Fascinating 1970 Newspaper Article About Ultimate

flight to happinessReader Jesse B. sent along this newspaper clipping from the San Francisco Chronicle on June 18, 1970, p. 53. Here’s my best available transcription.

The threat of off-shore storms on Lake Superior has forced transfer of the 13th International Frisbee Tournament July 5 from the “historic ballyard” at Eagle Harbor, Mich., to the nearby island community of Calumet.

This unprecedented shift of the classic event, “the granddaddy of all Frisbee competition,” was described by Harvey J Kukuk, beloved director of the International association, as “the most difficult decision I have ever had to make.”

According to an IPA press release, the legendary Kukuk pointed out that although Frisbees will be sailing this year in the shadow of the George Gipp Memorial Pagoda, the spirit of the Notre Dame immortal would be maintained by holding the tourney at Agassiz Field at Calumet High School, “scene of the Gipper’s prep heroics.”

Tournament director Joe Davis, “the most famous librarian in Michigan’s upper peninsula,” has predicted that last year’s record of 2000 spectators and 22 Frisbee teams would be easily bettered.

***

Such is the latest news in Frisbee, perhaps the most popular of all participation sports among college radicals. This is not to say that Frisbeeing is limited to persons under 30 with long hair and revolutionary tendencies.

Certainly not. Frisbee recognizes its age barrier, and if President Nixon were genuinely interested in bridging the generation gap, he personally would fling a Frisbee across it.

Frisbeeing is a form of non-verbal communication that combines aesthetics with athletics. The spectacle of a well-cast Frisbee spinning in a graceful arc over a grassy knoll is truly inspiring. And it brings us all nearer life’s essence.

No matter that a dope-crazed tatterdemalion be at one end of the flight and a martini-soaked dandy with an attaché case at the other. Frisbee makes us all one.

***

The IPA news, published in Los Angeles, is our house organ. It keeps abreast of the latest international developments. For example:

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania — “Reports have been received that IPA member David Payne, of Toronto, Canada, recently completed a Frisbee throw on top of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania at an elevation of 19,360 feet. Mr. Payne claims the world land record for Frisbee flight height. David’s next target: Mount Everest.”

Paris, France — “A huge crowd gathered on the Champs Elysees, near the Arc de Triomphe, to watch a Frisbee exhibition by David Turner, of Maine. David subsequently traveled to the Eiffel Tower, casting the Frisbee in the shadow of that magnificent edifice.”

Birmingham, Ala. — “A young man who modestly bills himself as ‘King Frisbee’ — Jim Stowe of Birmingham, reports two unusual forms of Frisbee competition. One is Frisbee throws at a distance of 15 yards from persons on motor boats traveling at speeds up to 20 miles per hour. The other is flipping Frisbees between two sky divers. In the latter instance, Jim says, two throws were completed before the third was caught by the wind and went awry.”

***

The IPA also reports the claim of one Roger Hedge, IPA No. 3754, that he tossed a Frisbee 86 yards on the football field at Spartan Stadium in San Jose. Unfortunately, the journal advises young Hedge, all records must be “made in competition sanctioned by the IPA, and witnessed by Harvey J. Kukuk, our beloved director.”

Naturally.

  1. Charlie Eisenhood

    Charlie Eisenhood is the editor-in-chief of Ultiworld. You can reach him by email (charlie@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@ceisenhood).

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