SOFT SHOES FOR SONNY
In the heady aftermath of the recent heavyweight title fight, the newborn champion, Sonny Liston, said: "If the people and the newspapers give me a chance, I'll prove to them they've been wrong about me." The improbable thesis seemed to be that Liston was not as bad a man as courts and cops had painted him. It was, however, said with welcome, if hitherto uncharacteristic, humility and so the prevailing mood was to give Liston a chance.
Well, less than two weeks after he knocked out Floyd Patterson in the first round, Sonny was picked up by Philadelphia's Fairmount Park police for the second time. No charge was made (he simply had been driving at a suspiciously slow speed) and he was released.
But the question arises as to why Liston is such a persistent driver through Fairmount Park, where he has had so much trouble with the police. Why not avoid it? The answer may be that it is a normal route for him to take on his way home. Though investigation is not yet complete, the Pennsylvania boxing commission and police seem now to agree that the latest episode was inconsequential, something that might happen to anyone who had had a few beers with friends ( Liston avoids hard liquor). Inconsequential or not, it tarnishes the promise of the new Sonny Liston.
"This thing was of no account," said a customer of the 52nd Street bar of which Liston is an occasional patron, "but Sonny ought to be soft-shoein' around anyhow."
That may be the best advice Sonny Liston ever got. He ought to go out right now (but not by way of the park) and get himself fitted for a nice pair.
BACK TO EOHIPPUS
It is undoubtedly shameful of us to expose in advance what someone is going to get for Christmas, but we will anyway. Mrs. Ethel Kennedy, wife of the U.S. Attorney General, has ordered two horses, a mare and a stallion, from a remarkable breed of midgets raised on the Argentine estancia of Julio C�sar Falabella. The order specifies that they be delivered "not later than December 24, 1962," which is a pretty good clue as to their purpose. The Kennedy children, who already enjoy an impressive menagerie, are going to have some truly rare fun on Christmas Day.
The midgets, recognized as a true breed by the Argentine Rural Society, are believed to be the only ones of their kind anywhere in the world, and there are only about 350 of them. They average 36 inches in height though some, fully grown, stand only 30 inches. A few look like ordinary ponies, with stubby legs and fat bellies. Others have the long, fine legs, graceful torsos and elegant heads of miniature Thoroughbreds.
Their development was an accident. About 50 years ago Falabella's father turned some smallish ponies out to pasture. He noticed that some of their progeny seemed undersized, and he separated the runts from the rest of the herd. These in turn produced even smaller animals with each generation. He continued to cull the runts and eventually produced this new breed. The hobby has become profitable—Falabella gets from $700 to $1,000 for each midget.