SI Vault
November 18, 1968
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
November 18, 1968


View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3 4

Kelso has entered upon a new career. Last week the five-time Horse of the Year returned to New York, scene of some of his greatest races, in a special exhibition at the National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden. He did some simple dressage movements and then jumped a low, hunter-type course. On opening night he sent one of the fences flying, but no one seemed to mind.

When not in the show ring Kelly, as his owner, Mrs. Richard C. duPont, calls him, is often her mount out fox hunting. Having the world's leading money-winning horse as a hunter must rank among the world's leading prestige symbols, but one would think he would tend to outrun the fox.

Among the strange things in Las Vegas are some of its golf tournaments. Scheduled this week, for instance, is the second annual charity meet sponsored and played by the maitre d'hotel and captains of the Dunes Hotel. They will negotiate the Dunes' emerald-green course in full tuxedos, with scarcely attired showgirls as caddies. Each player will be fortified by a bottle of cologne and another of bourbon, donated by the manufacturers. Proceeds of the event will help improve Thanksgiving day for the needy of Las Vegas.

AB Bookman's Weekly, the trade journal for rare-book dealers, recently printed a list of prices charged back in 1888 for autographed letters by famous public figures. In those days you could get a Mark Twain letter to President Garfield for $5, a Swinburne letter (full of apologies for his bad handwriting) for $4 and similar bargains. And at the very bottom of the list, the cheapest item for sale, was the name of Mike Kelly, the Chicago and Boston baseball hero, then considered the greatest ballplayer who ever lived, whose exploits generated the war cry, "Slide, Kelly, slide!" The price for an original Kelly autograph: 10�.


"Heck," says Ralph Barnett of Lonoke, Ark., "I saw walking catfish 25 years ago, when I was a boy." The real news in catfish, claims Barnett, is his recent epochal success in breeding tiny albino ones—guaranteed not to set foot, or whatever, outside a bowl, even in Florida (SI, Nov. 11).

People in the minnow and pet fish business have been trying for years to raise pure, nonwalking albino catfish that multiplied steadily enough to be lucrative and lived long enough to be viable home companions. (They are interesting in aquariums, being white all over except for pink eyes. "Anybody that sees them," says Barnett, "has a fit over them.") At last, after having "been through four years and a million fish," Barnett has found the way, and now he boasts a burgeoning stock in his Lonoke ponds and a healthy demand from pet and department stores. Next year he hopes to have five million white catfish on the market.

Part of his secret is hand feeding. When the eggs hatch, the little fish have to be taught how to eat. So he takes a minute amount of meal (a special mixture made at a nearby feed mill) in one hand, dips it into the water and with the other hand gently herds the delicate young toward the feed.

But it isn't as simple as that, and it is also hard to weed out cripples and to get the mature fish to produce plenty of eggs. To learn how, "I slept out at that farm 12 weeks with those fish and I looked at those fish every hour on the hour, even in the night. And if you don't think that's tough, just give it a twirl. But I was going to raise that damn fish, and I did." Now, Barnett says, biologists who "wouldn't give me the time of day" when he asked them for advice are begging him for his secrets. The biologists have two chances of getting them, he says: "Slim and poor."


Continue Story
1 2 3 4