GAMESTER AT GETTYSBURG
The grave concern the nation felt on learning of Dwight D. Eisenhower's third serious illness in office was lifted quickly by a succession of incidents—all initiated by the President himself. He got out of bed, he did some work, he went smiling to church on Thanksgiving Day, and at the end of the week he was at his Gettysburg farm in front of a TV set—like millions of other Americans who glow to the spectacle of the senior military academies locked in sporting struggle.
The President bowed to duty by sending a warm "personal best wishes" telegram to the Navy. Then, grinning, he tipped Army in another wire of what he had told Navy, adding, "The requirements of neutrality are thus scrupulously observed. But over a span of almost half a century, on the day of The Game I have only one thought and only one song: 'On, Brave Old Army Team' "—an encouragement that was no less candid for being, as it turned out, ineffective in the slosh of Philadelphia's Municipal Stadium.
These events were signals that President Ike, thrice felled, was getting up off the canvas again. As a New York Times editorial put it: "Evidently he has had one medicine at his command that no doctor could order from the nearest drugstore. He has taken and prospered by the medicine of courage."
Less courageous men might have been emotionally invalided by a severe heart attack, an operation for ileitis and now a "shock" piled onto and perhaps caused by the burdens of the presidency. But Ike has withstood them and bounced back, not imprudently but with the consent of his doctors. This well-tempered courage is no longer surprising. Where was it tempered? Perhaps at West Point, in the days when Ike won his nickname and his varsity letter on Army's football team. The strains of the presidential office, though increasing, are not new, and Eisenhower's illness has given currency to the observation of Woodrow Wilson almost 50 years ago, when he was still president of Princeton, that unless the burdens of the presidency are lightened "we shall be obliged always to be picking chief magistrates from among wise and prudent athletes...." Fortunately, the American people have a man who qualifies.
RHAPSODY IN BLUE
Midshipman Tom Forrestal of the United States Naval Academy was "in uniform" except for a big green shamrock stamped on the breast pocket of his white shirt. Midshipman Forrestal is Irish, and he likes to advertise the fact, Navy regulations notwithstanding.
A grin split his darkly Celtic features, twisting his broken nose even further off center.
"The Grocery Seven did it," he shouted, hoisting a container of milk in a toast. "To the Grocery Seven. The best damned line in the whole world."
Quarterback Forrestal, like the rest of the players in the Navy dressing room, was finding it hard to contain his jubilation at beating Army 14-0. An invitation to the Cotton Bowl added to the Navy delirium.