"The only phobia I have that I know about is heights," says Paul Newman—which is an unfortunate phobia to have, as he is now in Oregon shooting a movie about lumberjacks from Ken Kesey's novel Sometimes a Great Notion. Among other things, Newman's role calls for him to scale a 90-foot pine tree with a chain saw and hand ax, a feat lumberjacks sometimes perform as a variety of competitive sport. Newman came to the Oregon shooting site two weeks early to work with a real-life logger in preparation. "It's a real fear," he says. "I get clammy even watching somebody else up in a tree, and it takes a lot of acting to cover up the fear."
"Maybe what I'm doing now is going to get me somewhere, anywhere," mused peaceful Joe Pepitone last week at his Brooklyn hairstyling salon, after jumping the Houston Astros. "I'd love to be traded—that's the whole thing—close to New York." His preference for his old New York club is blatantly obvious. The waiting room of the salon is decorated with a dozen photographs of Yankee players, the main one showing Pepitone at bat in a Yankee uniform. Whether or not Pepitone is traded, his business partners in Brooklyn are advising him to go back to the big leagues. They've taken an option on property in upstate New York for a baseball camp. For that they need a baseball player. One partner insisted, "Joe's going to go back under chains if we have to drag him." The other added, with determination, "Or if I have to go back with him."
Politicians who are with it not only make speeches about the environment, they get right out there and do something. Taking a paddle in hand, Senator Edmund Muskie recently ran the five miles of Chase Rips in Maine by canoe. The occasion was the dedication of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway—the first state-administered stream to become part of the national effort to preserve wild, scenic rivers. After viewing the Allagash from his canoe Muskie suggested that the protected strips of land along the waterway be widened to "line of sight" rather than the 500- to 1,000-foot margin now provided. "A slope could be 1,000 feet from the river but still destroy the wilderness character if it was logged over," he noted. For all the talk, Muskie did his fair share of the paddling. The Senator's guide commented that "he pulled like an outboard when I told him to dig in."
The Medic-Alert Foundation, an organization that registers the assorted allergies and maladies of its members, awarded Ron Hunt of the San Francisco Giants the MHP trophy. MHP stands for "most hit by pitcher"—a National League distinction Hunt attained last month when he was plunked on the back by Mike Wegener of Montreal for hit No. 119. Hunt was presented the trophy—a ballplayer with a baseball planted in his rib cage—and promptly remarked: "I accept this not only for myself, but on behalf of all those pitchers in the National League who made it all possible."
The big man with the goatee and the white head band is tough—but he's been losing championships this year. First Wilt Chamberlain and the Los Angeles Lakers went down in the final round of the NBA playoffs. Now his volleyball team is 0-2 against Sand and Sea—considered by many to be the four-man national championship team in match play at Will Rogers State Beach in Los Angeles. Wilt is teamed with fellow Laker Keith Erickson, veteran volleyball star Gene Selznick and alternates Bob Hogan and Bob Clem in the $2,500 challenge match. Chamberlain took up the sport to strengthen his knee after surgery early last season. "If Wilt keeps at it," Erickson says, "he'll eventually be unstoppable. Remember, he can reach nine three. It's only a matter of when Wilt, with the dedication he is showing, couples his height, jumping skill and driving power to become a totally destructive force in volleyball." By contrast, the fans, sprawled on the sand, hanging off adjacent poles or perched on the seawall, are a bit harder on the neophyte volleyballer. One of the beach's experts noted: "Wilt's been playing less than a year. He's 100% better, but he still has a long way to go."
Sounding just like Andy Hardy, Mickey Rooney recently appeared at a Variety Club luncheon to raise money to send needy children to camp. He urged that money be raised by "a real Hollywood-style deal, by making a comedy movie once a year on a maximum budget of $200,000, which would gross two or three million." If that seemed farfetched even for Hollywood, Rooney vowed that he "would produce, direct or even act in it without any charge whatever." On the lighter side, the seven-times-wed actor apologized for his informal outfit—a turtleneck sweater and slacks—by saying, "You fellows know I've had a few divorces along the back-stretch, and this was the best I could do."
They're called hairpieces these days, not toupees, and they're no longer advertised in small print next to ads for cream that removes facial hair. Balding executives buy long ones to look hip. Hippies buy short ones to pass inspection at military-reserve meetings. And Emile Griffith is going to wear a hairpiece in his next tight with Nino Benvenuti. Griffith's co-manager, Howard Albert, is also president of the sales division of one of the largest wig firms in the world. Albert couldn't ask for a better endorsement than having the hair stay on—particularly if Griffith gets knocked out.