U.S. Ambassador to France Sargent Shriver won his first Veterans' Doubles match at Wimbledon last week (his partner was Bob Kelleher, president of the USLTA) and told the press, "It was unexpected and an extremely exhilarating experience." One can probably believe the latter half of that statement, and one can certainly believe the former. Shriver had been so certain he would lose that he had made hotel reservations only to the day of the match, and he returned to the Westbury Hotel to find that there was no longer enough room at that particular inn for his entire family. Sargent stayed on, but the Shriver kids had to double up with Davis Cup Captain Donald Dell, and Eunice returned to Paris. Next year, perhaps, Shriver should display more confidence—or play worse tennis.
Actor Robert Horton, questioned about his sporting interests, was a bit vague. "I used to play a lot of badminton," he said, "but I don't anymore. It's pass� now. I don't play golf. It's the socializing and the small talk that I don't like. I fly an airplane, but that's not extraordinarily esoteric. I used to like fencing," he mused, and, just as the interviewer was about to doze off, he added, "There's nothing more aggressive than fencing, including boxing. Fencing is a more gentlemanly way of expressing aggressiveness. It is not just knocking people down, it is killing them."
French politicians have always been a notably unathletic lot, which makes the composition of the new French parliament rather a surprise. Among members recently reelected are Mountain Climber Maurice Herzog; Skier Val�ry Giscard-d'Estaing and a tennis-playing Speaker of the House, Jacques Chaban-Delmas. Newly elected parliamentarians include France's best-known Rugby referee, Bernard Marie; Tennis Player Bernard Destremau; Racing Stable Owner Pierre Ribes; Mountain Climber Pierre Mazeaud; a member of the V�t�rans de Reims Soccer team, Bernard Stasi, and former Fencing Champion Dr. Jacques Grondeau. Among other things the French people have demanded lately are more sports facilities and school athletic programs. This sounds like the right government.
Sportsmen may be in office in France, but here the Sports Reform Party still has the election to win. The party, founded and headed by one George Belden, a student at Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio recently held its convention on the village green in Windham, Ohio, where more than 100 delegates decided upon Casey Stengel for their presidential candidate, with Satchel Paige as his running mate. The convention then went on to choose the Stengel cabinet. Meadowlark Lemon of the Globetrotters is to head the slate as Secretary of State, with Mrs. Charles Shipman Payson, owner of the Mets, as Secretary of the Treasury. "We know Lemon would have great influence on world political leaders," Belden explains, "and Mrs. Payson has the loot." The balance of the cabinet includes: Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Sonny Liston; Secretary of the Interior, Pro Football Center Jim Otto; Secretary of Defense, Joe Frazier; Secretary of Agriculture, Wrestler Haystacks Calhoun; Secretary of Commerce, Johnny Weissmuller; Secretary of Transportation, Jim Ryun; Postmaster General, Ben Hogan; Attorney General, Arthur Ashe; Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Minnie Minoso. Well—consider the alternative.
First the Mexican Olympic Committee recruited Artist Joan Mir� to do the Olympic poster, and now it has asked Poet Robert Graves to write a commemorative poem. Graves has accepted, observing, "I don't normally write to order, but there are things to be said about the Games."
Boxer Joey Archer and his brother Jimmy have just opened a second bar in New York City. Their first, Sports Corner, is an unprepossessing spot—"A dive and a dump," as a regular customer describes it affectionately—with boxing pictures all over the walls. The new establishment, Joey Archer's Pub, is somewhat grander. There are no boxing pictures on the walls, and during its first weeks there have been, of all things, Thursday poetry readings. The Archer boys are said to feel that "the sports world should not be so far removed, and is not, from culture." So one Sayed Huessin has been reciting his works against a background of Bach played by a classical guitarist. A contractor at present, Huessin has dived and dug for gold, waited on tables, been a free-lance writer, spent time in jail and claims to have invented the term "flower power" upon the occasion of his crowning someone with a flowerpot during a riot in Boston. Some among his listeners thought the poetry was lousy, but how much culture does a boxer's bar need?