STAND UP AND STATE THE FACTS
I have been meaning to write to you for quite some time. I am a coach here in Port Angeles and take great interest in SI. I praise you for your work, so far, in trying to "clean up" boxing. I believe that you have taken a step in the right direction, but we do need more men like Harry Thomas to stand up and state the facts. Good work; please keep it up.
J. C. SULENES
Port Angeles, Wash.
Your story of boxing and Jim Norris is indeed an unsavory one. Perhaps this incident concerning the late Joe Jacobs sheds a little light on things that came later.
I was a bunkmate of Joe's in 1918, living in the same tent with him for about a year at Camp Hancock, Augusta, Ga. Naturally, we got to know each other pretty well. During the summer Joe conceived the idea of putting on some boxing shows for the entertainment of the boys in camp.
Jacobs put on several of these fistic extravaganzas but I recall only the first one. It was staged at the Augusta ball park and Joe asked me to sell tickets at the gate. I agreed, and he gave me a few dollars in change and a large roll of numbered tickets, like they used to have at amusement parks. We had a good crowd and I sold a lot of tickets. After the show Joe came around to settle up. The cash I had balanced exactly with the tickets sold. Joe scooped it up and said, "How much did you make?"
December 27, 1954
"Nothing," I replied. "Was I supposed to make something?"
"Stupid," says Joe. "Didn't you ever hear of selling 'em from the inside end? Nobody ever checks 'em there." I didn't sell tickets for the other bouts.
J. ATLEE SCHAFER
COUNT ME IN
You can count me in as a member of APPPFF as I have been a sports fan in general and a boxing fan in particular for many years. Contrary to Mr. Thoreau, I have been a monthly reader of Ring Magazine for almost 12 years and watch all the fights on TV, so I feel qualified to join.
To get off on the right foot, I would like to put in a pet gripe of my own. This is Archie Moore's failure to get a crack at the light-heavyweight title for so many years and now the apparent cold shoulder he has been getting in his quest for the heavyweight crown.
About all ratings have Nino Valdez and Don Cockell as the leading contenders. They may be the most deserving of the heavyweights, but I cannot see how anyone can put either of these boys ahead of Moore.
Cockell's chief claims to a title fight have been his wins over Harry Matthews and Roland La Starza. Matthews recently retired so he must feel he's through and La Starza lost to an inept Charley Norkus. Neither has whipped sufficiently tough competition to make a win over them so rewarding. Don't Cockell's two KO losses to Jimmy Slade and Randy Turpin, the latter as late as 1952, count?
One reason I have seen given for Moore not getting the chance is that he wouldn't draw. Why wouldn't he draw? All experts are agreed he would have the best chance against Marciano. The match would bring together the two hardest punchers, with any ability, in the ring. And in Moore, the cleverest boxer in the ring.
P.S. Keep up your fine work on exposing incompetent commissions, crooked managers and monopolizing promoters.
THIS WAS BOXING
Twenty years ago, I was a sports reporter for Scripps-Howard in San Diego, Cal. Whenever the local matchmaker found a vacancy on his card, he would round up the kids standing at ringside and ask who would like to fill the bill as a lightweight, feather, bantam or middleweight. He'd get $20 for appearing, $50 for going four rounds, $100 if he beat the guy already billed.
If he lost but put up a good fight, he was billed for a match with a man with about his own experience, say four weeks later. Always, the dream of being a main-eventer, or even hitting the big time, was before his eyes.
Even for $100 he was never asked to throw a fight.
This was boxing. It was long before Jim Norris. It was long before television. But it probably was the greatest boxing I have ever seen.
American homes are entitled to a revival of this fine sport.... Properly managed and properly executed, it is a scientific sport that inspires young men to manhood and old men to dreams of their youth.
I commend you most heartily on your continuing campaign to get the thugs and racketeers out of boxing. It sickens me to look at the picture of the IBC president thrown on the TV screen. I should think that a sponsor of this expensive time could recognize what kind of man Norris is if he were at all discerning, and at all considerate of the potential buyers of his product.
JAMES P. FELTON
P.S. I am not at all surprised at the increased rating of the Walt Disney show, now appearing on the West Coast in the time slot opposite the Wednesday-night boxing. Disney and his Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck characters are much more believable than the boxers. My five children may grow up to be talking ducks or gibbering mice, but they won't be asked to throw a fight.
The article and pictures in SI, Dec. 6 on Africa's Big Game, certainly ranks among the best.
Being one of those many individuals who dream of some day going on an African safari, I personally got a great deal of enjoyment out of this article. I can sincerely appreciate and also am very envious of Mr. Ylla's efforts and ability. Truly his must be a very fabulous life of excitement and accomplishment.
I for one would like to see more of these articles, which give the dreamer, like myself, a few minutes a day to escape the drum of city life.
WILLIAM A. RAY
•It's Miss Ylla who leads the fabulous life (see cut) and she's highly pleased that Mr. Ray and over 2,000 other dreamers sent SI 25 cents for specially prepared reproductions of her big game pictures.—ED.
$90 A DAY WITH 16 HEADS
I enjoyed your article on African safari and also the pictures by Ylla. Ylla shared our campsite with us in the Loiter Plains where she took a lot of her lion pictures. The only thing a lot of good American sportsmen are frightened by is the $7,000 to $10,000 price tag that you see on African safaris. I was for a good many years until I finally contacted a White Hunter and found you could enjoy a safari for less than a month. We paid $90 a day for two which is about the same as a western hunt and much less than an Alaskan hunt. I have helped my son organize an all-boys safari, including all expenses from New York to Nairobi and return, 24 days hunting, license for 10 varieties of game, total of 16 heads, and a five-day climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro for a total of $2,680. When I took my son in 1952, we had a 20-day safari which is short but I would sooner have 20 days than never know what an African safari really is like.
HARRY L. WELKER, D.D.S.
I find the Dec. 6 issue of such caliber as to induce me to write a complimentary letter. Two features especially interested me—the fine photographic essay on Africa's Big Game, and the absorbing fiction by Bryan MacMahon, The Return of Paddy Kinsella. The story was exceptionally well illustrated by Robert Riger—my wife and I agreed the illustrations were vigorous and full of character, expressed extremely well both the story-line and personal temperament of the piece of fiction. We would be pleased to see more of the graphic work of this artist—he seems to have a fine sense of action in portraiture.
FRED G. RASWEILER
Being an old boxing fan, I enjoyed your short story, The Return of Paddy Kinsella, in the latest issue of SI.
I have enjoyed all of the short stories that you have had in SI so far and I hope you will have many more of them in future issues.
Louis M. SOLOMON
NO TIME, BUT...
Haven't the time to write "letters to the editor" but am constrained to compliment SI on publication of Bryan MacMahon's Return of Paddy Kinsella.
One of the best short stories which has appeared anywhere in the past 20 years. Mebbe you got ahold of another Donn-Byrne, huh?
HARRY B. MULLINIX
•If SI has got ahold of another Dorn-Byrne we are happy indeed. Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne was born in New York, worked the police beat for the Brooklyn Eagle and the Sun, but much preferred to be known, not at all correctly, as an Irish sportsman, a hard rider, a footloose soldier of fortune with a misty international background. With the publication in 1914 of Messer Marco Polo he became "the last traditional Irish novelist," talked unconvincingly of having used up three horses (he couldn't ride) following a planque of harriers on a Sunday morning, but wrote (The Wind Bloweth, Changeling) with absolute authority and brilliance of style that made him a highly successful novelist and the hero of critics of his day. He even saw his phantasies realized: Donn-Byrne ended his days in a castle in Cork, an Irish gentleman-landowner and admired poet. His New York friends, who so frequently had heard his eye-witness account of Capt. Welsh's fatal attempt to swim Niagara (six years before Byrne's birth), his triumphs on the hunting field and his hardships on the Pampas, saw him no more. One of the last things they heard from Donn-Byrne was that "he was keeping himself as fit as that other literary gent—Gene Tunney." He died in 1928 in a freak automobile accident.—ED.
IT WAS QUITE AN EXPERIENCE
I was very much interested in reading the article under the heading "Crazy Mixed-up Game" in SOUNDTRACK (SI, Nov. 22).
A friend and I had a very interesting experience this year in Nova Scotia. We observed a moose swimming across the lake and approached him with a canoe to get some close-up pictures. One thing led to another and three hours later we beached him with a rope around his neck to save him from drowning.
The moose apparently became either confused or scared when we approached him to take pictures. He started circling and continued circling in the middle of the lake for an hour after we left him. We felt obligated to go back and get a rope around him and tow him ashore. It took us two hours to accomplish that feat. Incidentally, he weighed about 400 pounds.
I think during the first hour we probably could have made a million-dollar movie. The few pictures I was able to get will remind me of a most unusual experience for years to come. I have been tempted several times to write the story.
My experience leads me to believe that the Canadian moose do require psychiatric treatment!
WHO STALKED WHO?
Here is a picture of one of the difficulties encountered by SI's photographer Ronny Jaques in covering the Rocky Island deer stalk (SI, Dec. 13). Jerry, a pet deer and an unparalleled publicity hog, was all too ready to pose for an extreme close-up every time Jaques unloosened his camera.
ARTHUR M. UHLMANN
WHAT A HAUL
SI's fine coverage of hunting and its concomitant occupational hazard of having some sharpshooter visualize a 10-point rack on your skull and letting fly at it prompts me to draw your attention to Harvard's now famous Thomas A. Lehrer's ditty on the sport.
Lehrer, while a graduate student of mathematics, achieved unexpected but richly deserved recognition as a football lyricist ("...won't it be peachy if we win the game but, fellows, let's not injure them..."). Here is his "Hunting Song" from Tom Lehrer's Song Book (Crown Publishers, $2).
I always will remember,
'Twas a year ago November,
I went out to hunt some deer,
On a morning bright and clear,
I went and shot the maximum the game laws would allow:—
Two game wardens, seven hunters and a cow.
I was in no mood to trifle,
I took down my trusty rifle,
And went out to stalk my prey,
(What a haul I made that day!)
I tied them to my fender and I drove them home somehow,
Two game wardens, seven hunters, and a cow.
The law was very firm, it
Took away my permit,
The worst punishment I ever endured.
It turned out there was a reason,
Cows were out of season,
And one of the hunters wasn't insured...
ANDREW DE HIRSCH
WE'D RATHER SAY IT THAN HEAR IT
In looking over the roundup of the week's news in SCOREBOARD (SI, Dec. 6), I see that you have omitted the National Basketball Association Record for assists broken by Andy Phillip on November 27th (Fort Wayne vs. Minneapolis). I think SI is terrific, but "Like we always say, to err is human."
•In that game Andy Phillip was credited with 19 assists. The Celtics' Bob Cousy held the record with 18 in the Jan. 18, 1953 game against the New York Knickerbockers. Last season Cousy was top man with 518 assists in 72 games, against Phillip's 449 in 71 games.—ED.
Your Dec. 6 issue has, as usual, met with our sincere approval and your article, New King of the Mountains, was of particular interest to us.... As an exacting coverage of the Pan American road race, your article leaves nothing undone, but because of our special interest in this area, any data in regard to the following details would certainly be welcome.
1.) Was the Lincoln the only automobile supported on such a scale, and to just what extent was it supported as regards financial backing?
2.) Do the other automotive corporations back representatives or are they entered independently?
3.) How is "stock" car defined in respect to this race?
4.) What are the qualifications, fees, etc., in connection with this race?
In closing, we should like to extend our thanks to you for the excellent articles in which our university has been portrayed in your magazine this fall.... Thanks from the University of Oklahoma campus.
HOMER H. HULME
•The Lincolns were subsidized at a cost of about $200,000 which included supplying and maintaining a good part of the elaborate equipment and the 50-man crew that serviced the cars. Coca-Cola sponsored the Buicks and the Volkswagen were sustained by the Mexico City dealer.
Entries for the stock car competition must have a seating capacity of at least four and its bodies must be "an integral part of the car model constructed under [the manufacturer's] trade name." Certain modifications of the lighting, braking, ignition, and fuel systems are permitted among others. Owners may also modify gear box, radiator capacity, balance crank shafts and wheels, reinforce the interior of the body, install an extra gas tank, bore out cylinders within .020 of an inch oversize and extend the exhaust pipe without changing its diameter. Drivers must hold racing licenses and obtain an FIA license from the AAA Contest Board in Washington. Entry fees are $560 for a large stock car, $280 for special series stock and $280 for European stock car. Good luck.—ED.
In your Dec. 6 issue of SI there is a picture of Pan American road race fan David Ramsey dying after accident. The person in the picture happens to be me. I don't know where you got it. I was with Ramsey, he was killed instantly and I was injured.
El Paso, Tex.
•Mexico's Foto Mayo agency sent picture with wrong caption. Our apologies to Mr. Shelton.—ED.
THESE GALS MEAN BUSINESS
I read in a recent issue of SI that the Pi Phi chapter at Ohio University lost 7-0 to Alpha Xi Delta sorority in the annual Powder Puff Bowl game.
When I read that this lone touchdown was the first scored since 1951, I could not help but feel that the Boston University chapter must be the Notre Dame of sorority football, as the Pi Phi girls have yet to lose a Powder Puff game. They are no low-scoring outfit, either.
There is also no fooling around in sweatshirts and dungarees, for these gals are completely fitted out in football jerseys; pants; helmets; shoulder, hip, thigh, and knee pads. They really mean business!
This year the game was played under the lights at Boston University Field (formerly Braves Field), and was given major coverage by three Boston newspapers (Globe, Post, Herald).
But most important was that the girls enjoyed some real clean fun and that all the money collected was donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Fund.
When I read Don Canham's article The Russians Will Win, a thought crossed my mind regarding the cost of our Olympic team. I've been waiting ever since for someone else to have the same idea. But so far, I seem to be the sole owner of this notion.
Your publication now has a circulation in excess of 500,000—that's 500,000 people able and happy to pay $6.00 or $7.50 a year just to read about sports.
I'd be willing to bet most of them would be proud to contribute a dollar or two (one-sixth to one-third the cost of a year's subscription) to the Olympic Fund. I think we, your readers, should send our money to you, the publishers of SI.
•SI welcomes Mr. Irwin's suggestion and contribution, will forward all money received to the Olympic Team Fund (see SI, Dec. 20 inside back cover), which was set up, with the help of LIFE and SI, by such public-spirited organizations as the Junior Chamber of Commerce, YMCA, CYO and Jewish Welfare Board Youth Group to handle such contributions and to promote public interest in the coming Olympics.—ED.
MY LOVE FOR TENNIS
I read Bill Talbert's help wanted ad in SI, Dec. 6. I am very interested in what you had to say.
I am 20 years old, and I live in Asheville, N.C. I am now a student at Wake Forest College in Wake Forest, N.C.
I have been playing tennis for nine years. I have played in all the major tournaments in this part of the state. Last year I played number one on the Wake Forest freshman team. I was ineligible for varsity play, which says that no freshmen can play on varsity teams.
I played tennis in high school as well as track, basketball and baseball. During my high school career, I only lost one match. We played Class AAA ball and played the outstanding teams in the state, our team losing but one match my senior year.
I have a great love for tennis and also great hope for going somewhere with it. I have long waited for the chance to play big-time tennis.
I have been coached by both Jeff Nicholson and Hoak Sloan. Nicholson played number two at the University of North Carolina the year Vic Seixas played number one. Hoak Sloan was rated number one in South Carolina for seven years. Both have helped me a great deal.
Wake Forest, N.C.
THAT WAS FINE FEATURE YOU HAD ON 12 TOP SKI AREAS IN COUNTRY BUT IN DEALING WITH SQUAW VALLEY AND AVAILABLE TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES YOU JUST MENTIONED HIGHWAY. TWO FAMOUS TRAINS, CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO AND SF OVERLAND BETWEEN SF AND CHICAGO, PASS WITHIN FEW MILES OF THIS FINE CALIFORNIA SKI
F. Q. TREDWAY
•But do they stop?—ED.
A POST OFFICE CALLED NORDEN
IN YOUR CALENDAR OF IMPORTANT SKIING EVENTS OF THE 1955 SEASON, PUBLISHED IN YOUR ISSUE OF DEC. 6, YOU LIST THE NORTH AMERICAN DOWNHILL, SLALOM AND COMBINED (APRIL 16-17), AND SILVER BELT DOWNHILL (APRIL 24) AS TAKING PLACE AT NORDEN, CAL. I THINK IT WOULD MEAN MORE TO YOUR READERS IF YOU SPECIFIED THAT THESE RACES ARE TO BE RUN AT THE SUGAR BOWL, A SKI RESORT NEAR NORDEN, SINCE THE POST OFFICE CALLED NORDEN HAS NO PARTICULAR SIGNIFICANCE TO SKIERS,