Ben-Avraham nodded approvingly. "Good, good," he said. "The more sports the better."
I drained my coffee cup and leaned forward. "You know what would be a good game for Israel?" I said to Ben-Avraham. "One in character with a young, lusty, pioneering country. Fast and aggressive, full of action and thrills for the spectators?"
"What game is this?" asked Ben-Avraham.
"Hurling," I said. "The national game of Ireland."
Ben-Avraham looked at Glovinsky and the colonel. "How is it played?" he said.
"Visualize the sport of field hockey, only much faster. Add something of lacrosse. Hitting the ball like a baseball, running with the ball held on the stick, great body contact, cracking of heads and so forth. Hurling is the name."
"Yes, yes," said Ben-Avraham, dubiously.
"I think it could be adapted to the dimensions of a soccer field," I said. "Would you like more information?"
"Yes," said Ben-Avraham, rising and looking at his wristwatch. "Send me something on that."
We piled into Chaim Glovinsky's old car and started for Wingate Physical Education Institute, not far from Tel Aviv. The institute is named for the British general, Orde Wingate, who trained the Jewish underground forces in the late 1930s. On the way we stopped at a physical education school for students preparing to enter Wingate. We met Chaim Wein, the director, who toured a number of American universities to learn about U.S. methods. Soon his school will be moved to Wingate, and students living in Tel Aviv and the surrounding countryside will be transported to the institute on a bus that formerly served the citizens of St. Louis, Mo. It was a gift arranged by Al Fleischman, the public relations man for Gussie Busch of the St. Louis Cardinals.