Johnson broke the surface, flopping behind a trolling boat containing a happy angler vigorously cranking his fishing reel. Johnson shouted, "Hey, you've got hooks in me!" and only then did the fisherman let up. With his brother's help, Johnson rid himself of the hooks. The fisherman hurriedly reeled in his line and left.
That evening, a Sunday, Johnson began having severe pains in his neck, his left shoulder and arm and his right leg. He had the bends. Because landlocked Montana is ill equipped to treat the ailment, he was flown 600 miles by air ambulance to Seattle, where he underwent decompression therapy at Virginia Mason Hospital.
By Tuesday he seemed fully recovered, and he decided to fly home to Great Falls. But the change of air pressure in the plane brought back the bends, and the next day Johnson had to be flown to Seattle again for more decompression. A few days later he returned to Great Falls, this time by train.
As for the fisherman who landed him and then hastily departed, the amiable Johnson, who is 6 feet tall and weighs 195 pounds, said only, "He had some real heavy-duty equipment there."
A year ago William Spoor, chairman of the board of the Pillsbury Company, the food products giant, went out to Wood-hill Country Club near Minneapolis to play a round of golf for the first time in his life. On the second hole, a 131-yard par-3, he shot a hole in one. This summer Spoor paid his first visit to Canterbury Downs, Minnesota's brand-new race track. He picked the winning horse in six straight races to share (with 12 others) a Pick Six pool of $223,399.
Pondering his remarkable success. Spoor revealed his secret. "I'm lucky," he said.
JUST WHAT SHE ALWAYS WANTED
If you're looking around for a nice gift to give that bird-watching aunt of yours, you might consider a publication being issued this fall by the National Audubon Society and the Abbeville Press. Actually, it's a little more than just a thoughtful present. It's a facsimile edition of John James Audubon's The Birds of America, the most famous and most valuable collection of ornithological paintings in the world. Audubon, who was born in 1785 and died in 1851, devoted much of his life not just to his exquisite paintings but to making sure that they were reproduced as perfectly as possible in book form. The result was a masterpiece. Only 134 copies of the original edition, printed 150 years ago, are known to exist, and if you want to buy one of them for your aunt, you'll have to fork over something in the neighborhood of $2 million.
Not that the new Audubon- Abbeville facsimile is a drugstore paperback. Created jointly by the Audubon Society and Abbeville as a tribute to the 200th anniversary of Audubon's birth, it is one of the heaviest and most expensive publications ever issued, weighing in at more than 240 pounds and costing $15,000, bound. (An unbound version, mostly for dealers who will sell the prints separately, is only $12,500.) It consists of four outsize volumes (each weighing 60 pounds) of the The Birds of America paintings, plus seven smaller volumes containing commentaries by Audubon and ornithologist Roger Tory Peterson.