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The subject boarded a Mohawk Airlines flight from Syracuse to Buffalo under an assumed name. On arrival he was met by a group of anonymous men who retrieved his luggage and whisked him off to a restaurant, where they entered through the kitchen and ate dinner in a makeshift back room. Preparations for a Howard Hughes interview? Nope, just the Buffalo Bills' way of letting Notre Dame Defensive End Walt Patulski know he would be their first draft selection the next morning. Patulski didn't mind all the mystery. "It was kind of spooky and fun," he said.

Nothing so glamorous, alas, for Lineman Alphonso Cain of little Bethune-Cookman College in Florida. When he was picked on the 17th round by the Dallas Cowboys, the 442nd and last player selected in the 1972 draft, he was sitting in the bleachers at the B-C vs. Edward Waters College basketball game. Being last, he said, was a "dubious honor," but he promised to give 100%. B-C won the game 133-89.

Satchel Paige, obviously moved when his old friends and teammates appeared one by one to pay him tribute on TV's This Is Your Life, could not restrain his tears as his older brother John limped on stage, using a cane. His happiest moment seemed to come when a young man he had never met before strode on. "The one man I've been wanting to meet," said the old pitcher, shaking hands with Vida Blue.

Ecology-minded Goldean Huber, a game-division secretary at the Missouri Conservation Commission in Jefferson City, thought she had found just the thing to add a bit of outdoor color to her office, an apparently deserted football-size hornets' nest that was hanging frozen from a tree. Once indoors, the nest began to thaw and so did the hornets inside. The game-division office quickly emptied of personnel. No injuries were reported, but that doesn't take the sting out, does it, Goldean?

Despite his disguise for a role in a Noah's Ark sequence on an ABC special to be telecast later this year, the bewigged, flop-hatted phiz will be recognized by sharp-eyed fans as being that of announcer Howard Co-sell, here talking with Noah (Mickey Rooney). Cosell's role is less out of character than it appears. He is listed in the program as the "storyteller."

They held that poetry reading in Madison Square Garden's Felt Forum last week, the one titled Yevtushenko and Friends. A couple of the friends were poet-novelist James Dickey and poet-politician Eugene McCarthy, who decided, while waiting to go on, to climb five flights of stairs and catch some poetry of another sort—the Mill-rose Games track meet being held in the Garden itself. Dickey, an ex-hurdler, and McCarthy, a sometime ballplayer, finally had to be fetched to do their stint. Objected McCarthy, "We'd rather watch the games."

The nation's Indians, the real ones who went on the warpath recently by suing the Cleveland Indians for $9 million over their use of Chief Wahoo as a team symbol, aren't resting on their lawsuits. At Stanford University a petition signed by 55 American Indian students has prompted university officials to seek an end to the use of the Indian designation for Big Red teams. The petition called the Indian symbol "demeaning and insulting," and President Richard W. Lyman said he finds the arguments more persuasive as time goes by. Stanford ombudsman Lois S. Amsterdam has said the image should be "immediately disavowed." Instead, the school may soon opt for its old nickname, the Cardinals, which should be fine with everybody except maybe Pope Paul.

Playwright Garson Kanin, who dropped out of Brooklyn's James Madison High School in 1927, returned recently to receive an honorary diploma. During his visit Kanin raised his pants-leg and showed 1,000 students and teachers a memento of his Madison days, a cinder imbedded below his knee that he picked up during a high school track meet more than 40 years ago. He never had it removed, he admitted, because it hurt too much. "And what started out as cowardice," he added, "ended up as sentiment."

Stan Musial arrived in Warsaw last week, invited by the Polish Olympic Committee, to look over its summer Olympic training facilities. While there he sought out a cousin he had never met and managed to sign a few autographs for unlikely but pretty baseball fans in Poland, where he is still regarded as a kind of folk hero.