A raftload of legislators and VIPs on an inspection tour of a proposed damsite along the Snake River between Idaho and Oregon spilled into the drink last week, dunking—among others—Congressmen Patrick Caffery of Louisiana and James Kee of West Virginia. One of the rescuers was Congressman Mike McCormack of Washington, who had organized the trip, which local newspapers dubbed a "fact-finding fishing trip." All nine men who went overboard were saved, but taxpayers received no deliverance as the tour continued.
Not everybody in U.S. auto-racing circles is uptight these days. Last week Bobby Unser was being pushed around in Milwaukee. Here is Mario Andretti pushing a Mini-cart around the garage area of the Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway. He could relax; he had just done a practice lap at 189 mph in preparing for the California 500. He later qualified at 191-plus.
Baltimore Linebacker Mike Curtis, whose rugged individualism is legend among NFL running backs and short receivers, has decided to quit the NFL Players Association. "I just believe that in football a man should make it on his own," says Curtis, who showed his independence from football's labor movement two years ago by defying a players' strike.
There appears to be something of a conservation gap in the Crosby family these days. Mary Frances Crosby, 12, knocked off a 12-foot crocodile in Kenya the other day by plugging the creature through the eye with a rifle bullet. Her father, Bing, meanwhile, said he wasn't going to shoot anything while he and his family were on their African interlude. "I have too much admiration for lions, elephants and buffaloes to kill them," said the crooner. His daughter said she would have a pair of shoes and a pocketbook made from the skin of her prey.
Slugging David Bragunier of the Washington National Symphony Orchestra belted two home runs last week to help beat the New York Philharmonic nine 15-13 in a game played in the nation's capital. Bragunier comes by his strength naturally; he plays tuba.
Four of the nation's 10 Outstanding Single Men, according to Ebony magazine, arc athletes: Wilt Chamberlain, Vida Blue, Curtis McClinton and Arthur Ashe. The runner-up categories were acting and politics, with two representatives each: Sidney Poitier and Demond Wilson and Congressman John Conyers Jr. and Gary (Ind.) Mayor Richard Hatcher.
Yoko Ono, the artist and wife of former Beatle John Lennon, went into the Marina Ski Shop in San Francisco recently and picked up a tennis outfit, including the racket. Asked if she played much tennis, she explained that she doesn't play at all. "I like the dress as a costume," she said, "and the racket discourages muggers."
St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. will have one of the tonier bylines in its student newspaper this fall. Chris Evert, a student at Aquinas, has signed up for a publications course that will require working on the school yearbook and newspaper. She plans to write for the sports page.
Escorted by a pair of security guards, chess master Shelby Lyman, TV guru of the world championship, fought his way through the peppermills and teapots of Macy's housewares department in Manhattan last week to plug his programs and the game of chess to a crowd of 200-plus enthusiasts. With Lyman came Bruce Pandolfini and Steve Grant, a pair of masters who played several exhibition games against Macy's customers in which a prize of a chess book was offered to anyone emerging with a draw or win. Lyman said his schedule runneth over with offers, including personal appearances, TV spots and syndicated columns. In addition, he is considering authoring a series of chess books to fill what he calls "the conspicuous gap in instructional texts." About the new champion-apparent, Bobby Fischer, Lyman said, "In a lot of ways he's like Ted Williams. They both have a number of nice qualities but have suffered from a bad press."
Because he thought "it would be a nice gesture," Sammy Davis Jr. sent an invitation to Boris Spassky to be his guest on a visit to the United States after his current series against Bobby Fischer. Davis would like to squire the Russian player to such chess Meccas as Las Vegas and Beverly Hills.
All that prestidigitating that Jerry Lucas has long been practicing finally paid off. The New York Knicks center, whose feats of magic and memory (he can recite entire sections of The Godfather verbatim) are legend, has been signed by producer Don Kirshner to star in a three-hour TV special on ABC-TV next Nov. 25. The show will have a title almost as long as 6'8" Lucas himself: The Jerry Lucas Super Kids Day Music and Magic Jamboree.