GLORY AND GOO
I was horrified to see in John Underwood's article on Tom O'Hara (Running Is Such Sweet Torture, June 22) that Tom had given away the secret of America's sudden breakthrough in all distances from 1,500 meters to the marathon. Herb Elliott had his sand dunes; Tom O'Hara has his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
As long as O'Hara himself has let the cat out of the bag, and in the interest of continued world improvement in distance running, I suppose I might as well release the secret formula:
Select two pieces of bread, whole wheat preferred. Smother one slice thoroughly with butter. Cover the remaining slice with a layer of peanut butter one-quarter inch deep. Use only old-fashioned, oily peanut butter. Hydrogenated peanut butter is infra dig. Cover the first slice of bread with gooey jelly, preferably black raspberry preserves. Slap the two slices of bread together. Do not cut the bread!
This sandwich must be munched down in large gulps, preferably with a glass of milk. Use the tongue to quickly police up any jelly that seeps out from between the bread. This develops the speed necessary for 55-second last quarters.
July 5, 1964
With this nutritious formula practically anyone can become a four-minute miler. It also helps, however, if you run 120 to 140 miles a week.
Michigan City, Ind.
As a nondescript high school miler, I was so impressed and inspired by Mr. Underwood's article that I put on my sweat suit and ran two miles as soon as I finished reading it—11:30 p.m.
John Underwood's truly excellent article on Tom O'Hara showed that the mile was, is and always will be the glory, gory and gut race.
STEPHEN E. KARPUS
John Underwood stated that either Tom O'Hara or Dyrol Burleson is the best miler in the world today. Perhaps a word of caution should be injected about a miler named Peter Snell.
Remember how Herb Elliott was counted out before the 196) Olympics? (Married, not training, no desire.) Well, he ran away from the field in the 1,500 meters and, in the process, set a world record that still stands—even in this day of supermilers.
Don't cross Snell off the list yet!
BRUCE H. DOLPH
East Syracuse, N.Y.
COURAGE AND BEAUTY
Alfred Wright's realistic and sympathetic account of Ken Venturi's comeback victory in the U.S. Open was as dazzling as Venturi's brilliant performance itself. ("Poor Ken" Hits It Rich Again, June 29). Seldom have the "losers" of the sporting world been given such good cause to take heart.
Less dazzling, however, was your picture of Ken's wife Conni, whom Wright calls "one of the beauties among the golfers' wives." Surely, if Mrs. Venturi is really all he says, you can give us better evidence of the fact than that.
New York City
As I watched Golfer Ken Venturi struggle up to the 18th green at the U.S. Open tournament all I could think of were the two words that Tony Lema used in the March 30 issue of SI (Bubbles and Two that Burst) to describe his admiration of Venturi's courage. "He fights," Tony said.
MICHAEL M. TSUJI
New York City
ON THE MAP
The Lost Heroes of Touring (June 22) by Robert Cantwell brought back more nostalgic and happy memories to me than any of your historical pieces in recent years. I well remember the red, white and blue signs of the old Lincoln Highway and various other identifying marks used to keep tourists on a given cowpath in the mud-road days of early Iowa motoring. I well remember asking my civil-engineer father, when the time came to put numbers on roads, why they used numbers instead of names. His answer was that a few years back they had lost a couple of them and decided that the only way to keep track of the roads was with numbers.
It is too bad, however, that such a perceptive author as Mr. Cantwell has been victimized by one of those nefarious map-makers who slipped in a thief catcher on him. "Sievert Springs Norwegian Museum" in Decorah, Iowa never has existed; I doubt that it ever will. We in Decorah are very proud of the beautiful Siewers Springs Fish Hatchery, and we are likewise justly proud of our Norwegian Museum, which contains many artifacts of the Norwegian background of the community. It didn't take me long to find that the culprit that deceived Mr. Cantwell was Rand McNally. Perhaps someday the mapmakers will correct these small discrepancies and note instead the spot on Baum Boulevard where William Akin had his inspiration.
JOHN S. SPROATT
I cannot begin to tell you with what nostalgia I read Robert Cantwell's history of the road map and my husband's part in it. It all seems so long ago—when Bill and I were enthusiastic motorists, even with acetylene lights, motors to be cranked and tops to be raised when the rains came.
His idea of a map of Allegheny County (Pa.) came after we were lost in the hills above Sewickley. The next morning the idea was put into production.
I am deeply grateful to you for recognizing his gift to all motorists.
Mrs. WILLIAM B. AKIN
For some years prior to 1914, which is the year in which Mr. Akin had his "great idea," there was published in this country a series of books called the Automobile Blue Books, which were regarded as authentic road guides for every section of the United States. These books came in blue leather covers and showed, in exhaustive detail, hundreds of thousands of miles of road, with every possible direction for the tourist, including maps. The company that published them, the Automobile Blue Book Publishing Co., of which my late father was the head at the time, maintained, both in New York and Chicago, a number of road crews consisting of a driver and an assistant, who covered these roads in detail, making note of all changes in landmarks, directions, road repairs, etc. These books also carried considerable advertising from hotels and resorts along individual routes.
The Blue Books were, for a long time, extremely profitable and sold in great numbers. However, the introduction of the free road maps by the various oil companies, plus the greatly increased clarity of road markings by the individual states and communities, gradually caused them to decrease in appeal, and the company finally ceased publication about 1917.
HAROLD B. HOLTZ
New York City
ONE WOMAN'S WORLD
All superlatives are inadequate in praising SI for the tribute to Gladys Heldman, publisher etc. of World Tennis (Busiest Voice in a Busy Clan, June 22). Every tennis player and fan recognizes this rare, wonderful lady as having personally contributed more to tennis than any other individual in any single sport. My personal vote goes to Gladys Heldman for the presidency of the U.S.A. or the USLTA, whichever position she would accept. She would carry out either job magnificently.
JOHN R. McFARLIN
Either Julius Heldman has been holding out on you, or you have been holding out on your readers. He was involved in one of the most startling upsets in tennis history, but you failed to mention it.
In the quarter-final round of the National Indoor Championship (the exact date was Feb. 21, 1958) a weekend player crowding 40 played Barry MacKay, the fifth-ranking player of the United States, aged 22. The younger man was a giant with a crushing serve, and it looked for all the world like David and Goliath.
But the little fellow won 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, to the amazement, if not stupefaction, of the gallery and the world. The victory came about through no physical impairment of the loser, who two days later (with Grant Golden) won the indoor doubles championship of the U.S.
There have been occasions when the question has arisen as to whether he is Gladys' husband or she is Juli's wife. There is plenty of evidence to support either view.
Thanks to Mark Kram for a wonderful story on our wonderful John Wyatt (He Sends in the Smoke for the Green Goose, June 22). To date he's won four games and saved 14 others, which is really remarkable. John is a true All-Star (even if he does wear the colors of a last-place team).
Overland Park, Kans.
Mark Kram has done the impossible. He has discovered the American League's answer to our Mets, and he has found a man who can converse with Casey Stengel: John Wyatt. Despite all the efforts of Mr. Finley, Kansas City, with the help of players like Wyatt, might just be building an interesting ball club on its own.
HEART OF THE MATTER
I noted with pleasure your mention of the recent golf match involving Dwight D. Eisenhower, Arnold Palmer, Ray Bolger and Jimmy Demaret (PEOPLE, June 8). The pleasure, however, was somewhat diluted by the fact that no mention was made of the Heart Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, for whose benefit the match was played. You might at least have mentioned that Mr. Eisenhower's last words before leaving the golf course were: "Don't forget the Heart Fund."
ORVILLE HORWITZ, M.D.
HUFF OVER A PUFF
Concerning John Romero's article, A Judge's Report (June 22), I am the guy who was the other judge in the Griffith-Rodriguez fight. Since my everyday occupation is on the bench, where I make decisions every few minutes, I wasn't anywhere near as nervous as Romero, and, in fact, it's a relief to know that in calling a fight, right or wrong, there is no higher court to reverse me.
Romero is a wonderful fellow, an outstanding fight judge and a good friend, but what did he mean by "finally District Judge David Zenoff puffed in the door"? I am a hale, hearty, tennis-and-golf-playing 48 and I can run the 100 against 35-year-old John Romero—and the editor of SI—any time!