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The Man in the Arena
The leading roles in the endlessly unfolding drama of history must always be reserved for an active few, with the rest of us standing by willy-nilly as critics and observers. As such, we could do worse than recall the words of one who played one of history's most vital roles a half century ago.
"It is not the critic who counts," wrote Theodore Roosevelt, "not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
For an account of a man who fulfilled these qualifications in the year just past we invite you to read the story on Rafer Johnson, which begins on page 19.
Cup Weather: Hot and Humid
The Oppressive heat of Australian midsummer kept eyeglasses constantly fogged as Captain Perry Jones's U.S. tennis team met the Italians in the Interzone Finals of Davis Cup competition at Perth last week. It was so hot and humid that even the omnipresent Perth flies were too lazy to stir, although the players all liberally doused themselves with lavender oil in anticipation of the flies. But neither lavender scent nor the constant wiping of eyeglasses could do much to dissipate the miasmic pall that seemed to hang over the immediate prospects of U.S. tennis.
It meant little that the American team blasted through the Italians with ease to become the challengers for the cup itself, to face the Australians in the challenge round for the 15th year in a row. Even before the interzone matches began, Perry Jones's bearded Italian counterpart, Giorgio Dal Fiume, gloomed that his boys had "little or no chance," and the prophecy was borne out in five straight Italian defeats. Captain Perry Jones made dutifully optimistic noises about victory against the Aussies, but his top adviser and right-hand man, Jack Kramer, was plainly of another mind. Kramer had already made arrangements to sign top Aussies Anderson and Cooper for his professional troupe and gave little public indication of a belief that the Americans could beat them. "I'd love to see the cup back in the states," Kramer said, "but you have to look at things sensibly." Meanwhile, undoubtedly leaning heavily on Jack's advice, Jones himself took a sensible look at the record and decided that his No. 1 player, Ham Richardson, was not up to taking on the Aussies at singles. Sulky and disheartened at being relegated to the status of a mere doubles player after journeying to Australia for the matches, Ham announced himself "disgusted with the entire mess."
Paraffin at Five Paces
It was Sunday. Crape-black clouds draped over the city of Denver. The streets were quiet but for the sluice of cold rain in the gutters. Abruptly, the sharp report of a Colt six-shooter cracked the dusk. The echo faded, and you might have heard a firing pin drop. "Thirty-two one-hundredths of a second," breathed an awed man in a string tie. His further words were lost in a cheer. An Air Force pilot had just won a fast-draw match between the Colorado Frontier Gunslingers of Golden and the Colorado Gunslingers Assn. of Colorado Springs.