When you first ran the story of Harvey Knox (SI, Sept. 6, 1954) and his indecorous exploitation of his son and daughter, I was disgusted with SI and wrote and told you so. It would seem that many other people felt as I did, to judge by the number of letters you printed afterwards.
Frankly, I was nauseated to see the same arrogant portrait of the Knox family again in the Sept. 26th issue and thought your account of Ronnie Knox versus Texas A&M was just as awful as last year.
But I do want to tell you that Mr. Murray's story (SI, Oct. 3) of sitting in the stands with Harvey p√®re and watching Ronnie go down in defeat has changed my mind about Harvey Knox. Mr. Murray made him sound almost sympathetic: a jaunty, cocky fellow to be sure, but one who took defeat with a certain amount of grace. I might continue to have thought of Harvey Knox as an unbearably offensive blowhard had Ronnie and UCLA won, but now I think he is just another proud father who himself had the talent and chance to make something out of his life, but failed. Now he clings to Ronnie for a second chance at cracking open the oyster that eluded him. I don't like him any better but I hope he and Ronnie make it.
FATHER WANTS THE BEST
Ronnie has done his best to live up to the estimations of his father. Mr. Harvey Knox, like any other father, is doing his best to raise his children to what they should be. Maybe he has been a little forceful in his actions. But at times what father doesn't want the best for his son or daughter? Now that Ronnie has gained his place in football, I know that Mr. Knox is very happy. Some people say Mr. Knox is going too far. Maybe he is, but that is not for me to judge. Let's forget about his actions and look to Ronnie. He has a whole football career in front of him and it's his obligation to fulfill it.
It is said that Ronnie has never participated in his decisions about playing football, and that Mr. Knox has just "ruled" him. I don't think this is true. Ronnie's father has made him do what he's supposed to do; but I know Ronnie has had something to say about it, because I know Ronnie Knox very well.
MARY JANE CIMAGLIO
Oak Park, Ill.
SEND HIM TO MICHIGAN...
Since Harvey's son Ronnie did not, as he predicted, throw five touchdown passes against Maryland, I imagine that he has "creamed and disowned him." If he is in need of more competent coaching and a good team to support him, please have Harvey send him to Michigan and shut up.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
•Last Saturday Ronnie Knox sat on the bench with a shoulder hurt against Maryland and watched substitute Sam Brown score two touchdowns, kick four extra points for a 55-0 victory over Washington State. But could be that Michigan will get to see Knox. Both UCLA and Michigan are eligible contenders for this season's Rose Bowl game.—ED.
Is Harvey now going to get Ronnie transferred to Maryland?
THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE
Apparently one Edward Easton is having trouble with his football breathing. In his letter to you (19th Hole, Sept. 26), he went into a long harangue about Army's mediocrity and Yale's ineptness.
My complaint is not whether Army is good or bad but about his reference to Syracuse as a "breather." Leave us not drag Syracuse football down to the level of Yale's which, along with the other Ivy League schools, has consistently refused to meet the Orange men—and, I might add, not because they are a breather.
BLAIR A. MCFARLANE JR.
THE BARD ON BASEBALL
The "greatest baseball player" is a thought worthy of consideration (HOTBOX, Sept. 26), indeed of sufficient worth to bring up the lines from Twelfth Night: "Some men are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them." Born great, that would be the Babe, who was perhaps the most magnificently endowed natural athlete of any sport. Greatness achieved, that would be Lou Gehrig, who achieved greatness by keeping everlastingly at it. Dizzy Dean had greatness thrust upon him by the baseball writers who saw good copy in a colorful but really quite limited player. The greatest player must fit all three attributes (since it will not do him any good to blush unseen like a violet). There is only one man: Honus Wagner, a magnificent athlete, a competitor of fierce and enduring application and one who bore the greatness ascribed to him with modesty and distinction.
HONUS' GREAT HEART
I felt a rather personal interest in your HOTBOX question—"Who do you think is the greatest baseball player?"—as the following story will explain.
Prior to World War I and not too long after the Pittsburgh Pirates' present site, Forbes Field, had been opened, another kid and I were watching the players enter the park several hours before game time. We were about 12 at the time and as I remember were playing hooky to see our first big league game. I remember distinctly the Pirates were playing the Cincinnati Reds, and I believe Joe Tinker was managing the latter.
Anyway we stood by the players' entrance gate watching them all enter—Fred Clarke, George Gibson, Mike Mitchell, Dick Hoblitzel and all the rest. Never a word or even a glance at the two kids. Finally a huge, bowlegged guy hove into view Hi kids—with a great big grin—and a pat on each of our shoulders!
Is it any wonder the majority of your experts, including his keenest competitor, picked Honus? With such a heart the guy could not help being the greatest.
J. B. CONLEY
There are countless ways of choosing baseball's greatest player, but none are clear-cut and decisive.
Precisely, what do we mean by "the greatest"? Is it being the most valuable player to a team? Or, contrastingly, does it have little bearing on a player's value to his team?
Tom Meany, an authority if ever there was one, once wrote: "McGraw called Wagner the greatest; many have called Ruth the greatest; but the most call Cobb the greatest."
•In a sport overly endowed with statistical heroes, "the greatest ballplayer" is happily one choice every fan can make for himself and be sure that his choice is the greatest.—ED.
PHYSICAL FITNESS: THE U.S. OPEN CHAMPION ON GOLF
Frankly, with the excellent facilities that are maintained under the auspices of our municipal park board operation, I was dumbfounded by the serious lack of public facilities in other areas and the horrendous difference between the physical development of our youngsters and the nutritionally deficient but muscularly superior development of the European child as outlined in "The Report that Shocked the President" (SI, Aug. 15).
Naturally, as golf is my field, I can see the unlimited advantages of the promotion of golf, not from the junior level as we know it, but from a grade-school level. Golf has the unique advantage of not requiring any physical properties other than the desire to play. In our area juniors play for a 25¢ fee. What better way for them to spend these long summer days? If nothing else, after a long day on the links they are too tired to get into much trouble at night!
We have a very active Little League organization here and even my own 4-year-old is begging for a glove and eagerly roots for his favorite team during the games. I understand they have been under fire lately with a charge of exploitation being placed against them. Judging solely from this particular segment of the country it is a very weak charge. The channeling of all that energy does fine things for the lad whose values are being molded and who is at an impressionable stage in his life. Surely active participation in a sport, any sport, teaches them valuable lessons for their manhood and above all trains and develops their bodies.
FAITH AND COURAGE
I should like to express to you my sincere appreciation for the part SI has played in helping me on my road to recovery.
Since your very complimentary article in SI, Jan. 31, and again in the July 26th issue, I have received hundreds of letters from your readers, all expressing their wishes to help me get well. I wish I could answer all these letters but that is impossible at the present. However, I should like to thank you for making it possible for them to write to me.
Their prayers and good wishes have indeed given me much faith and courage and made these past months much easier and pleasanter ones.
Santa Monica, Calif.
A PARADOX CLEARED
Although the article on the skin-diving Pinder Brothers (SI, Sept. 5) was both entertaining and colorful, I think Author Phinizy may have forsaken facts for enthusiasm in at least one instance. He states that the Pinder sling spear, utilizing a force of 80 pounds, has taken fish up to 30 feet away. Now, the rubber in my own spear gun exerts a pull of over 150 pounds, but through experience I know I could not bag even the smallest kelp fish at that distance. Please clear up the apparent paradox.
New Haven, Conn.
•It is an unusual feat to take a fish at 30 feet with a double-strand sling, but the Pinder brothers are unusual. First of all, in expert hands Mr. Schofield's gun is not as effective, on a pound-pull ratio, as the sling used by the Pinders, because in a gun the spear's velocity is reduced by the impediment of the gun slidings. But even so, the circumstances have to be unusually good: the shot must be launched from the same plane, but just slightly above the fish, which would have to be almost motionless, as under a shell.—ED.
STORY OF THE YEAR
The king salmon article was great, to say nothing of the wonderful picture (SI, Sept. 26). I've been meaning to suggest just such an article, only on the wonderful California king salmon that runs so well off Monterey and "sunny" Seaside—every year, that is, save '55.
NO SHOT FOR BIG SHOT
Regarding WONDERFUL WORLD, "One Shot for Big Shots" (SI, Sept. 26), I see Governor Anderson of Nebraska is "set to fire," but antelope scampers into brush. Please be advised the governor should pull the bolt of his rifle down for firing position or he is not set to fire.
Governor Anderson is probably "scoping" the animal to check for a good set of horns. Caption writer is only one "set to fire" and from the photograph apparently went off halfcocked.
As a former Nebraskan, antelope hunter and charter member of SI, I appreciated the spread on the one-shot antelope hunt out of Lander, Wyoming. However, I have to confess it appears Governor Foss of South Dakota with his usual sharpshooting ability, as evidenced by his wonderful war record, has the best "head," appearing to be 15 inches or more—near trophy size.
Thanks again for covering a wonderful sporting event, one close to the heart of any person that has participated.
DR. CALVIN MCEWEN
Garden Grove, Calif.
•Governor Anderson was indeed far from set with his bolt up. Governor Foss, first man to bring down a buck two minutes after the hunt opened, was given place of honor by Shoshone Indians in a tribal dance after the shoot.—ED.
Thank you and Mr. Scott Young for the September 19 story on wild geese.
As a resident of Cochrane, Ontario, which lies 184 miles south of James Bay, I am well acquainted with conditions on the mud flats of Hannah Bay and Albany where the snow geese fly in incalculable numbers. I also know Jimmy Cheecho who is an excellent and most trustworthy guide, and Len Hughes's camp is a credit to our great North Country. Truly, James Bay, north of Cochrane, is a hunters' paradise. I hope that it will remain one through conservation and strict control of bag limits, which our Department of Lands & Forests is now carrying out.
MAURICE D. DUBIN
It's good to see your FISHERMAN'S CALENDAR each week in SI. It alone is worth the price of subscription for many readers I know.
I guess every fisherman has his own ideas about what's a good fishing bet, and at times I have found myself at odds with some of the dope you gave for the Inland Empire area I cover, which extends from the Cascades on the west to the Rockies in the east.
One somewhat startling bit of info was that in the September 12 issue in which Kamloops trout, 18-25 pounds, were common from Coeur d'Alene Lake. Well, any rainbow, Kamloops or not, of this size is not a common catch for this area. Be that as it may, any trout over 5 pounds from Coeur d'Alene is newsworthy.
I strongly suspect the 18-to-25-pound Kamloops came from nearby Pend Oreille. But don't let anyone tell you fish this size are being caught by just anyone. It takes about 800 hours angling time to catch a Kammie this big.
Another minor error I noted in the same Idaho report was the spelling of the St. Maries River. This fine, old—but sadly abused—creek is a favorite of mine and I like to see other writers avoid spelling it St. Mary's. O.K.?
•Mr. Peterson's suspicions are justified: the Kamloops did come from Pend Oreille, and St. Maries it will be from now on.—ED.
REPORT FROM A CALENDAR WATCHER
Fisherman's calendar in the September 19th and 26th issues reports the fall run of big rainbows in the Manitou Creek on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron. This is the first year that the season has been opened on rainbows after the 15th of September, and the first year in several that the "dry-weather road" which is the only access to the stream has been passable in the fall. Fishing pressure since Labor Day has been terrific on this water, and the few big trout which started up river are strange to the river and skittish. Water level is low and water is clear, and it takes something more than average skill and patience to tie up to one of the good-sized ones.
The last Sunday before the end of the speckled trout season brought out a record crowd of fishermen, picnickers and just interested onlookers from as far away as Sudbury and North Bay. Every bend in the river had its quota of anglers, equipped with every imaginable sort of tackle, the most popular being a short spinning rod with a heavy line ending in a daredevil spoon and treble hook. Once in a while a fish gets snagged on one of these, but in general everyone was giving it an honest try with dew worms or small stone crabs. At one spot where a cedar tree hangs out over the water one angler stood with an arm around the tree trunk, handling his rod with one free hand. On his shoulders stood a second man, operating in the same pool from the higher level. Both fishermen were being helped by several small boys who gathered stone crabs for them, affixing bait on each line as required.
The lamprey eel is fast reducing the rainbow-trout population in Lake Huron where these big ones come from. I counted about seven or eight large fish in the lower part of the stream which had been killed by eels, and almost every fish taken there in the last few years has borne scars resulting from the bites of these killers.
Your Ed Zern is doing a swell job with his calendar. It's timely and apparently accurate, and I am amazed that you can assemble so much information so quickly that it is not outdated before publication dates.
HERBERT M. SHAW
Ann Arbor, Mich.
HAPPY KNOLL: PAY AS YOU ENTER
Am in perfect agreement with reader Romney's suggestion (19th HOLE, Sept. 19) concerning Happy Knoll guest membership fees payable to the Olympic Fund. Hoping you will look favorably upon my application for membership, I enclose a $1 check for the United States Olympic Fund.
Please accept my application for guest membership in J. P. Marquand's wonderful Happy Knoll Country Club. I would like to join in contributing $1 to the 1956 Olympic Fund.
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Enclosed are 13 pesos, roughly the equivalent of $1, for guest membership in the Happy Knoll Country Club. I think it is a fine idea to help out the U.S. Olympic Fund.
CHARLES LA BINE
I should have thought of it before Kenn Romney; I enclose a dollar.
CAMERON M. FISHER
I am sending a check for $1 in accordance with Mr. Romney's idea.
MICHAEL A. DIVELY
Shaker Heights, Ohio
Would you have an opening at Happy Knoll for another paying guest? Here is $10 for the Olympic Fund.
GEORGE P. REICHERT
North Atlanta, Ga.
Since we want to straddle more and better fences—may we have membership cards for Happy Knoll and also for its rival, Hard Hollow.
Since Mr. Kenn Romney suggested the Olympic Fund, here is our check for $2.
HARD HOLLOW STRIKES BACK
The Board of Directors of Hard Hollow Country Club at its regular meeting last night voted to increase our guest membership dues. The new rate, payable as soon as possible, is $2. Although some at Happy Knoll will say we are just being ridiculous about the whole thing, we feel this is absolutely the least we can afford for such a vital thing as the U.S. Olympic Fund. We are only sorry Mr. Romney beat us to it.
CORSON CASTLE JR.
•Checks, cash, money orders and pesos have been forwarded to the U.S. Olympic fund by SI on behalf of Happy Knoll's Board of Governors and Hard Hollow's Director Castle. A Pat on the Back to Mr. Romney for a new idea to benefit a fine cause.—ED.