SI Vault
November 14, 1955
COACH, FATHER AND MAN Sirs:Enjoyed CONVERSATION PIECE: SUBJECT: Frank Leahy in the Oct. 31 issue. It was really a true picture of Leahy, the coach, father and man. I have only met him personally once, but I have observed him coaching at Notre Dame practices many times.
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November 14, 1955

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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Perhaps Senator George Vest gave, some 80 years ago, the best answer to Jemail's October 31 HOTBOX question:

"The best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter whom he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us—those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name—may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honour when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its clouds upon our heads.

"The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world—the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous—is his dog. A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer; he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

"If fortune drives his master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace, and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death."
London, Ontario, Canada

?These noble words, today immortalized in many a Missouri school text, were spoken September 23, 1870 in a Jefferson City courtroom by State Senator Vest in clearing the good name of Drum, a hound dog accused of killing chickens.—ED.

Matt Tracy, Palm Beach sportsman ("Are you kidding?"), is undoubtedly the meanest cuss ever pictured in HOTBOX.

What kind of a sportsman is he? If he ever does any hunting in this neighborhood, please send me warning, so I can keep our dog in the house.

Let him find the deepest lake near Palm Beach and jump in, taking his hardboiled viewpoint with him.
Wilmington, Delaware

It has been generally conceded by those who love dogs that the dog is man's best friend, but that matter is greatly in error. It is the hot dog that is man's best friend. For example, the dog has been known to bite the hand that feeds it. On the contrary the hot dog feeds the hand that bites it.
St. Petersburg, Fla.

While I have owned many dogs—friendly, faithful and true to the death—recently completed arithmetical studies have caused, in many quarters, serious reappraisal of this popular belief. From the standpoint of "friendliness" to man, these studies present a strong case for the male alligator as man's best friend.

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