BELLES ON THEIR TOES
Let the Russian amazons have the Olympics. Dames like "Flamin' Mamie's Bouffant Belles" (April 20) can just stand in the starting blocks and they'll get my vote for first every time. Wow!
Mother! Where are my track shoes?
WILLIAM L. MILLS
When's Sadie Hawkins Day down there?
I'd be willing to bet that the main reason those girls made your cover was because of their "looks." The article and pictures are portrayed unrealistically. To think that a female track star would run in a race with a bracelet on, her hair combed like a movie star and all made up for a beauty contest is absurd. It's not the job of a sports magazine to "make-up" their pictures.
Glen Ellyn, Ill.
In an Olympic year SPORTS ILLUSTRATED could perform a much greater service to the track and field community than by printing trash like this.
PHILIP R. CONLEY
Palo Alto, Calif.
As a patriotic American in an Olympic-year, I would like to volunteer my services as team trainer.
I don't believe the Olympics have yet produced any medal winners with bouffant hairdos, and I hope the Texas gals will provide a first in that regard, but they won't be the first glamour gals in the Games. A Tennessee belle named Wilma Rudolph beat them to it.
As a track man and track fan I find little consolation in the prospect of our women finishing a beautiful last in Tokyo.
Is the gal in the middle balancing an octopus on her head or is it a giant spider? Whatever it is have her keep it, send her to Tokyo, glue it on real tight and have her go head first into the tape. She should hit 100 yards in nine seconds flat!
HENRY E. MORTIMER
Now that we've seen those hairdos on the starting line, how about a shot of them in mid-race?
New York City
•Here they are at the start of the last leg of a 440-yard relay at Kansas (below) as pouf-coifed Paula Walter passed off to Anchor Belle Sue Schexnayder, who won the race.—ED.
STOOPS TO CONQUER
Gilbert Rogin's piece, (Confessions of a Sloop Ball Champion, April 20) was excitingly reminiscent and splendidly done. It reminded me of an incident in the days before the Giants left New York but played exhibition games in Los Angeles during spring training. At a party that Manager Leo Durocher gave there, Comedian Danny Kaye was reminded of his Brooklyn childhood. Kaye brightened as he recalled stick ball games in the street, then said, "I could hit for two sewers."
A proud boast. Sewer covers in the middle of New York streets, spaced at regular intervals, serve as home plate and second base in a stick ball game. A two-sewer hit, deep in center field, is an outstanding feat, indeed. A two-sewer man like Kaye is entitled to hold his head high.
New York City
Manhattan's favorite childhood sport may have been stoop ball. But in Brooklyn our favorite game was punch ball, which was like stick ball except that you punched the ball instead of hitting it.
Like Gil Rogin, I was a bad athlete. However. I was always assured of "getting a game," because I was the only one in our group who had the luck to own a football and a basketball.
I loved the part about the words you can't spell, "much of our language being oral"—that passage, alone, lifted me about four inches off the sofa. I'll bet you hear about it for a long time to come. I recall "younz": "Are younz goin' to the game?" and others.
I was crazily elated for several hours the other day when I read in TIME or somewhere a statement by some savant that smart kids had all kinds of words they didn't know how to say because they had never heard anyone say them. I worked for Kresge's five and ten as a stock boy (there's a story) and I dashed up the stairs in my sneakers once and proudly told the manager in his office that I was going to take in-VENT-ory. People were rolling on the floor for several minutes after they learned what I meant to say. Same thing happened with ar-MIS-tice and the Pantom (i.e. Phantom).
New Haven, Conn.
As a high school basketball coach it is very refreshing for me to see credit given to superb, unglamorous defense, such as is played by the Celtics' K. C. Jones (How K. C. Won an Oscar in the NBA, April 20). He was certainly a key factor in Boston's conquest of Cincinnati. Yet most people didn't realize this.
If more writers like Frank Deford would put more emphasis on players like K. C. Jones, defense would improve and basketball would be a better game.
Lackland AFB, Texas
In answer to Ralph Moody of Holman & Moody (The Little Engine that Could, April 13) when he said, "If competition gets too lopsided, racing ain't worth a damn," I would consider 11 races won out of the test 12 of 500 miles or more damn lopsided! In all of these races over the past two years I would guess Ford had approximately 50% or better of all entries. Very rarely would Mercury even finish in top positions and Plymouth and Dodge were unheard of for tack of power. Now that Chrysler cars have something to compete with, Ford is really crying.
I always like to cheer for the underdog, so I guess, along with being a Yankee-hater, I"m going to be a Ford-hater.
EYES ACROSS THE TABLE
Continually smoking cigars throughout a bridge match for the purpose of irritating your opponents is not "psychological warfare," as Charles Goren seems to imply (The U.S. Prepares an Assault on Bridge Italian Style, April 13); it is unsportsmanlike, discourteous and ungentlemanly conduct, particularly at an international event. In addition, it is a violation of the proprieties of duplicate contract bridge. The section of the proprieties dealing with observance of proper etiquette specifically states, "A player should maintain at all times a courteous attitude toward his partner and opponents. He should carefully avoid any remark or action which might cause annoyance or embarrassment to another player or interfere with the enjoyment of the game."
If the players on a team representing the U.S. must stoop to such low tactics, and their captain condone them, in an effort to win an international bridge tournament, there must be something wrong with American bridge that transcends system and technique. It is to be hoped that the American Contract Bridge League will put an immediate halt to such disgraceful behavior.
DOUGLAS B. TAYLOR
Doctors very often use belladonna in the treatment of eyes. The team of bridge experts representing the U.S. throughout the world treat Italy's Giorgio Belladonna with smoke in the eyes. What a sporting twist! If that's the best we can do against the Italians, our team will once again be defeated. After reading this piece by Goren—I'm glad.
SEYMOUR SOLOMON, D.D.S.