THREE CHEERS FORTHE BULL
...As I am a member of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Irealize there is nothing we can do about the peoples of other lands, but forHeaven's sake, keep this horrible thing out of the United States (SI, Jan.17).
If you haven'talready guessed, I and my colleagues are hopping mad! If you ever have a thinglike this in your magazine again, we're going to throw it right out the backdoor!
THREE CHEERS FORTHE BULL.
Incidentally, thebulls are better looking than the matadors you selected.
MRS. JO MILLER
January 31, 1955
I have always wanted to see a bullfight but wondered if my stomach would takeit. I now know. Thank you for showing me this "wonderful and terribledrama" with the opportunity of being sick in private.
Fifty cents saysthis brings as much mail as your first issue. Love you anyway.
MARY KNOX BRUMLEY
I wish my SPORTS had been UNILLUSTRATED this week.
MRS. KATHRYN H. HAMMER
ONE FOR THECONS
I wonder how many letters you will get protesting the article and pictures onbullfighting. Add this to the total.
Hemingway, withall his noisy heroics, has made the sport popular in this country, but it isstill disgusting. If your writer had treated it in his article in a lessromantic way, I wouldn't write this letter even though I am not interested anylonger in a magazine that would print such a detailed article on sadisticbutchery with such explicit and technically excellent pictures.
Grace thebullfighters may have, but why all this talk about courage? They might getkilled, but they are well paid for the long odds against that possibility. Thebulls honestly haven't got a chance, and they aren't brave either—they are justbuilt that way.
Bullfighting justisn't civilized....
•Mail is heavyand nip and tuck pro and con.—ED.
LIFE AND MORELIFE
As Chairman of the Long Distance Running Committee of the South AtlanticAssociation of the AAU, I have been tempted to tell you of the excellent startyou have made.
There was theopening Duel of The Four-Minute Men, the very important Tip That Led Bannisterto Victory (I've been looking for more like it) and the recent Sportsman of theYear. SI has done a good job on an easily overlooked sport.
Yet thesearticles did not shake me into action. It is Only the Brave that inspires thisletter. The Hemingway, Lea and Conrad world which was painted so beautifullybut seemed so remote has come alive in pictures which demand a chorus of olés.There is life even in the death of the bull. This life has put even more lifeinto an already breathing SI.
GEORGE S. BROWN
Many thanks for your very fine piece on the art of throwing the bull. Thepictures are terrific.
Enclosed is aphoto I had the pleasure of taking last summer in the bull ring at Tijuana. Thematador is Earl Bostrup of Brooklyn, and El Toro is Joe McMullen of StatenIsland.
Permit me to congratulate you upon reading that really great and magnificentstory Only the Brave in the Jan. 17 issue. Needless to say that Kauffman'sphotos are masterpieces...
KAUFFMAN IS NOTFOR BURNING
Were it not for the fact that I am making an intact collection of copies ofyour wonderful magazine, I should certainly carefully remove the color photosection Only the Brave and burn same.
No offenseintended to your very capable photographer Mark Kauffman. The essay anddrawings were quite informative and very interesting.
May I gripe?
I don't eattamales, don't wear huaraches and have not the slightest interest in bullsspewing blood. Why increase your Spanish circulation; I thought this wasAmerica's magazine....
Cache Trip Camp
•Tamales are anacquired taste.—ED.
GREAT PIECE,WRONG MAG
It was with great pleasure and much surprise that I read your article onbullfighting, Only the Brave. I say with great pleasure because, since I am anaficionado (my home is in Madrid, Spain), I always take much interest inanything that is concerned with bullfighting. I say with much surprise because,when I first picked up your SI issue of January 17 and saw the torrero and thebull on the cover I was just about ready to tear the magazine up. The reasonfor my anger was the nerve and outrage of somebody putting an article onbullfighting in a sports magazine.
Most Americans donot realize that bullfighting is not a sport but rather a rare spectacle—oreven better still, a great art. You hit it right on the nose when you said thatto understand bullfighting one must have some "special knowledge somewhatlike the special knowledge one must take to the ballet...." Forbullfighting is an art like ballet, where one does not go to see whether thebull gets his man, but rather to see the breathtaking and artistic movementsand actions of the torrero.
Thanks for agreat article in the wrong magazine. Even though the article did appear in asports magazine, the word "sport" was not used once in the wholearticle.
A WAY OF LIFE
Your article Only the Brave in the January 17 issue is to be, commended and wasvery good as far as it went. I think that one of the things it failed to pointout was the mass appeal that the bulls hold for the people of Spain and Mexico.People of every walk of life are drawn to the plaza on Sunday afternoon, bysomething we here in the United States cannot really comprehend—it is almost away of life and thinking passed down through generations. To me there isnothing more tense, emotional and beautiful than a great performance in thebull ring.
Hoping for yourcontinued success.
MRS. WILLIAM BAYNE JR.
Locust Valley, N.Y.
If accolades are to be heaped by Americans who love the art of bullfightingupon your magazine, allow me to join with the others. For the first time in along while we have an article written by a man who knows his subject matter. Itis by far the most authentic and errorless presentation of the corridaappearing in an American magazine in many a long year....
It is a pleasureto find a magazine of your stature doing such a creditable job of educating andreporting on this subject. Perhaps if I ever get finished with a book I'mwriting on los toros, there will be less prejudice and the ground I tread withthis subject will be a lot firmer. Thanks and congratulations for a job welldone.
JOEL L. HARRISON
Beverly Hills, Calif.
Just read the bull spread. It was better than most articles like it and,indeed, was almost good. The picture of Carlos Vera on the double page deallabeled "Faena" is, of course, great and worth the price of admissionalone.
However, therewere mistakes. All picayune. About, for example, as picayune as a man's writingan authoritative piece on grouse shooting and saying "I brought the birddown with my 12 gauge rifle." Picayune, but enough to tell you he is not anauthority on shotgun shooting.
Here are themistakes that I've spotted in one read-through:
A faena is not aseries of linked passes. Tanda is the word for that.
Joselito was notkilled as he went in for the kill.
The pass is not"por pecho" but "de pecho"; small item but as revealing asreferring to an "inning" as a "chukker."
Lastly, Dominguinis not a Catalonian (from Barcelona) but was born in Madrid on the 9th ofDecember, 1926.
•AficionadoBarnaby (La Fiesta Brava) Conrad is right when he says a series of linkedpasses is a tanda, though a tanda is a part of the faena; de pecho is indeedthe preferred usage; and Dominguin is a Madrileno. SI did not say Joselito waskilled as he went in for the kill, but at the "moment of truth"—a"moment" that begins when the matador fixes the bull.—ED.
This article is the first I have seen in any American magazine which wasaccurate in all respects, and the only one in which the author has more thanjust a superficial knowledge of bullfighting.
I would also liketo say that not only was the color work in Mr. Kauffman's photographs great,but also his were the only pictures I have seen (including my own) to give anaccurate impression of the size of a bull ring, instead of making it appeartwice as big as the Yankee Stadium.
JOHN A. GRANT
Jackson Heights, N.Y.
I have never seen anything quite as revolting as the article Only the Bravewhich appeared in the Jan. 17 issue of SI. You must be running out oflegitimate sports material to resort to such low grade subjects...or do yourecognize the torture and slaughter of animals as being a sport?
If you ever runacross a contest where the bull comes out the winner, it would make far moreinteresting reading, with or without illustrations.
FRANK G. DRAKE
Shaker Heights, Ohio
•Two famouswinning bulls: Civilon, a bull of great courage but tender feelings, whoseFerdinand-like performance in Spain won him an honorable pardon from the crowd;and Bonito, a bull of such unexampled ferocity that he, too, was pardoned aftergoring a half dozen horses and as many men in Mexico. Very few bulls walk backfrom Swift & Co.—ED.
A FIRST LOOK
Just finished the Jan. 17 issue of your great magazine.
The bullfightstory is really terrific. This must be the first time we have seen in color thebullfight from start to finish....
STRICTLY FORPACKING HOUSES
Always have enjoyed your magazine but do hope we never have to see thatso-called "sport" of butchering the animals in the arena again. I can'timagine enjoying an afternoon watching it. That job is still for the packinghouses.
MRS. S. C. BURGER
Dallas Center, Iowa
Photographer Mark Kauffman sure shot the bull!
LEO M. HAMMER
"Olé"' to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
Your spectacleOnly the Brave was superb. This magnificent coverage of the most fascinating"sport" in existence today is worthy of a standing ovation.
The photographyof Mark Kauffman is another credit to the quality of SI.
SI has been a real credit to the Luce family of magazines since its firstissue, and my wife and I have been happy to be among its initialsubscribers.
However, I mustprotest pretty strongly the bullfight deal in the Jan. 17 issue. You can getpictures of bulls being bled to death in the Chicago (or Indianapolis or DesMoines) stockyards. And the copy editor who felt that Only the Brave was theway to describe bullfighters (and aficionados) should be given office leave tosee a psychiatrist. Many a brave guy, in many a sport and in many a country,would want no part of this "sport." Hemingway did well with it, too,but Hemingway at least was writing literature.
Let's, please,stick to sports—not "sports."
..With gratitudefor your good job.
DONALD MCLEOD POND
Thank you very much for the splendid report on bullfighting. The illustrationswere particularly fine; however, I was more than slightly disappointed afterlooking very closely not to find an offer to send for a set of the picturessuitable for framing as you have done with so many other of your finephotograph series. If you feel in the future that you can offer a set of thesepictures for framing please let me know....
GORDON E. CLEMENT
•Reader Clementwill be notified.—ED.
I'm almost positive that I wouldn't care to sit under the hot sun and watchsomeone slaughter a bull. But in all fairness to your mag, which I am growingto like as time goes by, I want to say that the report on bullfighting was, inmy humble opinion, the best-written of any sports article I have ever read.
W. F. SHOLLENBERGER
Kalamazoo's "Average Reader" (19th Hole, Jan. 17) probably found thecharter subscription blank somewhere. His sarcastic remarks about yourwonderful magazine are certainly out of line. You certainly cannot pleaseeveryone, but we feel you should ignore crude thoughts like his. He probablylacks the ambition to improve his knowledge of sports. Why doesn't he shuffledown to the corner store and acquire a copy of the latest catalog featuring hisfavorite "single twelve"? This catalog, along with an old copy of BugsBunny should keep him happy until the time rolls around for him to dig anothercan of worms.
There are timeswhen no one can explain why some readers do not like to read about morefortunate sportsmen, or study illustrations of unfamiliar guns and fishingtackle.
SPORTSILLUSTRATED, with its high editorial standards, is the most sought after sportsmagazine in the library at our school. We have an unusually high scholasticstandard and such a successful record in sports that we find it difficult tomake athletic schedules.
A poll of the 800students on the roster of this all-boys' prep school will quickly assure youthat your magazine is presenting a well-rounded, factual account of sports forall sportsmen everywhere. Your fairness in publishing "AverageReader's" substandard complaint is but one more example of your fairness toeveryone.
We suggest youkeep right on your target and file any more letters you get like his in thatbig, round file alongside your editorial desk.
JOHN J. TONNSEN JR.
KEEP IT UP
The letter you published from "Average Reader" brings to mind thatthere are enough outdoor-type magazines published to sink a small battleship.These mostly cater to the beagle-and-cane-pole crowd and I would like tosuggest to "Average Reader" that he subscribe to seven or eight ofthese fine magazines and leave yours alone if it doesn't please him. With a fewexceptions it's the only weekly devoted to sports that seems to be written byadults for adults. Keep it up.
D. M. BURGESS JR.
The Jan. 10 issue has reached me, and while I am pleased with most of it, themisleading caption under the first picture is unfortunate. The first lady onthe camel is not Lois Jay but Jane Bidwell, as I carefully stated in my captionlist. Would it be possible to print a correction in the next issuesomewheres?
•We standcorrected, but the second lady is still Barbara McClurg.—ED.
A MAN ABOUT ADOG
Never have I enjoyed reading such a fine magazine on sports. I have every issueof yours at home. Could you please help me with a little information?
I would like toget into the greyhound dog-racing sport but don't know how to get started.Could you tell me where I could get some information on where to buy a racingdog, how much they cost, the training of one, and other information pertainingto the sport.
•Greyhound racingis not legal in New York State, but South Carolina, Florida, Oregon, Montana,South Dakota, Arizona, Colorado and Massachusetts support 29 tracks betweenthem. To get started, write the National Coursing Association, P.O. Box 543,Abilene, Kansas for its monthly Coursing News which carries breeding reports,dogs at stud and dogs for sale. Kansas raises more greyhounds than any otherstate. A two-month-old pup costs between $100 to $200, in training must bewalked three to five miles a day in addition to sprints in an open field.Greyhounds are hungry animals, consume between two to three pounds of mixedhorse meat, dog meal and kibbles per day. Racing age starts at 15 months. Mostkennels carry 20 to 25 greyhounds, are booked at the tracks through theSecretary of the track. Actual racing expenses for such a kennel come to about$150 per week and earnings to $400, with pups at home and the purchase of youngdogs an additional expense. Dogs retire at four or five. Champion dogs haveearned as much as $50,000 during their lifetime, but don't count on retiring ontheir earnings.—ED.
ACCENT ON MEN
Three cheers for Si's efforts to clean up boxing. But three boos for some ofthe letters printed in the Jan. 3 issue. Some of your readers seem to thinkthat all sports-writers have "overlooked" boxing's dirty business.That's unfair to men (and you can put the stress on the word men) like DanParker and Jimmy Cannon.
•Well-deservedpats on the Parker and Cannon backs, which were bent to the task before SI wasborn.—ED.
Dr. Cureton's thesis on Exercise to Keep Fit makes sense. But who in the 'ellnowadays will go through a dull and drab routine of calisthenics at hishome?
The only methodfor the aging and decrepit athlete is recreational sports, properly supervised,such as handball, basketball, wrestling, light and heavy bag work, volley ball,tennis, golf and squash. These sports offer exercise as well as fun, and it isonly through having fun that one enjoys exercising. Tell me who on SI engagesin the form of calisthenics as prescribed by Dr. Cureton in William White'sstory?
LOUIS DE FICHY
•When SI reachesmiddle age the staff will be polled.—ED.
My recommendation to other middle-aged pot-bellied men is a fly rod weighingnot over four ounces; waders reinforced at the seat for meditation; an armloadof pancakes to be worn inside the belt and a reliable automobile to convey oneto not more than 800 yards of good trout stream with easy wading. As to diet:do you recall how wonderfully creosote preserves fence posts? Well, Scotchwhisky is full of it.
SPARSE GREY HACKLE
In your Jan. 17 issue—Soundtrack—anent referees mugging on TV. I observedit—last sentence beginning "A day will come...a viewer will charge, fleck,kick, etc. crouched like a gibbon."
The underlined Iand all my family resent. Gibbons do not "crouch." We are"Hylobates ([text in Greek]) agiles," literally agile wood-walkers, not"crouchers," nor are we orangs, siamangs, guenons nor gorillas. Suggestyou confer Cassell's Natural History, Vol. I pp. 73 ff.
Otherwise we arevery much pleased with your publication.
J. A. GIBBONS
Wilkes Barre, Pa.
•Cassell'sNatural History, Vol. I p. 73, does offer, it is true, a definitive work ongibbons (although it had not occurred to us heretofore that this included theGibbons). It was written, however, before the day of the television billcollector. Even a gibbon will crouch at the sight of one—despite a fact younote in your letter, i.e., that he is used to being out on a limb.—ED.