"I think it was flu this time," says Associate Editor Pat Putnam of the ailment that struck while he was covering the Foreman-Young fight in Puerto Rico last week (page 22). "What saved me was Foreman's doctor, Keith West. He gave me a shot and looked in a couple of times.
"I think all the traveling caught up with me. In 53 days this year I've been twice to L.A. and Miami, once to El Paso and Birmingham. Hot climates. I came out of L.A. and went to Chicago, where the wind-chill factor made it-55°, and then to Puerto Rico. My body never knows what time it is."
There is little room left on the map of the U.S. on Putnam's office wall for the pushpins with which he has indicated his other domestic destinations, and he is by no means the most traveled member of our staff.
Of course, the life does have its rewards. Putnam is fond of Puerto Rico's black-bean soup and El Morro Castle. Jerry Kirshenbaum and J. D. Reed think well of Boston and Montreal, because, as J.D. explains, the former "has a good ethnic soul and is not made of plastic. It is the Leningrad of the U.S." A trip to the latter, he says, "is like having another continent fewer than 90 minutes from New York."
Bob Jones still cherishes his finest arrival, in New Zealand, where "Photographer George Silk was waiting at the Auckland airport with a pilot and a small plane. I jumped in, we flew to Rotorua and within an hour I had caught a big rainbow trout. That took care of the jet lag. We fished all day, me still in my travel clothes."
Of the minus side of all this journeying, perhaps the less said the better, but at least the staff has gleaned a smattering of travel tips that seem worth passing along.
If you are in an airport and must make a reservation for a future flight, skip the line and go to a phone booth and call. On arrival, head for the car-rental desk before you pick up your luggage. You'll beat the mob and probably still get to the luggage pickup ahead of your bags. If you have a bad back, rent a Ford Granada or a Mercury Monarch with the bench, not the bucket, seats, and for the plane, take along a steel-mesh folding seat. In the hotel or motel, order breakfast from room service when you get up. By the time you shower and dress, it will have arrived—coffee shops take too long. If traveling with golf clubs, get a golf traveling bag and an outer cover and wrap the heads of the clubs in a towel. Don't include a lot of new balls: they may mysteriously disappear in transit.
More metaphysically, Jones advises that "the toughest part about travel is the culture shock inherent in getting back home. You have to kind of bend your knees mentally, as you would landing from a parachute jump. Otherwise you'll end up with a flattened psyche." This truth seems implicit in J. D. Reed's final bit of advice. "Always buy a return ticket so you will not be tempted to go AWOL."
EL SENOR PAT PUTNAM EN EL MORRO CON LA INFLUENZA