Thanks for a good article by Sam Moses on professional motorcycle racing (He's Loose as a Goose and Flies on a Bike, Nov. 8). He captured the fever that produced the best racing season ever. However, he forgot to mention that in recent years the title has meant well over $100,000 to the winner. Two years ago the total reportedly went over $200,000.
I have known of Gary Scott since he first started racing for money. He has been a "good guy" until this year when various members of the press decided he was a bad guy—mainly because he was the first rider to turn down a factory contract. Scott has always been a credit to the sport of cycle racing and is one of the few to realize that it is a dangerous business. He also realizes that everybody loves a winner.
R. D. ROCKWOOD
North Hollywood, Calif.
In his story on the whale hunt (Black Water, Red Death, Nov. 1) Ron Rau states, "I was glad for the people of Point Hope and Point Barrow, Wainwright and St. Lawrence Island that they could still hunt the bow-head whale, even though it is on the endangered-species list." He also implies that because the traditional hunt preserves a way of life, it is O.K.
The simple fact is it is not O.K.! We have all had to make changes in our life-style. Traders no longer traffic in slaves, hunters no longer hunt heads and cannibals have had to make adjustments in their diet.
The Eskimos now use snowmobiles and explosive harpoons with "whale bombs" in their hunt, hardly what you would call traditional aboriginal methods. We cannot create whales, and if the slaughter of these gentle, intelligent beings continues, the bowhead whale will soon live only as a memory.
E. C. JOHNSON
Robert Boyle was well advised to use the phrase "may well be" in his tentative designation of "the best bird carver in the world" (Fine Feathers Help Make Better Birds, Nov. I). Not to derogate John Scheeler, Ken Gleason, Hans Bolte or Jay Polite as superb craftsmen, my own nomination for best bird carver in the world would have to go to Grainger McKoy of Wadmalaw Island. S.C.
K. HENRY MILLER
Regarding the story Robert Boyle related about a German firm manufacturing a strand of wire of the finest diameter ever made, and the Swiss then drilling holes in the wire, this happened in 1915. However, there is more to the story. The Swiss sent the wire to the United States where my father and his fellow apprentices at the General Electric Company in Erie, Pa. pressed bushings into the holes the Swiss had drilled.
My father, who is 80 and who never told a lie, will gladly attest to this rather routine example of American mechanical know-how.