HOW COULD YOU?
I've just finished reading this article on Woody Hayes (The Ohio State Story, Oct. 24), and I am absolutely disgusted. I just don't see how you could print such utter trash about one of the greatest coaches. It's downright malicious.
I've been with this man now for two football seasons and have found him to be a hard-working and determined coach. Of course he might lose his temper once in a while, but who doesn't?
I think a rhetorical letter should be written immediately and also I think apologies are in order for misinterpreting Mr. Hayes's private and public life.
As the sports editor of the Ohio State campus daily newspaper and as a charter subscriber to SI, I feel I have the right to criticize The Ohio State Story.
November 7, 1955
We agree that 8 million fans do not have the right to demand the kind of football team that they want, but we do not think that there is one single answer to that kind of demand anyway.
If you call this article (which I believe was well written) revealingly reported, I have to disagree. I hate to say this, but SI has dropped a notch in our book because of it. I think I can say as much for many Columbusites, including the downtown second guessers.
I would like to congratulate Mr. Shaplen on a fine piece of journalism, even though we can't completely see eye to eye.
Ohio State Lantern
WHAT IS THERE TO BE ASHAMED OF?
I see nothing to be ashamed of in the fact that people want to attend Ohio State football games in numbers bettering 80,000 every Saturday. That is a tribute to the type of play consistently exhibited and, I might add, in lean or good years the fans turn out. We do not need a winner to have that interest.
Coach Hayes, although too frank at times, is a hard-working, sincere and dedicated man whom any organization would be proud to have as an executive.
The football players your writer chose to quote never had enough time on the playing fields at OSU to talk authoritatively on the subject—sour grapes always come from those. Better listen to a satisfied customer like the scrappy little redhead, Mr. Cassady. Ohio State has won, and probably always will win, their share of football games due to the fact that our high school football teams turn out the finest material in the country. That is why Ohio State fans think we should win them all.
JOHN E. CRISS JR.
REVERBERATIONS: SECOND THOUGHTS
My humble hat is off to you.
I've read your Hayes piece twice since getting it this noon. What the Hayes office and other OSU departments may think is incidental.
My own opinion is that you handled a very sensitive subject sensibly. It was critical with good taste; a censure of Columbus as much as one of Hayes.
More important, perhaps, is that you captured Hayes's uncommon personality perfectly.
REVERBERATION HERE SO GREAT MY POSITION WOULD NOT BE ENHANCED BY YOUR USE OF MY NAME.
SAME NAME WITHHELD
A good article—well observed and alive with good reporting.
Your research was penetrating—yet you were selective in a kind way.
•Mr. Hayes, cousin of Ohio State Coach Hayes, writes a general column in the Citizen—ED.
BRICKBATS WITH LOVE
Thank you for an excellent article on Ohio State, Woody Hayes and the "armchair quarterbacks" who have been mistreating Ohio State coaches for years. These fans ought to get a few cheers for at least showing interest and undying love for the Buckeyes. The hooplah these fans express toward the team is actually their way of showing fondness for the State of Ohio, the Ohio State University and the team itself. It's pretty hard to get steamed up over the university graduating a good crop of dental students or the state's axle mile tax, but yelling, "Go, go, go" at a radio account of an 85-yard run by Hoppy comes easily, with no end of satisfaction. It is a pity the coach must stand in the way of flying brickbats, but at least it's meant well.
EXIT WITH HOWLS
The story definitely conveys the thought that the coaching turnover at Ohio State has been caused by excessive pressure from self-styled quarterback societies in the Columbus area. Robert Shaplen points out that there have been five coaches since the demise of Francis Schmidt.
In fairness to the coaches, the university, the alumni and those who have adopted Ohio State, I feel that Mr. Shaplen should have detailed the departures of Woody Hayes's four predecessors since 1941. Take Paul Brown. He coached Ohio State to a national and Big Ten championship in 1942. In 1943 he lost that team to the various military arms and came up with a losing season. Upon completion of that season he went into the Navy, coaching at Great Lakes. There was no pressure or firing there. Carroll Widdoes, his able assistant coach, took over, supposedly for the duration until Brown would return. He had an undefeated team in 1944, composed mainly of freshmen and one brilliant veteran, Leslie Horvath. He was named coach of the year. After the 1945 season, a season of seven wins and two defeats, Widdoes stepped down to assistant, allowing Paul Bixler, another Brown product, a crack at the head coaching job. Widdoes never really wanted the head coaching spot, but stepped in to help out.
As for Bixler, his team didn't come through, and there was considerable howling for his removal. He beat the howls and left. After Bixler came Wesley Fesler. He took Ohio State to a divided championship with Michigan in 1949 and the Rose Bowl, gaining a 17-14 win over California. He left because of pressure in 1950 after a 6-3 season. The pressure certainly was a factor in the resignations of Bixler and Fesler. But it seems as though there were other reasons for Brown and Widdoes. I agree that the tremendous pressure for winning does exist in Columbus. I lived there practically all my life and grew up with it and that intense desire for winning. I won't attempt to argue the merits of this point. However I do feel, in all my years of being associated with Ohio State University and following their football fortunes, that the pressure that annually builds up is traceable to the numerous self-styled quarterback clubs and an overly critical press that has tried to captain the Ohio State football team in more ways than one.
I enjoyed your article on Ohio State football very much but I believe it was sized up much more tersely by some gentleman behind me at the OSU-Duke game.
After the half-time ceremonies when the band put on its usual marvelous performance and after the nasty boys from Duke had made a sieve of the Ohio pass defense and had done almost the same or worse to the line, this rooter came up with "Boy, am I glad that Woody doesn't coach the band."
ROBT. E. FITZSIMONS
Just read your article about Woody Hayes and the OSU "do-or-die" dynasty. How very true are the words you speak. We lived in Columbus during the years of 1952 and '53.
And then in September of 1954 we moved to the home of Michigan State. Although '54 was a rather poor season for Duffy Daugherty and his team, never once did I hear anything but praise for that team and its coaches. Everyone felt that they were doing their best. Now this year Michigan State is enjoying a better football year. Believe me, it's wonderful to see football fans that are just as gracious in victory as they were in defeat. In this part of the country you will find wholehearted support for MSU and Duffy Daugherty from a unique type of fan that loves the football scene—win or lose.
East Lansing, Mich.
IF HE IS RIGHT...
Coach Hayes seems to feel that in producing a group of all-conquering heroes, he must throw out everything of value in the great game of football. He seems to believe that to win, a coach must harangue, and that it is a very minor detail if playing becomes a chore.
If I thought this were true, I would no longer aspire to coach football. It would be an extremely worthless game. If a coach must boss, instead of lead, to win, then I believe that he must of necessity throw out any idea of teaching such values of cooperation, loyalty and a good attitude, to mention just a few educational qualities in football.
If Coach Hayes is right in his ideas, then football has no place in an educational institution.
THE OLD AND FAMOUS RACES
The Greater New York Association is, I believe, going to build a dream track (SI, April 21) and they want the public's opinion and suggestions. This is all well and good. But, if they discontinue using one or more of the tracks, what is going to happen to the old and famous races that have been run there and other places for so many years? It is my opinion that they should be continued and not lose their stature to any new and richer races.
•The new association plans to maintain all of the old and famous stakes in their proper tradition. The history of racing shows many a precedent: the Belmont Stakes, today regarded as a prestige race for 3-year-olds, was first run at Jerome Park from 1867 to 1889, then moved to Morris Park and finally assigned to Belmont Park when that track opened in 1905.—ED.
CHACE'S BETTER WORLD
It's a great day for me when a clever boy like Chace will give those "wants pawn term" stories. I loved "Ladle Rat Rotten Hut" (E & D, Aug. 16, 1954) and wore my copy to shreds reading it to myself and other people.
I howled with glee when I read about "oiled Former Huskings and Violate" (E & D, Oct. 24). It amuses me beyond words to see what Chace can do with our language, and underneath it all there's the real story. He knows very well this world would be a better place if more fodders would say to der ladle dodders: "gad offer debt cheer an maker bets an washer dashes so yer tarred oiled mudder vont half toe." This story touches my heartstrings.
CHILL DENS OUR
Henry gourds tojour Chess starry, Eye zinc ithica sham two put cheer zing leash land witch sway. Sap oar eggs ample two hour ladle kits hoo reed cheer maggot zing, lettuce chews butter litter hairy riding inca few chair.
FRANK A. ZIMMER
I was interested in the article T.R.'s Cabin Door appearing in Oct. 24 issue of SI. This stated that the picture of that name had disappeared from sight and had only recently reappeared.
Over 20 years ago I visited Chattanooga, Tennessee and used the Read House as headquarters. What purported to be the original of this picture was prominently displayed in the lobby and they gave away excellent postal card reproductions of same.
As your article does not say where the picture was located, I am wondering if it disappeared before or after that time.
•LaBarre Goodwin painted four versions: Huntsman's Door, the picture Mr. Wilson recalls seeing at the Read House, was given to the George Thomas Art gallery in Chattanooga by the Read family 10 years ago. Another version, Hunter's Equipment, with an added pair of boots and a pouch, is in the Springfield, Mass. museum. A third version, Still Life, hangs in the lobby of the Hotel Pfister in Milwaukee. SI's reproduction of Theodore Roosevelt's Cabin Door was made from the privately owned fourth version.—ED.
I tried to get by with an individual application for membership to the Happy Knoll Country Club, but Jenny, Mike, Julie, Karen and Nancy insisted on like memberships. Enclosed is my check for $6.00 for the U.S. Olympic Fund.
Best wishes for the success of the Olympic Fund Drive.
JOHN F. KILKENNY
•Happy Knoll welcomes the Kilkenny family, as well as Messrs. Christensen, Bethesda, Md.; Cracknell, Calcutta, India; Seibel, Homestead, Pa.; Laird, Wilmington, Del. and Mrs. Ford of Los Altos, Cal., to mention only a few of Happy Knoll's new paying guests whose contributions have gone into the Olympic Fund this week.—ED.
THE POWER OF FISH
While reading Kings In A Cauldron by William Worden (SI, Sept. 26) I was taken more completely back to my childhood and young manhood than probably ever before.
By transposing the setting to St. Lucie Inlet off Stuart, Florida and using the blue-fish as the subject, the story could read quite the same in the effect that the fish has over the power of reasoning or common sense, or lack of it, in the fisherman.
St. Lucie Inlet is much the same as the one described by Mr. Worden near West-port, Washington in that it has a particularly dangerous reef guarding it from the ocean and a maze of sandbars and eddies inside the reef, with a rock jetty guarding the northern or port side as you head for the ocean. This adds up to one of the most beautiful places in nice weather.
But I have ridden with my dad across this no man's land on full ebb tide with the wind from the ocean on hundreds of occasions when, I am sure, God provided my father with the instinct to react in such a way as to counteract the fury of the elements. He, an expert who had a gift for making the most difficult situations look rather easy, nonetheless provided me with quite a few anxious moments in crossing.
There were numerous times when the weekend sports in boats much smaller and not nearly so well equipped as ours ignored the sound advice of the experts of the area and ventured into the worst of it. Needless to say, there were those whose bodies have never been recovered. The amazing fact is that most of them return.
Thanks again to Mr. Worden for a few wonderful moments of reading and to SI in general for many, many hours of most pleasant enjoyment.
THE LEGAL ELIMINATION OF DEATH
Those of us who drive small sports cars have come to realize, through frightening personal experience or an intuitive Moment of Truth, the value of your cogent advice in the account of James Dean's tragic death (E & D, Oct. 17).
Countless more motorists, driving cars of every description, will draw an additional warning: the use of the left turn on a speedway, without which this tragedy would not have occurred, is as outmoded as the planetary transmission, but eminently more deadly.
Perhaps the needlessness of the death of a promising young actor will make even a posthumous contribution to the driving he loved, by speeding the day when the left turn across a high-speed traffic artery will be given the legal elimination it has so long deserved.
J. DONALD BRANDT
AS QUINTILIAN HAD IT
Whether we're gangsters or priests, all of us have a secret yearning to have sportsman put in apposition with our names. My only claim to the name of sportsman is that I am a charter subscriber to SI, wherein I was delighted to read about that great Sherpa sportsman, Tenzing Norgay, whom I visited in Holy Family Hospital, Patna City, Bihar, India on Christmas afternoon, 1952. Tenzing had contracted fever climbing up within 800 meters of the top of Everest with the famous Swiss mountaineer, Raymond Lambert.
But has any sportsman directed your attention, as I have that of my composition class at Creighton University, to the pieces of excellent English prose occasionally found in SI? I just read "Hero," the Johnny Podres piece in EVENTS & DISCOVERIES (SI, Oct. 17) to my class of nurses as an example of what an "A" theme is like. We also took time to study the excellent introduction to Best of Two Worlds (SI, Oct 17), wherein the scholarly president of Yale University showed how "reddere auditores attentos, benevolos et dociles," just as Quintilian would have it. Good English prose is where you find it.
PAUL F. SMITH, S. J.
I noticed the merman cartoon by Chon Day (SI, Oct. 24) and I am still laughing. I guess I just happen to be crazy about Chon Day's cartoons, but I think it's one of the funniest ones you've ever run.
How about some more of Day's stuff?
•What Price Dory?, a collection of Chon Day cartoons and Alfred Loomis witticisms, will appear November 7, published by Gilbert Press, Inc.—ED.
Paul O'Neil, raking the autumn leaves of U.S.A. '55 (SI, Oct. 3), has deplorably avoided the gutters of New York. It may be true that for many fall is haunted by "the old voyageurs, or...wagon trains, grinding west to Oregon," but to many more, those of us who portage the rapids of lunchtime shoppers and whose underground wagon train grinds ever so laboriously home each night, autumn is too wonderful a time of year ever to waste on the countryside. Autumn belongs to the city. I am sure America is dotted with worthy urban areas, but when I say the city I mean, of course, New York. In September the city comes to life. Summer evacuees, no sooner over the dusty thresholds of their apartments, jump to their telephones, and friends, scattered by the summer sun, joyfully reunite in massed ranks as one cocktail party succeeds another. Once more each morning the sidewalks are dotted with children back from camp, mountains and seashore, who hop, skip and jump their way to school or coagulate at corners waiting for the school bus.
Like the lamplighters of old, theatrical producers touch the dark marquees of Broadway and the names of new plays and old stars light up the autumn sky (alas, only too often to be extinguished by critics whose days in the sun have not mellowed their opinions). Carnegie Hall, the summer habitat of evangelical vegetarians and suspect healers, once more becomes the showcase of the world's greatest musicians. The antique shops of 57th Street, the most elegant thoroughfare in the world, gleam with the colors of every contemporary and old master, with Meissen, Spode, and Sevres china from the tables of tycoons and princes, with Marie Antoinette's boudoirs, George the Third's libraries and Queen Anne's silver chests. Fifth Avenue's fashion windows—which clothed us in fall black as early as July—now point the way to the Caribbean, to Mexico, to the Riviera.
The city, as monumentally lifeless in summer as ruins in the Haitian jungle, sparkles, glistens and breathes life without compare into its citizens, who swarm over the scaffolding of new office buildings, new apartment houses, new museums, who happily buffet their way from street to street, fill a thousand aromatic restaurants, drink a thousand gallons of gin at lunch, deal with a thousand bad-tempered cab drivers, a thousand traffic tickets, the thousands and thousands of little pleasures, excitements and disappointments that make fall, New York, the most wonderful season in the most wonderful of all possible worlds. Try it some time, Mr. O'Neil.
•O'Neil, who will try anything once—and meant no slight to the big city—has penitentially sent out for a thousand gallons of gin, fully expects to sparkle, glisten, happily buffet his way from street to street, swarm over the scaffolding of new buildings, and end the season as monumentally lifeless as a ruin in the Haitian jungle.—ED.