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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Maybe nobody ever called him Gorgeous George, but at 16 George Washington was the certified heavyweight barefisted pigtailed champion of tidewater Virginia. Well, anyway, something like that was going around Philadelphia, which explains what Jersey Joe Walcott and Joey Giardello, among others, were doing when they laid a wreath on George's statue at Independence Hall to promote a benefit fight night for ailing ex-Welterweight Champion Marty Servo. Embellishing freely, Walcott made a speech in which Washington emerged as "the first world's champ." Giardello cast his eyes heavenward to say, "At least we have one good fighter up there."
Winning the downhill in the 1960 Winter Olympics on un-waxed plastic-bottom skis, Frenchman Jean Vuarnet tipped the ski industry on its traditional ear. Now, having retained his sense of functional difference, he has installed Finnish reindeer (below) at the resort he is building in the Alps, not far from Geneva. The animals will be harnessed to taxi sleds so that Vuarnet's resort, unlike those permitting "disagreeably noisy and smelly automobiles," will have the peace and quiet sensitive skiers appreciate. Provided, of course, that local hunters do not mistake the imported reindeer for game and start shooting up the place—reindeer, sleds, passengers and the like.
The fine was $34.40 and the charge was hunting migratory fowl over a baited area on the North Carolina coast. Pleading guilty to the offense, Indiana Representative Charles A. Halleck grumped: "The warden scratched around and found a few kernels of corn."
Off to the races in her purple-painted helicopter as Hialeah opened for its 39th season, Liz Whitney Tippett stirred things up herself. Dressed in purple, the mistress of Llangollen stables (purple and fuchsia) broke the law by smuggling onto the track in her handbag her constant companion, a scant, champagne-colored poodle named Killer; relentlessly touted the 2-year-olds she put up for auction last week; and breathlessly described for various listeners the wonders of her new place in Ocala, Fla. The indoor pool is shaped like the diamond-horseshoe ring she wears, she says. That way "we can swim around while we watch Huntley-Brinkley before dinner."
What he is asked to do in his current Tarzan film is run cross-country through the Brazilian jungle, swim, hurdle, broad-jump over spikes, pole-vault over spears and, at one gripping juncture, throw a flying tackle over those spears on Tarzan himself—the muscular Los Angeles Ram linebacker, Mike Henry. All of which Olympic Decathloner Rafer Johnson shrugs off. "I can't run as fast as I used to," he says, "because that takes training. But I'm doing the field events as well as ever." Nobody denies it, least of all Director Robert Gordon: "He's a king among men; he's the most beautiful man I've ever had in front of my camera."
Virginia's General Assembly, the nation's oldest legislature, was back in session, and there amidst the delegates, looking thoughtful behind black-rim glasses and briar pipe, stood Bullet Bill Dudley, the All-America halfback at Virginia in the '40s who later became a sort of one-man team for the Pittsburgh Steelers. But if the House of Delegates hopes to see a little legislative razzmatazz it will have to wait. Befitting a freshman, Democrat Dudley plans nothing more progressive this spring than a bill requiring automobile drivers to be 16. As for his political future, though, there's no telling. "I didn't set out to play professional football," he says. "But that's where I wound up."
Breathe easy, all. After 16 months of sweating it, A & P heir Huntington Hartford has sold 75% of his luxurious, bank-breaking Bahama resort, Paradise Island. The new owner, the Mary Carter Paint Co., plans to build a bridge from Nassau to Paradise as well as more hotels and a gambling casino. Mary Carter arrived not a minute too soon, if you believe reports that Hartford's island kingdom had been losing 50,000 clams a month.
Averaging five yards a carry, Freshman Halfback Richmond Flowers Jr. turned in an altogether respectable performance at the University of Tennessee last fall—good enough, in fact, to be named to the Atlanta Journal's All-South freshman team. The publicity tended to reopen the question of why the son of Alabama's courageous attorney general and would-be governor was going to college out of state in the first place. Strictly a preference for Tennessee's football and track programs, said young Flowers, who aspires to attend the 1968 Olympic Games as a hurdler on the U.S. track team. Uh-huh. And also because he could scarcely have gone to either Alabama or its arch-enemy Auburn without costing his father alumni votes at one place or the other.
"At $50 and up the prices are unpretentious and proper for an unknown show," said the manager of Los Angeles' Ankrum art gallery—meaning that Bernard Casey is still more familiar as a flanker back for the San Francisco 49ers than as an artist. But, as Casey opened a showing of 12 pencil drawings and 25 paintings (below), there was no indication that obscurity was here to stay. Sales were fine, including the $325 purchase of Spontaneity of a Solemn Mechanism by teammate (and art collector) Monty Stickles. Said one critic: "To think of this man out on the football field—what position does he play?—being clouted about seems impossible."