We read the article by Roger Kahn with great interest and great amazement. To quote from Part I: "Alongside the two-lane blacktop that crosses northeast Oklahoma, the land rolls bare and poor. Outside of villages called Broken Arrow and Chouteau lie shacks and rusty house trailers where survivors of the Cherokee Nation live in poverty. This is not farming country. It is hard, red, intractable soil that we have abandoned to the Indians."
Please allow us to inform you about Broken Arrow. It is located in beautiful northeastern Oklahoma, known around the world as "Green Country." Broken Arrow is the official fastest-growing city in Oklahoma, its building permits often exceeding those of Tulsa, 12 miles northwest of us. Unemployment is less than 2% and per-family income is approximately $14,500 annually. There are a few Cherokee Indians who live in and around Broken Arrow, but they add substantially to our economy and certainly do not live in rusty trailer houses and shacks. The soil is good old black dirt, and agriculture remains, as it has for 75 years, a very profitable industry.
Broken Arrow is also the home of Jim Brewer, pitcher for the California Angels; Bill Russell, shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers; Charles Harper, former guard for the New York Giants; and other professional sports figures. I am sure that they too will be amazed at the inaccurate picture painted of their city of 24,000 people.
JACK ROSS, President
BERNARD WAGNER, Executive Director
Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce
Broken Arrow, Okla.
Far out! I thoroughly enjoyed your article Oh, Can't You Hear the Whistle Blowing? (Aug. 23). My wife and I have hiked on railroad beds used at the turn of the century by logging trains in the Monongahela National Forest of West Virginia. We walked through cuts made by Italian immigrants with picks and shovels. We camped next to an abandoned logging town. There truly is something sociable about tracks. We could sense history under our feet.
We used to have a railroad in Oklahoma named the Fort Smith and Western. It never ran on time and was called the Foot Sore and Weary.
MARK F. DYKEMA
My favorite railroad trail is the one in Franklin, N.H. that leads over the abandoned sulphite railroad covered bridge across the Winnepesaukee River, once a branch of the Boston and Maine. The tracks run over the bridge, rather than through it.
Covered Bridge Topics
SIXES AND EIGHTS
Your item in SCORECARD (Aug. 23) about "eight the hard way" reminded me of a similar experience—with slightly different results. In transit from Fort Knox to my home in Dallas, I passed the dog track in West Memphis, Ark. and decided to take a break. The date was the 6th of June (the sixth month) and it happened to be the sixth race, so I put $6 on the No. 6 dog. Big winner, right? He finished sixth!