Publish date:



Thank you for a wonderful Christmas present—Catherine Drinker Bowen's Our Heritage of Boldness (Dec. 24). I wish every child in America could read it. It has the surge and vitality of America. And it also has the wonderful old-fashioned patriotism. Most magazine articles criticize and belittle. We need more of such shining faith in our creed and our destiny. Even the prevalent cynics must applaud Mrs. Bowen, for she does not gloss over our mistakes—just puts them in perspective without apology.
Seal Beach, Calif.

In trying to sum up the essential character of the Bold American we would do well to remember these words of Theodore Roosevelt: "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

Catherine Drinker Bowen is distinctly a product of the exploits of boldness described in her own essay, for she recently dared to tread where no woman had. This past October she became the very first woman in the 97-year history of Lehigh University, where only men are admitted to its colleges, to deliver the commencement address and to receive an honorary degree at Founder's Day exercises.

In her address she said, "Your 'Intellectual Man' is of all people a searcher after reality, a man who runs headlong into life, not away from it."
Bethlehem, Pa.

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED scored high in the opinion and memories of many of us young oldtimers by including, all in one issue (Dec. 24), Our Heritage of Boldness by Catherine Drinker Bowen; The Non-organization Boy; and Frank Merriwell's Triumph by Robert H. Boyle. My compliments to all three of your authors.

The first one inspired us, and the others aroused pleasant memories.

I could add to the homemade concoctions diagramed for non-organization boys. Say, the wooden barrel-stave coasters, for use on snow-covered slopes, and the dart, made from a shingle, thrown high into the sky by the simple sling made from a small 24-inch branch and a piece of twine with a knot in the end to hitch to the notch on the dart.

Flying kites and shooting them with darts might be an up-to-date activity of the present brand of youngsters.
Newton, Conn.

Thank you for your story on Frank Merriwell. How good it is to recall there used to be such things as good and evil.

I feel that if Frank Merriwell were to return to Yale today he would not find things too awfully different. There is still that one attitude which demands that a man be accepted for what he is, even if it is not varsity athletics. Actually, Frank Merriwell is here, on our elm-shaded campus, still singing Bingo, still concerned not just with victory but with developing the characteristics which define the Yale man. Let us not forget him.
New Haven, Conn.

Just read your year-end edition.

This is your finest hour!

(Aside to Robert H. Boyle, the Matthew, Mark, Luke and John of Frank Merriwell: You just wrote the gospel on our peerless leader.)

Bullies and toadies all over the world are reeling back. Strength to the arm of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED!
President and Beloved Founder of the Friends of Frank Merriwell
New Shrewsbury, N.J.

Why don't you republish all of Frank Merriwell? You might have to transfer him to Penn State now that the Yales are less sporting—big time, that is. When not making touchdowns, Frank might foil the un-savories in boxing, teach a lesson to the torturers who are in the Tennessee Walking Horse business and help us with an Olympic team lift. As an encore, we could send him to Russia for an 8-foot high jump while on a goodwill tour. Doubtless, this would lead to a settlement of the atomic energy problem with Russia, too.

As a democratic gesture he might teach a few of the New York Mets to pitch the "double shoot" and to hit the "horsehide."

I would like my son to read Merriwell, as would many idealistic people.
Carlisle, Pa.

Your issue of Dec. 24 left me quite frustrated. There were just too many articles too far removed from your basic raison d'être.

Fortunately, Charles Goren came to the rescue. This was his best quiz ever, and I am looking forward to using excerpts on my students. However, I strongly disagree with the answer to No. 18. No score for a forcing pass? Is partner (holding 5-5-2-1, 5-5-1-2 or even 4-5-2-2) supposed to pull the double? We might be cold for game, or even slam at spades, yet be lucky to beat two clubs one trick. Surely the pass deserves at least 4 out of a possible 5 points?
Los Angeles

South holds:

[Ace of Spades]
[King of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[3 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[King of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]


1 [Diamond]

1 [Heart]


2 [Club]


•"Charge my account two points," says Charles Goren. "A pass at this point is sound procedure and should have been given credit."—ED.

Why hold the NCAA basketball championships at all this year? Why not just crown Cincinnati right now? Both of your articles (SCOUTING REPORTS, Dec. 10; The Bearcats Solve a Problem for Ed, Dec. 24) left me with the impression that Cincinnati might give the Boston Celtics a hard time. You say Cincinnati has four starters returning from the team that won last year's NCAA championships. Let me remind you of their semifinal game with UCLA. The final score was 72-70, and I see nothing decisive about that. Also I recall that Paul Hogue was much more responsible for the victory than the other four players. Could Ed Jucker and Cincinnati be persuaded to show up for a rematch?
Long Beach, Calif.

I thought it was downright dumb of you to rank the Ohio State Buckeyes No. 12. They deserve higher recognition even though they have lost Jerry Lucas, John Havlicek and Mel Nowell. To prove my point, Ohio State won its first four games by fairly good scores—for instance, Ohio State 62, Utah State 50, and Ohio State 84, St. Louis 59, the latter of which you picked No. 8. Any questions?
Lancaster, Ohio

The Southern Conference's Virginia Poly-technical Institute deserves some recognition. VPI beat Kentucky in its opening game for the first time in 30-odd years. At the time Kentucky was ranked third in the country. Then they went on to beat Mississippi State, ranked No. 4. Yet in your coverage of the South, East, West, etc., VPI has hardly been mentioned.

The spirit of competitive life forms at least part of what is loosely and collectively termed "the spirit of America," and Mrs. Don Van Rossen in her letter (Why Not Blame the Parents? Dec. 17) defines and defends this spirit so well.

As a junior in high school, I am resigned to the fact that by virtue of not having participated to an appreciable degree in sports as a boy, I am and probably shall be shut out of varsity athletics in high school.

Having worked out and practiced three summers in succession in hopes of playing freshman, sophomore and junior basketball and freshman and sophomore football and having either ended up as a third-or fourth-string reserve or simply having been cut, I am discouraged; but not to the point of crying sour grapes or criticizing the athletic system.

My competitive and athletic spirit has not been dampened; on the contrary, it has been quickened, and I merely vent those energies through such activities as church-league basketball, intramural school programs, pickup football and basketball games and tennis. I enjoy my phys ed class much more than I did previously, and I ride my bike practically every place I go.

Friends still come up to me and ask me, "Didn't you go out for basketball?" to which I answer, "Yes, but I was cut." Invariably I get a pseudosympathetic "That's too bad," or "You got gypped." The truth is, it isn't too bad, and I did not get gypped; I was simply found to be athletically inferior to other boys, due to any number of reasons, primarily inexperience. This judgment was passed by just and trained persons. What can I do about it? I can call up eight or 10 friends, get hold of a gym or outside court and play a good pickup game of basketball just for the fun of it.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

I am sick and tired of constantly reading articles on children and athletics and constantly hearing this equal-opportunity-to-play bit. The average or below-average player will never measure up to the good one no matter how much he plays or how hard he tries, so you must spend the time developing the skills of the player that is gifted. Yet year after year the parents' cry is the same: "Let them all play." Don't they realize that there are playgrounds and school gym classes where they can all play?
Florence, N.J.

As one of those parents who applauded Mrs. Ross's highly articulate plea for less competitive athletic programs in the schools (Open Letter to Bud Wilkinson, Nov. 12), I cannot sit back in the "smug satisfaction" suggested by Mrs. Van Rossen and let her reply to Mrs. Ross go unanswered.

In attempting to equate mediocrity in the arts and sciences and in scholastic endeavor with athletic mediocrity, Mrs. Van Rossen fails to realize what should be most obvious: the difference in treatment and attitude on the part of both classmates and teachers toward these mediocre performers.

The child who fails to be chosen for glee club, orchestra or the class play, the child who isn't a gifted artist or has no keen scientific bent is not made to feel less worthy as an individual. But all too often, if his performance in the gym or on the athletic field is only average or below, he is treated with something near contempt by his physical education instructor. Not surprisingly, in the lower grades this attitude is often contagious at the student level

All the private lessons, all the encouragement and reassurance at home are of little value when the confidence and beginning skill thus acquired can be so easily dissipated by an overzealous school program.

I really do not feel that any intelligent parent seeks to build up the average by tearing down the superior, as Mrs. Van Rossen insinuates. But please, let our admiration for the superior athlete be tempered by our respect for the efforts of the just average. Those efforts so often mean so very much!

Here is one voice out of the millions of fans who will reply to Rodney Kirkpatrick's letter denouncing protective pads in football (19TH HOLE, Dec. 10). After having played football for years, as well as Rugby under an Australian coach, I feel Mr. Kirkpatrick is trying to equate two sports as unlike as checkers and chess.

Rugby is a hard-hitting cross between basketball and field hockey; there is no line contact. Since the game is more or less continuous, most contact takes place in an "open-field" situation where the player can dump the ball and partially protect himself. Put pads on the players and the game would slow down to the point of shuffleboard.

In American football, however, the gear, as most people from sandlot kids to the pros know, reduces the number of injuries markedly. How many thousands of concussions, broken legs, arms, and so forth, occur in sandlot games because of lack of protective devices? People are not killed, if only for the reason that no one is foolish enough to dive without helmets and padding under a pile of belligerent 300-pound bulls.

Football is a game consisting of downs, not continuous play. A trapped halfback can only lateral to the rear, and many times must make a pathetic effort to hang on to the ball while being trampled. The way a ballcarrier is stopped in this man's game is by the tackle, unheard of in Rugby—except for a rather mild tripping sort of maneuver. True, some of America's beefy linemen would last about two minutes in an exhausting game of Aussieball, but how long would a line of Aussie defensemen last in a U.S. scrimmage?
Port Angeles, Wash.

I was thrilled with New Seabury's inclusion in the article Pleasure Rules an Idyllic Island (Dec. 17). This coverage of our operation was succinct, to the point and, I believe, very appealing. However, one error did give us quite a shock and that was the mention that 10 houses are built thus far. The number 10 refers to the houses that are occupied this winter. There are 55 houses built or in the process of construction.
Melrose, Mass.