GARY ALSO PLAYED
I was really "teed off" by your article on the PGA tournament (The Trouble with Leading an Army, July 30). Of the 27 paragraphs, exactly one was devoted to Gary Player, the winner. Mr. Palmer is a wonderful golfer and gentleman, but I was sick, of hearing about him.
For anyone who watched the final round of this "dull" tournament, it was the tremendous drive put on by Bob Goalby and the great heart displayed by Gary Player that provided the PGA with its extremely exciting and dramatic close.
Arnold Palmer's Army wasn't really the story of the PGA. You related the obvious: the throngs following a dynamic star. But you failed:
1) to find any drama in Gary Player's achievement in winning the second of the three most important tournaments in our country (after being eliminated from the final 36 holes at Troon a week before);
2) to mention that Palmer was probably "burned out" after winning the British Open;
3) to comment on what may become an important innovation in golf—that of spectator stands which were introduced at Aronimink.
EDWARD J. HALLIGAN
When a giant arises in any field there are usually two types of reaction. There are those who wish to take an easy way out by thinking, "It isn't fair for one to dominate for so long." Then there are those who are resolved to go out there and beat him. It is this latter kind of determination that seems to have put Arnold Palmer on top. Even when he was completely out of contention in the PGA, Palmer thought he could shoot a 62 and win. The fact that he failed means only one thing—he'll probably be more determined than ever in his next tournament. Palmer is still the champion.
THE VIGOR WE HAVE
I received your July 16 issue containing The Vigor We Need by President Kennedy at the same time that we here in Peoria were preparing a welcome-home celebration for Miss Susan Mary Haynes, who was recently designated Miss Physical Fitness for 1962 at the Dance Educators Convention in New York.
Susan, now a 15-year-old high school cheerleader and acrobatic dancer, was handicapped as a small child by a bone disease in her legs and originally her parents provided her with dancing lessons for therapeutic purposes. Before her return to Peoria she had spent two or three weeks in New York giving demonstrations of fitness exercises. She is next scheduled to give similar demonstrations at the World's Fair in Seattle starting August 11. It occurred to me these events nicely complement President Kennedy's program.
ROBERT G. DAY
"The vigor we need" we already have! The returns of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. track meet further convinced me of this (Whirling Success for the U.S., July 30). I sincerely believe that we have a great potential as leaders in both the women's and the men's events—and I mean all of them. The talents of our women remain faithfully untapped. Men have the chance to develop skills in track, while most girls don't even know what a javelin is. We girls, excluding swimmers, are neglected.
Give the girls a break. Find out how good we can be if we try.
Just to satisfy my curiosity, I checked over the results of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. track meet and compared them with your predictions of July 16 (U.S. and U.S.S.R. About-face). And the accuracy of your forecast was truly amazing.
Not counting the 10,000-meter run (in which Bolotnikov, the winner, was not entered in your predictions) and the 5,000-meter run (in which Max Truex, whom you favored, did not enter), you picked winners 29 times. The only race you guessed wrong was the men's steeplechase. This comes out to be a winning average of .967.
Silver Spring, Md.
IN THE FIRE
After working myself into exhaustion remodeling my Fire Island house this spring, I now return to find Robert Moses sneaking along behind one of his the-whole-world-will-be-happier-when-paved-solid ideas. This one is to cap some necessary dune rebuilding with a totally unnecessary—more, destructive—highway. As one resident of Fire Island asked, "Are you going to put a 300-foot-wide road down my 400-foot-wide community?"
The best coverage the matter has had in the press anywhere was Arthur Brawley's article (Fire on the Island, July 23). In fact, I'm sending a few copies to New York Congressmen and Assemblymen as representing my own sentiments.
VIRGINIA B. MOORE
IN THE SAUCE?
I think Gerald was in a "Holland-daze" when he wrote a sympathetic dream for Calvin R. Griffith. (Aboard that Minnesota Cannonball, July 30.)
If poor Griffith had nightmares when he operated the old Washington Senators, he deserved them. What eighth-place team wouldn't have "difficulty drawing fans across the street" if they had been dwelling in the inky American League basement as long as our Senators had, and the owner dealing off every good player that came along?
The Twins are hanging in there this season. Fine. They're riding high. The fans are pouring into Griffith's park—from Saskatchewan to Devils Lake. Swell, Mr. Holland. Great. More power to the team. But don't ever feel sorry for Calvin G.'s "hard times" in Washington. We gave him much more than he ever deserved. And someday, when his Twins have been Adam's apple deep in 10th or even down in eighth place for a few years, that grand man of baseball will be lucky if he draws flies across the street.
WILLIAM W. MILLER
All hands here in Devils Lake got a big bang out of Gerald Holland's story about our excursion to the Minnesota Twins' three-game series with the Yankees.
The latest reaction came this morning when our co-organizer, Bert Wick, told me he had a call from Bill Weaver, sportscaster for WDAY-TV, Fargo, N. Dak. Bill said the Wahpeton (N. Dak.) boys consumed 590 cans of beer as against the mere 460 cans used by the more temperate Devils Lake bunch. And so the laughs go on. Many thanks.
Devils Lake, N. Dak.
Gerald Holland's article was a classic. He certainly demonstrated a most delicious feel for the mores of the midwestern small town. Being a product of that society, as well as a hack writer, I never realized how stylized the existence until I read Holland's impressions. Great!
CASH FOR THE HALL
We were astounded to read in SCORE-CARD (July 2) the following statement:
"American Football League players will not be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Reason: the National Football League is paying much of the $500,000 it will take to establish the hall at Canton, Ohio."
I was the co-chairman of the fund-raising committee (which raised, through public subscription, $399,640) and presently serve as a director of the Professional Football Hall of Fame. Contrary to your statement, the National Football League and its members contributed a total of $13,000, which constitutes approximately 3% of the amount subscribed. No contribution from any league member exceeded $1,000.
R. E. LILLY
•The American Football League has not been asked to participate either in the planning or the financing of the Pro Hall of Fame. Although the NFL has been active in promoting the new Hall, Reader Lilly is correct on the sum contributed.—ED.
PERINI STOCK IS STEADY
In your recent article regarding the Milwaukee Braves (No More Joy in Beertown, July 16) you mentioned the fact that Perini Corporation had cut its dividend in half.
If you will again check your source book, I think you'll find this is not so. Perini has not cut the dividend—it still remains 50¢ per year—12½¢ quarterly.
BOXER'S WORD TO EVERYMAN
Gerald Astor's article on Boxer Randy Sandy (The Everyman of Boxing, July 30) brought home to me again the sometime futility of the punch-for-pay profession.
I write not as a crusader for the abolishment of boxing but as one who, 20 years ago, made a living at it.
The long uphill grind of training and conditioning, diet and exercise, sweat and liniment—all of it—culminates only in the bunched fist against the jawbone. And a remotely possible moment of glory for some. But the downhill slide into oblivion is much faster than the uphill grind, and it is too late then for the moment of truth that must come when the fighter realizes he is through. The question "What do I do now?" should have been asked much earlier, and of the boxer himself.
If he knows nothing but boxing, there is little he can do. There are lessons to be learned from every punch—lessons that have nothing to do with boxing. A boy becomes a man quickly in the ring—and a man grows old quickly when he takes a punch to the head. There are lessons to be learned from the Beau Jacks and the Johnny Saxtons—knowledge to be stored away for a better time and a better place.
There is no way these lessons can be made mandatory for the strong young men who will not always be winners. The solution lies with the Everyman of boxing himself. It consists of some good profound thought about the future before it becomes the past. The Everyman of boxing should realize that he owes himself something more than a punch in the head.