The Lions attacked the mud with giant vacuum cleaners. This failed. They installed wind machines. They failed too. They bored holes in the ground. No soap. They scraped off the turf and laid a new field, three inches higher. This proved so gluey that they bought a huge transparent plastic cover which was calculated to 1) keep off the water but 2) allow the grass to keep growing. Unfortunately, worms rose to the surface and wriggled in plain sight just beneath the cover?hundreds of birds descended and pecked the plastic full of holes in pursuit of the worms and the field stayed muddy as ever. A high, spiral punt sank so deep in a recent game that the safety man could barely wrench it out of the ground. To cap all this, fog settled so heavily in the sunken stadium during the final night game with the Regina Rough Riders that play had to be halted in the fourth quarter, just as the Lions seemed to be on the verge of overcoming Regina's 15-9 lead.
The Lion management did its best to improve conditions. The floodlights were turned off, on the theory that the heat they generated had caused the impenetrable mist?the rest of the city, curiously, was clear. Then the crowd was asked to light matches in the hopes of burning the fog away. But after an hour of this the soup was as thick as ever and the game had to be called off. But did Vancouver's citizens let the Lions down? Indeed not?they seemed as fascinated by this continual atmosphere of catastrophe as silent-picture fans gripped by a Pearl White serial. The Lions drew home crowds virtually as big as the league leaders and finished the year with a tidy profit of $60,000.
Last Summer Judge Curtis Bok of Philadelphia and a crew of four sailed the 40-foot ketch "Alphard" from Camden, Me. to England, a passage which was remarkably uneventful except for squalls and some of the minor mishaps incident to most long cruises. Skipper Bok, who is President Judge of Philadelphia's Common Pleas Court No. 6 and author of a novel (I Too, Nicodemus) which won critics' praise, has written and privately printed a brief account of the voyage. In it he notes that "thousands of land stories have been written, but perceptive literature of the sea is scarce."
But in Transatlantic Passage, 1954, Judge Bok has contributed at least a couple of paragraphs of perceptive sea writing: "It is wrong to think of the sea as water only. It is wind and light and water together that form its many faces and raise man's imagination: the milk of a pre-easterly calm; the jade or sapphire walls of the ground swell; the lace of breaking seas and the old gristle of a storm; the running brook of light clear weather. They draw the threads of dawns and sunsets and weather into one great arras which led Conrad to say that the purpose of creation is not ethical but spectacular, engaging only man's conscience to remain emotionally faithful to a spectacle that is a moral end in itself.
"Man may not love the sea alone but the spectacle, and he must love it with an Old Testament fear, a combined fear and love of the Lord and His works that is neither love nor fear, but wonderment. He must flee before it, but to no harbor save his own self-sufficiency, for Nature may at any time with indifferent unconcern lay her great paw on him, and the shadow of the paw is always upon the face of the deep. Man needs the sea for his commerce, his food, and much of his inspiration, and because life came from the salt water he carries the memory of this early communion in his blood. He cannot, however, write his record upon it as he can upon the land, and his voyages are as evanescent as music, experienced in a vital moment and gone, with no evidence but his boat and the testimony of his fellows. The sea has no memory, as it has no compassion and no age and, alone and complete in itself, no need for man.
"To become whole with it man needs his boat and a friend or two to help him work it. These together can compete with the spectacle he has challenged, and it is not strange that his boat should become a loved and almost living thing."
If not horses, why people?
It is considered ethically indecent to dope race horses and there was much tsk-tsking during the 1932 Olympics at Los Angeles because the Japanese swimming team sniffed oxygen before going into the water.
Now C. E. Taylor, high school basketball coach, has been forced to resign by the Ashland, Ohio school board because for years he had been serving dexedrine sulphate tablets to key players. Other coaches do it, too. The tablets are known as "pep-up pills" and during World War II were used by fliers and ground troops to offset fatigue. Most doctors believe they are quite harmless and many prescribe them to suppress appetite in patients who want to lose weight without gaining will power. Some people use the drugs to keep going beyond the limits of fatigue and occasionally this leads to collapse, not from the effects of the drug but from an unfelt fatigue.