THE DIFFERENCE OF A YEAR
In one of your first issues you carried a story on Stan Sayres and Seattle's great Gold Cup competition (SI, Aug. 23, '54). Now, almost exactly a year later, you have a preview and coverage of the same event. In my opinion the difference between those two stories is the history of the development of a great magazine.
In your first story you obviously bought a one-sided version from Mr. Sayres or his publicity people. You implied he designed the Slo-Mos, and when you mentioned Ted Jones's name at all you called him a driver.
Your August 8 preview and your August 15 coverage together add up to a magnificent, balanced and quite spectacular description of one of our really great national sporting events. Your color was superb; the Ted Jones profile was a brave attempt to portray a subject who somehow gets people's backs up. The description of the race was the best published anywhere. Obviously you were there and you were there with a man who knows his stuff and who can report as well as write. Altogether I am happy with SI, but don't let that go to your collective heads, because I expect even more this year than I got last year. You apparently have the writers, the reporters, the photographers and the technicians. It's now up to you to dig, dig, dig, and never be satisfied with the obvious, the stale and the cliché. Towards that difficult goal you have made a very fine start.
•At the start of its second year SI hereby promises to "dig, dig, dig, and never be satisfied with the obvious, the stale and the cliché," and never to overestimate the reader's knowledge or underestimate his intelligence.—ED.
RETURN OF THE NATIVE
The Gold Cup story was wonderful. The race has really done something to Seattle, thanks to Stan Sayres and Ted Jones.
Detroit won't hold the Gold Cup for long. One of our boats will bring it home for us next summer. It belongs here.
THE NOBLEST PART REGAINED
SI and Reginald Wells did a beautiful job on the thrills of hunting with the longbow (SI, Aug. 8). Here in Westchester County we have a season for hunting deer with bow and arrow, and I have never before experienced such pleasure. It revives one of the oldest and noblest aspects of hunting: the ability to stalk your game. Deer are unbelievably sensitive to noise, and to come within range of the animal after hours of painstaking watching and moving is a greater thrill than bagging your buck. Unfortunately this most honored and difficult part of the hunt has become lost with the high-powered cartridge and telescopic-sight rifle. Nowadays any idiot butcher can slaughter an animal he hardly even sees, and more's the pity.
BUT DO THEY TAKE THE TROUBLE?
Yes, the Robin Hoods are out in force, and you should see the horrifying results. Ranger friends of mine tell me the local forest areas are reeking with blood trails of desperately wounded deer and of the small and harmless black bear of this region. The vast majority of these ardent bowmen can't get close enough to a quarry for a humane killing, so they let fly anyway. As an old-time target archer I deplore this new day of torture. Years ago my novelist friend Stewart Edward White went lion hunting in Africa with the longbow. It took 18 arrows to finish the first lion. The experience sickened White so that he died soon after. Let's hope the same thing happens to today's butchers.
AFTER THE BALL
Congratulations to Mark Kauffman for a wonderful picture story on the Cincinnati Redlegs on tour (SI, Aug. 8). After a three months' diet of ballplayers slugging, fielding, falling down and standing on their heads, it is good to see them pictured as human beings, subject to the same boredom, routine and small miseries that we ordinary humans endure. Incidentally, if this side of the majors were better known, I wonder how many young men would hesitate twice before trying for a baseball career. The small-time one-night-stand vaudevillians of my era lived no better.
LET'S GIVE HIM A BIG PAW
Please forward this to Neptune!
I'm certain you individually deserve all the praise The Word heaps upon you, since keen intelligence, strong heart and love of water are just the characteristics you expect to find in a Chesapeake. However, you are the first doggone one I've ever heard of earning his rations by taking pen in paw and giving the reading public a dog's-eye view of this yachting business (SI, Aug. 8).
VACHEL A. DOWNES JR.
American Chesapeake Club
•Neptune was greatly impressed with Mr. Downes's letter, as he has always considered the American Chesapeake Club the Happy Knoll of his set; and he said he would like it to be known that he wrote on a typewriter, being unable to hold a pen in either paw after The Word had spread them out like Chinese fans to show off his webbing.—ED.
My wife thinks she can sympathize with Neptune (SI, Aug. 8). Last January I ordered a kit for an 8-foot pram. "Ten to 15 hours construction time," says the catalogue. Six months later it came out of the basement and into the water as a rowboat. Another six weeks provided the necessary equipment for a sailing pram.
The coup de gr√¢ce, though, was naming her Mary Ann after my wife, and keeping it a secret until launching time. Now my wife says, "I almost wish you had named it for someone else—so I could keep on griping."
DAVID T. ROBINSON
BETWEEN US GIRLS
In answer to Janet Hobbs's letter (19TH HOLE, Aug. 15)—I say phooey!
First of all, Swaps is not just a local hero, but a national hero.
Second, is the best horse supposed to win a race, or the horse with the most glamorous owner?
Third, no matter what Swaps may look like (and I disagree heartily with Miss Hobbs's description), he's one heck of a good horse.
Fourth, Swaps certainly did not fail against Nashua in the Kentucky Derby.
Fifth, I don't know or care why Mrs. Woodward wore the same dress twice, but after August 31, in the world of horses, no one will be talking of anything but Swaps's second victory over Nashua!
Finally, don't underrate the West in any way—it's just as good or better than the East any time!
PUT UP OR SHUT UP
HOTBOX (July 18) contains an offer by a Mr. Harry Tucker, of New York, identified as a "horseman and stockbroker," to put up $1,000 on Swaps in the event of a match race between Swaps and Nashua.
I happen to be a member of the opposite camp. Would you be good enough to tell Mr. Tucker that I will take a hundred dollars' worth of that rash money?
FREEMAN NAPIER JELKS JR.
•Like Mr. Jelks, Mr. Carl Adams of New York has indicated that he will take $100. And Mr. Brian A. Miller of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan will take a thousand. To all three, Mr. Tucker says, "It's a bet."—ED.
While enjoying reading through the Aug. 8 issue of SI, I ran across your article titled Sailor in the Treetop concerning that lumberjack—Danny Sailor of British Columbia. I can wholeheartedly agree with your article in that he is the world champion and has run completely out of competition—in other words, he's sensational.
I noticed that you failed to use any photos. May I offer the enclosed snapshot? (See cut). I'm sure that other SI readers would be interested.
Fort Bragg, Calif.
IT'S ABOUT TIME
It is about time that the idea of the Olympics was reiterated (SI, Aug. 8) for the benefit of sports fans (and newspapermen) in the United States. A contest of this nature (or any nature) should definitely not be distorted into any kind of maneuvering for political gain! I have been sickened and disappointed by articles and publicity releases urging changes in the training of our amateur athletes—changes thought up solely to build up our Olympic teams so we can prove to the rest of the world that we are as supreme in sports as we think we are in other aspects of international life.
ANNE M. STADLER
TOWARD THE TRUE SPIRIT
Congratulations on Dr. Charles A. Bucher's Are We Losing the Olympic Ideal?
Here's hoping that SI in 1956 will set the example for all U.S. publications by not once mentioning point scores or national prestige, strength and honor. Stress the individual performance; ignore the nation. Perhaps even Russia will eventually tire of nationalistic sports ballyhoo that goes unanswered, and the games will again reflect their true spirit and tradition.
JOHN M. BLATT
RELAX WITH A HARD HANDSHAKE
I was highly impressed and greatly refreshed to see Dr. Bucher's article, Are We Losing the Olympic Ideal?, presented in SI Aug. 8. It was written in honesty and in a spirit of undiluted and uncompromising fellowship.
It is very rare these days for an article to be found concerning the Olympics—or anything else for that matter—that isn't saturated with propaganda and selling only hate.
If there is anything that can bring about the relaxing of tensions between Russia and the United States it is individual understanding—the kind that comes with a hard handshake after competition.
By presenting Dr. Charles A. Bucher's article, SI has proved to me that it has the spark of real sportsmanship.
CADET ROBERT G. MURCH
LOVE IN MILWAUKEE
After reading Reader Lorenz's letter (19TH HOLE, Aug. 8), I feel prompted to speak a word of praise to SI and a word of defense for Milwaukee. If said reader should grace our town again, we shall have him walk the plank into the foam at the Schlitz brewery. The only thing we lack here is the lass on the Aug. 8 cover of SI.
As a new resident (√† la Reader Lorenz) I feel fully justified in answering the injustice he has done to one of our most sacred institutions: the Pride of Our Town. Having come from the Philadelphia area four months ago, I too see Milwaukee in a different light than a native son. I also recall that the parts I came from were the breeding place of Kansas' Pride: the A's. I left when they did.
Milwaukee is just like any other sports-minded area: in love. Is not love the only reason behind sport? Perhaps our ways of showing sentiment for the Braves seem slightly gauche to others, but when two objects are in love, well, a slight dizziness is inevitable in the initial period.
LUCK IN PRAIRIE VILLAGE
It took over 500 words for Larry Lorenz to say Milwaukeeans love beer, baseball and nothing else.
How lucky the folks in Prairie Village, Kan. (Lorenz's present home) are to have this aesthetic individual around.
LOVE AMONG THE ORIOLES
It's pretty easy to be a "baseball town" when you inherit a pennant contender, as Milwaukee did. It's a lot tougher here, but Baltimore does it, all the same.
RAYMOND H. GAMEWELL
SHAGGY COW STORY
Frank (Bow-Tie) Walsh (SI, Aug. 8) is also a master punster.
Once, back in '48, Walsh sought to publicize San Francisco's Cow Palace as a collegiate basketball arena. He fashioned a bow tie out of an honest-to-gosh piece of cowhide (hair and all). This prompted an awe-struck sports editor (Walt Gamage of the Palo Alto Times) to inquire about Walsh's unique collection.
"Oh, this isn't my only bow tie," the ruddy-cheeked Walsh exclaimed, preening his cowhide masterpiece.
"I have an udder one at home!"
M. W. WELDS
I am intrigued by Gene Andersen's tips in TIP FROM THE TOP (SI, July 18). Where do you get a one-and-a-half-wood, a five wood, and a seven-wood? I seem to fit the category.
•Among the pros that sell these clubs are Ben Hogan (The Ben Hogan Co., Pafford St., Fort Worth, Texas); Spencer Murphy (Glen Oaks Country Club, Little Neck, N.Y.) and Stan Thompson (Stan Thompson Golf Club Co., 275 South La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, Calif.)—ED.
OH HAPPY, HAPPY KNOLL
To hook a tuna from the sea,
To ride to hounds o'er the lea,
To trap a tiger in a far countree—
Nay, none of these appeal to me,
But a Happy Knoller would I be.
•To hook a shot right off the tee,
To ride electric vehicles wee,
To trap—in sand; so wishes he.
Such things we can provide for free—A Happy Knoller he shall be.—ED.
As a member of the younger generation, I realize that the recent coming-out party for Alicia Bledsoe will add many obstacles to the granting of my request. But let's hope Mr. Bledsoe paid for the breakage and I get my card.
•Anticipating Mr. Bledsoe's rescue of the good name of the younger set, Mr. Keim is Happy Knoll guest No. 364.—ED.
A PROTEST FROM HARD HOLLOW
As self-elected Chairman of the Membership Committee of the Hard Hollow Country Club, it is my duty to register a protest against the deplorable recruiting campaign which the Happy Knoll people are waging through your magazine.
From the beginning we at Hard Hollow have been embarrassed by this whole nasty business and we hoped it would die of itself if we simply ignored it. But now, with the Aug. 8 tally showing 68 new members for Happy Knoll (and Happy Knoll, let me assure you, is welcome to them), we feel it is time to set the record straight.
We at the Hollow have been aware of the Knoll's financial stress for some time now (in fact, it's a standing joke around here), but we never suspected it had reached such desperate extremes as to drive them to solicit members through the pages of a national magazine. Considering the caliber of membership such a campaign must yield, it is small wonder indeed that gatherings on the order of Miss Bledsoe's party occur with appalling regularity at Happy Knoll. (Her father, you know, couldn't make it here at Hard Hollow. Nothing against him, of course, but there you are.)
As for Mr. Lawton's gross misrepresentations about the Hollow, I shall not dignify them with replies except to point out that the "unprofitable" hours he admits to having spent with several of our members probably had reference to the times he has unsuccessfully tried to solicit the advertising accounts of two of our members. His allegation that the Happy Knoll membership roster shows more bankers than Hard Hollow's is likewise unworthy of reply; I merely mention that three of their "bankers" are no more than suburban branch managers, and that two who hold midtown positions are only vice presidents.
We were shocked, as no doubt you were, at Mr. Lawton's reference to Cadillac counting. It shows just the sort of ostentatious (I shan't use the word "vulgar") display of recently acquired means they go in for over there. In this connection, Mr. Lawton's letter conspicuously failed to mention that our parking lot at Hard Hollow not only is graced with two Jaguars, a Mercedes and a Rolls-Royce—but that we even have a member who is actually thinking of buying a Bentley!
I trust that this letter will dispose forevermore of the Knoll's shoddy recruiting campaign, and that write-in applications for membership in the Knoll will be handled according to established procedure in the future. And if you should receive any applications for membership in Hard Hollow, be so kind as to refer the names to me AIR MAIL SPECIAL DELIVERY.
RODNEY D. MOFFETT
•For a hopeful candidate, see next letter.—ED.
WE AIN'T LIKE THEM
Any fool can see by the letters youse has been getting from them people thats trying to get in at happi knoll is illetrate and so me and the missus and kids wood like to get a family membership at Hard Hollow; both of us and even our kids aint like them people that cuts up good rugs and pushes people in swimming pools and all that their kind of stuff if you get what I meen. so let us start the new trend to that reeal nice Hard Hollow and tri and Be a little bit more careful about the folks who you let in. don't worry about me. i Can supply references if you need them.
•References should be sended to Mr. Moffett.—ED.
MY GOLFING (UGH) HUSBAND
Having read several of your recent applications for membership cards in Happy Knoll Country Club, I would like to apply for membership for my husband, Norman Fowler.
The primary reason for this urgent request is to solve several of our family problems. My husband, being a great golf enthusiast (ugh), spends most of his weekends on various public golf courses.
He claims if he belonged to a private club he would not only get through playing sooner, but his score would be considerably lower, since he would not have to wait at each tee and watch the other players' mistakes, which he naturally adds to those he already makes.
Also, with this membership card, I certainly would not be able to complain of boredom since your entertainments at the Club sound most interesting. I am sure this club will be a blessing for many of us "golf widows."
MRS. NORMAN FOWLER