In the course of traveling around the country during the first 15 months of our existence I've had many chances to hear attitudes toward SPORTS ILLUSTRATED expressed in person. One that has always interested me is that of the young people—possibly because the younger generation makes a critical examination before it passes judgment.
As a case in point I think of an experience I recently had when I went to dinner at the home of an old friend. He introduced me to his two teen-age sons as the publisher of this magazine. A few minutes later they appeared with a copy of SI opened to this department. "Would you mind writing your name, Mr. Phillips?" one asked. I'm afraid I approached the situation with rather embarrassed pride at being asked for my autograph.
I learned my lesson fast. It wasn't the autograph they wanted. They were simply testing my authenticity, and fortunately I did manage to match the signature below.
Aside from my own personal experience, let me cite here just three examples from among the many letters we have received which reveal the loyalty that SI inspires among its younger readers.
October 31, 1955
From Camp Orinsekwa in Niverville, N.Y., Mr. I. A. Rosenthal writes: "Each summer we conduct a celebrity poll. This summer, after one year of existence, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED reached the distinction, in our organization, of being one of the two most popular magazines. Our boys range from 6 to 17, and you'd be amazed at the many, many copies of each issue that come to camp from the boys' winter homes."
From Miss Carolyn Gale in Fairbanks, Alaska: "We Alaskans think your magazine is fabulous. It certainly appeals to all ages. My brother who is 18, and I, 16 years old, enjoy it as much as our parents or 11-year-old sister."
From Washington, D.C., Mr. Donald Clemmer says: "Like many another father, I am sure, I subscribed to SI not only for myself but also for my son. My boy and I have read and discussed every issue. Coming into our home each week, the magazine has given us in subtle ways a 'oneness' that might not have been so easily possible in the relationship between a busy and not-always-patient father and a rambunctious 16-year-old. Thanks for that!"