Congratulations on the splendid story about Babe McCarthy, Bailey Howell and Mississippi State (Bouquets for Babe and His Bailey, SI, Feb. 23). Although a poll of the man in the street by this writer favored Mississippi State seeking the NCAA title by a 6-1 ratio, this great club, with the best won-lost record in America (24-1), must sit at home because it's election year in Mississippi and no one is going to stick his neck out.
McCarthy, courted by Texas, received a new five-figure, four-year contract and Howell won All-America recognition and will play in a pair of college all-star games in the East and the Southern AAU tournament, and the team may go to Denver for the national AAU competition, to seek another title instead of the coveted NCAA crown.
Sports Editor, Jackson State Times
CHARITY AND HORSES IN MIAMI
It appears to this humble scribe that in the hustle-bustle, television-ridden world of today the printed words that might lure the weary sojourner on this earth could possibly be the well-phrased words, the apt ones.
I find the remark that some of the horses seen in the Ninth Annual Miami Charity Horse Show (Quick Change in Florida, SI, Feb. 23) "would have been more useful in a bottle of glue" extremely distasteful. This remark was not only unkind and smart-alecky—it was untrue. The horseflesh shown was of the best in the country and was brought to the show from some of the finest stables in the U.S.; I recall none that were under par or unworthy of being shown.
The second statement which was unkind, smart-alecky and untrue was, "A good many people identified with [James D.] Norris' other interests apparently came out of friendship for Jim, whose name appeared in the program 15 times." There may have been a few people who came out of friendship for Jim Norris, but the number was indeed slight compared to the capacity crowds which attended each of the eight performances. Sunday afternoon saw 6,000 of " Jim Norris' friends" milling about.
It was also unfair and petty to single out the fact that Jim Norris' name appeared many times in the program. His name appeared each time a class was listed for which he had sponsored a trophy (those donated by him amounted to over $2,000); his name would also appear as presenter of this trophy. In addition his name naturally appeared as a member of the board of governors of the horse show and under the list of box holders.
MARJORIE LEE AKIN
The facts behind the show are: It has been held many years to raise funds for the Miami Cancer Institute. This year Mr. Norris was elected to the board of governors. The election occurred without his knowledge. He was told about it afterward. Once chosen, he accepted. He and E. E. Dale Shaffer and others interested in the war against cancer pitched in and went to work. They sponsored various classes. They gave their time, energy and money.
I just don't like smart-aleck writers who snipe, with typewriter keys dipped in vinegar, at sincere people who happen to have a little money or social prominence. The world could use a few more people with the sympathy, human kindness, money and desire to help other people shown by James D. Norris.
We had a very successful horse show here, raising in the neighborhood of $15,000 for the Cancer Institute.
This has been achieved each year by the members giving generously of their time and money; however, it seems to me that your reporter has tried to make it appear that I used a charity event to further myself in a publicity manner.
Coral Gables, Fla.