You captured the essence of Axel Forslund—or "the Axe," as he was called behind his back—a fine leader and builder of an athletic and physical education program that will outlive us all. Thanks.
ALAN C. MOORE
Professor of Physical Education
University of Florida
I congratulate Sarah Pileggi for her excellent description of the Bemis-Forslund Pie Race. She managed to capture the event just as it is and made me recall my own quest for a pie when I was a student at NMH.
It is the only race I've ever entered—and the only race I ever plan to enter. Already set in my inactive ways, I doubted whether I would be able to complete the 4.5 miles, let alone cover them within the 33 minutes necessary to win a pie. I crossed the finish line in a dead heat with another student and an alumnus more than twice my age and nearly passed out from the exertion. Our time? Thirty-three minutes. Flat.
Class of '78
I was surprised to see in your otherwise excellent article on the U.S. Olympic hockey team (Of Gold and Gophers, Dec. 10) that Mark Johnson was characterized as a Minnesotan. I don't know if Johnson was born in Minnesota, but I do know that he learned his basic skills—and became the consummate player he is today—in Wisconsin. Mark led Madison Memorial High School to two state championships before attending the University of Wisconsin.
To call Johnson a Minnesotan is galling because of the intense rivalry between Minnesota and Wisconsin. It also does a disservice to the great strides being made in Wisconsin in producing players of Mark's caliber.
MICHAEL S. HEFFERNAN
? Johnson was born in Minneapolis but lived there only 5� years. In 1963 his family moved to Colorado Springs, Colo., where his father. Bob Johnson, coached hockey at Colorado College for three years before taking over as coach at Wisconsin.—ED.
Many thanks for the inspiring article on North America's grandfather of skiing, Herman (Jackrabbit) Smith-Johannsen (The Old Man and the Ski, Dec. 10). I strongly concur with Jackrabbit's opinions on modern-day skiing. I've always envisioned skiing as an activity for hearty, outdoors-loving people. But, as Jackrabbit states, an increasing number of lazy skiers—who, I might add, couldn't care less about the outdoors—are crowding the downhill slopes and cross-country trails almost everywhere. I also firmly agree with Jackrabbit's criticism of high-priced equipment and extravagant ski wear.
There was only one thing wrong with your Jackrabbit Johannsen story: it was too short. As Jackrabbit realizes, the main reason he's so special is that others live at a level that is far below their potential, while he gets the most out of his. And if there's any secret to Jackrabbit's longevity, it's surely that he takes himself lightly and also has a good sense of humor.
Olympic Valley, Calif.
A STONE'S THROW (CONT.)
In reference to the article concerning the Dinnie and Inver stones and the Braemar Games in Scotland (A Legend in the Making, Nov. 5), Highland Games or Scottish Games are one of the oldest forms of organized athletic competition in the world, with several events having their counterparts in the modern Olympics. There is a great deal of interest in these games in North America, and there are more than 24 such games recognized by the North American Scottish Games Association in the U.S. and Canada.
Your story mentions that the old world record for height in the 56-pound weight throw was 16'1" and that Powerlifter Bill Kazmaier broke it with a throw of 16'2". Your readers may be interested to know that Shotputter Brian Oldfield threw the 56-pound weight 16'7" at the Ohio Scottish Games in Stow, Ohio on Aug. 25. Like Kazmaier, Oldfield made the throw with one hand, according to Scottish professional rules. Oldfield has thrown higher than 16'1" at three other games in 1979. He also has won six overall games championships.
North Myrtle Beach, S.C.