UMass Magazine is sent to a somewhat petrifying 145,000 people the preponderance in the Northeast, but with flourishing clusters and brave outposts all over the world. For what some UMass people do to show their colors in California, see below "On the Santa UMass Freeway," courtesy of Jack Bettencourt '64. For what some are doing in Florida, (or used to do, before they got too rickety), see our stories about Stanley Topol '47 (page twenty-four), Paul Fellers '55 (page forty-five), Bob Peters '66 (page forty-seven), John Kumiski '80 (page forty-nine), Marci Blacker '92 (page fifty), and the phenomenal (if rickety) farmer/memoirist H. Vincent Couper '38, (pages eleven and fifty-six).
For a sample of opinions and reactions stirred up amongst our large and varied readership by recent issues, see the letters below. And we can't urge this frequently enough please see us also in cyberspace (www.umass.edu/umassmag). There you'll find more letters, and the uncut versions of these. You'll also find the obituaries for members of the university community that our intern, Bethany Jones '98, spends several hours a week faithfully transcribing.
Cyberspace is no place to sit down and read, and will never, we hope, replace magazines. But it can expand them, and expand the ways of keeping in touch, for the many thousands of us interested and invested in this important place. PW
CONGRATULATIONS TO the women's cross- country team for their incredible performance (again) at the A-10 conference. [Around the Pond, Winter 1998.] I was on what I think were the first women's UMass cross-country and track teams in 1975-76. My memories of running through the Berkshires in the freezing cold behind coach Ken O'Brien's Volkswagen, wearing oversized warmups from the men's football team, still warm my heart. The inspiration remains and I have completed a couple of marathons, countless 10Ks, and several triathlons. I'm now in an old enough age group that I actually place in nearly every race. Anyway, hats off to Coach LaFreniere and all the runners on the team.
Nancy (Albert) Sobel '77
Beverly Hills, California
ASK PROFESSOR ROBL
IN RESPONSE TO "BREAKING NEWS" [Exchange, Winter 1998]: You challenged readers to ask Professor Robl about his cloning experiments and the resulting birth of two calves. Please ask him if he enjoys pretending to be God. I'm distressed with the short-sighted, human-centric activities of professors and universities gaining fame and money exploiting non-human animals and risking the sustainability of life on our planet.
I see no difference in kind between these genetic clonings and the development of nuclear bombs. "We're just scientists exploring science; leave the ethics to someone else," just doesn't cut it anymore. We're all interconnected. All includes all life. Where are the concerned scientists, medical ethicists, ecofeminists, ecopsychologists, and animal rights philosophers on cloning? Most are shaking their heads wondering if we'll ever learn.
Davy Jean Davidson '76
New York City
SAYS BLACK STUDENTS FEW IN FIFTIES
THIS IS IN RESPONSE to the letter from Joan Curello Davis `75 ["Faults Minority Coverage," Exchange, Winter 1998]. The grad from Teaneck must have missed a recent issue when a cover [actually an inside photograph Ed.] depicted a football team of the 1950s ["Homecoming 1956," Fall 1997]. The people shown included a few coaches and several players. One of the players was a Negro.
One of my kids, noting the [photograph], suggested that we had many minorities in my day. I remarked that aside from my many Italian friends, the guy [in that photograph] was the only minority person I was aware of.
We've all come a long way, Joan. Think a bit!
George McCafferty '58
Manchester, New Hampshire
IMPRESSED WITH MCDEMMOND
CONGRATULATIONS ON your article about Dr. Marie McDemmond, president of Norfolk State University ["Gold In A Storm," Winter 1998]. I had the privilege of working as her associate when she was at UMass, and I have been impressed with her leadership quality and her ability to identify and solve problems facing the institution. We weathered some budget crises together, and I am convinced that she will lead Norfolk State University out of its troubles with the full cooperation of the faculty and the students.
Rosmarie F. Strother `74, `78G, `86G
I JUST READ YOUR excellent feature in the Winter UMass (our class news editor, an alumna, brings it in regularly for me to see) on UMass Ed.D. Marie McDemmond ["Gold In A Storm," Winter 1998]. I met Marie at last year's HERS Management Program for Women at Wellesley College, where she was a presenter on what better topic finances and budgets. Your article captured her so accurately and eloquently. She is knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and most importantly really has a passion for being a leader in a university setting.
The writer is the editor of the Babson College Bulletin.
WHAT A RELIEF to hear that Howard Ziff made so many other students feel as favored as I! ["Howard, How'd We Get Through Ye?" Winter 1998.] There I was, thirteen years after the fact, still feeling sorry for my fellow students. Sadly, I was unable to schlep my newborn to Howard's retirement soiree, but your article helped me feel almost as if I was there. Howard, you really were the best. (Feel free to tell the others.)
Renee Bacher '86
Long Island, New York
I WAS A STUDENT at UMass in the 1970s. My senior year, the journalism and poli sci departments offered a joint course on the press and politics number of people from the Globe came out.
My strongest memory of the class is the first meeting. It was scheduled to meet in the evening in a lounge in Thompson Hall. The students gathered, waiting for Professor Ziff and the poli sci professor and the visitors from the Globe. After about a half hour the poli sci professor came up to tell us they were still at the faculty club. We responded by having some of the folks go out for a beer run. We enjoyed the beer waiting for the professors and their guests. They also enjoyed themselves at the faculty club. Subsequent sessions were scheduled for an afternoon meeting.
Ellen Donohoe `74
"SMUG REACTIONARY, DREADFUL WRITER"
IF ARNOLD SILVER is "an old-fashioned liberal" ["Liput Lib and Other Parables of PC," Books, Winter 1998], Monica Lewinsky is a nun. Shortchangers is the work of a smug reactionary who is also a dreadful writer, a clumsy Rush Limbaugh kidding himself that he's a deft Jonathan Swift.
The author's aim is to ridicule the hordes of darkies, chicks, queers, and associated rabble whom he perceives as barbarians at the gate of Western Civilization, brutes disturbing the peace of academia with their risible demands for a more inclusive canon. His strategy is to embody the academic reformers and revolutionaries he despises in a patently absurd short people's liberation front.
And such high-class wit Silver brings to the game! The "Castration by Candlelight" joke might say more about Silver's personal anxieties than about the true nature of feminist scholarship, but the bit about "Advanced Iroquois War Dances" is a masterful rebuke to anyone who denies that the European colonization of North American was all about peace-loving white folks getting savaged by wackos in war paint.
Charles C. Smith `97
AS A WORKING MUSICIAN, I especially enjoyed your story about Genevieve Rose in the last UMass Magazine ["Amazing Bass," Winter 1998]. The very next day I received the March Saxophone Journal with a cover story about Benny Waters. Not only did the author, Bob Bernotas, include a photo of Genevieve and Benny in performance, but also a paragraph about Genevieve's work with Benny and her great potential. I'll be looking for her at jazz festivals this summer.
Ken Drumm `70
Westerlo, New York
FAULTS "DEVIL-MAY-CARE ATTITUDE"
AS A WILDLY ENTHUSIASTIC supporter of UMass sports, I was troubled by the comments attributed to athletic director Bob Marcum ["Like Ham and Eggs," Great Sport, Winter 1998].
"Proudly wearing" his Final Four ring, Marcum appears to be in denial about the actions and behavior that led to an appearance in the NCAA basketball semifinals. Given the fact that the Minutemen were stripped of the East Regional title, it's outrageous for Marcum to say, "We played the games. We won the games."
Is this the appropriate time for such a devil-may-care attitude? The school was punished because the coaches and others close to the program looked the other way as a shady agent showered the team's star with gifts and other favors. I would feel a lot better if Marcum would say something like: "We learned a lot from this experience, and we plan to do everything possible to ensure that nothing like this happens again."
No one wants to see the UMass basketball team succeed more than I do, but let's try to do it without sacrificing the school's integrity and reputation. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed if Marcum achieves his goal of making the leap to Division I football.
Joe Pesaturo `86
MINDING THE MUSE
BRAVO TO WRITER Dan Berthiaume for his literary reflections from the pastoral mecca of Stow, Massachusetts ["True Tales of an English Major," North 40, Winter 1998]. It's validating to hear of another's encounters with that persistent condition, Career Angst (so I don't feel so all alone).
I sincerely hope this magazine will make a writer's column a regular feature. (Fellow readers and writers, this is a cue to write the editor and agree: this is a grand notion!) For without the insight and grace that writers bring to modern life, it can easily regress beneath the nauseating stream of news and entertainment. We UMass grads entrusted with carrying the flickering flame of culture and humanity forward must beware the lure of cable televisionand writers' voices can help us do so.
R. Jay Allain `83
LADIES: PLEASE REMOVE my name from your mailing list. It was my understanding that a magazine for alumni(ae) would provide information as to who did what or went where and who lived and who died. Guess I was mistaken, especially the obit column.
Few of my professors are alive today and those who are are no longer at UMass. Therefore, the comings and goings of the present faculty are of little or no concern to me.
I condemned your Fall `97 issue [A Tribute to Women at UMass, Summer 1997] for its emphasis on women. I suppose it was to be expected as the staff of UMass Magazine seems predominately female.
Enough rambling. Just remove my name.
John Talmage `50
I HAVE JUST RECEIVED the Winter edition of the magazine and have enjoyed several of its interesting articles. I'm now sitting in my den gazing upon an etching of the College Pond, where I first learned to skate and later played hockey for MAC and Mass. State happy memories.
I enjoy your magazine. Keep me on the list.
Robert C. Gunness `32
IN THE WAY OF SUGGESTION: Why not return to former styleshow a sports page with college game results and schedules? Also, suggest the "In Memoriam" part return to more details. We as alumni are interested more in alumni happenings than in articles such as "A Practicing Partnership" in last issue. "To and From the Editors" was real interesting especially about the cloned calves.
John P. Brooks `37
UMIES GO BRAUGH
FOR MANY YEARS I have wondered why UMass wasn't represented in the big St. Patrick's Day parade in Holyoke. I commuted to UMass from Holyoke for five years and graduated class of 1965. I noticed in the parade just about all other local schools are represented, as are many of the state schools. This parade draws a large crowd plus much media. I think it would be good for the school to be represented prominently.
Ed Baker `65
GIVE US AN M! GIVE US AN A!
GIVE US ANOTHER A!
IT WAS VERY EXCITING TO SEE Carl Howard's excellent photos from Homecoming `56, [Fall 1997] although somewhat disconcerting to find them referred to as "period photographs." THAT game was particularly memorable to me not only because of the score, but also because, while perched on Frank Cullen's shoulders, yelling into my megaphone in front of a then record-breaking Homecoming crowd, I misspelled MASSACHUSETTS! That caused the biggest crowd response of the afternoon.
I have offered many excuses when reminded of this over the years, such as, "I wanted to see if everyone was awake," but you have finally provided me with the best! It's taken over forty years, but I have finally become a centerfold. Thank you for not making me a cover girl. At this stage in my life the former is infinitely more interesting!
Sondra Sable Alman `58
Mahwah, New Jersey