EXERCISEºRECREATIONºSPORT


HORSESHOE COMPENDIUM

Page 90

ringers, walked slowly, and put Allen into a nervous state of mind. Isais won 50-28; every shoe he threw was a ringer, and the only time Allen scored was when the Mexican's ringers hopped off. Isais lost a large number of ringers as the clay was a little too dry. This game is one of the three greatest in Iowa history for the unusual aspect of it.
     John Gordon was mentioned above. He is a wealthy retired California man who manufactures horseshoes, and in a dozen other ways is liked up with the game. He has taken an active part in the Iowa State Fair Tournaments since 1935. If I say that Mossman is the most unusual personality in the history of the pitchers, I must also say that John Gordon is the most interesting personality of the non-pitchers connected with the game. No doubt, he is head and shoulders over anyone else in that respect. A full story about John Gordon must wait for at least ten years, for it seems that a story now would be only the beginning of a much longer story which can later be assembled.
     Ted Allen was an improved pitcher in 1938, while Isais had gone back. Ted averaged 84.1 per cent to win every game. In 1939 he again won every game to average 82.7 per cent.
     The 1939 tournament was covered by Life Magazine, and a picture of a California star, Dean Brown, was broadcast by radio. In connection with this tournament, a convention of the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association was held at Hotel Fort Des Moines. At this convention LeRoy Page, of Des Moines was elected president, while another Iowan, Robert Tompkin, a young lawyer from Dysart, was appointed to be a member of the important Rules Committee.
     An amusing incident occurred on the Sunday morning of this tournament. The Fair Board had permitted a preacher to use a huge dance hall tent to hold his services, and with the time for the sermon about to commence, he came over and furiously de-manded that I compel the pitchers to stop practicing as the congregation was watching the pitchers instead of going to church.
     I agreed to stop them, so he announced to the crowd that there would be no more pitching that morning, and that church services would start immediately. Some of the people argued with him, but most of them went back into the church.
     By 12 o'clock he was still preaching, and I thought that two hours of that was enough, so I signaled for games to start. The preacher heard the sound of the shoes hitting the pegs, and shouted, "There they go, worrying about their box scores; some day they will worry about their box score above." The congre-

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