The Grinnell Magazine welcomes your letters regarding the contents of the magazine or issues related to the College. All letters should include the author’s name and address, and may be edited for length, content, or style. As many letters as space allows will be published in The Grinnell Magazine; additional letters are posted here. The opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Grinnell College or its representatives.
“Riding RAGBRAI” [Winter 2013 issue] stirred a 1973 memory. The first year’s ride, more or less labeled “The Great Six-Day Bicycle Ride,” created a crescendo of news across Iowa as it unfolded. Every day, the buzz grew as small towns outdid each other with lemonade, pies, and other treats. Donald Kaul reported the hospitality and other excitement daily in the Des Moines Register as only Kaul could. The last day was from Williamsburg to Davenport. The route ran right past my house in Iowa City. My roomie and I caught the fever and jumped on our bikes. We sampled a couple of towns’ tasty treats along the way, dipped our tires in the Mississippi River, soaked up the glory with the rag-tag tribe of bicyclists at the end, and jumped into a friend's car for a ride back to Iowa City. We were part of history! Never saw Kaul or [Register columnist] John Karras, nor the legendary Clarence Pickard. It was my 23rd birthday.
—Mitchell Erickson ’72
New Providence, N.J.
The Hopkins issue
Thoughtful, lovely, well done!
—Terry Bisson ’64
Farewell, John and Zal
Like all Grinnellians, I read with sadness of Coach John Pfitsch passing. The coach has long been synonymous with our school. He adopted Grinnell as home, and his love for this community and this school was both obvious and great. His labor of love in writing Pfitsch’s Tales will, thankfully, enable us to readily refresh our many memories of Coach Pfitsch.
I was also sad to notice that Zal King ’63 had died. Zal, who name was Zalman Lefkowitz at Grinnell, was a good friend, despite three years separating us at Grinnell. That gap, our bunking in different halls, and the fact that Zal was the star of the varsity swim team while I had never set foot in the pool didn’t matter a bit. Just one chance conversation in the library about our mutual passion for working out with weights was enough to mold a bond between us. Back then he was setting records in swim meets with some frequency and quickly became a “big man on campus,” yet remained modest and only wanted to talk about training theories.
After Grinnell, Zal went to Hollywood. He became a very successful actor on TV and an even more successful producer, with a long-running series [Red Shoe Diaries] that appeared on Showtime network.
Zal was a good guy and, as one who got to know him, I wanted to give some due notice to our loss.
—David Nixon ’61
Overland Park, Kan.
I propose a critical reading/writing tutorial, whereby first year students gather and scrutinize texts/publishers/authors from a random sample of courses offered through Grinnell College. Power and Choice [by W. Phillips Shively], Grinnell College’s introductory primer for political science — appears to contain passages of tricky prose, as the following excerpt shows:
It is especially important to bear in mind these two points of view when we consider political actions about which we have strong feelings and about which we may expect to be prejudiced. … Americans tended to dismiss elections in communist countries as fraudulent [premise]. However, as you will see in Chapter 11, there was evident in the elections of most such countries a surprising amount of broad participation in search for common solutions. For instance, even during the period of noncompetitive elections, when only a single candidate appeared on the ballot, 28 percent of Soviet citizens reported that they had at one time or other attempted to persuade others to vote as they did. …There appears to have been more to the Soviet Union’s uncontested elections … than we had commonly been able to see [conclusion]. (Power and Choice, Page 11, 1999 edition)
Shively suggests setting aside our own personal predilections to entertain various ideas. Shively then uses shifty language (broad participation, common solutions) and faulty logic to conclude that there was wide consensus among Soviet voters for an unopposed candidate. Am I supposed to swallow Shively’s claim that since 28 percent of Soviet citizens tried to convince others to vote for the unopposed candidate, it follows that Soviet elections were not fraudulent and that therefore, I, the reader, ought to lay aside my own strong feelings regarding…what exactly? (Uncontested elections? Soviet participation? Degree of fraudulence in communist elections? Broad participation in common solutions?) Shively avoided “coercion” to describe broad Soviet participation, but don’t expect me to believe that coercion was absent from Soviet elections.
I thank my Grinnell College professors for teaching me to read and reread texts with a suspicious eye, and the writing lab, which steered me away from finessing the English language at the expense of truth.
—Randy Martinson ’04
Fallacious, but Factual
It's good that The Grinnell Magazine is available in electronic form, but doesn’t Arlo Leach ’95 realize that by stopping mail delivery he is harming the American labor movement? Unionized postal workers deliver the magazine printed at (mostly) unionized printing plants, printed on paper manufactured by (mostly) unionized paper workers. Paper is made from pulp, which is made from wood, and both are heavily unionized industries. Printing equipment, inks, and chemicals are also made by unionized workers. By utilizing electronic delivery, he is outsourcing jobs to Asia, where the [electronic] devices are made, and replacing the renewable resource of wood and recyclability of paper with dirty electricity and toxic plastics.
Of course, I am being sarcastic. And the basic premise and logic is fallacious. But the statements are factual.
—John Zarwan ’70
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Surprise act of kindness
From 1988–2003, I taught courses in sociology, religious studies, and gender and women’s studies at Grinnell. In the spring of 1992, Matthew Stippich ’92 was in one of my classes. Matt was an active participant in the class, and we had a great rapport.
One day, while walking our Airedale, Calvin, with my husband Mike, I tripped and fell flat on my face on the pavement. I ended up with about 11 stitches in my lower lip and three root canals. Needless to say, I was a mess! One afternoon, Matt Stippich came to visit, bringing several pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Matt’s surprise act of kindness was one of the bright spots in that painful experience and something I’ll always remember.
A couple months ago, I was again walking the dog (another Airedale, this one named Cocoa) and I tripped over a speed bump and scraped my knee badly. I’m a Facebook addict and love staying in touch with former Grinnell students, so I posted that I’d fallen and that the incident reminded me of when I fell in Grinnell and when Matt (a Facebook friend) brought me Ben & Jerry’s. Four o’clock that afternoon the doorbell rang. There stood a deliverywoman with two pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and a note that said “Sylvia — hope your knee is feeling better! Matt.”
I’ve often said that Grinnell students are special in such uniquely wonderful ways, and I think Matt exemplifies how very true this is.
My liberating education
I enjoyed reading about the Grinnell 14 and remembering President Howard Bowen’s definition of “liberal education” as “liberating.” What it meant to me was that by investigating and learning, one could liberate oneself from prejudice and cant, and that one was free to act.
In 1984, several other Pittsburghers and I began the River City Nonviolent Resistance Campaign. We expected to spend one year protesting at three local companies that produced components of first-strike nuclear weapons: Westinghouse, Rockwell International and the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) of Carnegie Mellon University. Our campaign lasted until 1990.
We leafleted, held banners, posted a 95 Theses on the Westinghouse door, and committed civil disobedience. Westinghouse sometimes sent its security people to our nonviolence trainings and we came to be friends with some. Our arrests allowed us to argue our cause in court — that we were committing a lesser harm in order to prevent a greater one — and to lay out the harm involved.
Eventually Westinghouse officials to met with us and were impressed with our knowledge of weaponry, international law, and Nuremberg principles. Soon after, Westinghouse was sold and Rockwell headquarters moved from Pittsburgh. SEI continues to take military contracts.
Like the Grinnell 14, we named destructive policies and asserted our right and duty as citizens to object. I don't think I’d have been a part of this effort without my liberating Grinnell education.
— Liane Ellison Norman ’59
A letter published in the Fall, 2011 Issue of The Grinnell Magazine praised the “The Leadership Paradox” article [Spring 2011] and dismissed previous letters concerned about that article’s lack of mention of female leaders as “mindless political correctness.”
A Grinnell leadership article that focuses only on 50 percent of the human race and 50 percent of Grinnell graduates is discriminatory and an affront that is all too common in society. Grinnell alumni have a right to expect more from Grinnell. It has nothing to do with political correctness. It is the right thing to do. Women have been left out of decision-making and leadership roles from the beginning of time. For a woman to rise to a leadership position, she has had to be better than her male peers. Grinnell is an institution where many of us learned women are equal to men. Now we need to see it demonstrated visibly and powerfully in all its communications and actions.
Leadership role models for young women are essential. Men see leaders to emulate every day in the media. Women Grinnell graduates fought and continue to fight to be heard in the world. When will our College and our men stand strong for us in our refusal to be rendered invisible or ignored? We’re waiting.
— Sydney McQuoid ’73
Heidi Shierholz ’94’s article lamenting the jobs situation (“What Economic Recovery?”, Alumni Musings, Fall 2011) has a gaping omission: immigration. Approximately 7 million illegal aliens hold nonagricultural jobs across the economy, including in manufacturing, construction, and hospitality services — jobs Americans certainly will do! (The number comes from the Pew Hispanic Center and refers to illegal aliens of all origins, not only Hispanics.) Further, legal immigration is importing about 1 million new foreign workers each year, even though more than 20 million citizens are unemployed or underemployed.
Both of these facts are harmful to American citizens. But immigration is a matter of public-policy choices, not a force of nature, so Congress could fix the situation. The Legal Workforce Act (HR 2885) would remove illegal aliens from jobs that should go to legal workers. Reducing legal immigration is a longer-term project that requires persuading people to forget familiar, but mindless slogans — such as “we’re a nation of immigrants” (we aren’t) and “the Statue of Liberty welcomes immigrants” (it doesn’t) — and to think about the actual national interest.
Shierholz’s failure to include immigration in her discussion is especially surprising, since her employer, the Economic Policy Institute, lists her as one of its experts on the subject.
— Paul Nachman ’70
Proud but concerned
Grinnell was a place where I could show I was smart without being viewed as weird, try interests beyond the intellectual, and argue with peers who had varied and interesting points of view. I discovered that there was music that wasn’t classical, that being different wasn’t a crime, and that knowing how to type was a social asset.
I also learned that hypocrisy can drive one to seriously contemplate suicide. The clash of values recalled in the latest [Winter 2010] issue of The Grinnell Magazine was not limited to the issue of coed visitation. I have a terrible memory that haunts me to this day of being called into the dean of women’s office and threatened with parental notification that I was “gaining a reputation.” In retrospect, the dean’s total lack of sensitivity makes me more aware that others’ stories may inform their behavior; but it nearly undid me at a time when the sexual revolution clashed with Victorian mores. How many other freshmen trying to find their own identities were made to feel small and wrong for being part of the challenges of the times? Can Grinnell assert that this is not happening today?
Grinnell celebrates students who have gone on to become successful, and sometimes famous. I congratulate all those from less-privileged backgrounds who wrote in response to the winter issue — they found a sound footing at Grinnell. When I was a student the administration was making a focused effort to find capable students outside the previous parameters for incoming students. While several of these students crashed and burned because they couldn’t find a way to transition, most did well. But what of the students, then and now, who don’t acquire the skills to be part of the Old Boy Network and associated social interaction patterns?
Are there mentors who actively support outliers who don’t fit the norms, or academically successful students who are emotionally lost and floundering? Being told by a professor “you really don’t fit in here” without suggesting a next step is thoughtless and truly harmful. It happened 40 years ago. Is it happening today? Are there professors or other adults who have the experience (and the concern) to ask a student whether another path may be a better one — even if it means leaving Grinnell? Is there anyone who really looks at demonstrated strengths rather than stated goals to guide the students’ choices in life’s work?
I am proud to be a Grinnell graduate. I have passed the school along to guidance counselors, principals, etc. along the way. But the latest issues of The Grinnell Magazine have clearly caused some concern, for I see a self-congratulatory tone creeping into the pages. Grinnell is a very good school. There is always work to do to move forward.
— Carli Dugan Tippett ’67
Upper Lake, Calif.
P.S. I find it interesting that most of the info regarding activism was written by students from the late rather than the early ’60s.
I have lived in Fairbanks, Alaska, for 15 years and never knew there were any other Grinnell grads here. Last summer Elisabeth Kruger ’06, e-mailed me and asked about living here; she was in Siberia at the time. We corresponded a bit, and when she moved here in July or so, she searched the alumni database and found nine of us in the area! She coordinated a little meeting for us, and we all got together at a coffeehouse. Some of us knew each other through various networks in Fairbanks, but none of us had ever known there were other Grinnellians in the community.
We spanned grad years 1950–2006, with every decade covered. We all have fond and terrifying memories of Grinnell — terror induced by rigorous academics, of course — and found that we are all book readers, all intellectually curious. And all have pursued more than one life path. None of that is surprising, since Grinnell tends to appeal to those who like to think, and who do not accept clear-cut answers to life’s problems.
It was fun comparing notes on our Grinnell experiences, as well as those after Grinnell; all had good stories to tell. Life at Grinnell in 1950 was certainly different than it is now, but much has not changed — the openness to inquiry, the academic challenge, and the passion for learning. Probably no one misses chaperones for women’s dorms; our 1950 grad let us know that it was easy enough to sneak in and out anyway!
It took a recent Grinnell grad to get us all together, and I’m glad to see that the college is still producing graduates who aren’t shy about taking the initiative to organize. We were all glad that Elisabeth took the time and effort to coordinate the meeting. Hearing the discussion brought home the relevance of my Grinnell education even now, 25 years later, and its enduring impact on my life. And what a great group of people Grinnellians are!
— Karen Jensen ’86
Supreme Interest and Delight
Hey, you guys! It’s hard enough being semiretired and trying to fit all of amazing life into 24 hours — there’s so much of supreme interest and delight — without you going and adding to the mix! I’ve just discovered all the online extras to the Gmag (okay, you’ve been telling us for ages — see previous comment) and now I’ll have to add 39-hour days to my wish list to catch up!
It is such a pleasure to have such good quality material available. Thank you!
— Bevianne Fitch ’69
Geelong, West Victoria, Australia
The Winter ’09 issue of The Grinnell Magazine reached me yesterday, New Year’s Eve, and, as always, I enjoyed reading through it. I was somewhat taken aback, however, to see the “No Limits” slogan on the back cover. (And frankly, I thought the entire “ad” on the back was unsuccessful.) To me, “No Limits” suggests a kind of macho, no-rules, no-strings-attached, anything-goes attitude entirely contrary to my vision of Grinnell College. Grinnell is a place that fosters limitless possibilities, not irresponsible, careless behavior.
Later on yesterday afternoon, as I watched some basketball on ESPN, I was dismayed to notice during a commercial that Red Bull energy drink also uses the “No Limits” slogan. If I needed any confirmation of my distaste for this sort of “branding” of Grinnell College, well, here it was. …
Though I don’t really understand the need to summarize Grinnell’s essence in a few words, I have no doubt a better choice exists.
— John Kissane ’82
The Right Stuff
I would like to comment on Tom Cole’s article without attacking his intelligence (which is quite exceptional) or assassinating his character (which I have no question about). The issues he raises are quite important and deserve serious attention.
I believe the causes of the Republican meltdown in 2008 were two-fold. One, both the Reagan-Bush and the Bush administrations promised the American people conservative balanced budgets. In fact, what they did was reduce taxes and cut domestic spending while simultaneously dramatically increasing military expenditures. As a consequence, they added staggering amounts to our national debt. Republicans apparently believed military spending is not spending.
Second, the Republicans have hung out the whites-only sign. Richard Nixon developed the “Southern strategy” to exploit resentment in the South toward Democratic civil rights legislation. That strategy worked as long as blacks didn’t vote. However, in 2008, 26 percent of the vote was classified as non-white, and 80 percent of that went to Obama. This means that the Republicans have to win more than 60 percent of the white vote to win the popular vote. So with about 42–43 percent of the white vote, Obama easily wins re-election in 2012.
Strangely, Republicans [seem to] have worked overtime alienating Hispanics. George W. Bush would not have won in 2000 without winning more Hispanics than in prior elections. Yet his own party trashed his fairly conservative immigration plan. With the Hispanic vote rapidly increasing with each election, one wonders at the sense of this.
I realize Obama is struggling now because of the economy (and yes, once again we get guns and butter). But in my experience of observing elections, demographics and historical voting patterns are everything. Unless the Republican Party changes its rhetoric and moves away from its present right-wing stance, it is doomed to a lot of electoral disappointments.
— Bob Asbille ’70
Remembering Blair Hall
I entered Grinnell in the fall of 1952 and until graduating with the class of 1956, I worked in Buildings and Grounds as a telephone operator and student electrician. I also spent one summer on campus making electrical repairs. At one time or another, I probably visited every room in every College building
During this period, student mailboxes were located in the bookstore in the basement of the library, now Carnegie Hall. During that summer, I handled the College’s outbound mailroom, which was located in dismal space in the basement of what was then officially Magoun Hall, informally the Ad Building
Blair Hall was completely emptied of all useful equipment by the summer of 1952 with the completion of the new Science Building. All utilities in Blair were shut off, there were signs that animals had invaded, and the building was normally unlocked as the east door refused to close. The museum was still in place, although in deplorable condition and, perhaps because of the unlocked door, some specimens were able to escape. In June of 1953 a very large croc or gator was spotted on the roof of Mears porch. I have a picture of my wife, Lorene Bialek Lehrer ’56, on the porch restraining a rather vicious-looking ape. That ape made good its escape and was subsequently seen at several locations on campus, including a stall in one of the women’s washrooms in ARH. I do not know if he was ever captured but, in any event, the interior of Blair was never used from the fall of 1952 to the spring of 1956.
On another subject, it was good to hear Orlan Mitchell’s story. Mitch and I knew each other when he was working for B&G as night watchman. I wonder if he remembers the night some unruly students stole the fuses from all the outside lights on Central Campus and left them outside the heating plant door
— Richard Lehrer ’56
Miles to Go
The Bikes to You building on The Grinnell Magazine’s fall cover has connections with Grinnell College beyond the father of Harry Hopkins 1912. At the top of the cover photo you can discern a few letters of the inscription in the stone: “Miles Building.” My great-grandfather, George L. Miles, opened his hardware store there in 1894. In 1906, his daughters, Rosella May and Louise, graduated from Grinnell College, where my grandmother Louise met my grandfather Glenn Clark 1905. My brother Glenn is class of ’67. I graduated in ’69, and my wife Ann in ’70. When Ann and I attended our 39/40th Reunion in May, we visited the Miles Building and met Craig Cooper, owner of Bikes to You. Craig gave me an antique packing crate from his attic with my great-grandfather’s name stenciled on the side. The Miles Building was owned by May Miles 1906 (my great-aunt) until 1945
— Jim Elliott ’69
Camp Hill, Pa.
The Last Straw
Now that The Grinnell Magazine has become a publicity arm of the GOP (like Fox and talk radio), I have one request: Please cancel my subscription. The endless article in the fall issue was the last straw. The article authored by Tom Cole (R-OK) should have been titled: “A Grim (one m) Fairy Tale.”
— Roger J. Crotty ’54
The Grinnell Magazine’s decision to publish blatant Republican propaganda (“The Future of the GOP,” Fall 2009) was shocking.
The GOP’s agenda, reiterated by U.S. Representative Tom Cole’s claim that “the federal government spends too much [does that include the trillions of dollars spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?], taxes too much, and interferes too much in the lives of its citizens,” flies in the face of the socially responsible virtues of a Grinnell education.
— Ben Lezin ’89
Fan Mail for the Library
The article about Burling Library brought back some wonderful memories.
When I started Grinnell in the fall of 1956, it was Carnegie Library where we studied and did research. I remember it as being a rather dark and gloomy place. When I was a junior, Burling Library opened to great fanfare and it seemed absolutely “state of the art” with its modern designer furniture. I remember in particular the famous Charles Eames chair as it resided in a prominent corner of the reading room it all its orange splendor. There was an ongoing contest to arrive early enough to capture the coveted chair for our studies.
I have a memory of studying there late one night when the library group was serenaded by a drunken group from Cowles Hall, just returning from seeing Streetcar Named Desire. From outside came the bellow of, “STELLLLAAAA!” It was years later that I discovered that one of those voices belonged to my future husband, Glen (Bohlke ’62)!
I must take issue with your pronouncement of the age of the library. It cannot possibly be 50 years old when I’m barely 50 myself!
— Tanya Moore Bohlke ’60
White Stone, Va.
I really enjoyed the article regarding Burling Library. I remember many times attempting to study in Burling but finding myself catching up with the friends and laughing. I am currently enrolled in a master of library and information science program at the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign and I am learning that some schools are now trying to create the kind of space that Burling provided. This past week, as part of my program I was in a 10-day boot camp in Urbana, and corn was being burned outside on the first day of class. The smell was entering the room. A classmate had asked, what’s that smell, and another person and I both said corn simultaneously. My simultaneous partner, whom I found is Paula Langsam ’01, qualified her response by saying, “I graduated from a small school in Iowa.” To which I responded, “So did I.” We both began to get louder and at the same time shouted, “Grinnell!” Nothing beats the enjoyment of finding another Grinnellian.
— Ben Rodriguez ’98
Fan Mail for Wally Walker
Many thanks for the excellent article on a wonderful man! Two personal anecdotes:
As a botanist, Professor Walker was enigmatically assigned to a freshman bio lab for the dissecting of a fetal pig — an appointment placing him slightly outside of his field of expertise. Whenever Sonja or I would grab something with our forceps and ask, “What’s this?” out would come the all-inclusive teaching manual for the answer. And when that failed, it was a quick jaunt to the adjoining lab where Professor [Guillermo] Mendoza would provide the definitive answer. I wouldn’t begin to venture a guess on the number of miles that Wally traveled between the two labs in quest for the right answer!
Wally has taken great pleasure and pride in his role as our matchmaker. He proudly credits his benign insight for placing us together as lab partners. Because of his perspicacity (and only because of it!), we will celebrate of 50th wedding anniversary in 2012. Far be it from us to contradict the wisdom of this august and venerated relic of our alma mater!
Finally, having begun his tenure at Grinnell in September, the class of 1962 has fondly adopted him as one of our own and joyfully looks forward to our 50th reunion.
— Rev. Martin and Sonja Banks Gibbs (both ’62)
Over the years, you have written wonderful articles about professors who have had a profound effect on Grinnell and its students, such as Al Jones [’50] and Joe Wall [’41]. There are other professors who taught at Grinnell for many years, whose impact is equally as profound, yet these professors barely get a one-liner as an obituary, or their passing is not even mentioned. It would be wonderful if you would consider writing a full paragraph obituary about professors who taught at Grinnell, letting alumni know what happened to these special friends in the intervening years. I think of three professors in particular with whom I corresponded until they died (about 30-35 years in all three cases!), Guillermo Mendoza (biology), Don Liggett (education), and John Burma (sociology); and I still keep up with Olivia Mendoza to this day. These professors taught at Grinnell for many years, especially Drs. Mendoza and Burma, and touched many lives, yet their deaths were hardly acknowledged, if they were acknowledged at all. It is never too late to recognize these wonderful professors and to acknowledge their contributions to the lives of innumerable Grinnell alumni!
— Cynthia C. Maier ’70
Slings and Arrows for the Gorilla
... Thanks for the great article, “Give Through Grinnell,” in the Summer 2009 Grinnell Magazine.
My years at Grinnell were central to building the person I am today ... and yet I don’t give substantially to the College. This is because today, 12 years after graduating, my student loans are still by far my biggest expense every month. And they’ll continue to top the list for years to come. My parents couldn’t and didn’t pay for my education, so those massive loans are all mine. And like many Grinnellians, I’ve chosen to work in the nonprofit realm, so my paychecks don’t go far. It’s hard to give generously when I’m already paying such a big bill.
— Katix Crawford ’97
Lured by the wonderful drawings of my fellow ’02 graduate Kevin Cannon, I made the terrible mistake of reading The Grinnell Magazine’s summer 2009 article “Give Through Grinnell: The Power of the Gift.” I recognize, of course, that this magazine has the sad function of exhorting alumni to donate to our alma mater. But is it really necessary to make a virtue out of this necessity?
Private funding of education is one of the more grotesque injustices of our current social system, and this is not changed by the fact that our College believes in social justice. Those who care about our College’s future are caught in a tragic bind: in order to achieve its goals of social justice, the College depends on the whims of unjust millionaires, and it cultivates skills that graduates can use for private gain as well as public good. None of Grinnell’s lofty goals alter the primary function of donating to a college, which (besides feeding the donor’s personal pride) is to perpetuate a system of unequal educational funding, privileging members of our elite club over all the people who are too unfortunate to have entered it.
I can’t be the only one who was offended by the article’s insinuation that we are acting unethically if we hesitate to donate. And there is in any case no great mystery to it. We are simply being consistent with the College’s stated goals of social justice, which ultimately call for a breaking apart of this system of educational plutocracy and old boy clubs. If Harvard and Yale alums donate more than we do, it is probably because their central goal is not social justice but social stratification, which is served very well by such donations. So much the worse for them.
If in spite of it all, there are justice-loving Grinnellians who choose to give to the College, that’s OK. But they should acknowledge this as the lesser evil that it is, rather than pretending that it is the epitome of altruism.
— Joe Grim Feinberg ’02
Instead of sitting around wondering why Grinnell’s alumni don’t give more, perhaps the College’s trustees and administrators should ask those of us who choose not to donate?
For all its lip service about social justice, Grinnell College still spends more effort building its brand than implementing real internal change. In the mid-1990s, students were demanding safe space for multi-cultural groups, and policy changes to demonstrate real social justice on campus. Despite millions since spent on dormitories, an athletic center, and the cutting-edge Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, today’s Grinnell still fails to provide these safe spaces [Editor’s note: The Rosenfield Center includes more than 3,500 square feet of space dedicated to multicultural groups and activities], still lags its peers on issues of social justice. Today’s students, through their No Limits Project (http://nolimitsgrinnell.wordpress.com), make depressingly familiar pleas.
I am grateful to Grinnell College for so much — for small and rigorous classes, for caring professors and administrators, for the opportunities that led to my current career, for the friends and alumni I can turn to wherever I go. But this is not enough.
The secret of Yale’s brand — or Harvard’s or Swarthmore’s — is not a slick marketing campaign. It’s that each of these schools makes a promise and then delivers on it. If Grinnell’s promise is social justice, the school must deliver on that promise with actions. Then maybe alumni like me will begin to reconsider.
— Courtney Sherwood ’00
In your last magazine, you question why Grinnell graduates give less to their alma mater than others. Your article unwittingly contains the probable truth — that Grinnell has for several decades, inculcated in its students a general disdain for capitalism and the pursuit of financial success. You note, “Grinnell graduates are more inclined to pursue careers to improve the world rather than fill their pockets.” I was constantly bombarded with Marxist economic nonsense, and hatred for wealth. ... After leaving Grinnell, I learned that enlightened self-interest and capitalism — not the work of social activists — are responsible for raising the standards of living for humans worldwide. Grinnell is reaping what it has sown. Check out Hillsdale — they are doing quite well. But they extol the values of individual liberty and the free market capitalism upon which such liberty is dependent.
— Lee Deakins Hieb ’61, M.D.
Fan Mail for Titular Head
I couldn’t resist writing this, but you might want to compare my possibly-fuzzy recollections with one or two of my contemporaries:
I was dismayed to find that Caitlin Wells’ article gives an extremely sanitized and inaccurate view of the origins of Titular Head. It is true that Titular Head was always part of Grinnell Relays, but, as I recall it, Titular Head was NOT a film festival in its early years.
Instead, it was a gathering at the (late, lamented) Campus Pub, the night before the Relays, in which people competed in a live (not filmed) talent competition. The emphasis was on demonstrations of “talent” that would never be done in the absence of alcohol — I remember one competitor on a bicycle, attempting to jump from the stage to the judges’ table using a matchbook as a ramp; another recited dark poetry while eating what certainly appeared to be human excrement, and another wowed the crowd by chugging an entire bottle of “Mad Dog” (MD 20/20 wine) in less than a minute.
One can certainly argue (though I wouldn’t) that it is for the best that the drinking age was raised, that the Grinnell Relays died, that Titular Head evolved into a film festival, and that there are no more electric kool-aid stands on campus. However, it is simply historical revisionism to pretend that these things didn’t happen. Those of us who were on campus in the ’70s will always recall them fondly — to the extent that we can accurately recall anything at all!
— Nathaniel Borenstein ’80
Caitlin Wells’ fun article about Titular Head brought back a lot of great memories, and reawakened my old yearning for my favorite long lost [Titular] Head film. In 1994, I costarred with Robert Ciraldo ’97 in Jesse Holcomb’s (’94) epic love story, and I always wanted to dub a copy. Unfortunately the videotape of all the 1994 student films disappeared from the AV Lab, and I never got it. I remember a faculty member telling me that a student employee borrowed it to watch and never brought it back. ... If anybody out there has a copy, or if it ever found its way back to the Grinnell College Archives, I’d love to know!
— Katix Crawford ’97
The book An Inconvenient Truth by Democrat Al Gore is about the crisis caused by the Earth’s global warming. He predicts that the melting of the ice at the North and South Poles would raise the oceans’ level by 15 or 20 feet, flooding lower Manhattan, Florida, and islands all over the world.
He says the reason for this is the mistreatment of our environment and related causes; like burning fossil fuels, destroying forests, etc. He once suggested that “bovine flatulence, or cows passing gas” is a cause.
Now here is where I start to wonder about Al. In the early 1800s, there were an estimated 20 million buffalo roaming North America from the Atlantic to the Rock Mountains.
It’s true that the 20th century ... certainly wasn’t kind to the environment. Coal mines, steel mills, and electric power plants, along with automobiles, airplanes, and clearing forests to build homes all had a part.
Nevertheless, Florida is still here, as is Hawaii, Bermuda, and Lower Manhattan. [I think] there simply is not enough ice in the world to raise the level of all the oceans and seas any significant amount. I don’t know, but if 100 years doesn’t sink Florida even a little bit, I think there are more important things to worry about.
One of those things is the use and cost of oil. This has been a matter of concern for years, and has become even more important as our political differences developed with oil rich countries. Sending our oil money overseas, using our defense reserves, off-shore drilling, drilling in the Alaskan wilderness — all are in dispute.
The United States should look at these problems from a different point of view. When the world’s supply of oil becomes scarce, and it will, we will still need petroleum products for many things, including asphalt and tar for roads and roofing materials.
America should buy its oil from wherever it finds it. Let’s save ours for the many other products it is used for, including lubricants, detergents, explosives, rubber tires, printing ink, paints, and plastics. Let the rest of the world spend themselves dry.
Al Gore does devote one chapter of his book to a problem that makes global warming of little or no importance. The tremendous increase in the world’s population. In a relatively few years there won’t be enough food and water to support everyone. Sadly, that would be a catastrophe that seems to have no solution. All nations must do whatever they can to keep this from happening.
— Jack Edgren ’51
Spring Hill, Fla.
Twice in the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen an article on the restoration of the organ in Herrick Chapel, neither of which has named the instrument (Aeolian-Skinner) or [one of] the original donors (Samuel N. Stevens, former president of Grinnell College). Perhaps no one on campus actually has been there for 60 years; however, some remaining alumni will still remember the occasion of the original dedication of the organ in 1949. Since I’ve gone this far, I might as well add that we aging Pioneers will also remember the keyboarding of Elbert Morse Smith, the College organist at the time and a popular professor of Spanish. In all honesty, I must confess that I didn’t attend the dedication. However, my roommate and I did publish an underground and highly X-rated (for the time) one-page newsletter that featured an article about “Doc Sam” displaying his organ in Herrick Chapel and Elbert playing with it in public! Some time after the episode, we learned that some other well-known “prankster” on campus had been accused of this travesty and had nearly been expelled from College by the Personnel Committee. His pleas of innocence apparently prevailed while the real culprits remained mum.
— Davis Scott ’50
The ... article “Grinnell’s ‘New Old Organ’” is of particular significance to me as that pipe organ is the only reason I happened to attend Grinnell College following my 1946 graduation from high school in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago.
My father was the Midwest sales representative of the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company (its president, Don MacDonald, was a frequent visitor in our home when I was growing up), and it was only because of my father’s contact with Grinnell at that time that I was accepted, since my high school grades weren’t all that impressive.
Because of financial problems, I only stayed at Grinnell for a year and a half, which I always said was long enough to have a good time but not long enough to really buckle down and study. It was also long enough to make friends I still have to this day.
And, no, I do not play the organ (or even the piano) and frankly, a childhood of accompanying my parents to organ recitals in the Chicago area when I would have much preferred playing with my friends really turned me off as far as organs were concerned.
One other thing I remember is a publication (think it was a special edition of the Scarlet and Black) was a play on the word “organ.” I was so young and innocent that all the dirty jokes went right over my head, but I remember my father asking me to get extra copies for him to send to the main office in Boston. ...
— Sue Hardt Carr ’50 (Mrs. Ira T.)
A Trip to Candyland
As a child, I would drive an hour in our beat-up Volvo with my mother to visit my great-aunt in Grinnell. The easiest way to get me excited about the trip was the promise of a Candyland sundae. Don’t get me wrong; I loved my great-aunt dearly and her apartment was a treasure trove of knick-knacks from decades past (she had even kept my great-uncle’s World War II uniform). But, when you are 5, nothing is sweeter than a Candyland sundae with the scoops of vanilla and marshmallow-chocolate sauce with Spanish peanuts. Even thinking about it now, my mouth waters. Every trip to Grinnell held promise of a visit to the counter at Cunningham’s Drug Store, where my grandmother had spent years of her life working.
When I moved to the East Coast, I missed those sundaes until it was time to apply to college. Though I had vowed to never return to Iowa, I ended up in Grinnell once more, which is a decision I’m glad I made. When I came for my campus visit, Mama and I went to the counter again for ham sandwiches, vanilla Cokes, and the Candyland. The young woman behind the counter was overwhelmed and understaffed for the weekday crowd. “Do you need help?” I asked. She looked up and smiled, and I ran back behind the counter to help her with dishes and serving. In all honesty, I had a great time that day, and it is in my top 10 favorite Grinnell memories.
Cunningham’s was a tradition and a lifeline in Grinnell. Sure, the selection was never good, and the ceiling lights buzzed, but it was a Grinnell institution, and nowhere else could you get a bottomless cup of coffee for a nickel. Plus, my cousin Stan heard about the Pearl Harbor attack there; my grandmother worked there; my mother even recalls the day its neighbor, Candyland Soda Shop, burned, taking the drug store, Cunningham’s was rebuilt [with] the counter inside; and I would go to visit Mr. Cunningham, who never remembered my name, and he always yelled, “Hey! It’s Patsy Paulsen’s girl!”
When Cunningham’s closed in 2003, a little piece of my past and Grinnell’s faded away with it.
— Amanda “Panda” Prouty ’03
In July of 2007 I saw Ron Sieck’s Hatz biplane [Winter 2008] at the Grinnell Airport. I was so struck by the quality of the work that the picture I took has been the wallpaper on my cell phone ever since.
I have owned and flown homebuilt biplanes for 25 years, but mine never looked like that. It may be the best I’ve ever seen.
— John Watkins ’66
West Grove, Pa.
Robin Konikow ’66 Fun on Wheels was Grinnell’s unsung Renaissance Man of the ’60s. ... Through all stages of life, Bob brought a childlike excitement to every project. While at Grinnell, I viewed his chief task as keeping me — through our mutual interest in theatre arts — from getting addicted to academics, at the peril of our fun in this essentially anti-academic artform. Forty-five years of subsequent life have robbed me of Bob’s presence; but I attended his wedding, and then heard he had four daughters. This is as it should be: young women exposed to the likes of Konikow will have known that men are not all sex-starved brutes, but rather, infectiously creative and humorously engaging companions. Imagine — four women have Bob Konikow as a role model for maleness. They don’t know how lucky they are.
Bob’s courage in unicycling through Grinnell gave me the courage to bike my string bass on my shoulder, and get to rehearsals of the Kitatinny Mountain Boys with a fearlessness only appreciated by such characters. Vive Konikow!
— Keith S. Felton ’64
Grass Valley, Calif.
In Praise of Minimum Wage
In the Winter 2008 issue, a classmate of mine has suggested that students work full time summers at a minimum wage, no-benefits job to get a first-hand look at conservatism in action. I’m not sure what his exact position is (as it seems to be more of a slogan than an argument), but I suspect it hints that such jobs should be banned, and the government will decide what appropriate pay and benefits are for all of us (oh, I forgot, that was tried in the U.S.S.R. and worked so well as the communist or socialist chairs he supports will surely declare).
On the other hand, during a couple of summers while still a student and after graduating, I worked at some of those minimum wage, no-benefits jobs. I was happy to get them, yet at the same time, they taught me that unless I wanted to keep doing that sort of work my entire life, I needed to master some skills and habits that were actually valued in the marketplace at a higher premium than minimum wage. If this valuable educational experience was the conservative chair in action, perhaps my classmate is right after all. Somehow, though, I don’t think that’s what he meant ...
— Jonathan Lobatto ’76
New York, N.Y.
As a graduate in liberal arts, I thought the purpose of “letters” was to inform, not insult. The glib screed by Mr. Benecki only reinforces a sick notion that being conservative is evil. Conservatives and liberals built this nation. ...
The Kent State shootings of May 1970 resulted indirectly (directly?) in the closing of Grinnell and 350 or so other universities and colleges, at Grinnell apparently due to bomb threats — and [as I recall] all but two faculty members voted to close. ... Several of my friends and I dressed up and held a wake downtown.
I have always thought it the job of teachers to remind students (and where necessary, errant faculty) that the purpose of educating in the “liberal arts” is to teach everything and anything as neutrally as humanly feasible — even the hard and logical sciences — which I think most faculty do. But some don’t ... Teaching was/is supposed to let students learn how to discern truths on their own, the way to find wisdom — only one of the apparent goals of education. Providing “chairs” for ideology is counter to such lofty goals. Schools are no place for proselytizers, whether of political agendas, or religious doctrines. Leave religion, whether it is politically or spiritually motivated, to individuals or families to practice and preach among themselves — or send to editors as opinion pieces — and let chips fall there. Classrooms should be free from bias, especially that resulting from faculty.
— Jim Greaves ’71
Thompson Falls Mont.
Grinnell Poetry, by Mark B. Pilder ’91
Where the hell is Grinnell
it’s right here
it’s right there
It’s a strong foundation
It’s a liberal arts education
Where do you go from here
Wherever I want
Garlic and onions sautéed in butter
in a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet
What’s for dinner
Whatever I want
What are you doing
with your degree
— Mark B. Pilder ’91
Why is it necessary to devote college resources to promote extreme ideological positions? I refer to the article published in the Grinnell Magazine (Summer, 2008) entitled The Climate Diet. This was basically a book promotion and advocacy for the theory called “global warming.” Certainly there is a time and place for discussion of this scientific hypothesis, but no one should be endorsing it as fact, and it is inappropriate content in this form for the college publication.
Only the Almighty knows for certain whether the earth is warming, cooling or in equilibrium. What, you say? You thought the case for global warming had been proven? No, for the reasons set forth below, we have been victimized by extremists who have their own agendas. Remember the old adage “follow the money?” Follow the thread of global warming back to those who benefit the most from this hoax. Meanwhile,
- Scientific data is inconclusive as to whether the earth is warming, cooling, or just behaving normally. The oceans appear to be cooling. Air temperatures in some parts of the globe are running warmer than normal, others cooler than normal. Some glaciers are receding; others are thickening. But trying to extrapolate a few years of data and local measurements is a dangerous and foolish thing to do. Think about it - we are limited to 50-100 years of data in a climate cycle of over 100,000 years. That is like driving an unfamiliar mountain highway and predicting where it leads 5000 miles away.
- The point is, we don’t understand the macro climatic changes that are at work so we can’t possibly know what lies ahead. The earth’s climate has never been stable, has witnessed countless hot cycles and ice ages, and is not likely to stabilize for many millenniums to come. We do know that “normal” is to have 1.5 km of ice permanently covering most of the northern hemisphere (including Grinnell). And we know that the sunspot cycle is at a 11-yr minimum and much quieter than normal, possibly portending a mini ice age in our near future (normally a 3-yr lag). In fact, one could argue that a colder climate would put much more stress on agriculture, energy and the earth’s inhabitants than a warmer climate. Yikes - be careful what you ask for!
- To suggest than “man” is responsible for global climate change or can somehow alter the global climate defies common sense. The huge natural forces at work (sun, ocean, earth) are on a scale we can’t easily comprehend
- “Greenhouse” gases are bad? We know that plants (including crops) thrive on carbon dioxide. Plants in turn generate oxygen, and animals thrive on oxygen. When the dinosaurs roamed the earth (100 million years ago), the climate was significantly warmer and CO2 levels were 5 times the level of today. Plants thrived and so did the dinosaurs.
- Supposedly God entrusted the earth to man to safeguard the environment. As the head of the food chain, we have such responsibility. But is it wise to endanger the human race in the process?
Can there be any truth to the global warming hypothesis? Possibly. But also remember that thirty-five years ago the alarmists were predicting global cooling (e.g., Newsweek, April 28, 1975). The best we can do (and should do) is assign probabilities to the global climatic forecasts. Such predictions should take into account the uncertainty in the data so we can make rationale decisions.
Meanwhile, we are all victims of a fraud perpetrated on us by a small group of self-serving extremists. This comes at the expense of each one of us in terms of unwise legislation, wasted resources and human rights.
— Bill Lee ’68
Of Ink and Point Size
After each issue of The Grinnell Magazine arrives, I compose this letter in my head. I’ve engaged in this activity ever since the format began to feature a tiny font size and pale ink, which means I’ve been at this silent composition business for a number of years. I’ve never actually written to you before, however, because the magazine was garnering awards for its design, including all the white space, and I thought nobody would care that an alumna wished to trade some of that space for larger, darker print.
There have been many fascinating, informative stories that I’ve had to skip entirely because attempts at reading them were simply too fatiguing, and I would put the magazine aside, never to return. The Winter 2007 issue had an especially large number of intriguing stories, which I was determined to read, so I forged ahead, eyes twitching and stinging all the way. And, with completion of that read, I decided it was finally time to write in protest.
Many publications come into our house, and I find that only The Grinnell Magazine is such a challenge for me to read. I wear corrective lenses and have aging eyes, but otherwise no particular vision trouble. I have to believe that if I have these problems, there are others as well who find the narrative difficult to read. I have to believe, too, that the editorial staff can continue to win design awards and can also win the gratitude of many of us readers by providing more legible print. I urge you to embrace a “louder” typeface.
Thanks very much for your attention to this request.
— Barbara Benda Jenkins ’64
Editor’s Note: We use standard black ink and an industry standard typeface and size (10-point Goudy).
A Remarkable Woman
I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Ms. Edith Renfrow Smith ’37 at the president’s reception during the College reunion. In the short time I spent speaking with her, I realized quickly what a remarkable woman she is. It was absolutely an honor to meet her; at age 91, I believe, she was as sharp as any recent Grinnell graduate. I am sure I will be seeing her again at the 2012 cluster reunion.
— Ron Medvin ’73
Just a short note to thank you for the articles on “Dear Soldier” and “Coming Out as a Republican.” From the previous issues of The Grinnell Magazine and especially its predecessor, I had concluded that all compassion for our military and all conservative political ideology had been expunged from the Grinnell campus. Virtually all of the articles were from a liberal or extreme liberal viewpoint.
You have added some welcome diversity to the magazine. Given the cultural climate at Grinnell, this took courage on your part.
I will forward you a message that I have sent to the Pioneer Fund with regard to hostility and discrimination against students who hold our military in high regard, and those who hold conservative beliefs.
Best wishes for continued success!
— David White ’60
Fort Worth, Texas
For the first time, I felt compelled to write to The Grinnell Magazine, awed by the current Grinnell student Amanda Spiegel’s Student Musings. Amanda — your piece is marvelous — so creative and enlivening. You took well-known events or icons or inventions, all linked by Grinnellians, including your mother and father, making me so proud to have attended Grinnell. I would be so proud to have you as a daughter and that you have chosen “my” school. Bravo. I look forward to seeing more from you.
— Louisa Powell Livingston ’64
New York, N.Y.
Today, the spring issue of The Grinnell Magazine arrived. If I feel dismay at the continuing direction of Grinnell into the vortex of liberalism, I am comforted by the lonely observations of Messrs. White and Bates.
The tragedy is that today’s Grinnell has increasingly manufactured students with political identities indistinguishable from one another. The creation of political clones does not honor any school. But while the partisanship is disturbing, it is the homogeneity that appalls. A 90 percent support for Mr. Kerry is disappointing, not because he is a cleverly manipulative fool, but because it shows a lemming-like unanimity. I would be equally disturbed if they were all conservatives, but the faculty is the guardian of that avoidance. Surely something is seriously wrong when substantially no one possesses a different vision. A herd view, particularly of an educated herd, is unfortunate because it is the view only of something from an assembly-line.
Ninety percent votes smacks of Hitlerian Germany, and historically liberals have opposed fascism and supported individuality. Surely such identicality of political views is a sad conformism. Good minds should not have uniforms. The creation of the identicality of political views is the first step. The next is intolerance, and the text of Messrs. White and Bates supports that thesis. Neither identicality of thought, nor its bloodline, intolerance, are Grinnell traditions, nor representative of a Grinnellian view. It seems diversity at Grinnell stops at the political door.
Where are the iconoclasts? Those blessed nonconformists who have given us so much in religion and elsewhere? I wrote a book about liberalism and conformity at Grinnell in my day. The prophet of nonconformity in thought and action at Grinnell was a teacher at the College who influenced several generations of Grinnellians, and whose observations appear in that non-influential book. He lies as dead in the cemetery there as do his ideas in the student body and faculty.
So we have a new and revealing concept abroad at Grinnell. Conformity. That has not been in the tradition of liberalism. Conformity in all areas has historically been opposed by the liberals. What has happened? Have the liberals won and now the revolution in thought and action has arrived? What about the historic clash of ideas in places of learning? Instead of collisions of ideas, we have such conformity such that 90 percent of the students hold the same electoral views. It is not a comforting augury.
The world of tomorrow will not come from conformist ideologies. They do not serve well. They hinder and destroy. And they are not driven by the genuine Grinnell tradition.
— David Hammer ’51
Electoral College Reform
As a 1956 graduate of Grinnell, I read with great interest the reprinted article, “College Dropouts,” by Ben Weyl and Brendan Mackie, which appeared in the Spring 2007 issue of The Grinnell Magazine.
You may be interested that Maryland has recently taken the lead in the clever way mentioned in the article that tries to circumvent the unfair representation that the Electoral College provides. In [a recent] issue of The Washington Post, columnist, E.J. Dionne Jr. addresses this issue and clearly points out that an electoral vote in Wyoming has nearly four times the value of a vote in California. No matter how the electors are selected, however, they may exercise their conscience in selecting a president despite the advice of a popular choice.
It seems more appropriate that the U.S. Constitution should be amended to abolish the Electoral College in favor of a national popular election in which each voter has a weight of one vote no matter where he lives. Past generations amended the U.S. Constitution to abolish slavery. We must amend the Constitution to honor our current sense of “one person, one vote,” which is not embodied in the Electoral College. Now most states assign all their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote, allowing the winner to take all the electoral votes in these states respectively. The fewer the number of persons who actually exercise their vote in a state, the more weight they have. In a national popular election, each voter would have the same weight, no matter how many voted.
Besides the general election, the primary election of the U.S. president also needs to be reformed. All Americans should have the same chance to vote for the nominee of their choice in the primaries. That could be accomplished through the use of a uniform ballot of candidates in a primary election held on the same day in every state. Many people don’t get the chance to vote for their choice. Voters in states with early primaries get a longer list of candidates from which to choose, because only the top two or three vote-getters in early primaries survive to participate in later primaries.
All the candidates should have an equal opportunity in having a basic presentation broadcast to the voters. Public funding could be used for such broadcasting and for allowing the candidates to participate in question and answer forums that would be televised several times in all 50 states. Is it necessary that candidates visit each state? Whether voters live on the East Coast, West Coast, or in the Midlands, most of them would view the candidates on television or read about them in newspapers.
— Ralph Krause ’56
What Have We Learned?
Grinnell represents a new, post-patriotism society where one’s loyalties reside with the “world,” not nasty corporations, political parties, or nation states, and where, with sufficient education, one can rise above crassly narrow backgrounds. Assuming, of course, there is someone else to fund and defend one.Let us consider the most recent issue of The Grinnell Magazine, superb in the quality of its paper, color photography, and candor. Inside the front cover is an article “Déjà Vu in a Whisper,” concerned with “how governments can abuse citizens, silence dissenters, and rob us all of our essential liberties. Bush equals Nixon, Iraq equals Vietnam.” The author ends with the ominous and true observation, “Those who don’t understand their history are doomed to repeat it.” I think we have, hopefully, learned, at the cost (to others) of 2 million Cambodians in the killing fields, half a million boat people, etc. (Historical facts are ugly things.) On page six, we find two young women in the class of ’08 who have “taken a stand” against the genocide in Darfur. They have “organized and executed a letter writing campaign and a campus-wide die-in, and they sent representatives to a springtime demonstration in Des Moines.” They, evidently, have not learned much yet. The major article celebrates Joseph Welch [’14], an alumnus who should be considered a hero by all Americans. McCarthy was an alcoholic bully, some of his counsel were thoroughly distasteful human beings, and their behavior unworthy. Why then, should we bring the article up? Because “what have we learned” since that time, primarily via encoded Soviet correspondence regarding espionage in the United States, that McCarthy was basically correct in his assumptions regarding Soviet spies in the United States and the U.S. government. Such an acknowledgment would make a useful footnote in any discussion of the Army/McCarthy hearings. Henry-York Steiner [’56] is featured in an article on page 36. Not much mention of the good work he did for President Leggett and the College during difficult times. Steiner is an alumnus Grinnell can be proud of. Finally, there is a delightful discussion “Diversity on the Dating Scene” by someone named Carly Shuna ’06. She is clever, funny, and insightful. Would be a fun person to know. Talks about something she terms “polyamorous relationships.” No wonder Grinnell is popular.
— Richard Kuiper