The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on January 16, 1999 · Page 36
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 36

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Indianapolis, Indiana
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Saturday, January 16, 1999
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Page 36
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fHE Indianapolis Star Saturday, January 16, 1999 The perfect choice Sally Gardockl to be profiled on NFL Films r -'' "i rniwirs a ANN LANDERS 5 MOVIES 4,5 PUZZLES 6 TELEVISION 6,7 'special. Page 7 InfoLlne: 624-4636 Online: www.starnews.com cwt m TOGETHER: Rachel and Jackie Robinson in 1962 file photo. ft r$ no Few understand the importance of Jackie Robinson's wife in the athlete's breaking the color barrier in major-league baseball. By Skip Hess STAFF WRITER r hen Brooklyn Dodgers President Branch Rickey chose Jackie Robinson to break major-league baseball's color barrier in 1947, he picked a man who was talented, competitive, college-educated, Army-disciplined and willing to lead a one-man civil-rights movement. What most people didn't know at that time was that Robinson's wife, Rachel, who will speak at Anderson's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Monday, played a big part In Rickey's choice. Rickey knew he was asking a lot maybe too much for someone to endure alone in a racially segregated society that would not permit Jackie to eat in the same restaurants, sleep in the same hotels or fly on the same aircraft as his teammates. But Carl Ersklne, a former teammate of Jackie and an Anderson banker and community leader who Invited Rachel to speak, says Rickey did his homework before choosing Jackie. He learned that Jackie was in love with Rachel. "If legend Is true, Mr. Rickey asked if he (Jackie) had a girl something chauvinistic like that and Jack replied that we were engaged," Rachel said In a telephone Interview from her New York office. "That was an Important factor," she said. "The reason he asked the question was that he wanted to make sure Jack had a partner to help him get through the trials and tribulations." In February of 1946, a year before being sent to the majors, Jackie married the former Rachel Isum. He had met her at the University of California when he was a three-sport senior star. She was a freshman who had earned an academic scholarship, maintained an "A" average through college and graduated with a bachelor's degree and honors. Untold story "There were 50 great black athletes Mr. Rickey could choose from, and I don't think the question of how he settled on Jackie was ever fully explored by the media," Ersklne said. See ROLE Page 2 iin-'"''-:' Mm -:,''J k r; . ' iC 'Ng -s a . ...'". Aif JjjZ.jfi'.. J Ra che 9 S At a glance ROLE .i I i m J & . - ;ui - n. jr. rf. t . vrt I rv J-,,, i i r i m - . ,ji r i, i . .... t. r-..-.''.':'.V " mum File Photo BATTER UP: Jackie Robinson warms up at spring training camp in Sanford, Fla., in 1946. What: Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at noon on Monday. Free and open to the public. Where: The 1,458-seat Paramount Theater, 1124 Meridian Plaza, downtown Anderson. Featured speaker: Rachel Robinson, wife of Brooklyn Dodgers baseball Hall of Fame player Jackie Robinson, founder of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and author of -Jackie Robinson, An Intimate Portrait. For more information, call (765) 642-1234. About hate groups The Ku Klux Klan held a rally at the Indiana Statehouse a week ago to protest Dr. Martin Luther. King Jr. Day. Asked what she thought would put an end to hate groups, Rachel Robinson replied: "I rely a lot on the human spirit. I rely on people seeing the damage that that kind of evil does not only the targets, but the people themselves. And I hope that through education and awareness . . . that the KKK will become relics. "We're not there yet, and we can't be lulled into complacency . . . IVe lived through massive changes, but I'm not satisfied where were are now. We have not created a society where opportunity is equal. Until we do that, we will still be a society that is split and not really making the best use of our resources." WILDLIFE Ixperts disagree on whether feeding birds is a wise idea By Skip Hess STAFF WRITER oosiers find it difficult to follow J I the advice of experts never to "1 I feed wild birds and animals, IJ even when snow and Ice pre-t the creatures from finding natural I. lark McCreedy, an Indiana Depart-lt of Natural Resources division of and wildlife spokesman, said the ing issue is a paradox for Hooslers who want to help hungry animals but know they shouldn't. "We don't want them to gain a dependency on man because, subsequently, they will become a nuisance animal to man," McCreedy said. Most animals have adapted to the , lack of food and to the cold with fat reserves and heavier coats and can survive, he said. Terry Davis, a DNR wildlife manager at Hardy Lake, says mother nature has a ufty of dealing with animals in the .'' winter. "I'm sure that there are some wildlife that are weak and diseased and may not make it though the winter," Davis said. "But their gene link is taken out of the system, and there will be healthier genes to reproduce the next season." He said the reason people see more animals in the city during heavy snow periods is that they are easier to spot 4' See BIRDS Page 2 V FOR ROBINS: If you must feed them, serve berries or mealworms. : tf . .. 3 vj Mike Redmond HUMOR Hope eager shoppers dont leave shelves bare Maybe you saw that the British supermarket chain Tesco is considering the Introduction of Naked Shopping Night. Kind of takes the zing out of. Double Coupon"""1 Day, doesn't It? All right, now: Before we get too far along, my Code of Conduct as a Certified Professional Smart Aleck (Newspaper Division) requires that we set a few ground rules, as specified by the Anti-Juvenilla Advisory Panel report to the Standards Committee at the 1994 CPSA symposium on How To Make Jokes About Naked People. Therefore, the following grocery items are not repeat, NOT eligible for Jokes in this column: (Censored), (Censored), (Censored), (Censored), (Censored), (Censored), (Censored), (Censored), (Censored), (Censored), (Censored), or any round bread product upon which hamburgers are served. Likewise, we shall make no Jokes about cleanups In aisle 3, price checks on the small size anything or the cart that always has one wheel that wants to go the wrong direction. (That last Joke isn't dirty, but it has been done to death and this Is a good time to get rid of it.) All clear? Fine. Let us proceed. Natural facts The store In question is In Hastings, near Britain's first designated nudist beach. Naked , Shopping Night was requested by the Hastings chapter of the Central Council for British Naturism (CCBN). If the store goes ahead with the plan, nudists would be able to browse cm naturel on a designated evening, after the store's regular 10 p.m. closing time. The windows would be covered. Shoppers would be required to do their undressing In the store, and to re-dress before leaving. Clerks all volunteers, at time-and-a-half would remain dressed. The hangup (the official one, anyway) is the health department. It may require the store to wrap all fruits and vegetables In plastic before allowing naked people, with their naked germs, into the produce department. That strikes me as a good idea. Every time I go to the store and see shoppers pawing through the produce, I wonder where their hands have been. And those people . are fully clothed, The idea for Naked Shopping Night came no surprise here from the nudists. "We decided at our last annual meeting to press for a new tolerance for naturists In the millennium," said spokesman Brian Williams. "We are delighted by this enlightened response from Tesco." Yes, I would Imagine they ARE delighted by the response from Tesco. In fact, I would think they would be delighted by ANY response that wasn't "Ha ha ha. Are you out of your minds? No." Don't get the wrong idea: I am not opposed to nudity, Not at all. No way. And that is probably all I had better say about that. Neither am I opposed to nudism, or, If you prefer, naturism, within limits. Those limits would be the walls of the nudist-in-question's house, or the boundaries of his or her nudist colony of choice. Mind's made up Beyond that, I tend to agree with the widely held belief that human beings are supposed to wear clothes, most of the time. I don't think the millennium Is going to change my mind. But I kind of like the idea of Naked Shopping Night. What the heck: If it's safe and contained, after hours with the windows covered, why not? Just don't let 'em squeeze the (Censored). Mike Redmond's column appears Wednesdays and Saturdays in The Indianapolis Star and The Indianapolis News, and Sundays in The Star. You may contact him by calling (317) 624-4636 and entering category 7166.

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