PHILS, PRESENT AND PAST
Your article, Hot Team in the Old Town (April 29), was excellent—except for one point. Philadelphia does not like a loser. Just look at professional football. The Eagles have averaged almost 60,000 fans per game during the past four years. If that isn't supporting a winner, what is?
Give the Philadelphia baseball fan a chance to get used to the resurgent Phils and you will see Connie Mack Stadium packed to the center-field scoreboard, where, by the way, there are no seats.
Your superb article on Art Mahaffey and the Phillies was heartening to me as a long-suffering Phillie fan, whose masochistic martyrdom is often misunderstood by the general public.
I think that if William Leggett wanted to write about a surprise team he should have written about the Kansas City Athletics. As long as I can remember your magazine has seemed to consider the Athletics as some kind of bad joke. This year, after dropping two games to the Yankees, the A's have won 15 out of 21 and are in first place. This is a much better record than the sixth-place Phillies' 10-11 record. A picture of Norm Siebern smashing a home run in his nice new green-and-gold uniform would sell more copies than Art Mahaffey in his old, dull red-and-white uniform. So wise up for your own sake. The A's are the team to watch this year.
PHILIP M. SMITH
STREAM OF CONSCIENCE
For shame, Alice Higgins, for shame. By guzzling your way down the Current River (Not So Gently down the Stream, April 29), you have set canoeing back 50 years. A plague also upon your St. Louis friends. How many dead soldiers did you cast into or along the Current to enhance the other beauties of the stream?
Understand, Alice, I am not a member of the WCTU, and I help support a couple of St. Louis breweries, but not on canoe trips. It doesn't matter to me how much you imbibed. The fact you made such frequent mention of it is what irks me. Someday I will invite you on my canoe club's Labor Day trip on the Current when we will clean up the river from Cedargrove to Round Spring, mostly of beer cans.
NANCY C. JACK
Kansas City, Kans.
?The Labor Day cleanup party will find no trace of Alice Higgins' trip. Not only is Miss Higgins a native-born St. Louisan, she is also a firm believer in the natural beauty of the Current. Part of the essential equipment in her canoe was an army entrenching tool—which served to bury all beer cans.—ED.
Congratulations to Alice Higgins for her story on the Current River float trip. She has captured truly the qualities of the river and of the bona fide "floater," who, while a race apart from such earnest types as the camper, the canoeist, the fisherman and the water-borne bird watcher/botanist, combines something of each of these with what most of us like to consider a healthy attitude toward creature comforts.
This note is to say thanks for your coverage of the charges made concerning my father, Wally Butts, and Bear Bryant (A Debatable Football Scandal, March 25, et seq.).
As a journalism major and former reporter myself, I say thank God for writers who believe in questioning what they read. A good healthy make-them-prove-it attitude speaks so much better for our American idea of freedom of the press than a where-there's-smoke-there's-fire one does.