After having raised three now-grown daughters and being presently blessed (?) with a lone, 15-year-old, gangling, lumbering, heavy-footed, 170-pound 6-foot son, I arise to heartily applaud Katherine Carlson's magnificent, amusing and oh-so-true article (Why Mom Supports the Game, Sept. 8). It should be required reading for at least a million mothers and two million fathers.
While Mrs. Carlson does not exactly express approval of the whole system, I'm sold on it. In spite of the obvious faults and frequent inequities, it gives boys of this age a much-needed direction, exposes them to the authority of someone outside the home (other than the regular schoolteachers), while allowing them to gainfully run off their excess energies. It shows them the necessity and value of cooperation with others, instead of plodding their own individual ways. It also makes them aware of the necessities of keeping their schoolwork at least within reason to retain playing eligibility no matter how weary they are and the discipline of having to do something they would greatly prefer not to do.
While football is very often harder for the mother to live through than the boy, I'm all for it.
Monte Vista, Colo.
Joe Jares' marvelous article, Closing the Missile Gap in U.S. Pubs (Sept. 8), took me back a few years to my days as a junior officer on the aircraft carrier Hancock. When the ship put into the port of Kobe, Japan, some fellow officers and I happened to stumble into an English-type pub called the King's Arms. This tavern had several dart boards with lively games in progress at each board. After striking up a conversation with several of the Limey dart throwers over a few draughts, we were invited to try our hand at this "foreign" game. Naturally, our performance was rather spastic when compared to that of our hosts. However, we were bitten by the "dart fever" bug.
Our next port of call was Hong Kong, where we were able to purchase several sets of darts and a dart board in a sporting-goods store. From then on while at sea, Foxy Frank, Fast Eddie, the Animal, Turk, the Duck and other junior officers would gather in Foxy's stateroom after the evening meal to "toss a few." We all became reasonably proficient with a dart.
Thanks, Joe, for helping me to dust off a few memories. Now let's see, where did I last see those darts of mine....
ALAN L. WILLIAMS
A loud hurrah for Joe Jares' article on darts for its areas of enlightenment—followed by the Wet Noodle award for its obvious provincialism and sensationalism in emphasizing Eastern "characters" and hustling. How you could concentrate on isolated groups of players in the East and virtually ignore the more than 1,100 organized players in California is quite incomprehensible.
When will someone emphasize the sportsmanship learned and friends made through the universal game of 301? The pitiful efforts of a handful of local hustlers are looked upon with disdain by our membership, while those from out of town are "grapevined" within hours after their arrival and are soon gone.
In what other game will you see tears in the eyes of a nonathletic type winning his first trophy ever—as part of a team?
We would welcome inquiries from those readers needing instruction or assistance in forming leagues.
Culver City, Calif.