TRAGIC AWAKENING (CONT.)
Jack Olsen's Grizzly Bear Murder Case (May 12 et seq.) has shaken me.
This is an article from the June 2, 1969 issue
My own meetings with the Glacier Park wildlife seem so vastly inconsequential in comparison with the horrendous events that took place on the August night in 1967. However, with what I have seen, the animals of Glacier Park, from the largest, most unpredictable grizzly down to the tiny golden-mantled squirrel, are suffering from the coming of the easy life as associated with the encroachment of the American traveler with his garbage, litter and patronizing handouts. Once a wild animal has been fed through human hands, or has gotten an easy meal at an unkempt campsite, his self-sufficient spirit is broken. He then becomes the pesky, delinquent, welfare-seeking mammal that unfortunately abounds in our national parks today.
Glacier National Park, with its lofty splendor, should well be considered a sacred natural cathedral. Its parishioners, the wildlife, must be treated with respect; perhaps to the point of sanctification. Too many of us approach the animals of a national park with much the same attitude that we might approach the captives at the local zoo. However, at Glacier National Park we, too, are in the cage. The wild animal's one thought is to survive, via the easiest way possible. As reasoning human beings, it is our job to organize and facilitate a respectable survival for these natural citizens onto whose continent and into whose feeding grounds we are the intruders.
Certainly we must exterminate the grizzly. And while we're at it, let's destroy all dogs with teeth and all cats with claws. For who knows when one of these potentially dangerous beasts may turn on us?
Eventually, there should be only Man. Because we get along so well together.
PETER R. WEED
New York City
Jack Olsen's The Grizzly Bear Murder Case is the most magnificent example of journalism that I have ever had the privilege to read. By being uncompromising with the truth and economical with his words, Mr. Olsen has created a piece that stands at the pinnacle of his craft.
GORDON H. TAYLOR
New Haven, Conn.
Never again will we camp in a bear-infested national park. I have learned to hate bears. I do not intend to have my family exposed to Russian roulette. I have camped in Glacier National Park twice, 1941 and 1961, and will never return. My experience that last trip convinced me that grizzly bears and people are natural enemies. And with black bears behaving as they do, who needs enemies?
Perhaps Mr. Olsen will get a kick out of learning that a nature lover came to develop a deep hatred for our lovable national park bears—those detestable garbage-eating slobs.
I would also like to express my warm appreciation for the magnificent work done by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for conservation. You have accomplished more in two years than my beloved Sierra Club has in 77 years.
I have had a difficult time deciding whether or not to be disgusted at the way Mr. Olsen describes the killing of the two girls or to be frightened at the thought of just how dangerous a grizzly can be. If the purpose of the story was to warn people just how deadly the grizzly can be, or if it was to disgust people with his descriptions of the killings, whatever his original purpose was, Mr. Olsen has achieved both goals.
Never before have I read an article that had such a profound effect on me. I truthfully believe that I can say that I am now terrified at the thought of meeting a grizzly—outside of a zoo.
DAVID G. LAIRD
Having thoroughly enjoyed your article on Golf's Underwater Underworld (May 19), I believe my relating of a personal experience might be helpful to anyone who thinks that scavenging golf balls is relatively safe.
Six years ago, while diving (legally) for the Ponte Vedra Golf Club, Ponte Vedra, Fla., my friend and diving buddy, Tommy Veal, was actually attacked from the rear by a 10½-foot alligator. Tom was working on the pond's bank with his hands on the famous 9th hole hazard and his legs floating aimlessly in deeper water when he felt a surge behind him, and the jaws of an alligator clamped one leg in a vise. He somehow managed, with a quick jerk, to pull his leg from the gator's grasp and scramble up the bank. Tom was fortunate, having only suffered puncture tooth marks. The alligator was later shot and killed and removed from the lagoon.
Thus, scavenging golf balls can be even more dangerous in Florida with its alligators than in California with its catfish.
Ponte Vedra, Fla.
Thank you for exposing me to the frightful predicament of Jack Nicklaus (What Has Gone Wrong, Jack? May 19). I'm sure your article stirred up sympathy in the hearts of all your readers. After all, when a man earns only a paltry $155,285.55 in 12 months, something definitely has gone wrong. I can only hope that he gets back in the groove soon.
ASLEEP AT THE SWITCH
My faith in the National Football League has been shattered (They'd Rather Switch, May 26). I have always soundly supported the merger of the two leagues, but little did I know that three of the most traditional teams in the NFL would go over to the AFL. I could stomach even this huge mistake if there were some kind of sane divisional and playoff system. But no, pro football has chosen an idiotic six-divisional setup which will make a shambles of the playoff system.
Finally the long-awaited merger of the NFL and AFL is completed. I believe that the move of Baltimore, Cleveland and Pittsburgh to the AFL is fine, but I think Commissioner Rozelle made a boo-boo in the realignment. He should have Buffalo and Houston change places. Just think of the natural rivalry between Buffalo and Cleveland—shades of the old All-America Conference! Besides, this would give Miami a rival in Houston.
ELI H. MASLEKOFF
United States Army
Fort Bragg, N.C.
Jeannette Bruce's article (Slave to a Shah, May 5) is undoubtedly one of the finest articles on one of the most rewarding and enjoyable jaunts with nature a city dweller can experience. I'm sure most dog fanciers felt as I did when first seeing the article—oh no, not another article in a national publication by someone who knows nothing about dogs. This time we were wrong. Miss Bruce's article was great. I can think of no one in the world of dogs who could have related the joys of training a dog as well as she did. At a time when obedience showing and training are losing much of their appeal, your article is most appreciated and timely.
C. F. VAUGHN
As a slave to a beagle, I want to extend my congratulations to Jeannette Bruce for expressing the master-slave, human-canine relationship so well. Dog owners and lovers can take heart knowing their cause has been forwarded in such a humorous, yet sensitive way; it was an excellent article.
My beagle, Jennifer, sends the author seven happy wags and three friendly slurps. And she wants to meet Charlie Brown.
North Kingston, R.I.
I was very impressed that SI finally took an interest in Midwest lacrosse (Big Sticks of the Midwest, May 5). Peter Carry's article was very good, and Denison University truly plays a large role. In fact, it might be well to mention that the two other lacrosse powers Mr. Carry mentioned in regard to the Midwest, namely Ohio State and Bowling Green, were handily beaten (if not destroyed) by "little Denison." The scores were 21-3 and 19-4 respectively. There seems to be only one power in Midwest lacrosse, and this is not remarkably, but factually, Denison University. Backed by the coaching of Tommy Thomsen, surely one of the best coaches in the game, it becomes apparent that Bowling Green scholarships and Ohio State size have a long way to go before they threaten the ability of Denison lacrosse men.
You attempted to show how lacrosse in the Midwest would soon give the East's big four of Army, Johns Hopkins, Maryland and Navy some real competition for national honors. On the 26th of March, Denison brought a 31-game winning streak to Annapolis. That afternoon they were soundly defeated by Navy, 22-2. The score speaks for itself.
Midshipman ALAN C. PTAK
Another national lacrosse powerhouse is developing—in the Northeast. This team was ranked 20th nationally last spring and runner-up in New England, losing only one game, a 6-5 heartbreaker. This year they should break into the top ten. Please give some recognition to the University of Massachusetts, as they surely will place two or three men on the North squad in the annual All-Star game being played this year at Johns Hopkins University.
WALTER A. ALESSI
FPO New York
I wonder whether SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is aware that Syracuse University boasts, as of this writing, a 10-2 record. Indeed, not including it as one of the East's big four was certainly an oversight. With early season wins over both Denison and Ohio State, and a 21-5 massacre of highly touted Hobart, the Orange stickmen, according to their fine coach, Roy Simmons, keep improving every time out.
TIM LA BORIA
I would like to correct a misstatement attributed to Alex Ehrlich at the International Table Tennis Federation's Munich championships (No Defense Against Murder, May 5), and, perhaps, add to the Red Chinese athletic mystery. Red China does play a second international sport—badminton. Although the Red Chinese are not yet one of the International Badminton Federation's 48 member nations, they have made their presence felt. Having learned the game from the Indonesians in friendlier days between the two countries, they returned to seclusion in Peking with several Indonesian players and movies of the world stars. They emerged four years ago with one of the Indonesians, renamed Tan Hsien-hu, touted as unbeatable. While visiting Denmark, Tan demolished Svend Andersen, one of the top five in the world, 15-0, 15-4. Two years later, a much improved Andersen met Tan in a return match in Peking and again lost, 15-0, 15-1.
Tan and his teammates are in seclusion again, supposedly continuing a 12-hour daily training schedule which, according to reliable reports, has for six years consisted of heavy weight lifting, distance running, shot practice and playing singles until they pass out from muscle fatigue and exhaustion.
American Badminton Association
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