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Your Spring 2001 issue is a thing of beauty, cover to cover.
I was particularly enthralled by the The Last Word's "In Search
of a Rose Brass Bell and f-Attachment" by Eric Nye '70. His
love of his trombone and experiences with it at Oberlin eerily
parallel my seasoning at the Conservatory and as first-chair
trombone with the orchestra, excepting that my horn was a 1939
Olds with a silver-rimmed bell, with no slide lock or f-attachment.
I began trombone potty training at age 9 in Newton, Kansas.
In the ensuing years I graduated to the Pied Pipers and sackbut
quartets, and eventually to a dance band at the University of
Kansas to finance my undergraduate years. Then came my transfer
to Oberlin. The University of Kansas was known then as the "Country
Club on the Kaw." I still shudder remembering that students
at Oberlin actually went to college to get an education.
My instrument was never stolen, but I did have anxious moments
when my LST vessel was nearly split in half by a typhoon and
I had to retrieve the Olds from submerged crew quarters.
with Eric's approach, I still play Dixie trombone once each
week, and I have the autobiographical "Gosh, I Almost Forgot"
ready for publication later this year. And although incredible,
my next-door neighbor performing on the trombone had the surname
I'm still doing my thing on a '39 Olds.
C. Bachmann '45
UNPOPULAR WORD CHOICE
TV producer James Burrows, author Dade Hayes writes "Half of
what I say is good. Half of what I say is sh__." (Spring 2001.)
I was a little surprised to see that printed in our magazine.
I was a student at Oberlin 35 years ago when I first heard a
woman use the f-word at a student demonstration. I didn't like
it then, and I still don't like it. "Liberal [expression]" doesn't
have to mean "in poor taste," methinks!
York, New York
JOB CHANGE YET
appreciated your publishing my letter commenting on the resources
being devoted to the football team. But I REALLY got a kick out
of my promotion to ambassador! Of course I quickly sent a copy
up to the real ambassador, lest I be accused of lèse-majesté.
I'll let you know via the Alumni Notes when--and if--I do make
Embassy, Amman, Jordan
enjoyed reading Michael McIntyre's article about WOBC's 50th anniversary
(Spring 2001). However, the paragraph citing WOBC alums who have
created names for themselves in the industry failed to mention
Michael Barone '68. A conservatory student, Michael was music
director in his junior and senior years. After graduation he worked
in Collegeville, Minnesota, as music director of station KSJR,
which was on the brink of becoming Minnesota Public Radio. He
has now been associated with the station for 33 years. Since the
beginning of the 1982-83 season, he has been a senior executive
producer, hosting "Pipedreams," a weekly 90-minute program of
organ music heard by hundreds of thousands of listeners. He also
does the "Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra" broadcasts and a weekly
new releases program that is the longest-running classical music
program in MPR's considerable history. Professional organists
everywhere are deeply in his debt.
Ann Howell Dodd
read with great interest the story on radio station WOBC, or KOCN
as we knew it. I was active with the station my junior and senior
years. Mike Berla '52, Scott Himstead '53, and I did a live play-by-play
broadcast of the Oberlin-Wittenberg football game for KOCN in 1950
from Springfield, Ohio. And Oberlin actually won that game. We also
broadcast the game at Wooster later in the season. I wouldn't be
surprised if those are the only two live broadcasts of Oberlin football
games by KOCN or WOBC. Thanks for producing such a good magazine.
ACTIVISTS INSPIRE ALUMNUS
just got back from the protests against the Free Trade Area of the
Americas (FTAA) in Quebec City. The FTAA is a giant trade treaty
that will extend NAFTA to North America, South America, and the
Caribbean (except Cuba). Quebec City is a tiny Canadian city where
I ran into many fellow alums, and not a few current Oberlin students.
As part of the legal team there I had a unique perspective of the
protests. Far removed from the street skirmishes between protesters
and police, I heard firsthand accounts from people still rattled
days later from the tear gas that the authorities used indiscriminately.
I also received frantic phone calls from many activists in jail
who had been ambushed by plain clothes officers, beaten, and arrested--all
for no apparent reason. Among those arrested was (at least) one
Oberlin student. Her friends, also OCers, waited for her at the
24-hour vigil outside the jail where all the protesters were being
held. Talking to them about their organizing within Oberlin and
beyond was an inspiration. The non-profit I work for, the Midnight
Special Law Collective, has provided legal training and support
for activists in Seattle, D.C., and L.A. For (or rather, against)
the FTAA, we helped in San Diego as well as Quebec City. In each
of these places Oberlin students are an organized, powerful presence.
If anyone getting this magazine is starting to feel cynical
and defeated, try talking to a current student about activism.
Especially outside a jail.
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