According to Jones,
as well as other less biased boosters, the advantage of the En Tout Cas surface
is that it stays crisp and firm on top, yet moist and springy underneath.
Spikes come out of the compound easily, so that the runner is not detained by
his shoes. And the track is just as usable after a heavy rain—or even during
one—as it is in the finest weather. (En Tout Cas is French for in any
baseball, interested in being rained out as rarely as possible, once asked the
En Tout Cas people to experiment with a weatherproof baseball diamond. En Tout
Cas mixed up a new compound (the track mixture wouldn't do—you couldn't slide
on it) and built a diamond at the U.S. Air Force Base at Brunting-thorpe,
England. Reporting on results, the English builders wrote to their American
agents that a "baseball match" was held directly after a heavy rain and
that the "running paths" and "base points" were found entirely
satisfactory. As yet, however, no major league team has installed English
running paths on which to play its baseball matches.
The Sheik of
Kuwait, who has plenty of oil money, once hired Jones to build a track for
Kuwait University, on the shores of the Persian Gulf, and Jones did so. Flat on
the blazing desert he spread out tons of earth taken from the damp English
countryside, and his highness the Sheik was well pleased. But this is one En
Tout Cas track on which no spectacular times have been set: summer temperatures
in Kuwait hit 120° to 140°.
track will be the first in North America, and Chicago hopes it will continue to
attract top-grade athletic events long after the Pan-American Games are over.
This hope led the city to vote $85,000 for building a track and field
installation of Olympic caliber. The present asphalt track, which was used for
stock-car races at Soldier Field, will be dug up and a base of fine cinders
laid down to settle through the winter. As soon as the Great Lakes thaw next
spring, a ship will bring 450 tons of En Tout Cas compound into Chicago, and
Mr. Jones will reappear there to supervise its distribution over the base.
This should be done
by June, and Chicagoans are talking now about opening the track with a
pre-Games invitational meet to which every famous miler in the world would be
invited. Chicago seems to feel that if most future track records are going to
be set on English soil, some of them might as well be made on English soil
within Chicago's city limits.
This man likes to
In the cold seasons;
He dives, I suppose,
For divers reasons.
Latest on Elmer
Football has run
its annual course in the Shenandoah Valley and your attention is again invited
to Elmer Lam of Elkton, Va. His story (SI, Oct. 20), it pleases to report, has
enjoyed satisfactory resolution.
The Elkton High
Elks (13 strong) scored 184 points this fall, their opponents 62. More
precisely, Elmer Lam scored 112 and passed for 54 more, leaving the 18
remaining points to others. And it seems sure Elmer would have scored a few
more if he had not been injured by resolute pile-on tacklers in the first
quarter of Elkton's final game. A lineman was turned into an emergency back to
take his place, and Elkton went down in its only defeat.