The two eggs came from Josephine, matriarch of the seven adult whooping cranes at the Audubon Park aviary in New Orleans, only ones in captivity. As the bantams hatched her two eggs, Josephine laid the first egg of a new clutch, and four more bantams are about to be pressed into service. Still another egg is undergoing mechanical incubation.
Patience received her name because she feels her only function in life is to hatch. Petulance was so named because she almost had to be forced off her egg to take nourishment, and seemed to resent it. Their contribution to science is greatly appreciated by the U.S. Wildlife and Fisheries department.
"We know now we can use foster mothers for whooping crane eggs," said John Lynch, in charge of the project. "This is exactly what our research is all about."
BIRTH OF A NOTION
Marlo Lewis, veteran producer of many a really big show for Ed Sullivan, is in high hopes of snaring some really big professional ski races for television next winter—if he can find a sponsor. As bait for network time buyers, Lewis and Thomas Sheridan Jr. of the Windham, N.Y. ski area have even organized the National Ski League, an association of U.S. ski areas, to foster the sport's professionalism. Each league member resort, Lewis said last week, will field a three-man squad of topnotch skiers to compete in a 13-week schedule beginning next January. The NSL hopes pro skiing will fill the television scheduling gap between pro football and baseball. Like its professional prototypes, the infant league plans to have such fillips as East and West divisions, All-Star events and even a World Series. Its bylaws, though, have not yet been established—the league directors are still studying the National Football League rulebook. The NSL has some fine prospects, however. Among them are the signatures of Egon Zimmerman and Pepi Stiegler, gold medalists at the Innsbruck Olympics, on the roster of Boyne Mountain, a league member.
TAPS AND BOOTS AND SADDLES
To the aristocracy of racing he was a special man with style and flashing color, an artful technician with a sensitive feeling for horses and racing. To the small bettor, who ranted about his reluctance to use the whip, he was a brigand. But to everyone, from Bombay to Epsom Downs, he was Le Crocodile, the dark Australian with the cold grey eyes who—his back humped like an angry cat, but sitting his horse with perfect balance—so often came from behind near the wire.
W. Rae Johnstone, who died at the age of 59 last week after suffering a heart attack at Le Tremblay racetrack, was a major figure in international racing for more than two decades. During a career that began in Sydney, Australia and stretched across 11 countries, the impeccably garbed Johnstone, who backed his horses heavily and tossed many a purse to the croupiers in Deauville before he married, won 2,000 races, including three English Derbies, the French and Irish Derbies and the Grand Prix de Paris.
Johnstone rode three times in this country without victory, and did not have much use for racing here. "It's too monotonous," he said. "As far as I can make out, people go to the races in America to eat sandwiches and hot dogs and bet on a number."
The atmosphere of the Paris tracks, opulent with rolling, richly green, up-and-down courses and filled with the slender figures of smart women, enraptured him. When he retired in 1957 he lamented that he never had ridden a great horse like Native Dancer or Citation. But most of all, he said, he would miss "the thrill" of the dawn drive to Chantilly with the morning sun breaking through the trees like light coming through cathedral windows. Chantilly will miss him, too.
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