HOW TO GET THE JOB DONE
Football coaches like to talk about building character, but too many of them are merely interested in building winning teams, which is why we're going to tell you about Ed Emory, who coaches football at Wadesboro High School in Wadesboro, N.C. Emory is a white man, the student body of Wadesboro High is predominantly white and Anson County, of which Wadesboro is the seat, is what is called a hotbed of Ku Klux Klan activity; an integrated poolroom and two cars belonging to Negroes have been dynamited in recent weeks.
The other night five of Coach Emory's players, all Negroes, failed to show up for practice. Afterward Emory found the five boys and their parents waiting for him in his office. The players said they wanted to resign from the team. They didn't mind getting threatening phone calls and having Klan literature left on their doorsteps—what hurt was that one of their teammates had announced he was joining the Klan.
The player, a big, joking boy who is the son of a leading Klansman, had attended a Klan rally and then driven a motorcycle through the Negro section of Wadesboro, his white robe streaming out behind him. The next day Emory took the boy aside and told him he had the choice of joining the Klan or staying on the team. He chose the team. "I didn't know what I was doing," he told Emory. "I respect you as much as anything."
A few days later the boy's father and some 20 fellow Klansmen paid Emory a call. "They told me I had violated the boy's civil rights," Emory says. "I told them there aren't any civil rights in football. I tell the boys what to do when it's for the good of the team, and it's not for the good of the team when a Klan member is dressing next to a Negro. I've told my boys that when they put on their uniforms they're all the same.
"They said I didn't understand their views. I said, O.K., what are your views? They told me they aren't just against the Negro. They're against the poor white, too. I said, 'Well, that's all right for you, but I play the boy from across the tracks if he can get the job done. I just play the boy who can get things done. Maybe he's Chinese or Jewish, Negro or white. If he can get the job done I don't care."
Emory hasn't heard from the Klansmen again. He says the Klansman's son and the Negro players are "doing fine." Wadesboro has won two of its three games, and eight of its nine touchdowns have been scored by Fullback Tommy Peguese and Halfback Ed McCrae, both Negroes. Coach Emory, bless him, is quite obviously getting the job done, too.
IS THE DREAM OVER?
There is a dreamlike quality to Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats, a haunting, white land without a horizon. Ever since 1932, when Ab Jenkins first roared across them in his Mormon Meteor, men have raced the flats through air like bleached muslin, faster and faster, closing in on the speed of sound. Last week it was Art Arfons' turn. Art didn't break the 600.601 mph world land speed record, his first goal, nor the 720-to-750 mph sound barrier, his second. But his trials looked good (432.484 mph), and he will be back October 16 after remodeling his jet-powered Green Monster.
As hooked on the Bonneville dream as anybody, Arfons is now talking about setting the speed record by himself, and then—fasten your seat belts—stepping out of the car to try for the sound barrier. He says the Monster can be converted to a robot car for the latter run, with Arfons running it like a giant slot racer from the sidelines. Nobody knows what will happen if a 7,050-pound car hits Mach J. Arfons says scientists have told him that the paint will peel off, but that the car "might survive." Other experts say there will be one hell of a sonic boom, so big, in fact, that the slot machines in nearby Wendover, Utah will spew out their jackpots.