People are seldom so grim as when they discuss the proper use of leisure time. A pleasant exception is the Duke of Edinburgh, who spoke on this spiky subject last week at the University of California at Los Angeles. His good humor and good sense saved him from sounding like that classic killjoy, the resort recreation director whose mission is to make sure that no one ever has a minute to himself. Said Prince Philip: "I must confess that I am interested in leisure in the same way that a poor man is interested in money. I can't get enough of it. Furthermore. I have no problem whatever in filling my leisure time, and I worry not at all whether what I do is good or wise or likely to improve my character or likely to help me become a "whole man.' " Pretty bold, that: the man thinks it is all right to enjoy one's self.
Having disarmed solemnity, the Prince went on to discuss the very real problems facing societies like those of the United States and Great Britain whose achievements in technology are creating an ever larger leisure, not alone for a privileged elite but eventually for almost everyone. Prince Philip is not alarmed by the prospect. Although he notes a remnant of the rigid Puritan ethic with its adage, "The Devil finds work for idle hands," he believes that human resourcefulness will go the Devil one better in finding ways to make creative—or at least nondestructive—use of time away from bread-and-butter jobs. Already, according to Prince Philip, signs are around that it is no longer the kinds of jobs we have that determine status. "Leisure occupations," he said, "cut across status at work or status in the community. A common interest in skiing, for instance, or sailing washes out all other differences." More and more, Prince Philip argues, people will measure their success or failure not by the importance of their jobs or the amount of money they earn but by the emotional fulfillments of their leisure time. A dull job—by this logic—is not slavery: it is a quid pro quo, bearable because the drudgery pays for the freedom to follow one's inclinations when the workday is over. The university, said the Prince, "needs to stimulate a social conscience about leisure in the same way that the social conscience of the 19th century had to be stirred about poverty."
When Prince Philip heard the news of the death of Abe Saperstein last week he sent a telegram of sympathy to Saperstein's widow. More than once the Prince had enriched his own leisure time viewing the expert antics of Saperstein's Harlem Globetrotters, and he counted their founder among his friends. If there was a touch of Napoleonic vanity in Saperstein's nature, it was effectively blended with more than a touch of P.T. Barnum acumen. Said the Globetrotters' Meadowlark Lemon: "He took basketball to remote places that would never have started the game if it hadn't been for him."
"Fans, that move by Elgin Baylor for his 40th point was one of the most incredible he has ever made," said Chick Hearn, broadcaster of the Los Angeles Lakers games, reporting from New York. "He came in from his right, went by the basket and came back overhead with a reverse spin shot off the boards."
Dr. Robert Kerlan, listening in at his Brentwood, Calif. home, may be excused if a wisp of a smile crossed his face. In a playoff game a year ago, Baylor had collapsed after throwing a soaring jump pass, his left kneecap literally torn apart. Dr. Kerlan, who has treated Sandy Koufax and Tommy Davis of the Dodgers, Golfer Tony Lema, Bowler Don Carter and Jockeys Walter Blum and Johnny Longden, had not been sanguine about Baylor, but here he was scoring 46 points against the Knicks.
"Few men had Elgin's electrifying excitement back about three or four years ago," Dr. Kerlan said. "After surgery, the best we could anticipate would be for Elg to be able to hold down a place on an NBA club. To expect him to become a superplayer again—that would have been overly optimistic. But Elgin convinced me in a game last month that he was back. That night in New York convinced everybody else. I'm amazed at the man."
We find Dr. Kerlan equally amazing—not merely for his medical skill but for a cheerful concealment of the pain caused by his own severe arthritis—and we wish him continued good listening.
WHOOOO, PIG, SOOEY!
In Fort Smith, Ark. members of the ninth grade English class at Van Buren High School were asked to write letters to celebrities as a class project. Replies came from such eminent men and women as Dwight D. Eisenhower, J. Edgar Hoover, Hubert Humphrey, Archbishop Makarios, Barry Goldwater, Princess Grace of Monaco and Luci Johnson. "Perhaps the most famous signature," said the Fort Smith Southwest American report of the project, "came from Coach Frank Broyles of the University of Arkansas."