Harry, a throwback to Dickens, personified with artless ease the character that the late great W. C. Fields strove to develop.
Harry's mastery of pinpoint geographic location extending to the farthest reaches of the Borough of Brooklyn did suffer somewhat when projected into the narrow fringe areas west of the Hudson. As a result of this cartographic foreshortening Harry would introduce "a classy contender from the Bedford-Stuyvesant section" and match him with a "worthy adversary" from Nevada or Pennsylvania. Harry's love of grandiloquence never permitted him to debase his native tongue with such vulgar terms as "fight" or "fighter." "Athletes," "crowd-pleasers," "pugilistic protagonists" would engage in "contests,' "fiascos," "fistic encounters," and even "cross gloves." His introduction of a newlywed as "a great contender of yesteryear" was in the truly classic tradition.
The little world of pugilism has lost its one gracious voice, and the larger world of TV is the poorer for it.
JAMES A. SHANAHAN
TWO SNEERS BEFORE THE MAST
Apropos the article by James Murray on Sailor Bogart (SI, April 30): by actual count, two leers, three snarls, two sneers, one glower and one roar—what a fine skipper he must be to sail with!
F. K. ALEXANDER, M.D.
AUTO-UNION'S BOOMING BUSINESS
In the course of the article The Ghosts: Mercedes Magic (SI, March 12), you refer to the "now defunct German Auto-Union firm." Investigation would have revealed that in 1955 Auto-Union produced 112,493 vehicles. Such investigation would also have demonstrated that in 1955 Auto-Union had more than 11,800 employees and that this figure is substantially increased as of this date.
?Auto-Union ist nicht kaputt. The original combine was created in 1932 through the merger of four well-known German marques: Audi, Horch, Wanderer and DKW. By 1940 the company had produced over a quarter-million passenger vehicles in addition to being the world's largest manufacturer of motorcycles. In 1945 its plants in East Germany were expropriated and, with others, combined into a State Trust, which today mass-produces older models of the DKW. Seven years ago some of the Auto-Union's former engineers and production men established the first of three new plants in West Germany. Up to the beginning of '56 more than 140,000 front-wheel-drive DKW's have rolled off the D�sseldorf assembly line. Although the DKW (fondly nicknamed Das Kleine Wunder, or The Little Wonder) is basically a touring car (see cut), it has been successfully entered in many European sports car races and rallies and has won class victories in California's Torrey Pines and Santa Barbara road races.—ED.
I would appreciate it if you would explain why Ernie Shelton, the high jumper, has only one shoe on (WONDERFUL WORLD, April 23).
? Ernie Shelton wears no shoe on his right foot for two reasons: to prevent his spikes catching as he swings his right foot through and up, and, secondly, to get better leverage. In high jumping, the foot that goes up toward the bar first, swung energetically, supplies a certain amount of lift. Without a shoe, the bare foot can swing forward smoothly just a fraction of an inch over the ground and then up. With a track shoe, the foot must be lifted just a little to afford clearance for the�-inch spikes. This disrupts the smoothness of the pendulumlike swing and also costs the high jumper a tiny bit of leverage. Ernie Shelton's one-shoe technique is neither uncommon nor new: not the first, but one of the best-known one-shoe jumpers was Johnny Wilson, also of Southern Cal, who went 6 feet 9? inches back in 1940.—ED.