On May 3, 1959, I fought as a novillero on the same card as Franklin and Vazquez. Sidney killed his first bull and cut an ear. As he was removing the sword from his second bull, he was gored seriously but the bull died nearly instantly. Vazquez did an outstanding job under brutal wind conditions and cut ears on both his bulls. I killed both my animals after the senior matadors had performed and received a turn around the ring for a truly mediocre fight, but both bulls were killed with a single thrust.
A month later, Franklin fought with me in Reynosa, and then he gave me the alternativa in Tijuana on Aug. 30, 1959, with Jaime Bolanos and Charro Gomez as witnesses. This is all well documented.
Franklin was a good fighter and had some fantastic afternoons. He is dead. Conrad should let it go at that. However, I congratulate Conrad for giving John Fulton some much deserved acclaim. Fulton has had more unwarranted cruelty bestowed upon him by the press for more years than any other living creature.
Apparently readers Gary Phillips and Jeff Knisley (19TH HOLE, Aug. 3), who asked, "What in the world does Mount St. Helens have to do with sports?", have been reading magazines and watching television for so long they have forgotten that nature is the inspiration behind the love of sports that is instilled in most of us. I, for one, was happy to see the new breath of life awakening on Mount St. Helens, and glad to see that SI covered it. I'm sure that hikers, mountain climbers, skiers, canoeists and other sportsmen were moved by the sight of a tiny flower defying the devastation around it.
We can better appreciate the wide spectrum of sports if we can realize that the sheer wonder of an athlete in action is a precious gift from nature. Swiftness and agility are not man-made.
I believe that a true athlete is in tune with nature and that he has great respect for his body and an appreciation for the earth that supports his life. It saddens me to see that some of the fans of great athletes do not share the same values.
Great Barrington, Mass.