MAN—YOU GOT IT
Heck of a fine article by H.W. Wind on the winter golf tour. I particularly enjoyed the thorough coverage, including the unknown who battles with the weekly pre-tournament 18-hole (collar, choke, gas pipe) qualifying round. Few people realize that "the tour" is made up of 200 to 300 good players from all over the country. I was one of the beaters in '53 and I recall at San Antonio there were well over 300 aspirants to about 40 spots left open in the tournament proper.
Another thing that struck me was the definite vernacular of the regular tour players. A typical Boltism: "Man—you got it," meaning you maybe can hit it but you got to beat me.
It's expensive experience, but if a guy can swing it financially—a trip on "the tour" is really worth-while.
CO, NOT COW
Thanks for Herbert Wind's fine article on the pro golf tour. Especially enjoyed it here because it carried a picture of Al and Donna Mengert with the Gene Littlers.
March 21, 1955
Just for the record, tell Mr. Wind to be careful about "whether or not all the returns are in from the Moscow Country Club." We feel sure he was not referring to our fine neighbors at Moscow, Idaho or their nifty nine-hole course. Nothing approaching Mike Souchak's record of 27 has been recorded there. Moscow (pronounced co, not cow) is a beautiful little city and the site of the University of Idaho.
We all enjoy your splendid magazine.
TURN THE TABLES
YOUR COVER AND STORY ON JOE ALSTON IS GREAT. BADMINTON FANS THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES WERE DELIGHTED TO SEE THIS MENTION OF OUR FAVORITE SPORT. WE ARE ALL PULLING FOR JOE TO TURN THE TABLES ON EDDY CHOONG AT OUR UNITED STATES OPEN AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP AT LONG BEACH CITY COLLEGE APRIL SIXTH TO NINTH. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR INTEREST.
JACK H. PRAAG
THE CLOTHESLINE GAME
You've done it again! I've been working on badminton in my physical education classes and this week's bit was a great help (SI, Mar. 14, Cover and SOUNDTRACK) . Wish there were more! I teach it because it can be played with relatively little equipment and with a minimum amount of space (even over a lowered clothesline). I'd certainly love to be in Winnipeg Mar. 12 to see championship badminton. Will SI be there?
Incidentally, you're so popular, two issues were plucked from my bulletin board by a visiting basketball team!
MARJORIE L. COOKE
•See SCOREBOARD for what happened last week in Winnipeg.—ED.
WAS CHARLIE SITTING BACKWARDS?
The "Camp Fire Club" by Russell B. Aitken (SI, Mar. 7) is a decidedly select and talented group of outdoorsmen. It would appear to a casual observer, however, that Charlie Guldner is seated hind foremost in the bow of his canoe, which certainly would not win any "Gold Bars" by a horny-hinded son of the "Old Town" set.
Since R.B.A. had been doing so well, with his picture or name on all five pages of the article, I thought possibly he had gone overboard while directing the shooting of this picture and Charlie had been forced to reverse direction to retrieve Mr. Aitken.
1) Was Charlie sitting backwards in the bow of the canoe?
3) Was he retrieving Russ?
4) Is Charlie's a popular big-game hunter's chapeau?
5) Did Charlie earn his gold Sheepshead badge or
6) Is this seating arrangement specified in "the Old Man's Canoe event?"
Please fill me in—I'm curious!
SI is here to stay for me by virtue of its informative articles on unusual sporting topics (such as Hung Yu!) in addition to unusually realistic photography and crusades against anything tending to taint the wonderful world of sports.
GORDON P. NAUGLE
2) It balanced better that way.
3) No. R.B.A. was busily powdering clay pigeons.
4) A gray homburg lends a touch of distinction to any sport.
5) Yes, indeed.
6) Well, it's a Grand Old Man's prerogative.—ED.
FROM FIRST TO LAST
All of us in track—competitors, coaches, officials and fans—have greatly enjoyed your coverage of the sport from the four-minute mile (Si's first issue) down to the recent indoor meets.
In the March 4 edition you have outdone yourselves in presenting the concise and moving story of Arnold Sowell, Pitt's wonderful middle distance star. The article is typical of the expert reporting and mature writing which have been characteristic of SI from the beginning. Keep up the good work and make sure you don't neglect the upcoming Pan American games (Mar. 12-26).
LESTER C. WALLACK JR.
2nd Lt. USMCR
•Photographer Mark Kauffman and Mexico City Bureau Chief Dave Richardson are already hard at work and will be on hand throughout the games. For a starter see WONDERFUL WORLD.—ED.
BONER OF THE ROARING WEEK
In my opinion, SI has done an extremely good editorial job on sports cars. John Bentley's articles have been factual and interesting.
We all make mistakes—and one of the signs of greatness is to admit mistakes. I am afraid that someone in your organization pulled a roaring boner in reporting on Daytona's Roaring Week.
I refer to the article on the trials sponsored by the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. A stock car can be loosely defined as a car that can be bought from a dealer. One type of stock car is a sports car. A sports car, although used in competition, must—by definition—be the type of car that can be used for everyday use. It must, for instance, have suitable seats, headlights, a starter, fenders—and must run on ordinary pump gasoline.
It is my understanding that all of the automobiles run at Daytona met these standards, with one exception—a Grand Prix Ferrari driven by Bob Said. This was a racing car. A glance at the release put out by the National Association for Stock Car Racing shows that this car was entered in a special classification and had no competition. Probably it was run to give the spectators a thrill. Obviously it could not have beaten anything but itself. Consequently, your caption underneath the picture of the Ferrari saying, "beating latest type Jaguar" can hardly be correct.
As a matter of fact, further study of the release shows that in the sports car classification, the 3½-liter Jaguar was faster than five Ferraris. Of course, these Ferraris were sports cars—not Grand Prix racing cars.
I bring this to your attention—not only because I think that you should, in all fairness to Jaguar, print a correction; but because I think it is important to SI that you do so. Admittedly, the number of people in this country who know the difference between a Grand Prix racing car and a sports car is small. However, those of them who do will lose confidence in your editors, and this is a shame, because they have done an outstanding job. More important is the fact that the whole philosophy of SI seems to be that of educating the uninitiated. You even got me to read an article on cricket—and I must admit that for the first time I feel I know something about the game—and this after having lived in England for three years.
LEWIS P. OGLE
•SI was mistaken in implying in a caption that the Grand Prix Ferrari raced in the same class as the D-Type Jaguar, which won the Unlimited Displacement Class.—ED.
I enjoyed reading the article on the colony of flamingos very much.
The threatened status of these birds is very effectively presented, as well as the very interesting habits, both of which should aid the efforts of conservationists in trying to protect and increase the numbers for more to enjoy.
NORMAN A. PREBLE
Chairman, Department of Biology
I AM A RABID FAN
I have just finished reading your Feb. 28th issue and was particularly impressed by the articles on winter baseball and pro basketball. I find that the main reasons for my liking SI so much are that the stories are short and concise, accompanied by many fine illustrations, and that you cover those sports that are off the "beaten track."
I am a rabid fan of baseball, basketball and football, but I was getting tired of reading only about these sports and nothing about those which are popular with participants. In other words, SI has done a wonderful job in reaching the enthusiasts of all sports and providing excellent reading for those whose favorite sport is not featured in that particular issue....
SUCH IS MEMORY LANE!
I have just finished reading the account of the fight between Jack Johnson and Stanley Ketchel in your Oct. 18th issue, which was recently sent to me.
It made me take a long trip down Memory Lane to another Jack Johnson fight in Paris—one which, as the youngest cub correspondent in the A.P. office, I cabled. Two things made this fight memorable. It was the first time the N.Y. cable desk gave me a "by-line" in 1,600 newspapers. The second is quite a yarn.
The fight was held on a Saturday night, June 27, 1914, as the culmination of "La Grand Semaine." Jack won by a KO in the tenth round, but was pretty well carved up. In his dressing room after the fight Jack asked me to come out to his house at Asni√®res and have Sunday dinner with him and his wife—a quiet, bleached-blond, white girl. I tried diplomatically to beg off because I had a ticket to the Grand Prix at Longchamps. No soap! So I went, rehashed every round, ate fried chicken. In the afternoon I left and took the suburban train back to the Gare St. Lazare, where I bought a late afternoon paper to find out whether the bangtail I had my two golden Louis on had won. Imagine my surprise to read that four columns on page one, instead of reporting the Grand Prix, were taken up by the assassination of an insignificant Crown Prince in a little town in the Balkans called Sarajevo. It was important news, it seemed, because Poin-caré had left the Presidential Box at Long-champs even before the running of the Grand Prix, and had returned to the Elysée Palace to call a council of ministers! There was even talk of war. How absurd!
As I walked up the Champs Elysées the Sunday crowds were not strolling along as usual, but were gathered into knots discussing the murder of the Prince. "The excitable French," I thought. But six weeks later, when this tiny cloud, no bigger than a man's hand, had developed into a worldwide thunderclap with "Mobilization Générale des Armées de Terre et de Mer," I looked back with longing to the quiet peaceful Sunday, munching fried chicken with Black Jack in his green garden at Asni√®res. Such is Memory Lane!
Wortman, Barton & Spohn, Inc.
P.S. My bangtail came in last!
I TOOK ADVANTAGE OF YOU
I'm writing this letter to let you know that due to SI alone I spent a thoroughly enjoyable evening Tuesday, Feb. 15 at the gym on SMU's campus in Dallas, Texas, watching the Swedish gymnasts perform.
SI told their tour story in the Jan. 24th issue. In the Feb. 7th issue, in an answer to a 19th HOLE letter, the Swedish gymnasts' tour schedule was printed.
Dallas is 190 miles from here but the closest place the gymnasts were stopping, so I took advantage of this stop and saw them.
Thanks again to SI for helping me widen my first-hand coverage and knowledge of sports. I'm learning of and becoming interested in many more as a result of being a charter member.
JOHN C. PAYNTER
•The Swedish team's highly successful tour ended unhappily when two members were injured in a New York auto crash just before returning home.—ED.
The mail came in last week and along with it six copies of my subscription (given by my brother) of SI. Enjoyable reading out in the blue. I'm stationed on the famous snow-capped Kilimanjaro Mountain (SI, Dec. 6) which is the largest in Africa. We are some 4,800 feet high—on the east side of the mountain, where lesser-known peak Mawenzi stands in all its majestic beauty, some 17,000 feet high. Only experts can climb Mawenzi.
Your Nov. 29th edition was interesting. Being an American, I had watched soccer football played on a few occasions in the States. But here it is the national pastime. The Africans love it—some are really good. All play in their bare feet. Since coming here, I have organized a league—named the Mawenzi League—for our primary schools. At present seven schools participate. Our Middle School is in the District League, which comprises the Secondary and Middle Schools of the Mountain. We are going along fairly well but it's only the beginning. We are trying to get a uniform—especially the jersey—because it's confusing to the players when they wear their khaki clothes. Do you know anyone interested in helping us? We are a small and poor part of the WONDERFUL WORLD OF SPORT. Our young men (married and unmarried) have formed soccer teams also. So you see, sports enter in my missionary work among the Africans.
I am a Catholic priest and a member of the Missionary Congregation of the Holy Ghost, whose members conduct Duquesne University. So I'm a great enthusiast for soccer and I think many Americans will be once they know the game.
THAT GRIM-FACED MAN
Being an avid sports fan I jumped at the opportunity of becoming a charter subscriber to your fine magazine. I have read every issue from cover to cover and have found each one to be jammed with exciting and worth-while material which even surpasses what I expected.
I especially enjoy the expert coverage that you are giving Southern California sports. This is a field which has been lacking in most sports periodicals.
Your issue of Feb. 28 was especially fascinating to me. Hy Peskin's professional basketball photos were superb. Perhaps Hy or another of your fine photogs could make some pictures as a follow-up to A. Ellston Cooper's well-written report on the Indian sport of snow-snake (SI, Feb. 28, N.Y. retail section), another subject that interested me.
I also enjoyed the Perils of Winter Ball. One of Mark Kauffman's pictures shows Willie Miranda after injuring his hand. If my hunch is correct, the grim-faced man standing to Miranda's left is none other than the dynamic and controversial manager of the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League, Bobby Bragan. If my suspicion is approved, please explain what he is doing in Puerto Rico.
P.S. Thanks again for the greatest contribution to sports since Francis Ouimet took the U.S. Open.
•Robert R. Bragan it is. Miranda is a member of Cuba's Almendares Club, which Bragan masterminded this offseason.—ED.
THE MATADOR TAKES OVER
Congratulations on your well-presented and remarkably accurate bullfighting feature, Only the Brave.
I did, however, recoil at author John Stanton's statement that there was one serious goring in every four corridas in Spain last year. Just not so; in 3,304 bullfights there occurred 144 gorings, or one every 23 fights, and many of these wounds, like the one I received, were not classified as "grave."
Now for the real blow-off, leveled not at SI but at its readers who wrote protesting the publication of Only the Brave. Since becoming a professional matador two years ago I have been besmirched, besieged and verbally battered by a horde of indignant American tourists condemning me for "butchering poor little bulls." Ninety per cent of these well-meaning people, like those who wrote to you, have probably never seen a bullfight!
Right here I want to make a point: bull-fighting is probably the most complex, most difficult to understand spectator entertainment in the world today; those who can appreciate and evaluate a torero's performance are as scarce as Madrid taxis on a Sunday afternoon....
For example, a Mr. Thomas Turner wrote you and said, "The bulls don't have a chance...." Mr. Turner, the bulls aren't supposed to have a chance! (I wish John Stanton had emphasized this—it's the point most Americans fail to comprehend.) The bull is as good as dead once it is selected from the pasture for the corrida. Bullfighting is not a contest between a man and an animal to see which will come away alive; the bull always dies. The contest is between man and himself! Anyone can learn how to execute a beautiful veronica with just a few hours' practice, but toss in a live bull and we separate the men from the boys. The element of death must be present to make the matador's effort worthwhile. The bull is simply a necessary "prop"—it just happens to be the only animal on earth which will charge a moving object under punishment until death, i.e., the fighting bull kills purely for the love of killing....
Mr. Turner also made the statement, "Courage? Bullfighters might get killed but they are well paid for the long odds against that possibility." You have been seeing too many Tyrone Power movies, Mr. Turner. Of more than 900 professional toreros in Spain, fewer than 75 have money in the bank. True, there are some very rich ones, but they paid for their wealth with gorings, struggling years in pitiful pueblo fights, hungry days when they put what cash they had into a new sword or capote. I have been fighting two years, can show a net profit of $536 and two leg scars, about par for the course. Well paid for the possibility of being killed, Mr. Turner?
Keep up the good work, SI, but next time you run something about bullfighting, let's get Spain into the act....
HARRY L. WHITNEY
•¬°Viva la Espa√±a!—ED.
Thank you—and Gordon Lewis—for solving my vacation problem. His colorful description of the fishing paradise for Everyman (SI, Jan. 17) sent me to the Florida Keys. Mr. Lewis was so right! I'll read him any time.
North Benton, O.
WAS I THE FIRST?
SI was a Christmas present from my wife and I want to testify that I have enjoyed every copy of it so far.
Do you have any idea when the one-handed shot was first used in basketball? I know it was considered quite a freak shot when I first used it 33 years ago when playing for dear old Otterbein College. It was such a freak shot at the time that my coach (Merlin Ditmer, now deceased) was ready to ban me from the squad but thought otherwise when I scored several game-winning baskets in those low-scoring games of that era.
I developed the shot because at the time I was slight in build and had little chance against those giant squads. As the play unfolded I would break directly toward my guard and then suddenly tear for the right-hand corner and bank it in over his outstretched arms....
I realize that these things are not world-shaking events, but maybe if you print this we can get more information on the subject.
•When Stanford beat NYU 45-42 in a 1937 intersectional game, largely on Hank Luisetti's one-handers, Nat Holman went on record that he would cut off his boys' arms before allowing such a stunt. The one-handed shot was seldom seen in the East. There are no records of the first attempt, but Reader White may safely consider himself a pioneer.—ED.