Golf's best shot is the fade? Phooey! Golf's best shot remains the firm, well-stroked putt, hit with confidence.
Gay Brewer plays golf with the mien of a man walking to the electric chair. He is obviously under a terrific strain to keep that freak swing operating.
New York City
Your August 7 article about the Pan-American Games at Winnipeg (The Winning Ways of Winnipeg) was interesting enough, but it lacked one thing. The author did not even mention one swimmer who deserves as much attention as anyone else: Catie Ball. She broke two world records, in the women's 100-meter breaststroke and in the 400-meter medley relay, and she won the 200-meter breaststroke. Catie Ball is one of the greatest swimmers in the world, and one would think the author could have found space enough to mention her name.
Atlantic Beach, Fla.
Are you sure you aren't pulling our leg with that color shot of U.S. girl gymnasts at Winnipeg? They look more like the type that made Flo Ziegfeld and Billy Rose reach for their fountain pens.
COLTMAN D. SHEPARD
"Shocking fuchsia tights!" What do you suggest one wear for one of the most feminine and difficult of sports for women? Movement wouldn't be so easy in a dull, tarnished suit of armor. As for your statement that women's gymnastics was the closest thing to a girly show that old Winnipeg had ever offered—good for old Winnipeg!
But it would be nice if you would say more for the competitors than their ability to put on a girly show. Gymnastics is not so easy, believe me. My personal congratulations to Susan McDonnell and all the other women gymnasts.
SHELLS AND ROADS
Congratulations on an illuminating article about the conservation battle over the oyster-shell beds of Galveston Bay (Dredging Up a Texas Squabble, Aug. 14). It may not be pertinent today, but a few decades ago there was another use for oyster shells, perhaps unimportant compared to their present value as ingredients for cement and chicken feed, but a mighty influential factor in forming a visitor's impression of exotic, unusual and charming southern landscapes. I refer to oyster-shell roads. Biloxi and Gulf-port and Mobile—the Gulf resorts generally—were famous for them. They were hard packed, porous, pleasant underfoot, washed clean after every rain, winding away through live oaks and magnolias and gleaming white even on the darkest night.
Perhaps oyster-shell roads were so much a part of the southern countryside that Southerners took them for granted. But visitors never did. I ran across a passage about them the other day in the writings of Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a proper Bostonian, published in 1870, describing the great Shell Road of South Carolina. It ran some 50 miles from Beaufort to Charleston and was the only road between those cities. "A beautiful avenue," Higginson called it. The Shell Road crossed causeways to islands, wound around plantations and was "a smooth and shaded road.... Riding through the solemn starlight, or soft, gray mist, or densest blackness, through pine woods and cypress swamps, or past sullen brooks—never, in all the days of my life, shall I forget the magic of those haunted nights."
If we have to ruin Galveston Bay by dredging up the shell beds in it, let's at least use the shells to beautify the landscape.
Spring Valley, N.Y.
THE FACTS, PLEASE
For three years in Minnesota I really enjoyed Fran Tarkenton's scrambling (Quarterback on the Run, July 17, et seq.), but now that he's gone (as well as Van Brocklin) the Vikings might start winning. I'd rather have a winner than an occasional exciting play.
JAMES W. BROWN, M.D.
La Jolla, Calif.