Seldom it is that I take pen in hand to write an opinion on an article. Lee Griggs's article, Banzai Charge to the Top of Old Shiga (Jan. 21), is a masterfully written piece of satire. Rarely is such a wittingly concocted story presented to the public. It is my hope that more such articles will be forthcoming.
PAUL LARSON JR.
Your article on Shiga Heights brought back many wonderful memories to this Southerner who fell in love with skiing while he was stationed in Japan. Your description of the train ride to Shiga is all too painfully true. However, your description of the slopes of Shiga as foggy and dangerous does a great disservice to one of the most beautiful spots in the world, and saddens the hearts of Shiga lovers the world over!
In your January 21 SCORECARD chess players are chastised for being "perhaps the greatest crowd displeasers in modern sport."
Not being a serious chess player, I have no personal ax to grind, but could we not simply accept the fact that chess players gain satisfaction from solitude and have a capacity for deep concentration and, for the most part, do not care to switch their personalities around at a television program director's command? Are we to assume that all types of sports activities must be characterized by the common mold of theatrical standards'?
GEORGE R. HUISMAN
February 4, 1963
As a chess player I would like to express my thanks for your coverage of the U.S. Championship in New York. However, your comment that chess players are traditionally "aloof and temperamental" is one most commonly expressed by people who never met a chess player. I would agree that, like most concert pianists, chess masters are temperamental. But their aloofness is usually conspicuous by its absence. The fact that tournament play must be conducted in silence can obviously prove nothing regarding the taciturnity of the participants. It would be just as illogical to assume that someone who is yelling at a football game is of an outgoing and loquacious nature. It just ain't necessarily so.
You also state that I am a "newcomer" and that I was playing in my first championship tourney. While it is true that this is the first time I have played in this particular national championship, I have participated in the U.S. Open chess championship numerous times. I am now 35, the third oldest contestant in the recent tourney, and cannot be considered a newcomer to the national chess scene. At the age of 16 I tied for third in the U.S. Open, a national championship of 19 years ago.
As you may now correctly assume, I may be brooding, but scarcely taciturn.
ROBERT H. STEINMEYER
New York City
After reading in the 19TH HOLE (Jan. 21) about the Iron Man of the Hoh, John Huelsdonk, I couldn't help digging out the enclosed snapshot showing John Huelsdonk and the cussed stove in question loaded on a packhorse (see above).
In June of 1920 I was with a surveying crew of the U.S. General Land Office setting out from Forks (Wash.) to lay out township lines in the Hoh River district. Our packtrain was in poor condition, having just been shipped up from a hard winter's work in New Mexico, and several of the horses were suffering from glanders. The horses were overloaded for their condition and that of the trail, which was very bad in places. Two horses fell off the trail and would have drowned had they not caught in trees at the edge of the river. The poor horse with the stove was out of balance and he finally gave up some distance from the river crossing at the Huelsdonks'. We had to unload and leave part of our supplies.
The next day Mr. Huelsdonk went back and picked up the stove with the flour inside and carried it the rest of the way. I know the stove weighed 110 pounds and, by my recollection, there were 100 pounds of flour, not 50. But whichever it was it was an awkward, tough load. At that time he was past his prime and suffering from asthma but he was still stronger than two ordinary men.
The Huelsdonks were a grand family, living in grand country in a time that has gone—unfortunately, in my opinion.
W. P. BLODGETT
Now that you have bestowed the title Jack's Janissaries on the followers of Jack Nicklaus (Jack's Janissaries Join Arnie's Army, Jan. 21), I presume it will only be a matter of time before we are informed that "the brashest man in golf," Phil Rodgers (Jan. 14), is accompanied by a Brash Band.
•We prefer to think of them as Rodgers' Rangers.—ED.
What about Gary's Garrison? I think that Player will be a contender in 1963's $2 million gambol, yet you failed to mention him.
Some of us here in Athens (Ga.), greatly concerned about the plight that has befallen professional golf, humbly offer a solution to the current situation:
1) If, at the beginning of the fourth round of any 72-hole tournament on the professional circuit, Arnold Palmer is four strokes behind the leader, the leader shall have the option of removing three clubs from Arnie's bag. If he is three strokes behind, the leader may remove six clubs, leaving him only eight. If Arnie is two strokes back, the leader may remove eight clubs, leaving him six. If Arnie is only a single stroke back, he must finish up with a brassie, a five-iron, and a putter.
2) If Arnold Palmer decides to pass up a tournament, as he did the recent tournament at San Diego, he must take with him, out of the said tournament, his business partner, namely, Gary Player. If one plays, both must play; if one drops out, both must drop out. It is not fair to us other pros for these two fellows to alternate winning the tournaments.
3) No pros (notably Palmer and Player) shall be permitted to coincide the introduction of their new TV programs with back-to-back wins on the pro circuit. If they do, it is to be referred to the Federal Trade Commission as unfair.
JAMES E. GATES
In your January 7 edition you expressed your views of the " 'bucolic" campus from which Sportsman of the Year Terry Baker emerged. We, the participating students of this letter, have just taken time out from fighting the Indians and working our trap lines to send you this letter written in mulberry juice on dried deerskin.
How long has it been since you have been to Corvallis? Gentlemen, it is not in the woods! For many years now we pioneers have been using those trees for our log cabins.
•Webster defines bucolic as, among other things, "natural and without artful elaboration." This is bad?—ED.
UPS AND DOWNS
Thank you very much for your recent article, Life in the Valley of Death (Jan. 21). The Missouri Valley Conference is truly the toughest in the nation. Now how about some more on the excellent University of Wichita basketball team, which is one of the toughest in the MVC?
So Coaches Dick Harp of Kansas and Tex Winter of Kansas State are skeptical of the scholastic standards of the Missouri Valley schools. Could it be they're bothered by the fact that Cincinnati has knocked the winner of their conference out of the NCAA regional the past four years? Or perhaps by the fact that they're being overshadowed at home by Wichita these days?
JOHN R. DURUIN
Rival coaches in general arc very good sports, but there are always exceptions.
Please advise Dick Harp of Kansas and Tex Winter of Kansas State that the University of Cincinnati has excellent scholastic requirements, along with some marginal students, just like other midwestern colleges.
EDW. WIESMANN JR.
Cheers for your article.
Boos for your statement, "The Valley plays a kind of fourth-rate football." You are including the No. I passing team in the nation in 1962, U. of Tulsa's Golden Hurricane, and the No. 2 pass receiver, Tulsa Star End John Simmons. These records were established against such teams as Alabama, Houston, Arkansas and Oklahoma Stale. This is fourth class?
MRS. PAT MINER
You described the Missouri Valley Conference as the best in the country. Way down your list of tough conferences was the Atlantic Coast Conference. Cincinnati and her sister teams had best be glad that the pride of the ACC, the Dixie Classic, has been discontinued. If it hadn't been and Cincinnati had had enough nerve to come, you can bet she would have licked her wounds, put her tail between her legs and returned to the "tough" Valley Conference defeated. The ACC may not be a tough conference, but no team yet has been able to defeat Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest and State to win the Classic.
What in the world is the matter with you people? Can't you give Seattle University credit for a darn thing? As of this date, Seattle U. has a 10 and 3 record and yet in your Jan. 14 issue you give Oregon State, with an 8 and 3 record, No. 1 spot in the Far West rankings.
Seattle beat Oregon State 60-58. You might also note that Seattle was the first team this season to hold Loyola of Chicago under 100 points.
MARIAM AND DAVID LAW
Alderwood Manor, Wash.
Whether you realize it or not, the University of Idaho has a very respectable record of 10-2 (best in the Northwest) for the young season (the two losses came without the services of our starting center in the Far West Classic).
Also that same University of Idaho has received honorable mention in the top ratings of the country for the past several weeks. The only time that you even mentioned our university in BASKETBALL'S WEEK or anything else, we lost. And then the only reason we got any mention was because we lost to Oregon State. I would certainly like to see a change here. The Oregon State team isn't that much better than Idaho.
DON G. FLUHARTY
Western New York is having one of its finest college basketball seasons. Yet SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S experts have given little credit to a fine (and unbeaten) Niagara University five, and have forgotten a Canisius College team that is one of its best in years. The Canisius Griffins are 8 and 1, with their only loss a four-pointer to fourth-ranked Arizona State.
CHEESE AND CRACKERS
Re your article on mouse racing at Don-caster (The Run for the Cheeses, Jan 28): I agree it's a unique cure for bookmaker boredom. However, I fail to see the need for intervention by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. How could racing mice possibly be considered cruel?
Port Washington, N.Y.
•Asked the same question, Bookie-Promoter Derek Webster answered: "I hate mice, really. They're fat, lazy and smelly. But I couldn't stand the risk of being brought to court and being charged with being cruel to them. There really was no cruelty involved since the rules prohibited tickling or poking the mice. The only way to get them moving was by shouting; and, even so, one mouse could—and did—go to sleep on the starting line while the other won by the complete distance."—ED.