Jack Olsen's story on Bill van Breda Kolff was most interesting (Hedonist Prophet of the Spartan Game, Sept. 23). However, Olsen writes: "Van Breda Kolff became the first Ivy coach in history to take over a professional team." May I point out that there were three who preceded Bill? Elmer Ripley, basketball coach at Yale from 1929 to 1935 and at Columbia from 1944 to 1945, coached in the Eastern League and for several pro clubs down through the years.
Hall-of-Famer Kenneth Loeffler coached at Yale from 1936 to 1942, then coached the St. Louis Bombers (NBA) from 1946 to 1948 and the Providence Steamrollers (NBA) the following season.
Robert (Red) Rolfe, basketball coach at Yale from 1943 to 1946, coached the Toronto Huskies (NBA) in 1947.
Conversely, and just to add to the record, Hall-of-Famer Doggie Julian left the Boston Celtics to coach at Dartmouth, and Bob Morris left the Providence Steamrollers to coach at Brown. Former NBA players like Jack McCloskey, Howie Dallmar and Bob Harrison also subsequently joined Ivy League colleges as coaches.
WILLIAM G. MOKRAY
Editor and Publisher
October 6, 1968
O.K., you've told us about McLain the swinger (Dizzy Dream for Jet-Set Denny, July 29) and McLain the show biz whiz (A Rare 30 for Show-Biz Denny, Sept. 23). Now tell us how Denny threw one right down the middle to Mantle so Mickey could blast it and move up in the alltime home-run race. That's another McLain, and you ought to tell it all. He didn't have to do it, you know.
LINES OF BATTLE
At the naval academy the bible of the sports world is Sports Illustrated. But I'm sure I speak for the entire brigade when I say that I was shocked and dismayed that a fine magazine such as yours would even suggest, as you did at the end of your preview of the U.S. Military Academy's football season (Sept. 9), that no one cares about the outcome of our traditional game. I'm sure you'll have to argue this point with the more than 7,000 midshipmen and cadets, not to mention the thousands of football fans who attend the game and millions more who watch it on television. But most concerned are our fighting men in the armed forces, now and in days gone by, whom the combatants on the gridiron represent as they, too, do battle.
In a day and age when traditions seem to pass by the wayside, especially on our college campuses, due respect should be given to this nationally famous rivalry that has existed since 1890, when the fighting Midshipmen trounced the Cadets 24-0.
Midshipman Fourth Class
The SCORECARD section of your September 9 issue contained a very amusing anecdote concerning a golf ball landing in a helicopter. Because of it, I recalled a somewhat similar, though near-tragic, incident that happened in the South Pacific during late 1944 or early 1945.
The First Marine Division was "staging" on the island of Pavuvu in the Russell Islands, a part of the Solomon Islands. Their landing strip was a coral roadway next to a baseball field. As the pilot of a Piper Cub (used for artillery fire spotting and short island hops) came in for a landing—with an open cockpit, naturally in that weather—he was struck in the face by what would have been a home-run ball. His nose and cheekbone were fractured and he was temporarily stunned. But in falling backward he unconsciously pulled back on the stick, and when he recovered consciousness a few-seconds later, the Piper Cub was climbing. Rather than attempt another landing on the roadway, the pilot made a rather shaky but safe landing on the fighter strip on Banika, another of the Russell Islands, about eight or 10 air miles from Pavuvu, where he was cared for at U.S. Fleet Hospital 110 (formerly called Mob 10).
I was the chaplain at Mob 10 and I can vouch for the story, although I never did find out if that marine back on Pavuvu got credit for an eight-mile home run.
THE REV. JOSEPH J. LAMB
Pastor, Church of St. Leo the Great
In your Pro Football Issue (Sept. 16) you mentioned that many scouts believe that Eldridge Dickey "might become the first black quarterback to play as a regular in professional football." This may be true of American football. However, I would like to point out that Carroll Williams, a Negro, is at present doing an excellent job as the rookie regular quarterback of the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League. I think that Montreal's assistant coach, Ralph Goldston, is also the first Negro coach in Canadian professional football. At any rate, don't you think it's time your ethnocentric publication recognized the fact that professional football is not limited to the NFL-AFL, and that the Green Bay Packers are not the "world champions," but only American champions? Clearly, unless the winners of the U.S. and Canadian leagues meet, football has no world champion, and equally clear is the fact that if Eldridge Dickey makes the grade with Oakland, he will be the second black quarterback in professional football, not the first.
•Dickey in fact will be the third. The first was Sandy Stephens who played with the Alouettes two years ago.—ED.
THE REEL THING
Your romantic story about the last remaining copies of the golf movies made by-Bobby Jones was an entertaining one (The Reel Life of Bobby Jones, Sept. 23). You may be interested to know, however, that the Warner Bros, films, in their entirety, are in the possession of United Artists Television, Inc. They were kind enough to lend me two reels recently for the purpose of studying the possibility of building a television spectacular around them.
THOMAS R. DAVIS
PEAK LOAD (CONT.)
Although Bil Gilbert seemed to understand many of the problems of the "out-of-cardoorsman" (Boondock Heresy, Sept. 2), he really missed the whole show with the wilderness areas. As the U.S. Forest Service ranger for the Mt. Whitney Trail in the John Muir Wilderness Area I feel I am well acquainted with the wilderness problems. I can't believe Bil saw no garbage, no mangled flora or persecuted wildlife and only-one person on the four-mile Andrews Bald trail on Labor Day. On my 10½-mile-long wilderness trail (which is classed a strenuous hike and probably is no more scenic than the Andrews Bald trail), I had about 3,000 beer-can-throwing, switch-back-cutting hikers over the Labor Day weekend.
When was the last time Bil was out in the boondocks? The days of John Muir are gone—there are people out there now, and there isn't enough wilderness to go around. I admit that the problems in the roaded areas of our national parks are serious, but problems in the boondocks are equally serious, and chopping up the wilderness areas that are left isn't going to solve anything. Look at the figures: the percentage of land in our country classified as wilderness is minute, and once you put in a road the wilderness is lost forever.
Lone Pine, Calif.
Bil Gilbert maintains that up to 20% of the Smokies and other national parks can be utilized for more roads to accommodate those wishing to wear out their eyes but not feet without hindering the pursuit of "boondocky pleasures and illusions." Hog-wash! I took a hike to Charlie's Bunyon, and the commotion at Newfound Gap, four miles away, could still be heard.
Bil Gilbert wants more roads? Even wheel sightseers will stay away from the Smokies in direct proportion to the number of new roads built, simply because they (we) are sick of seeing ribbons of concrete covering the country. If Bil would examine the traffic situation a little further, I'm sure he would find the problem is not one of too few roads but of too many slow-moving campers and trailers and outlandish traffic laws which allow parking everywhere, thereby disrupting traffic on the main highways.
I have just finished reading Bil Gilbert's comedy on campers. I wish I hadn't. As a resident of Knoxville, Tenn., a junior Girl Scout leader and mother of four hiking enthusiasts, I found the article both distasteful and misleading. Although Mr. Gilbert's outlook on trailer-campers probably proves true throughout the nation, it is unfair to judge our Smoky Mountains by a few incidents which could and do occur everywhere. Mr. Gilbert should have pointed to the wonders that are to be found along the beautiful trails if he hoped to enlighten anyone.
We have hiked to Rainbow Falls, Laurel Falls and Mt. Le Conte, to mention a few, but I have never climbed his "'toothpaste tower." I do not find it in my heart, however, to condemn those who have the taste for this sort of thing.
Was Mr. Gilbert's purpose to belittle our Great Smokies, undermine the Cherokee reservation or frustrate the Gatlinburg, Tenn. Chamber of Commerce? He seemed to have missed his true purpose in panning the American tourist. Of course, I'm prejudiced. Until five years ago I was a Georgia cracker, but now I show my true colors as a Tennessee hillbilly!
MRS. OLIN S. FERGUSON JR.