E & D's up-to-the-minute review Word of Caution (SI, Sept. 19),
highlighting a forthcoming dog movie that stars Basenjis, calls for a word of
protest. Basenjis, the relatively rare, so-called barkless hounds of the
Pharaohs, are natural hunters.
clever devices of the movie producers are played up in the article. Their
purpose is not to deceive or misrepresent, but to give the public the spirit of
the poignant story. So well do they succeed that the tears mentioned will
probably be the involuntary contribution of the viewers, not the dogs!
have abundant firsthand testimony that the primary function of the dogs in
Africa is hunting, to supply food for their masters. They are known to be
highly courageous and to attack animals as big or considerably bigger than
themselves. They are naturally extremely bird-conscious, eager to hunt them and
to follow the flight of birds in air; they don't necessarily have to lift one
foot to point. Moreover their keen noses lead them unfailingly to such finds as
well-hidden nestfuls of baby rabbits. Basenjis, with ease, outrun and pull down
the fastest coursing rabbits. In daily life they constantly point the new or
Several months ago a generous kinsman made my wife and me subscribers to SI. Up
to then, I had just seen your magazine occasionally, or when I had two
You are getting
out a magazine that exceeds any expectations of mine—and those that I had were
high, because the field was open for it.
I try to take a
general interest in public affairs, and what do I find in the Sept. 19 issue? I
find that Mr. Lyndon Johnson of Texas, the Senate majority leader who is
recuperating from a heart attack, has acquainted himself with baseball and has
become an ardent fan. As a confirmed baseball fan myself I applaud this wisdom
of choice on the part of the Senator.
I also note that
he says he intends to devote more nights to baseball and fewer to the cares of
statesmanship. He says he may even go back to Texas to stay and perhaps buy
himself a baseball club down there. When I was a boy (and a few old-timers in
the Southwest still referred to San Antonio as Bexar) there was a saying that
nobody ever dies in San Antonio; they just blow away. I have since learned that
saying dates back at least to 1825 and there must be some truth in it.
Rye, New York
? SI is sure that
Journalist Marquis James, the Pulitzer Prizewinning biographer of Sam Houston
and Andrew Jackson, would never file a misleading report.—ED.
WHAT THE DOCTOR
SHOULD HAVE ORDERED
I am glad that E & D agrees with my theory that baseball is good therapy
for a cardiac condition. Senator Johnson's experience is like my own.
I was lying in
the Presbyterian Hospital, Newark, N.J. in October, 1951. I had a radio going
in my room when Bobby Thomson hit That home run and when Russ Hodges got a bit
hysterical. "It's a home run!" At that instant my doctor walked into
the room and switched off the radio with the remark, "That stuff's no good
for you." I said, "Doctor, you could not be more wrong. That is just
exactly what I need. That is the cure of cures!"