caught the hawklike eye of a telephone company man who is by avocation a
falconer, Harold Webster of Denver. A falcon, Webster curtly informed the Post,
does not look at all like a goshawk. On the assumption that the Air Force had
supplied the picture and written the misleading caption, he invited it to come
out to his place and see what a real falcon looks like. So the Post, forgetting
it had written the caption itself, snickered that the cadets "apparently
wouldn't know a falcon if one swept down from the skies and bit a hole in their
football." The news services picked up the story without checking and
spread it around the country. Though the Post corrected itself next day, the
news services didn't.
Webster did show
the Academy a real falcon and demonstrated its prowess. He took one to the
Academy and turned it loose. Then he tossed a pigeon into the air. The falcon
dive-bombed the pigeon into the ground and the cadets gasped at the speed and
accuracy of their bird.
Webster's help, the Academy acquired five young falcons. They are peregrine
falcons of a type sometimes called the tundra falcon and the best of the lot
will be fitted to a proper falcon hood in Air Academy silver and blue, made to
look like a jet crash helmet. Webster will house them until the Academy can
supply accommodations. He will try to train them to land triumphantly on
mock-ups of the Army mule and the Navy goat. Meanwhile, according to Capt.
H.H.D. Heiberg Jr., officer in charge of cadet activities, they are
"eagerly feasting on mule and goat meat."
The captains and
crews of New York's big advertising agencies will seize on an offbeat idea as
though it were a pogo stick, but they also have a moody regard for money and
dreams of baronial living (cross the offspring of a Wall Street banker and a
Hollywood writer, select the most active male in the litter, keep him away from
UCLA and teach him to make a dry Martini, and voil�—a. Madison Avenue type).
When one wearer of the Madison Avenue uniform (charcoal gray suit and pink
shirt) decided, last winter, that it would be great to take up a collection and
buy a race horse, the money was forthcoming before you could say Batten,
Barton, Durstine & Osborn. Well...at any rate, some
money—$10,000—contributed by 142 track-happy shareholders in an enterprise
entitled Bangtail Preferred.
Since that day
the 142 have shared one big racing thrill and several lesser ones, but they
have also gained a sobering insight into the care, feeding and financing of
thoroughbreds. Their teacher has been a 3-year-old gelding named Fly. It cost
$6,000 of the $10,000 just to buy Fly from Alfred G. Vanderbilt, but he was a
horse you could dream about—his daddy, Discovery, had sired a spectacular lot
of offspring. Discovery's kids, in fact, had won $4,450,000 in first-money
alone. Fly, it developed, was a hearty eater; $400 a month had to be allocated
for his stabling, feeding and training. Another $15.50 a month was necessary
for shoes. Life insurance took a $337 bite from the racing fund. The initial
sales tax lopped off $180. Paper work and legal fees cost $200. The Jockey Club
decided that the name Bangtail Preferred lacked dignity; the owners paid
another $100 to register as the Madison Avenue Stable. Incidental expenses took
$150 and racing silks (charcoal and pink, naturally) took $35.
Fly was entered in a race at Jamaica. Fifty faithful stockholders gathered to
cheer him. He ran dead last. Four days later he ran eighth. Ten days later he
ran sixth. A fortnight after that he ran eleventh. Furthermore he developed a
sore back—starters, it developed, had kept him in control before races by
twisting his tail around the back of the starting gate. He was sidelined for
rest and heat treatments. By July 1, however, he was in good health, and the ad
men's trainer, Jimmy McTague—recalling that Discovery had run well in distance
races—entered him at a mile and an eighth. Fly came from behind and won in the
last jump. The delighted owners streamed to the winner's circle, then
"adjourned to the bar and didn't see another race all day."
Fly had won
$2,275. But 10% went to the trainer. Another 10% went to the jockey. The
exercise boy and the groom in attendance on him got $25 apiece, and a boy who
cooled him out after the race got $10. Fly kept on eating. He also developed an
infection in one hoof. It took six weeks to heal; at that point a blacksmith
found a crack in another hoof. Then Trainer McTague had a heart attack. Fly has
not run since. But horse and trainer are mending fast, and the Stable has high
hopes for 1956. It has also received permission to increase its capitalization
The power and the
glory of the International Boxing Guild, a fight managers' fellowship devoted
to the best interests of fight managers, was refurbished this week with the
capitulation of the Martinez family of Paterson, N.J. to the demands of Honest
Bill Daly, Guild treasurer.