NOT SO RED HOT
Regarding the article, Cincinnati's Big Red Clunk (June 7) by William F. Reed, please let me say that a better name for this so-called machine is The Little Red Wagon. The 1971 Reds are so inept as compared to last year's powerhouse that it is really pitiful! As for the Reds' still having togetherness, I disagree. They don't possess the same old desire that enabled them to click on all cylinders in '70. On the other hand, the San Francisco Giants do have togetherness, plus everything else. That's why they're running away from the rest of the pack in the NL West!
WILLIAM F. O'BRIEN
The Reds will come back this year; they have to with the talent they have. Their pitching has been good enough, only the big guns have been quiet. The Machine will roll again, as it did (12-0) on June 4 against St. Louis, then the Eastern Division leader. Just give it time to warm up.
Robert F. Jones really brought out the color, glory and agony of the Indy 500 (Johnny Lightning Drives Through the Wreckage, June 7). This was a superb job of writing about the greatest spectacle in racing. But the part of the story I liked best was the bravery of Gary Bettenhausen. Even though he was far behind, it takes some kind of guts to stop to pull a man out of a burning race car. I think Bettenhausen will be long remembered for his heroic deed.
Robert F. Jones' Indy article is beyond belief. As an avid race fan, I think he showed poor taste by saying, "As he entered Turn Four late in the race, Bobby Unser nearly bought the same chunk of farm his brother Jerry did back in 1959." Jerry Unser was fatally burned in that crash. You also failed to mention the great A. J. Foyt, who has won three times and finished third this year.
After reading Kim Chapin's article on successful Indy mechanic George Bignotti (Big Man with an Indy Wrench, May 24), I viewed with renewed interest this year's 500. Never before had I realized the true value of the man behind the race car in the pits.
Now, if we could only get Mr. Bignotti to give the Big Red Machine a tune-up....
JOSEPH T. HELMES
It was my good fortune to have acted as deputy leader on the recent trekking tour in western Nepal organized by Thos. F. Cook & Son, Ltd. (Himalayan Trek or Treat, June 7). I am writing to recommend that Jeannette Bruce be asked to undertake all the most physically demanding and dangerous assignments for your magazine in the future, as I estimate that her unique attitude toward physical exercise in any shape or form gives her an immediate advantage over her colleagues.
Jeannette walks very slowly in the mountains. So imperceptible was the amount of her movement that she was mistaken for a tree on several occasions. A small tree smoking a cigarette, but a tree nevertheless. Her near-masochistic desire to fall headlong into freezing mountain streams at all available opportunities was also made evident early in the proceedings.
Her performance on trek can only have one explanation. She is obviously an extremely hardened and experienced mountaineer who believed that she would be shaming her companions (especially the men) if she showed anything of her true form. She felt obliged to appear weak and helpless at all times and feigned death on reaching camp at the end of each day's march. What agony she must have experienced in restraining the massive forces of energy that were aching to propel her through the mountains at breakneck speed. She even wore boots five sizes too small in order to acquire a sum total of 38 blisters all at the same time—a world record awaiting ratification.
Such thoughtfulness should not go without notice.