Managing editor Sidney James recently asked some of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's readers how they felt about continuing J. P. Marquand's Happy Knoll series, perhaps as a permanent feature. Among the replies—almost all strongly in favor—was one from Don Mix of the Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn advertising agency, which went into the question rather deeply:
You asked for my opinion on this fellow Marquand whom you are proposing for permanent membership in the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED club.
I do not know him personally, although a friend of mine who has moved from Pittsburgh to Boston claims to have met him at a party. Since this friend, who is a prince of a guy, has nevertheless been known to drop a name or two, I do not rely too much on his impression of this fellow Marquand, if indeed my friend ever really met him. My wife, who is a regular bookworm, says that she has read practically everything this fellow Marquand ever wrote. She goes on to say that most of his books are best sellers and that he must be worth a mint by now, which is always an advantage in a Permanent Member. No continuous whining for an advance, and that sort of thing, you know.
The fact that his initials are "J.P." is no drawback either, since he may well have some connections with the Morgans. I know there are some people who think that writers who are habitually starving in some garret are inspired to their best. But my personal experience is that a full stomach never interfered with using a typewriter.
September 25, 1955
Furthermore, judging by this fellow Marquand's initial efforts, every one of which I have read with considerable relish, I think you can safely take him on as a regular. His etchings of country club life could not possibly be offensive to any of your readers, since he obviously is writing about the other fellow's country club.
Finally, congratulations on your rapid climb to 600,000 avid followers...and keep up the good work.
Managing Editor James, with the approval of Mr. Mix and an enthusiastic majority of SI readers, has invited Mr. Marquand to permanent SI membership. Right in this week's issue the subject of the moment at Happy Knoll is Old Ned, the bartender, and "Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot?"