Let Sleeping Cats Lie . . .


I am disappointed to learn that the canyon is now host to a colony of feral house cats. I am disappointed that some of us, instead of seeking evidence, have swallowed the myth that the approach of “trap, neuter, and release” (TNR) is the only humane way to reduce and eventually eliminate feral cat colonies. We should keep in mind Norman Levitt’s rule: “Lewis Carroll’s Bellman said, ‘What I say three times is true.’  But you should be wary of what I say 43 times, especially if it is always asserted without evidence.” [Ed. Note: Alice includes a brief review of the scientific literature on TNR.]

The June 2013 issue of Reed said that coyotes have come to the canyon.  I hope they are practicing natural cat control.

—Alice Anderson ’61

Las Cruces, NM

Remembering Professor Arch


I was shocked and devastated to learn of the death of Steve Arch [biology 1972–2012] Ten years ago, Steve welcomed me to Reed as my academic adviser and, although I quickly adopted every possible laid-back Reed tradition, I couldn’t quite call him “Steve.” In my head this imposing figure was always “Dr. Arch.” He himself finally converted me when I found him wandering Renn Fayre with an enormous handle of vile Wild Turkey bourbon. I came to know this as “Steve’s” own tradition. Steve awed me in his exercise physiology class. He could talk on any subject, and his students enjoyed challenging him as much as he us. I will never forget his favorite final exam question: If you want to get drunk at a party, what do you eat with your beer? The correct answer is, of course, not the pizza, as fatty foods will keep the alcohol in your stomach, where it can be broken down by alcohol dehydrogenase. Eat something low in fat, was Steve’s advice, so the alcohol will move quickly to your intestines. Steve was one of the many Reed professors who inspired me to go to graduate school, and I was looking forward to sending him a copy of my paper after my defense. Sadly, a month shy, I waited too long to tell Steve what a difference he made in my Reed education and formation as a young scientist. Thank you, Steve.

—Leila Rieder ’06

Providence, Rhode Island

Remembering Jacqueline Kohler Koch ’70


Jackie Kohler and I were in a theatre class together in 1966 when she was a freshman and I was a senior. Seth Ullman [theatre & literature 1959–73] had us do improvisational exercises. Once we had to go to the Portland Zoo, observe an animal, and then interpret and portray it to the other students. Jackie not only channeled a gazelle, she became one. She was a beautiful young woman. Jackie was elegant, witty, and compassionate, and a brave and daring soul.

—John Cushing ’67

Portland, Oregon

Remembering John Goldsmith ’88


My finest quality time with Johnny Goldsmith comprised a handful of raucous waterborne fourth-of-July weekends in various states of undress and inebriation, ranging from hollering hilarity to quiet contemplative conversation. Johnny could talk about anything, and competently, whether clothed or not. He was the definition of good company with an easy, nonjudgmental manner and quiet charm, but there was so much more to time spent lying about with Johnny Goldsmith. Even lazy, dumb hangover conversations about nothing failed to remain so for long. He brought such depth of knowledge and insight to even the most trivial subject. At his funeral service, old friends lauded that gigantic brain of his, and confessed that at times he would acknowledge the emotional and intellectual toll of carrying around all that knowledge and 50 years of nearly complete recall. Johnny’s acute intellect may have been a burden to him, but it was a joy to trigger. Johnny Britannica, quick with a hug, warm glint in his eye.

—Benn Lewis ’84

Pound Ridge, New York

They Said I Was a Communist


Chris Lydgate’s absorbing article about the invention of a new sign language by Nicaraguan children is marred by a flawed assumption. He refers to the Sandinista government of Nicaragua as a “Communist regime.” Maybe he picked this up from U.S. government officials, like Ronald Reagan and Jesse Helms, but the Sandinista government was not avowedly Communist, nor was it considered so by informed observers. Among those observers I include thousands of North American volunteers, such as myself, who went to Nicaragua after the 1979 revolution to share our skills and assist with the sort of humanitarian development that had been so lacking under the Somoza dictatorship. (I worked on a rural solar electrification project, along with comrades of the Portland engineer Ben Linder, who was killed by the Reagan-funded contras.) For us “Sandalistas” and for so many of the Nicaraguans we worked alongside, the greatness of the Sandinista revolution was that its leaders and millions of participants applied the resources of the country to improving the lives of its citizens. It is distressing that some, who are perhaps unfamiliar with the events there, categorize that revolution with the disparaging language used by those who murderously worked to destroy progress in Nicaragua.

—Roger Lippman ’69

Seattle, Washington

Editor's Note: Yikes! Thanks for sorting the leftists from the rightists.

The Lincoln Brigade


I was pleased with the space you gave Lincoln vet Harry Randall ’37 in the last Reed, but I’m afraid you mixed up his Lincoln vet comrades. Bill Miller (William Newton Miller) was the only Oregon volunteer killed in Spain, but he was Randall’s roommate off campus, and never a Reedie. Randall recalls that Miller grew up on an Oregon farm and sounds nostalgic about their friendship, shared activities (and housing) in the ’30s, “when we sometimes lived on potatoes and black coffee, and chased odd jobs to pay the $5 we paid monthly for room rent, and often went cold and hungry for lack of a quarter for the gas meter.” Randall had to quit Reed after a year because his parents’ tuition money dried up, but Miller never attended.

—Mike Munk ’56

Portland, Oregon

Editor's Note: Sorry, we goofed!

Smackdown: Bridge vs. Scribe


I am writing to correct an error in Miles Bryan’s otherwise very interesting article on Tamim Ansary ’70 in Games without Rules (Reed, June 2013). As a staff member and one of many Reedies who worked on, contributed to, and/or sold the Willamette Bridge, I can testify that the Bridge preceded the Scribe as “Portland’s first alternative weekly.” Less genteelly, the Bridge was Portland’s “underground paper.”

—Jon Moscow ’69

Teaneck, New Jersey

Editor's Note: Sorry, we goofed!