Frank Erne is dead at 79 (SCOREBOARD, Sept. 27). He was the oldest living of the former boxing champions. Erne, born Jan. 8, 1875, was the only Switzerland-born ringman ever to win a world's pugilistic title. The late Saginaw Kid, Georgie Lavigne, lost his championship to Erne in 20 rounds, July 3, 1899, at Buffalo, N.Y. On May 12, 1902, "The Old Master," the Philadelphia (not Baltimore) born Joe Gans, won the diadem by knocking out Erne in 45 seconds. It marked the quickest knockout ever recorded in a championship fight in any division. It was an ironic defeat for Erne because in 1900 he won in 12 rounds from Gans who simply quit when the going became too tough.
At the start of 1953, James J. Jeffries was the oldest living of the boxing ex-kingpins. Three Jays, however, died March 3, 1953, just 43 days before his 78th birthday. Now, with the passing of Erne, the oldest living of the onetime divisional chieftains is the Canadian-born Tommy Burns—correct name, Noah Brusso—born in Hanover, Canada, June 17, 1881 and who will be 74 next June. Burns, incidentally, was the smallest boxer ever to win the heavyweight tiara. The Canadian, who won the crown from the late Marvin Hart in 20 rounds at Los Angeles, Feb. 23, 1906, was only 5 feet 7 inches in height.
•Frank Erne died September 17th in Manhattan. Eight years ago Erne was able to enjoy reading his own obituaries when a California chef, who had impersonated the old champion for years, was run over by an automobile, with Erne's faded newspaper clippings in his pocket.
A onetime teacher of boxing at Yale, Erne claimed to have introduced the sport to France by promoting Saturday-night bouts in Paris. But he was not the victim of the quickest knockout on record. It took Joe Gans (who indeed was born in Philadelphia) one minute and forty seconds to finish off Erne. In 1943 in Glasgow, Jackie Paterson K.O.'d Peter Kane in one minute, one second for the flyweight title. The oldest surviving ex-champion is now Jack Root, born in 1876, who outpointed Kid McCoy, April 22, 1903, for the first light-heavyweight championship.—ED.
October 11, 1954
SI, Sept. 6 contained a number of paintings by Winslow Homer. Among them was the "Adirondack Guide." I have been informed that the subject in this painting is my great-grandfather, Harvey Holt of Keene Valley, New York. Two other paintings by Homer using the same subject are in the Art Institute of Chicago and the Los Angeles County Museum.
ROBERT F. HOLT
•The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, owner of the picture, recognized Mr. Holt's great-grandfather, whom SI thought might have been Old Mountain Philips, another of Homer's regular guides. See cut for another likeness of Homer's Holt—ED.
THE TRUE SPIRIT
As a young British visitor to the U.S. and an admirer from the first number of your colorful and international magazine, I was surprised to see (SI, Sept. 20) a photograph with the following caption: "RAREST SIGHT IN BASEBALL came after second game when Cleveland Indians threw taunts at the beaten Yankees as they marched off."
Do you think it is true sportsmanship to throw taunts at the team you have just beaten? In England, at Repton, my public school (in U.S. terms a prep school), when and if we beat our opponents, at say soccer, our captain gives three cheers for the losers and they respond by giving three cheers for the winners. I don't think that jeering your opponent after a well-played game on both sides is the thing to do, either here or in America, and I have never seen it done. In my mind that is not true sportsmanship. Comparatively, which is the true spirit of sportsmanship? Cheering or jeering the losers off the field?
•SI's home-grown baseball editor has rarely seen the losers jeered by anyone other than opposing fans. On the other hand, he finds it hard to imagine, say, Phil Rizzuto leading the Yanks in three hip, hip, hurrahs for the victorious Indians. What the beaten Yanks heard that day was the taunt of "choke-ups," up to then a label pinned exclusively on the hapless Indians in three consecutive pennant drives that failed.—ED.
I enjoyed the Wind story on the U.S. Amateur immensely. It is great to see a complete job done on an event of this kind, in comparison to the sketchy type of reports that we get from the papers and other periodicals. Incidentally, too, I thought Bob Bavier's story on Leggie Mertz (SI, Sept. 20) was wonderful. It was done in a very sparkly fashion, and I think would be interesting reading for anyone, let alone those with yachting interests.
Congratulations again on the magazine. It is sensational and so pleasant and engaging to read.
•To those who know Corny Shields as one of the great sailors of all time (North American sailing champion) SI is glad to report success in an old hobby (see cut); Shields, for 12 years an indifferent golfer, recently posted his first hole in one at the Winged Foot (New York) Golf Club. To Corny himself, a special pat on the back.—ED.
I would like to clarify the emergency directions outlined for snake bite in your "You Should Know" article in the September 20th issue of SI.
The article states that a tourniquet should be used. This procedure is incorrect. Instead, a constrictor should be applied. This can be a string or a handkerchief and it should be tied about 1½" above the wound. The purpose of this constrictor is to stop the flow in the lymph vessels which lie just below the skin. It should be tied just tight enough to dent the skin. This string is not a tourniquet, nor should a tourniquet be used. Blood flow should not be stopped.
JACK W. MCELROY
District Forest Ranger
Davy Crockett National Forest
•Ranger McElroy is on the right track on methodology, lost on nomenclature. "...A tourniquet should be applied at once...tightly enough to increase venous congestion and impede lymphatic drainage but not so tightly as to cut off arterial blood supply," says Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine.—ED.
Upon my return from a trip through the Northwest, I found the first four issues of SI.
In FISHERMAN'S CALENDAR in the third issue, you referred to the Steel Head fishing on the Gravel Bar on the Columbia River near Longview, Washington, with a cherry bobber.
I was there apparently at the time your article was being written.
It is real sport but you have to get out there early because that is anybody's Gravel Bar. If you want to get enough room to throw that cherry bobber out in the river, you have to be there by 5:30 when they are hitting....
SAM G. VANDERWEIDE
Apropos your picture (SI, Sept. 20) showing the 1954 Junior Wightman Team, you may be interested to learn that Judy Devlin is the world's champion ladies singles and ladies doubles badminton player. She won both titles at the All England Badminton Championships in London this spring and then returned to the United States to win both the singles and doubles national championships at Niagara Falls. She also currently holds the national junior singles title. She shares the All England and the senior U.S. doubles championships with her sister, Susan. Incidentally, their father, J. Frank Devlin, is considered one of England's greatest badminton players, having won many All England titles in the past.
JACK H. VAN PRAAG
I wrote to you (19TH HOLE, Oct. 4) giving the highlights on a huge halibut that it was my good fortune to land on August 9, 1954.
I have on this date received from the National Spin Fishing Association, a letter advising me that the catch has been officially entered in their records as a new world record.
With this letter they also sent me a certificate which was inscribed as follows:
"This is to certify that C. A. Comstock now holds the 10 Pound Line Class World's Record for Halibut (62 lbs. 8 ozs.) as of the date below inscribed (August 9, 1954)." Signed—
Gene C. Mendenhall, President
RUTH P. HILTON, Secretary
This entire matter may or may not be of any interest to you, however, you can no doubt realize that it is one of the high spots of my life.
C. A. COMSTOCK
Tucked away in the SCOREBOARD column of SI, Sept. 20, under table tennis was the item that Erwin Klein, Los Angeles, had defeated John Somael for the Canadian Open Championship. Althouth table tennis is a minor sport in this country (crowds of 10,000 watched the World Championships in London's Empire Pool Arena last April), nevertheless 16-year-old Klein deserves considerably more recognition from SI. His amazing accomplishments at Toronto include:
1. Winning the Junior Men's Singles, the Men's Open Singles and a share in the Men's Open Doubles and Mixed Doubles.
2. Becoming the youngest player ever to win the Canadian Open (this annual event has been held since 1936).
3. The first to win four major titles in a national or international table tennis tournament held in North America.
California Table Tennis Assn.
THE BRAVE GENTLEWOMEN
Your writer who penned that cute little piece about Miss McCormick (SI, Sept. 20) should get some sort of medal for misquoting...the facts.
(1) By any definition, either Spanish, Mexican or Hemingway, bullfighting is not a sport but a spectacle.
(2) Patricia is a good killer of bulls; in fact it is probably the best thing she does in the ring. The killing of a bull with a sword does not need a two-hundred-pound man; most of the fine killers have been men who were no larger than Miss McCormick.
(3) As for using inferior weapons, the most effective method ever invented to kill trout is TNT but that can also wound.
(4) Mr. Hemingway's wonderful book was written in 1932 and at that time there was no great woman bullfighter. Later appeared that great woman Miss Conchita Cintron, who at one time was not allowed to fight on foot in Spain, perhaps because she was too good and the men did not want to be compared to her. There is now a young woman in Mexico by the name of Juanita Aparicio who has bested many of the men of the same experience. All three of these young women are gentlewomen from fine families and to have them compared to female wrestlers is to say the least, poor taste.
(5) As to women putting on the tight pants of the matador; yes, it seems to be the fashion in the streets of the United States, but in the ring women never wear the suit of lights. They wear the short horseman's costume of Spain and this is very much in evidence in your picture.
I don't think this job will earn you many taurine readers, and if it had appeared in a Mexican sports paper the writer would be sporting a fine shiner by this date.
ROBERT M. CROWELL
•Let those who will, "define" bullfighting. The Encyclopedia Britannica calls it "the national sport of Spain," Webster sees it as a "spectacle" and Hemingway finds it a ritualistic "tragedy." The Spanish do not apply the phrase "deporte," meaning sports, to bullfighting, and Madrid papers carry bullfighting news and columns in their art sections. And art it is to all aficionados, whether Spanish or Mexican. SI agrees, believes that art may also be sport, but does not believe that either art or sport should be degraded to mere spectacle. Reader Crowell is correct in stating that female "bullfighters" (with the exception of Mexico's La Serranita) are not seen in the trajes de luces. There was no great woman bullfighter in 1932 and there is none today.
Se√±orita Cintron, the Chilean-born daughter of U.S. citizens, has fought her bulls as a rejoneadora in el rejoneo—a mounted version of the bullfight which comes down from the days of the cavaliers. Se√±orita Aparicio is a brave girl who does not drink or smoke; this does not necessarily entitle her to fight bulls.—ED.