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 email@example.com.
thats fah-bu-lous to you
From Miriam Moore 98
As you may know, Reeds new president,
Colin Diver, used to work at Boston University and helped found the
public and nonprofit program in the school of management, which I
am very involved with. So Ive been trying to dig up dirt, er,
I mean, info on this guy but no can do! Everyone LOVES him.
When I tell these people that Colin Diver has been named president
of Reed the response is a universal: You are SO lucky! That
is wonderful news. So I say, oh, thats great to hear,
what can you tell me about him? Hes fabulous. A wonderful
man, very involved, a great manager, a great leader, very proactive,
great with people, active in the community. He also has a wonderful
family: his wife is fabulous; his children are fabulous. He is just
fabulous. Obviously Im very glad to hear all these wonderful
things, but still I think, hum, this is just too good to be true,
so I query further: So, is there anything bad about him? Come
on, there has to be something. . . . And the response is universal:
No, he is one of the most fantastic people you will ever meet.
He is just fabulous. Reed is so lucky Or, to sum this paragraph
up in a sentence: Ive heard the guy is fabulous.[Ed. note: Read
an article about our fabulous new president here.]
that explains everything
From Elizabeth Gedney Christensen 38
sports at reed calendar
Glancing again through the November issue
of Reed, I spotted alumni association president John Sheehys
comments about the Reed effect: Yes, they mutter cautiously,
that explains everything. Mr. Sheehy graduated in 1982
and I in 1938, and I can tell him that the Reed effect apparently
doesnt wear off with age.
Im quite active in local affairs, and recently while having
breakfast out one morning, a man in a nearby booth turned and said
to me, Youre Bess Christensen. Ive wondered where
you got your liberal point of view. I said I guessed I was born
with it; he continued chatting, and mentioned that he was going up
to Portland to see his brother. I said I went to school in Portland;
he said where and I said I graduated from Reed. He said, in a tone
indicating that all his questions were answered, That explains
From H. H. Skinner, Jr. 42
Did you know that the football
team of 1937 (it could have been 1936) was one of the few or
possibly only undefeated, untied teams in the country? It makes
no difference that they played such teams as the Goldendale CCC Camp
and others of like ilk: they did have a record!
If you review the archives, youll find a copy of the Reed paper
in which members of the team are tearful and chagrined that Reed (an
intellectual college) would stoop so low as to have that kind of team.
There were also a number of other individual champions of that era.
Jack DeMent 42 was reputed to have the world record for prone
pressing twice his body weight. There was another fellow, Wayne Campbell
42, an Adonis, who was reported to hold the world record for the
one-finger dead lift, some 500+ lbs. He was a handsome brute and was
a professional model for Jantzen swimwear at the same time he was attending
Another champion was Ted Hachiya, who probably weighed in the 250+ lb.
class. He had the Pacific Coast judo championship and was on the Reed
wrestling team. (So was I, but the less said about that the better!)
more fowl tales
write because your calendar gave me a great deal of pleasure. On the
December page you feature people watching two fencers, one who has
just scored. Im to the far left of the print; Dudley Collard
55, who went on to be the principal designer of the Concorde
engine air intakes, is to my right.
The fencer on the left, scoring, is Jack Nottingham, our fencing instructor
for that period. Jack went on to invent a plastic sword call the boffer.
It made him mildly well off.
I hate to throw a monkey wrench into your premise that Reedies did
not make a habit of winning physical contests. Tate Minckler 55,
Dudley, and I won a number of local collegiate fencing contests and
qualified for the West Coast inter-collegiate team foil championship.
We entered and won in San Francisco. We beat all the big West Coast
colleges. We brought to the Reed coffee shop and bookstore the three-and-a-half-foot-tall
trophy, which had many better known colleges engraved on it.
We three were very involved in winning, believe me. I personally was
taking it out on better fencers since I was only a year or so out
of flying jet combat in Korea. I had to take it out on somebody. The
term we used then was wired.
I leafed through the pictures on the calendar. What a shock to see
that we were still fencing at Reed in the mid 80s. . . sigh.
From Kathleen Bucklin Davies 67
remembering mary barnard 32
dont know where and how the apocryphal stories about the Doyle
Owl arise (Lance Montauk, August 2000). I was the driver of the getaway
car after the Owl was shown on the tower of the library. I was waiting
on Steele Street with my ancient Chrysler semiautomatic, known as
the Vomit Comet or the Purple Passion, when the Owl, wrapped in a
blanket and tied with rope, was (fairly) gently dropped in the field.
A co-conspirator and I dragged it to my car, heaved it into the trunk,
and I drove off. No one followed me, so if there was a car chase,
the destruction of a red convertible, and an injury to a Reedie, it
happened somewhere else.
I even stopped to get gas, having neglected to make sure I had enough
to get away, in case I was followed. Possession of the Owl remained
with us, the Mountaineering Group, including John Davies, Jon Bates,
Miles Becker, and others, until 1967, when we all graduated. Part
of the group is pictured on the back cover, and in the lower left
of the front cover of the 2001 Reed calendar, A Fowl Odyssey,
and I am pictured as Miss February.
From Abigail Brown Root 47
Although she will probably always be best
known for her translation of Sapphos poetry, Mary Barnards
own poetry was my first introduction to her. It came about, appropriately
enough, at Reed, in a small conference room in Eliot Hall on a damp,
gray day early in 1944. It was our first semester of first-year humanities,
and we were discussing mythology in Homers Iliad and Odyssey.
The room was filled with the cigarette smoke of the very young trying
to appear adult. Our teacher, wishing to show us the continued relevance
of Greek mythology to our own lives, read Mary Barnards poem
Prometheus loved us, in which the poet, out walking on
a rainy evening, sees flame from a match bring life to a dark street
and is comforted by the thought of Prometheus and his gift of fire.
Mary Barnard had gone to Reed, we learned, and had become a published
When I moved to Manhattan in the 1950s, Professor Chittick, who had
been my thesis adviser, suggested I get in touch with Mary.If
you can get her to talk, he wrote, shell be a wonder.
He went on to explain about the Gawd Awful club, a group of Reed students
during Mary Barnards time who gathered to read their own creative
works, the readings often being followed by Gawd Awful
Being then shy and diffident, I approached Mary in her book-crowded
studio apartment with some trepidation and was treated to a series
of golden afternoons. She talked and talked. And her words were golden.
When, some years later, I asked her about her earlier reputation for
being silent, she said, I dont like to speak unless I
have something to say. She was working then on what was to become
The Mythmakers and spoke of it with excitement. She had recently sent
her translation of Sappho to the University of California Press and
was waiting to hear if it had been accepted. Would I like to hear
some Sappho in the original Greek? She then began to read, first the
Greek, then her translation. I was transfixed. My first semester of
humanities at Reed had led to this delight. How had Mary Barnard come
to learn Greek? She had heard it for the first time at Reed in a humanities
class. In 1989, wandering through the bookstore of the University
of Arizona, I saw in the womens studies section an entire shelf
filled with copies of Mary Barnards Sappho, apparently an assigned
text. Her obituary in this magazine (Reed, November, 2001) notes that
Mary Barnard had no immediate survivors. Her words, however, are flourishing.
The words she chose for fragment #100 of Sappho seem to speak, as
well, of herself: dead I wont be forgotten.
From Barbara Pijan Lama 81
I find it curious that anyone would see Reed
as a spirit-less place (Letters, February 2002). On the contrary,
Reed is a remarkably spiritual environment. In the 20 years since
leaving Reed, I have reflected on how the physical geography of Reeds
campus, and the psychic geography of the Reed community, combine to
create a genuine sacred space.
True, there is very little extraneous dogma informing
that space. Except for the principle of rational discourse, there
are no rulesand no gurus. In my view, the precious freedom to
seek love and truth that we received as Reed studentsand continue
to receive as ever-connected members of the Reed communityis
the most nourishing food the spirit can receive. And where the spirit
is well fed, it continues to dwell.
The life force that some may call God or Goddess, and others may abhor
to call any name at all, is very attracted to a place like Reed. It
is attracted by high levels of honesty, integrity, and passion in
the lives of the people who live, teach, and study there. I think
most of us are, overtly or covertly, interested in spirituality,
as either a science or an art. We cannot help but be interested,
since we are permanently suffused with it!