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We love getting mail from readers. Letters should be about Reed (and its alumni) or Reed (and its contents) and run no more than 300 words; subsequent replies may only run half the length of their predecessors. Our decision to print a letter does not imply any endorsement. Letters are subject to editing. (Beware the editor’s hatchet.)
I thought that letters appearing in our alumni quarterly should be about Reed or they should be about articles in the magazine. Bethany Weidner’s letter in our December is issue is neither. What she writes is an uninformed diatribe against Israel’s settlement policy. This is not the place to respond. Those seeking a more reasoned approach are referred to the online readers’ comments.
Bethany’s letter was provoked by an innocent report of a gathering of Reed alumni in Israel. The article includes a fleeting mention that one participant, Ncoom Gilbar ’79, is a “tour guide at Shilo where Jews have lived for 300 years after leaving Egypt.” By what twisted logic could this sentence be construed as a plea for Israel’s settlement policy? The report of our meeting made no mention of whether Shilo is inside or outside the borders of Israel, nor does it mention if there is anyone living there at all. For all your readers could glean from this report, Shilo might be a deserted archeological site. It is difficult to see why this merited a heated political tirade. It is even more difficult to see why you chose to print it.
Bethany tells us that your report “falsifies the identity of Shilo.” Perhaps it is her letter which falsifies the purpose of our alumni quarterly.
Lloyd Reynolds’ handmade quill and reed pens, from the Cooley Gallery’s 2011 exhibition Lloyd Reynolds: A Life of Forms in Art. Photo by Dan Kvitka
In light of the article “Rediscovering Lloyd Reynolds” (December 2012), I thought the following vignette appropriate. Shortly after finishing my law degree in 1973, I received a phone call from a newly graduated JD who said her office wanted to present a retiring judge a real quill pen, but they didn’t have a clue how to find one. Neither did I. However, after reflecting, I called Frances Van Hevelingen, a well-known Portland artist whose husband was Donald Abbott ’25. Without a moment’s hesitation, Franny replied, “Call Lloyd Reynolds.” Mr. Reynolds answered on the first ring, and after hearing my need, he simply said, “I’ll make you one. It will be at the admission office in an envelope under your name.” After thanking him, I saw an opportunity that shouldn’t go untried. I called the newly minted lawyer back and told her that I had found a real quill pen for the presentation, but it would cost the group of lawyers a $50 check made out to the Reed alumni association. The group quickly agreed and I thought the matter settled. However, if you were Lloyd Reynolds, and made someone a real quill pen, what would you do? I received a call from the same lawyer several days later. Mr. Reynolds had made the pen all right, but then he decided to test it out. In the envelope was not only the pen, but also a carefully crafted alphabet done by none other than the man himself! The lawyer’s group was so impressed, I was informed, that instead of sending over $50, they decided that the work merited additional remuneration and sent $100 instead. Little did I realize that my fundraising days had just begun.