A book by Cathryn Johnson Pyle entitled The Care and Feeding of Right Tackles, Together with Some Notes on Golf, Fishing for the Small-mouth Bass, Amateur Wrestling, Softball, Tennis and Putting the 16-pound Shot; with Additional Observations on the Need for Faith in the Chicago Cubs and Certain Basic Flaws in the Offense of the Professional Football Team Known as the Chicago Bears will not be found on the shelves of any bookstore or on any publisher's list. As a matter of fact, Mrs. Pyle, a tall, slender, brunette housewife of Winnetka, Ill., has not written such a book. But she sure could.
As for right tackles, Mrs. Pyle is such an authority on the subject that both Big Ten and Ivy League football will be in her debt next season. Her eldest son, William Palmer Pyle Jr., 20, is described by Coach Duffy Daugherty of Michigan State as "one of the fastest tackles I've ever seen, with a very good chance to make All-America." A second son, Michael Johnson Pyle, 18, is regarded highly at Yale where an admiring sports-writer called his play in the Yale-Harvard freshman game last November "murderous" and judged him to be a cinch to start at right tackle for the varsity next fall. Both boys were all-state tackles while they were playing for New Trier High School in Winnetka. Mike also won the state high school heavyweight wrestling championship and broke the state shotput record.
A third son, Harlen Pyle, is presently concentrating on kite flying and backyard soccer. Just a few weeks ago Harlen tried fishing at a quarry outside Keokuk, Iowa, and took two sunfish with only token assistance from his brother Palmer. He is also being groomed for his debut as sports spectator at the big football games. Last year he found even minor affairs rather too stimulating. At one of Mike's wrestling matches, for instance, fearing that the crowd might be unaware that Mike's brother was in the stands, he felt obliged to make loud announcements to this effect. Mike found his remarks distracting, but managed to win anyway. Harlen, now 6, is a first year man at Hubbard Woods Grammar School in Winnetka where his prestige as brother of two football heroes is sometimes almost more than he can bear.
The two football heroes did not emerge from any conscious planning by Mrs. Pyle, but they came as no particular surprise. The household of William Palmer Pyle, a central division products manager for Kraft Foods, has always fairly crackled with sports talk and sports activity, and when it became apparent that two young men on the premises were growing to rather startling dimensions (both Palmer and Mike stand 6 feet 2 and weigh well over 200), their mother soon learned to take the press notices about their exploits almost (if not quite) as a matter of course.
Taking things as a matter of course is a discipline that Mrs. Pyle forced herself to master long ago. As she was saying the other day in the living room of the Pyles' white-frame-and-green-shuttered home on Scott Avenue in Winnetka, "I've found myself gradually becoming conditioned to many things. People have asked me about the boys getting hurt. Well, of course there are inevitable injuries and they aren't necessarily limited to actual games. We've had some casualties right here in the living room and out in the backyard."
Mrs. Pyle looked at her husband across the room and said, "You remember some of them, Pinny?"
Pinny (a nickname from his childhood), an athletic-looking 6-footer who wears a look, around the house, of unshakable bemusement, simply raised his eyes to heaven by way of comment.
At that moment, the front door flew open and Harlen and three companions his own age staggered dramatically into the living room and collapsed into various attitudes on the floor.
"We can't get that kite up, Mom!" cried Harlen, holding his head to signify great mental anguish.