"As a guest at a country club, I once had the opportunity to play a round of golf with a caddie. It was like flying first class after years of flying coach."
DAN BAKER, HINSDALE, ILL
Rick Reilly's story about caddies (Dealt a Bad Hand, May 30) reminded me of my days in the caddie shack at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles in the mid-1950s. We middle-class kids, waiting for loops for fun and money, got our first lessons in life from the down-on-their-luck veteran caddies. Their tales did more to propel us toward college than anything our parents could say.
I also treasure memories of bagging for some Hollywood personalities, including Jim Backus, cackling like Mr. Magoo, and Victor Mature, dropping for push-ups before each putt. Late one day I was assigned to Dean Martin, who played a quick 18 solo in a cart and needed me only to pull the pins. As I ran to stay ahead, he chased me in his cart, singing Amore.
DENNIS A. CAVAGNARO
Reilly has identified the source of the plight of today's caddies: the dread golf cart. The relationships I have formed during my 27 years of looping continue to grow and prosper. The bond that is established out on the course lasts a lifetime.
MICHAEL J. LEUTHY
The Hurley Boys
As he struggles to recover from his injuries (The Long Road Back, May 23), Sacramento King guard Bobby Hurley must be heartened by his relationship with his younger brother, Danny, who quickly put aside his own frustrations for the sake of Bobby. Danny is a hero as much as Bobby is a survivor. Together they provide a lesson in family from which we can all learn.
WILLIAM S.W. POLLOCK, Charlottesville, Va.
The NBA has finally found a role model.
DARREN FRIEDEL, Long Beach, Calif.
The saddest words in the whole world are "the seat belt was not used." I cringed when I read about Bobby Hurley's accident and his poor body's being crisscrossed by scars. He is one lucky guy, and I wish him well and will say prayers for him. But above all I hope that when he climbs into his new $100,000 Mercedes 500SL, the first thing he does before he turns the key is buckle up. It takes only a few seconds, and I would love to see him play basketball again.
KITTY SNOWBERGER, Alamogordo, N.Mex.
Early in Bobby Hurley's career at Duke, fans of the Blue Devils' ACC opponents would mockingly chant, "Hur-ley! Hur-ley!" whenever he committed a foul or missed a shot. As Hurley's career evolved, Duke fans took over the chant, complete with salaams, to show their appreciation for his accomplishments. The chant stands as a symbol for Bobby, who is turning a negative in his life into a positive. You can't help but cheer for this kid who has overcome every obstacle with hard work, humility, hustle and heart—qualities in questionable supply in the NBA these days.
KATE KRAYER, Greensboro, N.C.
I am sick and tired of hearing college athletes gripe about not getting their due (POINT AFTER, May 30). Many other students contribute as much, if not more, to the success of their schools. If student athletes want greater compensation, they had better be willing to share it with their classmates who are involved in other extracurricular activities.
LAURA KESLICK, Gettysburg, Pa.
College athletes are constantly being portrayed as greedy kids who don't appreciate the value of an education. The reality is that a good education is considerably more difficult to obtain when you compound it with the pressure to perform on the playing and practice fields. It's time to stop pretending that an athletic scholarship is granted so that the recipient can pursue a college degree. Pay the athlete an over-the-table salary, and you'll eliminate much of the sleaze in college sports.
ANDY MCNAMARA, Portland