At this writing we have seen the first three monthly issues of Esquire & Derby, and it seems pointless to wait for more before yielding to the impulse to applaud it in print. This we can do untrammeled by any considerations of false modesty, since less than half of the contents stems from our pages, and it’s the rest that strikes us as being both so compatible and so compelling as to enhance the part that does duplicate this magazine.
Worst_ Re Esquire’s Dubious Achievement Awards (January): There is no doubt in my mind that the Worst Taste Award of 1974 goes to Esquire for printing the Worst New Flavor of the Year. Rosa B. Orenstein Queens Village, N.Y. Mediocre Re The Most Mediocre (December): Certainly John Chervokas caused true Crayola junkies (“Aw, Ma, you gotta get a new big box for school!”) everywhere to cringe.
<p>The people over at People get all riled up if anyone suggests that People is a direct descendant of anything at all. You do not even have to suggest that it is; the first words anyone over there says, insists, really, is that People is not a spin-off of the Time People section (which they are right about), and that it is not a reincarnation of Life (which they are, at least in part, wrong about).</p>
Tom Wicker, author of The Men in D Yard (page 59), is an associate editor of The New York Times and works in New York City. In September, 1971, he was working for The Times in Washington, where he had been bureau chief from 1964 to 1968, when a phone call drew him into the middle of the great convict uprising at Attica in upstate New York; you will read about the phone call and its consequences in the article.
<p>Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the big man, sat soaking his right hand in a whirlpool tub. His legs, in slim, striped warmup pants, stretched like young trees. Last night had been Buffalo. This was Milwaukee. Then came Philadelphia, Portland and Phoenix before the Milwaukee Bucks spent significant time at home.</p>
I come to the typewriter this month fresh—if that’s the word —from reading the 1974 yearend travel figures and predictions of the year to come. Looking them over, you get the impression that 1975 is to be the worst year for travel since Noah let two monkeys board his boat without visas.
The Godfather seemed to me one of the sleazier films to achieve overwhelming public, and considerable critical, success. Yet there is logic in this. For as all-time top-grossing picture it is followed by The Sound of Music at a distance of no more millions than can be explained by lower rates of admission back in 1965.
A mericans just now seem to be as preoccupied with slavery and its aftermath as the English were—to some extent still are—with the callousness and injustices of nineteenth-century industrialism. In both cases one detects an element of self-indulgence; there is nothing the liberal-minded enjoy more than wringing their hands over the wickedness of their forebears, thereby facilitating forgetfulness of their own acquiescence in wrong-doing.
<p>It’s as simple as this: There are some performers who have given you so much pleasure that, above and beyond paying the price of admission to theatres or clubs, or tuning in to television appearances and buying sponsors’ products, you owe them.</p>
<p>There has been a great deal of Ives played in London this year,” said Jose Serebrier, whose RCA recording of the Ives Fourth Symphony, with the London Philharmonic, has been the sleeper of the centennial celebrations. “The critics there who reviewed our performance of the Fourth said that in America Ives was now universally considered the best American composer, and that was very unfair to the other American composers.”</p>
A time to die—for the men of Attica themselves, and for other mens illusions
<p>The luncheon of the Bill Fay Club on Friday, September 10, 1971, was a gregarious affair as usual. The scene of the feast was the executive dining room of the National Geographic Society, in the society’s elegant building on Seventeenth Street Northwest, a few blocks from Lafayette Square and the White House. Members had sipped sherry in the office of Franc Shor, a Geographic editor, then moved into the dining room for lamb chops and an excellent wine. </p>
<p>... or The Unshot Shotgun. This story could have either title. They both fit. It doesn't make any difference. I was seventeen the last time I owned a gun. It was a double-barrel sixteen-gauge shotgun. I did a lot of hunting between the ages of thirteen and seventeen.</p>
<p>When my father came to Morocco, he was in his late seventies. We visited the mountain town of Xauen, above, and although he managed to get about well enough everywhere else, here the steep streets with their slippery cobblestones sent him back each time to sit in the hotel.</p>
That's His Royal Majesty, By the Grace of God, Ed Schafer to you
<p>In 1964, when Ed Schafer of St. Louis, Missouri, was named king of a tiny African tribe called Biffeche, there was a minor flurry of publicity. Since then, the story has been forgotten. But for the past ten years, Schafer has been acting as divineright monarch over a group of Africans he has never seen.</p>
Bringing modern technology to the least developed nation of all
Back in the Sixties, John C. Lilly surprised the world with his experiments indicating that dolphins were highly intelligent creatures. Flipper, it seemed, was not only smarter than Lassie, he was maybe as smart as Johnny Carson or even McGeorge Bundy.
The trouble with the current jazz “revival” is that reviving only works on the dead. It’s nice that Ellington, Parker and Coltrane are commanding a lot of posthumous attention, and it’s nice that living immortals like Basie, Monk, Mingus and Rollins—not to mention those sonic spacemen of the Sixties, Sun Ra and Archie Shepp—are getting some of their due.
<p>Jimmy Hoffa strides into the lobby of The Drake hotel in Philadelphia, having flown from Miami, his winter home. There is to be a press conference at five, at which he will discuss the National Association for Justice, a prison-reform organization.</p>
Central impertinence! Punctilious servant of the least complaint! Arcane seat of unabashed power! Insufferable despot! Craven informant! Look smart, good fellows—the stomach rules!
<p>Consider the aweto—embodiment of dietary indiscretion—-which caterpillar-like creature burrows beneath the earth of New Zealand in search of a certain seed for which it lusts unceasingly. So unbounded is the aweto’s craving for this seed that the aweto spurns all other nourishment, preferring starvation to any palatine concession.</p>
What are we, in the end, but perfected declarations?
<p>The man was young and knew him at once. He did not smile but he said “Well, Forrest.” Forrest Mayfield said “Yes sir” and knew that his own face, tilted up, was helplessly smiling. He’d have known this man in a chance encounter on the farthest star—the face was his own, his living mirror.</p>
Elizabeth Ashley: “I’m just what a thirty-five-year-old woman looks like”
<p>Elizabeth Ashley is kind of interesting because success came to her once and she wasn’t ready for it, and now success has come again and she is, or seems to be. Opportunity always knocks twice, they say, even when it’s the opportunity to enjoy success.</p>
“When I get to heaven all my markers will be lined up waiting for me, all the ones that were dried out and thrown away. My desk will be there to greet me, my music, a hamburger tree....The giant tongue is the Rolling Stones symbol from Sticky Fingers—I love the Stones.
The man halfway up the rope is Larry Leeds, who works in New York but lives in a nearby suburb. The athletic equipment here all belongs to him, and we’ll explain it with great particularity overleaf. But first, a generality: This is what you can do by wav of a home gym provided you have a forty-foot-square barn with thirty-foot ceiling.
<p>The old Cunard Line slogan, “Getting There Is Half the Fun,” is as obsolete as the Cunard Line is obsolescent. Getting there is about as much fun as riding a condemned roller coaster and there, if revisited, is unrecognizably altered for the worse or, if seen for the first time, is having an unseasonable heat wave or a general strike.</p>
Get ready for the most offhand, easygoing warmweather wearables ever. As you’ll see in Esquire’s sixteen-page forecast, the focus is on informality. Ralph Lauren for Polo sums up the ’75 feeling in this outfit on a lookout at Palmas del Mar, Puerto Rico's new luxury resort where all our fashions were photographed: a brushed-cotton navy blue blazer with gold braid and piping ($150), white cotton-knit shirt ($19) and white cotton slacks ($45).
YOU ARE NEVER TOO YOUNG TO START GETTING OLD Getting old properly, that is. Americans do it very badly. Next month, a special section tells how and why. A FRENCH-INVENTION FESTIVAL Musical typewriters? A machine that puts on your socks? Shoes with taillights? These and others, invented in France, are here now.
Page 62: Wicker, The New York Times/Michael Evans ; Badillo, Seale, The New York Times/William Sauro; Mancusi, Champen, U.P.I.; Oswald, Künstler, Wide World; Clark, Bill Whiting. Page 63: WGR-TV News, Buffalo, New York. Page 64: U.P.I. Pages 66-67: Wide World.
I am strapped into place with a carelessness I don’t care for. My relatives have nothing to say, and yet, I keep them on the move, those soft bastards. I’m a sort of morning song, unless the hands that keep me down have the illicit in mind.