REVVED UP ABOUT RACING
I'd like your readers to know that there was once more to stock car racing ["Daze of Thunder," Aug. 2] besides the roar of the engines, partying and idolizing a few drivers who risk their lives for money.
[One time] I was traveling to Florida and stopped overnight in Charlotte, N.C. I was having trouble with a manifold gasket. In the morning while I was eating breakfast I noticed Dick Rathman, who was driving in the Charlotte 500 that day. He was racing the same kind of car I was driving. I got up enough nerve to ask him if he had a square gasket to help me out, because nothing was open on Sunday. He did and gave me one. We loaded up gas at adjoining pumps and each went his way. He in his Hudson to the race track and me in my Hudson to Florida.
As a side note, while I was in Florida I visited Marshall Teague's racing shop and spent the day. He won many races with his Hudson. Just try visiting a racing facility today. I am still a stock car racing fan, but I don't think I fit any of the categories mentioned in your story. More research into stock car racing would have made it more interesting.
Richard C. Groscup
A restaurant review in the Sun Magazine Sept. 6, 1992, praised an Italian restaurant's "beautifully white" veal. I wonder if your reviewer, Elizabeth Large, is unaware of the conditions that produce that whiteness.
Like all veal, white veal comes from young calves that spend their 15 weeks of life alone, in the dark, in stalls too small for them to turn around or to turn their heads to groom themselves. (The confinement and the darkness are to prevent movement, which would lead to muscles and lead to tougher meat.)
Veal that is particularly white is from calves that are kept anemic. Iron would color their flesh, and so the calves are fed only a liquid diet, with just enough iron to keep them alive.
Many farmers have replaced the traditional iron bars of their stalls with wood, because the calves were chewing the bars in a desperate craving for iron.
The mortality in this environment is high, but so is the restaurant price for the calves that make it to market. The customer who then orders the white veal ends up paying a premium for food lacking in nourishment.
Judith E. Burke