NOAA Novemberspring2006

reunions image25th Reunion Chatter

Doyle Owls: Here, There, and Everywhere


reunion image
Mark van Roojen ’81, Mateo Burch ’82, Keith Allen ’83 and Rebecca Ullrich ’81

Robin Parker-Resnick, who trekked to campus from her home in Southeast Portland, agreed to play reporter at the Class of ’81 reunion and came away with a number of tidbits, culminating in a rare Doyle Owl story.

First off, Mark van Roojen offered an interesting pedagogic perspective on chalk throwing. When professor David Read threw chalk at students in his classes at Reed, van Roojen considered it an act of intimidation. Now, 25 years later, van Roojen sometimes throws chalk at his philosophy students at the University of Nebraska—“not to intimidate them but to prove a point.”

Sarah Levitan Spero ’80 graduated the day that Mt. St. Helens erupted (May 18). “I got a job that summer at Reed washing windows, which we did over and over because the mountain kept erupting,” she said. “One day I was washing windows in the physics building and saw Physics Professor Richard Crandall and waved to him. I couldn’t figure out why he was glaring at me until I saw the red dot on my chest. I was standing in the path of a laser beam that was supposed to go from a computer in the physics building to another in Eliot, interrupting an experiment!”

And then there is the Doyle Owl story involving John (Randy) Lathrop ’80 and his brother Rick ’78. But we’ll let Randy tell it:

“It was the lead-up to Renn Fayre ’77. I went to dinner at the house of Brendan Hanrahan ’79 and everybody had a funny look on their face. I was the last to know. In his living room was the Doyle Owl with a pile of food on its head. I went back to ODB and saw my brother and said, ‘Hey something cool happened. I had dinner with the Doyle Owl this evening.’ He looked at me as if I was crazy and pulled out a key and said, ‘That’s impossible. I’m part of the syndicate that has the Doyle Owl and I’m the keeper of the key. The owl’s in a temporary storage locker.’ I said, ‘Wow, that’s neat because now we know that there are two owls and we, the brothers Lathrop, know where both are.’

“I couldn’t convince Rick to give up his guys, but he agreed to let them do a showing and then help steal their owl. Brendan and I, and half-a-dozen other guys, bought little red bandanas and waited in the rhododendron garden parking lot. Rick arranged to drive the getaway car, an old ’63 Chevy Impala, and there was only one other guy with him riding shotgun to keep him honest. They went zooming down the sports center drive, took a left on 28th, then turned into the parking lot. Rick lifted the guy straight out of the car and said, ‘Sorry we’re stealing your owl.’

“So now we had two owls. Renn Fayre was coming up so we said, ‘Let’s do a showing at Renn Fayre—a double owl showing.’ We got John Weber ’78, the yearbook photographer, to take a bunch of pictures. Bruce Toms ’78 did a multimedia light show in the SU as an end to Renn Fayre, and he sprinkled in pictures of the owls, first one, then the other, and then both together with the music getting louder and louder and the pictures flashing faster and faster. Then all of a sudden everything stopped. It was silent and black. We had two spotlights hit the owls up in the balcony. We’d stolen some dry ice from the chemistry department and smoke came down as we showed both Doyle Owls.”

—Edward Hershey

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