THE HOUSE IS YOURS
Any time Staffers Robert Creamer and Jerry Cooke want to come for dinner, they are welcome! That's the least I can offer the two gentlemen who so accurately portrayed Slippery Rock in SI, Nov. 15 issue.
I'd hazard a guess that Cooke's picture of "Old Main" was shot from atop the watertower. I surmise that the lack of spectators on the fringes of the Rockets' last-minute drill is because everyone else on campus was down at Thompson Field, named for N. Kerr Thompson, coach at the Rock for more than 30 years. I know that the signpost, is blue with yellow letters and trim.
I know, too, that Robert Creamer touched the spirit of Slippery Rock when he said that pride—pride based on real values—is a powerful force in the Pennsylvania college and town. It's a pride that carries on and on, long after undergraduate days are over. It's a reciprocal pride that makes us urge our students to get their educations at Slippery Rock, to pass on the thoughts and knowledge accrued there. It's pride that takes us back to Alumni Day reunion meetings. We're just proud of Slippery Rock!
Creamer and Cooke, the house is yours—provided you wear your green and white ribbons!
SHIRLEY B. COMSTOCK, '40
November 29, 1954
•Says SI's Creamer: "I'll come, if only to find out what Mrs. Comstock was doing up that watertower."—ED.
I HAVE NO ALIBI...
My brother called my attention to an error I made in my letter which you carried in full in your Nov. 15 19TH HOLE. My mistake was in placing the Kaibab Plateau in southern Utah, whereas the whole area of that plateau is in northern Arizona. Should you receive outraged complaints on this inexcusably careless matter, please assure your readers that I am doing penance for it. It was more than 40 summers ago that my brother and I scurried in the wake of Jim Owns and his hounds after Kaibab varmints, and I had forgotten in the meantime that Utah doesn't reach nearly as far south as the North Rim of the Grand Canyon at that point. I have no better alibi.
You will in any case get some very angry letters over my reference to house cats as killers of grouse, etc. Actually the tabbies are not to blame for following their instinct to chase and kill, even when they are full fed. The real fault is with the brutal owners of superfluous feline pets who take them into the wilderness and abandon them. Maine seems to be the special dumping ground for cats, from vacationing city people from all over New England. These cats seem to have no natural enemies except great horned owls, and they are resourceful enough to hole up in winter in abandoned barns where they can keep going on a mouse menu.
It is fine news that you are carrying an article by Dr. Durward Allen (Killing Predators Won't Guarantee More Game, SI, Nov. 22). Had I known that a couple of weeks ago, I wouldn't have pestered you with my bellyache over some of Mr. Gilligan's anti-fox angles.
GEORGE DOCK JR.
•To err is human.—ED.
HIS MANY FRIENDS
The announcement in your MILEPOSTS (Oct. 18) of the death of Italy's Mario Verga while endeavoring to break the world's inboard speedboat record, was a great shock to his many friends here. Only last December he came to this country and won the International Grand Prix and the Baker Paladium Trophy at Miami's Orange Bowl Regatta.
Later, with his Laura II, powered with an Alfa Romeo engine about half the size of that in the Ford automobile, he made 132 mph, the highest boat speed ever made in the United States except with the big Allison and Rolls-Royce aircraft engines.
A brilliant driver and thorough gentleman, he made many friends in America. The boat in which he was killed Was one he planned to bring to Miami in December. He hoped to break the world's record in the Unlimited Class which is now held by Stan Sayres of Seattle.
WILLIAM N. MANSFIELD
•On Oct. 9 Verga's Laura XXX, hurtling along Italy's Lake Iseo at a reported 185 mph (world record: 178.497 mph) leaped into the air, exploded and sank. As a result Britain's Don Campbell, son of the late Sir Malcolm Campbell, who feels that a "water barrier" may exist at about 200 mph, is revising his plans for testing a still experimental craft.—ED.
STEINS & TANKARDS
Fifty years flew out the window November 8th when I opened SI and saw the layout of Jack Level's Rare Golf Steins.
It was just about 56 years ago that I painted, for Lenox, Incorporated, eight of the 32 steins shown. It has been 50 years since I have seen one of the pieces. In those days there was a great demand by sports enthusiasts for steins and tankards illustrated with a favorite sport, I remember painting many a cyclist, football player and golfer....
WM. H. CLAYTON
FROM OUR SIDE...
The other day I saw by chance the second weekly issue of SI. Since there were many interesting items of general interest to us, as editors of similar sports publications in Czechoslovakia, we would like to have your magazine regularly. Therefore we would like to suggest to you that an exchange of your sports publication and ours be effected. From our side we would send you our weekly sports pictorial Stadion (stadium) and the most important issues of Czechoslovak Sport, which appears three times a week.
•It's a deal.—ED.
OLD MAN AND THE SNOOK
"Pat on the Back"—kick in the pants might be more appropriate—West Palm Beach is trying desperately to keep its game-fish population in Lake Worth. With eleven snook (ROBALDO) and one amberjack, Old Man Weeks (SI, Nov. 1), as we call him, is doing his best to deplete it. By unwritten law, the ethical limit is two snook (30-40 lbs.) while Mr. Weeks has piled up around 130 or so—no wonder that spear-fishing is coming into bad taste in Fla. If those fish were barracuda, and only that, I would say that Weeks earned his "Pat on the Back."...
NUTS & BOLTS
In the Nov. 1 issue of SI you had some pictures of jewelry made from nuts, bolts and cotter pins. We are interested in this type of thing for our crafts class and are wondering if instructions are available.
•Geomet Inc., 59 East 56th Street, NYC, sells the finished jewelry only but would be glad to correspond with teacher Cox on possible class use of the component parts.—ED.
I trust you will realize that there are no hidden motives behind my pointing out some inaccuracies in the story of the Porsche car in your issue of Oct. 18.
The introductory paragraph states: "Out of West Germany five years ago emerged a...German automobile which revolutionized all previous concepts of what could be expected of a short wheel base and a small, four-cylinder engine. Last creation of the old German master, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche...air-cooled and rear-engined, it also featured aerodynamic styling...which was years ahead of its contemporaries."
Actually the Porsche emerged out of southern Austria (Gmuend, in Carynthia Province) more than seven years ago. Only after struggling unsuccessfully against a chronic deficit, did the manufacturers sell the license of the car to Reutter of Stuttgart, Germany. This happened shortly before Porsche's death.
The car did not revolutionize concepts. In the early 1920s already, Porsche built the Austro-Daimler Sascha, a short-wheel-based automobile with a small four-cylinder engine, an outstanding performer. In the thirties, similar vehicles were produced in number. They included the sports version of the Italian Fiat 1100 ccm, the French Simca 8, the 750 ccm Morris of England, and the front-wheel-driven Adler of Frankfort, Germany....
Also, Ferdinand Porsche was not German. He was born in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, in the Bohemian town of Maffersdorf, where he attended primary school, the only institution of learning from which he ever graduated. (All his diplomas are honorary.) He served in the Austrian army, and spent about 60 of his 75 years in Austria. Porsche was 50, and a famous constructor, when he received his first job in Germany (a short-lived managerial position with Mercedes); and even though Austrian citizens became German subjects after the Anschluss in 1938, Porsche was an Austrian again when he went into business with his "last creation."
Finally, air-cooled, rear-engined cars featuring aerodynamic style have been produced by TATRA of Nesselsdorf, Czechoslovakia, since the early '30s, about 15 years ahead of the Porsche.
ERWIN C. LESSNER
•Many thanks to Old Master Lessner, a three-time winner of the Alpine Rally and victor in 48 major road races of the '20s and driver of Dr. Porsche's then experimental cars.—ED.
THE MAN NEXT DOOR
Your success in reaching weekly and appealing to the interest of everyone attached to sports makes your magazine a must in every he-man household.
Personally I'm a dry-fly trout fisherman addict—and so I like Gordon's Fly Box; my grandson is addicted to football, basketball and baseball—his room is plastered with pictures clipped from SI; the man next door would rather lose an arm than his bird dog; the chap across the street spends all his spare time bowling.
You are entertaining and enlightening all.
I agree with your readers who have written in appreciation of your recent choice of fiction. I would like to add: with fiction let's have actual human interest stories from readers who have enjoyed unusual experiences with rod and gun.
ARTHUR J. CARRUTH JR.
I was so happy to see my brother Y. A. Tittle's picture on SI's Nov. 22 cover. Both my brothers, Y. A. and Jack, were fascinated by football since they were tots. As a youngster, Y. A. used to hang an inner tube in our back yard and practice passing through it. Here is a picture of him doing just that. His brother Jack was All-America at Tulane, I guess you could call us a football-minded family.
I am so glad that Baxter Springs' newsstands are finally getting some copies of SI—I have a standing reservation for each issue.
MRS. TOM HILLIARD
Baxter Springs, Kan.
The picture of my daughter Gail which appeared in SI, Nov. 15 was evidently taken after Gail excused herself from a three-gaited class which was in the ring because she realized her mare, Sporting Jean, was injured. Gail's tears were because she felt very bad that her horse was hurt and she could not participate in the class, and not because she did not place in the event....
Short Hills, N.J.
•A pat on the back to Gail.—ED.
Your fine article on old Centre's 1921 football team (SI, Nov. 1) was a real treat to many an old-timer.
But—you do violence to my sense of justice when you say:—"A Negro known only as Roscoe" made the trip to Harvard—hell's bells! Roscoe was no other than Roscoe Brumback and a great asset he was to the team. I demand that you correct this slight to a wonderful personality whose full name I can recall after 33 years and whose smiling, cheerful face is still clear in the memory of all of us who knew him.
GEORGE F. YEAMAN
•Norris Armstrong, captain of the '21 Centre team that upset Harvard, recalls Roscoe as "one of the most faithful fellows we've ever known." Roscoe's big day came when, dressed up in a black hat, claw-tail coat, white pants and cane, he performed the cakewalk between halves of the Harvard game. He stayed with the team about five years as rub-down and handy man and then followed "Red" Roberts, of Praying Colonel fame, about the country as a valet, died in Ohio about twenty years ago.—ED.
MY BRUISES PROVE
I have just read the article A Presidential Precedent on page 11 of your Nov. 1 issue. Just who thinks up such wild stories about "bloodied Bob Maxwell of Swarthmore being hit too hard and too often by Pennsylvania" in the 1905 game?
It so happens that I played opposite Maxwell in this game. If he were alive today, I know he would be the last person in the world to subscribe to this exaggerated statement. "Tiny" himself was not the most gentle player in the world. He gave everything he had as my own bruises would prove but there was nothing dirty or bloody in this game....
FRANK H. HOBSON
•But another eye witness contacted last week by SI says Pennsylvania "was laying for Maxwell." mainstay of the Swarthmore team. Menke's Encyclopedia of Sports and Miller's The Truth About Big-Time Football, both authoritative works, stress that Pennsylvania was out "to get" Maxwell. President Roosevelt, shocked by this and other evidence of football brutality (sample 1905 headlines: "Holy Cross Man Kicked... Dead"; "Iowa Boy Dead"; "Illinois Boy Killed"; "Salem Boy Dies") threatened to discontinue football by Executive edict, wrote to a Pennsylvania professor: "Brutality and foul play in football should receive the same summary punishment given to a man who cheats at cards...."—ED.
I was indeed happy to read MEMO FROM THE PUBLISHER in SI, Nov. 15, as I was one of the two "nameless" salesmen that had the pleasure of meeting SI Publisher Harry Phillips on the train en route to Syracuse. The other was Irv Levine of New York City.
Here's to continued success to SI.
Brown Shoe Company
...I have gotten quite a bang about SI's Publisher's Memo...it must have caused a stir because my boss just called me from St. Louis about it...Will you please thank Publisher Harry Phillips for his kindness?
Brown Shoe Company
•Harry says: "Hi Tom, Hi Irv!"—ED.
As a charter subscriber of SI, I am delighted with the thorough coverage you give golf. It's the only real cradle-to-grave sport. I began playing it in 1898 at the Edgewater GC in Chicago, and today, at the age of 64½, I still have an impelling objective. I would like to match the feat of Roy Campbell, who was featured in your Nov. 1 PAT ON THE BACK for shooting a round of golf in a score lower than his age.
I'm still a little too young to turn that trick, but it's within close range now. By the time I'm 68 or 70, I should be able to accomplish this rarity. You can count on the fingers of both hands the number of golfers in the world today who have undershot their age.
Possibly the first man to perform this feat was Grantland Rice's close friend, Commodore Byron Heard, almost 20 years ago. On his 68th birthday, he announced he would cover the Houston GC in Texas in 68. He did. On his next two birthdays, he again matched his age. But he failed at 71. I also understand that Eugene Grace, chairman of the board of Bethlehem Steel Corp., has under-scored his age on the links at the Saucon Valley GC, Bethlehem, Pa.
Hoping to earn your "Pat on the Back" for a similar accomplishment before too long,
CHARLES (CHICK) EVANS
•Even if he fails to reach this almost unattainable goal, Chick Evans will always be remembered as the only golfer in history to win the four most important American titles of his era: U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur, Western Open, Western Amateur. He and Bobby Jones were the only ones ever to win the U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur in the same year.—ED.
Referring to your photographs of Boxers in Bronze by Mahonri Young in SI, Nov. 1, and coincidently your article on playground equipment by Professor Joseph Brown of Princeton in the same issue.
I did not like the sculptures you reproduced. It takes more than enthusiasm to do good athletic art. Young may be famous but in my opinion the finest sculptor of athletic subjects in this country—or any other for that matter—is this same Joe Brown mentioned in connection with playground equipment. If any one factor qualifies him for such a broad statement it is the fact that in his heyday Brown was a fine athlete: witness the fact that while he is today professor of sculpture at Princeton, his original job at that university was as coach of the boxing team, which position he still holds....
Joe Brown's life with its varied athletic, educational and aesthetic background, his family and his wife, as well as the coincidence of his obtaining his present work at Princeton should make splendid biographical copy for your magazine.
Keep up the good work.
BERNARD B. ROTHSCHILD
•SI is keeping up the good work with a soon-to-run color story on" sculptor-athlete Brown.—ED.
If you have the address of Harold Williams of New York, the lad who wants a spinning reel swap on his German military telescope (SI, Nov. 8), please send this address to me. I can give him the swap to mutual satisfaction.
In your Nov. 8 issue, it was mentioned in a letter by Harold Williams in 19TH HOLE that he would like to swap his scope for a spinning reel. Since the address given is not sufficient, I would appreciate it very much if you would send me his address if it is known.
•Mr. Williams is ready to consider all offers at 115 West 75th Street, New York City.
I have enjoyed your SI very much and I think you all have done a good job.
One thing about your Nov. 1 SCOREBOARD: you never mentioned that two men were dedicated to the Football Hall of Fame at the Dartmouth-Colgate football game. The two were Oberlander (1926) and E. K. Hall, also a noted football man, sometimes known as the Savior of Football.
RICHARD HALL LEAVITT
•A.J. Oberlander, a Chicago physician, served as halfback on Dartmouth's great '25 team (eight wins, no losses). E. K. Hall combined a successful business career with lifelong active interest in football. After graduating from Dartmouth in '92, Hall coached at Illinois. As chairman of the national Rules Committee from 1911-32 Hall rescued the game from near chaos by organizing conflicting regional regulations into today's national code of conduct.—ED.
Rock Hill's best-known citizen paused long enough on Main Street for me to get this picture (see cut) of World Series Hero Dusty Rhodes reading the issue describing Rock Hill's welcome to its favorite son. Even to an unheroic photographer like myself, SI's text and pictures are a weekly boost.
Rock Hill, S.C.
BELIEVE IT OR NOT
Regarding your write-up (SI, Nov. 8) of the Illinois-Penn game on Oct. 31, 1925, no one was more surprised than Penn, but let me assure you that Penn led Illinois 2-0 just before the roof fell in. You may be interested in what I consider the greatest Red Grange story, the one which occurred on our bench that day.
After Grange had scored twice Lou Young, head coach, called for Ed Hake to take over in place of Joe Wilson, Penn's captain at left tackle, telling him to get in there and stop Grange. Believe it or not, despite the fact that Grange's number was a byword known to everybody (the 77 had been racing up and down the field) Ed Hake, who later was Penn captain in 1927, said to Lou, "Which one is Grange, Coach?"
HIS REPUTATION WAS CLEAN
Your Oct. 18 YESTERDAY, covering the Stanley Ketchel fight with Jack Johnson is a complete fiction.... The author of Ketchel vs. Johnson should look at the "Greatest Fights of the Century" and he will have to agree that Johnson was down for the full count of nine and rose and in desperation swung a hard right and connected, but at the same time had to hold on to the ring ropes to keep himself steady otherwise he would have fallen from sheer exhaustion or from the punch received from Ketchel.
Why the rematch between Ketchel and Johnson, if this first fight was a song & dance affair? Another thing, Ketchel's reputation was clean, and not smudged like the author implies. He did like to drive automobiles fast and like any other young man in his early 20s had his women.
E. T. NOWICKI
•SI is glad that Ketchel's ghost can still summon an impassioned fan, but all authorities agree that the Ketchel-Johnson match was as phony as Steve Ketchel's onetime manager Wilson Mizner, the most gifted confidence man of his time.—ED.
SI's boxing articles are excellent. The objective reporting on professional matches plus the editorial policy of printing the facts about the hoods, hoodlums and hangers-on behind the scenes will help clean up this phase of the game.
It also leads me to believe that you will report as objectively on intercollegiate boxing, a sport which has been maligned by its critics who mistakenly identify it with professional boxing.
•Yes, indeed. See SOUNDTRACK, NOV. 22.—ED.
In regards to Philip Potter's letter (19TH HOLE, NOV. 8) I thought you might like to pass on to him the whereabouts of Chick Gandil of the old White Sox.
He is living in Oakland, California, where, although still using the same name, almost none of his friends are aware of his past.
SI is great. Keep up the good work.
•Suspended by Judge Landis from baseball for life, Gandil became a plumber in Los Angeles while his wife ran a beauty parlor. Gandil is now 67, has two great-grandchildren, likes to play cards and is not at all reticent about his past. He is bitter over the "dirty deal" he received. "If we had lost four straight like Cleveland did in the last Series," says Gandil, "they would have hanged us." He is no longer interested in baseball and does not even watch it on television.—ED.
Just finished reading Phinizy's piece on the balloon ascension (SI, Nov. 1) and thought it a very neat job. But one feature puzzled me. He didn't mention how he managed to bring his camera through the to-do. Isn't a photographer supposed to crash shielding his camera with his carcass?
•"If that's what a photographer is supposed to do," says Phinizy. "I'm glad I'm a writer." SI's Coles Phinizy attributes his camera's survival to having tucked it inadvertently into his windjacket. After crashing, he found it sitting on his face.—ED.
I am writing you in my capacity as President of the Masters of Foxhounds Association of America with respect to the article by Mr. Edmund Gilligan you carried Oct. 25, under the heading, The Foxes That Never Eat Pheasants.
Our Association is composed of 108 recognized and registered clubs and private owners of packs of foxhounds throughout the United States and Canada. Our individual membership, composed of the Masters of these various packs and former Masters, numbers 343....
Needless to say, Mr. Gilligan's article created a very unfavorable impression upon the members of our organization, none of whom, I am confident, could feel that he gave a fair—or anything like a fair—picture of the fox-pheasant relationship as it truly exists. We have personally made a study of this over an extended period and I can safely say that most of our members have had a vastly greater experience in this field than Mr. Gilligan....
Our own experience points to an entirely different conclusion and we feel that the other side of the case at least deserves an equally fair presentation to your public...
Masters of Foxhounds
Association of America
•SI, fully aware that it can please fox hunters only some of the time and pheasant shooters no more frequently, will continue to interest itself in fox hunting, pheasant shooting, conservation and game management. Meanwhile, let the fox hunter find comfort in Dr. Allen's Nov. 22 article, Killing Predators Won't Guarantee More Game.—ED.