Cipri has carved eight poles in the past two years, and his latest will be the largest totem pole on the East Coast. He chose a tulip tree, originally 130 feet in length, and the completed pole will be 50 feet long, with a nine-foot circumference and a three-foot diameter. It will weigh almost eight tons. Cipri cut down the tree himself—besides being an artist, he works as a tree man—and hauled it to his front yard where he can work with it in a horizontal position.
Cipri began at the top, carving a moon, which he says "depicts the day we live in." Next comes an eagle with its wings spread to "Symbolize America." The first of five six-foot sporting figures is a football player, an Indian in a helmet, as the artist feels that football is the No. 1 American sport. Below is a baseball player—a white man with a bat in his hands, which Cipri describes as a "crude" instrument, rather "like a war club." Next in line is a black basketball player. "From what I see and feel," Cipri says, "the black man dominates that field." The figure is designed to resemble Wilt Chamberlain. Tangled in his legs is a little man "who is trying to get at Chamberlain and is always frustrated."
The last two figures—a tennis and an ice hockey player—are still to be completed. Cipri's neighbors have been wandering past the yard to watch his progress and take pictures. He will reach the bottom of the totem pole in about a month when, one hopes, none of the passersby will be hockey fans.
The sports of golf, bowling and tennis seem ideally suited for pro-am tournaments. The celebrities pair with the pros, and the money goes to charity. Now auto racing is about to have a pro-am. The officials of the new Ontario ( Calif.) Motor Speedway are planning one for August over a 2.5-mile road course. The make of the car and the length of the race have yet to be decided, but the format will be simple: the amateurs will drive a few laps, pit and then let the pros take over. Among the pros who will compete are Al Unser, Mario Andretti, Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart. On the amateur side are Paul Newman, Roman Polanski and Dick Smothers.
It has been suggested that to add excitement, speedway officials invite one celebrated amateur of sports to try his hand at the wheel. That sportsman is Vice President Agnew.