What a great article on the uphill struggle of the New York Islanders in their playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins (With a Little Help from His Friends, May 5). In these days of prima donnas in professional sports, it is refreshing to see a team's success story fashioned by relatively unknown athletes, such as Glenn Resch, Eddie Westfall, Bert Marshall & Co. And if ever a picture was worth a thousand words, how about the one of bruised and bloodied Jude Drouin?
After such marvels as Bill Mazeroski's home run in the seventh game of the 1960 World Series and Franco Harris' immaculate reception in the 1972 NFL playoff game against Oakland, not to mention the 1971 World Series or Super Bowl IX, somebody, namely the New York Islanders, pulled a Pittsburgh miracle in reverse. Shock is too mild a word for my reaction.
As one of many Americans who share the ideals and dreams of Wild Horse Annie, I thank you for publishing Wild West Showdown (May 5). Herman Weiskopf's sensitive article brought to light one of the saddest tales of our age. The bloodstained story of the mustang is one that needed to be told, and you have told it well.
I suggest writing letters to Congressmen urging protection for these creatures whose free, unbroken spirit embodies what America is all about.
It would be a great loss if in the future we had to do without the wild mustang and an even greater loss if we had to do without the character and steadfastness of people like Velma Johnston.
The point the article should make to us all is that indifference on our part will let special-interest groups choose those things we must do without. I would take the mustang over an extra hamburger a week from a fatter steer, a wood hillside over an electric toothbrush fueled by strip-mined coal and fish in our streams over a new quicker-acting detergent.
Wild Horse Annie's detractors want to make these choices for us, and they call the support she gets from schoolchildren ridiculous. I believe the children probably have the clearer vision, since they have not yet learned the rationalization of selfish adults.
As for sports, Annie's determination is to be admired as much as Jimmy Connors'. I wish Annie had won half a million dollars.
MIKE VAN VRANKEN
Never has an article caused me to have more admiration for an individual than the one on Wild Horse Annie. Her fight to save the wild mustang and the courage she displays are to be commended, as is SI for bringing her to the attention of millions. As for the "Vigilant Committee of 10,000" and its warning to Annie, all I can say is don't tread on Annie and her children. As for Annie, she is beautiful.
Annie may not be emotional in her crusade to save wild horses, but emotion is her strongest ally and she uses it well. Most obvious is the manner in which she sways the minds of children. With Annie's help, the children have snowballed this emotion all the way to Congress. The wild horse and burro issue is not one to be decided by emotion. Too strong emotions on one side could lead to the killing of all wild horses or, on the other side of the fence, put numerous hard-working ranchers out of business, deprive future generations of the chance to see desert bighorns, and deplete antelope and deer populations. The mountain desert of the West, with its meager forage, cannot withstand the uncontrolled growth of horse herds without deleterious effects on other forms of life. Strict management of horses and burros is now needed, but it is lacking. That is fact, not emotion.
ROBERT H. PAGE