An aspiring bullfighter in Las Cruces, N. Mex. named Fred Renk had a problem: no way to practice. South of the border he could have found small boys eager to push wheel-mounted horns for his practice sessions, but in the U.S. small boys play football. The resourceful Renk found a cooperative friend who each morning for three months roared around him with the horns mounted on a motorcycle. The friend aimed this toro mec�nico at Renk's cape, and occasionally he would get Renk. Once he gored him with a handlebar.
Renk made his debut recently in a ring near Monterrey in Old Mexico. He killed two bulls, and he feels that he is ready. One is pleased, but one wonders if Renk could not start a bullfighting fad in the U.S. Think of that splendid day when Fred Renk dedicates his best motorcycle of the afternoon to Ava Gardner, or maybe Mia Farrow, and afterward is awarded two handlebar grips and a taillight.
STEPPING UP IN CLASS
Since 1956 the total number of letters and spaces permitted in the naming of Thoroughbred horses under the rules of The Jockey Club has been 16. Now the number has been increased to 18, and to those who, as they say around the racetrack, "are really tryin'," this comes as a welcome move. Nearly 17,000 horses a year are registered with The Jockey Club, and people run out of names.
Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, the master namer, is one who should really benefit from the change. Vanderbilt is considered the best because of his extraordinary ability to derive a witty and meaningful name from the names of a young horse's sire and dam. Some classic examples: Discovery-Bride Elect: First Glance; Sailor-Plucky Maid: Shakedown Cruise; Polynesian-Geisha: Native Dancer; Social Climber-Stumbling Block: Crashing Bore; Loser Weeper-Bride Elect: Crying Shame; My Request-Novice: Age of Consent.
We await December, when Mr. Vanderbilt, equipped with two more precious characters of elbow room, submits his next list.
A new approach to the problem that Olympic athletes will face when they compete at mile-and-a-half altitudes in Mexico City has been suggested by Dr. Bruce Dill, a physiologist at Indiana University. It is generally agreed that the altitude will have a deleterious effect on performances in distance events, and most authorities now hold that competitors in such events should train at high altitudes for a considerable period of time before the Olympics. Dr. Dill says just the opposite. He thinks that athletes in endurance events should be housed at a sea-level Mexican town and not flown to the Games in Mexico City until just before they compete. Extensive tests that Dill conducted with a pressure chamber on the Indiana campus convinced him that athletes will perform better within the first hour after arriving at a high altitude than they will after being there a day or more. Performances in short runs and swims are not affected.
SON OF ZOT
A few weeks ago we ran a short piece about the brand-new branch of the University of California at Irvine and its cheer, which featured an aggressive ant-eater's death-dealing "Zot!" Such esoteric cheers seem to be the thing this season. The Shoreline Community College of Seattle has voted overwhelmingly to nickname its teams the Samurai, after rejecting more prosaic suggestions like Bearcats, Breakers, Cobras, Sabres, Seagulls, Sharks and Wildcats because they sounded too much like names of new cars. Chief reason for settling on Samurai was the stimulus of a whole new field of yells and cheers. First sample:
Hit 'em high!
Hit 'em low!
Go, go, Samurai!