Implacable judges awarded the first prize to beaming Editor Roy Craft on the ground that his was the best of the bears fed on wilderness fare alone. But no local censure was directed at Hunter Wallman. Black bears have become mighty unpopular in the Pacific Northwest. Emerging from winter hibernation, they have an insatiable appetite for sweets, which they satisfy by clawing the bark from young fir trees to get at the oozy sap from the cambium layer below. In the original wilderness, since young trees were widely scattered, they did not do great damage. But, with the development of tree farms for reforestation, it is estimated each bear in the Olympic Peninsula kills an average of 1,200 trees a year. As a result, there is no limit on bears in the peninsula, no license is required to hunt them and the likelihood is that bear-eating contests will go on and on.
The Latest in Torches
Although the Greeks could doubtless have coined an appropriate word for it had the necessity arisen, they had no way of knowing that nearly 3,000 eager young Americans would someday be carrying a torch loaded with an electronic, radioactive miracle more than 1,400 miles to light a fire.
What is billed as "the biggest relay-team event in sports history" is now in progress, with boy scouts and Explorers bearing the Friendship Torch steadily toward Soldier Field in Chicago. The long trek, being conducted at scout pace (alternate stints of 50 steps walking and running), started at Laredo, Texas and will end when the torch touches off Friendship Fire to launch the Pan-American Games on August 27.
The torch, 25 inches high and weighing four pounds, is an electrical, battery-powered gadget with a transistorized circuit. It carries a radioactive charge which will be used to trigger the Chicago fire, 1959 version.
The torch's long journey actually began at Mexico City, site of the 1957 Pan-American Games. From there, relays of Mexican boy scouts hustled it north the 740-odd up-and-down miles to the Rio Grande and delivered it ceremoniously to their U.S. opposite numbers in the middle of the International Bridge at Laredo.
On this side of the Rio Grande each scout runs one mile—in daylight only. At night the torch is carefully put aside in order to keep the scouts from being knocked about the countryside by something the ancient Greek torchbearers did not have to worry about—speeding automobiles.
Five years ago this week the first issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED was published and, in the line of parlor games, we included a highly improbable fiction called Ladle Rat Rotten Hut by Howard Chace, a language teacher at Miami University, Ohio. With an insidious knack for distorting the spoken word when putting it on the printed page, Chace blithely started his story, "Wants pawn term" (for once upon a time), and let the reader struggle on from there. Read aloud, and preferably in company, Professor Chace's frammis constructions made a sense of their own. So much so, indeed, that a collection of them—titled The Anguish Languish—was published in book form by Prentice-Hall in 1956.
Now, as an aunt a verse ray (excuse us), hello, Professor Chace has contributed another fairy tale as it might be told by a psychotic speller with a speech impediment. Here is his not-so-Grimm rendering of Slipping Booty. With the helpful hint that "Lessen, poisoned gulls," should be translated "Listen, boys and girls," we turn you loose to see how fast you can figure out what really happened to the handsome prince: