You probably knew we would have stories in this issue on the Indianapolis 500 and the Stanley Cup and NBA playoffs. But our editors also like to surprise our readers, and one area where they do that a lot is in those distinctive, often offbeat columns that bear such headings as FIRST PERSON, SPOTLIGHT and DESIGN. These articles are easier to recognize than to define. For instance, in this issue you will find a SPOTLIGHT on Paul Caligari, an American soccer star who now plays in West Germany; a SIDELINE about adopting retired racing greyhounds; a BOOKS column reviewing a new baseball novel by lawyer Michael Bowen; a PERSPECTIVE on a lacrosse program for Baltimore's inner-city kids; and a TELEVISION column on two of TV's best sports cameramen.
"These are the stories in which people can find subjects they might not read about in the headlines," says senior editor Margaret Sieck, who along with senior editor Bob Brown and associate editor Constance Tubbs oversees these popular features. Adds Sieck, "In other parts of the magazine, readers see their heroes. Here they might see them in a different light. And sometimes the readers may even see themselves." This last is especially true of FIRST PERSON pieces. Says Sieck, "When I'm reading a story, I put myself in it, and for that there is nothing like an excellent FIRST PERSON. Some days, after I've edited four manuscripts, I get home and feel as if I've ricocheted around the world on four great adventures."
All three editors keep themselves in first-person touch with sports. In recent weeks Sieck, who earned a varsity letter in crew at Princeton, has escaped for some sailing to Newport, R.I., and for a little golf to Bermuda, where, under the critical eye of the first caddie she has ever employed, she hit a five-wood for a personal-record 165 yards. Brown, who doubles as our motor sports editor (he edited the Indy story on page 30), is an accomplished fisherman. Tubbs enjoys walking around Manhattan and swimming and is an avid bird-watcher in Central Park.
Sieck, Brown and Tubbs read more than 100 manuscripts a week, from both SI staffers and outside writers. To keep the surprises coming, they are on constant lookout for suitable stories, which is why Sieck recently had mixed feelings upon reading Beryl Markham's West with the Night, the Englishwoman's 1942 account of her experiences flying airplanes in East Africa. "What an adventure," Sieck said. "I wish she'd written it for us."