1960 OLYMPICS: CONTRIBUTIONS
Enclosed is a small contribution to the Santa Clara Valley Youth Village fund (19TH HOLE, Jan. 13), with congratulations to Father Schmidt and the Village for instituting a dynamic program to revive middle-distance running in this country.
A program of this sort could be the answer of a free-enterprise system to state-supported athletes of Communist countries.
With the help of Coach Igloi and Runner Laszlo Tabori, the Village experiment should prove that amateur runners can still hold their own in international competition.
GLYNN L. WOOD
2nd Lieut., USMC
Beaufort, South Carolina
I am very happy to learn that Tabori and Igloi have been offered a home with the Santa Clara Valley organization. Please forward this small check to further the purpose of this fine group.
New York City
•The contributions of Lieut. Wood and Mr. Shearson have been forwarded to the Santa Clara Valley Youth Village to be used in the development of its track team.—ED.
TV BROADCASTS: SOUND AND FURY
Your reflections on Van Patrick's reporting of the professional football championship game were superb (E&D, Jan. 13).
That is the verbiage to which we in the Midwest are exposed every weekend of the football season if we wish to follow the exploits of our favorites, the Lions.
JOHN W. FRIEND
On behalf of Theta Deuteron chapter of Phi Gamma Delta, I wish to express thanks to you for calling Van Patrick's hand and publicly cutting his head off.
While our beloved Brownies were being cut up and devoured by the odious Lions, we of the viewing audience were succumbing to an even more horrendous end: the dreaded disease, hypergarrulosity.
We are indeed thankful for our own splendid announcer Ken Coleman.
OHIO WESLEYAN '60
I protest your remarks about Van Patrick, the Detroit Lions-Tigers announcer. You said that he was extremely verbose and thus annoying.
Van Patrick, in my estimation, always gives the most lucid, interesting, coherent and amiable descriptions of any to be heard, radio or TV. Furthermore, he is not sickeningly partisan to the Detroit teams.
West Lafayette, Ind.
The series on the shortswing ski technique were fine. But you can't learn it from dry skiing in the living room.
What ski schools in the East will teach the shortswing?
RICHARD N. PRINCE
New York City
•Although they still teach Arlberg to beginners, practically every eastern ski school is adapting elements of the shortswing: among them Bromley, Vt., where Neil Robinson teaches delayed rotation; Stowe, Vt., staffed with Austrian instructors; Cannon Mt, N.H., where Paul Valar staked claim to reverse shoulder as early as 1949.—ED.
THE RULES OF POOL
Enjoyed Gerard Hoffnung's pool cartoons and Willie Mosconi's point of view on pool. I have in my basement a table. We have formed a pool club to play regularly. However, we are unable to locate any written rules for various types of pool from ordinary eight ball through billiards.
South Haven, Mich.
•Mr. Patterson's group should have the official rule book, available for 50¢ from the Billiard Congress of America, 921 Edison Building, Toledo.—ED.
DREAM COURSE: NOMINATIONS, PLEASE
Within six months the first bulldozer will begin shaping the terrain of what should be one of the great golf courses of the world. It will stretch over the rolling upland forest and wild grassland belonging to Ranch Club of the Americas in the heart of the state of Mato Grosso, in Brazil.
This course will reproduce, as exactly as top skills can do it, 18 different holes from 18 different courses in the United States—the best possible championship layout for North Americans visiting Brazil for a few days or weeks or forever. And a wonderful way to show Brazilian golfers what our U.S. courses are like.
We are writing to ask your readers to submit their favorite golf hole or holes for the composite course to be built by the Ranch Club of the Americas—what we hope will be one of the finest and most handsome layouts in the world. From the nominations sent in, it is our plan to select 18 representative holes from courses throughout the United States and Canada. The final selection will be made by a committee which includes Sam Snead; Jess Sweetser, the former American and British Amateur Champion; and Robert Trent Jones, the outstanding golf architect. It will help the committee enormously in their selection if readers sending in their nominations will include a rough sketch of each hole they are championing, along with its yardage and other pertinent information, such as the history of the hole. Photos are not necessary, but would be helpful.
The Ranch Club is only a few hours by air from Rio or S√£o Paulo, and both these cities will be less than 12 hours by scheduled jet planes from New York by the time this course is built. It will be the world's first "club of clubs" serving individuals, corporations and corporation executives as their South American vacation headquarters. The club will also have a 200-room resort hotel, polo fields, tennis courts, two swimming pools, as well as the Rondon-Roosevelt Pavilion, official departure point for safaris in the vast virgin territory surrounding the club acreage (Mato Grosso is more than twice as large as France).
New York City
•The editors, serving as temporary greens committee, will forward all nominations to Mr. Thorsen and his associates.—ED.
HOTBOX: THE BEAUTIFUL MULE
As an ex mule skinner and descendant of a pioneer homesteader in the Big Bend wheat country of Washington I take emphatic exception to most of the opinions disgracing your HOTBOX page of December 16. A more unqualified group of people would be hard to find to answer your question, "Which is more intelligent, a horse or a mule?" Let me clarify those misconceptions in turn.
Mrs. Edward Whitehead says, "Stubborn as a mule." This makes me plain mad. A mule is no more stubborn than a horse, but being more intelligent he places more importance on his own opinion. When he encounters an opinion acceded to be more reasonable than his, he cheerfully concedes.
Alan Bethel says a horse is more intelligent because he is more beautiful and shares the graces and arts of life. This is like saying that Marilyn is more intelligent than Madame Curie.
Here is news for W. R. Ballard: I developed a deep and abiding love for the faithful mules of my father's ranch, and this was based as much upon camaraderie in difficult circumstances as upon their dependable work output.
Now I downright respect the expressions of General Bryan and agree with them in substance. But I must protest the terms "cussed" and "ornery." A mule has a sense of humor and competition with his owner, which might be misunderstood as cussedness but is thoroughly understood by the mule skinner, and it makes handling them more fun. As for his statement, "set in their ways," this is a misquotation of their great acceptance of responsibility. But. I agree with the general's statements about a mule's drinking and eating habits, which are exquisite in comparison to the usual slobbering horse whether he be a Thoroughbred or a cayuse.
There are too many silk hats and white ties on the gentlemen who are making derogatory statements about mules. We should build a national monument to the animal which built our railroads, mined our coal, broke out endless square miles of new land, often rocky and difficult. Mr. Barney's statement, "The mule's only claim to intelligence is his stubbornness when he doesn't want to work," is scarcely worthy of notice.
KENNETH M. HOLLINGSWORTH
BASKETBALL: FACT AND LOGIC
One point that has been stressed over and over again in various people's arguments against basketball stalling (and most recently in the January 6 issue) is that the game becomes dull and uninteresting.
I remember several games as recent as this past year, involving the big colleges of the West Coast and the Rocky Mountain area, that ended up with a freeze. Every one of them had me on the edge of my seat or standing yelling, wondering if the freeze would hold or if the opposition could break through.
Logic says the stall is dull, but fact and logic do not always stand side by side, as any scientist can tell you.
ROBERT L. LOEFFELBEIN
Superintendent of Parks and Recreation
Twentynine Palms, Calif.
MANNA FROM ICE
As always, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is "a thing of beauty and a joy forever," especially your issue of January 13: the Bowl summaries, the iceboating article, the wonderful Mauldin odyssey, the fine tribute to Vic Seixas and, of course, always the deliciously postured Bonnie Prudden.
The iceboating article was so nostalgic for me, and so evocative. More years ago than anyone would wish to think upon (well, something over the half-century mark), the family made the annual Christmastide trek from New York to Syracuse to see all the kin. On the way up I still remember the iceboats on the Hudson, all the way from Storm King to Albany, and their graceful gyrations were spiritual manna to a small boy's mind.
THE PHEASANT AND THE COMMISSAR (CONT.)
I was particularly interested in reading The Pheasant and the Commissar in the October 7 issue by a predecessor at this post, Ellis Briggs. His very able description of "royal sport" in this Communist land remains essentially valid for the similar hunts in which I have participated here during the past four years. The only note which I might add is that during the past few years a growing number of diplomats from the "People's Democracies" are succumbing to the lure of this "decadent capitalist sport." For the most part, their handling of such an effete and unaccustomed weapon as a shotgun is strange and wonderful. I will always remember the day the Chinese Communist ambassador appeared on the field and holding his gun at the hip in good Tommy-gun fashion vaguely began to fire in directions uncomfortably close to my vicinity. While I had no reason to believe he intended to direct the official animosity of Peiping toward the United States upon my person in the form of No. 6 shot, I nevertheless felt it wise quietly but quickly to retire behind the nearest tree.
I am enclosing several photographs of hunting scenes at Zidlochovice. Incidentally, during the past two years the preserve has been available to hunters from other countries for payment in foreign currency.
I should also mention that during this past year I have been able, for the first time, to join with parties of Czech hunters at smaller but in many ways more interesting hunts at other game preserves in this area. I find the average Czech hunter, like his counterpart elsewhere in the world, a delightful companion and a thoughtful and hospitable host.
U. ALEXIS JOHNSON
U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia