In regard to SI's Sept. 27th article under the title of Ill Winds you mentioned the "Mohawk," owned by Kenneth Magoon, being driven onto the rocks in Marblehead Harbor during the hurricane Carol. You mentioned oldtimers as saying, "Never say the 'Mohawk' will never sail again," meaning that she has been driven against the rocks in a number of storms before but has always been back in the water come the following spring. I'm afraid she will never return to the waters of Marblehead, where she was burned to ashes, after being declared as a total loss, September 21.
Now, only ashes and memories remain left of the ketch "Mohawk."
R. C. MARCY JR.
AH, SWEET MEMORIES
Since the "doctors" in the TIME-LIFE-FORTUNE Clinic of Accomplishment so successfully "delivered" SI on 16 August, I have been a proud baby-sitter beside the bountiful bassinet of this bouncing Brobdingnagian. But I never expected it to serve me as a Bureau of Missing Persons until, in Jimmy Jemail's HOTBOX (SI, Sept. 27: "Does the horse player die broke?"), I came upon the smiling countenance of my old and esteemed prep-school (Exeter) friend, Robert G. Johnson...who certainly appears more affluent than destitute as a "Chicago, Ill. Race Track Owner." For over 30 years I have wondered what ever became of that prominent interscholastic & intercollegiate pole vaulter. (That's a fact! Look up your sports' archives around the era of 1916-1921.) As a matter of amusing record, it's just about 32 years ago this month—while I was engaged, a bit too arduously, in another form of sport (elbow lifting!) in the Ritz bar in Paris—I saw Bob Johnson. He was then in the perfume business, with offices on the Rue de la Paix. Ah, sweet memories of life...revived in the autumn of same! Thanks to SI! Nostalgia is a balm in Gilead for senile decay!
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT?
I am enclosing herewith a copy of a letter received this morning, in answer to our appeal which you so kindly published in 19TH HOLE (SI, Sept. 27).
October 25, 1954
I have reason to believe that New York too had its "Well, Well Frank." Now that I have a clue, I can proceed further with my research, and will let you know the outcome.
We are deeply indebted to you for your help. With reiterated thanks and all good wishes,
GRACE M. MAYER
Dear Miss Mayer:
In the old days of the famous Tinker to Evers to Chance infield combination on the Old West Side of Chicago, a lawyer—by the name of Frank Childs—sat in about the same place, just off first base, each day. Then the grandstand, on the right side, extended up to first base, and the Cubs had their dugout there. Whenever the Cubs made a misplay of any kind, he would howl in a foghorn voice: "Well, well, well, what do you think of that!"
Since this went on day in and day out, Childs became well known for this saying of his. It always brought great laughter from the fans. Charles W. Murphy, then director of the Cubs, tried to ban that man from the ball park, on the grounds that Childs was simply trying to publicize himself. I think the case went to, or was attempted to be taken to, court. Whatever happened I never bothered to notice.
I believe this to be the answer to your inquiry in the Sept. 27th issue of SI.
AN OLD WEST SIDE FAN
BLUE PLATE SPECIAL
SI's Sept. 27 picture of Heavyweight Champion Marciano's Massachusetts license plate (KO) brought to mind a similarly eloquent New York plate.
Brigadier General John Reed Kilpatrick, president of the Madison Square Garden Corporation, has had for years the license plate, Y 1911. This tells the world that the general is Yale, class of '11. He is as devoted to Yale and her football fortunes as he is to the sports teams and activities he directs as head of the Garden.
•During his 65 years, Kilpatrick has excelled at almost as many sports as he schedules yearly in Manhattan's Garden. At Andover, Mass., Kilpatrick headed the boxing team as heavyweight champ; a Yale "immortal" (All-America guard in '09 and '10) he also captained the track team, found time to graduate Phi Beta Kappa.—ED.
CAROL VS. "WHITE LIE"
We were very much interested in the cover of SI, Sept. 6. We have a 38-foot Alden schooner in Chicago. We have driven 85 miles each way since 1935 to work on and sail our boat. Two girls and a boy have grown up in this period.
Will you kindly explain the reef points shown, and the nearly vertical line from the book down to where? We sincerely hope that "White Lie" was not wrecked by that hurricane.
RAY A. BROWN
•"White Lie's" owner Gilbert Wolfe reports that his boat was squarely caught by hurricane Carol, suffered a broken rudder and propeller and a twisted deck. "However," adds Wolfe optimistically, "we'll have her on the water next season."
Reef points shown on SI's cover are roach reef, used to flatten sail when heading into heavy wind. "Vertical line" is back stay running to deck near rail.—ED.
I am viewing with anxiety the article titled Grouse Shoot lodged in your Sept. 27 issue. It resembles a pictorial whodunit from the annals of Scotland Yard. Does John Horn, noted American Nimrod, blast one Se√±or Luis de Soto Ybarra on page 48? In the manner he carries his double this looks like another Macomber Affair. John Wright, keeper of the game, is apprehensively trailing the nonplussed four-plussed American and Spaniard, with a canny eye on John's gun. On the next page the Horns and a Mrs. Hanes manage a grim smile. At $300 per week it is well understood why jocularity does not flame high. All in all it was an interesting article. Next time I tramp through the Highland Moors, I will wear English tweeds and an American bulletproof vest.
•Horn and friends were returning from day's shoot with guns emptied of shells.—ED.
I ASSURE YOU
Although having never seen the Ford Thunderbird, I can assure you that the Thunderbird does not have a Hydramatic transmission as you state in the October 4th issue of SI. This was surely a reference to the Ford-O-Matic, but since you are reporting on a semitechnical subject you should keep your nomenclature in good form.
Your statement of the stroke of the Thunderbird's 292 cubic inch motor is in error. Ford would certainly not be able to boast of an "oversquare" engine if the stroke is 4.37 inches as you twice state. With a bore/stroke of 3.75/3.37 inches the ratio would be 1/.899. The motor you described would have about 385 cubic inches, and would be larger than any other American production powerplant for passenger cars...
DANIEL L. HESS
•SI's Bentley used hydramatic (lowercase "h") to describe a transmission system in which the gear box is coupled with a torque converter. He may have been a bit previous in making it a generic term. Ford-O-Matic was used in SI's specification table. The Thunderbird's correct stroke is 3.31 inches. Thus the Thunderbird does have an "oversquare" engine.—ED.
THE OPEN ROAD
At the risk of incurring much wrath and cries of "damned expatriate," "turncoat," etc., I want to request that in the future your unquestionably magnificent magazine make the following distinction. In the realm of sports car and open road racing, please do not mislead the public by speaking of European and American efforts in this field as if they were the same thing. To speak in this manner is being about as realistic and fair-minded as you would consider me if I were to speak of Muny baseball as if it was on the same quality level as big league ball.
European road racing is a wonderful sport, open to all classes of vehicles and drivers. Spectator-wise it attracts millions of people, most of whom have never even owned an automobile but who can on sight identify a Le Mans Porsche, Lancia Aurelia, Osca, Dyna-Panhard, Aston-Martin, Ferrari, Jaguar, Austin-Healy, B.M.W., Mercedes and many others, plus every stock touring car in Europe. In Europe, with the exception of only four or five major races, road racing is truly a sport, involving acceptance of open road conditions. American "sports" who do 90% of their speed driving over courses closed to all other vehicles would either become fervent backers of European road racing once they tried it or else take up another sport.
The sports car is not designed or built with the idea of accelerator down, clear sailing ahead. It is a mechanical jewel of fine gearing, powerful braking, fantastic pick-up and great road-holding ability. The much-popularized "airport races," no matter how well laid out, are a dishonorable development in the eyes of all true road racing enthusiasts.
If you desire to be fair to road racing enthusiasts, have someone cover any one of a hundred European races. It does not matter what one you cover because any one of them would make the best in the U.S.A. seem colorless and dull.
c/o Postmaster, N.Y.
•Baird will find in road races like annual Pan American (see cut) "open-road conditions" far from dull and colorless.—ED.