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Letters to the Editor

"Cincinnati Horizons" magazine encourages readers to submit letters. Letters submitted online may be considered for publication here and in the print edition of the magazine.


Both right and wrong

In the June 2002 issue, there is a story about Greg Cook. There is, however, a mistake in the article; it says he was 1969 NFL Rookie of the Year. Actually, he was 1968 AFL rookie of the year.
James Gettler
Via e-mail

Editor's note: Kudos to Mr. Gettler for knowing that Cook's team, the Cincinnati Bengals, played in the AFL until it merged with the NFL in 1970. Cook's rookie year, however, was indeed 1969. The passing prodigy graduated from UC in '68. Likely adding to the confusion is the fact that the Bengals also produced the 1968 AFL Rookie of the year, Paul Robinson.

Dorm tales confessed

The following letters were in response to an article printed in November 2002, "Tales from the Dorm Zone."


Fifty years ago, this group [photo right top] of DAAP freshman regularly met to work on assignments in an old campus barracks building, originally built to accommodate returning WWII vets. “We loved to paint the walls, and since the building was coming down, nobody really cared,” says Diane Hoppenjans Hofman, DAAP ’58, who captured this image in 1953. Her classmates (left to right) are Barb Grimes Bolenbaugh, Bill Michel, Marilyn Crotty Weyer, Bob Hering, Herman Luckner (at rear), Don Robinson and Arnold Knipp.

From Deborah Taylor Jordan, A&S ’74, comes this ’74 photo [right bottom] of Daniels Hall residence advisers taken by residence coordinator Cheryll Dunn, CAS ’66, Ed ’68, MEd ’69, EdD ’77, now applied science associate dean. Both admit faces are more familiar than names, but their best guesses include (front row, from the left) Jordan, Meg Davenport, Julie Mitchell (now a Raymond Walters College assistant art professor), _____ ; (second row), Pam Freeman Smith (also an RC), Joanne Pachoud Davis, Mary Kim Hascher Hennessy, Becky _____ ; (standing) Natalie Mincy Brooks, Carla _____ , _____. Can anyone fill in the blanks?

I just wanted to say that my two years in Sander Hall were a lot of fun. I don't think that most of our antics would be suitable for "Cincinnati Horizons," but I can assure you that the old stories have entertained a lot of people. One example is replacing the school's lock on the Sander penthouse with our own; we had a lot of parties on the roof.
Bill Stirling, BusAd '80
San Clemente, Calif.

Having been an RA for five years in the '60s, I think I've heard and seen everything imaginable that the recreational side of dorm life provided. As much as we stressed the educational opportunities of group living, we endured the brash, silly, outlandish behavior most remembered by former students and staff.

With each new year, incoming residents would repeat and outdo the antics and pranks of their predecessors: water and shaving cream fights, floor floods, "pennying" residents into their rooms, switching doors so residents couldn't get in, water-filled trash cans leaned against doors, false fire drills, hiding mattresses and hanging "moons" out of windows. French Hall residents carried a residence coordinator's VW into the lounge, while a Dabney resident returned from class to find his entire room set up on the lawn. Another resident returned from a weekend at home to find his room entirely stuffed from floor to ceiling with newspaper.

Each year presented the staff with challenges old and new, but these events and their perpetrators were the things best remembered about dorm life at UC. And still are.
Ralf Smith, Pharm '65, Ed '68
Ellettsville, Ind.

One of the chandeliers still in Blegen Library, this one marked by Egyptian hieroglyphics.

One of the chandeliers still in Blegen Library, this one marked by Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Library remembrances

The story "Hall to the Chief" aroused many dormant memories.

Early in 1930 at the suggestion of Dr. E. L. Talbert, I applied for a job in the Van Wormer library. Fortunately, there was a need for a part-time employee, and I began work immediately. The "new" library was then in the last stage of construction, and Edward Henry was director of libraries.

During the Memorial Day weekend, we began the enormous job of moving from the Van Wormer building to the new library, which, alas, has ended its career as a library. During the moving period, the library remained open for business. The goal was to be operating smoothly in all departments before the beginning of the summer term. We were proud of our new quarters and the fact that we met our timetable. By this time, I had become a full-time member of the staff and remained on the staff until early 1934.

I wonder what happened to the two chandeliers in the main reading room. One carried the lettering "Ex Oriente Lux"; the other, "Ex Occidente Lux." Thanks for the memories.
H. W. Abplanalp, A&S '33
La Jolla, Calif.

Editor's note: Dr. Ernest Lynn Talbert was a psychology professor, and the "new" library is now known as the Blegen Library, no longer called the Main Library as it was for 50 years, but still maintaining something of a library "career."

Closed for renovations when Langsam Library opened in 1979, Blegen was renovated and rededicated in '83. Today it houses four specialized libraries: Archives and Rare Books, the Classics Library, the Music Library and the Curriculum Library for the College of Education.

"During renovation, every effort was made to preserve the architectural heritage of the building," says UC archivist Kevin Grace, MA (A&S) '77. Interesting features that were preserved include cast-iron book stacks, which uphold the floors above them; exterior bas-relief, which DAAP students frequently sketch; and a series of bronze chandeliers, including the pair Mr. Abplanalp remembers. Each is engraved with a proverb reflecting the importance of learning, written in Chinese, Hebrew, Greek, hieroglyphics or Latin. The Latin pair, which our writer recalls, is translated "light from the east" (ex oriente lux) and "light from the west" (ex occidente lux).

The staff from Archives and Rare Books often gives tours of the building.

Once in a lifetime

I read with interest your story about Sperti Bio-Dyne and the Institutum Divi Thomae. As a co-op student, I worked for the Sperti Co. in the early 1940s. At the time, co-op jobs were scarce, so R.A. VanWye scoured Cincinnati, all of Ohio and Indiana for any type of work. After working at a rug-cleaning company and a garbage-can manufacturer, I was offered a job at Sperti. This was a big step up technically and financially at 50 cents an hour.

My first job there was at a multi-storied plant in Norwood, located in the same area as the U.S. Playing Card Co. In one of the upper floors, I helped extract Bio-Dyne from brewers yeast. At that time, Cincy had many breweries to supply the yeast.

Extraction was done with hot ethanol. The slurry was filtered and clear filtrate concentrated in a vacuum evaporator. The concentrate contained the active ingredient Bio-Dyne. I once asked Professor Green, my chemistry instructor, what Bio-Dyne was, and he just shrugged.

At a later period, I worked for the Institutum Divi Thomae located in the Rookwood Pottery buildings. The research laboratories were upstairs, but in the cellar, my co-worker, an elder gentleman, and I extracted agar from seaweed. Agar was to be used as a gel in the jelly-making process.

One of the research scientists (called either Dr. or Professor Hoffman) wanted to use the residual seaweed as a lawn fertilizer upon decomposition. Consequently, we delivered truckloads of seaweed to his home and covered his entire back lawn -- in winter. I often wondered how the experiment turned out the next spring and summer.

The institution provided a free hot lunch for the research people upstairs, but the two of us in the cellar had to brown-bag it. (Oh, where was Divi Thomas when we needed him?) My lunch, self prepared, consisted of peanut butter and baloney sandwiches. In contrast, my co-worker dined on a variety of foods, some very unusual, which he always generously shared. This resulted in my once-in-a-lifetime helping of fried possum.

Fondly remember the good old days.
Joe Aubert, Eng '44
Holland, Mich.

Readers talking

I just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know how nice the most recent issue of "Horizons" turned out. It looks fabulous, and John Bach's story on student ventures turned out great. I have received many compliments from readers commenting on the story, so I know it is being read.
Charles Matthews
UC associate professor, management
Executive director, UC Center for Entrepreneurship Education and Research

Letters to the Editor policy
Letters to the Editor must relate to the university, be signed and include addresses, colleges and years of graduation, when applicable. The editor reserves the right to edit letters for length, clarity or factual accuracy and to reject letters of unsuitable content. Letters may not criticize other letter writers. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Cincinnati.