As a result of your article on the Red River Gorge (Operation Build and Destroy, April 1), my wife and I went to Kentucky for four days to visit the site and its area. We also discussed the matter with proponents and opponents of the proposed dam. From this brief survey our conclusions are: 1) the gorge must be saved as a unique educational and recreational resource whose accessibility and proximity to growing urban population centers will make it especially valuable in the years ahead; and 2) the needs of the people of the Red River valley for flood protection and jobs must be recognized, but these needs can be met in other ways.
There is still a slight chance to save the gorge if sufficient interest is shown by concerned parties. At the request of Senator John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky, Congress will hold a final set of hearings in Washington on May 7 and 8. Persons interested in seeing that this vital national resource be preserved should write at once to The Honorable Michael J. Kirwan, chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Works, to Senator Allen J. Ellender, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Works, to Senator Cooper and to their own Senators and Congressmen.
Without such a display of genuine interest by those of us who feel that environmental rights are as important to the nation as civil rights, this magnificent and priceless living laboratory may well be lost to all our children forever.
W. E. BIRMINGHAM
Headmaster, Sterling School
Craftsbury Common, Vt.
PRAISE FOR THE MASTERS
In his preview of this year's Masters Tournament (New Challengers for the Old Masters, April 8), Alfred Wright recites his preferred viewpoint of our tournament as follows:
"The Augusta National is a course of such sophisticated design that only the best and most versatile golfer of the moment, impervious to the most intense pressure, can prevail through the full 72-hole test. Why else would it be that in 11 of the last 13 years the Masters champion was either first or second on the money-winning list for the entire year?"
I want you to know that I think this description is one of the nicest and best expressed I have ever read about the Masters. I think a gentleman in Atlanta by the name of R. T. Jones Jr. will feel the same way about it. Accordingly, I am sending him a copy of this letter.
I would like to praise the photographers. The color photographs that accompanied Alfred Wright's coverage of the Masters (Golf's Craziest Drama, April 22) were the very best I have ever seen. Marvin E. Newman, Tony Triolo and Neil Leifer captured all the excitement of the tournament in these photos and deserve to be highly commended.
The picture taken by Walter Iooss Jr. of Wilt Chamberlain and Walt Bellamy (Push Comes to Shove, April 15) is by far the finest sports picture I have ever seen.
As an Indianapolis driver I would like to add just a few comments to Graham Hill's A Farewell to Jimmy Clark (April 22). Jimmy Clark probably accomplished more in his 32 years than any driver in history. His record speaks for itself, but what hasn't been mentioned is Jim's influence in bringing drivers from all aspects of motor racing together. By their success with the Lotus Fords at Indianapolis, Jim and Colin Chapman completely revolutionized the sport as we know it in the U.S. Jimmy also competed, in 1967, in a stock-car race at Rockingham, N.C. and, last fall, in the USAC Rex Mays Memorial 300 in Riverside, Calif. I can't help but reminisce about some of the times we were together, particularly on our trip to Japan two years ago when I had an opportunity to spend some time with him. He had a tremendous influence on me, and I believe that he had the same effect on many of the other Indianapolis drivers.
Now that he is gone, I think it is a challenge to those of us who knew him to try to live up to his example, because Jimmy Clark, more than anybody else, gave the sport of auto racing class.