Four years after he exhumed her from the Pendine Sands on the British Coast, Owen Wyn Owen, lecturer at England's Bangor University, has restored Babs to life. Babs is a 500-hp automobile that set the world land-speed record of 171 mph in 1926 and crashed the following year, killing Welsh driver Jeffrey Parry Thomas. Babs was buried on the beach of her demise and lay there undisturbed until Owen claimed her. He did not take the reconditioned Babs out of bottom gear in her inaugural rerun at an old air base but, sputtering smoke and flames from her exhaust pipe, the grand lady reached 60 mph. "Babs is part of racing history," said Owen. "She will be taken to a museum and displayed as a monument."
Ordinarily John Havlicek of the Boston Celtics would make a fast break away from diaper changing, but there he was on exhibition in a New York department store, displaying his touch with disposables. "The first thing you do is get the old one off," said the father of two. "Then you wipe up, put on a Pampers and secure the tabs on both sides." A star's work is never done.
Maryland horseman Stuart Janney Jr. has named his new foal born of Buckpasser and Shenanigan. Calls him Watergate.
Among the honors handed out recently by the Society of American Social Scribes, an organization of society editors, was the Brassy Award. It went to the "male chauvinist tennis pig of the year," Bobby Riggs.
Queen Elizabeth won the group's Classy Award. The announcement was made in Toronto, where Her Majesty maintained her composure despite a sticky situation during a horseshoeing exhibition at a display of pioneer arts. It was noted that the rear end of a 1,700-pound mare would point at the Queen, an intolerable breach of etiquette. "But," said blacksmith Norman Rose, "if I turn the horse around, my backside will face the Queen." It was decided that the horse's rear was more offensive, so she was turned around—and around and around as the Queen toured the other exhibits.
Joe Frazier may have revolutionized the prefight workout. During roadwork for his London bout with Joe Bugner he relieved the tedium by watching the telly. No doubt the choice was Coronation Street for the former heavyweight champion.
East German glider pilot Udo EIke did not win the race—in fact he skillfully steered off-course and landed in a turnip patch—but on the whole he was pleased. Seems the patch was in West Germany. EIke had set out on a three-corner course during competition and sort of lost it on the first turn.
It wasn't exactly a parlay but it was luck. Donald Heasley of Levittown, Pa. won the $1 million first prize in the New Jersey state lottery, and with the same ticket (he buys only one of the multi-numbered chances each week) he raked in another hefty $10,000 as consolation prize. Some consolation. Some odds—324 trillion to 1 according to lottery officials.
That well-known quarterback Ethel Kennedy was welcomed to the board of directors of NFL Charities by Mrs. Vince Lombardi and Commissioner Pete Rozelle. Mrs. Kennedy, as reported by that well-known sportswriter Art Buchwald, was playing for the Convent of the Sacred Heart in the Bronx when that well-known Notre Dame Coach Pat O'Brien, driving by, saw her throw for three touchdowns, kick four field goals and intercept two passes "while the light changed." O'Brien, Buchwald swears, recruited Ethel for Manhattanville College, where she led her team to four undefeated seasons and three invitations to the Rose Bowl. "The pro offers rolled in," he wrote. "Ethel was drafted by the Kennedy Tigers for $100,000 a year plus a home in Virginia, a car and two months' free vacation in Hyannisport. The rest is history. With Ethel in the backfield the Tigers never lost a touch football game in 15 years." Or an election.
What a splash they had in Cincinnati when former Indiana and Olympic swimmer Gary Hall married Mary Adele Keating, a four-time National AAU competitor and sister of Charlie Keating, who will join the Indiana swimming team this fall. Hall's Indiana teammate Mark Spitz was an usher and the bride was given away by her father, who heads the Marlin Swim Club in Cincinnati. The new couple's children should be a cinch for the 1992 Olympics.
Joe Beiberbecke of Charlotte, N.C. thought it would be a nice stunt to celebrate his birthday by making a parachute jump from 2,200 feet for each of his 62 years. Fine, except he almost reached early retirement when his main chute failed to open on the 57th drop. Fortunately, his auxiliary saved him 1,000 feet from the ground. Undeterred, and despite an aching back, he gamely jumped through the last five years, even though it probably aged him that much in the process.