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

where’s westervelt?
From Andrew Mason ’90

I appreciated the recent radio issue and particularly enjoyed Mateo Burtch’s bio on Dr. Demento. I was disappointed by one omission: Eric Westervelt ’91 has been a reporter for National Public Radio, beginning his career volunteering for OPB in 1992. He covered the New Hampshire presidential primary in 1995 and is now based out of Washington, D.C. He left for Afghanistan two days before I received this issue of the Reed magazine, as NPR’s sole reporter in that notorious place—a fairly significant omission given the importance of events in the great Stan. Please look for his reports coming out of there over the next few months.

krrc as life-changing
From John (Klempner) Bear ’59
KRRC was, in a backhanded way, responsible for changing me from a physics major into a psychology major, thereby refocusing my life. In the summer of 1957, the idea arose to send a letter to all incoming freshmen, telling them about the new campus radio station, and inviting them to participate. I wrote the letter, and invited people to communicate with me during the summer. Four people responded charmingly, and we exchanged many letters over the next two months, becoming true penpals. Then, a week before we’d all be leaving for Portland, in a sophomoric moment (well, I had been a sophomore), I wrote to those four (Bob, Karen, Marjorie, Gwil), thanking them for participating in a psychology experiment, in which a virtual person had been created by the class, to see if we could fool people into thinking he was real. There was no such person as their penpal John, they were told; the entire class had jointly written the letters, and we hoped they didn’t mind. Well, they did mind. One became despondent and nearly did not come to campus; one wrote an angry letter to Dean Shepherd; one went into detective mode and determined the falsity of the letter after several phone calls; and one wrote a charming letter back, saying that he, too, was a theoretical construct, a UNIVAC program. All subsequently became good friends. And I decided that the behavior of humans was more interesting than the behavior of particles. By October, I had declared a psychology major.
my 20th reunion:
scrounging and krrc
From Thomas David Kehoe ’82
Arriving for my 20th reunion, I went to breakfast at 9:05 a.m. Commons stopped serving at 9 a.m. I should have remembered! Carole Vaporean and Francesa Crowther insisted on handing me food from their trays. I was scrounging!

After breakfast Keith Allen and I went over to KRRC. Other colleges have a pub in the basement of the student union, with football memorabilia and the smell of spilled beer to make students feel they’re part of a mythical tradition. Reedies eschew “school spirit,” but I felt something in KRRC that I didn’t feel anywhere else on campus. The music, posters, and graffiti evoked a sense that life a few years before had been cooler, more subversive, more free- spirited. We’d stepped out of present ennui and into archetypal timelessness. But we were looking at posters from the 1980s! We were the cool, subversive, free-spirited “old Reedies”! Emilie Raguso, the KRRC student manager, said that the administration is trying to get rid of KRRC. Some things never change. I hope that KRRC remains to pass on the mythos of “old Reed” from generation to generation.
so many alumni,
so little space

From Randy Hardee ’80 and Stefanie Hardee ’82
Balderdash. Codswallop. Rot. You have plenty of space. What you may not have is an appreciation of why alumni look forward to your magazine. Based on our discussions with other alumni, the chief draw is seeing what our classmates are up to. On a related note, people ponder their mortality when they find out who died and why. Best of all is the issue with the alumni photos [August 2002, reunion photos]. We want to find out if our classmates look as old and fat as we do. Unfortunately, most of the recent alumni photos could hide under a 3x5 card with lots of room left over. If space is limited, maybe the admitted visual appeal of pp. 2, 13, and 16 could have been sacrificed in favor of better alumni photos. Our vision is not what it used to be. We blame it on the junior qual, the senior thesis, and numerous late nights. As for posting the names of the people in the photos on your website, rather than putting them under the photos, we’ll leave it to someone without internet access to take you to task about that.

End of Article
Link to Reed Mag  Home 
Link to Reed Mag  Home