Oberlin Alumni Magazine Spring 2001 vol.96 no.4
Feature Stories
Planet Earth
High Atop Wilder
[cover story] Creating a Scene
You've Got Mail: Now What?
Experience, Exposure & Enlightenment
Body Art
Message from the Board of Trustees
Around Tappan Square
Oberlin Partnership sharpens Economic Development
Composing a Career
President Dye's Sabbatical
Closing Institutional Devides
In Brief
Alumni Notes: Profile
Alumni Notes: Losses
The Last Word
Staff Box
One More Thing

Football Fervor

Three cheers! Your football face on the cover (Winter 2000) and the nice story were great to see. Maybe things really are changing in sports at Oberlin. For many of us old grads, sports--winning or losing--played a significant role in our Oberlin experience. Not just as fun and games, but as meaningful learning and growth opportunities. It has really hurt over the years to sense the marginalized--if not trivialized--role of athletics in Oberlin life. Anyhow, let's hope trends continue. Maybe winning will follow, even if not always, in all sports. The lessons of teamwork, hard work, self-sacrifice, self-respect, competition, and all the rest, are even more important.
Paul Glasoe '56
Auburn, Washington
Let me say that I love watching football, and I certainly wish those young men all the best as they seek to end their losing streak. But I have to wonder about the resources being spent on recruitment and coaching and flights to California. When I went to Oberlin in the mid-'70s, the football team made Sports Illustrated. Not for its impressive record--then, as now, they were perennial losers--but for being the smallest squad in the nation with 16 players. I admired their grit and tenacity, with most of them playing both ways, but I also resented the resources they received. I was a soccer player, and Freddie Shults was turning out solid teams with winning records year after year. The year the football team numbered 16, we had dozens more out for soccer and established an informal junior varsity squad. With a small portion of the football program's money, that JV team could have had coaching, uniforms, and a schedule of games. The soccer program, which clearly had more athlete support (if less alumni support), could have stepped up from being good to being truly outstanding. I recognize that recruitment and alumni giving are part of the mix in deciding which programs to fund and at what level. I only hope the College is looking carefully at what athletic opportunities are being missed because of the resources we are devoting to the football team.
George N. Sibley '77
American Ambassador to Amman

The Green Machine Stirs Response

When my husband, Christopher Bates '94, read your article about the new environmental industrial revolution (Winter 2000), he was so inspired that he's had a career interest change. He now wants to get his master's degree in environmental anthropology and work for responsible industries that are using these self-sufficient buildings.
Laurie Bates '99
Fort Collins, Colorado
Many thanks for "The Green Machine" on the new eco-friendly Lewis Center. The architectural revolution evinced by the building is truly impressive. However, the author failed to mention, or did not know, that the edible fabric on the auditorium chairs tastes just like chicken. The manufacturer could have easily fashioned the fabric to taste like broccoli, but wisely opted for chicken flavor to avoid depredation of the chairs by the vegetarians at Keep Cottage.
Stephen Calvert '62
Benton, Wisconsin
Good for Dorothy!

I enjoyed reading Michele Lesie's article on Dorothy Daub's house (Fall 2000). I knew Dorothy and had visited her house while she was alive and after her death. It was one of the most individual and lived-in houses I have ever seen. She had an unusual and very strong personality, so I wouldn't be surprised if she is still hanging around. Good for her! The portrait of Dorothy that you reproduced in color is by alumna Ellen Johnson, who was one of her best friends. By the way, the
Alumni Magazine has improved lately both in design and content.
Athena Tacha '61
Washington, DC
No, Virginia, No Santa Here

As a lifelong book lover and longtime independent bookseller, I was dismayed by the spin you put on Barnes & Noble's running of the Oberlin Bookstore ("Yes, Virginia, There Is a Bookstore," Fall 2000). The Oberlin I know places a deeper value on independent, locally run businesses than to allow its loyalties to be so easily bought by the cut-rate prices of large chains (or, as you put it, a "one-day clearance...which melted the stiff resistance of some of the locals"). I have yet to see a Barnes & Noble that is genuinely concerned with meeting the townspeople's "special needs," let alone valuing literature more than the bottom line, and I find it hard to believe the Oberlin Bookstore (which, like many college bookstores, tries to mask corporate control with a local name) will be any different. Perhaps retaining Barnes & Noble was the only viable option for the College, but to present it as "a new chapter in the history of the little shop on the corner we have all known and loved" is a feeble attempt to fabricate a continuity between the two businesses, as if a business with corporate headquarters in New York maintains the connections to the community a locally run bookstore would. It is merely a new chapter in the history of the building on the corner, no different than if a Dunkin' Donuts were to move into the storefront that now houses Gibson's Bakery. Yes, Virginia, there is a bookstore, but the one on the corner is no more the real thing than the red-suited man ringing the bell on the corner is the real Santa Claus.
Susan Bedell '91
Ames, Iowa

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