UNFAIR TO YOGA
I REALIZE THAT JEANNE MARIE LASkas's column on yoga [Significant Others, March 21] was intended to be humorous. However, I'm afraid that her comments may discourage some people from trying yoga. Unlike Laskas's, our yoga instructor reminds us every week not to push ourselves beyond our limits and not to compare our performance with that of others. Never has she berated a student for not being able to do a pose! There is no talk of unity or community -- the focus is on stretching, breathing techniques and deep relaxation. Taking yoga has improved my health. I would be happy to provide Jeanne Marie the name of my instructor.
BASEBALL IN WASHINGTON?
MONEY AND MASS TRANSIT, AS YOUR article "Home Team" [March 28] suggests, are the keys to obtaining a major league franchise for this area. Does telecommunications executive William Collins really expect the fans from Montgomery (or Prince George's) County to drive to Northern Virginia in rush hour traffic to make a 7 or 7:30 game? Does he expect to fill the stadium with just fans from Northern Virginia? The rival groups from Virginia and the District need to sit down and work it out. With the current traffic congestion in our area, mass transit access is crucial.
AS A NATIVE WASHINGTONIAN AND frustrated Senators fan, I was amused by "Home Team." I am surprised that anyone still believes that Washington has a prayer of getting a major league team. The owners will never grant a team to the suffering fans of the metro area unless forced to by financial necessity. Here is what needs to be done if Washington wants a team:
1. Introduce legislation in both houses of Congress to end baseball's monopoly exclusion.
2. All of you law firms, lobbying firms and corporations who buy out a substantial part of Oriole Park at Camden Yards every year, stop doing it.
3. To the media: Stop referring to the Orioles as the Washington home team in sportscasts, newspapers, etc.
4. To the baseball-starved fans: Stop going to Baltimore to see the Orioles. Drive a little farther to see the Phillies, or patronize one of the fine minor league clubs in the D.C. area.
THOMAS E. MULHEARN
Kitty Hawk, N.C.
AS A D.C. RESIDENT, I WAS STUNNED to read of the Virginia congressional delegation's 1995 plea for baseball in Northern Virginia: "This is the `heart' of our Nation's Capital and the `heart' and `soul' of our nation itself." As far as I know, the nation's capital is still the District of Columbia.
Yes, major league baseball belongs in the nation's capital, and Peter Perl provides evidence for another good reason why: the intensity of a Washington-Baltimore rivalry. With the advent of interleague play, local rivalries are blooming as never before. Who could doubt that D.C.'s proposed National League club and Baltimore's Orioles would quickly have become among the fiercest foes in the game?
JOHN M. WALSH
CHILDREN WILL LISTEN
NOT TO TAKE ANYTHING AWAY FROM Bob Thompson's wonderful article "The Real Bedtime Story" on the adult joys of children's literature [April 4], and with full sympathy for the trauma he undoubtedly suffered in choosing what to leave off the brief survey of suggested reading, I simply must correct his omission of the greatest book of all time, namely Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth.
First published in 1961, the book tells the quest of the boy Milo to return Wisdom to the feuding cities of Dictionopolis and Digitopolis. A match for Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz in whimsy and imagination, it is unsurpassed for sheer playfulness of language. Surely no one who reads aloud the descriptions of the demons lurking in the Mountains of Ignorance will ever forget "the Horrible Hopping Hindsight . . . whose eyes were in the rear and whose rear was out in front."
BEFORE THERE WAS BABE, BEFORE Wilbur of Charlotte's Web, before George Orwell's ham-hocked Bolsheviks, probably even before Porky, there was Freddy the Pig. Freddy starred in a wide variety of roles in more than two dozen books written from 1927 through 1958 by Walter R. Brooks.
Those of us fortunate enough to meet Freddy in childhood consider him the American Pooh. On the principle that "it's never too late to have a happy childhood," I strongly recommend that you check out Freddy and his friends.
BOB THOMPSON'S STORY ON CHILdren's books made me feel like I was 8 again. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 was my first "chapter book," followed quickly by Henry Huggins, Superfudge and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. My parents read to my brother and me every night, and I sent them the article as a thank-you for those nightly reading sessions.
MY DAUGHTER IS NOT YET 2 AND WE are in the Very Hungry Caterpillar stage. But I look forward to sharing with her the books I read with my mom: The Four-Story Mistake and others by Elizabeth Enright; the Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace; the "All of a Kind Family" series by Sydney Taylor; the Beany Malone books by Lenora Mattingly Weber; and the shoe books by Noel Streatfeild.
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