For the past 33 years the McKenzie River White Water Parade (SI, March 24, 1969) has been Oregon's traditional greeting to spring, a time to get in a bit of fun before the opening of the trout season, after which the river guides, who originated the event, would be too busy. Twenty or so of them would station their wives and children in their river boats and shoot the white-water rapids of the McKenzie. They knew how to handle the boats and they stayed sober.
Then, more and more each year, came the rowdies—types who make trouble their recipe for fun. They brought booze but no skill, rafts but no oars, recklessness but no life jackets. They crowded the course and littered the banks. This year two of them drowned. Others were rescued by disgusted, saddened guides. The fun was gone.
All during the past decade, as they watched inexperienced and irresponsible outsiders take over their event, members of the McKenzie River Guides' Association have predicted drownings and the end of the spring celebration. This year it came to pass.
"I'm embarrassed by things that go on in this parade now," said Keith Steele, a veteran of the river. "I'll be damned if I'll ever have anything to do with another one."
UMPS STRIKE OUT
For the 100 years or so that baseball has been around, players and fans have been convinced on occasion that umpires are as blind as baseball bats.
Well, some of them come close. A Seattle optometrist, Dr. Wayne Martin, who has been testing athletes' eyes for 20 years, now has made a survey of officials operating in the Puget Sound area. Out of 13 tested, four had from 6 to 81% loss of clear vision that had not been corrected. That is almost 33% with sight difficulties.
On the other hand, athletes do not get an entirely clean bill of visual health. At the University of Washington and Seattle University 23% of 809 athletes flunked their sight tests. Of 135 Boston Red Sox farm-system players he tested in 1964, about 21% could not see properly.
"Many coaches and trainers unknowingly have top athletes sitting on the sideline because of poor vision," Dr. Martin said. This is a double loss, for many athletes have gone on to win honors after their vision was corrected. There is the case of Eddie Miles, who had trouble reading the clock while playing basketball for Seattle U. Fitted with contact lenses, Miles went on to professional play with the NBA.