Sir Francis Chichester is to sail out of Plymouth again this week, hoping to smash speed records by covering the 4,000 miles between Portuguese Guinea and San Juan del Norte, Nicaragua in 20 days. He has stowed six bottles of brandy and two of champagne to celebrate Christmas. A speed record is not all that is going to be smashed.
Nice People Award: I
Goes to President Jomo Kenyatta, who has warned all hunters to stay away from Ahmed, a big, tusky, battle-scarred old bull elephant who is now legendary around Kenya. When word got out recently that two Americans planned to shoot Ahmed, 5,000 letters, wires and cards of protest poured in, and Kenyatta proclaimed that Ahmed is not, in his twilight years, to be "hunted or harassed by any person." Way to go, sir. And since Ahmed doesn't lumber around wearing a big sign saying "Ahmed," the twilight years of a lot of other battle-scarred old elephants are bound to be a lot better, too.
Nice People Award: II
Goes to Leon Ozols and Mirdza Malins, who work in the Toronto-Dominion Centre in downtown Toronto. Birds just keep banging into the Centre's twin towers, knocking themselves silly, and so far this season Ozols and Malins have saved more than 100 of them. They do it with gentle, mouth-to-beak resuscitation.
No wisecracks, please. But, well, it is a sort of tweet story at that.
Here's a seasonal cheer for those 11 Butler University football players who are moonlighting around Indianapolis as department-store Santas. They are big and chunky enough to be believable, suiting up at, oh, around 230 pounds, and great With kids. When a big tackle rears back and hollers "Have a Merry Christmas!" what little kid is going to dare not to?
Bobby Orr, SI's Sportsman of the Year, is swell for our cover, but for the middle of a $10 bill the Massachusetts police still prefer Alexander Hamilton. The phony bills bearing Orr's picture have been floating around the Boston area since October and, though blank on one side, they are convincing enough when folded and handed over in a dim light to have fooled several bartenders. Not the barmaid in a Marlborough, Mass. pub, however, where an unemployed draftsman recently tried to get rid of one. He was arrested and charged with "uttering," which is the legal term for passing counterfeit money—and the everyday term for what recipients do a lot of when they get it.
A Sporting Salute to our Muscular Men on Capitol Hill:
First, Wisconsin Senator William Proxmire tried to bound athletically onto a rostrum to impress his constituents and pulled a leg muscle. He is still a bit sore but claims he keeps in shape by doing his usual daily 328 push-ups plus sit-ups. For now he has stopped being a bounder.