Toni Taylor erred in the article "15th Anniversary of Boeing 747" (March 3), saying, "and, as everybody knows, Air Force One, which carries our President around, is a 747." . . . As of about a week ago, Air Force One that landed and took off from Point Mugu with President Reagan aboard was still a modified Boeing 707.
DONALD W. NESBIT
. . . Acquired in late 1961, Air Force One is a Boeing 707-320B with a special VIP interior. The Air Force designation is VC-137C. . . .
WILLIAM A. RILEY
. . . Sorry, Toni, both Air Force Ones (SAM 26000 and SAM 27000), also known as "The Spirit of '76," are 707s. In addition to the many times they are shown on TV, I have seen them at Edwards AFB and Palm Springs. Also, in the documentary shown on KCET on Jan. 11, there they are, 707s.
NORMA S. WELLS
Working with British tourists coming on holiday to America, I was amused by the Feb. 10 letter of Patti and Vic Sabatini denouncing the perils of traveling abroad. Usually, the first thing British tourists ask on arrival here is, "What can we do to protect ourselves against all the terrible crime we hear of in America?"
During my two years in various parts of the Western United States, I have known several cases of tourists having their hotel rooms broken into, being mugged in the street or in hotel elevators, and being held up at gunpoint in a "respectable" hotel bar. Hardly the peaceful haven the Sabatinis would have us believe in.
By all means stay in the "good old U.S.A.," but never delude yourselves into thinking you are getting a substitute for the culture, art and architecture that have existed for 2,000 years in Europe.
MRS. KATE BLAIR
. . . Patti and Vic Sabatini who canceled their tour to Europe after reading about some American tourists who had been robbed. What a shame! We have been to Europe seven times, driving all over on our own, and have never had a bad experience of any kind. Quite the opposite. Here at home, where we have lived for 35 years, our home has been burglarized three times and we have been robbed at gunpoint in our garage. I'll take Europe anytime.
It is very wise of the Sabatinis to confine themselves to the United States, not for their good but for that of the United States. The attitudes that came through in their letter would make them poor ambassadors for America and reinforce the stereotyped view of American tourists.
My husband, a Canadian, is a travel agent and I, British, have been employed in contract negotiations by international companies for a number of years. We live very happily and enjoyably in Bakersfield. We have lived, also, in Canada, England and Houston. We feel considerably less safe from street crime, say, in New York, Los Angeles or Houston than we feel in foreign cities. Yes, there is street crime in foreign cities, but we believe that the incidence of it, not just in numbers but in proportion to the population, is much greater in U.S. cities and, potentially, is a lot more violent with the ready availability of guns in America.
There is nothing like starting the day with a hearty laugh. I am indebted to the couple from Toluca Lake for having made my Sunday. Did these people drop in from another planet? Poor Police Chief Gates is trying to get the money to hire a few more police to help stem the plethora of robberies, muggings, murders, rapes, etc., that is awash in the L.A. area.
I have lost track of the number of my friends who have had their lovely homes broken into, and I know two people who have had guns stuck in their backs in broad daylight.
Having traveled the world for 40 years I do not expect my government to do one thing for me abroad, but I fervently hope some day they will keep their noses out of other people's problems long enough to clean up their act at home.
The Feb. 10 David Shaw article, "Wild Dash to Airport," was not funny or informative. I buy The Times on Sunday mainly for the Travel section. Such articles serve no purpose to the person who wants to know more about "how to travel." Neglectful care of a passport is certainly not recommended.
WILMAR N. TOGNAZZINI
The article by Cecil Smith (Feb. 17) about Yorkshire was delightful. My wife and I visited Britain for the first time in 1969. As I had cousins living in the city of York, we decided to visit them. . . . My cousins are very proud of Yorkshire and drove us to places the ordinary tourist never has a chance to see, such as those mentioned by Smith. Thank you. I wish I had Smith's talent to paint such a lovely picture in so few words.
Enjoyed "Visions of Yorkshire" by Cecil Smith. His references to Longleat Hall brought memories of May, 1953, when my partner and I organized the opening of Longleat to the public. . . .
My wife and I are visiting England this year after an absence of 29 years, and plan to follow Smith's itinerary.
Last October Jerry Hulse ran an item in Travel Tips headed "For Light Sleepers," which referred to our Quiet Space earplugs. We received over 700 letters and telephone calls from people who had problems relating to noise ranging from snoring spouses to noisy hotel rooms. Every person promptly received a free sample and listing of the store closest to them selling our earplugs.
We would like to thank Mr. Hulse for helping so many of his readers, and extend an invitation to any other Times readers to write to us for a free sample and a list of store locations. We're Mabco Inc., 9920 S. La Cienega Blvd., Suite 519, Inglewood 90301, phone (213) 216-0407.
BARY C. SHERMAN
"Wrong Barge" Wrong
We were delighted to read of Richard C. Hartman's enthusiasm for barging on French waterways (Letters, Feb. 24). However, two points he made do need a correction. We supplied the information and photograph used in the Tours and Cruises column of Nov. 25. The barge pictured on the canal in Auxerre is Continental Waterways' 24-passenger L'Escargot, not La Litote as his letter stated.
Second, La Litote always has been owned and operated by Continental Waterways, not the other company to which he referred. It was built especially for the Burgundy canals by Continental Waterways Capt. Guy Bardet.
Golden Rail Tour
Receipt of the Golden Spike Co. 1985 brochure reminded me that I owe Jerry Hulse a big thank you. Toward the end of last summer he had an item in Travel Tips about a tour to the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, conducted by Golden Spike Rail Tours. That sounded just right for a fall mini-vacation. Everything about the trip was great. . . . Last but not least, our fellow adventurers. And, of course, the balloons--just fantastic.
As we pulled into Los Angeles Station I shook my head in wonder: "All of that was just four days!" And because of a tip from Jerry. I thank him again and again.
Good U.K. Tours
My wife and I have been avid readers of Jerry Hulse's column for many years, taking advantage of his excellent Travel Tips. We have noticed several letters recommending the Jim Hughes Tours of the United Kingdom (16 Foxwood, Aston, Oxfordshire OX8 2D2, England). We would like to add our names to the list of Jim's satisfied customers.