A year ago when James Kunen was writing (in New York magazine) about sitting in the office of the president of Columbia University preparatory to his confrontation with the university's administration, he said he was not quite sure why he was sitting in. ("It's possible that I'm here to be cool or to meet people or to meet girls...or to get out of crew or to be arrested. Of course the possibility exists that I am here to precipitate some change at the university. I am willing to accept the latter as true, or, rather, I am willing, even anxious, not to think about it any more.")
A year later Mr. Kunen has concluded that the motivation prompting his confrontation was to protest institutional racism. To accuse Columbia University of a policy of conscious racism is to deny everything that great university stands for.
Some people feel Columbia would be doing the country a service if it expelled the students who are causing all the disruptions. The forbearance Columbia has shown for these students is indicative of the concern the institution has for providing all its students with the background to discern what is a proper and improper way to correct the evils that are undermining the quality of our country.
Crew, as with everything else at Columbia, exists for the educational experience it provides its students, and if Mr. Kunen finds unsatisfactory the values that crew demands of dedication and loyalty and honor, there are others who do not.
NORMAN ERIK HILDES-HEIM
Coach, Columbia Lightweight Crew 1966-1968
New York City
Your article, Confessions of a Retarded Tiger (June 2), has made it easier for others to unburden themselves. At age 15, when my father was stationed in Germany, I was cut off from stateside baseball except for sketchy reports in the Stars and Stripes. Consequently, I was compelled to guide my Yankees through the '55 season from my room, playing all 154 games with a deck of cards my younger brother and I designed to recreate as accurately as possible actual game conditions and percentages. We kept batting and pitching records as well as league standings, and I still have not completely forgiven my brother for the success his team, the Cardinals, enjoyed in his league. The Cards breezed to the pennant, playing almost .700 ball, and Stan Musial led all the hitters. My Yanks finished just below .500, Whitey Ford was 14-13, and it took a replay of a "rain out" a day after the regular season ended to afford Mickey Mantle a chance to hit his 30th home run. Fortunately, he did hit it.
MAJOR DAVID J. PHILLIPS
West Point, N.Y.
Having just read Confessions, I have my own to make. My hang-up is the 1957 Milwaukee Braves. My game was to bounce a baseball against a sloping street curb which had a concrete steam pipe enclosure for a backstop. (Aaron and Mathews each had around 150 homers, but I played 162 games.) My Typhoid Marys were two tremendous guys who recreated games over an Anchorage, Alaska radio station, and whom we sent to the World Series with the help of listener donations.
But the sad thing is that, with the Braves gone from Milwaukee, I no longer get the same kick out of baseball. It has its advantages over football and basketball. Games are played every day, and thus the sports section has more news to report. But that first team to jilt a city has jilted me, and the owner of the nearest professional team, the Washington Senators, has said he might leave if he doesn't make money. No wonder my cry has become "Spahn and Burdette and two days of wet."
ROBERT C. STOREY JR.
I must congratulate you on the best overall issue of SI (June 9) I have read during my four years as a subscriber. Since becoming a car-racing fan after my trip to N�rburgring on June 1, Kim Chapin's write-up and Jerry Cooke's photography of Andretti, Granatelli and Indy made my heart beat a little faster. I enjoyed Don Moss' U.S. Open artwork and have gained some understanding of John Carlos from Skip Myslenski's searching article. But what best distinguished the June 9 issue is Bob Ottum's hilarious account of his Great Transatlantic Air Race which was adventure in its truest form. Thanks for a superbly entertaining issue.
CAPT. STEVEN SAELZLER
APO New York