Dr. Luis Walter Alvarez, physicist at the University of California at Berkeley, devised the first foul-weather landing system for airplanes, did studies on advanced systems of measurement by light rays, has worked on methods of exploring the pyramids by cosmic ray, helped to develop the atomic bomb and, the press tells us, has made contributions "to the physics of subatomic particles and to the techniques for their detection." For this sort of thing, specifically the last-mentioned work, he was recently awarded the 1968 Nobel Prize in physics. Regrettably, no mention was made in the official citation or Dr. Alvarez' breakthrough of 1953, his invention of an electronic indoor golf trainer that enabled the golfer to tell just how the head of his club was traveling.
A short time ago Mert Silbar, a friend of Denny McLain, was telling him about the Southeast Denver Little League. Parents had pleaded for, and received, an unused, weedy lot from the local bank and had laboriously raised $15,000 to turn it into a Little League park. Now nearby residents were complaining about the noise and had launched an appeal to get the park zoned out of existence. Silbar was stunned when McLain promptly asked if he could speak for the park at the hearing. Though in the middle of his nightclub tour as an organist, McLain flew from Grand Rapids to Denver, addressed the hearing and flew right back to fulfill an engagement. The nine-hour, 2,172-mile trip was not only made at McLain's own expense, he had even chartered a plane in case commercial airline connections proved too tight. Silbar was not surprised to learn later that McLain's father had founded the Little League in Denny's home town of Markham, Ill. You have to stir up pretty profound feelings to get Denny McLain out of bed at 6 o'clock in the morning.
The Shah of Iran, an enthusiastic skier, has rented a hotel in St. Moritz for the last two seasons. He likes the hotel, but does want to make a few alterations. Now he has bought it for an estimated half million and is redecorating (that includes installation of a swimming pool and tennis court). Aristotle Onassis is not the only man around who can cope with life's little inconveniences.
America is often criticized for her failure to appreciate great champions of foreign sports, so we hasten to honor England's Ted Clift, who has just taken a double first in the Smithfield Games. One was an easy win in the 200-meter beef-carcass-carrying race and the other a victory by eight barrow lengths in the 300-meter barrow-pulling speed trial (this last a new record). As at the Olympic Games, scandal loomed when the question was raised of Clift's eligibility for both the 160-pound hindquarter-of-beef carry and the 6-cwt. barrow-pull, the former being open to pitchers and pullers-back and the latter to porters. Clift was not registered as any of the three, but explained that he was a free-lance carrier, a man who carries, as a London paper explains, "anything that needs carrying." "Of course, you've got to keep pretty fit for this sort of thing," Clift confided modestly to his fans. "I run about 30 miles a week just to keep in trim."
A recent full-page ad in Variety read, in part, "Available for lectures, personal appearances, theatres, country fairs, arenas, colleges, universities, one-nighters." What show-biz personality has an act suitable for both universities and country fairs? Muhammad Ali, of course, further identified in the ad (in exceedingly small type) as Cassius Clay. Ali has a new manager, Richard Fulton, who runs a lecture bureau and books speaking engagements for such clients as Clive Barnes, theater critic for The New York Times, and David Brinkley. In a very short time he has signed Muhammad Ali for 10 or 15 lectures, mostly at colleges around the country. Ali, running ever truer to his new form, did turn down one engagement at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. "That would have paid him maybe 40 or 50 thousand dollars," Fulton says, "but there was a chance that his lecture would be preceded by an act with improperly dressed girls or something, and in his position as a minister he felt he couldn't accept."
The bow-and-arrow deer season has opened in the Sandia Mountains near Albuquerque, and among the 120 hunters who turned out for the first day was one Bob Geronimo, grandson of the Geronimo. Bob says that grandpa did his best work with a rifle rather than a bow, and apparently so does Bob—he returned from the hunt empty-handed.