Governor Francis Sargent of Massachusetts was reminiscing about the time he played golf with New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller on Rockefeller's course at his Pocantico Hills estate. Sargent claims he looked at the manicured greens and impeccable fairways extending empty in all directions and asked, "Tell me, Nelson, do you have any problem getting a starting time on weekends?"
Raymond McCra, a former professional wrestler, has been charged with bank robbery. Phoenix police said that McCra, a 3½-foot-tall dwarf, was able to evade the bank's cameras because "his head didn't come up to the level of the counter." But he had small chance of ducking identification.
It is doubtful that Bill Veeck had McCra in mind recently when, recognizing his own mortality, the baseball showman got to thinking about his epitaph. "Inevitably," he decided, "it will say, 'He sent a midget up to bat.' I no longer even aspire to the more quotable, if ambiguous, 'He helped the little man.' " So does Veeck now regret having used Eddie Gaedel long ago in a St. Louis Browns game? Well, he says, "Were it in my power to turn back the clock, I'd never use one midget again. I'd use nine of the little fellows."
A product of the concrete football fields of Brooklyn's Thomas Jefferson High School, Green Bay Running Back John Brockington has never quite forgotten those bruises. "Honest, our school didn't have a field," Brockington says. "We practiced on concrete, blacktop, whatever." After 18 years of pleading, TJ Coach Moe Finkelstein thought he was going to get a real field this year, but his grass got bypassed at city hall. Brockington heard about it and didn't hesitate a second. He went directly to the top, putting in a call to New York Mayor John Lindsay. Presto, chango. Thomas Jefferson's football field has turned into beautiful sod. You might say the strawberry fields of Brockington's youth have vanished forever.
After 78 years Field & Stream has its first centerfold girl—Phyllis Diller. The comedienne, who appears in the current issue dressed for a day in the swamps, was selected as Miss Fun Fishing of 1973. Strongly resisting some barbed questions, Editor Jack Samson remained totally serious. "She truly characterizes the lighthearted aspects of sport," he said. Come, come, Samson. Miss Fun Fishing at least tried. "Before the photographer went to work," she said, "he tried to clean and scale me." Well, it was a fishing line.
Denver architect Ron Mason has found a way to skim around the thick morning traffic. Twice he has paddled a kayak down Cherry Creek through the middle of the city, portaging around waterfalls. An entrant in the U.S. Olympic Kayak Trials last year, Mason covered the 3½-mile journey between the north- and southbound lanes of Speer Boulevard in 45 minutes. He says he particularly has enjoyed the scenery and the fauna—a rabbit, two kinds of ducks, a muskrat, a redwing blackbird and a lot of envious commuters.
Johnny Unitas is in some danger of being cut from the squad. "We are allowed only 18 players on the team and I want to know whether we can count on him or not," says Henry Amos. Amos, the field captain of the John's Golden Arm Restaurant softball team, which represents the Baltimore eatery owned by Unitas, points out that Johnny won't be much help if he is 3,000 miles away playing with the San Diego Chargers and says John had better make up his mind which team he wants to stick with. Unitas complains, "This is the second time in one year I've been benched. I still can't get used to it." That's O.K., John. Some folks still love you. A street has been named after you in a new development outside Baltimore. Is it Unitas Street? Nothing so common. Unitas Drive? Unitas Avenue? Too banal. No, it is Unitas Pass.
Bill Emmerton, the 52-year-old Australian who walked across Death Valley last July, tried a little running recently. To be exact, he ran down into, through and up out of the Grand Canyon. He covered the rather vertical 22 miles in 4½ hours. That does not include the time spent in helping a hiker he passed who was suffering from leg cramps.
The first-prize winner of the Quebec lottery is still living on 25¢ a week, despite having $125,000 in the bank. Since Sean Cahill is only six, his mother decided he didn't need all of his winnings right away. "He's really quite happy with the 25¢," Mrs. Cahill says.
Red Sox Manager Eddie Kasko, who does not have enough of them on his mound staff, came across an ace in an unexpected place—on the 140-yard 15th hole at Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln, R.I.
Cardinal rookie Third Baseman Ken Reitz came down with chicken pox during spring training, which was a slightly embarrassing thing to have happen. Chicken pox is supposed to interfere with a Cub Scout cookout, or at worst with the junior prom, not with the serious business of making the roster of a major league team. But Reitz is putting his affliction to good and serious use. He plans to give blood to a children's hospital; blood from an adult who had chicken pox can give temporary immunity to children hospitalized with more serious diseases and thus reduce the chances of complications that chicken pox might cause.