Please permit me, an old MATS transport navigator, to express appreciation for Percy Knauth's most excellent account of his transatlantic flight with Max Conrad (Adventure with a New Lone Eagle, SI, July 6 and 13). Usually, I tend to be extremely critical of feature articles dealing with aviation because of what I regard as the falseness, inaccuracy and just plain distortion of the true picture, particularly as regards transocean flying. Knauth's, I know from experience, is an honestly recorded story, presented in an absorbing but not sensational manner.
Max Conrad is a fabulous man. I met Mr. Conrad once in Narsarssuak, Greenland, in the summer of 1952 while we both were weatherbound at that station. He was headed eastward in a single-engined Piper Pacer. The weather cleared, Mr. Conrad departed for Keflavik, Iceland. About six hours later we were surprised to spot Mr. Conrad inbound back up the fjord to Narsarssuak. It seems that on proceeding toward Keflavik his estimates of wind from the white caps indicated stronger headwinds than forecast. Too, the Keflavik beacon did not sound loud enough to be so near as his estimates indicated it should be. With no other navigational assistance, Mr. Conrad elected to return to Greenland to try another day. And fortunately so, because it developed that winds indeed were stronger than forecast, and it was questionable that he could have survived this or numerous other incidents which I have heard recounted.
I have never made a crossing in a small aircraft, and I feel that Knauth may have experienced a great deal more than we normally do on the regular transport runs. True, we know the stations, the routes, the normal weather patterns, and we come to recognize frequently heard voices on the radio which we never know in person. But seldom is there any feeling of personal adventure as Knauth conveyed in your articles. Excitement occasionally, and anticipation always, but overlying all is the sense of routine. Yet, conversely, I do not recall having made a completely uneventful trip, and therein, I suppose, is the lure that keeps me plus all the others in this particular business.
The Air Force now uses Lajes Air Base almost exclusively, and I have not landed at Santa Maria in years. I wonder if the bugs in the big dining hall were as plentiful and as persistent as were their ancestors. And is the legendary bobtailed cow still remembered in those parts? One summer morning in 1946, just about dawn, we touched down at Santa Maria only to have a cow run onto the runway immediately ahead of the aircraft. The pilot kicked the plane over to the left side of the runway and the cow veered to the right. We missed the cow—almost—all except No. 4 propeller, which neatly snipped off the outstretched tail of the rapidly departing cow. The tail was transported back to our home station to substantiate the tale. This incident became a favorite story among the line crews at the time.
MARVIN E. KEY JR.
July 26, 1959
•Time and the big planes have bypassed Santa Maria; both bugs and legend have disappeared with the old-timers who served the wartime pilots.—ED.
FOOD: RABBIT AND PEPPER PUNCH
Your excellent article by Mary Mabon titled Sam Morse Makes a Rarebit (FOOD, SI, May 18) states parenthetically that "Welsh rabbit is believed to be the original name for this simple English savory." This is, of course, true, but what most people do not seem to realize is that Welsh rabbit is still the correct term as any dictionary or other word source book will testify.
Welsh rabbit, as Webster's points out, is a humorous phrase, "like 'Cape Cod turkey' (codfish), that through failure to recognize the joke is commonly modified in cookbooks to Welsh rarebit." Contrary to the general view, Welsh rabbit is not a corruption of rarebit but rather the reverse is true; the term is on a par with "mock turtle" and "Bombay duck."
Fowler's Modem English Usage has this to say on the matter: "The etymologist is aware, & the person who has paid no attention to the subject is probably unaware...that Welsh rabbit is amusing & right, and Welsh rarebit stupid & wrong."
NORMAN G. HICKMAN
New York City
Every week my husband and I read the food articles with great interest: Gary Cooper's spareribs (FOOD, SI, June 1), etc. But most of all we have enjoyed the Pepper Punch from the article on Round Hill, Jamaica and Adele Astaire (FOOD, SI, Feb. 2).
We liked it so much that I put our copy away for safekeeping—and I've kept it so safe I can't find it. Please send me a copy if possible—I miss it so much.
MRS. J. D. CLAY
Manhattan Beach, Calif.
•It's on its way. But meanwhile—place in large shaker: 2 ounces gold Jamaica rum; 1 ounce dark Jamaica rum; 7 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lime juice; 7 teaspoons sugar dissolved in a little water; 4 large dashes of Angostura bitters; 1 large dash each of cayenne pepper and ground cinnamon. Add a cup or so of fine-cracked ice, shake madly, pour, ice and all, into two old-fashioned glasses, and there you have it.—ED.
TENNIS: DOLLAR CHAMPION
Recently I made a wager with a friend, the outcome of which was to be contingent upon who would be "world professional tennis champion" for 1959. However, there seems to be a certain amount of confusion surrounding this title and how it is won. Is it won by the winner of the professional tour, or by the winner of the Tournament of Champions, or is it merely a phrase used by Kramer to publicize his tour? Any assistance you can give in solving this problem would be greatly appreciated.
ANTHONY A. KENNEDY
St. Lambert, Que.
•Jack Kramer set up this year's "championship" purely on a dollar basis. Gonzales beat out Hoad ($29,900 to $29,100) because during the tour he was never defeated by the two new pros, Australians Cooper and Anderson. Hoad, although he won a greater number of head-to-head matches with Gonzales, lost the winner's share several times to both Cooper and Anderson.—ED.
WHAT'S IN A NAME
The recent decision of the International Olympic Committee which put those social-climbing Formosans into their place (Brundage on a Cloud above Politics, SI, June 15) has been greeted with applause by all right-thinking sports lovers. The committee should now turn its attention to another nation which has been participating under false pretenses for a number of years, namely, The United States of America. This is plainly an inaccurate designation which needs correction because the nation does not hold jurisdiction over a number of American states, such as Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Arkansas, Chile, etc. I suggest that they be required to participate under the title of "The Federated States of Middle North America, Alaska and Hawaii" and in this way remove the offensive title which has so concerned the participating athletes from other nations.
THOMAS D. ANDERSON
Mr. Derek Colville spoke for countless southern Californians in his letter to the 19TH HOLE, SI, July 6.
The maneuvers and machinations of the O'Malley regime, with the support of Angeleno so-called baseball writers, are indeed subject to a Senate investigation as far as a baseball monopoly is concerned.
The Dodgers have permitted Yankee broadcasts to infiltrate the sacred region on Saturdays and Sundays. However, there must be no conflict with Dodger games. If a Yankee game is not completed a half hour before a Dodger game commences, the Yankee game gets the ax—right now!
The Dodgers should have picked up the name of the departed Angels because, with the exception of Hank Hollingworth of the Long Beach Independent, they can do no wrong. Witness the score-keeping done in the Coliseum, and you'll get an idea of what I mean. A Dodger has to pirouette twice, boot the ball thrice before he is racked with an error. Everything else is a hard-hit ball.
If this sounds bitter it is meant to be. How else can an American League fan express himself in this Yankee-hating bastion?
FISHING: A FIRST IN MEXICO?
The first Atlantic sailfish and tuna ever taken with rod and reel in Mexican waters of the Gulf of Mexico have been landed.
The sails were simultaneously hooked about 40 miles ESE off Tampico by Local Anglers Francisco L. Corcuera and Félix F. Florencia. Francisco L. Corcuera was a member of the 1956, 1957 and 1958 Mexican Tuna Cup Match Teams, who in 1957 won for the third time the Sharp Cup in Wedgeport, Nova Scotia.
Tampico has long been famous for its marvelous tarpon fishing in the Pànuco River. Now Corcuera's and Florencia's sailfish exploits in the Gulf of Mexico undoubtedly will lead to a new sport fishing territory for North American salt water anglers.
J. F. CICERO