THUS SPOKE THE COMPLEAT WOMAN
Female letters-to-the-editors generally start: "As a mere woman, permit me to...." I am the mother of four big boys and the wife of another, as well as holding down a busy job as a free-lance copywriter. So I will start this letter: "As a compleat woman, permit me to congratulate you on an extraordinary magazine."
I have always shared the boys' interests in sports but never really became a full-fledged member of the gang. I cannot get all tensed up, for example, about Sal Maglie's switch to Brooklyn. The boys do. Last night, however, I think I made the grade.
We sat around with the TV set off and talked about William Robinson's fabulous narration that sets the stage for The Ultimate Storm and Paul O'Neil's penetrating study of John Landy (SI, May 21).
I should say I talked and the men listened. Keep your Mantles, your Traberts, your Cassadys, I told them, that's kid's stuff, athletic pin-up boys. All very well and right in its place but not the stuff that heroes are made of. They may be the backbone of sports, but they could not support sports by themselves. Give me the man who spends a lifetime preparing and hoping for the ultimate test of man against nature. Give me the man who has devoted his span of life to pitting his spirit against his physique. Robinson the sailor and Landy the runner are ultimate athletes because they pioneered the unknown, the impossible, the inhuman in physical skill and courage.
Landy, according to the terms he set himself, has failed. Robinson, presumably, will succeed. But when you have crossed the barrier that divides the difficult from the impossible, success or failure becomes almost meaningless. You have given all men something to cheer about.
A Mantle homer that saves the game is "neat." Landy on the track and Robinson behind the mast are heroic.
Thus spoke Mrs. Rawlinger to her brood, and for the first time they listened with respect. Incidentally, I thought Mr. Symonds' letter on John Landy was extremely perceptive. You seem to have some highly verbal and intelligent readers.
DIANA SCOTT RAWLINGER
?Et tu, Diana.—ED.
GEORGE DOES IT
The Babe and George Zaharias CONVERSATION PIECE (SI, May 14) was a genuinely moving testament to a great marriage and a great man and woman. I guess the Babe has been a favorite of all of us for many years, ever since as a skinny kid she took over the Olympics. Those of us my age (middle forties) sort of grew up with the Babe and thrilled every time she set a new mark in yet another sport. What I liked especially in your CONVERSATION PIECE was that George Zaharias was presented as a real person. For the first time we learned how they met and why they get along so well.
Frankly, I never thought that George had too much to say for himself. Now I know that the Babe is lucky to have him. Best wishes to a grand couple.