A member in a
Tyrolean hat with Gemsbart and yellow oil slicker stood at the bar, over his
paratrooper boots in mud, and with each drink sank a little deeper into the
ooze. When a mud-covered, trench-coated figure lifted the flap of the tent to
enter he was obviously reminded of the similarity between the present scene and
a footage from an old World War I film, for he greeted his friend with a
barked, "Don't let the bloody Huns get over those trenches." Nobody
seemed unduly surprised by the observation at all.
happily babbling mass packed shoulder to shoulder four bookies made their way.
"What's your choice, sir? Chufquen is at 4 to 1, and a bobble could do
it." Incredibly enough, the races were taking place outside. A slit in the
tent showed the rolling, utterly deserted grounds, and there in the distance
two horses and their riders were jumping a brush fence, their progress reported
to the desolately empty countryside by a loudspeaker system. After the fourth
race, the Monmouth County Gold Cup, the refreshment tent began to empty. The
men went to the parking field where, with the tireless help of Amory Haskell
Jr. and his tractor, they wrestled their cars onto the driveway. Even the fire
engine and ambulance in attendance had to get an assist. The women departed for
the main house and Mr. Haskell's large and celebrated postrace tea where, after
a quick handshake, they filled all the bathrooms for the next hour soaking
their feet and washing their stockings.
Who won the Gold
Cup? Six-year-old named Basil Bee, for the fifth time, in what the papers
called a quagmire.
The spirit of
Japan's late Emperor Meiji will be re-enshrined this week in a brand-new
$1,500,000 cypress temple on the grounds of the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo. And
what, you may well say, has that got to do with the wonderful world of sport?
The answer is: quite a lot.
grandfather of Japan's present Emperor, was the ruler who, aided by America's
Commodore Perry, brought his nation out of the medieval darkness of the
Ashikaga shogunate into the light of the modern world. After his death in 1912,
the people of Japan set out to build him a memorial partaking of everything
that was best in their land.
His new resting
place like his old (which was bombed out in 1945) is set in the midst of 300
acres that include temples, orchards, flower gardens, a picture gallery, a
giant swimming pool, a wrestling arena, a baseball stadium seating 56,000,
tennis courts, bowling alleys and a Rugby ground.
In a world where
religion, sport and culture are often (and unjustifiably) proclaimed to be at
odds, the Meiji Shrine seems worth noting.
They faked left
And razzled and dazzled;
Then dropped from the fight,
Not tackled, just frazzled.
--James D. Smith