FITNESS: FULLHEARTED SUPPORT
Congratulations to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and Bonnie Prudden for such excellent reporting (U.S. Fitness, 1957. SI, Aug. 5).
May I be the first to suggest making Bonnie Prudden Woman of the Year? She is doing something which no politician, statesman, scientist or educator has done: making the people aware of and teaching them the very fundamental needs and requirements of physical education—before pills, vitamins, diets, hospitals, sanitariums, juvenile delinquency courts, reform schools or even prisons have to be applied. Certainly, less of these will be needed if Bonnie can get her points across.
I feel many problems of youth delinquency stem from physical unfitness because of lack of suitable physical education programs. As a physical educator and physiotherapist I am proud to report—thanks to Bonnie Prudden's appearance in our town—that I am conducting a children's and adults' gymnastics program, with full-hearted support of our parents, the athletic club and the recreation committee.
Mrs. HILDE RAFF
I watched and tried Bonnie Prudden's exercises when they were presented on the Home show, and am only waiting until I finish this letter to start on the new series.
August 18, 1957
FITNESS: GOOD USE
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S physical fitness issue is being put to good use in our course, Education 293A—Physical Education in Modern Culture.
C. L. BROWNELL
Dept. of Health, Education and Physical Education
FITNESS: GRAND IDEA
My neighbor and I leave our husbands "baby-sleeping" at 6:30 each morning and take a brisk two-mile hike. It's an exhilarating experience and I honestly have increased my energy to an amazing degree.
To me, this is a grand idea for the city housewife too busy for exercises and frustrating diets.
Mrs. DOUGLAS COOK
FITNESS: MENS SANA...
With Billy Graham to straighten us out spiritually and Bonnie Prudden to straighten us out physically, things are really looking up!
Mrs. DAN HOWE
FITNESS: BEGINS AT HOME
Cheers for your article on physical fitness—plus charts, etc.—by Bonnie Prudden.
I devoted 15 minutes to it on my Let's Chat, a 15-minute women's program aired over WFNC, our Mutual outlet here. Also started the exercises with my 8-year-old!
Really think our country needs a little needling here!
FITNESS: FROM THE EARS DOWN
When are our teacher-training institutions going to begin preparing our future classroom elementary teachers to meet the responsibilities they must face, from the physical fitness standpoint, when they accept positions in our school systems?
Ask the average elementary classroom teacher of an 8-year-old youngster what basic physical skills the child should have at that age level and how she would go about developing those skills. Ask her how she would develop pelvic girdle or shoulder girdle strength in this 8-year-old. She is completely inadequate to the task and will tell you so.
Now, why does she feel so inadequate? Because, aside from making sure the child does not break his neck falling from the slide during recess, she has been trained to view her responsibility as educating the child from the ears up only.
P. A. DISKIN
Las Vegas, Nev.
FITNESS: THE EDUCATED BODY
The University of Pennsylvania, starting before World War I, had for all students a four-year compulsory course in physical education. Since 1952 the program has been reduced to a one year requirement. The original program, developed by the late Dr. R. Tait McKenzie and Dean E. Leroy Mercer, was ideal—but, I regret to report, it was many years ahead of student and public appreciation.
One hope and perhaps the solution for a better physically fit America: that all colleges and universities require for entrance physical education credits as they now do in English, history, mathematics, etc.
Dept. of Physical Education
U. of Pennsylvania
HOTBOX: LOVE IN A COLD CLIMATE
So the consensus of opinion on your question of whether Los Angeles would support a major league team (HOTBOX, SI, Aug. 5) is that a winner would be supported, a loser would not. Well, bully for Los Angeles!
In order to achieve the honor of including the great metropolis of Los Angeles among the major league baseball cities, let us change the rules to permit moving the pennant-winning ball club of the previous season to Los Angeles, so that the favored citizens of the new smog center of America won't have to peer through the murky atmosphere at a second-division ball club for even a single season.
As a supporter of a second-division team for nearly 10 years I am burned up by the Los Angeles front-runner attitude.
HOTBOX: "CAVEAT EMPTOR"
I think that it behooves Mr. O'Malley to lend an attentive ear to the vox populi of the Los Angeles area and be warned that he is not walking into a land of milk and honey and sweetness and light but will have more than his share of trials and tribulations.
IT AIN'T FUNNY
In the August 5th issue we came across a cartoon of a judge telling a law violater that if he is brought before the court once more he will be sentenced to three days in Griffith Stadium. Now I might be taking the joke the wrong way, but I am a fan of the Washington ball club and, if the cartoon was supposed to be a quiet insult to the Senators, I don't think it was called for at all.
If the joke had been printed at the beginning of the season, when Washington was in the middle of a losing streak, I might have laughed at it. But right now, when the team seems to be finding itself and playing very good ball, I think the man who wrote the joke ought to be fired. With Roy Sievers at his peak, Jim Lemon going strong and with Ed Yost back in the lineup slugging again, you can sentence us all to Griffith Stadium for the rest of the year.
THE REAL RICHARDS
Congratulations to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and Les Woodcock for the fine article on Paul Richards and his Baltimore Orioles, (The Makeshift Marvels, SI, July 29). The public of Baltimore could use someone like Mr. Woodcock to show them what kind of a man Richards really is. I, for one, am tired of reading the trash that has been coming out in the Baltimore papers regarding him.
Quite a bit of the dirt which has been spread about Mr. Richards has turned some of his most ardent fans against him. Your story will send many people back on his band wagon.
I'm sure that in Paul Richards we have one of the best managers in baseball. However, we feel even better when we are backed by such sports authorities as you.
FITNESS: IN DEFENSE OF DAD
This letter is being written of my own volition, unknown to Dad [Dr. Shane MacCarthy, Executive Director of the President's Council of Youth Fitness].
Your publisher, Mr. Harry Phillips, said in his memo of Aug. 5, "the pace [of solutions to the physical fitness problem] has been slow, marked by intermissions which at times suggested the whole thing was about to be filed in a time capsule."
One reason why you haven't seen any electrifying results is because while Dad has encountered countless hordes of rapt listeners, they all go away with a "gee, it's interesting stuff, but it doesn't apply to me" feeling.
Dorothy Stull, in her very well-written and logically presented article, A Measure of Fitness, comments that many of Dad's listeners "have been bewildered and frustrated by his failure to offer specific recommendations." But this "fitness" concept is a new gun which never before has been used on a nationwide scale and Dad would be foolish to fire it point-blank without first learning about its mechanism and range.
SHANE MACCARTHY JR.
•Apprised by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED of this letter from his son (who is a 19-year-old sophomore at Holy Cross), Shane Sr. was as pleased with the sentiments as he was surprised at their being expressed at all.—ED.
FITNESS: INVOLUNTARY OMISSION
NOTED LOUISIANA WAS NOT LISTED IN THE STATE-BY-STATE REPORT ON ACTION IN BEHALF OF FITNESS. STATE COLLEGES HELD SEMINARS LAST SPRING WITH PHYSICAL FITNESS MAINTAINED, ALL ATHLETIC PROGRAMS THROUGHOUT THE STATE EXPANDING RAPIDLY. PHYSICAL EDUCATION SHOWING INCREASE IN SCHOOL SYSTEMS BUT STILL A STEPCHILD TO ATHLETICS, SCHOOL BOARD STARTING TO RECOGNIZE VALUE OF SOUND PHYSICAL EDUCATION DEPARTMENTS IN SCHOOLS, MINIMUM PHYSICAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS TWO HOURS PER WEEK.
Louisiana Assoc, of Health,
Physical Education and Recreation
•SPORTS ILLUSTRATED regrets this inadvertent omission due to a delayed report. Louisiana has a well-defined physical fitness program in its public school system that starts in the first grade and runs through high school. Many schools have gone far beyond minimum requirements to include intramural athletic competition, added calisthenics and gymnastics. Shelby Jackson, state superintendent of education, believes that Louisiana has expanded and improved its physical education programs continuously since they were made a mandatory part of public education in 1936.—ED.