom.
Occasionally, high above New York City, hawks circle, much to the surprise of those who think that hawks and city streets have nothing in common. But they do: pigeons. New York is filled to the eaves with pigeons, and hawks, like all predators, tend to go where the prey is. A recent story reported, rather vividly, the presence of a "lone wolf of the skies—a killer peregrine falcon." It said the placid existence of thousands of pigeons had been shattered by the falcon's presence, that eyewitnesses had told of brutal attacks and that humane groups disapproved of the killing habits of the hawk.
About the only humane groups who worry about pigeons are the people who spread corn and grain for them, which is a mistake in the first place. If pigeons have any saving grace to make up for the dirt they bring to the city, it is their function as scavengers—and feeding them keeps them from scavenging. In thinning out the pigeon population, the hawk is a benefit to the city. It would be both sad and stupid if the pigeon feeders somehow chased him away.
PATTERNS IN THE GRASS
Civic Stadium in Portland, Ore. has artificial turf, which is not exactly red-hot news these days. But some weeks ago the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League carried out an experiment that may bring about a revolutionary change in baseball—if not in the actual play of the game, then certainly in the traditional appearance of the baseball diamond.
The Tartan carpet in Portland, which ordinarily covers only the normally grassy portions of the outfield and infield, was extended to cover the entire playing field—the base paths, the batter's boxes, everything but the pitcher's circle. Then the Beavers played a three-game series with the Phoenix Giants to see what would happen. Before play started sandlike granules (called "sliding spheres") supplied by the Tartan people were sprinkled around the bases and home plate.
Results were on the bizarre side, and reactions varied. The weather had been persistently damp—no surprise in the Pacific Northwest—and all three games most likely would have been postponed because of wet grounds if it had not been for the artificial turf. But they were played, and without difficulty, except for sliding. No one was quite sure whether it was the wetness or the granules or a devilish combination of both, but when a runner slid into a base he just kept right on sliding, and the sight of a ballplayer desperately clutching the base with his arms as he zipped by became commonplace. A spokesman for Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing said it was not a real problem, simply a matter of overseeding the base paths.
Charlie Fox, the Phoenix manager, disagreed. "There is no substitute for dirt," said Charlie. "Artificial turf is fine, and it's the thing of the future, but it doesn't belong on the dirt part of the infield or on the base paths. Guys don't know where to start their slides. And it doesn't belong in the batter's box. Hitters will have trouble pivoting on it. You can't beat dirt."
But Red Davis, the Portland manager, thought the experiment was a success. "It's just a matter of players adapting to it," Davis said. "Years ago they had to adapt to night ball, and they did. They'll adapt to this."
A WORD FROM A MASTER
There is an old golf maxim to the effect that "you drive for show and putt for dough." It's easy to remember, but you don't necessarily have to believe it. Ben Hogan doesn't. To the four-time U.S. Open champion the driver, not the putter, is the most important club in the bag.
"You can be the greatest iron player in the world or the greatest putter," Hogan explained, "but if you can't get the ball in position to use your greatness, you can't win.
"It all starts with the drive. If you can get your drive in position, you can be a mediocre iron player and still score. If you're a good driver, the rest of the game is easy. If you're a bad driver, oh, you might get by for a couple of days. But for a long haul, over four days of a tournament, it will kill you."
IBM statistics of the U.S. Open, where Hogan made his evaluation of the putt vs. drive maxim, tend to support his view. Orville Moody, who emerged the Open champion, was tied for 35th in fewest total putts. But in hitting drives onto the fairways he was tied for 15th and was fourth in hitting greens on schedule. In fact, the first five finishers—Moody, Geiberger, Beman, Rosburg and Murphy—were all among the top 15 in number of drives on the fairways. The same five ranked thus in fewest total putts: tie 35th, tie 14th, second, tie 14th, tie 56th.
CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT RETIRES
In the rash of retirements that have popped out across the body of professional sports in recent months, the reasons may vary but the atmosphere attendant with the announcements seems to follow an emotional pattern: tearful, heartfelt, somber.
Not so with the irrepressible Alex Hawkins, the night-crawling captain of the Baltimore Colts' special kickoff and receiving teams, who sat down in one of his favorite watering spots the other evening and, sucking on a pencil, wrote down 10 reasons for quitting—"one for each year I played."
"1. If Joe Namath doesn't play, neither will I.
"2. The Colts can join the American League, but I won't.
"3. When Tom Matte goes to the Pro Bowl, it's time for everyone to quit.
"4. Pete Rozelle frowns on unsavory characters, and I don't have a friend who's not one.
"5. John Unitas had to bar me from his restaurant." (Actually, that's where Alex had his retirement party.)
"6. I'm allergic to Astro-turf.
"7. I just heard that Charlie Eckman is going to do the color for the Colts this year, and I'd rather listen to the games on the radio than watch them from the bench.
"8. Coach Bobby Boyd knows all my escape routes from hotels and training camp, since he invented them himself.
"9. Every barbershop I've been in lately has gone back to cutting hair, instead of sponsoring card games." (A reference to the time he got caught in a raid on a barbershop game.)
"10. My bar bills, lawyer's fees, fines, gambling losses and supplementing the income of Rocky Thornton [comedian and valet for many Colts] are greater than my salary."
THEY SAID IT
•Donald Davidson, the Atlanta Braves 4-foot traveling secretary, on the Braves-Astros free-for-all in Houston: "The next time something like that gets started I'm going to punch the other club's traveling secretary."
•Gene Mauch, former Philadelphia Phillies manager, now managing Montreal, on what he would do with Rich Allen if he had him again: "I'd find him, fine him and play him; find him, fine him and play him; find him, fine him and play him—just like I did when I was managing the Phillies."
•Don Meredith, tearfully (of course) announcing his retirement from the Dallas Cowboys: "I thought I would start off by telling you I had bought a one-third interest in a New York bar, but I decided to play it straight."