Track & Field: The Borrowed Pole


If it had not been for a castoff television aerial, John Pennel, 23, might be a ditchdigger today. He used to dig holes for fun on his father's farm in Tennessee. "I left holes all over the farm," he says. "I don't know why I did it. I just had this urge." Then he found an old roof top TV aerial and, using it as a sort of vaulting pole, began to go up instead of down. One leap led to another, and in 1959 he went to Northeast Louisiana State College on a pole-vaulting scholarship (room, board, tuition,...

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