The Scene welcomes letters. We reserve the right to decide whether a letter is acceptable for publication and to edit for accuracy, clarity, and length. Letters deemed potentially libelous or that malign a person or group will not be published. Letters should not exceed 250 words. You can reach us by mail, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your full name, class year if applicable, address, phone number, and/or e-mail address. If we receive many letters on a given topic, we will print a representative sample of the opinions expressed.
Currency, context, and community
I’M NOT ONE TO THROW around compliments lightly, but the last issue of the Scene (summer 2011) was outstanding. Light years ago, I told then-president Rebecca Chopp that the only thing the old Scene did well was community, but it needed to do a much better job on currency (current events) and context — the three alliterative Cs of a preacher.
Chris Vecsey’s piece on 9/11 and religion took care of currency and context, and Jim Leach’s piece on the community entrepreneurs was outstanding. I see a lot of alumni magazines, and your class notes are second to none.
In addition, the features and graphic design are very, very good. I especially liked Page 13. I noted the passing of two of my former professors, Behler and Longyear. I took Harry Behler’s intro course on American Politics and got a B — from Harry the Hook. I was really proud of myself. Imagine that, proud of a B.
The centerpiece photo was gorgeous. Compliments to everyone involved in putting out the Scene.
Dan Cattau ’72
Park Ridge, Ill.
Thanks from Morocco
I WANTED TO SEND a long-overdue thank you to the staff and many contributors of the Colgate Scene. I have been serving as a rural health extension agent with the Peace Corps in Morocco since March of 2010. Shortly after I swore in as a health Peace Corps volunteer, I received my first Colgate Scene in my new mailbox. The days that I receive my Colgate Scene are always eventful because I get to spend the 45-kilometer trip, which can take anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours, based on the weather and the condition of the road, reading about the events that are taking place halfway around the world and, in some cases, just a few countries away from Morocco.
I always beam with pride as I read the Scene, and on many occasions, I’ve translated the Scene into Tamazirght (the local language in my region) and found myself turning into a local recruiter for Colgate — although my audience is usually Amazirgh (Berber) women who have little to no schooling and just enjoy looking at the great pictures (they really are great)!
Some people read their Scene over a cup of coffee ... well, I read my Scene as I squeeze in rural transit (often with a sheep stuffed under the seat and a bag of flour on my lap). It means just as much to me (if not more) to receive it every quarter and it makes it that much more special when I get to share my Colgate experience with others. Thank you so much for helping add a little bit of maroon to my Peace Corps experience.
Ayanna Williams ’08
Keelat M’Gouna, Ouarzazate Province, Morocco
|A Woolite mystery
YOUR REFERENCE TO Harold Selmer Jensen’s “patent” of Woolite on Page 13 in your most recent Scene (summer 2011) under the category of “Wash & Wear” greatly surprised me. I knew the original promoter of Woolite, Harvey Hewitt, quite well when the product was introduced in 1954.
Hewitt had told me he was paid $15,000 in 1950 to “add a few ingredients” to its then-present formula, which would be difficult to break down by competitors. But, as a soap product, he said it could still never be patented, only registered by a trademark, because “soap is soap and not unique except for its odor, application, etc.”
It’s possible that Hewitt hired Jensen to change the ingredients of his existing formula to avoid duplication by a competitor. Hewitt sold the company to American Home Products circa 1962 for $4 million and died of a heart attack three years later at age 45 (moral: money can’t buy you longevity!). With both Selmer and Hewitt deceased, I guess we’ll never know.
Hewitt, by the way, bought a full-page ad from me in ’56 when I was editor of The Banter at Colgate [Ed. note: see ad above].
Keep up the good work.
Ben Patt ’56
Vero Beach, Fla.
Missing the football schedule
HOW COULD YOU NOT publish the football schedule in the latest Scene? Otherwise, a great publication.
John Sias ’52
Editor’s reply: Alas, with 25 men’s and women’s Division 1 sports and a quarterly publishing schedule, we simply don’t have the luxury of space — or timeliness. But a quick visit to gocolgateraiders.com will put all the Raider schedules at your fingertips.
|Thoughtful article about women’s sexuality
I SALUTE YOU FOR your thoughtful article about Joyce McFadden’s work and book in the summer Scene (“Let’s talk about sex,” pg. 52). So many women in my generation were left ignorant of sex and had their lives warped because of their own mothers’ failure to understand it. And there are no doubt many current victims. Let us hope the number continues to dwindle.
Jim Dickinson ’39
Remembering Harry Behler
I READ WITH GREAT SADNESS of the passing of Prof. Behler (In tribute, summer 2011, pg. 74).
Although he retired after my freshman year, one of my more memorable academic experiences was taking his lecture course as a freshman. He was always quick witted and warning us that we would find out that things would get much harder once we left Colgate and entered the “cold, cold, world.” I took special note of the fact that, in his photo in the Scene, he was wearing pants. I don’t ever recall seeing him clad in anything other than a velour shirt and a pair of shorts — even in a February snowstorm.
One of the great things about Colgate is that you meet memorable characters, whom you may know only briefly, but who leave an indelible mark. Prof. Behler was exactly that, and I’m glad I had the chance.
Nick Verbitsky ’91
Taylor Lake photo
EDITOR'S NOTE: The campus landscape on page 40-41 of the summer 2011 Scene prompted numerous queries from curious readers: Is it a photo? A painting? How did you do it? We asked university photographer Andrew Daddio to describe how he made this “Big picture” — which is, in fact, a photograph.
“It was a multi-step process. I used a 3-stop neutral density filter, as well as a polarizing filter on the camera lens when I shot it. That did two things: it reduced the light that was hitting the camera’s sensor by about 97 percent, so that roughly 3 percent of the light that would normally be available was reaching it. This greatly increased the necessary exposure time, which allowed me to capture the movements of the tree branches so that they have a liquid kind of feel (the long exposure time also necessitated the use of a tripod to keep the camera steady). The polarizing filter also reduces reflections and enhances colors, such as deepening the blueness and saturation of the sky. I then did 9 bracketed exposures of the scene using different exposure times and used them as the basis for a High Dynamic Range (HDR) image. HDR provides an extraordinarily expanded tonal range — you can see the brightest highlights as well as into the deepest shadows. I compiled the multiple exposures using special software to produce a single image. That file was then imported back into Adobe Lightroom, where I applied a lens blur effect to the outer image areas and made some other tonal and further color adjustments.”