This weekend in Boise, Idaho—or any other weekend until the chill of autumn sets in—much of the city's population will gather on the banks of the Boise River to rig up for a diversion known as "tubing." So far as we know, tubing is unique to Boise, though it could be enjoyed anywhere that has a reasonably placid river running through town.
From basements, attics and garages the population of Boise assembles inner tubes, gaily colored plastic air mattresses and yellow survival rafts, and then, clad in bathing suits, gathers by the river. Elderly matrons, children, mothers and fathers, swarms of high school kids, college co-eds and their admirers, all come to float a seven-mile stretch that starts at an irrigation diversion dam about five miles above town. The river gurgles coolly out of the mountains, is restrained by two dams, wanders past three city parks, through the center of town and on down the valley. The well-equipped float party includes an extra inner tube holding up a cooler full of beer, plastic bags full of boiled eggs and celery and plastic Clorox bottles of Martinis or Scotch on the rocks bobbing along behind on a rope. Family groups are strung together by ropes. Young lovers float side by side on twin plastic air mattresses. Athletic types attempt with mighty strokes to set speed records, flashing past intellectuals who never move a muscle except to turn the pages of a book. The possessor of a four-man tube finds it ideal for bridge.
Halfway down the course a tavern stands on the riverbank, strategically placed to help neglectful tubers rectify the error of not having brought enough along. For most tubers the adventure ends with a picnic in the beautiful green park at the edge of town. Here in the twilight they pull their craft from the water and enjoy steaks or hot dogs cooked over open fires.
Pennsylvania's highly original experiment—naming as commissioner of a sport a man who knows something about that sport—has ended with the resignation of Lawrence Sheppard as chairman of the state harness racing commission. Sheppard, one of the most respected men in trotting for almost 50 years, defended himself for three years against a politically inspired barrage of irresponsible scattershot charges (SI, June 5, 1961) by Democrats (he is a Republican) before he quit in disgust. At bottom, what irritated the politicians was that Sheppard was more concerned with the welfare of the sport than with reaping big profits for well-connected Pennsylvanians and the tax office. He joins Alfred Vanderbilt (see page 18) in unmerited exile as a dangerous radical.
TIGER A LA MAHARAJA
A couple of maharajas were whooping it up in the back room of one of their palaces last year and, in the course of a merry evening, decided to sell American tourists a tiger hunt at, say, $140 a day. But a rather special tiger hunt.
Naturally, the first place they made the offer was in Houston. There, last week, the Maharaja of Baroda and his sidekick, the Nawab Habeeb Jung Bahadur of Paigah, made their pitch with refreshing candor.
"We know," the maharaja said, "that for many hunters, including the Texans, the Indian tiger is the last word, the final dream. For us, we shoot them like rats."
His Royal Highness is now president of Princely Travel India, which is working with American Express and British Overseas Airways to sell various tours. One very special job is called the Grand Mogul Tour and includes: