SI Vault
May 05, 1958
No Whiskey for Silky
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May 05, 1958

Events & Discoveries

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"I have been accused," Gibson went on, "of having 'capacious pockets and rapacious hands.' I have never had any financial interest in a fighter, manager or promoter, nor taken any gratuity from them."

This could sound like a man boasting of his negative Wassermann but it was not, in the present instance, an uncalled-for denial. It was meant to put down old rumors that Gibson had squeezed illicit dollars out of fighters' purses. Gibson had been accused of it in whispers, and now he was, by inference, recalling the rumors himself and taking an auspicious occasion to deny them. He had not previously seen fit to bring the rumors into the open.

Without precisely repudiating Norris, who is still Gibson's boss because Norris owns Madison Square Garden and Chicago Stadium, which own the IBC, Gibson seemed to be hopefully announcing a new economic policy for the IBC, a new era of statesmanship, and perhaps he was announcing it perforce, because all of television, which rules boxing, has been smirched by the old policies. The graceful Gibson would never be so awkward as to put it in those words, but that seemed to be the tenor of his baritone pronouncement.

He pointed out that he and Harry Markson, IBC managing director, have been given a "free hand" by Norris but he also said that they will "continue" to operate according to the rules. This seemed to be an announcement of the greatest balancing act since Ringling Brothers discovered Unus.

"We have no commitments with anyone," Gibson said. "The proof of the pudding will be in the eating."

Bon appetit.


People who knew him, and millions of Americans felt that they did, are trying to share with each other now their memories of Herman Hickman, who died in Washington last week at the age of 46. His colleagues on this magazine are trying, too, and finding it difficult, as everyone is, to tell exactly what Herman meant to them.

He was one of the pioneers of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. When he first heard about plans for publishing the magazine four years ago, he wrote to one of the editors that he was excited about the idea and would like to be a part of it. "I realize," he said deprecatingly, "that I am not a professionally trained writer." The editor wrote back, "If you're not a writer, Herman, you'll do until one comes along." That exchange concluded the negotiations; Herman joined the staff.

He is remembered here, as in so many places, for his great zest for all the good things of life. He is also remembered here as a serious man. The picture in everyone's mind of the jolly fat man with the great fund of stories; the jolly fat man who incongruously drawled Shakespeare, Thackeray, Goethe, Robert W. Service and his own rhythmic jingles in practically the same breath; the jolly fat man with the enormous appetite for good food and drink and tobacco and late hours was not the whole picture by any means.

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