2003
 
Reed welcomes letters from readers about the contents of the magazine or the college. Letters must be signed and may be edited for clarity and space. Our email address is reed.magazine@reed.edu.

sixties fun on krrc
From Doug Brown ’68

While all Reed eras have their own unique recollections, your KRRC article [August 2002] brings back two from mine, ’64–’68. In the fall of ’65, Dan Rubin led a group of radio actors in a serial broadcast of Tolkien’s Hobbit, having composed the tunes for the songs and set up a recording studio on the second floor of Doyle. I wonder if the tape(s) of that series still exists somewhere in the KRRC archive. The other was the annual Wagner Ring Cycle broadcast done by Tom O’Conner, with full commentary, in German, of each of the operas as he presented them continuously over an almost 24-hour period.

Minor events in this period include the use of carpet squares from a local carpet store to provide sound absorbent for the studio walls, and the first remote broadcast of a program, in the Eliot Hall chapel, done by Matt Kangas, with added studio commentary. I played no role in any of these, but they each added to my Reed experience.
living life beautifully
From James “Shoes” Walker ’83

Thank you so much for your August issue. It hit me like a John Irving novel, laughter and tears. The Doctor was a legend of wonderful weirdness, long before I went to Reed. An invitation to be yourself, much like Reed, for those of us from “normal” backgrounds. Next, Professor Schiff nails the problem on the head with the state of classical music radio. If you relegate classical music to a type of “easy listening” format, you will never tap into its great passions. Finally, the pieces by Will Bourne and Eric Contey on Milt Fischer were great and seemed to capture Milt as I knew him. I was Milt’s dorm dad his freshman year. “Life force unshackled” is a wonderful way to describe his joy of life and love of nature. Milt truly lived life beautifully.

remembering jim webb
From Gary Rogowski ’72

I was sorry to learn of professor of English Jim Webb’s death recently. I ran into him at my 25th reunion a few years ago. As a student, I had taken a class from him, held at his house near campus, on Victorian literature. I remember two things about him. OK, three. He was out there. Intense, very smart. One time in class in a debate I cited the book we were reading as proof of my cause. I said, “It was in the book.” Jim said to me, “You believe what you read in books?” The other student I was arguing with laughed. Ouch. Webb also wanted us, in our Victorian literature class, to get lathes and put them on his porch and start turning wooden bowls and things just like Morris would have done. Mingling literature and the crafts, melding mind and body. I scoffed at the thought. When I saw him at the reunion, he was selling beads and things from his New Mexico hideaway where he raised goats and who knows, peyote probably. I went up to him and said, “I took your Victorian literature class and when you said you wanted to put lathes on the porch so we could turn bowls I thought it was the most f——ed up idea I had ever heard. . . . I’m a woodworker now.” He jumped up into the air and yelled, “Education works!” Nice moment. [Ed. note: Read more about Gary Rogowski and his work in this issue.]

shagging on home
From Joe Gunterman ’34

A couple of issues back you carried a piece on Dorothy Johansen ’33, in which she was mentioned as founder of the Godawfullers, a campus poetry association. I enclose a copy of “Godawfullers Revived” from the Reed College Quest, November 8, 1933. I was one of those shagging down the middle of the street on the way home from a session of the Godawfullers at Lloyd Reynolds’s home. The people who stand out in my memory of the Godawfullers are Lloyd Reynolds and Dorothy Gill ’29. To me, Dorothy Gill still leads the line of shaggers down the dark streets to campus.


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Reed Magazine February 2003
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