My father has many faults, as does Mr. Bryant and all the rest of us. But his faults do not include disloyalty to Georgia. If I thought you had time for a book full of information proving my point, I could write it. I expect there are a million Georgians who could add chapters on the things he has done for the state and people of Georgia.
JEAN BUTTS JONES
State College, Miss.
I would like to comfort the mad Angelenos in this their hour of grief, now that their Basketball Capital of the World has fallen (Up to Their Old Tricks, May 6). I am certain that they will be less than pleased with second-best, but this is in keeping with the Los Angeles tradition, and they can always wait till next year to launch their two-man "dynasty"—you should pardon the expression. I wish I had the names and addresses of some of those savages from way out West who wrote in September of all the dreadful things that were going to befall the Celtics when the playoffs arrived. We farmers from Boston would like to write to them, urging them to even greater heights and reminding them that next year Cooz will be gone, the old men will be older, and all that dynasty talk can begin anew.
GREGORY Z. THOMAJAN
IN THE LONG RUN
I will admit that entrants for McDonald's Hamburgers and the Peace Corps did add color to the Boston Marathon this year and were undoubtedly worthy of mention (Everybody Runs to Boston, April 29). After all, Author Walter Bingham was trying to write a colorful article. And he did succeed.
Nevertheless, we in Seattle are disappointed that Bingham did not mention the performance of Jesse Earl Eblen in his article. Eblen, 27, representing the Seattle Olympic Club, was sixth in the field of 245 men and was the second American to finish. His performance might well place him on the American Olympic team for 1964. In fact, the Seattle Olympic Club boasts of a trio of fine distance men—Eblen, Earl Ellis and Doug Rustad. Each of them has beaten the other two in different Pacific Northwest AAU meets this year, at distances varying from 10 miles to 25 kilos (15.5 miles).
GEORGE ROCKWELL, M.D.
BARS AND BUGS
The yacht club designed by Architect Bill Ficker (An Ideal Yacht Club, April 22) may be a "dream club" to him but to a hotel operator it seems more like a nightmare. You state that kitchens, storerooms and rest rooms are on the first level, while dining rooms, ballroom and bar are on the second level. Anyone familiar with the mechanics of restaurant and beverage operations knows that this violates all modern concepts—making for delays in service, difficulty in providing hot food and numerous other inconveniences. What comes up must go down—so glassware, dishes, soiled linen and what have you follow the reverse route to the kitchen area. This is doing things the hard way.
While Mr. Ficker's club has much to recommend it artistically, it is no more practical than a yacht with engines installed on the main deck, while the wheelhouse is located below.
However, all is not lost—with a little professional help one might eliminate the bugs and make your ideal a real nice club.
HENRY R. DUTTON
As an ex-commodore, I was instantly arrested by your article on Ficker's ideal yacht club. What a challenge, I thought as I first read it! Right from the pages of America's most authoritative magazine on sport. It must be the answer to every commodore's aspirations. Then I reread it. Opening a can of beer (which is both food and drink to all commodores, present and ex), I began to look out across the docks and anchorage that had been my charge for five years. How would it be to be commodore of a club such as Bill Ficker so vividly described? The more I thought and compared it with the modest place we call a yacht club, the more I wondered. Alas, doubts began to mount. Opening another can of beer, I came to the conclusion that Mr. Ficker had never been a commodore. I will not challenge his ability as an architect or as a sailor, for these are facts of record. However, to assume that he was qualified to design a yacht club without having served as a commodore was a mistake. And it is obvious he never was a commodore or he would know there is no such thing as an "ideal yacht club." There never has been. There never will be. All yachtsmen hope that beyond the pearly gates there will be a place for them to gather over their ambrosia to relive America's Cup races, long hauls to Bermuda, cruises to Block and Down East to Maine. But it won't be "an ideal yacht club"! The ambrosia won't be cold enough. Somebody will have tied up their wings in somebody else's slip. The angels will have laid out a lousy course. Lord Dunraven will be tied up to Commodore Iselin's mooring. The celestial launch service stopped too early. If the club were ideal, nobody would enjoy it.
There may be some that say I am critical of Mr. Ficker's Taj Mahal of a yacht club because of the tab—$500,000. Nonsense—$500,000, $400,000, $100,000, what's the difference? Obviously Mr. Ficker has never tried to get $56.89 to have the head on the committee boat replaced. Mr. Ficker talks about integration in his club, but integration is just what a yacht club doesn't need. "Where's Dad?" the boy asks. Someone answers that he took the station wagon down to the boatyard. A likely story. Dad is in the bar. He has had two Bloody Marys. He is going to have a third because he has lost twice rolling for the drinks. Furthermore, it is none of the kid's business. If he were my brat he would be out in the Lightning, pumping it out, getting the sails on and putting the spinnaker in stops. A fig for Mr. Ficker and his integrated club! "You can see everything that is going on." Is that good? How about the guy that wants to take that blonde divorc�e out to his yawl to show what he makes in the "itty bitty kitchens you have on yachts"? Mr. Ficker, you have got to think of these things.
I don't want to seem hypercritical, but I didn't see any arrangements in Mr. Ficker's plans for the following: a swimming pool, tennis courts, a badminton layout, a basketball court, a skeet range, paddle tennis courts, a bowling alley, a billiard room, a place to pitch horseshoes, a solarium, a nursery. Doesn't Mr. Ficker know that as soon as people join a yacht club the first thing they say is, "Tennis, anyone?" What kind of a yacht club has he got, anyway?