Hats off to the American girls for being "excited" as Gwilym Brown puts it. Maybe the best American men can run in Europe instead of Berkeley, but it's nice to know the women are still patriotic and try their best. Surely Mr. Brown doesn't realize it, but the list of young U.S. women who are coming to the top is longer than the men's, and they deserve more than a paragraph mentioning Doris Brown's "valiant attempt." How about a word of praise for Iris Davis, who is a threat to Chi Cheng in the sprints; Patty Johnson, for winning the 100-meter hurdles; and the American womens' 400-meter relay team (Orien Brown, Mattline Render, Pat Hawkins and Iris Davis) for defeating the veteran Russians despite almost no practice on handoffs.
Maybe the only way to get Mr. Brown to notice the girls is for them to wear hot pants and see-through blouses as their track uniforms.
A couple of years ago SI chose the 18 best golf holes in the country. Merion's dogleg 1st and beautiful 11th were part of that classic course. Did they prove their worth in this year's Open, or did the world's best golfers take them apart? Perhaps somebody's computer kept the birdie, par and bogey count on Merion's 1st and 11th.
New York City
?On the par-4 1st hole, esteemed for its beauty as a starting hole rather than for its difficulty, the Open field averaged 4.11 strokes. The 11th played very tough—4.29 strokes.—ED.
Robert Boyle's mercury article (The Catch Is, Should You Eat It?, July 12) is misleading in part. In speaking of tournament swordfish, Boyle states: "If a person were really starving for swordfish, he could eat some of this fish, but one bite would be about enough." The implication is that just a little more than one single bite would be permanently harmful (or fatal?).
Not so. In fact, from the figures Boyle cites, one could safely eat at least one ounce of this swordfish per day forever. Or he could eat a serving of about eight ounces once a week forever.
DANIEL A. PANSHIN
WALTER MITTY SCORES AGAIN
Often attempts are made to reach a reader by identifying a sport on a personal level. In this endeavor George Plimpton (In The Mind's Eye, July 5) has woven a picture of tennis that all club players can enjoy. The glimpses of the pros and their reactions to situations the club player finds stifling are reassuring. Plimpton showed that the pros are human, not the automatic machines they often seem to be. How we all would like to play in that unreachable pinnacle called Wimbledon!—just as Plimpton does in his fantasy. Throughout the story Mr. Plimpton is the reader, the symbol of the laymen eager to enter the confines of the tennis world.
Great Neck, N.Y.
BLONDES ARE BETTER
Your item in SCORECARD June 28 regarding the hardhat cure for black flies is not new. In 1955 I was logging for the Ketchikan Pulp Company at Camp Hollis on Prince of Wales Island in Alaska. Someone on the crew, disgusted with the world in general and black flies in particular, simply dumped a bottle of insect repellent on his hat, which was aluminum, and said, "To hell with it." As the men in Alberta found, it worked. The man's hat was soon black with flies.
Incidentally, this doesn't work on the flies in Yellowstone Park, but I have a remedy for that country that beats the greasy hat by several lengths and in several ways. What you want is a big blonde in a bikini, and two bottles of insect repellent, a double-thickness shirt and a mosquito-net hood for yourself. The one bottle of insect repellent you pour over your mosquito-net hood and your double-thickness shirt and your hands; the other bottle of insect repellent you stick in your pocket for later. The blonde works about like a hat, only she's better to look at. And the nice thing about having the second bottle of insect repellent is that you can use it sort of like a carrot on a stick for a donkey. It also helps if the blonde is not quite as smart as a donkey, and this is something that it is best to find out before you head into the back country in Yellowstone.
JAMES H. NELSON