ASU Emeritus Voices, Vol. 28

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VOICES

EMERITUS THE ART OF JOHN RISSEEUW Summer 2021 Vol. 28


Back cover: A colorized photo of Sullivan’s Transportation Building. His liberal use of red and gold was totally at variance with Burnham’s stated policies.


The Emeritus College A Place and a Purpose


Editorial Board Editor

Richard J. Jacob Assistant Editors

Joann Tongret Editorial Assistants

Megan Joyce Erica Hervig

Advisory Board Per Aannestad (2021) Jean R. Brink (2022) Aleksandra Gruzinska (2023) Randel Helms (2022) Sarah Hudelson (2023) Leslie Kane (2022) Alleen Nilsen (2021) John Reich (2022) Stephen Siek (2023) Ernie Stech (2022) Harvey Smith, Chair (2022) JoAnn Tongret (2022) Emeritus College Old Main, Room 102 PO Box 873002 Tempe, AZ 85287–3002 emerituscollege@asu.edu


EMERITUS VOICES

The Journal of the Emeritus College at Arizona State University


is the literary and scholarly Journal of the Emeritus College at Arizona State University. The Journal is intended for the expression, edification, and enjoyment of members of the Emeritus College and others interested in the content. The Journal provides a vehicle for interdisciplinary interaction and education. Submissions are invited for fiction, non–fiction, memoir, essay, poetry, scholarship, review, photography, graphic arts, etc., exploring all facets of creativity, scholarship and life experience. Emeritus Voices

Instructions for submitters can be found at emerituscollege.asu.edu/emeritus-voices/submission-guidelines

Correspondence should be sent to Editor, Emeritus Voices, P.O. Box 873002, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-3002, or emerituscollege@asu.edu

Emeritus Voices considers for publication letters from its readers in response to articles published in the journal. Letters will be selected on the basis of interest, thoughtfulness, cogency and reasonableness. Letters may be submitted by email or postal mail. See Submission Guidelines in this issue for details.

Copyright © 2021

Unless indicated otherwise, the copyright for each individual article, poem or illustration in this issue is retained by the author, artist or owner (as indicated in the illustrations credits on p. 164).

Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281 Printed in the United States of America ISSN 1942-3039


Contents

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Editor’s Page From the Lectern

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Immersed in a Schism: Chicago’s Columbian Exposition and the Birth of Modern American Culture | Stephen Siek

Ironies and Epiphanies 26 28 30

Mlle. Manés: My First Lesson in French | Aleksandra Gruzinska Isabel | Ann Ludwig Technology, One Step at a Time | Harold C. White

Reinventing Retirement 86

Chuck Backus: Retirement Home on the Range

Commentary and Analysis 33 108

The Mystery Ship in Halifax Harbor | Charles B. Merbs

The Art of John Risseeuw Memoir

55 126

Water Karma | Beth Lessard Boris Cyrulnik, Je me souviens | Aleksandra Gruzinska

Essay 47 81 102

Zane Grey: An Appreciation | Ernie Stech Willie Mays and Dolores Muñoz: A Story about Humanity | Christine Marin Metamorphosis | JoAnn Yeoman Tongret

Emeriti Travel 51 97

Wandering | Shannon E. Perry A Special Leningrad/St. Petersburg Niche | Charles Tichy

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Humor 59 132

Golden Days of Hollywood I | Paul Jackson Golden Days of Hollywood II | Paul Jackson

Poetry/Prose 60 69 84 85 93 106 125 129

Bobby Bumble | Robert Osterhoudt Sing to It | Beatrice Gordon Two Old Friends | Dianne Wigand One Year Later | Dianne Wigand That's Life | Gus Edwards Six Epigrams after Callimachus | Randel McCraw Helms Rivers | Shannon Perry Me and Them (Three Memories) | Randel McCraw Helms

Review 133 137 144

True Grit | JoAnn Yeoman Tongret Déjà vu: Growing Up Hard in America | Richard J. Jacob An Extraordinary Ordinary Man | Carl Silver

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Contributor Biographies

161

Submission Guidelines

164

Graphics Credits

What’s so fascinating and frustrating and great about life is that you’re constantly starting over, all the time, and I love that. – Billy Crystal

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Editor’s Page

Virtual Work and Real Infrastructure

In physics, the stable configuration of a mechanical system can be determined by imagining, mathematically, very small displacements of its constituent parts under the constraints of the forces present. This is called the method of virtual work. And the structure by which the parts of the system is constrained or supported is the infrastructure. These simple concepts have acquired much wider application in public discourse during the past eighteen months of pandemic and political turmoil. I recently participated virtually as a judge in an international science fair, by interviewing and evaluating competitors from my home office, on my computer, in the on-line meeting room known now universally as Zoom, regardless of the actual name of the platform. My wife and I have attended virtual church services every week in the same manner. Her book clubs have been meeting virtually as have several committees on which I have worked. Rare is the person these days, who, with access to a computer, digital pad or smart phone, has not participated in virtual work. That we have been able to do so and continue the productive activity of so many of our enterprises has been due to the very real electronic infrastructure that had been developed and put into place in the nick of time. Also in physics, there is the concept of virtual particles, which pop up out of nowhere suddenly, in violation of certain laws, and disappear just as precipitously, in order not to get caught. I’ll let the readers draw their own analogies. Some have found virtue in virtual work and virtual entities. More flexible paths to greater productivity; increased quality time with our nuclear families (or whoever it is with whom we share our pads;) lower dry-clean3


Jacob | Editor’s Page

ing bills, etc. And I suppose there is this. But, as with digital correspondence, which has separated us materially from our pasts and our futures, our electronic devices and the Internet infrastructure to which they adhere may prove the end of personal, face-to-face relationships, both working and social, if, as we emerge like 17-month cicadas, we have gotten too habituated to wearing our pajama bottoms all day. This editor still comes fully clothed into his campus office to produce Emeritus Voices and is proud to affirm that it is and will continue to be published in non-virtual hard copy (it goes to the bit-map in the sky six months later.) And he can’t wait until there is someone else in these dark, empty hallways in the bowels of Old Main. It’s very lonely here. It has been a pleasure putting together this issue, though. Stephen Siek takes us out of our isolation into the bustling crowds of the 1983 Chicago world’s fair with, given his background as a gifted concert pianist, added emphasis on the music one could hear there. Charles Merbs shares his curiosity about a strange unidentified warship he came upon during a visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Ernie Stech pays homage to Zane Grey as an Arizona legend. We chat with Chuck Backus about his retirement to a home on the range, or in the Superstition foothills, to be more exact. There are, nonetheless, no discouraging words, and the skies are rarely cloudy any day. John Risseeuw shares his skill as printmaker with a collection of thought-provoking examples. Robert Osterhoudt introduces us to his fictional character, Bobby Bumble and Christine Marin brings a moment in the life of baseball great Willie Mays to light. A funny thing happened to Charles Tichy on a trip to St. Petersburg and Shannon Perry takes us on sojourn through Navajo country.

© ASU 2021 4


The lively arts come to life in remembrances by Beth Lessard and JoAnn Tongret. Beth also recalls her youthful aquatic experiences. Les belles lettres are represented by Babs Gordon and Gus Edwards in continuations of their contributions from the previous issue, as well as by poetry from Dianne Wigand, JoAnn Tongret, Shannon Perry and Randel Helms (again, be warned.) Ironies and epiphanies are recounted by Ann Ludwig, Aleksandra Gruzinska and Hal White. Finally, literary commentary and reviews are offered by Carl Silver, JoAnn Tongret, Aleksandra Gruzinska and myself.

Recovery is an important word and a vital concept. It means renewal of life and energy. Knowing how and when to recover may prove to be the most important skill in your life. – James E. Loehr

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From the Lectern

Immersed in a Schism: Chicago’s Columbian Exposition and the Birth of Modern American Culture Stephen Siek

Opening day, May 1, 1893, finally arrived. Grover Cleveland, President once more after the unsavory Harris administration, made a speech in front of the Administration Building and pressed a button, turning on electric lights and motors everywhere. The excited crowd surged forward. Several women fainted in the crush. Jane Addams’ purse was snatched. The Exposition was on.(1) – Stanley Appelbaum, The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 To a generation reared on iPhones, YouTube, and theme parks, the concept of a world’s fair might seem little more than an archaic redundancy, but such events once spoke to entire cultures with a passion and urgency virtually unknown today. Many fairs even bequeathed lasting architectural landmarks(2), and none ever captured the achievements, hopes, and dreams of an entire era more dramatically than the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. However, even the casual observer who skims but a few of its surviving photos will sense that this Fair was marred by a profound schism, for while massive palaces were erected at great expense to showcase the latest innovations in transportation, electricity, and machinery, scarcely any of those structures evoked images of progress – instead they seemed more like monuments to Ancient Rome. Mirroring that theme, the fairgrounds’ towering statues and even its music were chosen primarily to commemorate the past, but nonetheless, the World’s Columbian Exposition also provided a lens into America’s cultural future – for the art, the architecture, and even the music of the twentieth century were also amply foretold. Chicago did not host the first fair that venerated science, for indeed the worship of scientific inquiry and technology were ongoing leitmotivs 6


An engraving of London’s Crystal Palace by English artist George Baxter (1804-1867).

achievement. With an interior height of 108 feet, it also contained more sheet glass than anyone had ever seen in a single building, and visitors were stunned that no artificial light at all was required during daylight hours.(3) Twenty-five years later when the United States first entered the world’s fair arena, Philadelphia’s Centennial Exhibition of 1876 made less of a technological impact, but it should be noted that its science building, Machinery Hall – with floor space of over 550,000 square feet – was the most popular attraction, demonstrating emphatically that science was as vital to nineteenth-century audiences as religion had once been to the founders of New England. Nonetheless, the Philadelphia Fair, ostensibly organized to celebrate the nation’s Centennial, also spent substantial sums on art. Its Art Gallery (still standing and now known as Memorial Hall) was the 7

Siek | From the Lectern

of nineteenth-century Europe. Industrial exhibitions began in France as early as 1833, and the prototype for the modern world’s fair is generally acknowledged to be London’s “Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations,” held in Hyde Park from May 1 to October 15, 1851. But despite magnanimous appeals for the inclusion of “all nations,” the fair’s central purpose was to demonstrate Britain’s dominance as the world’s leader in science and technology, and in fact, that dominance was incontestably verified by the building in which the exhibits were housed: a mammoth structure known as the Crystal Palace, built entirely of iron and glass. With a length of 1,851 feet (over twice that of the Titanic), and floor space exceeding 950,000 square feet (over three times that of St. Paul’s Cathedral), nearly all observers conceded that the Palace was a remarkable engineering


Siek | From the Lectern

largest art museum in the country when it opened, and its 1.5-acre footprint surrounded a 59-foot-high building, capped by a 150-foot dome. It provided 75,000 square feet of wall surface for paintings, and its statues consumed over 20,000 square feet of floor space. The Exhibition received so many portraits and landscapes from collectors at home and abroad that a separate annex was soon needed to house them, while an adjoining building was required just to display photographs. Elsewhere on the fairgrounds, the artistic jewel in the crown was the extended forearm and torch of The extended arm and torch of the Statue of Lady Liberty, the work of French Liberty on display at the Philadelphia Centen- sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi, who nial Exhibition of 1876. The admission was remained in Paris to begin work 50 cents. on her massive head and crown, which he displayed at the Paris World’s Fair of 1878 before they began their fabled (and only) Atlantic voyage seven years later.(4) Music also figured prominently in the Philadelphia Exhibition, and the organizers even commissioned a major work, The Centennial Meditation of Columbia, a choral cantata uniting the efforts of a Northern composer and a Southern poet – a union symbolizing (at least it was hoped) America’s “healing” in the decade following the Civil War. The Connecticut-born Dudley Buck (1839-1909) had already composed a cantata honoring Columbus, and the Georgia-born Sidney Lanier (1842-81), who had once worn the Confederate uniform, was one of the most heralded poets of his generation. The Cantata was premiered on May 10, 1876, the Exhibition’s opening day, before an audience consisting of President Grant and over 180,000 patrons. But though much had been expected, Lanier’s labored retelling of the nation’s founding – its intelligibility obscured by Buck’s four-part textures filtered through a thousand-voice choir – proved turgid even by Victorian standards, as this brief excerpt illustrates:(5) Mayflower, Mayflower, slowly hither flying, Trembling westward o’er yon balking sea, Hearts within Farewell dear England sighing, 8


Back in Paris, by 1879 Bartholdi was collaborating with a gifted civil engineer named Gustave Eiffel, who contributed the metal framework for his massive statue, and by the time the completed product was dedicated in New York Harbor seven years later, Americans were already speaking of a commemorative world’s fair honoring the four hundredth anniversary of Columbus’s voyage. And though historians are somewhat divided on precisely where the concept originated, Chicago soon became the most aggressive competitor as various cities vied for the honor.(6) As early as 1873, it had staged an “Inter-State Exposition,” a brief fair displaying the produce and accomplishments of Illinois and four neighboring states, and by the mid-1880s, Chicagoans intensified their desire to showcase their city – by then one of the most modern in the world. But New York, which a dozen years earlier had been forced to defer to Philadelphia for the 1876 Exhibition, did not intend to be slighted again, and the rhetoric soon grew strident. Dozens of news stories appeared berating the “second city” as little more than a backwater, massive hog butcher, and the New York Sun’s Richard Henry Dana even coined the term “windy city,” which referred not to billowing gusts from Lake Michigan, but to the “hot air” generated by its pretentious city officials.(7) But only Congress could cast the deciding vote, and because of further developments in Paris, that vote was about to come soon. Though Eiffel’s contribution to Bartholdi’s statue had been largely invisible, there was no way anyone could miss the centerpiece of the Paris 1889 World’s Fair, for at 1,063 feet (the approximate height of an 80-story building), his new Tower was the tallest manmade structure in the world. The Fair’s formal name was Exposition Universelle, and though it was staged nominally to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille (the flashpoint of the French Revolution), everyone knew that the subtext was French technological superiority. In fact, that technology was glorified not just by Eiffel’s Tower, but by the massive 828,000-square-foot Gallerie des machines, as well as by the Fair’s specially constructed miniature train which eventually transported over six million passengers across two miles of circular track. Many even thought that America’s showing at the Exposition was lackluster, for though Edison spent thousands to display his latest inventions, a Chicago Tribune 9

Siek | From the Lectern

Winds without But dear in vain replying. Gray-lipp’d waves about thee shouted, crying “No! It shall not be!”


Siek | From the Lectern

correspondent characterized most of his nation’s exhibits as “a sad jumble of shops, booths and bazaars,” at once “unpleasing” and “incongruous.”(8) Some Americans already felt overwhelmed by a French-built statue dominating New York’s skyline, and now as the world’s tallest structure illumi-

The Eiffel Tower in 1889, seen in the context of the Paris Exposition Universelle.

nated Paris, Congress was more urgently prodded to somehow “out-Eiffel” Eiffel – an effort some saw as a sacred mission to be authored by Americans, for Americans. It took eight ballots, but on February 24, 1890, the House of Representatives finally awarded the Fair to Chicago, with the Senate confirming on April 21, and President Harrison signing the bill within a week. Though the primary responsibilities were at least nominally given to local business and civic leaders, two months later they hired a Boston landscape architect, the world-famous Frederick Law Olmsted, whose name had long been synonymous with New York’s Central Park, Boston’s Emerald Necklace, and the world’s first planned community – the Chicago suburb of Riverside. But now at the age of 68, Olmsted’s greatest challenge lay before him, because

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after the Fair’s site was chosen, he was forced to reclaim nearly 700 acres of swampland surrounding Chicago’s Jackson Park and transform it in record time into a palatial paradise.(9) Unquestionably, the Fairs of London and Paris were technological marvels, but there had also been a certain sterility about them, a quality arguably more reminiscent of Jules Verne than of the utopian, regal beauty he sought. Clearly, Olmsted had a different vision, and he used the grandeur of Lake Michigan to grace a miniature port city – “The White City” as it was soon known – complete with a halfmile-long pier.(10) No railroads ran through the grounds, because Frederick Law Olmsted as he appeared Olmsted had carefully peppered in the late 1880s. his landscape with “lagoons” traversed by gondolas reminiscent of Venice, but manned by gondoliers who needed only to steer their vessels, since the power was supplied by hidden electric motors, courtesy of Westinghouse. Those who did arrive by water immediately encountered another lake, the massive “Grand Basin” – by far the Fair’s most impressive entrance – and the buildings surrounding it were hand-selected to constitute the “Court of Honor.” That Court, and all the other buildings, were under the supervision of Burnham and Root, the Fair’s official designers, who had been hired to work in tandem with Olmsted. Daniel Burnham, then 43, was among Chicago’s most beloved architects, so much so that even the young Frank Lloyd Wright referred to him affectionately as “Uncle Dan.” A large man, warm and gregarious, he was a popular guest at parties, and one of his apprentices, Paul Starrett (who later built the Empire State Building), once observed, “It was easy to see how he got commissions. His very bearing and looks were half the battle.” But not everyone was charmed, for Burnham and the 33-year-old Louis Sullivan had long been rivals, and when Sullivan and his partner, the German-born engineer Dankmar Adler, were awarded the commission for the Chicago Auditorium – a theater and 400room hotel which for a time was the city’s tallest building – their rivalry only intensified. To make matters worse, Adler and Sullivan installed their offices on the top floor of the Auditorium’s tower, as if symbolically to


Siek | From the Lectern

Olmsted’s plan for the World’s Columbian Exposition.

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The damage wrought by the World’s Fair will last for half a century from its date, if not longer. It has penetrated deep into the constitution of the American mind, effecting there lesions significant of dementia.(11) By contrast, Sullivan regarded John Root, Burnham’s partner, as a genius, and chatted with him by the hour in his office while Root never broke stride, drawing continuously. His designs were adventurous, and for example, the cast-iron cantilevered balcony he designed for Chicago’s famed Rookery suggests a scene from an early science fiction novel. The expectation was that Burnham and Root would collaborate on the Fair’s designs, but Root died prematurely in January of 1891 at the age of 41, so it fell to Burnham to finish the task. Since it was impossible for one firm to erect all the buildings in the allotted time, he hired the nation’s most prestigious architects, mostly from the East, and those most favored agreed to follow the Greco-Roman template he decreed – a condition that Root would never have endorsed. It should also be mentioned

Louis Sullivan about 1895.

Daniel Burnham (left) and John Root about 1890. 13

Siek | From the Lectern

reign over the city, and at sunset Sullivan would often survey the skyline with his most idealistic apprentice – a young man from Wisconsin named Wright – as they dreamed of one day revolutionizing their city’s architecture. But Dan Burnham had a very different vision, and the Roman temples that soon adorned the Columbian Exposition were an affront to everything his two younger colleagues cherished. Thirty years later, Sullivan was still bitter:


Siek | From the Lectern

that virtually every Fair building was something of an optical illusion, since they were all built largely of wood and covered with a plaster mixture called staff, spray painted over their massive columns at breakneck speed so as to create the appearance of sculpted stone. Richard Morris Hunt (who also designed the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina) built the Administration Building, which stood directly across the Basin from the Pier, and the Court of Honor was further framed by the buildings Burnham deemed most worthy, Classical structures of a magnitude that dwarfed anything the Fair’s visitors had ever seen. The largest by far was the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building, with an astounding floor space of over 32 acres. The work of New Yorker George B. Post, who also built the New York Stock Exchange and the New York Times buildings, it stood across the Basin from the massive Agriculture Building designed by Charles McKim, whose firm later built New York’s Penn Station. The Exposition’s schismatic ambiance was perhaps most dramatically underscored by the imposing Electricity Building, built by the Boston firm of van Brunt and Howe, for though its exterior resembled something from a Canaletto painting, it housed AT&T switchboards, GE transformers, a

The Court of Honor looking east toward Lake Michigan. McKim’s Agriculture Building is at right. 14


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veritable tower of Edison lightbulbs, and the largest Tesla AC generators then in existence, which supplied more power to the Fair than was then in use by the entire city of Chicago. And the Fair was not merely technologically prescient, because the Woman’s Building – notwithstanding its Venetian Palazzo-style architecture – was culturally unique in that every detail was conceived and executed by women. It was even designed by a female architect, the Boston-based Sophia Hayden, then only 24 and the first female graduate of MIT. The building’s dedication ceremony on October 21, 1892, also featured a commissioned work for women’s voices – Festival Jubilate – by the most accomplished woman composer in America, the 25-year-old Amy Marcy Beach, née Cheney, who always wrote under her married name, Mrs. H. H. A. Beach. Music was considered so essential to the Fair’s planners that they created a Bureau of Music and hired the nation’s most famous conductor, Theodore Thomas (1835-1905), to direct it. An accomplished violinist, Thomas had Title page of the Beach Festival Jubilate, com- long been admired for his organimissioned for the dedication of the zational skills as well as his musiWoman’s Building. cianship, and he eventually traded his bow for a baton, having led in succession, the New York Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Symphony (he was also a co-founder of that city’s famous May Festivals), and since 1891, the Chicago Symphony, which he also helped to found – and which regularly performed in Sullivan’s Auditorium. He convinced the Fair’s organizers to spend over a million dollars (nearly $30 million in today’s currency) to build two concert halls, to import a seemingly endless array of world-famous concert artists, and to fund the Exposition Orchestra, which he of course conducted (in essence, Chicago Symphony personnel, but augmented to 114 players). The Fair’s two halls had a combined cost of over $230,000 (about $6.9 million today), and Burnham awarded Festival Hall, the larger of the two, to local architect Frances Whitehouse. With a stage larger than that of the Metropolitan Opera House, it sat 4,000 with standing room for another 2,000, and it also contained a 60-stop pipe organ.


Siek | From the Lectern

Theodore Thomas as he looked while the Fair was in progress.

No less elegant, though slightly smaller, was Music Hall, the work of a gifted 43-year-old architect recently transplanted from Boston, Charles Atwood. It was actually two separate spaces within the same building – a 600-seat recital hall, and a 2000-seat concert hall. But neither venue was The interior of Festival Hall. completed by the Fair’s Dedication Day, so on the morning of October 21, 1892, a massive parade formed along Adams Street in Chicago, and a short time later some 140,000 spectators were standing in the massive as-yet-unfinished Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building. Estimates vary, but some say Thomas conducted a choir of 5500 singing Handel’s “Hallelujah” chorus, and for the occasion he had swelled the Exposition Orchestra to between 200 and 500 pieces, waving a white handkerchief to conduct, since that was his only hope of actually being seen by the performers. Post’s building had not been constructed for its acoustical fidelity, and the overpowering torrents 16


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of sound were swallowed and dispersed almost as quickly as they were generated, but Thomas also took the occasion to premiere a number of the Exposition’s specially commissioned works – somewhat in the spirit of the Buck-Lanier collaboration heard in Philadelphia sixteen years previously. Few of those present were likely to know the name of John Knowles Paine, but most serious devotees of classical music regarded him as the finest composer in America, so he was a natural choice to create the Fair’s musical centerpiece, a choral work setting his own verses which he titled Columbus March and Hymn (though few could hear it with any clarity). Two drum corps each of 50 pieces were dispersed along the building’s balconies, undoubtedly contributing more cacophony than substance, and two military bands also tried in vain to add support – one led by a former violinist named John Philip Sousa. Since there was little hope of having the entire complex completed by the summer of 1892 – the logical time frame to celebrate Columbus’s four hundredth anniversary – the Fair’s organizers settled for an October Dedication ceremonies in the Manufactures “Dedication” foland Liberal Arts Building on October 21, 1892. lowed by a “real” opening on May 1, 1893.(12) Though a few buildings were still incomplete, most of the attendees – and some estimates place the number as high as 500,000 – were overawed by the Exposition’s visual splendor. This time, the ceremonies were held in front of Hunt’s imposing Administration Building and all were grateful that the speeches were short, even President Cleveland’s. Paine’s commemorative piece was repeated as Thomas, now adorned in silk hat and gloves, conducted an orchestra augmented to 150. The next afternoon at 3 pm he inaugurated Festival Hall, with the 114-piece Exposition Orchestra accompanying the man many regarded as the world’s greatest concert pianist: Ignace Jan Paderewski. The or-


Siek | From the Lectern

chestra was heard in Beethoven’s Consecration of the House Overture and Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony, but the centerpiece was Paderewski’s own Piano Concerto in A minor, which at the time was immensely popular. The pianist also performed a short recital of Romantic works by Chopin, Schumann, and Wagner. Thomas had devised an intricate pattern of tiered concert series to appeal to a wide range of tastes: 1. The Festival Hall Series – which had presented Paderewski – was the most prestigious and charged the highest admission: The program for the dedication of Festival Hall $1.00. This Series also featured with Paderewski, on May 2, 1893. orchestras from around the world, including the 86-member Chicago Symphony, and of course, the Exposition Orchestra itself. 2. “Pop” concerts featuring light classics – some for 25 cents and others for free – were heard every morning in the same halls, often performed by the same orchestras. 3. There was a series featuring the largest and most popular choral works, such as Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Haydn’s Creation, and the Brahms’ Requiem. 4. There were regularly scheduled recitals by the world’s greatest organists, pianists, violinists, and singers, as well as a chamber music series featuring string quartets from around the world. 5. Thomas also commissioned a series of “modern” works, such as those contributed by Paine and Beach, which he felt represented the best of America’s musical future. 6. Olmsted had sprinkled over a dozen gazebos throughout the Park, where concert and military bands would perform for free. 7. Finally, the Bureau of Music regularly matched up amateur musicians who enjoyed performing together, so that ad-hoc string quartets, song recitals, and piano trios were often formed in a matter of hours. 18


Siek | From the Lectern

Opening Day ceremonies in front of the Administration Building, May 1, 1893. One of the gazebo open-air bandstands is visible at right directly in front of the Electricity Buildling

But the hardheaded businessmen who were financing the Fair soon began viewing Thomas as at best, an extravagant dreamer, or at worst, an opportunist. He was even accused of feathering his own nest, since his Exposition players were almost exclusively Chicago Symphony personnel, and he guaranteed them summer employment at what many considered an outrageously inflated wage – some players even earned as much as $150 a week.(13) The Fair had barely been open for three weeks when the Musical Courier, a leading professional journal, observed that his $1.00 concerts were attracting only about 100 patrons per event, while the lesser-priced “pop” concerts averaged around 3500. They added, “Over 600,000 people have passed through the [Exposition] gates during this period, and about one-fourth of one per cent have paid to hear the classical concerts.”(14) Thomas was not such a purist that he disavowed popular idioms, and Sousa’s biographer claims that he personally invited the famous bandsman back to Chicago to perform outdoor gazebo concerts for a few weeks – and that Sousa would have stayed for a longer period had his schedule permitted.(15) Though he was not yet the most famous bandleader in America, John Philip Sousa, who just a year earlier had ended his 12-year stint as conductor of the United States Marine Band, was already iconic to many Americans, and even though his newly formed 50-piece civilian organization did not yet have a name (he temporarily called it the “World’s Fair Band”), thousands, perhaps millions, of attendees who heard him were at once thrilled and amazed. They were not simply enthralled by the band’s immaculate precision, but when Sousa permitted stunning soloists such as the brilliant cornetist Herbert L. Clarke to take center stage, many insisted the quality far exceeded anything provided by Thomas.(16) Clearly, Sousa had struck a populist chord with the Fair’s myriad patrons, so much so that on August 1, Thomas submitted his letter of resigna19


Siek | From the Lectern

tion to the Bureau of Music, reluctantly conceding his failure: “My suggestion is that for the remainder of the Fair music shall not figure as an art at all, but be treated on the basis of an amusement.”(17) But “amusements” were scarcely limited to musical performances, since the Midway Plaisance, a milelong thoroughfare connecting Jackson Park to Washington Park, had been specifically set aside by Olmsted as the Fair’s entertainment zone. It even had a centerpiece that could be seen from John Philip Sousa in the late 1880s. miles away, and many now believed that America had finally “out-Eiffeled” Eiffel as they gazed on the mammoth revolving wheel created by a 34-year-old civil engineer from Pittsburgh, George Washington Ferris. The world’s first Ferris Wheel opened for business on June 21, and with a diameter of 264 feet, it embraced 36 cars (called “gondolas”), each of which could hold 60 people. A revolution took 20 minutes, admission was 50 cents, and it was by far the Fair’s most popular attraction. Many visitors stayed all day on the Midway, sampling the exotic, imported wares from mini-communities like Old Vienna, the Algerian Village, the Egyptian Village (which featured the scandalous dancing of Little Egypt), and an endless array of taverns serving beer from every corner of the globe. Many of these establishments provided entertainment, and Scott Joplin’s biographer, Edward Berlin, does not dispute the oft-told story that the 24-year-old African-American pianist performed on the Midway, where he met Otis Saunders, a talented black pianist and singer who was unable to read music. Saunders was impressed by Joplin’s formal training, and after the two men moved west to Sedalia, Missouri, he prompted him to notate and publish some of his improvisations – piano pieces written in a distinctive style that many were now calling “rag.” Berlin adds that black performers from all over America congregated on the Midway, and he even terms the World’s Columbian Exposition “a signal event in ragtime history, for … it was here that ragtime surfaced from its incipient stages in black communities and became known to the American public.”18 Ragtime as a movement lost most of its popularity by the end of World War I, but nearly all commentators recognize its influence on the earliest jazz per20


Siek | From the Lectern

The Ferris Wheel positioned in the center of the Midway.

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Siek | From the Lectern

The Midway offered seemingly endless options for those seeking entertainment of a less highbrow nature.

formers who by the early 1900s were active in New Orleans and elsewhere. By contrast, Sousa’s popularity never waned, and it should be noted that the American Band Movement which continues to dominate the nation’s school systems to the present day was largely nurtured by the Sousa Band, first heard by perhaps millions at the Chicago Fair. Neither Burnham nor Olmsted neglected the visual arts, and in addition to Music Hall, Burnham also permitted Charles Atwood to build the striking Palace of Fine Arts, the sturdiest of all Exposition buildings, since the priceless art works it housed had to be insured. Thus, it had to be fireproof, built of genuine brick and stone, and not simply wood painted with staff to create a faux appearance of solidity.(19) And much as he might have wanted to, there was simply no way Burnham could ignore Louis Sullivan, for though he did not allow him a spot on the Court of Honor, he awarded him the Transportation Building, which defiantly violated his prescribed Classical template in favor of a style which might best be likened to early Art Deco. There is something almost eerily futuristic about Sullivan’s conception, and his “Golden Doorway” – with sketches prepared by the 25-year-old Frank Lloyd Wright – enabled entrance into a world of things to come. The building needed to be immense to accommodate its exhibits, 22


Charles Atwood’s Palace of Fine Arts (now the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry).

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Siek | From the Lectern

which included multiple locomotives and ocean liners, with no less than eight elevators carrying visitors to the massive Cupola, towering 166 feet above the ground. Clearly, Sullivan and Wright saw the future of America’s architecture, but the Transportation Building was the only major commission at the Fair in which the exterior, and the interior exhibits were fully integrated. However, thanks to Daniel Burnham, the World’s Columbian ExposiAn early publicity photo of Scott Joplin. tion is best remembered today for its evocative images of Ancient Rome or perhaps Renaissance Italy, a vision that was largely supported by organizers who valued tradition over innovation. But just as clearly, many of the 27.5 million people who attended the Fair gave free rein to populist tastes in art, architecture, and music – tastes that eventually shaped America’s culture in the twentieth century.


Siek | From the Lectern

Sullivan's Transportation Building. The use of red and gold was at variance with Burnham's stated policy.

References: 1.

Stanley Appelbaum, The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893: A Photographic Record (New York: Dover Publications, 1980), 6.

2.

Obviously, many world’s fairs have left lasting, immensely imposing monuments, including the Eiffel Tower (1889), Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry (1893), San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts (1915), Brussels’s Atomium (1958), and the Seattle Space Needle (1962).

3.

See Michael Leapman, The World for a Shilling: The Story of the Great Exhibition of 1851 (London: Headline Book Publishing, 2001) 8-9. Sir Joseph Paxton, who designed the Palace, deliberately gave it a length of exactly 1,851 feet to symbolize the year 1851.

4.

After the Philadelphia Exhibition was over, the arm and torch were moved to New York’s Madison Square, where they were displayed for the next six years, while Bartholdi attempted to raise funds to complete the statue. After he finally finished, dozens of crates holding the remaining components arrived in New York Harbor on June 17, 1885, aboard the French steamer Isère, before an estimated 200,000 spectators. See Jonathan Harris, A Statue for America: The First 100 Years of the Statue of Liberty (New York: Four Winds Press, 1985), 112.

5.

The second stanza of Lanier’s 384-word poem. See The Centennial Meditation of Columbia. A Cantata for the Inaugural Ceremonies at Philadelphia, May 10, 1876. It was published while the Exhibition was in progress by America’s largest classical music publisher, G. Schirmer, of New York, and the authors’ names are precisely

24


Dudley Buck of Connecticut.” Perhaps not surprisingly, the Cantata never entered standard American choral repertory, and today recordings of it are exceedingly difficult to find. 6.

Daniel Burnham was the Chicago architect who oversaw the Chicago Fair’s architectural designs, and as Erik Larson notes, “Even Burnham could not say for sure who had been first to propose the idea.” See his The Devil in the White City: A Saga of Magic and Murder at the Fair that Changed America (New York: Vintage, 2004), 14. Chicago’s principal rivals, at least for a time, were New York, Washington, D. C., and St. Louis.

7.

Appelbaum, 1.

8.

Quoted in Larson, 15.

9.

Simultaneously with his work on the Chicago Fair, Olmsted was overseeing another of his great masterpieces, the 75 acres surrounding the Biltmore Estate of George Vanderbilt II in Asheville, North Carolina.

10. Chicago architect Lyman Silsbee, to whom Frank Lloyd Wright once apprenticed, designed an electric, moving walkway that extended the length of the pier. Passengers could either sit or stand, and it moved along at a breezy six miles per hour. 11. Louis H. Sullivan, The Autobiography of an Idea, (Mineola, NY: Dover, 1956) [reprint; first published 1924]. 4 12. Sandy R. Mazzola, Bands and Orchestras at the World’s Columbian Exposition, American Music 4 (Winter, 1994):4, 415. 13. By design, none of the massive buildings had heat, so the Fair was planned to run through the warmer months and close at the end of October. 14. Quoted in Mazzola, 413. The New York-based Courier, in Mazzola’s words (423), “pursued the dismissal of Thomas relentlessly” because of the favoritism he had shown to Chicago musicians. 15. See Paul E. Bierley, John Philip Sousa, American Phenomenon (Miami: Warner Bros., 2001). 16. Mazzola, 408. As early as May 30, the Rochester Advertiser [New York] noted that the Sousa Band “has met with more popular favor than Thomas’s orchestra.” 17. Quoted in Mazzola, 413 18. Edward A. Berlin, King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and his Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 11. 19. Atwood’s art museum today serves as Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. It is the only building from the 1893 World’s Fair which is still standing.

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Siek | From the Lectern

indicated on the title page: “Poem by Sidney Lanier of Georgia,” and “Music by


Ironies and Epiphanies

Mlle. Manès My First Lesson in French Aleksandra Gruzinska One early October day in 1946, Mr. André Dravet, director of the Lycée Français in Barcelona, Spain, accompanied two Polish girls, “deux petites Polonaises,” Elisabeth and Aleksandra, to a classroom where a smiling blonde middle-size-looking woman with a disheveled thick mound of hair was teaching first year French to students of various nationalities including Spanish, Catalan, German, and more. Mr. Dravet greeted Mlle. Manès, introduced the newcomers, and left. The two girls were invited to sit in the first row on the right side of the classroom, near the exit door, facing the blackboard. The other students had already had several weeks of French and had even passed the first set of exams in a class at the “préparatoire” or prerequisite level. The two newcomers had never heard a word of French before. Mlle. Manès turned her attention to the blackboard, and while she wrote she uttered strange sounds and ended by saying very clearly “dobrze,” meaning in Polish OK? Well? Do you agree? She turned around and looked at me. I was astonished! I could hardly believe it! Mlle. Manès was speaking Polish! How could this be? This token of friendship, kindness, attention and perhaps compassion on her part toward the two Polish newcomers overwhelmed me. I smiled and nodded my head in agreement meaning “dobrze.” She turned again to the blackboard, uttered strange sounds while writing and then turned around, looked at me smiling and said “dobrze.” I was all tension and attention. For the third time she mumbled again while writing on the blackboard, turned around again looking at me smilingly and concluded with another “dobrze.” This time, the extra level of attention made me feel somewhat uncomfortable. I suddenly had the impression that all students’ eyes were on me. I felt uneasy and wished that Mlle. Manès would quit treating me with such exceptional kindness, attracting attention to me. The lesson ended as a somewhat painful and uncomfortable first contact with French. 26


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Ironies and Epiphanies

That afternoon, the two Polish girls did not take a break, or play or have fun. They meticulously reviewed the morning classroom activities with Mrs. Jadwiga Mauricio. She spoke fluent Spanish, French and Polish. She explained and clarified the mysterious morning activities. I was shocked to learn that Mlle. Manès did not speak Polish during the morning class. Nor did she pay any attention to me. That was a very humbling disappointment. She was writing French sentences on the blackboard while pronouncing very loudly and clearly every single word. Each sentence contained a subject, a verb and a direct object, a “complément d’objet.” And the last French word sounded exactly like the Polish adverb “dobrze,” the only sound that I recognized and the only one that made sense to me. This confusing first experience in French did not discourage me. On the contrary, from the second day on, I paid attention, sweated, fought, learned and mastered French studying daily into late evening hours with no breaks, no time to waste and at the end of the year I received a “mention” next to my final grade. I was not eligible for any first, second or third prizes that year for having started late and having missed the very first exam. But “la petite Polonaise” did receive first prizes during the next four years! I learned to love French, its poetry, history, art and geography. I admired its concept of Freedom and Democracy, and its writers: the poetry of Ronsard and Joachim du Bellay, the writings of Rabelais, Victor Hugo, Alfred de Musset, Alfred de Vigny, George Sand, Maupassant, and Flaubert. I valued the unique history and friendship that tied France and Poland together, and the presence of the Polish composer, Chopin, in Paris. In my second year at the French Lycée, I also had the good fortune to have a professor, excited about French Romanticism, who passed on to me his passion for the French Romantics, their new style of writing defined by French poet Alfred de Musset as “l’abus des adjectifs,” or the abuse of adjectives. Mr. André Dravet, a WWI veteran, Mlle. Manès and Cecil Porter, professor of British English, taught French (and English) in pre-WWII Warsaw, Poland. After WWII, they came to teach in Barcelona where the DS (Deutsche Schule) was replaced by the Lycée Français and where I was fortunate to be one of the admiring (and perhaps admired and later remembered) students. Mlle. Manès bestowed on me a very precious gift. While she taught in Warsaw, before WWII, she created a Polish/French, French/Polish dic-


Ironies and Epiphanies

tionary for her personal use. She recorded all new to her Polish vocabulary and translated it into French, and also did the opposite by translating French words into Polish in an exceptionally clear and beautifully legible handwriting. I still have the gift from 1946. It travelled with me across the Atlantic in 1951 in a suitcase full of books and precious notes and no other possessions. It crossed America from New York to Lackawanna and Buffalo in upper New York State. It travelled with me to State College in Pennsylvania and Sweet Briar in Virginia, to Tempe, Scottsdale, and Mesa in Arizona. In my golden years of retirement, starting on May 16, 2016, I wonder ed who might benefit most from this extraordinary treasure, suitable to be bequeathed only to someone Polish devoted to the study of French at a time when French is no longer foreign language number one in the United States, as it was when in 1963, I became a student at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo. French has been replaced by Spanish and English in the United States. The future recipient must be a very special someone, whom I may never find, a Francophile worthy to inherit this eighty-year-old precious dictionary, dating back to the 1930s, and kindly gifted to me by Mlle. Manès. My friends recommend I de-clutter. I simply cannot and refuse to do so. To throw away Mlle. Manès’ handwritten dictionary would be discarding a portion of me into a dumpster. Author’s note: After the War, the Lycée Français replaced the German School or “Deutsche Schule.” Two large letters, DS, impossible to remove, remained imbedded in the iron screens that decorated the windows of the French high school building.

Isabel Ann Ludwig So many reincarnations of works followed A Ludwig Dance Theatre through the years since the first 1977 concert in California to the last full concert in Tempe, AZ, in 2012. One of these was Dialogue with Isabel, an early 1983 Arizona piece, a trio with colleague and friend Beth Lessard, and Isabel, a mannequin – affectionately named for my mother – with whom, Isabel, I often discussed my grandmother, someone slowly losing her eyesight. It was kind of a Whistler’s Mother on old apple juice, its battery energy acquired from Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony (called by some 28


29

Ironies and Epiphanies

the Dance Symphony). Maybe we included it too often, which is why many that have seen any of the multiple works through 35 years do remember it – all three dressed in vintage black lace and hats – progressing and adjusting and rolling over a double bound set of rocking chairs, the one always leaving its mark on my left hip bone. Isabel the mannequin was on wheels to enable her easy transition and journey as a part of us. For ten concerts in Portugal we made a wire Isabel, but she was still on wheels and we spent many nervous moments keeping her from rolling into the audience from various slanted Elizabethan stages. In Germany we used a person: another challenge. After the mid 80’s Europe tour, we returned and at a later date set Isabel on two dancers that I felt would better fulfill what the original technical requirements had been. But then, when the National Dance Education Organization conference at University of California Long Beach decided to do a Masters Concert (over 55), we were invited to again perform Dialogue with Isabel. Why does anyone, especially a choreographer whose mission is always to find “another” say yes? Probably because each reincarnation was another version with new challenges. Which is Ann Ludwig The UCLB performance had two. and which is Beth Lessard? First, the time was limited to seven minutes; versions of the Beethoven we had worked with whiffed in around 9 minutes. That meant as we rocked back and forth in several parts of the piece, we had to rock uncomfortably slow, or uncomfortably fast. We took the slow version. The other challenge: I was 70, and the roll over the chair still found its way to bruise the left hip. The standing ovation at the end as we rose from the floor and from the sitting position of the attached rocking chairs, now tipped on their sides, must have reflected the audience’s relief at not having to call the paramedics to scrape us off the floor. And that should be the end. But if any of my pieces have a recogniz-


Ironies and Epiphanies

able final reality this is it. Within the last months my move from large home and studio to a smaller space meant Issy was in question. The very final days required Code-3 Junk Removal. My plea to a few was too late: “Anybody out there have a home for Isabel? She is hours away from being hauled.” The man, his son and Isabel and I stood in the studio – everything else gone – as I pondered to keep – to not keep. I told them a bit of the story. He said “Hmm, you better keep her, although she is kind of beat up. Look at that foot.” My own restructured foot quivered. “Okay, she stays.” But then as he got to the door, I shouted after him. “No, no she has to be out of here by six tomorrow – better take her.” He lifted her carefully, the long stiff board of a person, placed her in the truck, took a picture and drove off. The next day a home was found. Alas some things are just meant to be.

Technology, One Step at a Time Harold C. White Lattie Coor became Arizona State University President beginning the spring semester of 1990. Almost immediately, a campus wide phone answering service was installed, as was in existence at the University of Vermont, where he had been President for fourteen years. I readily adjusted to this new technology, as it was already in my home. However, there was early grumbling from some staff and secretarial personnel in that, before, when they made a campus call, someone actually answered. With the change, one increasingly reached a recorded voice requesting that they leave a message. As a consequence, the new system appeared to some to be less efficient. Over time the new reality was accepted. Not much later, I came to campus one morning to find cables dangling from the ceiling of my office in the Management Department of the College of Business. I had received no previous notice, but the department secretary told me that computers were to be installed in all faculty offices. Before the week ended, as I arrived one morning, there in my office was the promised computer. I had considered the electric typewriter adequate to my needs, so I questioned why I needed this bulky machine with its big box and screen. I was assured the computer had some advantages over a typewriter. I was informed that the computer did not come with an operator's 30


31

Ironies and Epiphanies

manual and no one I talked to was aware of any planned instruction. I did learn that assistance was provided by Engineering College graduate students housed in the old Ritter public school on the west side of Rural. With cautious optimism, I walked over and, finding a graduate student, said I had come to learn. He said he could take care of my needs and handed me a disk with the instructions to insert it into any vacant computer lining two of the walls. He told me the disk would give me everything I needed to know. I replied that I did not even know where the on button was. But he didn’t offer to show me how to get it running, so I handed back the disk, which he accepted without comment. The first colleague I ran into after I returned to my department was Jack Mendleson, whom I told of my experience. He said he had just gone through the same process. We decided it might be best to make an appointment to ask for some private instruction, which we did. When we arrived, we were welcomed by another graduate student who had prepared a computer and three chairs, one for himself in front of the computer and one for each of us at one side. Over a period of forty-five minutes, with the student on hand the whole time, we watched and heard such things as, “That's not right” and “There, I got it.” We heard not once what was right or what was done to correct it, let alone not being invited to touch the machine. Our time being up, we were excused. I could only hope that at least the student was better informed as a consequence. Jack and I were both underwhelmed with the experience. Still believing that I had a responsibility to learn how to operate this currently useless box, that had been thrust on me with some expense to the taxpayers, I went to college dean, John Kraft. I told him of the experience that Jack and I had had, and suggested that if there were no other plans, funds be provided to support faculty training, and that I was willing to take the lead. Although obviously the least qualified for the task, I went first to Andy Philippakis a colleague, who taught statistics in the college. He designed four computer programs of four or five one-hour sessions on subjects he considered relevant to business faculty engaged in teaching and research. Judy Riden was management department secretary. Her husband, Chuck, was an award-winning high school teacher and, in addition, taught computer programming to ASU engineering students. I invited him to teach us the programs and he agreed. Faculty who were recent graduates of doctoral programs were already well-versed in computers and some other faculty found means to learn computers independently, so Chuck Riden’s


Ironies and Epiphanies

audience were the remaining faculty who were not proficient and desired to learn. The program was advertised and a classroom, with a computer for each attendee, was prepared. Over a dozen faculty attended the first class, I being the first to enroll. Before classes started, I gave Riden some advice he probably didn't need: to assume nothing about the computer literacy of the students. I told him I had read that during the early 1900s, when the automobile was still a novelty, one manufacturer began its owner's manual with instructions on how to start the car. Step one: “Sit on the seat behind the steering wheel.” Assume nothing. In his instructions, Riden gave clarity and thoroughness with humor. I thought all was going well until after the second or third session, when there was a decline in attendance. Not a promising beginning. However, the second series was scheduled and the program continued. The second series began with a slightly larger group, including those who had dropped out earlier. When I asked them why they had dropped out, they said that, after a couple of sessions, they grasped the concepts and were confident to proceed on their own. They now returned to learn another skill on the computer. And so it went through to the end of the sessions. The program was a success after all. The Dean was satisfied enough with the results that he retained Riden to train the secretarial and other appropriate college staff. I did not receive thanks or any acknowledgments for my initiative, but, even after thirty years, I am left with enough bragging rights to write this piece – on my computer. I did learn that much. For those who have always known the computer and its complexities and values, this story may seem primitive – and it is. So too is “sit on the seat behind the steering wheel” for those who have always known the automobile. The academic technology has advanced to a point since my retirement that I would undoubtedly be lost within the same walls where I spent my career. I have some certificates and plaques on my study wall. When, on occasion, a visitor asks the reason for the awards, my reply is typically that, if I was able to go a semester without getting chalk dust on my suit, I would be given a certificate, which I would frame. I tell them these awards are rarely given any more – no chalk.

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Commentary and Analysis

The Mystery Ship in Halifax Harbour Charles F. Merbs

In October of 2007, my wife, Barbara, and I took the overnight Canadian Via Rail train from Montreal to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Our hotel room overlooked Upper Halifax Harbour, with the Atlantic Ocean to our right and the Narrows, a strait connecting that part of the harbor to the Bedford Basin, to our left. We were thus treated Ships in Bedford Basin waiting to form a convoy – 1943. to a parade of ships arriving and leaving Halifax. It was in the large, well-protected Bedford Basin that Allied convoys were assembled during World War II before they sailed to Europe. We could also see the approximate location at the Narrows where, on December 6, 1917, a collision occurred between two ships, the French Mont-Blanc and the Norwegian Imo. The MontExposition Building in Halifax destroyed in the explosion of 1917. Blanc was transporting a large load of high explosives. It caught fire and 20 minutes later exploded, destroying much of Halifax, and killing over 2000 people. While in Halifax, we visited the usual tourist sites, such as the Citadel and the Maritime Museum. We also took a tour in an amphibious vehicle 33


Merbs | Commentary and Analysis

called a Harbour Hopper that seemed a bit awkward in city traffic, but much at home on water. The water part of the tour carried us into Bedford Basin where we saw a variety of Canadian naval ships, including several submarines. Of particular interest was a tall-mast sailing ship which appeared to have just arrived, its crew still high in the rigging securing its sails. Our tour guide thought the ship was German. We could not see a name on the bow of the ship, which was facing us, but we did get a glimpse

Mystery ship in Bedford Basin, Halifax.

of red, yellow and black at the stern which might have been a German flag. The name of this ship remained a mystery until 2012, when we visited our daughter, Heather, in Savannah, Georgia. Our visit coincided with what was called a Tall Ship Challenge. An amazing array of tall-mast sailing ships had assembled in the Savannah River, but the ship we saw in Halifax was not among them. However, docked below our hotel and just a bit upriver was a three-mast barque that strongly resembled the Halifax ship, but flying an American flag. It was the Eagle, the training ship of the U.S. Coast Guard. We toured the Eagle and learned that it had a German ancestry. So how might the Eagle be related to the ship we saw in Halifax? Both were three-mast barques and both had a German connection. Might there be other relatives and, if so, what became of them? Might one of them be our mystery ship? The story began, I discovered, with a four-mast schooner, built in Den34


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Merbs | Commentary and Analysis

mark in 1913 and originally named the Morten Jensen. After changing ownership and name several times, it was purchased by the German Navy in 1922 and converted into a three-mast barque used to train naval cadets. It was renamed Niobe for the Greek goddess of great sorrow. Unfortunately, the name turned out to be appropriate when on July 26, 1932, the Niobe capsized during a sudden squall while sailing the Baltic Sea, resulting in the death of 69 crew members and cadets. A new training vessel was ordered, the contract going to Blohm and Voss, a shipyard in Hamburg. Construction began on December 2, 1932, and the ship, a three-mast barque, was completed, christened and launched just five months later. To avoid the fate of the Niobe, more than 300 tons of steel ballast was added to the keel to give The Gorch Fock. the ship a righting moment large enough to bring it back to an upright position, even when it heeled over to nearly 90 degrees. It was named the Gorch Fock in honor of the German writer Johann Kinau, who used that name as a pseudonym. Kinau died in 1916 during the Battle of Jutland aboard the cruiser Wiesbaden. The Gorch Fock served as a training vessel for the Imperial German Navy (Kriegsmarine after 1935) prior to World War II. The basic design of the Gorch Fock proved very successful, and it was followed by a series of similar ships, all built by Blohm and Voss. The first, launched on June 13, 1936, was named the Horst Wessel, in honor of Horst Ludwig Georg Erich Wessel, a Sturmführer of the Berlin Sturmabteilung, the Nazi Party's stormtroopers. After he was killed by German communists in 1930, Wessel became a martyr for the Nazi cause. A march, for which he wrote the lyrics, was renamed the Horst-Wessel-Lied and became the anthem of the Nazi Party. The Horst Wessel was an improvement on the original design. It was larger than the Gorch Fock and its spars were steel instead of wood. Adolf Hitler was present at its launch, Rudolf Hess gave a speech, and Horst Wessel's mother christened the ship with a bottle of champagne. Like the Gorch Fock, it served as a training vessel for the Kriegsmarine. Interestingly, the Horst Wessel was known as Schiff 508 at the shipyard. Schiff 509, whose keel was laid soon after work began on the Horst Wessel, was the battleship Bismarck.


Merbs | Commentary and Analysis

The next ship in the Gorch Fock series, also intended as a Kriegsmarine training ship, was launched by Blohm & Voss on October 30, 1937. It was named for Albert Leo Schlageter, a World War I veteran and German Freikorps member who became famous for acts of post-war sabotage against French forces occupying the Ruhr Valley. He was captured by the French and executed in 1923.

Three Gorch Fock series German training sailing ships in 1938.

The next ship in the Gorch Fock series built by Blohm & Voss was the Mircea, also intended as a training ship. It was built for the Romanian Navy, and, except for a brief period when it came under Soviet control, it always sailed under the flag of Romania. It was named for Mircea I, a Fourteenth to Fifteenth Century ruler of Wallachia. Overhauled at the Blohm & Voss shipyards in 1966, it still sails for Romania. The ship we saw in Halifax was clearly not the Mircea. The final ship in the series, intended to be named for Hitler Youth martyr Herbert NorRomanian training ship Mircea. kus, was launched prematurely on November 7, 1939, because the slipway had to be cleared to build submarines. It was without its yards and tackle, which had been prepared, but not yet 36


37

Merbs | Commentary and Analysis

mounted. The hull stayed in the harbor of Hamburg throughout World War II, but was severely damaged during a bombing raid in 1945. It ended up being intentionally sunk in 1947. The Germany ship visiting Halifax in 2007 appeared to my untrained eye to be a three-mast barque, probably of the Gorch Fock class, so my next question was what did the original three German controlled ships of this class do during World War II, and what happened to them after the war, if they survived. During the war Gorch Fock served as a stationary office ship in Stralsund, Germany, until it was officially reactivated on April 19, 1944. On May 1, 1945, it was scuttled in shallow water in an attempt to avoid its capture by the Soviets. After the war the Soviets ordered a German company to raise and salvage it, which was accomplished, but with great difficulty and at great cost. It was restored and renamed Tovarishch (Comrade). In 1951 it was again put into service as a training vessel, this time for the Soviets. Its home port was Odessa. In the following years it traveled widely and won several international contests. Cadets boarding the Tovarisch. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union it sailed for a short time as a Ukrainian ship. It was deactivated 1993, fell into disrepair, and eventually returned to Stralsund where it was rechristened Gorch Fock. Currently it serves as a museum ship. The Halifax ship was obviously not the Gorch Fock. The Soviet Union also ended up with two other German sailing ships after the war, Magdalene Vinnen II, which the Soviets renamed Sedov, and Padua, which they renamed Kruzenshtern. The first was built in Kiel and commissioned in 1921; the second was built in Bremerhaven and commissioned in 1926. Despite their age, they are still active today. They are four-mast barques, the largest traditional sailing ships still in service, and significantly larger than the ship we saw in Halifax. The Horst Wessel, considered the flagship of the Kriegsmarine sail training fleet, was decommissioned at the start of the war, but served as a docked training ship in Stralsund. In 1942 it was recommissioned and weapons were installed. From late 1942 through early 1945 it sailed on numerous student training missions in the Baltic Sea. In April, 1945, after


Merbs | Commentary and Analysis

The Kruzenshtern under full sail.

the last German cadet class departed, it sailed to Flensburg, where its captain surrendered to the British. It was then ordered to Bremerhaven, where much of its equipment was removed. At the end of the war the three German Gorch Fock series sailing vessels then extant were distributed to various nations as war reparations. The Horst Wessel was won by the United States in a drawing of lots with the

U.S. Coast Guard ship Eagle under full sail. 38


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Merbs | Commentary and Analysis

Soviets and British. It was requested by the United States Coast Guard and on May 15, 1946, it was commissioned to the Coast Guard and christened the Eagle. In June of 1946, a U.S. Coast Guard crew, assisted by some of the original German crew members, including its former captain, guided it across the Atlantic, through a hurricane, to its new home in New London, Connecticut. The German ship we saw in Halifax was obviously not the Horst Wessel. Could it be the Albert Leo Schlageter? This ship spent most of World War II as a stationary office. In 1944 it went back into service on the Baltic Sea, but on November 14 of that year it hit a Soviet mine and had to be towed to port. It was taken over by the Allies at the end of the war and finally claimed by the United States. In 1948 it was sold to Brazil for a symbolic price of $5,000 and towed to Rio de Janeiro from where it served the Brazilian Navy under the name Guanabara. In 1961 it was purchased by the Portuguese Navy which renamed it Sagres, for the port at the south end of Portugal that had served as home port for the historic explorations of Prince Henry the Navigator. A bust of Prince Henry serves as the figurehead on its bow. It is often referred to as Sagres III, as it is the third ship to bear that name. It is easily identified by the traditional Portuguese crosses of Christ (Maltese crosses) that mark its square sails. Sagres III in Lisbon Harbor Sagres III would have made Prince Henry proud as it ranged far and wide on its many voyages. Its most impressive trip, beginning and ending in Lisbon, lasted 11 months and covered approximately 35,000 nautical miles. Although a world traveler, the ship we saw in Halifax was clearly not Sagres III. Several barques essentially of Gorch Fock design were built by the Celaya Shipyard in Bilbao, Spain, for South American countries after World War II and they must also be considered when attempting to identify the ship we saw in Halifax. The name and country, and the year each was commissioned, are as follows: Gloria, Columbia, 1968; Guayas, Ecuador, 1977; Simón Bolívar, Venezuela, 1980, and Cuauhtémoc, Mexico, 1982. Experts could distinguish these ships from the Gorch Fock because each displays unique design differences. It was enough for me that they would


Merbs | Commentary and Analysis

not be flying a German flag in Halifax. On the way to solving the identity of the Halifax ship several interest-

Canadian dime.

Nova Scotia license plate.

ing observations were made. While in Nova Scotia my wife and I visited Lunenburg, the home of Canada’s two most famous sailing ships. Both were in port at the time. One was the Bluenose, built as a fishing and racing schooner in Lunenburg by Smith and Rhuland in 1921. It became a Nova Scotia icon, featured on the Canadian dime and the Nova Scotia license plate. Residents of Nova Scotia are referred to as bluenoses, but the origin of the term is obscure. The Bluenose in Lunenburg during our visit was actually Bluenose II, the original having been lost in 1946. Loaded with bananas, it struck a coral reef off Haiti and was wrecked beyond recovery, but with no loss of life. Bluenose II, a replica of the original, also built in Lunenburg, was launched in 1963. It was privately built and intended as a promotional yacht for the Oland Brewery in Nova Scotia. Over the years the ship changed owners several times and underwent a series of major renovations. It is now an official representative of the Province of Nova Scotia. The other ship that considers Picton Castle under full sail. Lunenburg home, despite a Cook 40


State of Wisconsin flag.

The Dennis Sullivan in Lunenburg.

Nations Environment Programme. Talking to the crew, we discovered that the Denis Sullivan spends the 41

Merbs | Commentary and Analysis

Our balcony at the Brigantine Inn.

Island registry, is the Picton Castle, a three-mast barque used for deepocean sail training and long-distance education voyages. To date it has carried out seven world voyages. Built in Selby, Yorkshire, England, in 1928, it was named for a castle in Wales. Since it was off season for tourism, we got to stay in the best room at the historic Brigantine Inn in Lunenburg. Named the Picton Castle Room, it was the only room with a balcony, giving us a great view of nearly the entire harbor. While enjoying our balcony view one day we saw another sailing ship enter the harbor, so we hurried down to greet it. I noted that it was flying a United States flag and a Canadian flag. Since the ship was in Canadian waters, it was obviously American, flying the Canadian flag as a courtesy. But there was also a blue flag that took me by surprise. It was a State of Wisconsin flag. Having grown up in Wisconsin, I was eager to learn more about this ship. It turned out to be the Denis Sullivan, a three-mast, wooden schooner whose design was inspired by the Great Lakes cargo ships of the 19th century. It was built in Milwaukee, which also serves as its home port, and is considered the flagship of both the State of Wisconsin and the United


Merbs | Commentary and Analysis

warmer months of the year in Wisconsin, hosting young students on education trips on Lake Michigan, while the colder months are spent away from Wisconsin, teaching oceanography courses to older students in the Caribbean. It was on its way to the Caribbean and had just stopped in Lunenburg for provisions. A crew member said that because of poor wind conditions the ship had to depend primarily on its two 180 HP auxiliary engines all the way from Milwaukee to the gulf of St. Lawrence River, but from there to Lunenburg the wind conditions were excellent and the ship had been able to make full use of its sails. Unfortunately, when we first glimpsed the ship, its sails had already been furled for entry into Lunenburg Harbour. It would have been wonderful to see it under full sail.

French schooner Étoile.

French schooner Belle Poule.

While my wife and I were in Savannah for the Tall Ships Challenge in May of 2012, we stayed in a hotel overlooking the Savannah River. Our room had a balcony which afforded us a great view, the ships moored on both sides of the river. While having breakfast in the hotel’s main dining room, we were able to look directly down on some of the ships. Moored peacefully end to end below us were ships that had fought on opposite sides in World War II. Upstream was the former Nazi Horst Wessel, said to have been Hitler’s favorite sailing ship. It was now the Eagle, flying an American flag. Immediately downstream, diFlag of Free France Naval Forces. rectly below us, were two French two-mast schooners, Étoile (Star) and Belle Poule (Beautiful Hen, or, perhaps, Classy Chick). They had served as student training ships for the École Navale since their launch in 1932, with Brest as their home port. With the fall of France they quickly sailed to Britain where they were used by the Free French Naval Forces, returning to Brest after the war. Both ships were flying a blue, white and red flag emblazoned in the center with the cross of Lorraine (also known as the Cross of Anjou), the symbol of Free France, 42


43

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thus proudly proclaiming that they had actually participated in the war against Nazi Germany. The loss of the Niobe in 1932, with its 69 fatalities, and another German training ship, Pamir, in 1957, with the loss of 80 crew members and cadets, serve as stark reminders of the hazards faced when challenging the sea. Two of the ships participating in the 2012 Savannah event, Pride of Baltimore and Bounty, also have sad stories to tell. The Pride of Baltimore we toured in Savannah was actually the second ship to officially bear that name. Its predecessor, Pride of Baltimore I, had received its name from a much earlier ship, officially named Chasseur, but usually referred to as “the Pride of Baltimore.” Sailed by privateer captain Thomas Boyle, Chasseur participated in the War of 1812, capturing Cover of a Book about the or sinking 17 British vessels. Pride of Baltimore. Pride of Baltimore I was launched in 1977 and went on to sail over 150,000 nautical miles, visiting numerous ports in North America and Europe. On May 14, 1986, the ship was struck by a microburst squall while 240 miles north of Puerto Rico. It capsized and sank with the loss of her captain and three crew members. I was quite concerned when I heard this because I had a student who occasionally crewed on the Pride. I was relieved when I received a note from her saying she had not been on board when the ship sank, but had lost some good Stern of The Bounty. friends. The other Savannah visitor in 2012 to experience tragedy at sea was the Bounty, but in this case the tragedy had yet to occur. Commissioned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio, Bounty had been built in Lunenburg for the 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty. Built from scratch for the film using historical sources, it


Merbs | Commentary and Analysis

was an enlarged reconstruction of the of the Royal Navy ship HMS Bounty. Following its Savannah visit in May it underwent maintenance in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Five months later, on October 24, it was heading south to St. Petersburg, Florida, when it encountered HurThe Bounty before it sank. ricane Sandy. The ship was heavily damaged and eventually sank. However, thanks to the heroic efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard, only two crew members were lost. One of them was the captain. Seeing the magnificent array of tall mast sailing ships in Savannah in May of 2012 renewed my interest in identifying the ship my wife and I saw in Halifax in 2007. A thorough search of the internet finally paid off. The ship was the Gorch Fock. Not the original; it was still serving as a museum ship in Stralsund. Gorch Fock II on a German 10 Mark banknote This was Gorch Fock II, also built by Blohm & Voss in Hamburg. Launched on August 23, 1958, its design was based on the original. The block and tackle used had actually been prepared for the Herbert Norkus, but had not yet been installed when that ship was launched during the war. However, because its home port is Kiel, the tops of its fore and main masts can be lowered so it can navigate the Kiel Canal. Otherwise it would be too tall for some of the bridges spanning the canal. For a time Gorch Fock II was featured on Germany’s Ten Mark banknote. I was even able to find a good picture verifying that, what looked in 2007 like it might have been a German flag flying from the stern of the mystery ship, was indeed the Deutsch Marine Ensign. As a final check, I was able to find the log of the Gorch Fock II for 2007. It had indeed just Deutsch Marine Ensign on the arrived in Halifax the day of our tour. stern of Gorch Fock II. 44


45

Merbs | Commentary and Analysis

Author’s note: My credentials for writing an article about sailing boats are meager and ancient, but they do exist. All of my college degrees, B.S., M.S, and Ph.D., were obtained at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, whose beautiful campus is located along the shore of Lake Mendota. With such a location it is not surprising that many university activities are lake-oriented. The Student Union is especially active in this regard, and while a student, I was a member of the Union’s canoeing and sailing clubs. I especially enjoyed the sailing club, spending time away from studies in a small boat by myself, or a larger boat with friends. One of the most memorable days of my life was the day I took my test for heavy weather certification. My examiner was waiting for me in one of the larger boats and her instructions were simple. “Take us to the opposite side of the lake,” she said. “Aim for that yellow thing, whatever it is, and I’ll just sit back and enjoy the trip.” Our route would take us directly into a very strong wind, so it would be a real challenge. But I felt good that day. With frequent tacking to maintain as straight a line as possible toward our target we were finally able to determine that it was a sign, although we were still too far away to actually read it. “That’s fine,” she said. “You don’t have to go any farther.” I brought us off the wind and for the first time took a serious look at the sky. “Oh boy. I see trouble,” was my only comment. A very nasty looking storm was rapidly coming our way. “I was wondering when you would notice that,” she said. “I suggest we get back to the Union as quickly as we can.” I moved aside to let her take control of the boat, but she laughed and said “what I meant was that you should take us back.” “But I am not certified for heavy weather,” I responded. “Yes, you are,” she replied. “I’ll take care of the paper work when we get back.” So, we headed back across the lake with maximum speed, making good use of a strong following wind, with me at the helm. Then, to my shock, she stood up and climbed onto the bow, using only the forestay to hold on. “Don’t worry,” she said, when she saw the look on my face. “I have always wanted to do this, and I have complete confidence in you.” We managed to stay just ahead of the storm all the way back, but my landing would also be a test. The trick is to approach the pier rapidly, then come off the wind at just the right moment to glide smoothly up to the pier. It is a judgment call. If you turn too late, you hit the pier, possibly damaging the boat. If too early, you end up too far from the pier and have to go around for another try. People around or on the pier tend to watch


Merbs | Commentary and Analysis

in judgement as a boat comes in, especially on a heavy weather day. Would the pier experience a severe jarring, or would the boat have to go around for another try? That day my judgment was perfect, and we glided in gently, with barely an inch between boat and pier. At that point it began to rain very heavily, so we quickly secured the boat and raced for cover. Forget the rain. The day could not have gone any better. When I departed the shores of Lake Mendota, my active sailing career came to an end, but what did remain was a fascination with boats that move with the wind.

We don't even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward. In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome. – Isabel Allende

46


Essay

Zane Grey: an Appreciation Ernie Stech

Author’s note: The esteemed essayist Michel de Montaigne is reputed to have said that he would write only on subjects that were of personal interest and importance to him. I follow that policy. In this case, I have enjoyed several Zane Grey novels.) While reading Zane Grey’s The Man of the Forest, I was fascinated by the very detailed description of living in the woods: the trees, animals, lean-to shelters, and the many elements of life and survival outdoors, based on his large and meticulous collection of notes from personal experiences. The Mogollon Rim, setting for The Man of the Forest, is the background in many other Zane Grey western novels. He had a cabin twenty-five miles from Payson where he wrote, usually a month at a time, away from wife

The Zane Grey cabin in 1960. 47


Stetch | Essay

and family. The cabin was restored after his death and then destroyed in a fire. Today, there is a re-creation in Payson. Grey was a prodigious writer. He published two hunting books, six for children, three on baseball, and eight related to fishing. Best known for his westerns, he had forty-five published while alive, and another twenty-seven saw print posthumously. Harper & Brothers had a backlog of manuscripts after his death and continued printing new volumes for years. Seventeen of his westerns are still available in print, along with six anthologies. By far his most popular novel was Riders of the Purple Sage, set in Utah canyon country. Gunfights, horse thefts, kidnapping, and cattle rustling thrilled readers. It was made into four films over several decades, cementing Grey’s reputation as writer of shoot-em-ups. Grey was a literary craftsman. He mastered the craft of writing novels, juggling plot, character, setting, theme, and conflict to keep the reader enthralled. With his copious notes he was able to create authentic descriptions of the land and true renditions of the speech of his western men and women. Conflict in the books always involved struggles between good and evil. That is one of the themes that readers seemed to appreciate. For a purist, Grey’s “good guys” are a little too good; the “bad guys,” too bad. Of course, good always wins over evil. Readers still take pleasure in reading of the encounters. Self-taught as a writer, Grey read numerous classic English and American novels. By referring to the mythic river Archeron in the novelette Tappan’s Burro, Grey showed that he was familiar with Greek mythology, knowledge acquired on his own. Lack of formal credentials and self-consciousness about it is reflected, I believe, in his glorification of the uneducated cowboy who, acquired his language and skills from childhood into adulthood by living among fathers and uncles. Cowboys were competent, or they were not hired. His heroes are authentic westerners exemplified by their ethos of honesty, modesty, integrity, and loyalty while having to be tough in dealing with the climate and animals, wild and domesticated. Hence, they are gentlemen in the best sense and without formal training. In The Light of Western Stars, Grey stereotyped Eastern wealthy gentlemen, educated at the best American and European universities, as effete individuals incapable of any real work. His antipathy toward Easterners may have been increased by the steady dose of criticism he received from literary critics most of whom resided in the East. Unreported in assessments of Grey’s western novels is the element of 48


49

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romance. A prime example is The Call of the Canyon, in which a World War I veteran suffering from PTSD moves from New York City to Oak Creek Canyon, survives, and is healed. His fiancé, a thoroughly modern woman of her time, travels to Arizona to convince him to return to the big city. They profess love, but there is conflict between urban and primitive lifestyles. The fiancé, a young New York debutant, must endure a horsedrawn wagon ride from Flagstaff down into Oak Creek canyon through wind and rain. Her intended, the protagonist, meanwhile, raised sheep and hogs while living in a rough log cabin. Interestingly, feminism plays a part in many of the novels and in two ways. Grey was an early and unintentional feminist. Principal female characters were strong, independent women. In some cases, they were feisty, unwilling to be cowed by the male malevolence they faced. In addition, Grey was against the polygamy of Mormon colonists in the west. He believed that they mistreated their multiple wives. Grey was not anti-Mormon in that he included good single Mormon men as friends of his main male characters. Grey’s good men were strong physically and morally. They worked hard and were typically silent in the tradition of the west. As males, they felt strong emotions but were troubled expressing and dealing with them. Eventually, in every plot, men succumbed to the capable women. One novel, The Vanishing American, described the plight of the Navajo as these indigenous people struggled against the federal government and missionaries intent on converting them to be White and Christians. The novel was serialized in The Ladies Home Companion. A storm of criticism followed. The novel was subsequently published in book form after some structural changes. As often happens, the writer who espouses fairness toward women is a poor husband. Grey had dalliances. He traveled extensively for long periods leaving his wife at home. Dolly tolerated Zane’s antics and served as his editor, agent, and manager. Beyond that, she financed his early literary efforts with her inheritance. Subsequently, Zane and Dolly split the proceeds equally from his works, and she used that money for family expenses. Dolly continued to benefit from Grey’s work long after his death. As we look over his career, Zane Grey clearly loved the desert and mountain west and knew it intimately. He championed strong and resourceful women. And he took up the cause of the Navajo as they strove to preserve their culture. A decent legacy. Toward the end of his life, Zane Grey, living in California, grew dis-


Stetch | Essay

enchanted with Arizona, seeing it as a land consumed by speculators and developers. He wrote, “The so-called civilization of man and his works shall perish from the earth while the shifting sand, the red looming walls, the purple sage, and the towering monuments, the vast brooding range show no perceptible change.”

Hope is not pretending that troubles don't exist. It is the trust that they will not last forever, that hurts will be healed and difficulties overcome. It is faith that a source of strength and renewal lies within to lead us through the dark into the sunshine. – Liz Chase

50


Emeriti Travel

Wandering Through Part of the Navajo Nation Shannon E. Perry

Always on the lookout for a hike that “is good for all ages, most abilities,” I followed the Arizona Republic’s recommendation (1) and stopped in Payson, Arizona before attending an April meeting in Fort Defiance. At the Visitor’s Center I was given directions to the Shoofly Village Hohokam – Sinagua Ruins, that date from 1000 to 1250 A.D. and are on the National Register of Historic Places. There is a self-guided tour with interpretive signs throughout. The ruins are just what they say: ruins, piles of rocks that at some points outline structures. While the signs said the homes had been constructed in circles or ovals, squares, or rectangles, depending on when they were built, I had difficulty identifying the structures. Arizona State University has done some excavating at the site, which makes it easier to visualize.

Shoofly Ruins. 51


Perry | Emeriti Travel

The walk around the site is only about ¼ of a mile, short and easy, but I did encounter a few rocks and was glad I had my walking sticks with me. I continued to Fort Defiance to participate in the 20th anniversary celebration of the first graduates, in 1998, of the American Indian Nursing Program at Northern Arizona University. As a former nursing educator and supporter of the program, I was eager to meet the faculty and graduates. The NAU program is trying to increase the number of American Indian nurses to meet the needs of members of the various tribes. According to Minority Nurse statistics, (2) only about 0.6% of registered nurses in the United States are American Indian or native Alaskan. Each year a cohort of ten students is admitted to the NAU program, where they are able to complete one year of a Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing program while remaining at home on the reservation. Currently the program, supported by the John and Sophie Ottens Foundation, is located at the Good Shepherd Episcopal Mission at Fort Defiance. There is a beautiful church on site. Buildings leased from the Mission have classroom space and sleeping accommodations for those faculty who travel from Flagstaff to teach a couple of days a week, as well as space for students. We were given a tour of the Mission by the Episcopal Vicar, a young Navajo woman who has been there only since November. An older priest from the Shoshone-Bannock reservation near Fort Hall, Idaho, was also in residence, apparently to provide assistance to the new Vicar. The Episcopal mission was started in the 1880s as a medical mission and had the first hospital on the reservation. A second purpose of the mission is to increase the number of Navajo clergy. Interestingly, both the Vicar’s mother and father were priests and her aunt was a deacon. There are twelve buildings, most older than 100 years. They have a large garden, a thriving greenhouse where they raise flowers and vegetable plants and distribute seedlings to school children to take home to plant. There is a soap-making industry in which native plants and herbs are infused into the “elemental soaps made in the Navajo Way of Beauty.” They have beautiful colors and scents, and we could not resist buying them. Present at the celebration were the Dean and Associate Dean from the College of Health and Human Services at NAU, the Director of the Nursing Program and several faculty who have taught in the program over the years. Several graduates of the program and prospective students also attended. We were served a delicious catered lunch, had a presentation by the current program head, and visited the simulation lab and classroom. It was a wonderful celebration of a program that meets the needs of the 52


Program Faculty and Administrators.

etery. I was impressed with the patriotism evident; the traditional military headstones with the name, dates, rank, and theater of service. Large and small American flags were everywhere. I had never seen that many flags in a cemetery before and it was a moving experience. I drove on into Window Rock to see the rock. As a fan of novelist Tony Hillerman, I was familiar with the rock but not the town (many of Hillerman’s characters live in, visit, or drive through Window Rock). In a nearby veteran’s park is a statue dedicated to the Code Talkers, a very important, though until recently, classified part of the history of World War II. A woman in the park sold jewelry and pottery; I bought some earrings and a bracelet. I spent some time in the nearby Navajo Nation Museum, then visited a small zoo. The museum has archaeological materials, art, and ethnographic and archival materials and is used extensively by researchers. On exhibit is the Navajo Treaty of 1868, signed at Bosque Redondo, that established sovereignty and self-determination for the Navajo Nation. In the zoo, I saw typical Southwest fauna: an elk, a coyote, red and grey foxes, a porcupine, and two black bears. A bobcat relaxed in a hammock, mountain sheep rested in an enclosure, and several caged golden eagles peered at me. There were also a sandhill crane, turkeys and, oddly, peacocks. Three great 53

Perry | Emeriti Travel

Navajos, the NAU nursing program, and nursing itself. On my way home through the reservation, I stopped at a veteran’s cem-


Perry | Emeriti Travel

Window Rock and Navajo Code Talker.

horned owls perched in a tree with no apparent restraints. Happily, both the museum and the zoo are free. I drove back to Phoenix having experienced for a short time unique and historic parts of Arizona and the Navajo nation. A long drive but well worth it. References 1. Arizona Republic, March 28, 2018, pages 1D, 3D 2. (https://minoritynurse.com/nursing-statistics)

To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival. – Wendell Berry

54


Memoir

Water Karma Beth Lessard

Clawfoot Bathtub Augusta, Georgia

The one-story house was old. A small hall led to a fairly large, stark and cold bathroom. Exposed plumbing for the enameled claw foot bathtub, a toilet and sink, and the cracked linoleum all created vivid memories. Momma told me that when I was about 9 months old, I was in that bathtub and she left the room. When she returned she found me completely submerged. By her own admission, while she was pregnant with me, she prayed for a boy. She already had my three-year-old sister and desperately wanted a boy to complete the family. The situation was complicated by my being born with clubbed feet. She said I cried almost continuously for the first 9 months of life. I believe I was programmed in utero to be a disappointment on both accounts. The Lake House in Warrenton, SC

Daddy had identical twin brothers who were six years younger than him. They purchased a summer home on a lake in rural South Carolina. The house seemed huge, with two stories and a large entryway and staircase. The only time I remember visiting, I was about six. My family consisted of Momma, Daddy, Carol, me, and my twin brothers, who were about three years old. My strongest memory is of the lake. It was a murky pond with trees living and dead, stumps, roots and a rough, unpredictable bottom. We and several cousins had a few inner tubes and were playing. At one point, even though I was not in very deep water, I got turned over in my tube. I couldn’t extricate myself from it or flip upright. While I’m sure it was only seconds, it seemed like eternity and I felt panic rise. When I managed to get my head above water and looked around, tears were in my eyes. No one had noticed. 55


Lessard | Memoir

The YWCA Augusta, GA

Momma decided that my sister and I had to take swimming lessons at the YWCA. We put our swimming suits, towels and caps in a bag and took the bus to downtown Augusta. I was terrified. The indoor pool was in a large, dark, dank place with the stifling smell of chlorine. Luckily, the water was 3 feet deep at the shallow end and I was tall enough that the water came up to my chin. Throughout the week, the instructor asked us to hold our breaths; put our faces under water; retrieve a spoon from the bottom of the pool; float on our backs and do a few strokes of front crawl to get to the edge. Worst of all, we had to jump into the water from the pool deck. I was miserable and knew I was failing. Momma and other parents came the last day to see what we had learned. With heroic effort I jumped into the pool for the first time ever and, being slightly desensitized after a week of failure, tried to complete every task asked of me. I was complimented on my effort but I didn’t pass. My sister did fine. Tybee Island Georgia

My Aunt Dot sometimes invited Momma and us to go with her and our cousin to the beach at Tybee Island off the coast of Georgia. I have one vivid memory from a visit when I was about 8. The tide was going out, so I walked a few yards to the surf ’s edge. I entertained myself mostly by allowing small incoming waves to crash against me. As they grew, I felt the powerful drag on my body when the waves receded. One swell was unexpectedly strong and pulled me not only under water but also down the beach. When I couldn’t surface, I opened my eyes. Trying not to panic, I watched the fish, seaweed, and trash float by in the undercurrent. I knew I needed to go left toward the beach and started dog paddling. After what seemed like a very long time I managed to get my head above the surface to take a breath. While still being swept down the beach, I worked my way to the shore. Crawling beyond the waves, I stood up and started to cry. I searched for Momma and Aunt Dot. They were many, many yards down the beach, completely unaware that I was gone. I walked toward them sobbing, doubting how I was valued Lombard’s Pond, Augusta, Georgia c. 1954

When I was about 12 years old, I looked like I was 10. My cousin, who was 10, looked like she was 12. Sometimes Aunt Dot would drop us off on a Saturday at Lombard’s Pond to play and swim. There was a wonderful two-level dance pavilion and popular dance music played constantly. My 56


Lombard’s Pond, Augusta, Georgia c. 1957

In junior high, I tended to socialize with kids I met at Teen Town. Several of us often met at Lombard’s Pond. I was keenly aware that I still had a fear of deep water even though I could dog paddle to get out of deep water. One time five of us agreed to go onto the high dive platform. I had done some jumping from low platforms or low springboards and my reluctance was apparent. Encouraging me to join them, they coaxed and I finally got up my nerve. One of the boys, on whom I had a crush, showed me how to break the water. It didn’t work. I went face first, looking to see where I was going. The impact felt like I had blistered myself and I was again sobbing. The boy felt terrible but repeated that I had to break the water with my hands and arms, not my face. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 1965

At age 22, I completed an MA degree in Dance. It was fortuitous that a national conference held in Dallas featured a choreography showcase in which I performed. The dean of my department, who chaired my graduate committee, brokered a deal with the dean at the University of Florida to hire me plus two of my classmates on the spot. I hadn’t yet applied for any jobs! Degree in hand, I moved back home, got married, bought a VW Beetle, loaded up a few wedding presents, moved to Gainesville, found an apartment and prepared six different course syllabi. To my surprise, one of my first responsibilities was to have all the incoming freshmen and transfer students report to me at the swimming pool to do a water safety test. If they couldn’t float, tread water, and swim the width of the pool in a front crawl, backstroke, sidestroke and breaststroke in succession, they had to 57

Lessard | Memoir

cousin was not yet interested in boys and couldn’t dance at all. All I wanted to do was dance. A young man, likely a soldier from Fort Gordon, came up and, after looking at us, asked my cousin to dance. I was devastated. She couldn’t dance at all but made a valiant attempt to follow his lead. I had been dancing at teen town and knew how to jitterbug and slow dance. But I was too shy to impose. When we went swimming, I would separate myself from others and go over to the giant water slide. I had no interest in climbing up and sliding down. I went under the structure where the water was about four feet deep and pretended to be Esther Williams, circling and weaving in and around the metal foundation supports.


Lessard | Memoir

enroll in a swimming class. I experienced major anxiety because I could not swim well enough to pass the test myself! By now, I was keenly aware of my own deficiencies in water. Fortunately, my dance colleague, who was a pregnant, classical ballet dancer, swam laps every day. She said she’d coach me and before long I was able to do the four laps and tread water. But at 98 pounds I had a heck of a time trying to float. Each time I gulped air I’d go under. Nevertheless, on the appointed days, I completed my responsibilities without having to get in the pool myself. No one was the wiser, and I did not sob.

There is in us an instinct for newness, for renewal, for a liberation of creative power. We seek to awaken in ourselves a force which really changes our lives from within. And yet the same instinct tells us that this change is a recovery of that which is deepest, most original, most personal in ourselves. To be born again is not to become somebody else, but to become ourselves. – Thomas Merton

58


Golden Days of Hollywood I Paul Jackson

59


Poetry and Prose Editor’s note: Bob Osterhoudt has graciously provided this entertaining overview of his recently published novel. (Page numbers in parentheses refer to the published volume).

Bobby Bumble Robert G. Osterhoudt

On Bobby Bumble’s Basic Disposition

Bobby Bumble was, by nature, uncommonly reserved. The world into which he was thrown was not. This difference, and the discord underlying it, became the dominant patent feature of his life. It was this feature that shaped his notion of himself and of the world he inhabited, of his relationship with this world, and of his place in it. It was this feature that shaped his philosophical orientation, the governing principles of his life. Like many of his humble sort, Bobby Bumble was not at all self-assured and was given to self-effacement, both by inherent inclination and as an antidote to the rampaging narcissism that surrounded, consumed, and disgusted him. His tendency to self-depreciation nonetheless collided routinely with his fervent aspirations for distinction in academic and sporting endeavors. Although Bobby Bumble could not have been easily mistaken for a genius of the first rank, he was neither altogether ignorant. It may even be largely fair to consider him selectively intelligent. In a culture that values loud assertion over quiet reflection, that misconstrues loud assertion for high intelligence and strong character, and that also misconstrues meek humility for stupidity and weak tendency, however, Bobby Bumble was widely thought something of a dolt and something of an easily dominated, an easily exploited, and an easily disadvantaged dolt at that. While hardly a dolt in the standard sense, he was, in most instances, easily dominated, easily exploited, and easily disadvantaged. Only in exceptionally abusive circumstance could he be roused to conspicuous self-defense. Bobby Bumble attempted to order his life as much by aesthetic as by material standard. He well recognized the necessity of the material, of course, but he characterized his ultimate aim as a sublimation of the material. His ultimate goal came to a form of purposive value rooted in creative 60


On Bobby’s Birth

Bobby Bumble was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania in the rough middle of the day, between noon and half-past the hour; in the approximate middle of the week, on a Wednesday; in the rough middle of the month, on the seventeenth; in the middle of the year, in June; and in the near-middle of the most troubled century in human history, in 1942. Much of his life since was devoted to an earnest search for the critical, the enlightened, the middle ground; the proportionate ground connecting humanity’s physical and spiritual aspects; the conjoined ground of humanity’s mathematical, linguistic, logical, scientific, artistic, and humanistic dimensions; the distinctly human ground embodied in truth, knowledge, and ethical, aesthetic, and political purpose; and the singularly human preference for freedom over either tyranny or license. Although Bobby did not come to these views, full blown, until his mature years, he had been ostensibly tending in their direction from childhood. (p. 14) On Bobby’s Birth City and Parents

Scranton was, in the 1940s, a gritty, tough city of approximately 150,000 residents. It had its “refined” sectors, in such as vaudeville for instance, and it had at least one small quality college and an accomplished minor-league baseball team, but it was almost entirely dominated by the mining and railroad industries. It had been earlier, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, deeply affected by bitter labor disputes between coal miners and their overseers. A substantial layer of coal dust covered every exposed surface of the place and the entire valley in which the city was located had a stale, contaminated, and unhealthy aroma about it. The ethnic neighborhoods of Scranton were informally but nonetheless tightly organized and maintained communities. They were mostly poor, had faint taste for trifles, and had no tolerance whatever for indolence, waste, or any other behavior that endangered the fragile “prosperity” of the whole. Anyone who behaved in ways that threatened the survival or success of the community was summarily corrected. There was, conse61

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imagination. The imperatives of everyday life nonetheless and unavoidably consumed the tangible moments of his early years in particular. Despite prodigious efforts, he struggled mightily, and not always successfully, throughout his life to provide adequate concrete sustenance for himself and his family. He struggled mightily to make enough money to satisfy both the mundane and the imaginative. (pp.1-2)


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quently, very little authentically disruptive conduct in these communities and what whispers of it did occur were abruptly extinguished. At the time of Bobby’s birth, as the Depression of the 1930s was easing and the Second World War was beginning, in the third presidential administration of Franklin Roosevelt, his father, Clarence [“Ozzie”], worked earnestly on the railroads and his mother, Rita Wilgood, had been recently an exemplary student of nursing, both in Scranton. Bobby Bumble chose his parents exceedingly well; they were both exceptional, if financially challenged, people, very unusually bright, enterprising, and decent. They raised their children in the most responsible of ways and were very affectionately and respectfully regarded by them. (pp. 22-23) On One of Many Bits of Early Childhood Mischief with Brother Billy

Supposing, by their deranged logic, that they were making a grand and generous gesture, Bobby and his brother once filled the passenger-side seat of their landlord’s sister’s car with dirt. It was not easy, all things considered, they surmised, to fill a car, by hand and small shovel alone no less, with dirt and what reasonable person could plausibly object to having their car piled high with becoming soil. (p. 32) On the Purchase of Ozzie’s First Car

Shortly after his homecoming from military service, also in 1946, in Manhattan, Ozzie proudly bought his first car. Ownership of a car, but likely a better car than this, was a mark of high success and some distinction in his generation. The “new” chariot was a 1935 Buick, which was missing its front, driver’s-side fender, which had no heater or radio, which operated on mechanical brakes, which ran on truck tires, and which burned and leaked almost as much oil as it consumed gasoline. It was a cavernous heap of soiled black metal, much of it heavily dented and badly rusted, which he affectionately called “Cecil.” (p. 34) On Bobby’s Introduction to Formal Education and Sport

In the autumn of 1948, Bobby boarded the school bus that stopped at the cinder pile across the road from his home and tentatively began first grade at a nearby public elementary school. It was here that he first developed an exceedingly high opinion of education in general, of teachers and schools in particular, and of the skills and knowledges that education, schools, and teachers embody. It was here that he learned to read and began to learn about exacting thought and language. It was also here that he 62


On Bobby’s Felicitous Move to State College

By Bobby’s family’s measured standard, State College constituted a vast improvement on anywhere else they had lived, on Scranton, Teaneck, or Hackensack. From Bobby’s earliest times in State College (in 1950), the place felt like Elysium to him. It felt to him like home in the most fundamental of senses; the external environment, as he perceived it, coincided with the internal. Whenever he thought of home in this sense throughout what remained of his life, he thought of State College. It is where virtually everything substantial began for him, where the formative basis of virtually everything deeply meaningful to him was grounded, where virtually everything of merit to him first suggested itself. There was little large industry, little manufacturing industry, in State College at this time. The commercial life of the town consisted mainly in technical organizations, such as engineering firms, and in small retail shops, such as bookstores, drugstores, restaurants, clothing stores, and pubs. It was, consequently, clean, wellkept, and orderly. (p. 57) On Bobby’s Formative Affections for Track and Field

In May 1954, Billy and Bobby attended a Penn State sporting event that had an utterly profound, an utterly transformative, influence on the future course of Bobby’s life. It was a dual track and field meeting with the Naval Academy in Beaver Stadium. Near the end of the program, a Penn 63

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first came to an affection for the joy of what could be loosely construed as sporting pursuits. During recess, students from throughout the school organized various games of tag on the playground. At first, Bobby mistook these games for social exercises in strictly cooperative behavior. He thought it best to make little effort and to give himself easily up so that everyone might be well pleased with themselves. He soon realized, however, that his view was not at all widely shared and he began to exert himself to utterly astonishing and fulfilling effect. Bobby discovered that he could, with great effort, run very fast and that it was thrillingly liberating to run very fast, to run faster than on any other occasion, to attempt to surpass others in running very fast, and to accept with equanimity the successful or unsuccessful results of these miniature contests. Although Bobby hadn’t a clue at the time, what would become in several further years a life-long ardor for track and field athletics likely began, in incipient terms, with these ostensibly innocent, these ingenuous and deeply instructive “games” of childhood. (pp. 49-50)


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State athlete, Ted Garrett, overcame a sizeable lead (by a midshipman) with a scintillating late surge to claim a narrow victory in the 2 miles run. It was the most stirring and galvanizing moment of Bobby’s life to that time. He would not thereafter have quite the same view of the world or of his hoped-for place in it. He had previously held to a vague notion of either studying science and having a career in an astronomical observatory or of studying geography and history and working as a professional teacher of those subjects. After this experience, he had at least an inchoate sense that track and field athletics would be at the heart of his life’s pilgrimage, at the heart of his life’s work. It had not yet occurred to him that these various ambitions may not mutually exclude one another, that they may well take a consonant form. (p. 87) On Bobby’s Exemplary Secondary-school Teachers

The most notable of Bobby’s teachers were exceptional people and superb professional educators. They were deeply devoted to their subjects, to their students, and to public education. They were expert commentators on their subjects; they prepared exquisite lessons in respect to their subjects; and they effectively, elegantly, and compassionately executed these lessons. They organized and synthesized complex ideas with uncommon insight and skill and they shared these ideas in entirely lucid ways with their much-less-knowledgeable students. They were models of professional excellence, worthy of the utmost respect and admiration. Bobby’s regard and affection for them and his gratitude to them were immense. By highschool graduation, Bobby was thoroughly committed to a professional career in education, significantly owing to the colossal and edifying influence of these magnificent folk. (p. 99) On Bobby’s First Formal Experience with Wage Labor

Because there was insufficient resource in the family to finance a college education, Bobby understood very clearly and from very early on that if he wished to attend Penn State, which he fervently did, he would need to pay for it himself. In order to pay for it himself, he would need to have a reliable job and to purchase a car that could get him dependably and quickly to and from work, to and from school, and to and from the track and field stadium in a much more efficient way than walking, running, bicycling, or hitch-hiking could. He began work as a shipping and receiving clerk at Keeler’s University Bookstore several days before his sixteenth birthday. Bobby was intensely fond of the Bookstore and of the delightful people 64


On Bobby’s Discharge from Military Service

Several days before his discharge, Bobby was relieved of duty at the National Security Agency and began the program of de-briefing and medical examinations that mark the final run up to discharge. The fateful day at last arrived in mid-October 1964. Bobby was paid his final standard wage as well as a full-month wage for unused leave, was authorized to sign out for the last time, and was permitted to leave the company. He had few happier, few better, moments in his life. After nearly three years of humiliation and penury, Bobby was discharged, honorably no less, from the ramparts of the leviathan. He had hardly smiled in that time but, on the day of his liberation, was unable to prevent a broad and defiant grin from running unrestrained over his otherwise vapid face. The long nightmare, which was far worse for many and may well have been far worse for him as well, was mercifully over; lingering and unpleasant memory of it was not. (p. 192) On Bobby’s Baccalaureate Graduation from Penn State

In mid-December 1966, after his shift at the Post Office, Bobby joyously received a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in sport studies-kinesiology and a minor in philosophy from the Pennsylvania State University. It was a gloriously triumphant day for Bobby Bumble. He convinced himself that something very substantial had been achieved against quite long odds. He nonetheless also well understood that there was a great deal yet to be done. He felt enormous affection for Penn State and enormous gratitude to it. He was most appreciative of its uncompromising rigor, its luminous competency, its authentic decency, its deeply reflective sense of high purpose, and its devotion to the form of civilized progress that free and earnest inquiry occasions. Virtually everything of professional significance for Bobby began there. He could not have had the wonderfully fulfilling life he did without it. If it were not for Penn State, he may well have finished his days loading and unloading mail trucks throughout the night at the State College Post Office, reputable work to be sure, but not what he wanted for his life. (p. 208)

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who worked there. [He was also] profoundly grateful to it: he learned virtually everything he needed to know about the world of formal work there; he learned much as well about the importance of getting along with all sorts of different people there; and he earned utterly essential income there.


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On Bobby’s Splendid Professor of Philosophy in Ph.D. Studies at the University of Illinois

Professor Schacht was a special marvel, a master scholar and teacher, a great professor. He had studied at Tubingen University in Germany and won his Ph.D. under the luminous Professor Walter Kaufmann at Princeton. It was under Professor Schacht’s brilliant direction that Bobby’s own philosophical competencies and allegiances took identifiable and coherent shape and that his affections for the metaphysical thought of Hegel first matured. Professor Schacht’s lectures were monuments to organization and insight; they were tightly argued, imbued with rich historical perspective, articulate, and lucid. He made the densest and most intractable text sing. Bobby made every effort to spend as much time as feasible in Professor Schacht’s courses and in his company. (pp. 254-255) On Bobby’s Colleagues at the University of Minnesota

Bobby’s colleagues at the University of Minnesota were superb. His administrative superiors were accomplished, insightful, and caring people who treated Bobby very fairly and with respectful kindness. The faculty and staff of his department were likewise inclined to mutual cooperation and were also very decent to one another and to Bobby. They were remindful of his colleagues at Lock Haven State and they were leagues above those who fashioned the fractious turmoil characteristic of SUNY Brook Harbor. (pp. 287-288) On Bobby’s Program of World Discovery

Bobby’s 1981 European journey deepened a fervent and long-standing aspiration to see the world, the entire world, or at least all of its most significant parts. The experience, the deeply instructive experience, of visiting the world’s most consequential art, archaeological, and history museums, national museums, cultural sites, universities, architectural monuments, sport stadiums, and sporting institutions, as well as walking the streets of the world’s major cultures, was central to Bobby’s development, to his world view, to his work, and to him. It was particularly relevant to his fierce ambition to write a grand philosophical narrative concerning the social, political, economic, intellectual, artistic, and sporting history of the world. (pp. 337-338) On the Apogee of Bobby’s Professional Career 66


On Bobby’s Triumph at the 2012 National Championships in Chicago

All of the leading M70 high hurdlers in the country were present, fit, and running. Fred Niedermeyer, a splendid fellow from California whom Bobby came to refer to as the “Tutuila Flash” (owing to his sprinting prowess and to the work he had done as a young man in American Samoa) had the fastest time (in the low 15s) coming into the meet and was the favorite. It was widely supposed that top honors would be likely divided among Fred, Terry Rowan (another fine fellow from California), and Bobby Bumble. Bobby was off equally well with Fred and Terry. Fred then put roughly a half-meter on Bobby and a full meter on Terry by the third hurdle (of eight). Bobby caught Fred at the fifth hurdle and had almost two meters on him at the tape; Terry was another approximately two meters further back. Bobby was first in 14.83 seconds; Fred was second in 15.04 seconds; Terry, third in 15.24 seconds; Barry Cline of Pennsylvania, fourth in 16.21 seconds; and Grover Coats of Ohio, fifth in 16.91 seconds. It was arguably Bobby’s finest moment in sport. He had won the American national title (his fourth), had run a hurdle race as near to technical perfection as he ever had, had run the fastest M70 time in the country and on the continent in 2012, had beaten the coveted 15-second standard, and had established an Arizona state M70 record in the 80 meters hurdles. (pp. 581-582) On Bobby’s End View

Bobby Bumble held steadfastly to his organic world view and his peasant tastes to the end of his time. Insofar as he could cleave himself from the hapless plight of most other human beings throughout the world, and he was not much adept at this by either personal or philosophical disposition, he considered himself fortunate beyond serious condition. Although hardly a renowned person, a person about whom a grand narrative would be either expected, welcomed, or justified, and although it were highly improbable that he had come up to the standard of David Copperfield (the 67

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As the Fulbright in Budapest marked the apogee and the culmination of Bobby’s instructional career as a university professor, the publication of his last two book-length manuscripts marked the apogee and the culmination of his career in scholarship. These books were, in Bobby’s overwrought estimation, monumental endeavors and monumental achievements. He was exceedingly proud, perhaps overly proud, of both. They were the sort of thing one spends a lifetime doing. At the outside, it could be therefore plausibly claimed that Bobby had been always writing them. (p. 488)


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standard of becoming the hero of his own life), he had nonetheless, by his own estimation, had a remarkably meaningful, richly fulfilling, and deeply stirring time alive. (pp. 623-624) Osterhoudt, Robert G. Bobby Bumble: Portrait of a Diffident Academic and Ardent Sportsman as a Young and an Old Man. Columbia, South Carolina: Kindle, 2019.

Change is supremely inconvenient, uncomfortable and naturally scary. Yet we only move through life through the process of change, reinvention and renewal, and so bravery is our quintessential rebel for pushing us past our own limiting beliefs and behaviors. Bravery is feeling the fear, immersing yourself into it and through it so you can come out the other side. – Christine Evangelou

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Poetry and Prose

Sing to It Beatrice Gordon

Another pandemic afternoon where I am free, free to do whatever I wish to do – at home. How routine that is, even a bit boring. Every day is Sunday. I write, I clean, I cook, I bake. I grocery shop and pick up prescriptions. The quiet of the indoors is now burdensome as the weeks pass by. I listen to music; as my classical music station (KBAQ) states: “It’s time for cabin fever reliever!” Music. Sing to it. Shake it up, lady, I say to myself. In isolation, trying to escape Covid-19, some folks grumble and exclaim they wish to be “free” again, free to return to a “normal” life. What’s “normal”? “Free”? From what? Free to do what? What does “free” mean? Let’s profit from this unusual time. Life is really good. Go for it! I have found a solution. I “Sing to It.” That is what author Amy Hemple suggests from her short story collection of the same name. “Sing to it. The Arab proverb: When danger approaches, sing to it.” Sing to it when danger from the novel coronavirus approaches; sing your song, sing your poetry; sing the song, the poetry and literature of others: take action. As one shorthand for Life, poetry and literature, music (song) bring connections from the universe to the singer; they bring them home to you, the singer. Make new connections or revive long forgotten ones. They comfort. They offer emotion, memories. Or sing about nature, your friends. Soothe your boredom. Sing to it; make it your own. What is “it”? “It” is whatever you make it. “It” is what you’ll sing to, what action you will take. Hemple takes a journey to the 1960s, to the vivid days of Civil Rights marches, sit-ins, and take-overs. Her stories do not follow the expected form for short stories and do not sing directly to BLM; she writes with a familiarity, a knowing. You have been there; you can see what she sings. What you have experienced, what we have experienced together, can be sung together. She sings an entire American journey on a single page in “Doll Torna69


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do.” Here she describes a deserted doll factory: “clouds of dolls, no longer dolls, hang useless from the ceiling; a fire would explode them out in a “Doll Tornado . . . storming into a room in the town where down the street, a famous Woolworth’s five-and-ten is a civil rights museum, the lunch counter preserved where four black students waited to be served... Buying a ticket to this museum gets you into the doll tornado free, “to see what is commonplace now as it thunders back down”. Pick up on this theme; get creative. Sing to it. Or sing to something else dear to your heart. Sometimes I sing to one of many themes running in the streets today, a theme that stifles the airways and personal communication, a theme of our rights and laws and personal privilege, a theme from other days being sung again: “Black Lives Matter (BLM).” Marches, protests, all sorts of singing. They may not be your way, but, none-the-less, they are being sung. Langston Hughes does it; his writing is filled with this theme. Black lives mattered to him. He wrote about it in his narratives, his essays. He writes explicitly about freedom, the lack of black freedom and the life he lived. Did he ever feel free? I doubt it. His poetry is relevant today and most convincing. He exposes his innermost thoughts throughout his life’s opus. The inclusive theme for a former English writing conference was “The ‘Other’ in Literature,” prompted by a quotation from Hughes’s poem “Theme for English B”: “The instructor said, Go home and write a page tonight. And let that page come out of you – Then, it will be true.” He writes that it not easy to know what is right for him or for his instructor. He is twenty-two years old, alone in New York and is the only “colored” student in his class. He lists his likes, supposing that they are not different from “other folks who are other races.” He asks, if because 70


“By what sends the White kids I ain’t sent. I know I can’t be President. There is two thousand children in this block, I do believe What don’t bug them white kids sure bugs me: We knows everybody ain’t free!” (Hughes, “Children’s Rhymes”) Hear him sing. Hear his voice, read his poetry, his letters, his innermost feelings, his history. Can you relate to this? Sing with him. We have the time to do this during “quarantine.” “I pick up my life And take it with me ............... Anyplace that is . . . not Dixie. ................ I am fed up With Jim Crow laws, People who are cruel 71

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he is not white, will his essay be colored? He admits that even though the instructor is white, they are part of each other. “That’s American.” Because she is older, he learns from her, yet she learns from him. However, because of her whiteness, is she “somewhat more free”? Some of his poems suggest hope, but Hughes enumerates despair in many of his poems. He reminds his readers that, like the adult who perhaps wrote a different English theme, “Theme for English B,” black children sang different nursery rhymes. Instead of “buckle my shoe,” they sang


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And afraid, Who lynch and run, Who are scared of me And me of them. I pick up my life And take it away On a one -way ticket – Gone up North, Gone out West, Gone.” (Hughes, “One-Way Ticket”) Hughes sings positively; sometimes as he sings of hope, it is often with a bit of humor thrown in: “I play it cool And dig all jive That’s the reason I stay alive. My motto, As I live and learn, is: Dig and Be Dug In Return. (Hughes, “Motto”) “Folks, I’m telling you, birthing is hard and dying is mean – so get yourself a little loving in between.” (Hughes, “Advice”) In “The Negro Mother,” Hughes is her voice: “... I am the child they stole from the sand Three hundred years ago in Africa’s land. 72


He voices her difficulties, losing husband and children, describes her years as a slave, her illiteracy, the lack of respect for her in the South. But she never gave up. “But I had to keep on till my work was done . . . I was the seed of the coming Free.” She admonishes her descendants to follow her dream of making “dark ones of today” free and filled with hope. Make her dreams, she says, a “road to the light/Out of the darkness.” She impels them to “Look ever upward . . . . For I will be with you till no white brother Dares keep down the children of the Negro mother.” Hughes does not directly sing of a loss of hope; instead he brashly “sings to it” offering a hint of Walt Whitman between the lines: “I, Too, sing America. I am the darker brother. They send me to eat in the kitchen When company comes, But I laugh, And eat well, And grow strong. Tomorrow, I’ll be at the table When company comes. Nobody’ll dare Say to me, ‘Eat in the kitchen,’ 73

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I am the dark girl who crossed the wide sea Carrying in my body the seed of the free. . . . [I] march ever forward, breaking down bars . . . .”


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Then. Besides, They’ll see how beautiful I am And be shamed – I, too, am America.” (Hughes, “I, Too”) If you’re not feeling my theme in this essay, there are other ways to fill the separations of this time if you “sing to it.” Anne Morrow Lindbergh sang to her self-imposed isolation on a beach while she took some weeks away from her hectic life as mother, wife, housewife, to experience a life in isolation. In a small unimposing cabin on an island beach, her creative juices were nourished by the simplicity of harvesting various shells from tidal trash. Gift from the Sea is the result of her isolation. She looks to this quiet time to understand herself and her personal relationships; she finds great complexity and beauty among the variety of shells, of flora and fauna she finds on the sand, unlike her usual home environment. Her creative spirit sings out. She needs this isolation, this unfamiliar place in time; it is the only way she can be complete. She has left “the well-tracked beaches of proven facts and experiences [and is] adventuring in the chartless sea of imagination.” She revels in the lack of communication that forces her to examine what is significant “in the frame of sufficient time and space . . . [in] time to be quiet; time to work without pressure . . . time to look at the stars . . .. Time even not to talk.” She sings to it – to the wind and to the waves. She is free. The simplicity of her life on this island entrances her “awareness of life.” There is no pressure to do work, to live another way, bringing her a “[b] alance of physical, intellectual and spiritual life.” Those so inclined can attempt to simplify their lives; one does not need to leave her usual place of comfort to find this. It can be found in a city park, an empty bench in a shopping mall, a deserted playground. Leave working from home for a while; leave the kids behind with your spouse or with a friend. Even a few moments alone in the bathroom can divert your attention from home chaos.

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Play to It.

You don’t sing? Try birdwatching. Birds sing to it. Try bird feeding. Go into your yard, or go to a park nearby. Watch the birds, watch the interplay of rivals for food on the ground. Listen to them singing to it. Whistle! In my yard, there are territorial battles at the feeders throughout the day: hummingbird against hummingbird, hummingbird versus finches and doves, against the little brown sparrows who live under the eaves at the front of my house. You don’t need to leave home. Use the internet and order a bird book; order binoculars if you don’t have any. No bird feeders? Order a few; order bird seed as well. You will be rewarded immediately. Do you have overripe watermelon? Or mushy stone fruits? Oranges? Cut them open and lay them on the ground, and the butterflies will come. They will share with birds in your neighborhood. Get out your camera (or phone) and click away. Sing to these creatures who come your way. Whistle their songs. They are the fodder for good dreams and peaceful sleep. Even the early works (1953-1965) of Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko can “sing to it” for us: “I hung a poem on a branch. Thrashing, it resists the wind. ................ People pass. Stare in surprise. 75


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Here’s a tree waving a poem. ................... We have to go on. How shall we get on in the future together? Perhaps we shall soon forget this? No. ................... we’ll remember that somewhere’ bathed in light, a tree is waving a poem, and smiling we’ll say: ‘We have to go on…’” (Yevtushenko, “I Hung a Poem”) Yevtushenko, in 1960, was a loyal Russian, yet he writes of the horrors of WWII without state sanction. His Poem “Babii Yar” “sings” the story of the massacre of more than 44,000 Jews in September, 1941 in Kiev, Russia. By the end of the war, at least 100,00 more people of all persuasions were murdered in this trench in the earth and buried there. As he stands above the ravine where Jews were stripped, lined up and machine-gunned, then covered with dirt, Yevtushenko sings his empathy and his anger: No monument stands over Babii Yar A drop sheer as a crude gravestone. I am afraid. Today I am as old in years as all the Jewish people. Now I seem to be a Jew. .................................. Here I plod through ancient Egypt. Here I perish crucified on the cross. .................................. Blood runs, spilling over the floors. 76


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................................... A boot kicks me aside, helpless. In vain I plead with these pogrom bullies. While they jeer and shout, ‘Beat the Yids. Save Russia!’ .................................... The wild grasses rustle over Babii Yar. .................................... Here all things scream silently, .................................... I am each old man here shot dead. I am every child here shot dead. Nothing in me shall ever forget! ................................ I am a true Russian!” Yevtushenko’s political passion is always about justice; he sings empathy where there is injustice. He scolds America as he identifies Ernest Hemingway “The Hemingway Hero.” This suite of Cuban poems was written after a young and impressive Yevtushenko had toured Cuba; he hailed the success of their revolution: “The American cemetery abandoned by people, gazes sadly and sorrowfully. as though asking for love. ......................“ He [Hemingway] died, but his deathless lines teach us to live greatly, but have we, America, ever called him ‘gringo’? A Russian, I would very much like with all my life and all the destiny 77


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of fights, construction and creation America to be with you. I wish the word gringo to be cleanly erased from the dictionary, that all nations might respect the graves of their sons.” Yevtushenko in another poem, “The Cocks,” begins with a welcoming salute to crowing cocks. The cocks are singing to him; all is well; he, too, is crowing: “The cocks are crowing by the sea, ............................ They bid us be loud, robust, and flourish, They summon us to what is in the future, blessing what is now already here. The cocks are crowing by the sea, commanding us to rise and dress. They summon us to stop from yielding. leaving it to cowards to ‘play at losing.” He has sung away his yielding; now he is hopeful. He sings to it. He is a winner. He thanks life for giving him “dreams,” “awakenings,” for the “sea,” and for the “crowing cocks.” They have sung to him. You say you have no singing voice? Don’t write poetry? Can you paint? Sculpt? Have you ever molded a figure or coffee mug from clay? Read to a child; sing to a child. Even Shakespeare’s Hamlet in his great distress finds time to write (sing?) a play. He expresses his dismay when visited by the spirit of his murdered father. “Time is out of joint” for Hamlet, not just his usurped lineage, but Time, his time. Hamlet’s father, King of Denmark, has been murdered by his uncle Claudius who has recently married Hamlet’s mother and assumed the Danish throne. There is much wrong in Hamlet’s world, just like there is for us today. Hamlet sings to it: he feigns madness “singing” strange words with the hope of bringing his uncle to confess to the murder of his father. Hamlet convinces a group of players to perform the play he wrote exposing the conditions of his father’s murder. Claudius 78


“Of thee I sing, baby Summer autumn winter spring, baby You’re my silver lining You’re my sky of blue

Of Thee I Sing. 79

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is watching this performance at court and shows some remorse and regret when murder is played out. Not all goes well, though, for Hamlet. Feigning madness and murder for revenge might not be the way for us to sing. We have lost time in many manifestations during this pandemic, but we can expect greater results than Hamlet. What better way to sing to it than to “[write a] play to it”? There is no doubt in my mind that in the near future, someone, perhaps multiple collaborators, will create a Broadway musical singing to the Covid-19 – the great pandemic of 2020. Will it be upbeat, filled with boisterous song and dance, a shouting from the rafters, singing to the heroism of the caregivers and a tribute to the makers of a vaccine? Or will it be a dark operatic version filled with death and dying? Of separations during illness or scenes of marches, protests, different political persuasions? We are now seeing protesters and marchers for many freedoms. Set it all to music. Imitate it. Can we picture anything more dramatic on stage than at the barricades in Les Misérables, or the upbeat music of West Side Story, In The Heights? Hamilton, all about being free, about belonging. Even old musical political tales sing to it.


Gordon | Poetry and Prose

There’s a love light shining Just because of you Of thee I sing, baby You have got that certain thing, baby Shining star and inspiration Worthy of a mighty nation Of thee I sing!” (Gershwin, “Of Thee I Sing”) We shall sing to it. We will sing to it. Let the chorus begin: “Be safe, stay home, wear a mask.” Works Cited Gershwin, George, Music. Ira Gershwin, Lyrics. “Of Thee I Sing.” Wintergreen. Alfred A. Knopf. NY, 1932. Hempel, Amy. Sing To It. New York: Scribner, 2019. Hughes, Langston. Selected Poems. New York: Vintage Books, 1990. Johnson, James Weldon, Lyrics and Rosamond J. Johnson. ©Carlin America, Inc., 1947. Lindbergh, Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Gift from the Sea. New York: Pantheon Books, 1955. Livingston, Jay, Music and Ray Evans, Lyrics, Victor Young. Negro National Anthem. ©Famous Music Lic. 1947. Accessed Google 10-26-2020. Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. The Riverside Shakespeare. Ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1974. Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass. Authoritative Texts, Prefaces, Whitman on His Art Criticism. Eds. Scully Bradley and Harold W. Blodgett. W.W. Norton and Co., New York: 1973. Yevtushenko, Yevgeny. The Poetry of Yevgeny Yevtushenko 1953 to 1965. Trans. and Ed. George Reavy. Bilingual Edition. New York, October House, 1965. - - -. Almost at the End. Foreword. Harrison E. Salisbury. Trans. Antonina W. Bouis, Albert C. Todd, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Classical Edition. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1987.

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Essay

Willie Mays and Dolores Muñoz: A Story About Humanity Phoenix, 1951 Christine Marin

Willie Mays 1951 Baseball Card 1952 Bowman Gum.

Delores Munoz April 27 ,2019.

April 16, 2021: Hello. I am Christine Marin. I am sharing this story by a woman from Phoenix whom I don’t know. Her name is Dolores Muñoz. She’s 75 years of age now, but she recalls a story of when she was a child aged eight. She posted a childhood story on the remarkable Facebook group called Arizona Barrio Stories, administered by Irma Payan and Gil Bivens of Phoenix. Dolores Muñoz grew up in the campito (little Mexican camp) called Golden Gate, in south Phoenix, near the Phoenix baseball stadium on 4th street and Mohave. She has a wonderful and magical and a historical and important story to tell, from her childhood. I pay tribute to Dolores Muñoz—to women like her who have never forgotten the exquisite feelings of a child, a young girl who unknowingly met a legendary hero, a man of America, a man she never forgot. Her childhood story, as she tells it, is one that is usually captured by male writers or male sportswriters, who write about boys growing up. They write boy-stories told by boys-now81


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men who like to brag to women about themselves, or to their girlfriends, or to their older male friends or male coworkers or male bosses about something that happened to them when they were kids. This story belongs to Dolores Muñoz, and only to Dolores Muñoz. But now, her 1951 story belongs to you and to me—it’s embedded in my mind. I’ll never forget it. Thank you, Dolores Munoz. I wish I knew you. A Story by Dolores Muñoz. Written April 16, 2021 and posted on the Facebook group: Arizona Barrio Stories. Back in the middle 50's, my sis and I went to Adeline Gray School. When we knew there was a baseball game me and a bunch of other kids would creep under the chain link fence at the Phoenix stadium. It was a struggle, but we would end up near the bleachers facing west. We did this many times. Eventually one day, sitting on the beautiful dirt of Arizona, a man started walking towards us. We were scared, instantly. As he got closer, l saw something in his hand. He called out, “Hi kids, you like baseball?” One out of us 6 kids, said, “I do!” He then reached out and shook our hands, giving us penny candy as he spoke. He asked, “What you little ones names?" We told him, one by one. My friend next to me asked, “What's your name? “The man in his baseball uniform, bent down and said, “My name is Willie Mays. Now you kids go home and take care." ln the late ‘60's, I seen him in a parade in ‘Frisco. Only now, when l read or hear of Willie Mays, do l go back—in memories past—of a baseball player that was nice and friendly to us all. I didn't know who he was. But in years gone by, living in Northern Cal, I began to hear his name very often. And l would say: “Wow! Wow! That’s Willie Mays, the One who gave us penny candy, and told us to be Safe!! I was 8 yrs. old. l ‘m 75 now. Great Memories Never Die. Pass Them On. I have, And I Will Until I Can't Any Longer". Dolores Muñoz. Dolores Muñoz found me! She saw my comment on the Arizona Barrio Stories Facebook page, and she wrote this to me: Christine: I didn’t tell my parents for some time. I was told to stay away from the stadium, unless I was with them. Most likely I would have got a spanking for not listening to them. We lived on 82


Thanks, Dolores, for finding me! Editor’s note: Willie Mays celebrated his 90th birthday, May 6, as this issue was going to press.

When we complain of having to do the same thing over and over, let us remember that God does not send new trees, strange flowers and different grasses every year. When the spring winds blow, they blow in the same way. In the same places the same dear blossoms lift up the same sweet faces, yet they never weary us. When it rains, it rains as it always has. Even so would the same tasks which fill our daily lives put on new meanings if we wrought them in the spirit of renewal from within--a spirit of growth and beauty. – Helen Keller

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South 7th and Apache. We walked, rain or shine, no paved streets at that time, pretty bad. But we would do it. When we moved to the Marcos de Niza projects for the Mexicanos, we sang and danced. We were a block from Harmon Park and we attended Lowell Elementary School. Much nicer! And cleaner! Some of the happier days of our lives. And to think that I have those Memories, without even knowing who Willie Mays was, until we moved to Northern Calif, in late 1958. Years went by. Seeing him again, in a parade downtown in San Francisco. I then realized I had met a legend when I was eight years old. And he was kind and caring at that! Thank you for telling my story, Christine.


Two old Friends Two old friends met in the clouds With Cheshire grins They soared high and dove deep Skimming the stream through the canyon walls Picking up thermals for the next ride They soared, dove, and played all day Until the evening breeze whisked them away. Dianne Wigand

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One Year Later One year later … I knew before I knew The call came You are gone Primordial screams erupt Shaking me Rocking back and forth with each wave Tears, like rain, try to wash the pain away Exhaustion numbs but the pain stays Your broad smile and warm embrace Now embedded in a special place Take my hand and walk with me I now know what I did not know You will always stay You did not go Dianne Wigand

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Reinventing Retirement

Retirement Home on the Range

Charles (Chuck) Backus came to ASU’s College of Engineering in 1968, carrying a PhD in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Arizona, and twenty-five years later was tapped to be a founder of the ASU East campus at vacant Williams Air Force Base in Mesa. While at the Tempe campus, Chuck was a well-known and constantly visible member of the faculty, known Chuck Backus for pioneering ASU’s efforts in solar energy, photovoltaics in particular, and for collegial leadership throughout the University. Until his retirement in 2004, he served as ASU Vice President and Provost and CEO of ASU East, now known as ASU Polytechnic. The “get your hands dirty” approach to education that has made ASU Poly famous is well exemplified by Chuck Backus’ approach to his teaching, research and administrative work. Thus it is no surprise that in his retirement to cattle ranching – horseback-riding, roping, fence-mending, all-around cowboy cattle ranching – he sought continued opportunity for hard, satisfying and productive work. Emeritus Voices is pleased to present an interview with Chuck Backus on an especially notable, and one must say appealing, reinvention of retirement. Emeritus Voices: You retired in 2004 from the position of Provost of ASU East, or as it is otherwise known, ASU Polytechnic. Other than being near the conventional age of retirement, why did you decide to leave at that time? Chuck Backus: I retired on June 30, 2004. I would turn 67 two months later. President Crow came to ASU in 2002. I proposed to retire in 2003, but Crow thought that another year would be more appropriate.

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EV: As explained above, you wore many hats and had many interests during your academic career. In particular, you were among the first to bring research and development of solar energy technology to the ASU campus. Did you continue to pursue this interest after retirement? CB: No. However, I continued on several national committees. Also, at the ranch I have enlarged and improved the Solar system to provide air-conditioning to the house. EV: Since retirement, you have been involved in several civic and private-sector causes. Were any of these continuations of pre-retirement relationships? CB: At the time of retirement, I was the President of SALT (Superstition Area Land Trust), trying to preserve the areas surrounding the Wilderness Area from residential development. Afterwards I organized communities, cities, counties, and other organizations to form the Superstition Vistas Study to do overall, general planning for the development of more than two hundred square miles of state trust lands in Northern Pinal County. I raised over $3 Million and spent about five years directing this effort. I was President of the East Valley Partnership for three years and help create the Pinal County Partnership. EV: Are you still engaged with ASU Poly? CB: No. I thought that it would be best for everyone remaining if I completely disappeared. I did not want to distract from anyone that followed me. However, I am currently co-authoring a History of ASU East. It is a collection of input from about 55 different people – people who were there. The book is titled A New Campus for a New Century: Arizona State University East. It will be condensed into a hard cover, full color publication of about 210 pages. It will come out next fall at the 25th anniversary of the opening of classes at ASU East. Any proceeds from this book will go the ASU East Founders Scholarship, that Judy and I initiated with a gift. EV: Your greatest commitment, and perhaps passion, is ranching, raising Angus cattle in particular. How did this interest develop? CB: I descended from 400 years of American farmers. I came from a 87

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EV: Did you have well developed plans for your retirement activity? CB: Yes, I was ready to spend the rest of my life as a full-time cattle rancher.


Reinventing Retirement

dairy farm in rural Ohio – there were fifteen people in my high school class – but I decided to become an engineer. When I was a junior in college, Sputnik when up and I decided to go into the field of power in space. At the time, nuclear energy was the only source of power for space. I thus went to the University of Arizona, which had one of the first graduate programs in Nuclear Engineering. I received my PhD in Nuclear Engineering with a focus in unconventional power conversion. I worked for Westinghouse for three years on designing and testing nuclear space systems, including a nuclear-powered rocket for a manned mission to Mars. When I came to ASU in 1968, I decided I would focus on photovoltaic (PV) systems for terrestrial applications. In 1972 I submitted a large proposal to NSF, jointly with a PV manufacturing company as a subcontractor. It was funded by NSF for over $200,000, which was the largest grant ever processed by ASU at that time. Since then, I have received many international awards in the PV field.

Chuck Backus (left) with son-in-law Mike and grandson Sean.

However, I was a farmer-out-of-doors person at heart, so I intended to become an AZ rancher eventually. I audited all the classes at ASU in animal science and range management, before looking for a ranch close by that could be operated through the week by a caretaker. In 1977, I bought the Quarter Circle U (QCU) Ranch, which was remote, near the end of Peralta Road, but only about one hour’s drive from ASU. At 150 years, it is one of the oldest ranches in AZ, and still primitive in many respects. The 88


EV: Was this a good fit, your having been an engineer and looking to become a rancher? CB: Being an engineer – a numbers person – did make me different from a typical Arizona rancher. It took several years, working weekends, just to build fences in remote our land, as required to implement the range management I had learned. Working with state and federal land people, I established several test locations where we could annually monitor and measure the condition of the pastures. This has continued for more than forty years. I also researched and built modern corral facilities to handle cattle efficiently and humanly. I identified individual cows and calves electronically and set up a system to keep records on each of them. I operated for many years with a focus on improving the range conditions, rather than the quality of my cows. Upon retire“Yes, I said right now! ment in 2004, I focused the next two years on reading and seriously studying the complete cattle industry, from genetics through to a steak on the table. I found that the only way for a rancher could make money was to raise animals that produced genetically high marbled (prime) meat and to retain ownership all the way through the system to the companies that process and sell meat to restaurants or stores. EV: Would you tell us some more about your ranch? CB: Our ranch is an all-horseback operation because of the rough condition in the foothills of the Superstition Mountains. (We are on Arizona State lease land and have ten miles of common border with the Superstition Wilderness Area.) If one brought in animals that were not born and raised there, they usually died. They would not be able to adjust to rocks, climbing mountains, or the distant watering holes. Thus, I had to grow my own high-quality animals. I started to buy high quality bulls, based on their genetically and numerically measured numbers. To keep them alive, I went to a short breeding season with the bulls being with cows only while they were in the easiest pastureland I had. I also experimentally tried using 89

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nearest electrical line was, and still is, seven miles away. In 1979, I installed the world’s first solar powered farm or ranch system


Reinventing Retirement

artificial insemination to see if I could successfully use it with my cows and my facilities. That has been successful, and I now artificially inseminate 95% of our cows before we turn them in with the Bulls for another two months.

Angus cattle grazing in the Superstitions.

In 2000, in anticipation of retirement, we bought an additional ranch near Show Low to enable us to double the number of cows (to 400) and move all the cattle to the high elevation ranch for the six months of summer and then to the lower elevation ranch during the six winter months. To skip to the current status of the operation, we raise certified, all-natural cattle, send the large calves to a special, all-natural feedlot in Oklahoma. We retain ownership through the feedlot to sell them to a certified processing plant of a commercial distribution company in southern Kansas, called “Creekstone.” I get individual carcass data back on every calf. For the last few years, the calves have graded about: 50% Prime; 95% either Prime or Certified Angus Beef - CAB (Premium Choice) and 100% Choice or better. I have received several national, state and county awards for achievements in ranching. EV: It’s clear that you have taken a progressive, can I say scientific, interest in cattle ranching. Were you able to develop and instigate improvements based on your studies? Have you published any of your methods and results in the literature? 90


Reinventing Retirement

Chuck Backus with his charges.

CB: I do fairly often have articles about my ranching in the monthly Angus Journal. EV: Do you publish in the academic agriculture journals? CB: No, just articles in the trade media about how one can raise high quality Angus cattle in very rough terrain. Most producers don’t think that is possible. EV: You’ve recently moved into a retirement neighborhood in Tempe. Are you still active as a rancher? CB: Two years ago, we sold our northern ranch. Last year, at age 82, we sold the Superstition ranch to our daughter, Amy Doyle, and her husband, Mike, while retaining a small percentage of ownership – to keep me involved. I currently go out to the ranch about once per week to help. EV: Are you active in the Angus ranching community? CB: I typically attend the National Angus Conventions, and sometimes am asked to present or participate. Among other awards, I received the “2016 CAB (Certified Angus Beef ) Progressive Partner of the Year Award,” from the American Angus Society. The award was recognized by an article in the October issue of the American Angus Society Journal entitled, “Using Science in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona”

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EV: Congratulations on that. What else do you do in your spare time? CB: When I was active in the international photovoltaics business, I did travel all over the world. I talked to a class at ASU once, and the professor asked if I had spoken on photovoltaics on all the continents of the world. I thought about it and said, “No, but on all the continents except Antarctica.” Judy and I have traveled extensively and a few years ago listed about 80 countries we had visited. We do like to travel and hope to do more as we enter true retirement. EV: What do you see for yourself and your wife, Judy, in your golden years? CB: All three of our children (most in their 60s) live in the valley with our seven grandkids and eight great-grandkids. We will be able to spend more time with them, as well as travel.

Chuck Backus with wife Judy and daughters Amy and Beth.

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Poetry and Prose

That’s Life Gus Edwards

- Oh man, it’s great seeing you. - Same here. - It’s been a while, hasn’t it? - Uh-huh. - I remember when we ran into each other on the street in New York. That was years ago. - I know. - Read all about you and the things you’ve done. No need to say that we’re all proud of you. - Thanks. - A lot of people try but you succeeded. - I got lucky. - It has to be more than that. - Maybe, I don’t know. - Man you look good. Watching your weight and exercising I suppose. - A little bit of each. - When I think about things, who would’ve guessed. You of all people went off and made a name for yourself and never looked back. - That’s not quite true. I’m here now. - Of course, of course. It was just a figure of speech. But like I said, we’re proud. All proud of you. - Thanks. - As you can see, we’ve been doing a few things here since you’ve been gone. - Yes, naturally. - We’re not the same little town you left years ago. - I didn’t think that it would be. - There’s been a lot of changes. Big changes. And I’m glad to say I’ve 93


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been a part of it. A big part of it. - Congratulations. - I was on the City Council for quite a few years. - I heard. - I’m not now but I’m still active. I mean somebody’s got to take a hand. If not, then things just turn to garbage. - Of course. Served on the council, stepped down then tried to run again and lost. The wanted new blood. I can understand that. - Of course. - You married? - Yes. Married for a long time. - That’s great. I was married too. Fifteen years. A beautiful woman. Everyone thought she was too good for me. That I didn’t have a shot. Guess what, they were wrong. We were married, had two great kids and then things stopped working. Who knows why? But what the hell. We had a nice run. - That’s all that’s important. - She’s remarried and I’m with someone else. But like they say: That’s life. - Uh-huh. - Look, we can go on like this all afternoon. But there’ll be other times for that. I want to talk to you about other things. - I’m listening. - It’s like I told you. This place is growing. Growing in all kinds of ways. And like I said, I’ve been a part of that. Me and a lot of other people. People you went to school with and others. - I know. I’ve heard. - But we need more. We need people like you to come back. To work with us and help us expand even more. Now I’m not talking about getting into politics or anything like that. I’m talking about working in your area. Teaching young people. Showing them that they don’t have to leave the way you did to achieve their dreams. That it is all possible right here. Because like I keep saying, things have changed. And it’s going to keep on changing. But for that to happen we need people like you to help us. We’re losing too many of our young people. New York, San Francisco, Chicago and all the big cities are taking them away. - I see. 94


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- We have the same opportunities, the same possibilities available here. We just have to make them see it. - Of course. - We’re trying and it’s happening but we always need more expertise. Need more help. Let’s say for example you decide to come back and work with us. In your area I’m talking about. All you would have to do is tell me what you need and how much and I will make it happen. All of it. It’s just as simple as that. - But why me. I don’t even live here anymore. Haven’t in a very long time. - So what? You have people here, you’re one of us. We miss you. It’s as simple as that. - Come on. - Too many of us have been going away and never coming back. We’ve been having like a brain drain. - So your assignment was to try and get me back? - No. Nobody told me anything. I took this on myself. - Why do you think I left in the first place? - Because there wasn’t anything here in your area, in your profession. - No, that wasn’t it. It’s because I wasn’t encouraged, wasn’t supported. I wasn’t anything. In fact, I was made fun of and ridiculed for having the dreams and aspirations that I had. Everything that was done, every effort that was made was trying to make me conform to the way things were done. Words like “role models” were constantly being thrown at me and certain kinds of values were being placed on my shoulders even before I knew what they meant. That’s why I had to get out. Why I had to escape. - I understand. And what I’m saying is that you can help to change that. You can become the solution. - No, I can’t. - Why not? - Because I’m not going to be here. I’m not going to be involved in any of it. - Even if I say everybody would like you to be. Everybody I talked to. - So it was a kind of consensus. - No, nothing like that. It was my idea and I just asked a few people what they thought of it. - Well, tell them you tried and it was no go. - So you won’t even think about it even though we’re prepared to make


Edwards | Poetry and Prose

you a very generous offer? - No. - You sure? - Yes. - Can I ask why? - Because it’s like I can see my future before me if I said yes. I would come here and it would be all flowers, kisses and gratitude for the first six months. And as time went on and everyone got used to me being around then it would revert right back to what it was that made me leave in the first place. Small town, middle class mentality. Situations might change but people rarely do. And then I would have no one but myself to blame for my return. - I think you’re reading us all wrong. - Maybe, but I’ll take that chance. - Fine. Then I’m sorry I bothered you. - No bother at all. I enjoyed seeing and talking to you again. - Me too. And if you ever change your mind. - I will, I will. The end.

Perhaps the earth can teach us, as when everything seems dead and later proves to be alive. – Pablo Neruda

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Emeriti Travel

A Special Leningrad/St. Petersburg Niche Charles Tichy

There is a personal special area of Russia’s Saint Petersburg, which was included in UNESCO’s 1990 approval of new World Architectural Heritage Sites. This UNESCO designation embraced the “Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Monuments.” My Leningrad/ St. Petersburg niche, however, is not the famous Winter Palace area, the Hermitage, Peter and Paul Fortress, nor even Peter I’s famous summer palace with its spectacular gardens and fountains; but the city’s fabulous interlocking system of canals and rivers creating several islands. Nestled in the canals, along the city’s main street, Nevsky Prospekt, is Gostiny Dvor, one of the oldest department stores and shopping arcades of the world, more than a kilometer in length, and inspired by Tsarina Elizaveta. It was specifically included

Gostiny Dvor, St. Petersburg/ UNESCO Heritage Site.

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as part of UNESCO’s 1990 enactment. Gostiny Dvor, before it became an UNESCO Heritage Site, was a cornerstone of personal extraordinary events, which I recall as if they happened yesterday. Anyone, during their first visit to the Soviet Union in the 1960’s, was usually surprised at how calm every nook and cranny seemed – quiet streets, citizens chatting softly, crowded subways operating smoothly, people gliding directly to work or play. I had consumed several Western articles, the majority of which confirmed multiple intimidating challenges emanating from the Soviet Union. The relative calm I met, as a student of the Russian language, on a group student tour of the Soviet Union in 1963, appeared like an invitation to discover the key to this “riddle wrapped inside an enigma.” On the first morning of the program, intending to investigate downtown Leningrad, I pounced on the opportunity provided by “free time.” I jumped on the crowded public transportation and eventually meandered into what I knew was Leningrad’s main department store, Gostiny Dvor. In the children’s section, two young Russian men inquired if I was in line to purchase anything. They appeared confused when I responded that I was not in line but simply enjoying my observation of Russians buying toys. Our conversation continued as they explained the complex system of lines for purchasing items in the department store. Gradually, we became more acquainted, and they invited me to be their guest at an afternoon soccer game. This event launched a series of activities over the next few days. These Russians escorted me to various Soviet exhibits and museums including the Hermitage and often insisted on buying me lunches and dinners. We usually met mornings at the main entrances of Gostiny Dvor and spent most of the days together. Evenings they accompanied me back to my student housing. Throughout these adventures, the Russians insisted that we only speak Russian in order to remove any suspicions from them for being influenced by foreign ideas. Was this the key to the riddle? – Russians were human after all and cared about their friends and were willing to risk their reputations for a friend. Before each group tour, my roommate had cordially agreed to mention that I would not accompany the group. Our last day in Leningrad arrived and unfolded into what became not only a signature event, but a signature day. The morning began with the American program director inquiring about my activities during all these days, emphasizing I was missing all of the knowledge obtained in the Leningrad guided group tours. I responded that I had been carefully visiting the city’s several museums and attractions 98


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while immensely improving my Russian. I remember he was quite upset when I mentioned that I wanted my last day in Leningrad to be special and would be missing their group tour to the Hermitage, which I had already visited anyway. As I left the student complex, I remember feeling slightly guilty for dodging the program’s itinerary, but I wanted to meet my new friends one last time. My friends knew about the date of my last day in Leningrad (they often asked about this information) and the day before had picked a place for our farewell gathering. Hearing sounds of laughter, I approached the building for our gathering and read the small sign on the main door: “barroom.” My friends were there. We began to share experiences, to tell jokes, to discuss Dostoevsky’s novels, and most importantly to offer suggestions for improving international relations. All this occurred, of course, with several vodka toasts, good Russian caviar, Russian salads, and slices of various meats. As the hours waned, I became embarrassed because of the amount of vodka I had consumed. My friends obviously had experienced this type of situation before, because they immediately reassured me by saying there was nothing to worry about. Sure enough – they had a car waiting just outside the barroom which would be my ride home. As I staggered back into the foyer of the student complex, I was accosted by the Soviet apparatchik who was the Soviet director of our tour program. I still clearly remember our conversation in Russian: Soviet apparatchik: “Where were you tonight?” My answer: “I was at a party in a barroom.’’ Soviet apparatchik: “That’s impossible!” My answer: “I guess then I am just dizzy from the Leningrad water.” Soviet apparatchik: “Yes, because in the Soviet Union we have no barrooms. We will discuss this further tomorrow.” Well, my last day in Leningrad ended as it began. In the morning I had to respond to questions from the American director and in the evening to an inquiry by the Soviet apparatchik. What amazed me was the similarity of the complaints. Both sides were upset that I was not obeying the plan of the tour program. I had angered both the American and Soviet directors and I was not even trying to do that. I did not solve the Soviet riddle, but instead discovered that this riddle could be a projection of our own riddles. The Soviet representative did not contact me the next day, but on the bus to the train station for our journey to Moscow, the American director asked me to be careful in Moscow because “I had drawn serious the attention to myself.”


Tichy | Emeriti Travel

Fast forward to my life as a professor of Russian Language and Literature. In 1988, I realized that my friends of 1963 could very well be using the glasnost’ period to advance their personal goals. I remembered that, in 1963 I rode in an impressive vehicle with them. Individual car ownership at that time in the Soviet Union was unusual, but most likely one or both of these Russians owned that car or had access to it. This idea compounded with the fact, that although my friends offered their first names (Nikolai and Vadim), they were unwilling to share any contact information. From all these thoughts, I concluded that these Russians, in 1963, either were in some type of position of authority or were early entrepreneurs in some economic joint venture. Although I traveled numerous times to the Soviet Union after 1963, I would not visit the “barroom” until June, 1988, twenty-five years later, when my curiosity to locate and to inspect it peaked and became a Leningrad priority. I was determined to take advantage of the relatively relaxed political period of glasnost’ and perestroika and to discover what happened to that “impossible” barroom. 1988 was also the millennium anniversary of Russia’s acceptance of orthodoxy for its official religion. It seemed like the perfect year to investigate any unique Soviet situation. Entrance to Gostiny Dvor. The barroom had been located in a building on a narrow street, which intersected with Leningrad’s main street, Nevsky Prospekt, and not far from Gostiny Dvor. In June, 1988 I was in the midst of this search and strolling along Nevsky Prospekt passing Gostiny Dvor, when suddenly, I heard echoing along the street a booming loud cry that turned many heads: - “Professor Tichy! Professor Tichy!” Stunned and baffled I did not know what to think or where to turn. I was ironically walking almost exactly in front of the entrances to Gostiny Dvor, where I used to meet my friends twenty-five years earlier. As my confusion was mounting, a young man jumped in front me, springing out of the large summer crowd on Nevsky Prospekt. “I cannot believe it is you!!” he screamed. After a couple of startled seconds, I recognized him as one of my former students of Russian, with whom I had lost contact for seven or eight years. He was on an assignment to deliver contracts to a Soviet enterprise and just happened to be also walking on 100


We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise, we harden. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Nevsky Prospekt and spotted me. It was an amazing coincidence – especially to occur in the Soviet Union or anywhere else. Thunderstruck, I suggested that we move away from the several onlookers and go to Sadko, a restaurant in the vicinity with a lounge. Yes, twenty-five years after 1963, lounges and fancy bars now existed, without doubt, in the Soviet Union. Sadko has since become one of the famous restaurants of St. Petersburg. Later that evening, taking advantage of Leningrad's famous White Nights, accompanied by this former student, I resumed what was now known as Operation 1963 Barroom. The result of the search was a disappointment - but not a surprise. The building, where the barroom had been located, was remodeled into local Soviet government offices. Returning to my Leningrad niche, I realized that even with this discovery, I was fortunate to experience another special event here—my acquaintanceship with a former talented student was reestablished. From these experiences, I have respected anyone who has an individual goal to understand any part of the globe with the intention to fairly present their findings through well-articulated and documented discoveries. I also have realized that these types of projects may meet with conflicts, but the international friendships gained, the guaranteed out-of-the-blue surprises and the knowledge achieved during the journey are worth all the chances taken. But then again, one might even become associated with a future UNESCO Heritage Site.


Essay

Metamorphosis A Dream Not Deferred JoAnn Yeoman Tongret

I’m sure that, at one time or another, you wished you could have known some historical figure who strongly influenced you: some captivating personality, some masterly paragon of your profession, some figure who was almost magical in character, or maybe just someone who might have made you laugh if you had been friends. I often find myself creating fanciful dinner invitations to people whom I missed out on meeting either by years or by centuries. I would gather them together and then just let them talk to each other. I would listen and learn and nod my head now and then. I had a chance to meet a few of these potential guests for one night, and then, thanks to the Emeritus College, I had a chance not only to meet them again, but to preserve the experience and to share it. It’s not often that one has the opportunity to re-mold the kernel of an idea into a viable and satisfying project with “legs.” Several years ago, when I was still an adjunct professor and driving endlessly between ASU’s three campuses and Maricopa Community College’s nine campuses, I was invited by Dr. Michael Cerveris, head of Music at ASU West to do a presentation of my choice in Kiva Hall. I liked the notion on which Walter Cronkite’s “You are There” and Steve Allen’s “Meeting of the Minds” was built, so I headed in that direction. I contacted six professional colleagues from both the Education and Performance Departments and asked them if there was a woman in the arts whom they admired and had researched to some extent. I got lucky. Between them, my six ladies choose: Alma Mahler, Margaret BourkeWhite, Isadora Duncan, Colleen Dewhurst, Marian Anderson, and Georgia O’Keefe. As those characters, they treated a full house of listeners to a short biography of themselves, had a lively discussion when they disagreed, and at the end, answered questions from the audience. I was surprised to discover that we had gotten some very good press 102


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coverage and encouraging audience compliments from that evening. Included in the cast were ASU’s Toni-Marie Montgomery as Marian Anderson and Broadway’s Kathleen Conry as Isadora Duncan. None of us had the time or the energy at that point to do any more with it. But I did promise myself that sometime in the future I would try it again with more production support and with a solid educational segment attached to the performance, which would be available to schools. “Sometime in the future” finally came in 2020 with an Emeritus College Creativity Grant as all the planets seemed briefly aligned to allow Women Who Do to be scheduled in time for Women’s Month – March, 2021. The original Emeritus College grant outlined a live performance with four to six historical characters and a moderator. All the characters would still be from the distaff side but would now be from any profession, era or ethnicity. I began to contact actresses who would be not only effective performers but would be interested in doing some research and perhaps might have a historical figure already in mind. In addition, I asked if they would be comfortable enough to extemporize answers to questions after the performance. I started to gather a small group who were interested in going on to the next step. The budget was in place for the live presentation and the performance space had already donated. My study guide was prepared and the poster (with the Emeritus College credited) was designed. And then… We all know what happened and what the consequences for public gatherings would become. It was a profound blow to so many. Although I was certainly in a good enough position to establish a personal survival plan, my actresses and I were acutely disappointed and were bankrupt of any good ideas on how to proceed. We all watched while businesses closed and theaters shut down. More alarming was the knowledge that employees of all kinds and their families who depended on an open workplace might not survive. On a positive note, we watched as virtual possibilities became increasingly attractive and more plentiful. From isolated performers who organized “Zooms” for sing-alongs to major theaters digging deeply into their archives and presenting old shows with commentators who offered a new spin on a familiar context. My project needed to become available not only as a live performance when the future allowed but also as a virtual product both for now and in the future. The project should be able to deliver (in either live or virtual form) first, a full complement of panelists, then a solo character specially


Tongret | Essay

developed for a specific unit/event and finally, two actresses who would coach a class in how students can develop their own similar panel for their classroom. I confess I am something of a Luddite. But I didn’t want this project to disappear just when it was about to be launched. What do I have? I have a choice of performers whom I can cast. I have a viable, educational, and entertaining program in which I can present a variety of successful women from the past to students and to a general audience. I have a working model to build on. I have a study guide ready to go. Still, I clearly don’t know where to start in terms of the technical areas that are required to move forward. Enter the impact of serendipity. In late November, my old stomping ground of Lyric Opera Theatre presented a virtual alumni celebration with performances and stories from former students and professors. I was asked to speak and, of course, watched the program. It was conceived and put Tongret as de Mille. together in a unique way by a former student of mine, Seth Tucker. He and his business partner, Šime Košta, had just started an entrepreneurial venture called Acting Up Productions. I was impressed with the creative way they approached what could have easily been a routine series of performances. I conConry as Moderator. tacted them and after we had spoken, I knew that Women Who Do was going to remain alive and well. I didn’t need a full complement of panelists to show the potential uses of the program so I made the virtual pilot with two contrasting historical women and a moderator. I choose a scientist/physicist, Lise Meitner, played by Juliana Meehan Meehan as Meitner. 104


Genius is the ability to renew one’s emotions in daily experience. – Paul Cezanne

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and a performer/choreographer, Agnes de Mille, played by me. As proposed in the live presentation, both historical characters provided a short biographical sketch of themselves and then answered questions from the moderator, Kathleen Conry, similar to those that an audience might raise. The long-distance production meetings and deadlines were met by these actresses with marvelous performances and gracious collaboration. The young impresarios at Acting Up provided resources, advice, plus a cornerstone of continuity and style that gave flow and consistency to the multitude of various technical contributions coming from the talented actresses in New York. Advice from Acting Up on format, lighting balance, underscoring, background visuals, creative transitions, along with their patient listening made the final pilot a possibility. I look forward to the future promise of Women Who Do. The credit will always belong to the Emeritus College as the program’s first supporters. And me? Well, I can now hope that my invitations to dinner might actually produce a positive RSVP or two. I’ll get out the good silver.


Poetry and Prose

Six Epigrams: After Callimachus

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Here lies poor Kleombrotos, Plato’s pretty catamite. He leapt into the sea; Not for reason Of any ill season, But he’d read his lying master On immortality. ii.

Handsome goatherd Astakides, The lucky, plucky sod, Tupped a lovely, willing nymph, So he became a god. Nowadays he never lies With any stinking goat, But fondles cunny in the skies! iii.

Kallignotos swore to sweet Ionis He’d never love another; But here’s what lovers’ oaths Mean to the listening God: Now he has a Megarian boy As his favorite personal sod. iv.

“I hate all endless epic, 106


Helms | Poetry and Prose

And I hate the endless road. I hate all faithless lovers, And I’m yours eternally.” So swore lying Aratus To sweet Menippea, Then swived her vigorously. To Charis and Candace Cross-eyed and lame, She learned the next day He’d said the same. v.

How great the charms that giant Polyphemus discovered for lovers’ woe! That the muse can shrink the swollen gland And hunger damp the flames of love. So screw you, winged boy, I’ve trimmed your plumes And broken your little bow. Ha! The starving poet has conquered you. vi.

Here lies my friend. “O Chardas, what of the land beneath?” “All dark, dark.” “And what of the guarding sky?” “A fable.” “And gods?” “A lie.” “Alas!” “But if you want some better news, Cigars are a penny in hell!” Randel McCraw Helms

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THE ART OF JOHN RISSEEUW Emeritus Voices is pleased to present artistic prints by John Risseeuw. John retired from ASU as Professor Emeritus of Art in 2015. Born in Wisconsin, he received his BA, MA and MFA from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and joined the faculty at ASU in 1980. His career has been devoted to printmaking and the book arts. His prints and books, many on handmade paper, have been exhibited nationally and internationally in more than 400 exhibitions. Collections holding his work include among many others the Library of Congress, American Museum of Papermaking, American Craft Museum, New York Public Library, Phoenix Public Library, the Getty Center in Santa Monica, Folger Shakespeare Library, Bodleian Library in Oxford, England, The British Library, London, Royal Library in the Hague, Netherlands, Klingspor-Museum der Stadt Offenbach, Germany, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame. His work has also been reproduced in numerous collection and process books, including The Complete Printmaker, revised edition by Ross, Romano and Ross, A Century of American Printmaking by James Watrous, Thelma Newman's Innovative Printmaking, Elspeth Lamb’s Papermaking for Printmakers, Sarah Bodman’s Creating Artist’s Books, and No Longer Innocent: Book Art in America 1960-1980 by Betty Bright, He is the founder and proprietor of his private Cabbagehead Press. ***

Reap the Whirlwind 20” x 15” Relief collagraph, relief polymer plates, and letterpress on Rives BFK white, 2009. With the intention of demonstrating technique to my Collagraph students, I created several textural relief plates using different methods. Overprinting them for an active, chaotic space, I then added photorelief plates of a large pile of trash under a hazy, gravely sky. The lines from Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower made it into a celebration of the departure of George W. Bush; that’s his little helicopter in the sky leaving the White House on January 20, 2009. 109


The graphic media – printmaking, papermaking, letterpress, and the book arts – stimulate me during planning and execution, and feel comfortable. Best of all, they result in multiples, so my works can go into many hands, my ideas can be brought before a larger public. The history of the arts is filled with individuals responding to crises in their cultural environments. I take as my models artists like William Hogarth, Francisco de Goya, Käthe Kollwitz, George Grosz, Hannah Hoch, Pablo Picasso (Guernica), Bill Weege, Robbie Conal, Barbara Kruger, and many others who recorded the social and political conditions in which they lived. I have few illusions about the efficacy of art to cause change, but much confidence in the necessity of art to witness to future generations. Howard Zinn has said, “In addition to creating works of art, the artist is also a citizen and a human being.” Over five decades, my art in graphic media has often touched on political and social themes, including corruption, equal rights, environmental abuse, fascism, illegal wars, arms proliferation, and sheer idiocy. One project (BOOM! ) resulted prints and a book on handmade paper about landmines and the detritus of war that are generating fundraising for agencies that assist victims and work for landmine clearance. A recent book (You Can Help Yourself) examines wealth inequality. At the same time, I have also followed other passions in my art when not overwhelmed by current and historical events. The many prints and books I have done that relate to jazz–the culture, the history, and the beauty–represent the side of my creativity that celebrates the better side of humanity.

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Evidence 15.5” x 13” irregular. Embossment and Xerox embedment on variable pulp-painted handmade paper, 2006

While I was teaching papermaking at the University of Georgia Studies Abroad summer program in Cortona, Italy, the terrorist bombings in London of July, 2005, occurred. I felt the need to respond and used it as an example to my students of both concept and technique. Using a shaped deckle, I pulled irregular sheets and then randomly splashed and dripped colored pulps on the wet surface while embedding a strip of Japanese paper printed with a definition: “Entropy – 4. The steady degradation or disorganization of a system or society”. After drying, the sheets were embossed with the date: 7.7.05. All students received a copy.

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Impeach the Idiots 12.5” x 26” Letterpress and relief on chipboard, 2006

Printed as a demonstration of letterpress setting and lockup techniques for the 2006 Southern Graphics Council conference at UW-Madison with help from Aaron Cohick. Political anger seems never far away from me and the opportunity of demonstrating both master printing techniques and a current take on the news was too good to pass up. The edition was around 500, handed out for free as they came off the press. 112


World View 14” x 17” Letterpress and relief on handmade paper, 2019.

Late in 2019, I had been struggling for months to find subject matter to print. Issues were flying by so fast, I couldn’t nail one down. Deciding to take a few steps back, I put together an image of tire trash and various recycled texture blocks, printing them on leftover handmade paper from a long-ago project. The headstone shape against a deserty mountain backdrop seemed appropriate for an R.I.P.

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An Inconvenient Chaos 15.5” x 13” Letterpress and relief on handmade paper, 2020.

It was the beginning of 2020, there was an impeachment trial going on and Adam Schiff was saying, “It is midnight in Washington.” I had just heard the report that it had been 65° in Antarctica amidst other startling news and it seemed that things were falling apart. (Before a world-wide pandemic–what did I know?) I returned to Albrecht Dürer’s exquisite woodcut, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and, taking liberties, rearranged it for my purposes. Facts and quotes printed among the visual chaos included quotes from song lyrics, a device I’ve used many times, to jar the reader/viewer’s memory and force a new reading.

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BOOM! Front open. 7.5" x 9.25" closed, 7.5" x 140" open. Accordion book with leather-bound covers. Letterpress and relief on shaped, variable paper handmade from the clothing of landmine victims, minefield plant fibers, and shredded currency of mine-producing nations. Printed two sides in ten sections. Edition 30, 2011.

This artist’s book represents what began in 2000 with research for a sabbatical project in 2001-2002, the Paper Landmine Print Project. The subject is landmines and landmine victims. The UN estimates that 100 million mines, or more, may be deployed in 62 nations. That's one mine in the ground for every 50 humans on earth. Every 15 minutes, someone steps on a landmine. These "hidden killers" pose a constant threat to the safety of local populations long after wars have ended.

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BOOM! Cambodia

Among the updated facts about Cambodian landmine casualties is an image of a life-size Chinese mine used widely there. To promote support for reclaiming landmine-infested land, and for the survivors treated, the proceeds from the sale of this work have been and continue to be donated to the Landmine Survivors Network (now the Survivors Corps), Cambodian Handicraft Association for Landmine and Polio Disabled, Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (now Veterans for America), Mines Advisory Group, Adopt-A-Minefield, Handicap International and other agencies that assisted my research. To date, over $30,000 has been raised.

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BOOM! Nicaragua

The paper for the Nicaragua print includes burlap coffee sacks from the region (the survivor contact was injured while working on a coffee plantation, hence the coffee plant diagram) and shredded Nicaraguan, Soviet, and American currency (see, the Contra War of the 1980s).

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BOOM! Iraq

Joining facts about explosive detritus from the Iran-Iraq war is a diagram of an enlarged Italian VS-50 landmine, used extensively in northern Iraq and sold illegally to Iraq between 1982 and 1985 while an international export ban was in place.

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You Can Help Yourself, 2019 (6.25 x 8.25", closed. 36 pages. Three codex sections with two accordion sections in between. 6 copies with shaped deckles on the accordion sections and 4 copies on a different handmade paper. Printed letterpress in metal and polymer and an unknown wood type on handmade papers leftover from artist’s previous projects. Edition 10. 2019)

This artist’s book was created in 2019 after a group study of Privilege brought long-considered concerns about wealth inequality to a place of necessary witness and expression. Extensive research and leftover handmade papers provided the means to speak through the complexity of the artist’s book. The collected statements and facts, spread out through accordion and codex pages provide the viewer/reader with an expanded knowledge regarding issues of wealth and poverty. The lyric referring to ‘a crust of bread and such’ caused me to cast bread images among the many dollar amounts referenced. Overleaf (You Can Help Yourself, end section.) Billie Holiday’s song, God Bless the Child, has played in the back of my mind for years, and its plaintive verse provided the starting point, finally, for a way into a print project on this subject with substance appropriate to these days of chaos and idiocy. While the text of the book points toward solutions, the underlying sadness of the song dampens the optimism. 123


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Rivers I have a River of Dreams So deep and wide it’s hard to cross. There are Many Rivers to Cross But I can’t seem to find my way. I look Across the Wide Missouri To see what I could see. My Love is Like a River which keeps rolling along. And Ol’ Man River He jes’ keeps rollin’ along. With Proud Mary, rollin’, rollin’ rollin’ on the river. And there is the Swanee River Far, far away. I could be Cruisin’ Down the River on a Sunday afternoon But When the Levee Breaks I have no place to go. There’s High Water Everywhere When the river overflows. A River Runs Through It But what is It? The Big Thompson ran through it The Canyon, my neighborhood, the golf course Powerful, surging, full of debris Frightening memories, fading fast As the Big Thompson flows on by. Shannon E. Perry

16th hole. 125


Memoir

Boris Cyrulnik. Je me souviens Aleksandra Gruzinska

On the last day of the French Studies Abroad summer session at Laval University in Quebec, Canada, all Arizona State University students were ready to return to their campus in Tempe. After directing a challenging but productive ASU Study Abroad summer session, I browsed through the Laval University Bookstore, as was my custom for the past ten summers with ASU students in Quebec. I wanted to take back with me a special memento that would help me remember the summer of 2010. The strange name of a writer and the title of his book, Je me souviens, caught my eye. Boris was such a Russian first name, but Cyrulnik sounded so very Polish. And there was the title of the book, “I Remember.” How lucky I felt to have discovered a book with such an appropriate title, the reading of which would remind me of my Québec summer. It sadly proved to be my last summer session at Laval University. Proud of their province, the Quebécois wish to see tourists and visitors leave with a car plaque, or some other souvenir displaying the official motto of Quebec: “Je me souviens;” I remember, I remember Québec, of course. “Je me souviens” was meant to invite tourists to remember their visit and return to Quebec again, and perhaps more than once. I wanted to return to Laval and to beautiful Québec with its vibrant life. Because I was in a hurry I bought the book without further browsing through its pages. I looked forward to discover later what Boris Cyrulnik had to say about his souvenirs of Québec. Settled in my plane seat, overcome by a sudden nostalgia, I felt impatient to return in thought to the Canadian province, and eagerly opened the modest seventy-page jewel. Was I in for a surprise! Rather than a revisit to Quebec, Boris Cyrulnik (born in 1937 in Bordeaux) took me instead back to WWII, to the 1940s and to Bordeaux during the German occupation of France. The then seventy-seven-year old 126


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author, now an ethologist, neuropsychiatrist/neurologist, returned to Bordeaux to recall a period in time when he was only six years old. In 1943, he was left alone in the care of French public assistance by his parents, Polish Jews. They wanted their son to remain Boris Cyrulnik. safe in familiar surroundings. As for them, they were on their way to Auschwitz where they would spend their final days. Cyrulnik avoided detention by the Germans by hiding in a restroom and then avoided Nazi searches by working on a farm. The book introduced me to the tricks that memory plays on us, to people willing to help others in distress during challenging times, and the resilience of a boy who defied unforeseen risks and avoided being taken by the Germans. He later, as an adult and a neurologist, would specialize in the study of resilience. In his seventies, Boris Cyrulnik came back to Bordeaux, to remember; thus “Je me souviens,” a life story of memories far removed from Laval and Quebec, but full of examples of resilience, courage and success that I could admire, and in some ways identify with the contents of the book. I periodically returned to its pages feeling proud to own the volume. A former ASU student who had taken some French 19th Century literature courses with me and perhaps a summer session in Quebec, felt first inspired by the priesthood. He started graduate studies at a seminary but later changed his mind, wishing to explore other fields as a life occupation. I suggested he look into psychology and offered him my precious book. Why not translate it to keep up his French and learn to know the writer, a psychiatrist, a neurologist? Boris Cyrulnik was among the first, maybe even the first, to specialize in the psychology of resilience. I gave up the precious book, feeling lucky to have found the very finest person for it. When he finally finished the translation, he sent an e-mail to the author asking for permission to publish it and included the finished copy for the author’s examination and approval. In reply to his e-mail, he received a letter from the distinguished 83-year old Boris Cyrulnik. He promised to look the translation over, to examine it and reconnect with the translator once his health improves and he is feeling better. Hopefully, Cyrulnik will grant his permission to publish the translation before the former ASU student leaves Arizona in January of 2021 to enroll


Gruzinska | Memoir

in Tufts Medical School, in Boston, to study and graduate in the near future, possibly as a neurologist, financed by a scholarship and his personal savings. Je me souviens was the best investment I made, one reason more to remember my 2010 summer at Laval University in Québec. It’s impossible today to return to Laval during these overwhelming Covid 19 pandemic days. Only souvenirs make a revisit possible. I recently finished reading an extraordinary book by Bart Van Es, The Cut Out Girl. A Story of War and Family, Lost and Found. A powerful emotional moment in Lien’s life, the key protagonist, was a visit to Auchschwitz around 2003. It profoundly reconciled her with her challenging past. And suddenly, I started to wonder if Boris Cyrulnik ever visited the place where his parents spent their last days. I would like to know if he was as moved as Lien whose parents also perished at Auschwitz. Like Cyrulnik’s parents, who entrusted their son to French public assistance before they left for Auschwitz, Lien’s parents entrusted their eight-year old daughter to strangers eager to help save Jewish children from German persecution. The parents’ painful sacrifice saved their eight-year old daughter Lien who went into hiding in various homes. In her own words, in Chapter Twenty-Six, she gives a brief account of her life. She found telling her life story and her visit to Auschwitz to be positive experiences. Van Es concludes by saying in the final Chapter that “Lien feels connected to the world around her. She feels whole,” (294). I wonder if Cyrulnik felt a similar need to visit Auschwitz. And if he did visit it, did he reconnect with his unusually challenging past? The answer must no doubt be positive because he embraced the study of the psychology of resilience. Bibliography Boris Cyrulnik, “Je me souviens.” L'Esprit du temps, collection. Textes essentiels, 2009, Odile Jacob - poches, 2010 Bart van Es, The Cut out Girl. A story of War and Family, Lost and Found. New York: Penguin Press, 2018.

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Me and My Brothers Me and my two brothers, we was a trial; Daddy had to whup us nearbout ever week, But it didn’t never seem to do no good, We still kep on raising cane everwhere we went. Now old Buster Stokes down the road, he was The meanest old fart in the country, and he had Done run us off his melon field twice with a axe, Cause we would bust them watermelons open And just eat the hearts. So we have us a war Council about how to get his goat real good. My brother Porter he had learned to make Daddy’s Old T-Model backfire thunderous, just like a gun, So here’s what we done. We knowed he drove past Our place ever Saturday to go get him his Whiskey. Now Daddy was in town and Mama Was cleaning the church house, so me and my brothers Grabs Daddy’s old shotgun with the broke hammer, And I get up on the roof. My brother Jody He goes down the road to signal when the old Fart was a-coming, and my brother Porter He cranks up the T-Model and waits for the sign. Then old man Stokes, done drunk, comes along real slow, And I hold up the gun and make it jump Just when Porter pops the backfire. By God, that old Sot flies right out of his car and jumps the ditch Quickern I ever seen him move before. Then the old Ford backfires again, and pretty Soon he’s out of sight. We was laughing fit to bust. But later on the sheriff comes by and says To Daddy, “Cleve, you got to do somethin about Them boys. Old Buster damn near pitched a fit at me. He swears they done shot at him twice today.” We got another whuppin, but it done no good. Randel McCraw Helms 129


Me and My Baby Brother Has Some of the Good Stuff Now this time I’m nearbout too old for whuppin, But by God I get a goodun anyhow. I’m fourteen, and I know Daddy has him a still Out in the woods somewhere. Then one day I find A big jug of his good stuff hid under the hay In the corn crib. Now my baby brother Chase He’s four, and I think it’d be fun to teach him How to drink like a man, and I’ll have me some too. This was not long before supper. Them days, We don’t have us but the one old rooster, And Mama needs him for topping the hens, So Daddy he ain’t killed us no chickens lately. It’s the end of winter, and hog meat’s gone. It’s Sunday, and we don’t have us no meat At all, just a cold pone and some taters And a few of them hen fruits, which I never Much cared for, you don’t get you no good food Out of no chicken’s ass. Mama has done told me About our piss pore supper, so I think I’ll get Chase, now he’s good and drunk, to jump on Daddy About this, and I teach him what to say. So Chase, he struts into the kitchen, and his tongue Is real thick from all that good shine, and he says, “Cleve, By God you can kill a damn hen or leave home, one.” You see why I can’t avoid no whuppin this time. Randel McCraw Helms

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Me and Old Clem One time me and old Clem was a-lappin It up at the Titty Galore Saloon, With them big old boobies a-floppin around, When he grins and says “You know what? I feel Me some Jesus a-comin on.” Then damn If the son of a bitch don’t jump up a-preachin At them women and callin down hell fire On whores that drag us drunkards to Hades By the cock. Well, they all just laugh at him, And guys is chunkin glasses and shit at us, And I just know they gone thow our asses Out of there and I won’t even get to finish My bottle, and by God that’s what happens. Clem thinks it’s real funny but I’m pissed off. It taken me a while to get over my sulks, But then one Sunday he gets me and some old boys To shave our heads down to Mohawks and take off Our shirts and paint ourselfs red. Then we run into This Holy Roller church a-whooping and A-hollerin like fools, and I bet even God laughed when he seen it. Three women faint And the preacher breaks his arm a-jumpin out The winder. Then the sheriff comes runnin And we was all arrested for Disturbing Public Worship. I ain’t never had me So damn much fun, and I forgiven Clem His little trick at the Titty Galore. I loved that old boy, but he sholy was a mess, And you never knowed what he might do next. I hear he’s a congerssman now and may Run for governor soon. Ain’t life funny. Randel McCraw Helms

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Golden Days of Hollywood II Paul Jackson

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Book Review Tongret | Book Review

True Grit JoAnn Yeoman Tongret

Radiant: The Dancer, The Scientist and a Friendship Forged in Light, Liz Heinecke, Grand Central Publishing, 2021. Radiant is a recent creative non-fiction book that looks at the unique relationship between two women who formed an unlikely friendship. One was a Polish two-time Nobel Prize-winner and the other, a brash, untrained American performer. Marie Curie and Loie Fuller were, at one time, arguably the two most famous females in Paris. Each lived fiercely, created boldly, and provided the other with support, personal growth, and a long-term (if erratic) attachment. The book is just over three hundred pages and is well-researched, although it suffers (as do many works of creative non-fiction) from a general lack of directly quotable material. Nonetheless, it is engaging and informative, not only with respect to the main characters, but also in regard to their epoch and their associates. Additionally, it is not overburdened with difficult scientific formulae, but does offer a working understanding of what each woman’s field demanded. These women belonged to an era that was waiting for them to help define it. They shared the Belle Époque stage with the likes of the Wright brothers, Henry Ford, W.C. Handy, the Pankhurst sisters, Toulouse-Lautrec, Albert Einstein, Auguste Rodin, Igor Stravinsky, Max Planck, Emile Zola, and W.E.B. Du Bois. Some of these personalities would become friends and colleagues. 133


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Between an Impressionist’s setting of shimmering pastels and Edison’s lighting discoveries, Loie Fuller invented and reinvented herself, becoming a force of nature on the stage. Between the support of her husband, Pierre, and those in the field like Robert Millikan, Marie Curie became a major player in the male-dominated spheres of physics and chemistry. Polar opposites? Not at all. What I believe these two ladies had most in common was something called GRIT: an under appreciated and absolutely essential characteristic to bring about any kind of success. The dictionary briefly defines “grit” as “courage and resolve.” My favorite definition comes from a book titled Grit by Angela Duckworth and defines the word as “the power of passion and perseverance.” I think that Duckworth’s description of the term provides the most appropriate context for this story. Born in Hinsdale, Illinois, five-foot-two Loie Fuller always had a vision of dance that was not based in physical technique. It was instead a promise of nature, light, and color. It came during an era that explored symbolism, dreams, spirituality, and mythology. She absorbed all newly available and relevant technologies, teaching herself techniques that allowed her to create all of her own stage effects. She ground and tinted her stage lighting lenses, she ground and dyed the colored powder and chemical salts that penetrated the many yards of diaphanous fabric for her costumes. She designed the wands that extended her sleeve length to accommodate the swirling effects of her movement, and she mercilessly rehearsed the theater’s resident technicians on the cues for her lighting changes that were set Loie Fuller. to music. She could not get a patent for these designs, nor were her early efforts in America appreciated by the artistic community; and so, in 1892, she and her mother went to Paris in the hopes of finding an audience there. In the years to come Fuller would travel everywhere in the world, yet she always considered Paris her home. But in 1892 she was not only out of work, but her unique style was attracting a plethora of inferior imitators. She needed to stay ahead of them in the only way she knew – find a striking and innovative visual spectacle to boost her solo performance. 134


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By 1892, the young Marie Sklodowska had left her native Poland and succeeded in becoming one of the relatively few women enrolled at the Sorbonne. Women had no access to a university laboratory so she was able to find a small space at Pierre Curie’s laboratory in 1894. Pierre had many successes behind him, but he soon realized that her unique studies in radiology and the expertise he might offer required a collaboration. Although Marie rejected Pierre’s first proposal, they were ultimately married in 1895. They Marie Curie. experimented, failed, struggled, and experimented again until they identified the new elements of polonium and radium. They moved forward with their studies on radioactivity, as they called it. And Marie herself ultimately developed the technique for isolating radioactive isotopes; to separate radium from its compounds. Although Pierre abandoned his own research to help Marie, it was she who, when research was at its darkest, provided the stamina, the focus, and the competitive nature that won them the Nobel Prize in Physics, along with Antoine Becquerel in 1903. Fuller had already interviewed Thomas Edison when she visited his lab, curious as to how his lighting techniques might enhance her dance. Also fascinated by Curie’s radium experiments, Fuller now wrote to Marie in 1905 and asked about making a costume out of radium salts. Although the supply of radium was almost non-existent at the time and the process was still in its infancy, Marie was intrigued with Fuller’s possible use of that element which “looked like fairy lights.” Unexpectedly, Marie agreed to a meeting and the friendship was born, with each contributing a different kind of element that was missing in the other’s life. In this gripping pair of biographies, Heinecke takes us through international success, imposing press coverage, great personal loss, major public scandals, families, partners, and ultimately a final triumph for each one as they stay connected during their hard-won accomplishments on different world stages.


Tongret | Book Review

Because the book is structured in a parallel fashion, alternately looking at each woman, I found the flashbacks within some chapters to be a little confusing. It was not clear at first glance how to approach the context, but it was hardly an obstacle once the style was established. Heinecke, originally a molecular biology researcher, has a real feel for texture and environment. She also has a gift for making characters both familiar and credible. As a reader I felt that she genuinely enjoyed sharing these ladies with us. There are several good photographs in the book. I particularly enjoyed a small photo of Marie completely surrounded by a phalanx of science’s best male representatives at the 1911 Solvay Conference, in Brussels, Belgium. There is a charming photo of Pierre and Marie posing with their bicycles – she is wearing a “leg-of-mutton sleeved” blouse but it’s impossible to tell if she is wearing bloomers or not. There is a sketch Fuller made when she was finally able to patent one of her costumes in the U.S. And there are several black and white shots of Fuller in performance; perhaps one of them is of her “Radium Dance” costume, the shimmering, chemically-treated garment that bathed her in a ghostly glow every night and gave her the look she’d been in search of for so long. Most of us know that after some wild excitement over the many possible small uses of radium we were shocked into the realization of its dangers when the women who worked at painting the radium dials on watches began to die and waste away by the dozens. Curie herself died in 1934 of aplastic anemia, believed to have been contracted from her long-term exposure to radiation. Loie Fuller died in 1928 of pneumonia, but Curie always felt some guilt, knowing that Fuller had also been exposed to radium salt powder for many years. The decision to downplay the dangers of any new discovery is well known to all us and that’s another book. And so, we’re back to my original consideration of “passion and perseverance.” Darwin, who examined the determinant of achievement felt that zeal and hard work were more important than intellectual ability. When I had the pleasure of working with young performers I found that it wasn’t always the most talented who went on to survive and to work in theater. More than likely it was the ones who persevered – who wanted it more and who never gave up. Of course, if you’re lucky enough to have both the stamina and the talent – then I guess that’s called genius. From the Duckworth book: “Enthusiasm is common, endurance is rare.” I don’t know if we find more “grit” as we get older, or if it was just there from the start. Read about these two amazing women and tell me what you think. 136


Déjà vu

Growing up Hard in America Richard Jacob

The Book: Hillbilly Elegy, J. D. Vance. HarperCollins Publishers, New York, NY, 2016 The Movie: Hillbilly Elegy, Ron Howard, Director. Gabriel Basso, Owen Asztalos, Amy Adams, Glenn Close. Netflix, 2020.

The title of J. D. Vance’s widely acclaimed and criticized memoir, upon which the movie is closely based, portends stereotyping. Indeed, Vance adopts the term hillbilly proudly, defining it in his introduction as follows: I identify with the millions of working-class white Americans of Scots-Irish descent who have no college degree. To these folks, poverty is the family tradition—their ancestors were day laborers in the Southern slave economy, sharecroppers after that, coal miners after that, and machinists and millworkers during more recent times. Americans call them hillbillies, rednecks, or white trash. I call them neighbors, friends, and family. Nevertheless, Vance has a law degree from Yale, grew up primarily in middle class, but rust-belt impoverished, Middletown, Ohio (north of Cincinnati) and spends much of the book bemoaning his “hillbilly” roots and the attending, as he would have us think, difficulties of dysfunctional 137


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family and drug addiction. But a subtext of the book and movie is that one doesn’t have to be Scots-Irish or from Appalachia to be a hillbilly; that it is ultimately a state of mind and culture, wherever it is found. …American working-class families experience a level of instability unseen elsewhere in the world…. Instability begets instability. Welcome to family life for the American hillbilly. It depends which way you’re facing. In the movie, Vance (Gabriel Basso) informs a law firm partner he is trying to impress at a formal interview dinner that hillbilly “is a term we don’t use.” Outward toward the world, there is solidarity among family and neighbors—loyalty to family is supreme, even if it means violating social norms. But when opposition and derision from the rest of the world is not a present issue, even greater animosity is directed at each other, with violence and a whole vocabulary of demeaning clichés which may have been witty at another time and place. Master of verbal interfamily abuse is Vance’s maternal grandmother, Mamaw (played wonderfully by Glenn Close). Foulmouthed, chain smoking, illiterate in many respects but all-wise in others, she is J.D.’s guardian angel. Mamaw (Bonnie) and Papaw (James) Blanton leave the tiny hill town of Jackson, Kentucky for better employment opportunities in Close and Adams working out their mother-daughter relationship. Middletown when newly married, leaving J.D.’s great-grandmother, called Mamaw Blanton to distinguish the generations, in the old family home to which J.D. goes most summers to enjoy the hillbilly life among forest, swimming holes and extended family. It is his favorite place, living with his mother, Bev (Amy Adams is convincing) and her man and drug addictions being the banes of his existence. The dichotomy of J.D.’s existence is a major theme of both book and movie. Not all of the white working class struggles. I knew even as a child that there were two separate sets of mores and social pressures. My grand138


Bev’s dysfunctionality perhaps stemmed from her frustrations of having no further options after being a top-ranked student at her high school, or it may be inherent undisciplined weakness. But her revolving door of boyfriends and husbands: Steve, the mid-life crisis sufferer; Chip, the alcoholic cop; Ken, the health-care worker, whose son introduces J.D. to pot; Bob, J.D.’s adopted father, not to mention J.D.’s biological father, Don, the most settled of the bunch with a new stable family of his own, and her bipolar swings between drug addiction and sobriety, irresponsible and responsible motherhood, kept her needful of J.D.’s and his sister’s attention, even when it almost meant giving up his dream of a legal career and even when it was deeply resented. But, again; loyalty to family! In one instance, J.D. was convinced by both his mother and grandmother to give her a drug-free urine sample so that Bev could then renew her nursing license. J.D. Vance’s boyhood was not as or more deprived as that of many kids in other parts of American society. He was white, after all. He was male. He had an extended family who cared for him, even if they didn’t always know the best way to go about it. The most important lesson of my life is not that society failed to provide me with opportunities. My elementary and middle schools were adequate, staffed with teachers who did everything they could to reach me. Our high school ranked in the bottom of Ohio’s schools, but that had little to do with the staff and much to do with the students. I had Pell Grants and government-subsidized low-interest student loans that made college affordable, and need-based scholarships for law school. I never went hungry, thanks at least in part to the old-age benefits Mamaw generously shared with me…. He mentions rather good combined incomes by his mother and her man of the moment, and spending money never seems to be an issue except for Mamaw after Papaw’s death. And he did graduate from Yale Law School. J.D. bounced around from home to home, with his mother, his grandmother and his biological father, never really finding stability, but he was never away from anyone who loved him or who would try to show 139

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parents embodied one type: old-fashioned, quietly faithful, self-reliant, hardworking. My mother…embodied another: consumerist, isolated, angry, distrustful.


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him a correct path to take. Vance’s book could be passed off as a typical “I was born in a log cabin” screed written in anticipation of a political career: J. D. Vance, who lives in Ohio, has announced as a conservative Republican candidate for retiring Rob Portman’s Senate seat in 2022. It could also be viewed as a lengthy humble brag. But it is engaging, as is the juvenile J.D. Vance himself. The book unfolds chronologically with considerable introspection throughout. It begins with his grandparents’ migration from the hill country to the Ohio steel mills, which had closed down by J.D.’s advent, and ends with his graduation from Yale Law and marriage to Yale student, Usha, daughter of immigrants from India. The movie, however, is structured around J.D. as a law student, with back story filled in as flashbacks. Basso is so-so as the adult J.D. Vance, but Owen Asztalos is superb as the J. D. Vance. teenage J.D. Close steals the show, though, with her portrayal of the aged, hard-bitten but soft-hearted Mamaw, which received an Oscar nomination.

* * * * * The Book: News of the World, Paulette Giles. HarperCollins Publishers, New York, NY, 2016 The Movie: News of the World, Paul Greengrass, Director. Tom Hanks, Helena Zengel. Universal Pictures (Netflix), 2020. Another, but entirely different, hard row to hoe as a child growing up in America, was that of Johanna Leonberger (played by Zengel in the movie), daughter of German settlers in Castroville, near San Antonio, Texas, who, at the end of the Civil War, was kidnapped by Kiowans in a raid in which her parents and sister were killed. The story picks up four years later, when Johanna, about ten years old, is rescued—against her will it seems, she having been completely socialized into 140


She was dressed in the horse Indians’ manner in a deerskin shift with four rows of elk teeth sewn across the front. A thick blanket was pulled over her shoulders. Her hair was the color of maple sugar and in it she wore two down puffs bound into a lock of her hair by their minute spines and also bound with a thin thread was a wing-feather from a golden eagle slanting between them. She sat perfectly composed, wearing the feather and a necklace of glass beads as if they were costly adornments. Her eyes were blue and her skin that odd bright color that occurs when fair skin has been burned and weathered by the sun. But, perhaps out of practical recognition of the hopelessness of her situation, bonding slowly occurs and the two companions begin exchanging language lessons. Kidd purchases a decrepit wagon, but Johanna is at first distrustful of it. She walked alongside…, singing. Ausay gya kii, gyao bei tol. Prepare for a hard winter, prepare for hard times. She walked beside the horse barefoot with the soles of her small feet hard as wood. Like all people who do not wear shoes her big toes pointed straight ahead. Ausay gya kii, she sang. But she was soon riding alongside Captain – "Kep-dun” – Kidd in the 141

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the tribe during the few years since her capture —and sent on her way to reunite with extended family members. Delivering her to San Antonio from Wichita Falls in northern Texas is tasked by the army to a black waggoneer, who in turn, persuades one Captain Jefferson Lyle Kidd (Hanks) with the payment of an eight escudo gold coin, to take over the responsibility as he works his way south plying his trade. Captain Kidd, released from the defunct Confederate Army, is, after several years absence, returning to his home in San Antonio, making a living reading newspapers to audiences in towns along the way, admission to the reading hall being a dime. His progression is a melancholy one, his wife having died while he was away. At first, he attempts to deflect being Johanna’s caretaker, but his strong moral compass ultimately recognizes the necessity. Johanna is at first difficult to deal with, not speaking English and pining for her Kiowan family, whom it is hinted were murdered by the U. S. soldiers who “rescued” her.


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wagon, chatting and singing, eventually able to take the reins and to serve as cashier, taking in the dimes at Kidd’s readings. The socialization occurs quickly in this short book. Adventures beset them of course, as must happen in a novel and a movie. There are miscreants around almost every bend, at least in the northern portion of their pilgrimage. Nature also presents obstacles. Cinematic license excises some of the book’s and patches over others, but the essence of the movie is true to the book. The acHanks and Zeller. tion highlight occurs early in the story, soon after they leave Dallas. Not wanting to spoil first-time readings or viewings, I will only say that, in it, Johanna saves the day through her own ingenuity. The engrossed reader will, however, be caught up short as the last half of the trip is confined to barely five pages, as though the author had lost patience or interest. “They came…into the hill country at last…And so they went on south to Castroville.” The movie fills in the dramatic chinks with new or expanded scenarios, including a moving scene in which Johanna surveys the devastation in her old home, where blood still stains the walls and bedding. Memories flow back to her as she finds a beloved doll. In the book, a similar scene involves Kidd’s exploring the site of an Indian raid, but there is no implication that it was Johanna’s family slaughtered there. Johanna’s reunion with her uncle and aunt is woefully unsuccessful, as could be predicted. The pair – Captain and Johanna – could not be separated in any known world. But the movie leaves open the question as to whether Child Protective Services should be called, whereas the author does full due diligence in bringing the written adventure to a satisfying and new beginning. The movie received critical acclaim, with Oscar nominations in several production value categories and Critics’ Choice best actor and actress nominations for Hanks and Zengel. Helena Zengel, whose dialogue was 142


* * * * * Two young people faced with quite different sets of challenges on the way to becoming adults in America; one contemporary and one in the historical past; one purportedly actual, the other fiction; one decrying his deprived social position and the other devastated – at least originally – at her being removed from it. But both blessed with the primary essential of childhood: access to someone who loved and cared for them. Growing up is hard no matter where or when. Growing up alone is hardest. In these stories, two adults – Mamaw and Kep-dun Kidd – provided the required essential in their own peculiar but loving ways. This reviewer’s recommendation is that you stream the Glenn CloseTom Hanks double feature and then read the books. R. Jacob

Whether we know it or not, our lives are acts of imagination and the world is continually re-imagined through us. – Michael Meade

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limited, largely to Kiowan and rudimentary English – “Dime-a, dime-a” – learned from Kidd, but whose acting was otherwise superb, received best supporting actress nominations from Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild. The book, by San Antonio resident Paulette Giles, was a National Book Award finalist. Although fiction, it was based upon research the author had done on white children being captured and raised by Native Americans, of which there were numerous examples.


Book Review

An Extraordinary Ordinary Man Carl E. Silver

The Accidental President: Harry Truman and the Four Months that Changed the World, A.J. Baime, Mariner Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, 2017. 1945 was the beginning of the second half of the 20th Century. The first half of the century was dominated by two calamitous World Wars which pitted Germany and an Axis of neighboring countries (including Japan in WWII), against an alliance of Western European Countries, the United States and the Soviet Union (“Russia” in WWI). By April of 1945, the war in Europe was coming to an end, although Japan continued to fight even more tenaciously as her occupation of the Pacific islands retreated closer and closer to the mainland. On April 12, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who had been president of the United States for 4,422 days, died in his vacation cottage in Warm Springs Georgia. Roosevelt who had led the Western Allies through the four years in which the United States was involved had been in failing health for months, while he conducted the war and America’s foreign policy essentially by himself. Upon his death, he was succeeded by his vice president, Harry S. Truman, an obscure Senator from Missouri before being nominated for the vice-presidency in 1944. In that office he assumed a purely ceremonial role and remained uninformed about the essentials of American strategic war plans, inter-alliance policy and even the development of the atom bomb. Truman assumed office immediately upon Roosevelt’s death completely unprepared to step into the powerful position of leadership. As the war drew to a close, tensions heightened between the Allied Nations. While the Western Allies and the Soviets advanced to and through Germany, France and the other Western European Countries were liberated, but the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, against all previous agreements, 144


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overran and installed puppet governments in the Eastern countries, starting with Poland, thus creating a sphere of satellite countries as buffers and allies subject to Soviet authority. The growing conflict between the Soviet and Western blocs created the threat of a third World War and nuclear Armageddon that would dominate the second half of the twentieth century. Truman would preside over this transition between the two halves of the century. The Accidental President by A.J. Baime relates the first four months of Truman’s presidency in which he was faced with the fall of Berlin and the surrender of Germany, the Potsdam Conference during which the boundaries and administration of divided Germany and the disposition of Western and Soviet control would be established, the founding of the United Nations, and the world changing decision as to whether to use the atomic bomb in order to force Japan to surrender unconditionally. While Baime is best known as an automotive journalist, he is a historian and author who has written several books on the Roosevelt – Truman era. The Accidental President is well written, well documented and exciting to read. It emphasizes the enormous challenges and amazingly competent and effective actions taken by the unprepared and underestimated man thrust into a position of leadership at a critical time. The most compelling characteristic of Harry Truman was his ordinariness. In contrast with the aristocratic Roosevelt’s casual elegance, Truman was always dressed neatly in a double breasted dark suit with a carefully folded handkerchief in his pocket, like a Midwestern businessman. The New Yorker described him as “made in the image of the people. You go into a men’s shop... President Truman waits on you... You board a downtown bus, Truman is at the wheel…President Roosevelt was for the people, but Harry Truman is the people” (p. 223). Behind that “ordinary” façade, was a quick thinking, decisive man who gathered information and produced answers with amazing speed. Famously he was given a sign that stood on his desk: “The Buck Stops Here.” Truman brought with him “a farmer’s work ethic.” He rose early, studied every matter put before him thoroughly and liked the business of government to run efficiently. The Accidental President describes Truman’s early life in Missouri. His


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family moved from their farm (which they kept) to Independence, a thriving town. Harry had poor eyesight and wore thick glasses – unusual for a child at the time and place, and a source of ridicule from his schoolmates. He met his future wife, Bess Wallace at the beginning of his school years, and pursued her until early adulthood when they were married. As Harry reached college age his father was beset with financial disaster, and, rather than attend college, Harry set about a series of menial jobs, eventually returning to labor at the family farm. During long workdays he read avidly – (“I have memorized a whole book while plowing 30 acres,”) (p. 47). He was particularly interested in history and American presidents. His father interested him in politics, and Harry was keenly aware of the events of the day. Desperate for money Harry engaged in a series of bad investments. In 1917, as America entered WWI, Harry, age 33, enlisted in the National Guard, and then accepted a commission as a first lieutenant in an artillery regiment, cheating on his eye test in order to pass his medical examination. In the army, he organized a canteen with Eddie Jacobson of Kansas City – a Jewish man who would later become Harry’s partner in an unsuccessful haberdashery in Kansas City. Harry saw real combat during the war. Promoted to Captain, he proved to be a leader, as well as a brave soldier. When his men panicked during a heavy shelling, Truman stayed at his position, regrouped the company and led an orderly retreat without a single loss. After the war he married Bess, with the disapproval of her family. The haberdashery failed and Harry was broke. On the day before the shop closed, Mike Pendergast, an influential political figure whose sons had served with Harry in the Army, came through the door and offered Harry a chance to run for a county judgeship – a position equivalent to county commissioner. The position had long been an opportunity for graft, and Harry’s platform was based on his honesty. The Pendergast machine controlled Missouri politics, but was notorious for corruption – indeed Tom Pendergast, head of the organization, eventually landed in jail. The Pendergasts most likely arranged Truman’s victory. He went on to become chief judge. Along with a successful program to build roads throughout Jackson county, Truman’s genuine honesty kept him Truman in the National Guard. in office and provided “window dressing” for 146


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the Prendergasts, but his association with the disreputable political organization was a stain that took Harry a long time to erase when he progressed into national office. In 1934, as the Great Depression wore on, the Prendergasts, lacking a more suitable candidate, offered Harry Truman the opportunity to run for the United States Senate. Truman had few credentials except his judgeship, military record, Baptist religion and membership in the Masonic Lodge, “Truman knew a Senate campaign would hurl his life into chaos. He also knew that, with Pendergast behind him, he did have a shot at winning, no matter how obscure he was or how ill equipped he would be to perform in Washington” (p. 72). Truman eventually accepted the candidacy and vowed to support Roosevelt with his votes in the Senate. Harry campaigned with his usual vigor and won nomination in the primary election. “In November, Truman won the general election; no Republican stood a chance against Tom Pendergast in Depression era Missouri” (p.74). During his first term in office, Truman established a reputation for hard work – arriving early, working late, and learning the ins and outs of the Senate. He was appointed to the Interstate Commerce Committee by the respected Burton Wheeler, wrote the Truman-Wheeler bill which aided Depression injured railroad companies, and established himself firmly as a New-Deal Democrat. In 1940 he was challenged for renomination by the wealthy Governor of Missouri, Lloyd Stark. He won the primary by a narrow margin and easily retained his seat in the general election. Truman served in the Senate for 10 years. Although often considered to have been an obscure senator, Truman chaired the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program (eventually called the Truman Committee), which held seventy hearings over a sixty day period at the onset of war “resulting in more than three thousand pages of testimony covering shortages of aluminum, copper, lead, zinc and steel, bottlenecks in aviation production and shipbuilding, labor, transportation, and housing problems; and more…For the first time Truman was getting national publicity for something other than his Pendergast relationship… On March 8, 1943, Truman appeared on the cover of Time... The committee... was ‘one of the most useful Government agencies of World War II.’” Truman became known as “the Billion Dollar Watchdog” (p. 89). In July of 1944, Roosevelt made it known that he would run for a fourth term as president. A committee was formed to pick a candidate they knew was highly likely to become president because of Roosevelt’s


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failing health. The current vice president, Henry Wallace, was unacceptable because of his socialist leanings. After numerous potential candidates were considered and rejected, the committee, on the recommendation of Robert Hannigan, a Missourian who was chairman of the Democratic National Committee, decided on Harry S. Truman as their candidate. Roosevelt, after some heated discussion among his close associates, accepted their decision, urging an influential party leader to “go all out for Truman” (p. 100). Truman won the nomination, and on January 20, 1945 assumed office as Vice President of the United States. He became president on April 12. Questions about his competence remained – A Time magazine article stated: “Harry Truman is a man of distinct limitations, especially in experience in high level politics” (p.145). Even his wife, Bess, shared these feelings, along with many citizens of the United States. At 61, Truman was the oldest man to become president since James Buchanan, and only the second from west of the Mississippi River. There were several critical issues facing Truman during his first weeks as president. The battle for Okinawa raged with the Japanese using mass

Truman taking the oath of office, 12 April 1945.

suicide (kamikaze) missions to repel American forces. Low level firebombing attacks at night, conceived by General Curtis LeMay, caused massive destruction of Tokyo, and a huge number of civilian deaths – a result contrary to previous American policy of precision bombing of military targets. One mission “would destroy over 170,000 buildings, leaving roughly 2,500 dead…about the same as the number of Americans who died at Pearl Harbor (p. 147). 148


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In Europe, as Allied troops approached Berlin, concentration camps were liberated, revealing the horrors of the holocaust. A “complete economic, social and political collapse” was caused by “the immense number of previously enslaved people…running around loose, as well as Germans ... made homeless by the devastation.” In all there were “seven million displaced people…with nowhere to go, and no infrastructure to help them.” A memo to the president pointed out that “without drastic action, hunger and pestilence…would lead to more political unrest [and] could derail the formation of the United Nations,” planned for a mid-April San Francisco Conference of fifty nations to form an international body for the prevention of future wars (p. 151). A further problem, which would have lasting repercussions was the approaching convergence of the American and Soviet armies in central Germany, as they advanced. General Eisenhower established a bridgehead at the Elbe river and decided to halt there rather than push toward Berlin. Although criticized and debated for years afterward, Eisenhower reasoned that the zones of occupation had already been agreed upon, and there was no point in sacrificing American lives for territory that would have to be handed back to the Soviets. In addition, he feared a confrontation between American and Soviet troops – the Elbe river would serve as a buffer. Truman supported Eisenhower in this decision. One of Truman’s first actions was to replace, as secretary of state, Edward Stettinius with James Byrnes. Stettinius was appointed the United States’ Representative to the United Nations. Truman made numerous cabinet changes within the next month – only four of the original 10 remained in their positions to the end of 1945. Characteristically, “he would shape a new cabinet faster than any succeeding VP ever had” (p. 155). Henry Stimson remained as Secretary of War. Henry Morgenthau, James Forrestal, Frances Perkins and others were replaced. In April, Truman learned that at the Yalta Conference Stalin had agreed to join the war against Japan two to three months after Germany’s surrender. While this would shorten the war (the atom bomb had not been tested yet and was not considered an option to replace a long bloody invasion of the Japanese mainland), Stalin had demanded and won concessions “giving him strategic territories for military bases and open access to seaports and trade routes…[but] Roosevelt’s commitments would require large concessions on the part of the Chinese” who were not consulted and thus uninformed of this secret agreement. (p. 161). Refusal of the Chinese to accept these agreements would permit the Soviets to refuse to join the


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fight against Japan. Another problem with Russia was its determination to dominate Poland and the other Eastern European states overrun in its march to Germany. On April 22, Truman’s tenth day in office, he met with the powerful Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslay Molotov. Truman bluntly told Molotov that “The United States Government could not agree to be a party to the formation of a Polish government which was not representative of all Polish democratic elements.” He also stated that the U.S. Government was “deeply disappointed by the failure of the Russians to stand by their agreements…and this disappointment cast serious doubts upon our unity of purpose in regard to postwar collaboration.” Molotov retorted, “I have never been talked to like that in all my life.” Truman replied, “Carry out your agreements and you won’t get talked to like that.” While this meeting established to the Russians that their friendly relationship with Roosevelt was over, others in the American Government feared that “the seeds of a new war [might be] sown even before the fighting in this war had ended” (p. 166-167). The United Nations conference in San Francisco, which started on April 15, was in session as the Germans surrendered and hostilities ended on May 8, 1945. The United States was beset with numerous problems. In San Francisco, American and Russian delegations clashed at every turn. Poland was still at the center of their hostility. The war in the Pacific raged on. Truman broadcast the statement “The West is Free, but the East is still in bondage to the treacherous tyranny of the Japanese” (p. 188). A horrible price in casualties (1/3 of the invasion force) had been sustained by the marines in the capture of Iwo Jima. The battle in Okinawa raged on, with even worse statistics. Shortly before VE day, Truman had been briefed in detail about the Manhattan Project and atom bomb. The unbelievably powerful weapon offered an alternative strategy to a land invasion of Japan. Discussion began in earnest over the actual method of delivery (a B-29 Superfortress taking off from the Mariana Islands) and possible targets. Hiroshima was first on the list of 33 cities. The major question was whether the device, scheduled for testing at its Los Alamos New Mexico development site in July, would actually work. Among members of the “Interim Committee” holding these discussions “never…was the subject of whether or not to use the weapon raised. For all present, it seemed self-evident that it would be used – if in fact the scientists at Los Alamos could complete it” (p. 191). On June 20, the United Nations Charter was signed, ending the San 150


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Francisco Conference which began in April. The structure of the organization, with Security Council, General Assembly and various agencies, is familiar to the reader. Truman had realized the importance of dealing with and stabilizing the rapidly deteriorating relationship with Russia. A more important face off with the Soviets was scheduled to take place at a tripartite conference with Britain, Russia and the United States in a suburb of Berlin – Potsdam – which was scheduled for July 5th, 1945. Churchill pressured Truman not to procrastinate holding such an important meeting that would finalize the boundaries and rules governing the occupation zones of Europe. What Churchill did not know was that the final testing of Trinity Test at Alamogordo, New Mexico, the atom bomb was scheduled in July 16, 1945. Los Alamos for July 4th (it actually took place on July 16, a day after Truman arrived in Potsdam). Success or failure of the test would determine the strength of Truman’s negotiating position vis-à-vis Stalin at the critical meeting. Among the military, there were meetings, discussions and soul-searching regarding how to end the war with Japan, and whether to use the atom bomb if it should become available. At this point, in June 1945, a conventional invasion (certain to be highly costly in American lives) was their main plan, and they debated over the issue of “unconditional surrender” as opposed to whether the Japanese should be offered the condition of keeping their emperor if they surrendered. This “condition” was rejected (despite the fact that in the end the emperor was permitted to remain on his throne). Suggestions of telling Japan of the bomb and warning them to evacuate target areas were raised to no conclusion. In the end, faced with the most difficult decision of his life, Truman approved a secret attack. As the tension laden Potsdam conference began, the first bomb test was conducted (July 16). Descriptions of the light, sound, shock and mushroom cloud on explosion, as well as the anxiety over inclement weather that threatened to postpone the test, turn this book into a thriller that matches any work of fiction. In Potsdam, Truman received a cable that stated: “Operated on this morning. Diagnosis not complete but results seem satisfactory and already exceed expectations…” (p. 286).


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On the day after the bomb test, Truman met directly with Stalin for the first time. Despite difficulties with securing Chinese acquiescence to Russian access to ports and control of railroads, Stalin agreed to join the war against Japan on August 15. “Numerous accounts of Potsdam describe Truman in moments of pensive response at his villa. He was worried. All three delegations understood that... powerful forces were at work undermining its success. The Big Three were... entrenched in economic and political instabilities that set their best interests in conflict.” The Americans were concerned over Soviet expansion and spread of communism. Britain realized that their role as the “Gilded Age’s” greatest power was fading. The Soviets saw themselves “as an island in a sea boiling with predators.” They believed that “the bloodletting [of World War II] entitled them to power and expansion. This thinking informed Stalin’s every statement at Potsdam” (p. 298). Also during the Conference, the British election took place. Churchill was replaced by Clement Atlee (who had come with Churchill to Potsdam). Atlee took over Churchill’s role in the negotiations. Amid all the conflicts, a final agreement was signed, as the Conference ended on August 2. The Soviets agreed to compromise on German reparations, and the Anglo-Americans agreed to compromise on Poland’s western frontier. Germany would be purged of Nazism, and war criminals prosecuted. Germany and Berlin would be divided into sectors, and Berlin would remain deep in Soviet territory – a concession that would later be regretted by the Western nations. “The president and the prune-minister refused to acquiesce on Stalin’s insistence that the United Nations recognize the puppet regimes of Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria…Thus at Potsdam the Eastern Bloc crystallized” (p. 327). At Potsdam Stalin failed to gain recognition for the Sovietized governments of eastern Europe, while the Anglo-Americans failed to force Stalin to allow democratic elections in these countries. The “Iron Curtain” had descended, and the “Cold War” was to begin. While the Potsdam Conference was underway, Truman received the final report of the “Trinity” atom bomb test at Los Alamos. The power of the bomb surpassed all expectations, and a bomb was ready for military use. A final ultimatum was sent to Japan – demanding unconditional surrender but indicating that the emperor would not be imprisoned or killed. The Japanese rejected the ultimatum. At 8:15 AM of August 6 the Enola Gay, piloted by Colonel Paul Tibbets released the bomb, named “Little Boy,” over Hiroshima. “When the bomb detonated, many thousands of citizens of Hiroshima disappeared off 152


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the face of the earth…Survivors would remember the flash of light, first, followed by a sound that had never been heard by human ears…buildings started flying around…Then something wet started coming down…what they call black rain”. Over four square miles of Hiroshima had been completely destroyed. Tibbets recalled the city hidden by “that awful cloud… mushrooming…terrible and incredibly tall.” Truman announced the bombing to the public on the radio, adding “Let there be no mistake… If [the Japanese] do not now accept our terms they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the likes of which have never been seen on this earth” (pp. 337, 340). Even after the successful bomb testing, because of lingering uncertainty about the actual military reliability of the bomb, it was decided at Potsdam to continue to encourage Soviet entry in the Pacific war. Soviet troops stormed into Manchuria on August 8. The decision proved unfortunate. The Soviets were not needed, and their filling of a political vacuum caused problems that persist to this day. At least Truman resolved that the Soviets would never occupy any part of Japan. Leaflets were dropped over Japanese cities advising them to surrender, but with no response from the Japanese Government, and without a direct order from Truman, a second bomb (“Fat Man”) was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9 with equally devastating effects. On August 10th, the Japanese finally offered to surrender. The Americans agreed to the surrender after consulting with all allies – permitting the Japanese to keep their emperor. The final acceptance from Japan came on August 14. “In the eyes of the world, it was America’s finest hour…What Truman did not know was this: never would the United States achieve such prestige again” (p. 354). In an epilogue, Baime discusses the various monumental challenges and equally monumental policies that Truman faced and effected during his two terms as president. The “Cold War” grew to its full fury during the Truman administration, but Truman initiated many policies and decisions that effectively prevented the Soviets from overrunning all of Europe. After a Soviet takeover of Greece and neighboring Turkey was threatened, Truman ushered through a divided Congress “The Truman Doctrine” – which committed the United States to the “containment” of the Soviet advances in Europe, by pledging that the United States would “support free people who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures” (Truman – Speech before Joint Session of Congress, March 12, 1947). After this pronouncement of resolve, the Soviets never gained a square foot of territory outside of that which they already


Silver | Book Review

controlled. Baime also mentions the Marshall Plan which “hurled billions of dollars at European Countries…to keep emerging democratic regimes from falling to communism,” Truman’s recognition of Israel, the Berlin Airlift, the founding of NATO, and America’s entry into the Korean War (as an agent of the United Nations); as well as his firing of General MacArthur, who wanted to extend the war in Korea into neighboring China, possibly using nuclear weapons (p. 367). While politically controversial, in this reviewer’s opinion Truman’s decisive action with regard to MacArthur Truman addressing Congress on the prevented a disaster. “Truman Doctrine”, 12 March, 1947. Baime finishes with a discussion of the lingering controversy over Truman’s momentous decision to use the Atom Bomb against Japan. This decision was criticized by General Eisenhower and Admiral Leahy (who raised no recorded objection prior to the bombing). Baime supports Truman’s decision, quoting historians Stephan Ambrose and Doulas Brinkley (Rise to Globalism) “The bomb was there. Japan was not surrendering. Few in the government thought seriously about not using it…As Truman put it ‘The final decision…was up to me…I regarded the bomb as a military weapon and never had any doubt that it should be used’” (p.359). Baime quotes Jonatan Daniels (Man of Independence): “Americans felt leaderless when Roosevelt died. Truman taught them, as one of them, that their greatness lies in themselves” (p. 360). Harry S. Truman was indeed an extraordinary, “ordinary man.”

Every day is a renewal, every morning the daily miracle. This joy you feel is life. – Gertrude Stein

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Contributor Biographies Gus Edwards Gus Edwards, Professor Emeritus of Film and Theater, joined the ASU faculty in 1988 after having served as Playwright-in-Residence for two years. He taught Film Theory and Cultural Diversity in Theater & Film. His plays have been produced both in the U.S. and abroad. He retired in 2010 and continues to write in various styles and genres.

Beatrice Gordon Beatrice (Babs) Gordon grew up in Chicago and began her journey through higher education at Vassar College. Returning home, she became a certified Medical Technologist (ASCP) at Augustana Hospital. Babs attended Northwestern University and then moved to California with her husband, who was stationed there with the Navy. The family came to the Phoenix area in 1962. She returned to her education after the last child started to college. She received a Bachelor of Arts and two Master of Art degrees from Arizona State University (English Literature; Applied Ethics and the Professions). She taught in the English Department for sixteen years. She is Instructor Emerita and an active member of the Emeritus College.

Aleksandra Gruzinska Aleksandra grew up in Poznan, Poland, and studied in Barcelona, Spain, before immigrating to the United States in 1951. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in French from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and her PhD from Pennsylvania State University in 1973. She joined ASU that year as an assistant professor of French, served intermittently as director of the graduate program in French and as head of French before retiring in 2016.

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Randel McCraw Helms retired from the English Department at ASU in 2007. He taught courses on the Romantic Poets and on The Bible as Literature. He is the author of five books of literary criticism including Tolkein's World, Gospel Fictions, and The Bible Against Itself. Making poems has been his lifelong secret vice.

Paul Jackson Paul grew up in Phoenix, when his family moved there after World War II. He graduated from ASU in 1959 with a degree in journalism. After five years of working in that field, he returned to ASU to earn a PhD in English. He taught in South Dakota before returning to Arizona, where he enjoys landscape painting, especially in the desert.

Beth Lessard Beth joined the ASU faculty in 1969, served as Chair of the Dance Department from 1977-1994, and retired in 1999. She is active with A Ludwig Dance Theater, the Daniel Nagrin Theater, Film and Dance Foundation, and the Animal Defense League of Arizona. She received the 2012 Governor's Arts Award for Arts in Education and recently served two terms on the Emeritus College Council.

Ann Ludwig Ann spent 24 years inthe Department of Dance teaching studio courses and criticism and directing the graduate program. As artistic director and choreographer of A Ludwig Dance Theater for 35 years, she has received numerous grants, commissions and awards, including the 2011 Governor's Award for Arts in Education.

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Contributor Biographies

Randel McCraw Helms


Contributor Biographies

Christine Marin Christine received her Ph.D. from Arizona State University. She served as the Archivist and Historian of the Chicano/a Research Collection and the Arizona Collection in the Department of Archives & Special Collections, Hayden Library at ASU, for over 35 years. She is currently researching the history and stories of African American women in Globe and Miami, Arizona.

Charles F. Merbs Charles F. Merbs received his doctorate in anthropology and medical genetics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and taught at the University of Chicago for ten years beforecoming to ASU in 1973 to head the Department of Anthropology. His specialties include the human skeleton and paleopathology.

Robert Osterhoudt Robert Osterhoudt was a professor of humanistic subjects (mainly concerning sport) for approximately thirty-five years. He is also an Army veteran; a widely published author (most notably, his acclaimed, two-volume Sport as a Form of Human Fulfillment); and a state, national, continental, and world champion-medalist in the hurdles, throws, and decathlon.

Shannon E. Perry Shannon Perry, RN, PhD, FAAN, retired from San Francisco State University as Professor Emerita where she taught nursing and child development for almost 17 years. She is spending her retirement writing, doing historical research in nursing, and traveling both for fun and for medical and other missions.

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Stephen Siek currently serves on the advisory board for Emeritus Voices and frequently teaches for ASU’s Osher Institute. A professor emeritus at Wittenberg University in Ohio, he served for many years as a professor of piano and musicology, and has published widely in the field of American music.

Carl Silver Carl Silver is Professor Emeritus of Surgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, where he mentors students. Since his retirement from active practice in 2005, he has published more than 100 scientific papers, and has consistently contributed book reviews and essays to Emeritus Voices.

Ernest L. (Ernie) Stech Ernest L. (Ernie) Stech received his Ph.D. from the University of Denver and taught for fifteen years at Western Michigan University. He is the author or co–author of five books and chapters in several other books. Ernie formerly taught in the OSHER Lifelong Learning programs in Sun City Grand and Sun City Festival as well as at ASU West Campus.

Charles Tichy Charles is an ASU alumnus, earning his BA and MA in German in 1963 and 1967, resp. His PhD was obtained from the University of Pittsburgh in 1988. He was Professor of Russian and German at Slippery Rock University, PA, for 45 years.

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Stephen Siek


Contributor Biographies

JoAnn Yeoman Tongret JoAnn Yeoman Tongret, Professor Emerita of Music, is a recipient of the George C. Wolfe Fellowship from the Society of Directors and Choreographers. She is proud to be a contributor to Emeritus Voices as well as to the Actors Equity Magazine. JoAnn is a member of the Dramatists Guild and resides in Tucson with her husband, author/playwright Alan Tongret.

Harold B. White Hal White joined the ASU Department of Management in 1966 and retired as Professor Emeritus in 1993. In addition to teaching and publications, he was a labor-management arbitrator. He served on numerous committees on campus and in the community and was President of both the Faculty Senate and the ASU Retirees Association and is a member of the Business Faculty Hall of Fame.

Dianne Lux Wigand Dianne Lux Wigand is professor emerita from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Her career includes teaching, research, and administrative positions at several universities with a Ph.D. from ASU in Public Administration. Her research agenda focuses on the intersection of new information technologies and organizational behavior in the public and non-profit sectors.

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Emeritus Voices is the literary and scholarly Journal of the Emeritus College at Arizona State University. The Journal is intended for the expression, edification, and enjoyment of members of the Emeritus College and others interested in the content. The Journal provides a vehicle for interdisciplinary interaction and education. Submissions are invited for fiction, non–fiction, memoir, essay, poetry, scholarship, review, photography, graphic arts, etc., exploring all facets of creativity, scholarship and life experience. The editor may invite submissions. Rights and Policies

Emeritus Voices is published twice a year by the Emeritus Press and is copyrighted by Arizona State University. Authors and readers of Emeritus Voices are free to copy, display, and/or distribute any of the material published in the Journal, so long as its origin in Emeritus Voices and the original author or artist are acknowledged and the material is not used commercially. The Journal prefers not to reprint work from published sources, and prefers rights owned by the author. Authors who wish to retain their copyright should put the copyright mark “©” on their manuscript along with the copyright owner and date. In this case, authors will be given a contract that acknowledges the open text policy of the first paragraph and affirms that publication in Emeritus Voices will leave undisturbed the right of the Journal, and its authors and readers, to freely reproduce and distribute the published work. It is the responsibility of the author to obtain permission to reproduce copyrighted material included in the work (i.e., quotations, pictures, media, etc.). Considerations of fair use are the editor’s prerogative. Upon acceptance of a submitted manuscript, the editor will send the author a letter restating these rights. The letter must be returned, signed by the author. Manuscripts and images will be reviewed for suitability by the editor, members of the Advisory Board, and designers. Submissions accepted for 161


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Emeritus Voices prefers not to publish polemic material or articles seeking support for a particular ideology or cause. Travelogues without substantive commentary are also discouraged. Questions concerning Journal policy and practices should be directed to the editor using the e–mail address EmeritusCollege@asu.edu. Revised April, 2017

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