Letters | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian
Current Issue
November 2014 magazine cover
Subscribe

Save 81% off the newsstand price!

Letters

Readers Respond to the July and August Issues

Smithsonian Magazine | Subscribe

There are two tiers of Colorado towns: those for the rich and those for the rest of us. In Telluride ["Out of the Box"], a ski lift ticket costs $100 and the average price of real estate is $1 million. Folks mention the town in the same breath as Aspen. For a taste of mountain life in southwest Colorado that isn't "Aspenized," try Lake City, Creede, Rico or Silverton.
Adam Sickmiller
Silverton, Colorado

Kicking For Khrushchev
Having danced in the film Can-Can, I read every word of "Nikita in Hollywood" with relish. When we learned we would be dancing for Khrushchev, it generated tremendous excitement. I asked my cousin Alan, who spoke Russian, to teach me a sentence that I might say to the premier. For weeks I practiced "Zdravstvuyte, kak vy pozhivaete?" ("Hello, how are you?") However, at the conclusion of our dancing sequences, there was no hope of meeting the premier. He was busy with Shirley MacLaine, Juliet Prowse, Frank Sinatra, etc. But behind Khrushchev was his wife, Nina Petrovna. I made my way to her, curtsied and uttered my Russian greeting. She took my hand and spoke animatedly in her native tongue. I asked a Secret Service man what she said. "She complimented you on your energy and how well you dance," he related. "She was especially excited so far from home to find dancing in an American film a lovely Russian dancer."
Barbara Dekovner-Mayer
Encino, California

Atlas Lends a Hand
The article about Charles Atlas ["Muscle Man"] brought to mind fond memories of summers at Point Lookout, Long Island, where my family had a summer home and Atlas was a neighbor. Every summer I ran an athletic program with swimming and running races that included children 6 and older. Atlas assisted me in distributing medals and prizes to the winners. Looking over my archival photographs, I found a picture of myself, Mr. Atlas and a group of youngsters. He was not only a great neighbor, he was wonderful with the children.
James Nugent
Southampton, New York

The Cahaba's Murky Past
"River of Riches" caught my eye because my grandfather, John Burwell Forbes, knew the Cahaba River all too well. In 1864, John was captured by Southern troops. He was one of several thousand Union soldiers sent to Cahaba Prison, located at the confluence of the Alabama and Cahaba rivers. It has been said that when the rivers flooded, the water on the floor (where prisoners slept) rose up to four feet. Grandfather told his children of clinging for several days to whatever was not washed away and of living in his sodden uniform until it dried on his body. When he was released, he weighed barely 100 pounds and never fully recovered.
Verna Forbes Willson
Mogden, Utah

Another Score for Galileo
Recent findings suggest that Galileo ["Galileo's Vision"] may have been the first to observe Neptune, 234 years before it was discovered to be a planet. Planets move through the sky relative to the stars. In 1613, as Galileo plotted the moons of Jupiter and surrounding areas in his notebooks, he noted that the "star" we know as Neptune appeared to have moved relative to a nearby star.
Arthur Haapoja
Mount Prospect, Illinois

Corrections:
"Muscle Man" misstated Charles Atlas' nickname—it was Angie—and the first name of the co-author of Yours in Perfect Manhood. He is Charles Gaines.

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus