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Original Issue


Keeping your eye on the ball gets more difficult in the Minnesota state junior high school league, where Kathy Leonard, 29, a pretty Faribault, Minn. schoolteacher, referees some of the games. Here in a St. James vs. Minnesota School for the Deaf contest, Kathy is calling a foul. She gets her share of heckling but says she doesn't mind, especially as so many catcalls are interspersed with wolf whistles.

Gary Cuozzo of the Minnesota Vikings, a licensed dentist, plans to specialize in orthodontics "because it's so gratifying to work with children." If dentistry seems a peculiar choice of a future profession for a pro quarterback, it probably stems from Gary's background. His father is a dentist, his brother an orthodontist. His sister is a dental hygienist married to a dentist whose father is a dentist. Rinse out, please.

The Mistaken Identity Division reports two cases this week that read like a good news-bad news joke. First the good news. Cab driver Horacio Jo√£o of Rio, who looks so much like retired soccer star Pelé that he occasionally gets mobbed and has his shirt ripped off, is smiling through. He says, in fact, that his likeness to Pelé has given him "many joys." Now for the bad news. In St. Louis there is a house painter named August A. Busch who is not a bit joyous about getting crank mail and phone calls meant for Cardinal Owner August A. Busch Jr. The guy wouldn't mind straightening out the pitching rotation, but he doesn't know what to do about all those delayed Budweiser shipments.

If you think the Busches of St. Louis have problems, consider Austria's brewer Manfred Mautner-Markhof. One of his good friends is, or was, Avery Brundage, the International Olympic Committee president. When the dispute over professionalism in the Winter Games first broke, Mautner-Markhof sent his old friend Brundage a cablegram, voicing his full support. When Brundage disqualified Austrian ski hero Karl Schranz, however, M-M tried to beat a retreat, sending another cable saying he was "shocked." Too late. Newspaper headlines attacking the brewer for his first wire prompted widespread reprisals, and pubs, factories and retailers began canceling orders for Mautner-Markhof's Schwechater beer. Even sales of his mustard have dropped, and one retail shop sported a huge sign: WE DON'T SELL MAUTNER PRODUCTS. Neither, the way things are going, does Manfred.

Talk about emerging nations. Tad Weed, a placekicker for Ohio State back in the 1950s, is helping form a new country on a couple of coral reefs near the Fiji Islands. He and his fellow nation-builders are calling it the Republic of Minerva, and their whole point is to get away from government encroachment on free enterprise. The founding fathers are not too big on symbolism, however. Asked if the country was named after the Roman goddess of wisdom, Weed says no, they got the name from a ship that sank on the reefs there some years ago.

The setting was traditional—St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York—and the wedding party looked pretty much like any other—father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Gil Hodges, beaming as their son, Gil Hodges Jr., a first baseman for the Pompano Beach (Fla.) Mets, took as his bride the dark-eyed Deborah Savino of Spring Valley, N.Y. The only variation might have been dad's parting advice to his son. Something about playing closer to the line against left-handed batters.

Photographs have now confirmed what Rick Sylvester has been saying all month. The 29-year-old skier-sky diver did indeed ski off the brink of Yosemite's sheer 3,000-foot rock, El Capitan, and, sure enough, he also plunged halfway down at a speed of about 160 mph before opening his parachute. Movie cameras recorded the stunt from a helicopter, and it will be used in an upcoming feature film. Sylvester said the idea came to him a couple of years ago and "rose up in my mind like a weed." In the Alps they call them weeds edelweiss.

Athletically inclined lawmaker Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin, who runs 4.5 miles a day, rain or shine, exercises regularly and sports one of Capitol Hill's firmer torsos, looked as though he'd run into a couple of doors, or maybe fists. But inside gossip had it that the two shiners the Senator showed up with on Capitol Hill last week came from a workout not in the ring, but in surgery, and were only the leftovers from a light face-lifting.

In the middle of a business meeting in Dallas the other day, somebody leaned across the table and informed Kyle Rote, the former SMU All-America and New York Giant star, that his son had just been chosen in the first round of the draft. Sure enough, Kyle Rote Jr. of the University of the South had just been selected first by the Dallas Tornado of the North American Soccer League. In fact, the draft was held in the same building, and Kyle Sr. went downstairs to have a few words with his son's prospective new management. Not that he is any expert on soccer affairs. He didn't even know the draft was on.