At the Post: Death of Evan Shipman Strikes Sad Note Brilliant Turf Writer and True Gentleman Recall Pleasant Times In, Daily Racing Form, 1957-06-26


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g : ifej s Vnimn At the Post I By Joe Hirsch - I Death of Eyan Shipman Strikes Sad Note Brilliant Turf Writer and True Gentleman Recall Pleasant Times in Shippys Company ARLINGTON PARK. Arlington Heights, 111., June 25. — The pacing of a friend: We hope youll forgive us for a personal note _ this morning as we tell you 1 i- ~ J* 4-1, „. most _ 1 i- ~ J* 4-1, „. most g about one of the wonderful men it has ever been our privilege to know. He was Evan Shipman, the columnist for this paper, who died in New York Monday morning after a long series of illnesses. "Shippy" had_ no peer as a turf writer in this country; he knew horses as few .writers did, he loved them and he loved racing, and he was a gifted writer. But more than all this, he was a great t erson. was a t erson. wHh all that this implies. He was sincerely honest in whatever he did.or wrote, he was gracious and helpful to those who crossed his path, he was a valued friend. It was our good fortune to spend many hours with "Shippy," in the office, at various tracks throughout the country, dining at various restaurants. Always the talk was of racing, and it was a genuine thrill for-" this young man to listen and learn the many things that "Shippy" could and did try to teach and explain. There was the wonderful evening when Evan visited Lincoln Downs a couple of years ago for a big race. We drove him to Boston that night, where Suffolk Downs was to open the next day. Master Analysis of the Sport All the way up Route 1 we rehashed the race, which, we believe, Social Outcast won, and "Shippys" analysis was, as always, brilliant. When we got to Boston, Evan insisted we dine at Lock-Obers, an excellent restaurant, because he was a gourmet of the first order. He didnt know exactly where the .place was, and so we parked the car and walked through every street bordering the Common. It seemed we walked for hours until we finally came upon Lock-Obers in-some dimly lit alley, only to learn that they were just closing. But we laughed it off and enjoyed a meal at another place nearby. Then there was the evening after the Washington, D. C, International at Laurel a couple of autumns ago. "Shippy" had ordered some Colorado brook trout at Millers, in Baltimore, and nothing must do but we would stop off there en route back to New York. We had to be at Jamaica early the next morning, but "Shippy" insisted we dine leisurely, in the continental manner that he learned while writing racing in France many years ago. We dined for two hours, with Evan in his glory as the waiter served special dishes1 which were excellent. Then we drove back to New York and had a flat just at the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel. "Shippy" sat in the back seat and gave instructions on changing the tire and we finally dropped him off, tired but cheerful, at the New Yorker Hotel where he lived for so many years. There was the afternoon in the paddock at Belmont Park before the Sysonby, a couple of seasons back, one of the great races of all time, in which Nashua, High Gun, Helioscope and Jet Action hooked up. Before the race "Shippy" walked with us to the paddock, and after inspecting all the horses, announced that High Gun would win, which he did. Evan did the same thing at Garden State later that fall. He selected Prince John, who paid 0, and incidentally, had a pretty good wager on the colt, too. "Shippy" would back his opinions vigorously. We were with him when he put a "bundle" on Saratoga, who won the Spalding Lowe Jenkins in the mud at Laurel one fall and paid 0. He was famous for going to the track in New York in the afternoon, and then running to Yonkers or Roosevelt Raceway in the evening for a joust with the trotters. "Shippy" rubbed trotting horses as a youngster, and was always close to and loved the horses and people in the standardbred sport. Horses and Food — Always the Best The last time we saw "Shippy" was at Jamaica this spring on opening day. We walked to the paddock as always for the Paumonok, which was won by Jet Action, and Evan had a good bet on the colt. He lost on the next race but said that there was still enough for dinner. So we drove him and Tom OReilly to the city and we all dined in the Oak Room at the Plaza, which "Shippy" loved for its leisurely atmosphere. I remember that he insisted on some light wine with his meal and ordered a bottle of champagne which topped off a perfect evening. Though he was in great pain then, as he had been for some time, he never spoke of his illness, but only of racing. We called him from Garden State when he was in the hospital several weeks ago. It was just after the Derby and the Preak-ness, and when we tried to inquire about his health. He changed the subject and asked pointed questions about the two classics which we had seen. He was so pleased to speak about racing and about horses he sounded very cheerful. "Shippy" was always willing to fight for what he believed in. When the Spanish Civil War broke out, and the good fight was against Fascism as represented by the rebels, Evan went to Spain to drive an ambu- v lance for the Loyalists. He picked up many wounded Continued m Page Forty-One I AT THE POST 1 By JOE HIRSCH Continued from Page Fb/e on the battlefield, exposing himself to real danger, and struck up an acquaintanceship with Ernest Hemingway which ripened into a deep friendship. The two" frequently corresponded, and whenever "Poppa" came to New York, he would see "Shippy." When World War n. broke out, "Shippy," who was 42, entered service and became the sergeant major of a tank regiment, with a distinguished record of overseas duty. In racing, too, he was never afraid to strike out at the pompous and those he felt were not doing right by the sport that he loved above all else. Yet he always had a good word, too, for those who deserved a pat on the back, whether they were "big" or "small." , To list all the brilliant columns that he wrote would be impossible, he rarely wrote anything else. Itxis enough to say that he was always a gentleman, which is the greatest tribute that any man can hope to Jbe given. We treasure his friendship deeply and his passing is not only a severe personal loss, but a great loss to racing as well. His kind do not come along every day.

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