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Jimmy, entranced by the lights and the cameras, nodded happily.
"Well," Johnny went on, "Gilly give it to me. He said he'd like to keep it himself, but he said he thought I deserved it. Wasn't that swell of him?"
Young Jimmy just grinned, but all over the country people nodded. It sure was swell of Gilly.
But he was right, Johnny. You deserved it.
UP THE FALCON!
The army mule and the Navy goat are only moderately ancient mascots but neither West Point nor Annapolis has an altogether satisfying record of how the two animals achieved status in military society. West Point says vaguely that its cadets selected the mule as mascot "near the turn of the century." Annapolis says firmly that its first official goat mascot was El Cid, chosen in 1893, but there is a tarry legend which holds that, three years before El Cid, naval cadets swiped a grazing goat from land near the non-com quarters at West Point on the very day of the first Army-Navy football game. Navy beat Army that day, 24-0.
It is only natural, then, that there has already been some confusion about the U.S. Air Force Academy mascot, chosen just the other day. So that history may be better served, a true account of its selection follows:
Academy fledglings, building tradition with jet speed and swept-back efficiency, nominated a long line of mascots, then narrowed them down to the golden eagle and falcon after eliminating a highly improbable mountain lion. An officer who had been lobbying for the falcon then addressed the 300 cadets something like this:
"The falcon is a bird with a long and honorable history. It is famous for its swift flight, its powers of vision, courage and ferocity. It is especially noted for its courageous defense of its home nest. It has a flight speed of 100 mph and its speed in a dive is classified information. The golden eagle is a scavenger. You will now vote."
The falcon thereupon won a flaps-down victory. Then the confusion set in. The Denver Post illustrated its election story with a 1951 photograph from its morgue. The picture showed an airman with a goshawk and the caption described it as "a peregrine hawk, called a goshawk, the type of falcon chosen Tuesday by U.S. Air Force Academy cadets.... "