During the Olympics, Associate Editor Martin Kane, most familiar in these pages as a recorder of boxing, transferred his talents to Rome and the vast and various competition which makes the Olympics for those who report them the busiest of sports events. His quarters were in the Domus Mariae, a traditionally austere hostel, normally a shelter for religious pilgrims. "At the time," Kane says, with an implied bow to the glory that can be Rome, "the Domus' austerity had certain compensations for a member of the working press." Its location, miles from the main Olympic activities, had none. Kane's Olympic memories include jouncing over Roman roads on a motor scooter with which SPORTS ILLUSTRATED met such contingencies as no taxis. The weather was hot; the traffic, even to New Yorker Kane, "vicious"; the deadlines unyielding; and every minute pressing.
"I wouldn't have wanted to miss a second of it," Kane says.
Nevertheless, toward the end of the Games, he did not find decision difficult when Managing Editor Andre Laguerre asked, "Would you be interested in doing a story on the Casino at Monte Carlo?"
Leaving the Domus Mariae, Kane shortly found himself registered at Monaco's luxurious Hotel Hermitage, strolling at an easygoing Riviera pace under the palms of the tiny resort, planning his exploration of the gaming house which in Victorian days inspired this commentary: "Youths who throw away family fortunes, tradesmen with numbers of children, daily meet with ruin and dishonor. Innocent bathers are enticed into the labyrinth of evil, this cathedral of vice, the casino of Monaco. The palace itself which dates back to 1538 is full of the sinister, mysterious dramas in which the Guelphs and Ghibellines played their evil part."
After bathing with the least innocence he could muster, Kane was joined at the "labyrinth of evil" by Photographer Jerry Cooke, who had a particularly personal reason for wanting to be there. In a childhood he does not regard as wholly misspent, he spent hours in San Remo, Italy spinning a roulette wheel for his father, who ultimately wrote a much translated book on how to beat the game.
Next week in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Kane writes and Cooke illustrates the story of the Casino today: what goes on within its fabled vaults, the facts about the fables and how the Cooke (Sr.) and other systems fare. Not to overdo the suspense of that last—both Kane and Cooke made more money on the Pittsburgh Pirates.