The Colgate Scene
July 2000
Table of contents
The Colgate Scene invites responsible letters, addressed to the editor, regarding any subject that may be considered of interest to the Colgate community. We reserve the right to edit for length and clarity.

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Looking for heroes
. . . Anyone who was around between 1975 and 1979 will remember me as "that crazy bass player" who used to keep everyone up all night.

     I am in the music business, working as a bassist, writer, arranger and bandleader and would like to connect with any and all Colgate alumni who are involved in music, sports and/or entertainment. This also includes advertising, TV, movies, Broadway, comedy and other forms of pop culture.

     I have put in a lot of time in the music business, working and/or recording with such artists as Melvin Sparks and Charles Earland, as well as working as a TV and movie extra.

     I am developing a project that involves recruiting and/or creating musical "heroes" through public competition. The concept is loosely based on the NBA and its marketing of people like Michael Jordan, the WWF (Is it fake? The money they generate sure isn't) and the marketing of its stars, along with a touch of "American Bandstand."

     I encourage all marketing types, creative types, technical types, legal types, investors and financial types, as well as those who are just curious to contact me -- e-mail or call; 914-667-6572 or 212-388-8260.

Mt. Vernon, NY

Missing no more
. . . You can imagine my surprise, when, while reading the May 2000 Scene, I found a picture of the '49 ski team.

     However, I was equally disappointed when, as members of that team, the names of Dick Reininger and Ray Armitage were not included as "missing." Unfortunately, we were not available for the picture that day. I offer, as proof, a photocopy of the page, with that same photo, from the '49 Salmagundi.

     You might be interested in knowing that Bill Miller, shown as the coach, is living in Sisters, Oregon. We have visited a few times.

Clyde Hill, WA

Hail to the Chief
. . . I have unreserved gratitude for Jim McLelland. He singlehandedly created my lifelong interest in theoretical physical science and gave me the foundation and confidence to indulge it as a non-scientist. The precipitating event was Core 11, which in 1966 was a lecture course held in the old "Yankee Stadium" room in McGregory. This large, energetic man with his sleeves rolled up held forth on relativity, quantum mechanics and other mysteries of the universe, and made it come alive. My professional activities since Colgate have been unrelated to science. However, for the last 35 years I have read "heavy" science consistently with understanding and enjoyment, and (I'm told) held my own in conversations about hard science with people who really know what they are talking about. It was all Jim's fault. He was a great teacher, in the highest traditions of liberal arts education. He gave me a gift I've thanked him for many times over the years, and I want to do so again now, publicly.

Nassau, NY

Prayers and place kicking
. . . With Michael Stramiello '30's passing, I feel that alumni should be reminded of his noteworthy act in a major football game against Syracuse in 1927 when beating the Orange was given major importance.

     In the fourth quarter, when Syracuse was ahead 9 to 6, it was up to Mike Stramiello to kick the tying field goal. Just before he kicked the ball, he dropped to his knees in mid-field for a quick prayer for success. He promptly kicked the ball for a perfect field goal and tied the final score honorably for Colgate at 9-9.

     The next morning, at the First Baptist Church of Syracuse, its well-known Colgate pastor, Dr. Bernie Clausen, preached a sermon on "The Power of Prayer." He cited the conspicuous faith of Mike Stramiello on the football field the day before as an example of faith in prayer. That citation had tremendous impact, which I never forgot.

     I think alumni might well be reminded of that event, with pride for Mike Stramiello. He went on to become more famous as a football "great" as described in recent class notes for his Class of 1930.

Tampa, FL

Driver fesses up
. . . The
letter from Frank Farnsworth in the March Scene brought back memories of one of the worst days of my life. I was the driver of that "wonderful old hearse" on that cold snowy night when it decided to become a bobsled instead of a hearse.

     The old highway as it approached Saranac Lake made an abrupt corner turning to the right; however, due to the expertise of the driver, the ice on the road and the near-blinding snowstorm, the hearse continued on straight ahead. In complete disregard for the sign with an arrow pointing to the right and reading "Saranac Lake," the hearse took down the sign and continued into the ditch. Although no one was seriously hurt (a few bumps and scrapes caused by the sudden stop) the hearse battery, which was located in the running board, was demolished. Without a battery, the motor could not function, even though we probably had enough student power to push the hearse out of the ditch -- so there we stayed!

     A county snowplow came along shortly after, stopped, admonished us for taking down the Saranac Lake sign, but called a tow truck for us. The Saranac Lake Police arrived, admonished us again for taking down the sign, and then thankfully transported us to town. The chief was a wonderful man who I found out years later lived several houses from my dad's Pinehurst Road retirement home on Lower Saranac Lake. He arranged to put the gals up in the local hotel and the guys up in the jail, where they were installed in normal jail cells (not locked, thank goodness). The chief, recognizing that the driver was very shaken by the experience, decided he needed a calming influence, so into the padded isolation cell I was led. I don't think the rest of the guys got much sleep that night, but I will tell you that I was most comfortable and once asleep, slept like a baby.

     The next morning we were remanded to the custody of Frank Farnsworth, got the faithful hearse re-batteried and drove to the Colgate Camp on Upper Saranac Lake. We never did any skiing, but did experience one very cold weekend. I dreaded returning to campus and facing Dean Kalgren, but his only words were that thankfully no one was seriously injured and to drive more carefully in the future. That advice has been followed, and there have been no more such accidents.

     The one good thing that came from all this was that the secret of the Colgate Camp was out. In the remaining years I was at Colgate the Outing Club spent many enjoyable weekends at the camp. This past year I returned to the camp for the first time since graduation and was pleased to find it just as enjoyable at 65 as I did at 20.

     One side note about Frank Farnsworth. He was the biggest booster of the Outing Club in which I was very active, but since I was a chemistry major, I never had the privilege of taking a course from him. Nevertheless, he had a very positive effect on my life. While at Colgate my date (and future wife) always stayed at the Farnsworths, who went all the way to Yonkers for our wedding. We have kept in touch over the years and Ginny and I have always felt a part of the extended Farnsworth family.

High Springs Farm
Newark, NY

AOC logic
. . . Over the many years since I have left Hamilton, I have enjoyed receiving the Scene and keeping up with friends and memories. It is with some concern that I write this letter and hope that someone has a simple answer for me.

     We entered as starry-eyed freshmen. We were from all over the country and all different. We shared a common purpose to earn a Colgate education and try to make our way in the world that awaited us all too quickly. We left as members of a graduating class and continued to share our experiences with those who left with us, which brings me to my point.

     We don't share our memories of the Italian/American Club or the Irish/American Club or the Alumni of Polish Descent. What is the logic of Alumni of Color? I don't wish to be politically incorrect, but isn't this just blatant reverse discrimination? What is the benefit here to the overall Colgate experience? We were all there sharing that experience. We are alumni of Colgate! Period! Personally, I find the idea of this kind of organization in the pages of the Scene offensive. Not unlike fraternity organizations, it has its place in its own monthly newsletter and not in the Scene.

     If I have missed this discussion in the past, forgive me. If I am way off base in my thinking, please send me forms to start an Alumni Association of Irish Americans.

Weston, CT

Everybody in the tub
. . . Provisionally, we should be delighted that Ron Burton '69, one of the great quarterbacks in college football history, has joined the Board of Trustees. Ron was always very friendly and encouraging to fellow students when he was at Colgate.

     I say provisionally because five days before he joined the Board, I gave him a charge to accomplish what no one else at Colgate will do. If he doesn't accomplish it I may withdraw my praise of him. That is to get Colgate to build good hot whirlpool, steam bath, and massage facilities for use by students, faculty, staff and village people to go along with the excellent pool, sauna and fitness center. This is not frivolous. A whirlpool on a dreary February day can prevent personal and family problems.

     I spoke to Ron last week to interview him about his Colgate football coach Hal Lahar for a book I am writing about America's oldest colleges. He said Hal Lahar's method of inspiring teams at halftime was not great rhetoric, yelling and screaming, or motivational words but rather, like the late Tom Landry, to calm everyone and convince them that all would work out. I know that Hal Lahar derived this ability from his lifetime of proof that those who do their best to help and encourage people -- as Hal did so well -- have nothing to worry about!

     Last, the original property where the 13 founders of Colgate prayed for the creation of a school to bring the message of Christianity to the world is in total disrepair. We should beautifully renovate it and have it serve as a museum on the heritage -- especially the spiritual heritage -- of the college and it could also serve as a headquarters for the Protestant Evangelical groups on campus like the Colgate covenant prayer group. It would also be an inspiring place for lectures, classes, reunion seminars and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, et cetera!

Wilmington, DE

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