It is small wonder people come to mistrust the press. Of course, it is the obligation of the subject of an interview to choose what he wishes to say with care; after that he can only trust the reporter's skill and integrity for accuracy.

I did drive up from Greensboro, N.C., for the first day of Lt. Col. Oliver North's testimony. And in response to a Post reporter's question, I did say that I thought Col. North might try to take President Reagan down.

I did not, however, as reported in "Waiting for Ollie" {Style, July 8}, add "and hey, let's hope he does so in the first 30 minutes."

That gratuitous concluding clause was stated by 19-year-old Michael Volchok, who was cited earlier in the story and who said just that several times during the long morning of waiting. I would never have said something like that to the press, and I haven't said "and hey" since I was 19 myself.

So while it is exhilarating for us outlanders to experience the distinction of being misquoted by no less august a journal than The Washington Post, it is still disconcerting to find that people you know, people who might have respected your judgment, have read what you might as well have said for all they know.

DAVIS A. MARCH Salisbury, N.C.