Seldom it is that I take pen in hand to write an opinion on an article. Lee Griggs's article, Banzai Charge to the Top of Old Shiga (Jan. 21), is a masterfully written piece of satire. Rarely is such a wittingly concocted story presented to the public. It is my hope that more such articles will be forthcoming.
PAUL LARSON JR.
Your article on Shiga Heights brought back many wonderful memories to this Southerner who fell in love with skiing while he was stationed in Japan. Your description of the train ride to Shiga is all too painfully true. However, your description of the slopes of Shiga as foggy and dangerous does a great disservice to one of the most beautiful spots in the world, and saddens the hearts of Shiga lovers the world over!
In your January 21 SCORECARD chess players are chastised for being "perhaps the greatest crowd displeasers in modern sport."
Not being a serious chess player, I have no personal ax to grind, but could we not simply accept the fact that chess players gain satisfaction from solitude and have a capacity for deep concentration and, for the most part, do not care to switch their personalities around at a television program director's command? Are we to assume that all types of sports activities must be characterized by the common mold of theatrical standards'?
GEORGE R. HUISMAN
As a chess player I would like to express my thanks for your coverage of the U.S. Championship in New York. However, your comment that chess players are traditionally "aloof and temperamental" is one most commonly expressed by people who never met a chess player. I would agree that, like most concert pianists, chess masters are temperamental. But their aloofness is usually conspicuous by its absence. The fact that tournament play must be conducted in silence can obviously prove nothing regarding the taciturnity of the participants. It would be just as illogical to assume that someone who is yelling at a football game is of an outgoing and loquacious nature. It just ain't necessarily so.
You also state that I am a "newcomer" and that I was playing in my first championship tourney. While it is true that this is the first time I have played in this particular national championship, I have participated in the U.S. Open chess championship numerous times. I am now 35, the third oldest contestant in the recent tourney, and cannot be considered a newcomer to the national chess scene. At the age of 16 I tied for third in the U.S. Open, a national championship of 19 years ago.
As you may now correctly assume, I may be brooding, but scarcely taciturn.
ROBERT H. STEINMEYER
New York City
After reading in the 19TH HOLE (Jan. 21) about the Iron Man of the Hoh, John Huelsdonk, I couldn't help digging out the enclosed snapshot showing John Huelsdonk and the cussed stove in question loaded on a packhorse (see above).
In June of 1920 I was with a surveying crew of the U.S. General Land Office setting out from Forks (Wash.) to lay out township lines in the Hoh River district. Our packtrain was in poor condition, having just been shipped up from a hard winter's work in New Mexico, and several of the horses were suffering from glanders. The horses were overloaded for their condition and that of the trail, which was very bad in places. Two horses fell off the trail and would have drowned had they not caught in trees at the edge of the river. The poor horse with the stove was out of balance and he finally gave up some distance from the river crossing at the Huelsdonks'. We had to unload and leave part of our supplies.
The next day Mr. Huelsdonk went back and picked up the stove with the flour inside and carried it the rest of the way. I know the stove weighed 110 pounds and, by my recollection, there were 100 pounds of flour, not 50. But whichever it was it was an awkward, tough load. At that time he was past his prime and suffering from asthma but he was still stronger than two ordinary men.