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Chris wrote at 2010-07-29 02:13:12
I'm looking too!  I can add one fact; one of the divers was named "Sunny Ray" (sp?)... I'd love to find this story again...  

Alan wrote at 2010-10-02 18:15:52
I stumbled across this page because I was also searching for the story. It was contained in an anthology that I read in the 1970s. Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the anthology, story, or author.

The story is told by a diver on a team (college team, I think), who immediately becomes friends with another member of the team who is fun-loving and whimsical to the point of being goofy. This second guy describes himself as an "iggle" who flies when he dives, and challenges the narrator to think of himself the same way. Their diving then becomes a kind of play.

The narrator thinks of his friend as being a talented diver, but doesn't realize how much he himself is improving under the influence of his friend. During the climactic diving meet, the friend turns in a fine performance. But the narrator is not aware of how good his own dive was until the announcer calls out the final scores, which indicate that while the friend did well, the narrator did even better. The narrator blurts out "He must be cockeyed!" which leads the audience to laugh.

It was a wonderful, playful story, unusual because it didn't fit the usual molds ("conquering impossible odds" and so on). I wish I could contribute more clues other than the fact that it contained the word "cockeyed" (perhaps spelled "cock-eyed") and that it appeared in an anthology that was probably printed in the 1970s. I did a Google search, removing some red herrings such as "wiggle" that popped up along the way ("iggle diving -wiggle ..."), but had no luck, either.

I see also that one of the follow-ups from someone else says that one of the divers was named "Sunny Ray", which sounds familiar. But a Google search for "sunny ray iggle" found nothing worthwhile.

If I ever find it, I'll post a note here.

copesetic wrote at 2010-11-10 02:38:46
Did the plot involve a diver who wasn't performing well because he forgot that diving was supposed to be fun?  I am looking for that story, which I also read in the 60's or so, as well.

Alan wrote at 2010-12-02 14:48:32
Solved! It seems to be "The Diving Fool," by Franklin Reck. It's number C182 on this page:

loganberrybooks DOT com SLASH stump-cd DOT html

Seamus wrote at 2012-03-18 22:12:09
A young diver was trying to loosen up the star diver and kept saying "just pretend we're iggles". He manages to free himself from pressure and turns in a suprising stellar performance. Loved the story in 7th grade. I can't find any reference to it online. I thought maybe O. Henry but it is not. It is of a similar style. -Seamus

Jon wrote at 2012-03-22 19:55:09
I, too, remember that story, and of course went here to find the title and author.  Best I can remember: a member of the dive team saw a school mate diving with great skill, convinced him to join the team, and then got him through his performance fright by calling themselves 'iggles.'  Of course they won, but the twist was the first boy, who thought himself greatly inferior to the natural, won the event.

Chris Brockman wrote at 2012-08-08 19:05:59
I remember this story well.  It was in a reading textbook.  I don't think the team was called iggles; two of the divers would have fun at practice pretending they were iggles, imaginary creatures who could dive high and gracefully.  One was the best diver on the team, and the other a so-so diver.  At the big meet, the best diver was nervous, so his less gifted pal got him to relax by pretending they were iggles.  Guess who won the meet.  Great story.

Rick wrote at 2012-08-15 00:26:08
I have been trying to find this short story for YEARS as well.  I believe it was part of an anthology similar to "adventures in literature" or "adventures in reading."  Anyway, I DO remember that one of the character's names was Sonny.  I hope that this helps.  Please let me know if you figure it out!

piggieheart wrote at 2013-08-17 02:19:38
I also loved this story in the 7th grade.  There were other stories in the anthology (Adventures in Reading sounds right) that I also would love to see again.  One was a story of a dolphin who, along with her calf was attacked by a shark.  The action of the ensuing battle was fascinating.  All in all a great textbook and one I would dearly love to find again. Off-topic, another great text was a vocabulary text named "Word Power" I studied in 11th grade. Anyone remember that one?

Nan wrote at 2014-01-06 21:15:30
I was looking for The Diving Fool online, so I could email it to my children.  So far I have been unsuccessful, but I do have the  book you might be talking about:  Prose and Poetry for Enjoyment, Fifth Edition, by Kenner Agnew and Agnes McCarthy, The L. W. Singer Company Inc, Syracuse NY, 1955.  If you are in the US, Amazon has 14 hardcover copies, starting at 98 cents plus shipping.

Hope this helps.

Mother of four

martin_hewitt wrote at 2014-10-08 15:00:18
I can confirm that the natural diver was named Sunny Ray.  The narrator who ultimately wins the meet was, I think, Art something: a short last name if my memory's correct.

BeaumontBigBird wrote at 2014-10-22 02:32:31
I believe it was Art Weed; the announcer says, "First place, Weed . . ." and Art shouts, "He's cockeyed!" and the announcer says, "I'm cockeyed! I'll have to have my eyes examined!" This was a story in our seventh grade reading anthology; our class did not read it but I read it on my own.

Dave wrote at 2014-11-07 18:12:06
The books name is the arrow book of sports stories. It's the last story in the book.


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As an instructor of literature and the humanities, my experience is as broad as the experience I have gained in the classroom. As a published author and journalist, I have first hand industry experience. Between the two, I have the experience, knowledge, and research experience that could certainly answer any questions that may be asked of me.


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Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society.

There are a tremendous amount of publications my work has appeared in and I can't list them all because of space constraints. Many newspapers, radio, and PBS programming. Also, many literary journals for both fiction and nonfiction academic work.

A.S. Wentworth Institute Of Technology
B.S. Fitchburg State College
M.A. Fitchburg State College, Thesis "The Modern Twain Epoch"

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Magna Cum Laude.

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