Readers Respond to the June 2021 Issue

Your feedback on our coverage of truffle hunters, an Olympic hero and more

Truffle Trove

What a wonderful article (“Earthly Delights,” June 2021). Technology, art, perseverance, philosophy and dreams all melded together to produce a much-loved culinary treat that just may save Southern farms.

—Jacquie Lindsay | Raleigh, North Carolina

Nice story about truffles in North Carolina. You might want to check out what’s happening on the other side of the country. My friend Dawn Meiklejohn and her Lagotto Romagnolo, Lidia, have been hunting and selling truffles here in western Washington and Oregon for years—as well as educating chefs and the public.

—Michal Nortness | via email

Sacred Struggle

“The Sacred Runner” (June 2021) moved me to tears, and I was shamed again by actions taken by our government against the proud Native Americans. It also lessened my admiration for Theodore Roosevelt, who allowed this to occur. Until now, I had thought him to be a fair-minded, forward-thinking president.

—Sally Downey | Venice, Florida

It’s heartbreaking to read about all Tsökahovi Tewanima endured because of forceful separation from family and assimilationist “education” at Carlisle Indian Industrial School, a shameful and little-discussed aspect of American history; however, also thrilling to hear about his amazing Olympic accomplishments.

—@SamanthaJeffMom | Twitter

Ancient Journey

“Passage Through the Zagros” (June 2021) was evocative. Arnold Raphel (later U.S. ambassador to Pakistan) and I made the same journey in 1968, when we were serving as junior foreign service officers in Iran. It was a hard ride—ten hours a day in the saddle on mules for five days through stark mountains, with scarce rations, often unsafe water, and no means of communication with the outside world. We admired the toughness of our Bakhtiari companions. It was a privilege to briefly share their company.

—Michael A.G. Michaud | via email

Taking Flight

Thank you for the excellent article on condors, “Rising Again” (June 2021). I watched the livestream of the condor hatchling Iniko’s progress during lockdown last year. I shared the growing horror as the reddish glow meant the fire was getting closer to her nest. After the livecam went dark, I obsessively checked the site and was overjoyed when it came back on showing Iniko had survived. When she was rescued by Ventana Wildlife volunteers, I felt a surge of optimism.

—Cindy Clark | Mukilteo, Washington

Lighting Up the Desert

Your article celebrating the artistic vision of James Turrell (“The Light Fantastic,” May 2021) failed to address the historical context of the Roden Crater site. This location sits on the ancestral lands of several Native American tribes. He is spending many millions of dollars to impose his vision on this place, while the tribal members live nearby in poverty. His inviting wealthy art tourists to come visit at a cost of $6,500 per night is obscene. I hope we can be more thoughtful about the ramifications of such endeavors in the future.

—Edward Howe | Westport, Massachusetts

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This article is a selection from the July/August issue of Smithsonian magazine

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