Letters to the Editor

Fan of Fadeley

Thank you for the excellent article about Nancie Peacocke Fadeley (“The Right Stuff,” Autumn 2017). Nancie, both as a legislator and now, has been an important leader in environmental and women’s issues. Not surprisingly, she is too modest about her pioneering work. Her stance as a legislator on these issues made her a target for a very nasty election campaign, which was unprecedented at that time. She was targeted by out-of-state money, which relied upon repeated misstatements of her positions on these issues. Sadly, such campaigns are now the norm.

David Jensen, JD ’69 (law)
Vida, Oregon

Narrow Escape

I just read your story in Oregon Quarterly Autumn 2017 entitled “Vanport Resurfaces,” which caught my eye and brought back memories of that time.

I was a junior at Lincoln High in Portland in 1948. They put out a call for volunteers to come and help at the dikes. My buddy Jim Caughlan and I volunteered. We went to the meeting and they loaded us into a dump truck with other students, sandbags, and shovels. They drove us out on the dike and stopped at a boil* on the dike. They said fill the sandbags and stack them around the boil. We started filling the bags and putting them around the boil as told. No one was there to supervise us. We just worked. After about one hour, a truck came by and told us to get in, we were leaving. We hadn’t been gone 15 minutes when that dike broke and flooded all of Vanport. We did not know that anybody even knew where we were working on the dike. We were very glad somebody remembered and sent that truck out to get us out of there. Very lucky.

Gregg B. Corbitt, BS ’58 (business administration)
Fallbrook, California

* Editor’s note: Boils are cone-like bulges in the earth caused by a breach in a levee.

After Vietnam, a Lift

Seeing Professor George Wickes profiled in the Autumn 2017 Oregon Quarterly (“The Spy Who Taught Me”), and also in episode one of the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick Vietnam series on PBS, reminded me of the richness of my undergraduate studies at the UO in the early 1970s.

Besides Professor Wickes’ American literature classes, I matriculated in Edwin Bingham’s American history and later UO president Robert Berdahl’s European history classes. Robert Tonkinson and Richard Stevenson brought Australian Aborigine cultures and English literature alive. Art history was lucid with Jonathan Kidder and the Baldingers. They and many others contributed greatly to elevating my mind and spirit after my tour with the Army in Vietnam.

A friend with a PhD from the UO and an MFA from Cornell found little difference between the excellence of the faculty at both universities.

I had no clue about George Wickes’ military past, but then, he was a spy!

Steve Poff, BS ’74 (general social science)
Ellensburg, Washington

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Submit your letters at OregonQuarterly.com, to quarterly@uoregon.edu, or by mail to Editor, Oregon Quarterly, 5228 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-5288. You may also post comments online at OregonQuarterly.com. Published letters may be edited for brevity, clarity, and style.