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Original Issue



I have been reading SI for 40 years, beginning with the first issue, which I picked off the rack of a corner drugstore in Cleveland when I was 11 years old.

Happy 40th!
I recently renewed my charter subscription, and I thought at the time, With all the hullabaloo you folks are rightly raising about your 40th anniversary, don't you think that maybe some note might be made about us vets who have stayed with you all these years?

Let's see. I was 37 when the first copy of SI arrived in the mail. I still have that magazine. Now I'm 77, and I would guess that one reason I feel so good is that I've managed to weather the same kind of storms that sports have endured. SI's balance and good humor helped us both. Congratulations to us all.
FRED J. SPITTLE, Green Valley, Ariz.

Congratulations on your 40th anniversary. As a charter subscriber I have saved every issue of SI. It is fun to leaf through the back issues both for the memories and to see how things have changed in the world of sports.

I remember watching the Milwaukee Braves play in County Stadium only a few days before your first edition came out. I also remember how I was eagerly awaiting that first issue. I'm a lifetime fan of the Cleveland Indians, who last won the American League pennant in 1954, and a follower of Ohio State football, which went undefeated that year, so 1954 was a golden sports year for me. Even Ashland College (now University) in Ohio, from which I graduated in '55, was undefeated in football in 1954.1 still look forward to Thursdays, when SPORTS ILLUSTRATED arrives.

Keep up the good work.
MATTHEW K. CHEW, Scottsdale, Ariz.

At first I was going to cancel my subscription because of your swimsuit issue. Then I felt I had to cancel because you included too many of the blasphemous words spoken by irate athletes. Finally, I thought I would definitely bring the curtain down because Canada's athletes always seem to take a backseat to U.S. athletes in your Olympic coverage.

But I can't do it. No sirree! Why? Because you continue to have some of the best writing in the world of journalism. I spent 15 years as a television broadcaster and have spent 40 years as an avid SI reader. I laugh, I cry, I get angry as I bask in SI's pithy prose—and I always learn something.

Forty years ago a baby girl was born on Aug. 16, 1954, in Alexandria, Va. She would become an avid sports fan. Her father took her to see the Washington Senators play in D.C. Stadium (later renamed RFK Stadium), and she became a faithful Washington Redskin fan. She holds a cherished memory of a 1977 Monday-night game at RFK when the Redskins defeated the Green Bay Packers by one point. As she grew older, she traveled to Maryland to watch the Washington Bullets and the Washington Capitals play in Landover, and she saw the Baltimore Orioles play in their old stadium. She went to New York to see Mickey Mantle play; to Atlanta to attend a Brave game; to West Palm Beach to take in spring training. A life that seemed destined to revolve around sports, and does, was born on the same day as SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. What an honor for me. Happy Birthday, SI.
MELINDA LACKEY, Wauchula, Fla.

Box Score
I am a charter member of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and have saved every copy of the magazine for the last 40 years. I have also made wooden boxes for all the volumes to keep them in mint condition. The front of each box is decorated with a collage of the great SI action photos. (The pictures are from Sis donated to me by other readers.) I have also cataloged every article of consequence by sport, date, volume and page number.

As of your 40th-anniversary date I will have around 2,080 issues in 80 boxes. Each box is 5½ inches high. If they were stacked on top of one another, they would be about 36 feet high. Have you ever stood on a diving board that high and looked down? Man! That's high!

By the time your golden anniversary rolls around, I'll have some 2,600 issues in 100 boxes that will extend 45'8" into the air.

Can any other SPORTS ILLUSTRATED fan top this setup? I would really be interested in knowing how many other charter members have all of their copies protected and in mint condition.

And by the way, Happy Anniversary.
ROBERT E. LEE TICE, San Dimas, Calif.



Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and should be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020-1393.