April 29th 2015

In the recent SI vault article and podcast Jon Wertheim, the respected writer, said Karl, my grandfather, spent time in a “mental” institution. Misleading terminology! Karl suffered a physical collapse, a breakdown from a low heart rate and exhaustion. He was sent to bed rest. Jon refers to Starboard at Midnight as fiction although (nicely) says it was meticulously researched. Why then did he not consult with me to fact check his article will erroneous details before assuming proprietorship of this story? Three years ago he spoke to my publisher to tell him about the “other” book. Now in his podcast Jon says my book was “self published.” He gets so many things WRONG. And I don’t understand why he still refers to Gibbs as though she has intimate knowledge about my family. Her book’s material was a falsely sensationalized composite published five months after Starboard at Midnight. She is well aware. We talked to one another up in Newport where she was speaking and unable to answer questions posed to her. Jon claims he is still “caught in the crossfire?” Is this professional behavior or standing with friends? Thank you, my reader, for caring about integrity. I am sorely broken once again. Disappointed that corrections were not made to Jon’s article before it was printed. Salt in a wound hurts. I wonder how I could have been so naive as to trust that I could happily bring the story of Helen and Karl to light. I have only myself to blame. I believed that if I wrote a copyrighted book, no one would plagiarize and misuse it and present the story as if it was their own. As if the story was more important that the integrity of the people involved. I apologize to my dignified relatives long gone whom I presented in August 2011: Helen and Karl and my great grandmother Sallie Beckwith. As many readers now know, Gibbs made Karl out to be jealous, vice ridden, and easily manipulated. Helen to be a seductress. She quotes Karl as having said to his respected friend, Dick Williams, after Karl’s loss at the Quarter Final match at the 1914 US Open: “I should have let the doctors amputate your legs.” Was that supposed to be amusing? Would Gibbs’s readers think it funny? People believe what they read. Not the nuance of what they read. How mortified I was to read that! After Jon called my publisher about the pending book in the winter of 2012, I called the publisher of that book to ask him about it. He denied knowing me when I asked him if I could check it for accuracy. As he denied knowing me, his book was coming up from FL with my name misspelled in the acknowledgements and my book touted as a source for their accuracy! Their back cover claims that their book is the true life story. How and why I did not learn from my father and grandfather: The press and others are not to be trusted!? They get things wrong. And then they shrug off the families they write about by neglecting to ask them to check details and timbre of what they proffer as fact. In his podcast Jon sounds as though he discovered the story of the two Titanic surviving tennis players. Who knew?! Is bravado professional? Or is it professional to give credit where credit is due? He wrote this to me: “I resent your discourteous attempt to discredit my professionalism to my colleagues.” I was advised to let people at SI know how I feel. It is nearly impossible to get their email addresses. I only reached one! Jon tells me to “get over my pain.” How can I? I will always be haunted by any misrepresentation of my family. Wouldn’t he be if he were in my shoes?