JUMPING WITH JOY
Congratulations for what must go down as the journalistic scoop of the year and a milestone in the improvement of Russo-American relations (A Soviet Champion Tells His Own Story, Aug. 6). Igor Ter-Ovanesyan's autobiography should certainly shatter the belief held by many Americans that Russians are some kind of ogres or medieval barbarians. As he told of his joy in jumping over puddles in the street as a boy I am immediately reminded of American boys, such as Willie Mays, who loved to play stickball in the streets. Change the name of the author and the geographical locations and one would think the article were written by any typical American athlete. Perhaps Igor's most significant statement was that he loves sport for its "creative power" and "independence." Great job.
Since the Russian objective is to take over the world and we therefore are at war with them mentally, I protest your article on Igor Ter-Ovanesyan. It is obviously a big part of the Soviet propaganda operation. The sentence, "We agreed that our people should always walk hand in hand," is typical.
RALPH WHITEFORD CARVER
What a fine article by the Russian broad jumper, Ter-Ovanesyan. What a lovely spirit this boy has. So many people think that because the heads of other countries do not agree with our leaders and those of other allied countries, that their people are just as belligerent, just as arrogant, just as bull-headed as their leaders.
Ter-Ovanesyan, in writing this simple tale of his life, his efforts in sport, has done much to close the gap of understanding between our two countries.
From my own experience, returning from tours of Europe, I find my fellow Americans constantly asking, "What are the people over there really like?" suspecting they are different. Basically the peoples of other countries are the same everywhere. They like the same things, they love the same things and they dislike the same things.
?Fortune Gordien, former world champion discus thrower (194 feet, 6 inches) and three-time Olympic competitor(1948, 1952 and 1956), has traveled extensively during his 20-some years of competition. In 1960, at 38, Gordien gamely tried out again but placed only seventh, behind Al Oerter, now world champion.—ED.
ON THE ALLAGASH
Re Duncan Barnes' A Working Wilderness (August 6), your magazine has rendered a great service to the nation by bringing the Allagash controversy to public attention.
As a camper I know that a summer canoe trip on the Allagash in the primeval wilds of northern Maine reminds one of what dawn on the day of creation must have looked like. This region has had a profound effect upon my whole life, and, undoubtedly, scores of others. Anyone who has ridden the white water of the Allagash country and tasted of its beauty knows that a valiant effort must be made to preserve it as much as possible, for this is as good a proving ground for good Americans as exists.
BRUCE W. REISMAN
Coconut Grove, Fla.
Speaking as one who has spent two weeks on the Allagash River, I feel that to destroy this sanctuary would be one of the worst crimes ever committed. My canoe trip of last summer taught me the invaluable lessons of self-sufficiency and dependence on others to do their share. Our mollycoddled youth would benefit greatly if more of this generation had the same opportunity I had. To dam up the St. John River would rob many adolescents of the type of pleasure that can be obtained in only a few remaining strongholds of our eastern wilderness.
Robert Boyle's story (Off Year for the Chicago Orgs, Aug. 6) omits the view of the people who care the most, the loyal though impatient Cub fans of Chicago. Every year we've been hearing how much good, young talent the Cubs have and how they're finally going to crack the first division. This young talent is there, but it is being wasted by an organization that is more interested in devising and maintaining innovations for baseball than in providing a winning team.