HOLDOUTS ON RYE
It is refreshing to read a straight-down-the-middle article like Jack Mann's The $1,000,000 Holdout (April 4). It was loaded with fact for the reader's own assimilation and it was totally free of the editorializing garbage so many of the prima donna-type reporters are prone to use. Jack's accent on plain old cause and effect wrapped it up real tight.
Now that the holdouts are settled, will the fans once again cry out, "Open up the gates, ya creeps, me sandwiches is meltin'," or did that spirit die in Flatbush?
On January 2, 1965, Joe Namath rode the glory trail for affixing his signature to a pro football contract. Then along came Koufax and Drysdale. I can hardly wait until next spring. Kranepool, Swoboda and Hickman may hold out for $2 million!
Was it a holdout or a holdup? Perhaps Sandy and Don should be called Jesse and Frank.
C. E. LAMBDIN
Port Arthur, Texas
In your enthusiasm for the 1-2-3 finish of the Fords in the Sebring race (Victory and Death, April 4), you failed to point out some significant facts about the 12-hour classic. Sebring is actually several races in one. In addition to competing for the overall championship, big cars compete against big cars, small cars against small cars. The victorious Fords have 7,010-cubic-centimeter engines. The Porsche that finished fourth and the Porsches that finished sixth, seventh and eighth have engines under 2,000 cubic centimeters. Yet, despite its small size, the fourth-finishing Porsche beat all the Ferraris, the Chevrolet Sting Rays, the Jaguars and all the Fords except the front-finishing trio.
The 1966 Sebring, a race so punishing that only 30 of the 64 starters were able to finish, offers additional evidence that the Porsche is truly the giant-killer among cars.
Here is a summary of the 1966 Sebring showing the first 10 finishers: 1) Ford XI (7,010 cc), 2) Ford MK II (7,010), 3) Ford GT 40 (4,727), 4) Porsche Carrera 6 (1,991), 5) Ferrari Dino 206/S (1,996), 6) Porsche Carrera 6 (1,991), 7) Porsche 904 (1,966), 8) Porsche Carrera 6 (1,991), 9) Chevrolet Sting Ray (6,997), 10) Ford Cobra (7,010).
EUGENE T. HOOVER JR.,
Henry J. Kaufman & Associates
Your report omitted what many aficionados had hoped to see recognized for the fantastic feat it was—the high finish positions and generally excellent performances of the Porsche cars, whose engines were less than half the size of the gargantuan Fords.
FRANKLIN P. SHERRY
Your article entitled Of Lost Days on a River (March 28) made very interesting reading to me since I have made three trips into the Lacand�n jungle myself. However, Mr. Phinizy states that his whole party wanted to visit the Lacand�n Indians, but that the pilots told them that the Lacandones had been "shooting arrows and bullets at planes. Furthermore, one pilot insisted, the Lacandones have a cute trick of rolling logs onto the runway just as a plane is settling in."
This makes exciting reading, but nothing could be farther from the truth. If it were not for the Indians cutting the tall savannah grass, there would be no airfield at all. They spend long hours of hard, backbreaking work keeping the field in usable condition. As far as Indians shooting at planes is concerned, this, I am sure, is incorrect. The Lacandones are a very friendly and peaceful people to whom I owe my life.