THE BASIC DIFFERENCE
It is not my custom to write to the editor, but I would like to express to you the deep sense of satisfaction that your magazine has given me.
Your May 14 issue is a good example, but almost any issue would provide equal evidence of the unique appeal of SI. Let me cite several of the features, large and small, that struck me as way above average in quality:
John P. Marquand's letter about the Derby was, of course, outstanding. For years I have read newspaper and magazine coverage of the Derby, and I did not think it possible for any writer to make an entirely fresh approach. Marquand did, superbly.
The Joan Flynn Dreyspool article on Babe and George Zaharias was poignant without being sloppy. I was going to pass this up, but I started reading and went all the way through.
Horace Sutton's discussion of the Russian Riviera was done so well that I would like to take off for a visit, if there weren't so many Russians around.
The three paragraphs about the proposal to name a park for Bernard DeVoto illustrate the catholicity of your coverage. The more of that the better, from my viewpoint.
Edith Blanchard's little poem, Game Postponed, left me with a prolonged smile.
Your cartoons deserve more superlatives than I can readily call to mind. Dedini's "Positively No Intrigue In Camp" is the kind of thing that one would see more often if editors weren't so preoccupied with adolescent oldsters. Mr. Caper is in a class by himself, far removed from the mold of stereotyped cartoon art, consistently offering grown-up humor.
And that leads me to what I have concluded is the basic difference between your magazine and others in the sports field: editorial maturity. The fact is, I suppose, that anyone interested in sports is half man, half boy, give or subtract a few percentage points either way. The average sports editor caters to the boy, offering a slim diet to the man. You are operating on the flattering theory that your readers have come of age. You assume that we have sufficiently developed taste to take Marquand, Ajay and the rest of your high-level contributors. I hope you are right and I think you are.
JOHN K. ROSS-DUGGAN
Long Beach, Calif.
Whitney Tower's article Beating the Races (SI, June 4) was the most sensible that I have ever read. It should be reprinted in all editions of the Form and the Morning Telegraph.