lettersE T C E T E R A
LETTERS I was delighted to read in the last magazine about Babes and Blankets. I belong to a group of 15 volunteer women who knit to raise funds for White Plains Hospital Center. We knit items for babies, children, and adults. Then once a month we hold a sale of the items in the lobby of the hospital. Since the yarn is primarily donated by knitting shops in a 30-mile radius, the amount raised at the sales is pure profit. “The KnitWits,” as the organization is fondly called, has, since its inception 14 years ago, raised $250,000 for the benefit of the hospital! It’s fun, relaxing, and rewarding. Anne Arthur Gottlieb ’57 White Plains, NY Like always, when I received my winter 2005 Scripps Magazine I began thumbing through it. Half-way through, six familiar letters popped out of a page: A-R-A-M-C-O. The Arabian American Oil Company was the company my father worked for and the reason I was born and raised in Saudi Arabia. But what was ARAMCO doing in the Scripps Magazine? The article, “A Life Well Lived,” describing Eleanor Nicholson’s life in Saudi Arabia answered my question. Even
though Eleanor lived in Saudi Arabia 30 years before I did, the life she described seemed all too familiar. I never imagined another Scripps student was an Aramcon. The Kingdom has modernized since she left.The Bedouins are all but gone, the desert has been chopped up by asphalt roads, and, of course, the increase in Islamic fundamentalism has altered the relationship between the expatriate community and the locals. Nonetheless, my memories are surprisingly similar to hers.We share a love of the unique and rich Saudi culture. I grew up looking at the pictures she took, either in the ARAMCO World, or at various exhibits describing Dhahran’s history. As a child in Dhahran, we learned about the “pioneers” of ARAMCO, like children in the United States learn about the pioneers of the West. It was women like Eleanor Nicholson that recorded and helped create what has become the very distinct world of ARAMCO. Since I have left Saudi Arabia, the country has become a major media focal point. People have judged it, tried to explain its actions, and tried to make sense of its culture. Unlike my ARAMCO predecessor, I am not
HEAD SHOT: Scripps Magazine staff put their heads together to produce the current edition. From left, Mary Shipp Bartlett, Margaret Nilsson, Allison Ryan ’05, Pauline Nash, and Darby Carl Sanders.
sure the events happening in Iraq will “kill” the country. In my opinion, whether invading Iraq was the right or wrong thing to do has become second to making sure that we finish the job to the best of our abilities. I have recently joined the military in the hopes that my understanding, love, and respect for the Arab way of life will help establish in some small way an Iraq that is modern and functional, but distinctly Iraqi. It is the pioneer spirit of people like Eleanor Nicholson that helped create the ARAMCO that I grew up in. I hope the example she set will not be forgotten. Jennifer Delaney ’03 Grass Valley, CA It was great to read in the last issue of the Scripps Magazine that long-range plans for Scripps emphasize preservation and enhancement of its beautiful campus. I lived in Claremont before Scripps existed and watched it rise out of the arid wash. I remember so well the sounds of huge cranes hoisting tall palm trees into the Toll Hall courtyard. I also remember going without dessert, as a student, to raise funds for the lawn we didn’t have.What changes time and vision have wrought. Kathryn Johnson Allen ’37 Oakland, CA Kudos on the new format—truly reflective of the campus and its vitality. Deedee Denebrink Rechtin ’51 Rolling Hills Estates, CA Please write an article on Rabbi Bergson and Hillel at Claremont! Sue Strauss Hochberg ’63 Highland Park, IL The Scripps Magazine welcomes letters on subjects of interest to the community. Submissions may be edited for length and clarity. Submit letters to: Editor, Scripps Magazine, Scripps College, 1030 Columbia Avenue, Claremont, CA 91711, or e-mail email@example.com.