To the people of France, according to a poll just reported by L'Express of Paris, the most important event of 1964 was not the ouster of Nikita Khrushchev (that placed a mere second), nor General de Gaulle's trip to South America (third), nor the Ecumenical Council (fourth). It was the Olympic Games.
An observer on the scene advises that the result of the poll was not so astonishing as it might seem, considering the current passion for sports throughout Europe, not just France. "I think," he said, "that young people are going in for new sports, are giving up wine for glory."
Which is, after all, in the Olympic spirit.
THE QUIET MAN
Everyone, especially in Britain, treasures the image of a cleric with eccentricity or genius concealed beneath his ecclesiastical robes. Greatly beloved in fiction was G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown, the detective. The Rev. Sydney Smith existed in fact, not fiction, and was the most famous wit in the English language next to Oscar Wilde. (His idea of heaven was "eating p�t�s de foie gras to the sound of trumpets.") Now, to their delight, Britons have discovered the Rev. Kenneth Wade, the Dean of Bocking.
The dean is 50 years old and stands a mere 5 feet 3 inches. He looks harmless enough. At 1 a.m. recently he came upon a young intruder, more than 6 feet tall, lurking in the bushes of his deanery. Asked what he was doing, the intruder leaped at the dean, who threw the ruffian over his head, dislocating the fellow's shoulder.
"I could have broken his shoulder, had I wished," the dean said, "because judo teaches you how to do that. I thought, however, dislocation would be enough punishment."
It was the intruder's misfortune that Wade is one of Britain's best judo practitioners, a fact well known in London's tough dock area, where he worked for 17 years. It probably never seemed worth mentioning in Bocking, a quiet place.
THE CORN'S THE THING
When Bill Veeck, in his Chicago days, invented the frenetic scoreboard for the celebration of home runs he was soon copied in other ball parks—to the dismay of conservatives, who believe that, as good wine needs no bush, a home run needs no fireworks.