THE NTH DEGREE
I just received my February 14th issue of SI and by chance turned to the article concerning the Westminster Dog Show. The article and illustrations are typical of your magazine, in that it is complete to the nth degree. The chart on dog genealogy amazed me and made me realize all the more what a service your magazine is doing for the world of sport.
I want you to know that I, and many others, fully appreciate your efforts, although we do not write letters every week.
GEORGE E. JENSEN
HE GOES AS IS
First of all I want to congratulate you on your very fine article on the Westminster Show and the "ins and outs" of dog shows, handlers and what have you. I enjoyed it immensely and I think the non-doggy and slightly-doggy public will find it most entertaining and informative.
I have a bone to pick with you and/or Mr. Arthur Singer. In the chart showing the genealogy there is a picture of a little dog below which the name "Miniature Pinscher" appears. The dog pictured is a Toy Manchester Terrier, of which there can be no doubt, as the Miniature Pinscher has both cropped ears and a docked tail. I have nothing against the little Pinschers, thinking they are a very handsome little dog, but a Toy Manchester goes "as is" and no mutilation is necessary to make him the smart-looking dog that he is. My Toy Manchester Terrier, Ch. Whisky Neat of Bum-met Brook, placed best of opposite sex last year.
RUTH TAFT HOBBS
WHERE IS THAT NATIVE?
I like SI, but you can imagine how I felt this month after searching through your dog chart and not being able to find a picture of the American Water Spaniel. The oldest breed of hunting dog in America, one of only two in the whole sporting group that was developed here in the U.S.A., a true native. I breed and hunt with these dogs and also have shown in a lot of shows. Have at this time a male and a female that I campaigned to their championship in 1954. These dogs have been bred pure for over 50 years.
S. V. HANON
I certainly enjoyed Mr. Wells's dog show coverage, though I myself happen to be a cat man. His name is Bo Bo (see cut) and I had him long before Mr. Rockefeller had his Bobo. Not near the expense either. Tried once to establish some sort of family lineage for him. Figured he had the swagger of Fuzzy Freddie from Frelinghuysen's Ferry and the glare of Goggle-eyed Gertie from Gillicuddy Gulch, so thought it best to keep things in the family. End of ancestry research, but beginning A Tribute: to that great All-American thoroughbred, the alley cat, with both grandparents from the wrong side of the tracks and from whom America's children have learned their first lessons in love, tolerance, ownership and the facts of life.
L. S. MONTGOMERY
Another whistle kettle to SI! Cricket, like opera, is a rum sport and P. Gallico gave it delightful innings!
Herewith a few "extras" you may like to add to an already fine score.
The Cincinnati Red Stockings of 1860 (beginnings of organized ball) "developed" from the city's cricket club, which, with San Francisco, Detroit and Chicago, constituted the strongholds of western cricket.
The romantic history of baseball is epitomized for glamour and personality almost solely by the great Babe. English cricket, past and present, is similarly served by W. G. Grace (W.G., "the grace of God"), a qualified physician whose great beard blew through nearly 50 years of English cricket; Ranji, the Indian prince, whose late move at the wicket was faster than that of a mongoose; and that most felicitous and estimable of sports historians, Neville Cardus, who, incidentally, is music critic for the Manchester Guardian.
Actually, while smaller, the cricket ball is a half ounce heavier than the baseball. A true eight-seam, red-dyed cricket ball and the ball retailed here for field hockey are much of a muchness.
The characteristic "airfoil" shaping of the cricket blade is routine. The manufacturing "secret" consists in the most advantageous construction of the handle, made of alternating lengths of cane and rubber. This sheaf of cane and rubber is encased in a rubber sleeve and tediously spliced into the blade. For desired "whip" nothing has improved on this cane-rubber combination. The choicest bat willow comes from the female blue willow (Salix coerulea)! Straightness of grain plus density are desired characteristics.
Ft. Thomas, Ky.
A WRONG SET RIGHT
A rainbow has appeared in the skies over the storm in Provincetown and the rest of Cap Cod caused by the confusion in the award of the Governor's Trophy for the largest striped bass to one whom we considered to be the improper winner (SOUNDTRACK, Feb. 21).
The Provincetown Chamber of Commerce was informed by Governor Christian A. Herter and Commissioner Richard Preston of the Massachusetts Department of Commerce that a replica of the governor's cup is now being properly inscribed and will be presented to Mr. John J. Glogg of Huntington, New York (see cut), our contender, with appropriate ceremony.
Instead of the traditional pot of gold, our rainbow appears to have a silver Revere bowl, known as the Governor's Trophy, at its end. It is now safe to assert that this First Landing Place of the Pilgrims will not secede from the rest of the Olde Bay State.
JOHN C. SNOW
SI's Jan. 31 article, How Russia Out-shoots Us...sounded puzzled over Russia's victory in the recent International Shooting Union matches at Caracas, Venezuela.
The explanation is very simple—those people are first-class Marxmen.
I am an SI reader and enjoy the many stories since the first issue.
In SI, Feb. 14 there is a picture story on the trout fishing in Lake Titicaca. I would like more information about this fabulous place, such as facilities at La Paz, Bolivia; airlines that serve the area; and any other information that may be helpful.
JOHN J. BAROODY
•Both Braniff and Panagra will take you to La Paz, a 15-hour flight from Miami. First class round trip comes to about $715; tourist trip can be had for $580. Braniff will pick you up in Havana, if you happen to be there. In La Paz you stay at the Sucre-Palace ($3 a day, European plan), and there are two hotels at Copacabana, right at the lake, where rooms run from $2 to $3.50 including meals. To fish Lake Titicaca you should hire a boat and guide, both available at 50¢ an hour.—ED.
A CASE OF PARTHENOGENESIS
This is a protest against the squib by Charles Atlas in Jimmy Jemail's Feb. 7 HOTBOX ("How much should a wife indulge her husband's love of sports?").
Having avoided looking at Atlas' picture in his corny ads in the pulp magazines for more years than I care to remember, and than he would admit, I think I for one have been subjected enough to the caption "The Strongest Man in the World." I have no knowledge how he came by the title, so I will not go so far as to say that it is a case of parthenogenesis, but the most charitable thing I can say about it is that it is somewhat outdated.
Golf needs no apologists, and I will not defend it, further than to say that it is one of the few true sports extant, as distinguished from mere athletic exercises.
I truly feel sorry for Mr. Atlas It is obvious that his experience with golf was unhappy. I can visualize him now, conqueror of all he surveyed, "the strongest man in the world," dashing out to the links to take this sissy game in his stride, only to find that some 130-pound weakling outdrove him 40 yards, out-approached him 40 feet, and outscored him 40 strokes. Oh! The humiliation of it all! Of course, it could not be the fault of the strongest man in the world—something had to be wrong with the game. Thus we have a bitter man. Poor Mr. Atlas!
But enough of this. Why does SI give space to this childishness, this petty pique, this dreary dish of sour grapes? It spoiled the whole issue for me.
FRED M. ODOM
P.S. Golf, anyone?
RARE RAM'S HORN
I was most interested in SOUNDTRACK'S January 31 story on the Duesenberg brothers and their wonderful cars. I own one of the last SJ models to leave their factory, built for Prince Serge M'dvani. This car is one of 36 supercharged engines and also one of the few of the blown engines having ram's horns intake manifolds (see cut), similar to Ab Jenkins' Mormon Meteor which was built by Augie Duesenberg. This car established records on Bonneville Salt Flats that still stand today. This is the way the big engine (see cut) looks today, a Grandpa among hot rods.
You state that few cars survive. As a matter of fact, more than 400 are known, an amazingly high percentage to exist 19 years after all manufacturing stopped. You might be interested to hear that a man from California purchased all that remained of Duesenberg in 1946, the name, trademark, parts, patterns, tools and so on. He is making a good living selling parts and supplies to enthusiastic owners of the re-remaining Duesenbergs.
J. E. GEBBY
I HAVE DEVELOPED A LIKING
In looking at the SI of Feb. 1 I noticed a letter from a George Dusenbury who loved Duesenbergs. Well, I sympathize with him.
My stepfather collects "old" cars, and we have 13. Though most of these are antiques, such as our 1903 Model A Ford and 1914 Model T Ford, we have two of the finest classics ever made. One is a 1933 Murphy-J Duesenberg and one is a 1930 SS Mercedes, originally owned by Cameron Peck. Thus I have developed a liking for these classics and I would love to see another one of your good articles, but on classic cars!
I liked very much your article on cricket as it explained well to me that weird game!
Why ruin a good joke with the truth, perhaps, but I can't help pointing out that SI's Feb. 14 cartoon is based on an extremely wild premise: that the young lady's sweater was knit on circular needles from the shoulders down. While this may be possible, I doubt it. Any sweater I have ever knit was 1) worked from the bottom up and would therefore be raveled from the top down and 2) was knit in four pieces subsequently sewn together and could not be raveled at all until the side and sleeve seams were ripped.
I imagine you couldn't care less.
RITA B. CAMP
•Cartoonist Marcus is a knit-wit.—ED.
MAKE YOUR OWN MIDGET
SI, Feb. 21 carried a story on midget autos. This article mentions that these automobiles may be purchased either in their finished state or in kit form.
I should like to know where these automobile midgets may be obtained and, if possible, more and detailed information concerning them.
JOHN D. HILLIARD, M.D.
Medicine Lodge, Kans.
•The Viking Craft Co. of Anaheim, Calif. manufactures the complete kit. Takes a bright father about seven hours' work with screw driver, wrench and pliers to assemble the midget. More adventurous parents who want to do some manufacturing of their own can purchase separate parts: frame ($10); fully molded plexiglass body in two parts ($49.50). But as far as we know, these midgets race only in California.—ED.
Wrong again—in connection with John Jay's Jan. 10 article and subsequent correction—the second lady on the camel is now Mrs. Charles Potter!
She is not still Barbara McClurg.
MARIE H. BORLAND
Lake Forest, Ill.
•Miss McClurg to Mrs. Potter: (Nov. 6, 1954). We saw her last spring. Sorry we weren't asked to the wedding.—ED.
The favorite topic of basketball fans nowadays seems to be what can be done to improve the game. I hope that the men who are on the rules committee will at least consider this a proposal.
Reduce the size of the backboard to approximately one-third of its present size. Would this not put more of a premium on accuracy? Would it not take some of the advantage away from the tall man? Would it not permit shots from a greater area of the floor? Would it not tend to keep the mid-court area, particularly near the basket, less congested? Would not this less congestion reduce the number of fouls, since the majority of fouls are committed near the basket? Would not its disadvantages be very minimal?
L. E. BOYUM, M.D.
GIVE IT A BOOST
SI, Feb. 7 lists the North American winners in ski jumping and cross-country, but you overlooked the winner of the Nordic combined event.
My son, Ted Farwell Jr., brought home the first-place medal in the Nordic Combined North American Championship: the combined cross-country and jumping event. It is an important phase of the Winter Olympic Games and incidentally the most cherished ski championship in the Scandinavian countries.
Naturally I feel that Ted should get proper recognition, but the important part is for SI to recognize this event. We have many prospective youngsters in the United States who are training toward a championship in this Nordic combined event.
THEODORE A. FARWELL SR.
•All recognition and a Pat on the Parka to Olympic Skier Ted Farwell.—ED.
JILL KINMONT FUND
As a physician, I know too well the long, expensive hospitalization period (see Publisher's Memo, Feb. 28) to which spinal fracture cases must submit.
As a ski enthusiast, I also realize that, had Miss Kinmont not been injured, we Americans might have been very proud of her achievements as an Olympic contestant.
I am sending this contribution in the spirit that it may encourage other sports enthusiasts and skiers to contribute aid to one of our promising American athletes who is in trouble and financial need.
PHYSICIAN'S NAME WITHHELD
•Jill's admirers may send contributions to Jill Kinmont Fund, Far West Ski Assn., Executive Offices, Huntington Hotel, Pasadena, Calif.—ED.
SI, Feb. 21 implies that young George Washington, at the age of 11, could not have thrown a dollar across the 1,320-foot Rappahannock.
You forget that a dollar went farther in 1743 than it does in 1955.
W. NORWOOD BRIGANCE
AN INDIVIDUAL AT LAST
SI's articles on the Westminster show brought to mind a pet project of mine: to release the poodle, most tradition-bound of dogs, from the shackles of the academic show cut and let each animal reflect his very own individuality by trimming his coat to his personality.
Some suggestions along these lines can be found in my book The Dog (Simon & Schuster, $1). Think of the dog's quiet satisfaction as he catches a passing glance in plate-glass windows.
New Hope, N.Y.
SOLUTION TO LAST WEEK'S