High School Hotshots
Your Feb. 18 article on Justin Armour (Shining Armour) brought to mind another Rocky Mountain phenom. Whatever happened to Bruce Hardy, the high school football, basketball and baseball star from West Jordan, Utah, who appeared on your cover in 1974?
? Hardy went on to play tight end—but not basketball or baseball—at Arizona State, where, as a senior, he caught 19 passes for 269 yards. In 1978 he was drafted in the ninth round by the Miami Dolphins, with whom he played for 12 seasons. In '86, his best year with the Dolphins, he caught 54 passes for 430 yards and five touchdowns. Since leaving football in '90, Hardy, now 34, has been involved in business interests in Florida as well as being a color commentator for Utah football games.—ED.
Jonathan Takes Enemy
Gary Smith's article about Jonathan Takes Enemy (Shadow of a Nation, Feb. 18) is one of the finest pieces of journalism I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Smith's haunting prose describes the multiple enigmas and contradictions of the lives of Takes Enemy and his Crow brethren. That the story had an upbeat ending was as surprising as it was inspiring. Here's to the continued success of Jonathan Takes Enemy.
PAUL BLAWIE JR.
As one who formerly taught in a tribal college in northern Arizona and in a community college in northern Wyoming, I appreciated Smith's article. His portrayal of the young Native American's dilemma of having to walk with one foot in his or her tribal heritage and one in the Anglo world was chilling. We Anglos have no idea of the turmoil and stress of such a life. Tribal bravery still exists in each of these young people who cares enough to try.
Since my brief stint as news editor of the Hardin [ Mont.] Herald in 1983-84, I have many times wondered what became of Hardin High star Jonathan Takes Enemy. Besides being the best basketball player I had ever seen, he was typical of his hospitable people, who offer strangers food, shelter and friendship—everything they have—with no questions asked. Takes Enemy's story offers hope. Through understanding and patience, perhaps we can help others escape the cruel trap that has claimed too many born to the bleak world of "the res."
Smith's Shadow of a Nation was riveting. I grew up 15 miles from South Dakota's Cheyenne Reservation and saw the phenomenon Smith describes played out over and over again. Here's hoping that Takes Enemy and his tribal brothers successfully combat the legacy that haunts them. There have been too many young Indians with quick feet, quick minds and quick lives.
Many of us who have coached Native American youths have observed with great sadness the contrast between the sheer joy with which these youngsters approach basketball and the despair that accompanies what seems to be their inevitable end. Our hearts go out to any young person who attempts to break that pattern. I, for one, will now eagerly seek out box scores from Rocky Mountain College games. Godspeed, Jonathan Takes Enemy.
A High School Inspiration
What a pleasure it was to read Austin Murphy's article about Colorado schoolboy Justin Armour (Shining Armour, Feb. 18). Justin is an impressive athlete, student and Bible scholar. It's great to see a youngster push peer pressure aside and stand up for what he knows is right. I hope he will be an inspiration to other students.
TIMOTHY R. JOHNSON
It's refreshing to see someone perform as well in the classroom as he does on the field. It's also nice to see someone from such a small school get this kind of recognition.
Practically every hamlet in America has a three-letter man with, as Murphy puts it, "a gleaming future." Three-letter men at high schools with 347 students in towns with populations of 4,800 arc a dime a dozen, and very few of these athletes make it beyond high school.