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Ring no. 8 of the Veteran Boxers Association, which hopes someday to have enough money to take care of broken-down boxers after managers and promoters are through with them, paid homage the other night to Charlie Goldman, a dapper little man who wears a derby like a kingly crown and a bow tie with the aplomb be applies to such matters as the training of Rocky Marciano, heavyweight champion of the world.
Ring No. 8 is the New York chapter of the association, started 18 years ago by Lew Tendler and Joe Guinan in Philadelphia, which is Ring No. 1 and also is known tenderly as "the Mother Ring." Its motherly instincts have often saved dead boxers from potter's fields and paid hospital bills for sick fighters. It is dreaming of the time when, perhaps, a small portion of television fight receipts will be set aside for such purposes.
A bantamweight fighter in his day, half a century ago, and rather short even for a bantamweight, Charlie Goldman was presented with a golden trophy, surmounted by the figure of a boxer and standing higher than his forehead as he sat behind it on the dais. He listened with a pixie grin to tributes from such ex-champions as Mickey Walker and Bob Olin and with special delight to some words of praise from his own tiger, Rocky, even when Rocky, searching for the right word, referred to him as a "great psychoanalyst."
Dr. Goldman's outstanding contribution to the treatment of boxers' neurological disorders was delivered, the champion recalled, just before the opening bell of Rocky's fight with Joe Louis. Sitting on his stool, Rocky felt the flutter of butterflies under his flat, tight-muscled abdomen and hoped prayerfully that his trainer would come up with some magic words of advice on how to fight this aging but still terrifying ex-champion. It turned out that Dr. Goldman had indeed analyzed the situation and was ready with advice for his patient.
"Make it a short fight," he ordered. "At my age I can't be runnin' up and down them steps all night."
At bear mountain, N.Y., they frequently have to grind up tons of ice to make synthetic snow for their ski meets because of a lack of the genuine article. Last summer a lot of people in the Northeast hurried down to Florida to escape the heat and then had to dash back because their homes were threatened by hurricanes. A Pennsylvania farmer spent $8,000 for equipment to irrigate his drought-stricken corn and two weeks later his fields were under six feet of floodwater. Possums are moving north. The dust bowl area of Texas was drenched, but up in New England and Canada 250,000 acres of birch were killed by successive hot summers.
Such manifestations as these have got people to talking about the weather more than they ever did before, and that means plenty of talk. Now they are discussing the weather in a new way. Time was when meteorological conversation would start with, "Looks like rain." Now a man will say, "I see there's a disturbance east of Puerto Rico which could develop into another hurricane." Weather talk is now in terms of climatic changes, melting icecaps and shifting hurricane belts.
There is no question in the public mind that mighty meteorological changes are taking place, changes that affect its livelihood, safety, sport and recreation. Some people seem to blame it all on the explosion of atomic bombs out in the West, but so far scientists have failed to find any convincing connection.
Some weather analysts hold that nothing strange is taking place; that normal weather represents an average of extremes and the average seldom occurs. The National Geographic Society says that the term "temperate" for the U.S. climatic zone is a laugh, that the contrasts in U.S. weather are as extreme as any on earth.