Thanks for your fine article on the Panguitch, Utah basketball fever (The Only Game in Panguitch, March 4). As one who graduated from high school in neighboring Cedar City, and who was there as a disappointed high school senior when Panguitch captured the Utah Class-B championship in 1957 (I think my Cedar City team finished fifth), I feel you have captured the attitude, spirit and atmosphere of a small Utah town exactly, and with excellence. This atmosphere is, in its way, exciting, but it is something the large city resident cannot ordinarily appreciate. Congratulations for presenting it to them as it actually is—and good luck to Panguitch in this year's state tournament.
DAVID R. NEWELL
In Panguitch vernacular your story is swell. That equals sensational in Hollywood.
I had never heard of Panguitch, Utah and never expect to see the town. Yet John Underwood made me feel as though I knew those kids and parents. By the way, just how pretty is this Melanie McEwen? She can't be that pretty!
Buna (Texas to you, sir), about which I write to you at this time every year, is apparently on its way back to its sixth or seventh (I've lost count) state basketball championship of the decade. But it looks like youse dopes ain't never gonna get to Buna because you got lost in Panguitch looking at Melanie. So I ain't gonna call Buna to your attention no more. Phooey.
E. C. BARKSDALE
I was editor of the Garfield County News at the time of the Panguitch "drink of water" incident. What happened in the next five to seven minutes is also a part of the story of basketball U.S.A.
An SRO crowd prevented the Panguitch team from returning to the floor by the time the signal was given to resume play. One of the referees (whose back was turned to the playing floor) threw the ball to the opponents. Without opposition, naturally, they scored. A Panguitch rooter bounded to his feet to yell to the referee that he shouldn't have put the ball in play. A friend reached over to pull him to his seat. He whirled, thinking it was an opposing team fan, and started that evening's biggest battle. The floor was immediately covered with irate fans. Fists flew—even a little blood.
Postmaster Frank Richards, who has a very fabulous memory for sport detail, could tell you for sure, but I seem to recall that the two points were taken away from the other team. Panguitch went on to win by more than two points, but the "town talk" dwelled for some weeks on what would have happened had Panguitch won by only one point.
The other day I came through Panguitch on my return to Arizona and had breakfast there. As you may guess, the folks at the café were talking about the basketball thriller of the night before. It seems that the home town had won again.
QUENTIN S. HALE
Author Underwood's story brought to light a glaring problem in Utah. The people of Garfield County are willing to spend $380,000 for a gym as large as most Class-A schools have, but they are unwilling to pay their teachers a salary commensurate with their training and responsibilities ($4,750 for Coach Davis).
Maybe when Utah (and most of the U.S.) adjusts its sense of values and puts all facets of schooling in their proper perspective, then maybe we can cope with the problems confronting education.
BEHIND THE SMOKE, FORDS
That smoke screen at the Daytona 500 was about as opaque as my living-room window (Big Smoke Screen in Daytona, March 4). Don't you think the author could have found a less obvious pretense on which to sound off about the almighty Chevies?
RICHARD B. BULLOCK
It took a lot of words and paragraphs before you made mention that five 1963 Fords placed first, second, third, fourth and fifth in the Daytona 500. Maybe GM would now like to declare a new moratorium on stock-car racing.
JOHN F. HICKEY
As a legitimate billiards champion I should like it made clear to your readers that the pool hustlers' convention in Johnson City, Ill., which you described and illustrated in the February 25 issue (Battle of the Hottest Sticks), should in no way be confused with the World Pocket Billiard Tournament, a true sports event, discontinued after 1955 partly because of the stigma forced on the sport by the hustlers.
Fortunately for pocket billiards, the sport is now enjoying a spectacular revival—in the proper surroundings that hustlers avoid. A new generation of fine players is being developed, some of whom will be seen later this year in a televised series of matches. And interest is at an all-time high in competition leading to the National Intercollegiate tournament May 2-4 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
I look forward to the resumption soon of true championship play when it will not happen that: "Shortly after midnight a couple of hustlers arrive...."
Haddon Heights, N.J.
THE NOSE SHOWS
Your picture of the photo finish at Santa Anita (Moving Toward a Day in May, March 4) clearly shows Bonjour winning by a toe over Candy Spots, or doesn't this part of a horse's anatomy count? After all, he runs with them, why can't he win with them?
N. W. SPRAW
Long Beach, Calif.
Isn't it true that any part of the horse's body that goes over the line counts as a victory for that horse?
•No. The Rules of Racing as adopted by The Jockey Club specifically states that the positions of horses in a photo finish shall be determined exclusively by their noses.—ED.
LONE STAR STATEMENT
We were impressed by your reporting "accuracy" in the March 4 issue. You claim in SCORECARD that Aggie football players were the "ringleaders" of the fight in Austin. You must have obtained your information from the University of Texas student newspaper, which is known to be unbiased toward Texas A & M. How else could you be so certain that the Aggies started the trouble?
Also, where did you get the information reported in BASKETBALL'S WEEK that the two basketball players who rejected the bribe attempts are from SMU? They aren't. We are sure that even our friends on the UT newspaper know that the players involved in the attempt at bribery are from Rice University.
College Station, Texas
•The bribe attempt did indeed involve Rice players, not SMU.—ED.
As a matter of fact, according to all Texas papers, there were only 200 Texas A&M students at that particular game. Now if that number of Texas Aggies saw fit to take on some 7,000 U of Texas students attending the game, that's the sort of mankind spirit we need to defend our country.
It is also rather significant that no such "disorders" occur when a visiting team plays Texas A&M at College Station, regardless of intense rivalry.
W. H. HARDY JR.
Galena Park, Texas
As an old Massachusetts kite flyer I was momentarily startled to read (SCORECARD, Feb. 25) that three lads from Tacoma, Wash. had so far and so easily surpassed my childhood efforts. As I read beyond the first paragraph, however, it was plain that the boys have deluded both themselves and your reporters.
In my experience a single dime-store kite cannot attain an appreciable altitude. After a while the kite moves farther from the attachment point, measured horizontally, but gains no appreciable altitude.
My experience is borne out by that of the professional kite flyers. The Encyclopedia Americana tells of the Weather Bureau raising instruments to 23,835 feet with 10 kites and 8.5 miles of wire on May 5, 1910. The kites were spaced, on an average, less than a mile apart on the line. Also the altitude per kite was about 2,400 feet. Even granting one dime-store kite the altitude capability of two Weather Bureau kites, the altitude could not exceed 5,000 feet.
Conclusion: The boys should have measured the altitude instead of the length of the string.
FREDERICK CYRIL GRANT
Newport News, Va.