THE PRICE OF DUCKS
We were very grateful for your enthusiastic review of the Department of Interior's new waterfowl identification guide, Ducks at a Distance (SCORECARD, Aug. 19).
However, I think it only fair to inform your readers that most of the 900,000 copies which we sent to our Fish and Wildlife Service field offices for free distribution have already been exhausted. Copies of the guide are now available only from the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. at 25� each. Clubs and groups can obtain a 25% discount on all orders of 100 or more.
DWIGHT F. RETTIE
Ed Graham has put my mind at ease (On the Trail of a Hero, Aug. 26). As I am now 18, I was beginning to wonder if idolizing Mickey Mantle at this stage of my life was abnormal. However, just knowing that, a man in his 30s feels the same way will give me peace of mind for at least 12 more years.
BACK TO BLOCK
Carleton Mitchell's article on the cruise of the Finisterre along New England's coast was absolutely marvelous (East of The Race and West of the Cape, July 22). I dream of the day that a first-rate writer-sailor will take a good ship on a slow journey down the Atlantic islands, Maine to Florida, and write a book about it. Mitchell obviously is the man to do it.
Having spent too-brief segments of my summers on Block Island for several years, I can add one or two interesting points of history to his tale. According to the ladies of the historical society there, Verrazano, the explorer for whom the Verrazano Narrows off New York City is named, was the first man to chart the island. Evidently he was not so thoughtful as to provide a name for it. This was a good many years before Adriaen Block anchored off Manisses. Block never actually came ashore. When a small number of relatively prosperous men and their families came out to settle the island in the middle of the 17th century, they apparently did so to escape the strictness of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. They named the island New Shoreham, after a town in England, but the name didn't stick, except officially. How could it, against Block?
In the case of the wrecked ship Palatine truth has been so clouded over by legend that no one is ever going to be able to determine exactly what happened. It seems certain, however, that there were a few survivors, and they were taken in by the Block Islanders. Many died on the island, exhausted by their ordeal. One survived, however, a woman called Dutch Kattern or Long Kate. She was something of a mystic, and a good deal of island superstition is traceable to her. Her great-grandson was the official greeter at one of the hotels Mr. Mitchell speaks of. Among other things it was his task to transport residents of the hotel down to the excellent ocean beaches by oxcart. This was during the latter part of the 19th century.
Howsoever, it was a fascinating article and much too short. We want more.
I was most interested to read Mr. Dave Grube's letter, '"Love Call for Curly" (19TH HOLE, June 10), concerning the scarcity of curly-coated retrievers in the U.S. and his difficulties in locating a mate for his own curly. Has he thought of importing a wife for his dog? Here in England we are keeping the curly flag flying with a membership of 35 in the Curly Society and 67 curly-coats registered with the Kennel Club in 1962. They are a wonderful breed, as Dave Grube and anyone else who has owned one knows, highly intelligent, most handsome and such faithful friends. They deserve to be much more widely known and bred.
Incidentally, I have a beautiful litter of pups just now by one of our show champions and a field-trial winner.