THE LOUIS LEGACY
Billy Conn (The Boxer And The Blonde. June 17) and Joe Louis (Black Hero In A White Land, Sept. 16 and Triumphs And Trials, Sept. 23) in the same year—great! For an old boxing fan. it is like sunshine after a rainstorm, steak and eggs on a cold wintry morning. I look for these features to become TV specials or full-length movies or both.
Palm Desert, Calif.
As a homemaker, weaver of tapestries and mother of two, I rarely find the time to read many of the articles in SI. But I generally glance at them anyway. The cover of your Sept. 16 issue was graced by one of the best artistic endeavors I have seen in years. This, of course, led me to read the story behind Malcolm T. Liepke's portrait. Wonderful!
Chris Mead has captured, with remarkable clarity, a picture of America in transition. All of us owe a debt of gratitude to Joe Louis for his role in advancing the cause of black people.
The array of fight tickets in the opening picture of Part I, however, clearly shows that blacks were not the only ones struggling with discrimination. The ticket for the Joe Louis-Ezzard Charles fight on Sept. 27, 1950 has printed on it LADIES NOT ADMITTED.
WILLIS E. (SNOOPY) SMITH
I was born in 1945, so I can't remember any of Joe Louis's fights, but I can remember my father telling me about them in great detail: the horrendous punch that took Schmeling out, the Billy Conn fights, the sorrow of the Rocky Marciano fight, and other stories.
The thing that I remember most is the feeling of respect my father would convey when relating these fights to me. It wasn't until I was in junior high and Floyd Patterson was champion that I learned that Louis was a black man.
Thank you for publishing this article. Sport does offer more to America and the world than diversion and cheap thrills.
DAVID E. LIEB
Jeffrey City, Wyo.
Chris Mead indulges in the same race-distorted politicized games practiced by sports-writers in the '30s, but from the opposite court. Joe Louis was admired by great sections of white America, not because of Uncle Tom press agentry but for what he did in the ring. Louis was a classy fighter, never a slashing, retreating rope-a-doper. He was scrupulously sportsmanlike, hence a "gentleman."
How did those wonderful photographs of Joe Louis's mom and of the Louis-Schmeling weigh-in get mixed up with that smug piece about old-time sports reporting? You guys seem to think Chris Mead is a clever young researcher. I can't wait for the paperback version to come out: It'll be easier to burn.
Bethel Island, Calif.
OFF THE TRACK
What's all this stuff about a Subway Series (The Apple Of Their Eye, Sept. 23)? An all-Missouri, intrastate Series seems more likely. Yes, it could be Kansas City and St. Louis in the 1-70 Series.