I did not know the members of the United States figure skating team well, for I only met them a short while ago in Philadelphia, where I was assigned to photograph them by your editors.
Would-be sports authorities forewarned me at the time that as a journalist I might find figure skaters a difficult group to deal with. I found the opposite to be true. Good-looking, gifted, totally dedicated to an all-demanding sport, there were many things about these boys and girls to impress my camera. What remained with me then as now, however, was their youth. This may seem an obvious comment to make, but as I watched their happy, inspiring faces and their graceful young bodies gliding over the ice, I felt as though I was looking not at the present but into the future. They seemed to promise so much.
My last memory of Laurence Owen was in the vast and shadowy arena where a few hours earlier she had won the women's North American figure skating championship. The seats were all empty. All the skaters save one had left. Down on the ice one girl remained, encircled by a small group of amateur photographers. With a radiant smile that almost lit up that dark place, Laurence Owen was posing for her friends who had come down from Boston to see her skate. A joyful, beautiful girl on probably the happiest day of her life.
JAMES A. DRAKE
I have made more than 100 drawings of the Owenses for the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED articles (Dec. 22, 1958 et seq.) and for Maribel's new book—carefully, carefully, observing each face and skate, their hands just so. I know them very well, in a special way, as no one else does. I can close my eyes and see their faces and hear their laughter and I will hear it always and see them moving on the brilliant ice in the morning sunlight.
NAUTICAL GAFF (cont.)
PARDON INTRUSION INTO SALT WATER DISCUSSION FROM MIDDLE OF DESERT BUT MUST TAKE ISSUE WITH 19TH HOLE FOR FEB. 27. "AEGEAN" IS FLYING THE ENSIGN PROPERLY. WHILE AMERICAN AND INTERNATIONAL HIGH SEAS USAGE PRESCRIBES FLYING ENSIGN ON SCHOONER AT MAIN PEAK OR GAFF, IT IS THE CUSTOM OF EVERY EUROPEAN MARITIME NATION FROM NORWAY TO GREECE TO FLY ENSIGN FROM STAFF AT STERN ON ALL TYPES OF SAILING VESSELS UNDER WEIGH.
BOXING'S BLIND AND BUFFS
Your article Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here (Feb. 20) points a magnifying lens at the proverbial blind men and the elephant. Granted that all five members will benefit from the Patterson-Johansson fight next month, still the accompanying drawing lacks one representative figure, namely, us—the poor, blind public.
JACQUES B. NICHOLS
Your drawing showed the Swede out cold,
And this we think is fine.
But "prone" he's not, you must agree;
That pose is called supine.
J. F. SWAIN
Prospect Park, Pa.
THE FANS AND FRAN√áOIS
I love ice hockey dearly, but now I know why André Fran√ßois illustrates children's books (The Most Beautiful Game of All, Feb. 20). Those paintings of my second-favorite sport look like some that I submitted to my first-grade teacher 20 years ago.
If you can't find anything better with which to fill in those empty pages, just leave them blank.
ROBERT D. BOIVIN
Niagara University, N.Y.
André should have gone back to Madison Square Garden at least two more times before he attempted this bit.
ROBERT N. BOTT
New York City
The paintings are excellent.
South Bend, Ind.
Am I correct in assuming that the two teams in the pictures are the New York Rangers and the Montreal Canadiens?
•Artist Fran√ßois was sketching impressions—not making portraits. However, the Rangers and the Canadiens were indeed playing each other the night he saw the game at the Garden.—ED.
Agreed, our state fisheries department is politically influenced (Long, Cold War at the Edge of the Sea, Feb. 20). The director of the department is appointed by the governor, which inescapably involves politics in the operation of the department. There is widespread agreement that this law should be changed in favor of a nonpolitical commission. But that the department is "incompetent" I strongly dispute. Milo Moore, the director of the Washington State Department of Fisheries, was chiefly responsible for conceiving the salmon farm program, which has received wholehearted support of both sport and commercial fishermen. This program has commanded the interest of fisheries experts from all maritime portions of this country, as well as Canada, Japan, the Australian Commonwealth and Scandinavia.
The policies of the present department were made an issue in last fall's gubernatorial campaign. I know personally of several people who voted as they did in that election because retention of the incumbent administration meant retention of Milo Moore. Perhaps this is a selfish viewpoint to take in voting for a governor, but it does point up the fact that many thoughtful people, in both the commercial and the sport fishing camps, felt strongly that their interests lay in that direction.
Heartiest congratulations on Part II of your Safe Driving series (Come Corner with Me, Feb. 13). To sports car people young and old, this series has been most informative and interesting.
I do, however, feel that you are not acting in the best interests of your readers by devoting nearly a full page to a description of "slide and drift" techniques. Despite the fact that Jack Brabham twice notes that such "highly specialized techniques should be attempted only on a closed track" and by experienced racing drivers, you have made such tactics most tempting to the amateur.
J. JEFFREY STIVES
FORETASTE OF GLORY
I am very much interested in Whitney Tower's articles on racing. But in his writings on Kentucky Derby prospects (The Derby for a Son of Saggy?, Feb. 20) he left out Ross Sea. I think this one will be great as time goes on.
S. R. LEONE
If Carry Back does not win the Derby, and the Preakness and the Belmont as well, I will, personally, eat this letter (if you send it back to me).
•A reasonable facsimile on comparable paper will suffice, should the necessity arise.—ED.
Thank you for presenting that very instructive and informative article by Bill Casper (My Secrets of Putting, Feb. 20). Already I have noticed new accuracy and consistency coming into my greens play.