Her best horse—and best friend—was a little (14.2 hands) stallion named Jimmy Rogan who won 25 races, had 48 seconds and 33 thirds. Jimmy had his quirks. In his later years he would refuse to join the parade to the post, but instead insisted on stopping to study the mutuel board with the intensity of a $2 bettor before getting into the starting gate. Pacific Northwest racing fans were so taken with the "wee" horse that they plied him with carrots, oats and sugar every Christmas. Jimmy won his last race when he was 17. When he died in 1962 at the age of 39 he was the oldest Thoroughbred in North America.
After Mrs. Mac and Jimmy retired, the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association of British Columbia held a "day," turned over to her a purse of $1,500 and helped her to spend her remaining years in modest comfort. After a long life of healthy compassion for and interest in Thoroughbreds, Mrs. Mac died August 31 at the age of 91.
"She was a fine lady. She was good for racing. She loved horses," said William Lochead, B.C. and Canadian president of the HBPA. Not a bad epitaph.
That astonishing McClymonds High School in Oakland, Calif. has produced two more top professional athletes. Paul Silas and Cleveland (Swish) McKinney have been signed to play basketball for the St. Louis Hawks, joining another McClymonds alumnus, Bill Russell, in the pro game. And, of course, two-thirds of the Cincinnati Reds' regular outfield ( Vada Pinson and Frank Robinson) is from McClymonds.
Pride in athletic achievement is the key to it all. (The school has always had a predominantly Negro student body and until very recently did little to encourage pride in academics.) The man chiefly responsible both for developing athletes and stimulating their pride is all-sports Coach George Powles, who is white. For some 20 years in and around McClymonds he and Mrs. Powles have devoted themselves to the student-athletes, offering doughnuts, milk and hard advice after hours, coaching at all hours. Vada Pinson still phones when the Reds come to town, but Robinson has become persona non grata. He jilted a girl Mrs. Powles was fond of.
Best remembered at McClymonds is Bill Russell, as much for his hypochondria as for his spectacular play. Always tense before a game, he would be overwhelmed by imaginary aches. Once he noticed that one shoulder drooped below the other and iron-hot pain shifted from shoulder to shoulder. Arising from the bench, one knee would buckle under him, unless it was the other. He would look down to see if his knee was attached to his thigh, but be unable to tell because his eyeballs would be twitching. "Coach," Russell would say, clutching his side, "get a doctor. I've got appendicitis." The coach would answer, "Your appendix is on the other side." "My tongue," Russell responded on one occasion. "I can't feel it in my mouth." "Then don't talk," the coach replied. "Just go out and play."
Which Bill did, rather effectively.
LONG VOYAGE HOME
Back in 1937 a team of 20 boys from Mount Vernon, Ohio started a minor Middle West craze when, under the glow of automobile headlights, they began a softball game before dawn and played 338 innings. It was, they said, a record. Now Mount Vernon, a sleepy community of 16,000, is at it again.