For almost a
year, Williams Simmons, 30, a Baltimore longshoreman, had been married and, by
coincidence, out of a job. His wife, Viola, was steadily employed at a
Venetian-blind factory and recently had begun to pass remarks to the effect
that a man looking for work wasn't likely to find it if he was out fishing half
The other night,
William helped dry the dishes and after Viola had gone to bed, he wrote the
following note to her: "I was going to tell you last night, but was afraid
you'd get mad. I've gone fishing. Will drive you to work at 7 a.m./Love,
At 7 a.m., Viola
was ready, mad and ready. Bill did not show. Also, it turned out, he had taken
$5 of the grocery money (to buy gas), leaving Viola only a dollar. Viola
finally had to take the bus to work, and she was docked for being late. The
thoughts she had about fishermen, she later confessed, were unkind.
She was still
burning when the boss called her into his office. "Viola," said the
boss, "congratulations. You are rich. Your husband has caught a fish worth
Bill had done
just that. With a live eel for bait, he had hooked Diamond Jim III, the
diamond-tagged striped bass released in Chesapeake Bay earlier in the summer as
a promotion stunt for a brewery. ("I had planned to quit fishing at 6
o'clock," said Bill, "but the bass started hitting the eels just before
6. I couldn't stop then.") Two previous Diamond Jims have not been caught.
The prize money is dropped to $1,000 in September. Bill Simmons had beaten the
deadline by three weeks. Better than that, he had beaten the rap at home, where
never again will a word be uttered against the reasonable proposition that
sometimes it is better to go fishing than to work—or even look for work.
There is more to
big-time coaching than beating the bushes for big boys bright enough to make
passing grades. A coach also has to have some sure-fire comedy material for the
banquet circuit and be fast with an ad lib at his press conference.
Top banana among
funny coaches is Duffy Daugherty of Michigan State, who fractured them at a
Senate hearing the other day and drew from Senator Estes Kefauver the comment
that he was funnier than Casey Stengel.
It may be
observed, these hot August days, that some other coaches are testing material
here and there. In Greensboro, North Carolina, Adolph Rupp, Kentucky coach,
told a basketball clinic: "I'm not as mean as you think. I've got a lot of
publicity for being a mean man, but it's not true. The fact is that I've
already got an invitation to coach both teams when I go through the pearly