The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 9, 1976 · Page 23
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 23

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Thursday, December 9, 1976
Page 23
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Page 23 article text (OCR)

The Palm Beach Post THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9, 1976 B SECTION Jai-Alai Fronton Begins 22nd Season Tonight courts found among ancient ruins. In 1547, historians recorded that Enrique II, king of Spain, rewarded a Basque pieces of gold for his participation in a game of 'pelota.'" Whatever the origins, various forms of jai-alai have been the national sport of Spain for hundreds of years. Particularly noted for the game are the Basques, four of whose provinces belong to Spain and three to France. Originally known as "pelota vas-ca," when brought to the Western Hemisphere, the name jai-alai (meaning 'merry festival') was adopted. Most of the outstanding players are of Basque origin, many having learned from the age of 4 on courts chiseled out of the side of a mountain. By the time they turn "pro" at age 16, their mastery of the game makes catching the 150 m.p.h. ball look easy. "Too easy," Brown says. "From the spectators' seats they can't see the tremendous spin the players put on the ball. This causes it to curve in flight, just like English on a tennis ball, making it very difficult to catch." After a series of spectacular catches, which often include wall-walking techniques a fly would envy, a dropped ball brings down a chorus of boos from spectators who can't understand how difficult it is to use a cesta, Brown explained. To make his point, during the recent jai-alai season in Newport five spectators were invited down onto the court each night to try their hand at the game. The object was to serve the ball against a wall 50 feet away. About 500 attempted during the season. Only 15 managed the task. The pelota (Spanish for "ball") used in modern jai-alai is about three-fourths the size of a baseball, but much harder and more lively. When dropped on a concrete floor it sounds very similar to a golf ball, Turn to JAI ALAI, B2 By BOB MICHALS Poll Staff Writer A half-million people in Palm Beach County last year bet $24.1 million on the outcome of a game involving Basques, baskets and a goatskin billiard ball that hardly ever kills anyone. More importantly, local promoters are wagering both attendance and pari-mutuel play will be at an all-time high at 7:30 tonight when jai-alai begins its 22nd season at the 45th Street fronton in West Palm Beach. Fresh from a record-setting season in Newport, R.I., the 44-man roster will feature seven new faces: Munoz, Fernando, Jose, Larrinaga, Ibarra, Alfonso and the high point player from up North, Miguel. Absent from last year's lineup will be Roberto and Ormaza, both of whom retired. The schedule, which runs through April 18, offers 12 games nightly except Sunday, with matinees on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and 11:30 a.m. respectively. In addition to two daily doubles, each program will present 10 trifectas and 12 quinie-las to bolster earnings in the win, place and show columns. Admission ranges from 50 cents to $5, and reservations are available by calling 844-2444. Curiously, despite jai-alai's meteoric rise in popularity both as a spectator and participant sport many of last year's 460,000 fans knew little about the game's history or the skills required in playing it. This bothers Don Brown, director of public relations at the fronton, who believes strongly in educating the betting public. It's not known for certain who invented jai-alai, but Brown offers the following explanation. "Records show that forms of jai-alai were played in ancient Egypt and Greece, and later in medieval Europe. In the new world, the Aztecs of Mexico had a similar game as evidenced by playing Cestas and Helmets Are Tools of Jai-Alai Player's Trade Arthritis: The Crippler 'Now I Canh Even Walk Across the Room Without Help9- Fashion Show at The Breakers To Benefit Medically Indigent f A .-. 1--. ' :'.. ftj f I ff-' i f 1 if ' A : if I ' By DEE WHITTINGTON Poit Staff Wrltor June Langley was 38, attractive, adjusting to a divorce, and supporting herself and her young son as a nurse. Working seven days a week, she managed to save enough money to buy a triplex in Greenacres. Proudly she carted boxes and furniture into her new home. Overworked and tired, she paid little attention to the pain in her thumb. The next morning, her 39th birthday, she woke up paralyzed. "I though I had had a stroke. All I could move was my eyes. It was hot, but I couldn't pull the cover down off my nose," she said. She lay there a long time, frightened, trying to sort out what had happened. Slowly the feeling in her body returned, but she has never been the same since. June Langley is one of 250,000 people stricken each year with arthritis. She has the most serious form, rheumatoid arthritis, which strikes three times as many women as men, often with little warning, and can leave them crippled. Primarily attacking the joints, it can also cause disease in the lungs, skin, blood vessels, muscles, spleen, heart and eyes. June met all the criteria necessary to fall victim to the chronic disease. She was under heavy emotional stress and overtired for a long period of time. Many patients notice the beginning of symptoms following a disturbing event such as a death in the family, separation or divorce, according to the Arthritis Foundation. The disease has changed her life completely, leaving her too ill to work and without any means to support herself or her 11-year-old son David. "What happens to people like me? I'd scrub floors if I could. I'd do anything to support David and me, but I can't," she says in despair. Scrubbing the floor, along with almost everything else, is out of the question for the former nurse and airline hostess who once dreamed of opening a children's nursery. Now Turn to LANGLEY, B3 By BOB BRINK Post Staff Writer Most people know arthritis is crippling physically. But many may be unaware that for low-income persons the long-term disease also can be crippling financially. Ruth Fraley who lives near Haverhill knows, for her husband has had rheumatoid arthritis for 18 years and their young daughter has had it for 3 years. Added to the pain of their wracked bodies is the drain on their pocketbooks. , Fraley, who started the Nebraska Meats chain in the West Palm Beach area, and his wife, a consultant for Mary Kay Cosmetics, have been able to manage financially. But those with small means must reach to the bottom of their incomes to meet the never-ending expenses for medical treatment. For such persons the medically indigent a clinic has been established at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Palm Beach where they can receive diagnosis and treatment free or at a reduced cost. However, the clinic is open only four hours one day a month because the local Arthritis Foundation, which foots part of the bill, has insufficient funds. The medically indigent number in the thousands. Mrs. Fraley is trying to do something about that. She's organized a fashion and fur show to be held at 8 p.m. Friday at The Breakers in Palm Beach. Former astronaut Edgar Mitchell is honorary chairman. It's being sponsored by the professional beauty consultant for Mary Kay Cosmetics of Palm Beach Coun- The show is open to everyone for a charge of $10, and all the proceeds will go toward expanding the clinic's hours except for a small amount to pay for hors d'oeuvres and fruit punch, and the cost of printing programs and tickets, Mrs. Fraley said. Included will be fashions in styles covering the gamut from casual and conservative to high design, all from area shops. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door, but Mrs. Fraley advised buying Turn to ARTHRITIS, B2 ( ' y 1 s 1 1 Staff Photo By J. Scott Appltwhito Staff Photo by Max Kaufmann June Langley . . . arthritis victim Dr. Arthur Virshup . . . examines Michelle Shoushanian, 16 One Man's Trivia May Be Another Man's Worry wrote the Winston jingle? Where is he now? How does he feel now that people no longer whistle the Winston tune? Did he also write the "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should?" lyrics or did they hire an illiterate off the streets? Another thing back when the Winston tune was whistled and hummed by every citizen in the civilized world, did its author seize strangers by the lapels and scream: "That tune you're whistling! It's mine. I wrote that. I just wanted you to know." If any reader has a lead on who wrote the Winston jingle, I want to know in the worst way. The next thing that worries me is extortion. Why can't the U.S. Treasury print up its own counterfeit money in all denominations and treat it chemically to turn orange the day or even week after payment? If this ruse caused extortionists to carry elaborate chemical detection equipment around with them, so much the better. Okay, then extortionists would demand gold, wouldn't they? Fine. Make the gold radioactive, making it that much easier to detect. Then you force extortionists to carry both a chemical laboratory and a Geiger counter around with them. One other thing has been bothering me for years and I can hold it back no longer. Who In that case, the government should skip the prohibition and simply print: "Come on in and bring your dog." Better yet, why not place Braille messages above all light switches, or to the right of every entrance? Then a blind person could go up to the wall and read something like: "Welcome to the post office. The windows are 15 feet away from you, parallel to this wall. Follow the counter line opposite this wall 25 feet north and you will find the mail slots marked in Braille. Abutting this wall to the south are the rest rooms, also marked in Braille. If you need help or directions, just wait right there." Vov years I've worried about that sign on the post office door, and I've never said anything. But since comedian David Brenner mentioned it on the Johnny Carson show, I might as well bring it into the open. The sign says: "No dogs allowed (except seeing-eye dogs)." As Brenner observed: "Who's that sign for?" Don't you see? It would be sufficient just to say "No dogs allowed." Rare would be the seeing eye' dog that would balk at that sign. Now had the sign also been posted in Braille, there would be some sense in it unless the blind person stopped at the "No dogs allowed" part and didn't feel the rest. Ron Wiggins

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