GOLDEN AGE FOR KIDS
Though the thought couldn't have been further from their minds or their kids' minds, the parents of 105 New York suburban kids were writing a new chapter in the social and economic history of the U.S. last week when 105 Blue Jays jammed the starting line in the Larchmont, N.Y. Junior Day championships. Most of the Jays were new (there aren't many old Blue Jays, since the class is only eight years old), and each one represented a parental investment of about $950, complete with racing sails. Times 105, that makes a rough outlay of $100,000 to provide a summer's fun for a few kids.
This is one more powerful example of the golden age of sports that today's children are living through, a time when they have more opportunity to do more things well than any other generation ever had.
Go back only 16 or 17 years, to a place like Barnegat Bay in New Jersey. In 1939 a kid who wanted to sail got a 12-foot Sneak Box, worth maybe $115 new. But nobody had a new boat. You inherited one from your cousin who had gone up into the Scows. Or take baseball. In the early '40s a kids' ball game was still a pickup affair that happened on a backlot with a rock for home plate and weeds to your knees in the outfield. Now, some 15 years later, hundreds of thousands of uniformed Little Leaguers, P-O-N-Y Leaguers, Babe Ruth Leaguers, and so forth, play out summer-long schedules on manicured diamonds, some with sunken dugouts, mechanical scoreboards and other appurtenances.
It is the same all through sports. Nowadays parents are digging deep in their pockets to provide better recreation for their children and, at the same time, building a generation of intense sports lovers who can pass on an even greater affection for sport to their own children. Today's golden age may be only a small indication of the bigger things to come.
PRESS THE FLESH
A handshake—be it a compliment from the soft palm of royalty, from the eager palm of business or from the bitter palm of the vanquished—is the wordless hurrah which need overcome no language barrier to pay the victor a tribute, grudging or not
Royal Duke is extended to Dr. Roger Bannister, the first four-minute miler, by smiling Queen Elizabeth at Britain's Amateur Athletic Association Championships. Duke of Edinburgh stands at Queen's side as she receives British athletes at White City Stadium.
Glad hand is thrust in thanks by ex- Ohio State All-America Howard (Hopalong) Cassady (center), who matches grins with Edwin J. Anderson, president of the Detroit Lions, after Hoppy signed $29,000 two-year contract. Mrs. Cassady also gets into the act, grips Hoppy.
Sugar shake goes to Mrs. Virginia Peace of San Diego as she collects $20,887.20 from John S. Alessio, director of Mexico's Caliente race track. Mrs. Peace picked five out of six winners in a betting pool for Caliente's record payoff.