SI Vault
Edited by Martin Kane
April 27, 1970
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April 27, 1970


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Q. Who won the World Series last year?

And, by George (Herman Ruth, that is), a whopping 43% of the girls knew it was the Mets.


The fourth annual Tootenanny, which is a kind of exercise in the appreciation of steam whistles, will be held this year on June 6 at Sistersville, W. Va., under auspices of the Sons and Daughters of Pioneer Rivermen and with the cooperation of Union Carbide's Sistersville plant, which will supply the steam. Some whistles require 80 to 300 pounds of pressure.

The whistles come from collectors and museums around the country. Last year's whistle blow attracted more than 500 fans from 19 states and Canada. Largest whistle ever blown at a Tootenanny once adorned the Sprague, the biggest towboat ever to operate on the Western River system. The Sprague's whistle weighs 480 pounds, and the boat itself was 285 feet long and 65 feet wide. The Lunkenheimer Company of Cincinnati, which still makes steam whistles, promises to send one this year that will "strip the leaves from trees a half mile away."

One of the more prominent collectors, John Hedge of Plainview, Texas, has agreed to bring 15 whistles, 12 of them from riverboats and ships, the rest from locomotives. One of his prizes is a whistle from a locomotive used to help build the Panama Canal. Another, a mill whistle from Greenwood, Miss., was so loud that townspeople demanded it be silenced.


The Canadian government has made public some proposals dealing with tax reforms, among them a government crackdown on expense-account entertainment. The owners of the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs thereupon warned a startled Canadian Senate committee that such a crackdown could destroy the two Canadian-based members of the National Hockey League. To deny entertainment expenses as an income-tax deduction for businesses, they observed, would cut drastically into season-ticket sales, reduce profits and probably force the clubs to sell out to U.S. interests.

In fact, said George Mara, president of Maple Leaf Gardens, Ltd. ( Toronto), not just NHL hockey but organized amateur hockey as well would disappear.

Season-ticket purchases by corporations, Mara said, account for 55% of Gardens revenue, or $2,440,000. Season tickets to an eight-seat box in the Gardens cost $6,000.

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