VIVA VANDERBILT (CONT.)
For the past 25 years it has been my privilege to be a member of the Oregon State Racing Commission and, though I am now retired, I am still a member of the National Association of State Racing Commissioners and a member of the national committee on information and public relations.
The recently expressed opinions of Alfred Vanderbilt, presented by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED ( Vanderbilt vs. Racing's Establishment, Aug. 12), are exactly in accord with reports which I hope to help formulate for submission at the 1964 convention to be held in Chicago.
CHARLES A. HUNTINGTON
Congratulations to Jack Olsen for an excellent article on the Tiger-Fullmer fight and the Nigerian way of life (A Smile on the Face of the Tiger, Aug. 19). Having spent last summer working at a school not far from Ibadan with a team of American students under the sponsorship of Operations Crossroads Africa, I can attest to the accuracy of his reporting. It was so easy to imagine myself driving along Murder Road again with my heart in my mouth as the mammy wagons hurtled by, or to recall the arguments and bargaining tactics that must be used in nearly every transaction if one is not to get fleeced.
It is refreshing to read an article about Africa that is concerned with the pleasures and activities of the people and does not dwell on the lack of modern material goods, low health standards, inadequate education or political instability. Too many Americans still think of Africa in terms of jungles, cannibal tribes and missionaries. Mr. Olsen's article has done a great deal in presenting a picture of what life in one part of Africa really is like.
VINCENT D. HOAGLAND JR.
The superbly written story of the Tiger-Fullmer fight carries the interesting item about Chief Johnson pouring a few drops of whisky on the floor for his ancestors. This is a time-honored custom that antedates the Nigerians; in fact, it antedates the Romans. In the first book of Virgil's Aeneid, Dido, entertaining Aeneas and his fellow refugees from Troy, at dinner fills a cup (patera) with wine and pours out on the table an offering of the liquid: "et in mensam laticum libavit honorem." The purpose of this is precisely that of the chief—an offering to ancestors.
We can be grateful to and for sports—in my view they are the only honest element left in society.
OHIO PROVING GROUNDS
Your article on the largemouth bass (This Is the Fish You Can't Catch Too Many Of, Aug. 19) is 1) entertaining, 2) scientific, 3) informative, 4) correct in every detail, 5) hopelessly out of date.
The state of Ohio has known and practiced the theory of "too many fish rather than too few" for the last 10 years under the radical and highly unorthodox liberalized fishing plan where the angler may take any fish of any size at any time with a hook and line.
With all due respect to the erudite Dr. Bennett, we, here in Ohio, have watched the Ohio Division of Wildlife practice the elimination of stunted fish in overpopulated lakes for many years. To my knowledge, no other state in the Union has dared follow the lead of Ohio in this matter.
The Buckeye fishermen have enthusiastically supported liberalized fishing, and we can truthfully say that, after you buy a license in Ohio, the only job left for the game warden is to point out the nearest hot fishing spot and wish you well.
RICHARD A. MILLER