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Last week Mr. Kyritsis had the coming winter's perch prediction in hand, applicable for the Great Lakes region as far west as Omaha, as far north as Sturgeon Bay, Wis. and as far east as Detroit. It is a prediction favorable only to fuel dealers. Mathon's two boats, dragging nets 90 feet down and six miles out, caught only 250 pounds of perch. At 140 feet down and 12 miles out, they caught 800 pounds of perch. "Last year was cold enough, but this year the fish have started for the deep water 10 days earlier even than they did then," says Mathon, shivering happily in the anticipation of frigid weather ahead and a further impeccable record of percomorphic prognosis.
"Donald M. Ferguson of the Australian Tennis Association recently predicted the world's two leading Davis Cup nations, Australia and the U.S., would soon support a movement toward grassless cup play, in deference to countries where no grass courts are available.
But Ferguson reckons without the likes of Jack Evans, a Tuscaloosa, Alabama tennis buff who views such anti-grass talk as treason. He believes grass is as vital to tennis as balls and a net. "Without grass," he says, "tennis would die, because the esthetic qualities of grass are the hard core, the grass roots as you might say, of the game itself. Without grass, tennis just doesn't have the prestige the game should have. Unless you're on grass you aren't playing tennis."
Suiting his deeds to his philosophy, Evans has brought a flourishing 220-family tennis club to Tuscaloosa and provided it with its first grass courts in just one year's time. Some of the country's most knowledgeable amateurs (Bill Talbert, Gardnar Mulloy, Dick Savitt) played on Evans' grass and even likened it to the velvet of Wimbledon. Then, last week, two old pros, Bobby Riggs and Don Budge, who have competed on the world's finest courts, teamed up to win the doubles in what Tuscaloosa proudly calls The Southern Professional Grass Courts Tennis Championships.
The courts are fine, said Budge after the final match, though Jack Evans might as well know now that Don doesn't like to play on grass. Fine indeed, echoed Riggs, who does like grass and promised to be back next year to play in Tuscaloosa. All this, mind you, in a part of the country where tennis itself is a curiosity and grass courts almost unknown.
It was a modest tournament to be sure, but with it Jack Evans made a point: Grass courts are practicable for small tennis clubs. "Building them isn't as complicated as you'd think," he says. "All you need is a level area, good strong grass and tender care."
If that's all the suburban homeowner needs to grow a fine lawn then how come it's still harder to raise good grass than children?
No Horns, No Shoot!
He called a moose.