The falcon, named Tawalki, was supposed to serve as the half-time attraction of the recent Air Force-Florida game at Tampa. He was to sweep down from the press box and strike a lure being twirled by a cadet on the field. A falcon lure is a piece of sponge rubber wrapped in black leather, on the end of a 10-foot rope. It is twirled rapidly about the head, and the twirler must whistle.
At the beginning of an Air Academy falcon's training, meat is put on the end of the rope. Later the meat is replaced by the lure, and the falcon is fed as soon as he strikes it.
At the Florida game Tawalki, with the lure twirling below him and twice 52,667 eyes upon him, took off directly southward from the press box and disappeared. His loss was widely reported. The next morning golfer Ken Vennett flushed a large bird from the rough at Rocky Point Golf Club, two miles from the stadium. "I knew immediately what it was," he said, "because of the band on his leg."
Soon the bird was being trailed by three city policemen, two security men from MacDill Air Force Base, three bird experts and a number of golfers in golf carts and a Land-Rover. Someone called Air Force Coach Ben Martin, who said he was sure glad the bird had been found, and the way to catch him was to tie a piece of meat to a rope and swing it around your head and whistle. This the rescuers did, all Sunday and Monday, back and forth across the links, as the whole community watched, hoping the unresponsive Tawalki could be saved.
Then late Monday someone called the Tampa Tribune to say he thought he had seen some cadets capture Tawalki Saturday afternoon after the game, in a parking lot south of the stadium. Colonel James C. McIntyre, officer in charge of the academy's mascot program, was called. "Oh, yes," he said. "We got him about 6:30. It was the heat that made him fly away. They do that, you know." It hadn't occurred to Colonel McIntyre to notify Coach Martin, or the folks in Florida.
As things stand now, Kathy Kusner, a quiet little brunette who has beaten plenty of men in horse shows, will have a chance to be the first woman to beat them in major flat races.
The U.S. Olympic equestrienne's application for a jockey's license was turned down by the Maryland State Racing Commission, after stewards decided she rode high, "bounced in the saddle," and did not give "the impression of strength and authority," but Prince Georges County Circuit Court Judge Ernest A. Loveless has overturned the commission's decision. It had been prejudiced, the judge concluded, against Kathy's gender—a term he suggested after the word sex had been bandied around the courtroom a great deal.
The commission may appeal the ruling, said Chairman D. Eldred Rinehart. "She is an able rider, in certain respects, but if she were allowed to ride in regular races...who'd be to blame if she were hurt?"
Kathy herself just went on training with her teammates on the U.S. equestrian jumping team. But Judy Johnson, a hardy trainer of jumping horses who was licensed to ride among men in steeplechases during World War II and whose case was cited by Kathy's lawyer, said she thought girls weren't meant for "breaking out of the gate on a racehorse." In a steeplechase, she said, for one thing, "You don't get hit in the face with dirt."