Losing generals of imperial Rome were sometimes sent off to gain perspective and confidence in distant provinces—very much, perhaps, as Walter Alston and his beaten Brooks have been exported to Japan. It is a fair question whether the drubbings the Dodgers have taken from a couple of Japanese teams have done much to restore Brooklyn confidence. Certainly, Dodger memories, like the memories of Pompey after the Battle of Pharsalus, are still filled with thoughts of the imperial victors back home—the self-same victors that Artist Marc Simont arranged in invincible phalanx not too long ago (SI, Oct. 1, see above).
But exile may be a healing experience, and certainly the exiles are entitled to dream. It may be, by now, as Artist Simont suggests on the opposite page, that the Brooklyn generalissimo is refighting and revising his Pharsalus in some teahouse of the Alston moon.
THE JUMPING MULE
After a lifetime of what might be described as involuntary social climbing, Charlie the Jumping Mule has finally crashed society; last week despite his long ears and less than perfect family background he competed as a hunter in the seventh annual Chicago Hunter Trials at the Oak Brook Polo Club, Hinsdale, 111. Charlie seemed rather bored but his fond owner and rider, Mrs. Libby Chase Swift—a wiry, middle-aged Chicago socialite who possesses a certain sense of drama—was tremendously set up by it. Recognition had not come without struggle.
Charlie, one might say, is Mrs. Swift's invention; at any rate it was she who decided to breed a Thoroughbred mare named Kilishia (whose Grandsire, Black Toney, also sired two Kentucky Derby winners) to a jackass ten years ago, and Charlie was the result. When Charlie was two, Mrs. Swift began training him with her jumpers. Charlie soon proved that he could leap over almost anything—if he was in the mood—and Mrs. Swift, delighted with his talent and personality, took him to her ranch in California and set about preparing him for greater things. She held parties for him on his birthdays and brought him into her house, shod in green felt house slippers, to eat cakes made of oats and bran with carrot frosting. She also rode to hounds with him.
When she attempted to enter him in California horse shows, however, she was refused; also, nobody would admit Charlie was a hunter, although he loved fences so much that he jumped them by himself and sometimes went from pasture to pasture releasing horses incarcerated therein by opening gates with his nose. Mrs. Swift rebelled by holding a "mule show" in which Charlie won ribbons, but real social recognition was refused him. "They're new out there in California," said his owner, "and they wouldn't qualify him."
But a few weeks ago Theodore Mohlman, joint master of hounds for the Oak Brook hunter trials, agreed to let Charlie enter. "I don't see any reason why he shouldn't be permitted to jump as a hunter if he's doing what he's supposed to do. If he carries his rider across country and across fences, well, in my opinion that makes him a hunter." Charlie responded amiably enough in his first official trial and took Mrs. Swift over nine obstacles in the Ladies Hunters Trial with ease. He did not win. "It's a nice jumping mule," said the judge, "but it hasn't got style and it looks like it likes to eat, too."
Charlie got more attention than any of the horses, however; Mrs. Swift saw to that by pulling four gold-colored rubber shoes over his hoofs and riding him through the Polo Club dining room at lunch.
The patent office has granted Patent No. 2767920 to Willie P. Roberson of Winston-Salem, N.C. for a Registering Boxing Glove. The Registering Boxing Glove contains an air-filled bladder from which a pneumatic tube leads to a counter embedded in the wrist part of the glove. Every time a boxer hits his opponent the punch is registered. At the end of the fight the referee checks the counters of each fighter, and the man with the highest score is declared the winner. The glove can be adjusted to screen out love taps and register only telling blows.