TENNIS WITH DENNIS
Congratulations on the thrilling and farsighted story on Dennis Ralston by Jack Olsen (His Own Menace, Aug. 26). Denny has grown overnight from a petulant teenager to a top menace to all opponents. When I saw him fight into the semis and finals of the National Clay Court Championships last July without giving the grandstands the slightest reason to suspect that the whole palm of his racket hand was blistered as raw as an uncooked steak, I concluded for the first time that Dennis Ralston had matured.
Twin Lakes, Wis.
You spoke of Dennis Ralston's courtesy and thoughtfulness. I had an opportunity to observe this 10 years ago when he was just a lad. It was in Bakersfield, Calif., and a tennis meet for youngsters was in progress. In the doubles matches, both boys' and mixed, Denny drew partners who were not at all experts in the game. He would have done better if he could have played the entire court by himself. But I was impressed with the way he drew his partner up beside him, gave counsel and advice and directed the play in the most efficient and kindly manner.
RAYMOND F. BELLAMY
While I am as patriotic and loyal as the next fellow, I feel these two young men, Chuck McKinley and Dennis Ralston, are vastly overrated. They were very fortunate to win this year's American Zone Davis Cup semifinals against a superior but unlucky Mexican duo of Rafael Osuna and Antonio Palafox. Osuna thrashed McKinley, America's best, in singles. Only when Osuna was under the handicap of fatigue could Ralston beat him. Palafox, although not in Osuna's class, could easily have beaten either American had he played better. And Osuna and Palafox, for my money, are still the best amateur doubles team in the world.
Dennis Ralston might be less of a menace to himself if he cut down on his intake of sugar and caffein. " Coke by the quart and ice cream by the gallon" could key up any sensitive person's nervous system in a way I have seen many times in my patients.
BERNARD D. ROSS, M.D., Ph.D.
Fort Pierce, Fla.
Your item "Back to Nature" (SCORECARD, Aug. 26) is an outrage. The criticism that "only a tiny minority of those who visit the parks realize that they were set aside as nature sanctuaries to be preserved forever in their pristine state" is a falsehood. You state that there are too many car campers who douse campfires with kerosene or toss underwear into pools, etc. This may be true with some, but certainly not a majority. Instead of reducing the number of campgrounds, the Park Service should increase it. As a car camper of five years, I have seen very few violations of park rules.
EARLE E. JACOBS III
The necessary task of preserving our wilderness can be done in two ways: 1) seal it up now and deliver it intact to the future (whenever that is) or 2) use it with respect now and keep it well for the future.
The first way seems to be that used by the National Park Service (Department of Interior). You say that the space for car camping will be reduced though "backpack campers will be welcome." Actually, even the backpackers have cause for complaint. Last week in Rocky Mountain National Park, I gladly left an already criminally overcrowded car camp and made my way up to the high country only to be told not to take shortcuts or build fires except in the two camps for which I had permits. At one of these I stayed five days—a tiny campground whose sanitation facilities were insufficient to say the least and whose wood supply was beyond a swamp or way down the trail. This while all around, as far as I could see in each direction, there was scads of room.
In contrast, I had spent a week earlier in the summer backpacking as a guest of the Forest Service ( Department of Agriculture), which seems to be operating the second way. Specifically, I was in Idaho's Sawtooth Wilderness Area. There I wandered at will, selected my campground from numerous undeveloped camping sites and built my fire by choice (though with extreme care). Although I had previously written to the district ranger, who had given me sound recommendations (the superintendent of Rocky Mountain National Park had not even answered my similar letter to him), still I sensed a glorious freedom in the pristine forest and did my best to keep it that way.
WAYNE D. WARDWELL JR.
GOOD RIGHT HAND
Why did Robert Creamer, in his story on Alvin Dark (Crossing the Delaware with Alvin Dark, Aug. 26), have to apply the unwarranted description "the best right-handed pitcher in baseball" to Juan Marichal? An avalanche of letters from all the indignant Broglio, Drysdale, Herbert and Maloney fans is inevitable. And the Face-Radatz controversy might even flare up again. The fact is that despite a mediocre record with this year's weak Detroit club, Jim Bunning is still the best righty going.
Bill Monbouquette is the best.
Old Fort, N.C.