Never before can I remember a sports figure who so captivated this country as did Carl Yastrzemski during the past season (Sportsman of the Year, Dec. 25). The interest he stirred through his spirited, all-round play not only focused attention on him, but on his teammates and baseball, as well. In fact, early October sports pages saw the national pastime actually contesting football for space.
With his new-found maturity Yaz outdid his superstar predecessor and became the leader of a team that typified the best in American sports. Both on and off the field, Carl has been a dedicated sportsman.
Thank you very much for your article on Ford Motor Company's "let's go racing" policy (Ford Came Flying, Dec. 25). It shows that big businessmen aren't all cold and serious. I'd also like to compliment Ford for openly and wholeheartedly backing its competition program instead of quietly letting a Jim Hall or a Richard Petty do the job so that they can point to Chevy Chaparrals or hemi Plymouths if they win and deny any factory affiliation if they lose. In my opinion Ford "has a better idea."
The work of Writer Bob Ottum and Photographer James Drake on the Ford racers should go down as one of SI's top features of the year. Ottum really knew what he was writing about and, teamed with Drake's excellent photos, it is enough to make every Ford enthusiast proud. But it's going to take a real masterpiece to change this diehard Chevy fan!
I just finished Jack Olsen's article, The Dynasty Lacoste (Dec. 18), and for the first time in my life realized where those golf shirts I have been wearing for years have come from. The article, like the shirts, is top-drawer. Being a golfer by nature, I found the explanation given by Catherine about the treatment she received at the hands of the touring gal pros quite revealing. It proved a point as to why the men on their tour receive so much more satisfaction and publicity. Their help and friendliness to new players is so much more in evidence than that sorely missing among the gal pros.
THE PILLAGE (CONT.)
Robert Boyle's excellent article, How to Stop the Pillage of America (Dec. 11), points up the need for a governmental authority to guard our natural resources. I thoroughly agree with this recommendation and also with your recognition that we are trapped by the idea that technology and unceasing economic growth can solve all problems.
The theory of "continuous" growth is contrary to everything we know of history, geology, archaeology, botany and biology. Animals, mountains, plants, cultures and civilizations are born, mature and die. The pattern of death is part of the rhythm of life. Hopefully we can grow wiser; but no person, place or thing can go on growing and growing forever.
Graphs cannot always climb toward the top of the chart. Population cannot possibly grow at the present rate for very long—a fact that finally seems to be sinking into popular consciousness. It's equally obvious that we cannot for long mine minerals, bulldoze land, cut trees and in general abuse the earth as we are doing now.
I think the American people are going to have to adjust to a harsh reality: this country must eventually stabilize, in a material sense. But this reality isn't really so harsh. If we stop growing richer perhaps we can then begin to grow spiritually, in harmony with all the earth and all its creatures.
WILLIAM J. DELMHORST
How to Stop the Pillage of America is far and away the most comprehensive article I have read on the subject. Each proposal was relevant and, what is equally important, practical. Since we as a culture seem not to be able to have an "ecological conscience" or to empathize with what Schweitzer called a reverence for life, perhaps we can respond to the fact of the danger of our extinction. For surely if we continue to pollute the air and water, strip away the nonreplaceable resources, squander those that are "replaceable" and poison the land and water with long-lived toxins—in a word, rape the planet—we shall destroy ourselves.