I was in Cervinia when the boys were training for the race. They talked me into going onto the course by assuring me the slope had only a 50% grade instead of the "nightmarish 67%." As I looked down the hill, I was not so much afraid of falling as I was of never stopping if I did take a spill. So I took a Pythagorean approach, squared off against the hypotenuse and zigzagged, dismaying the racers with the ruts I carved. My record time—estimated because the photoelectric device was not yet in place—was 20 minutes for the kilometer, or not quite two mph.
I had several alibis. I do not bend my knees in tennis and can hardly be expected to maintain a tuck for any distance. My baggy pants are a far cry from sleek plastic. And I stopped often to ogle the Matterhorn and a deeply tanned girl skiing the course in a bikini.
Fort Washington, Pa.
LINGERING MELODIES (CONT.)
I take strong exception to your article on college songs (Sing a Song for Alma Mater, Sept. 6). While UCLA has managed to trounce the Bears on the playing field many times over the years, the Bruins' college songs do not begin to compare with the wide repertoire that is California's. Indeed, the infamous Sons of Westwood is sung to a noble tune borrowed about a decade ago from Cal. "Big 'C ", as the song is officially known, was written in 1914 by Old Blues H. P. Williams and N. W. McLaren.
Chula Vista, Calif.
I'm relieved to know that Cole Porter's career did not suffer from his authorship of football songs for Yale. But consider the following: The Cavalier Song ( Virginia), composed by Fulton Lewis Jr.; Vanderbilt Forever!, words by Grantland Rice; The Maine Stein Song, words by Lincoln Colcord; Roar, Lion, Roar ( Columbia) by Corey Ford (with Morris Watkins and Roy Webb); Flag of Maroon ( Chicago) by Donald Richberg; True-Blue Elihu ( Yale), words by Fairfax Downey; and Towers of Marble ( Brooklyn College) by Sylvia Fine.
Fulton Lewis went on to become the newscaster; Grantland Rice the sportswriter; Lincoln Colcord the New England author of sea stories; Corey Ford the humorist; Donald Richberg the crusading lawyer of the New Deal, co-author of the National Recovery Act; Fairfax Downey the military historian; Sylvia Fine the composer and wife of Danny Kaye.
The way to get started on a career in literature, law, business or politics is: write songs while you're still in college.
M. E. FOLKS
New York City