Letters to the Editor Autumn 2010

Photograph courtesy UO Department of Geography

Day in Court

I just read Ellen Waterston’s article “Day in Court” in Oregon Quarterly magazine. The article was just beautiful and I could picture everything the she described throughout the article. 
I attended the UO from 1958 through 1965 and have wonderful memories of growing up in Medford and living in Eugene while I attended the University.

One of the things I never got a chance to do was spend any time in Bend or Eastern Oregon, and your article makes me wish I had been able to do that while I was living in Oregon. Hopefully, I can do it sometime soon. 

Many of the descriptions in the article reminded me of Southern Oregon with Medford, Ashland, Klamath Falls, and Crater Lake. 

When I went to my fiftieth high school reunion in Medford last year, I attended a play at the [Oregon] Shakespeare Festival in Ashland and while I was waiting for the theater to open, I was sitting on Main Street having a drink and down the street rode a girl in the nude on her bicycle. What a sight! But the waiter told me that she did that frequently and no one bothered her. Then when I got out of the theater and was back at the same watering hole, what should happen but I saw a deer walking down Main Street, turning left in front of the restaurant, and disappearing in the distance.

Those are the kind of memories that I love from Oregon, and Waterston’s article was just so perfectly on point about the beauties of the state. And, as a lawyer, I can really appreciate her observation of the court system and I was so happy to see that the judge dismissed the case of the gentle Mexican man. Thanks again for brightening my day with such a beautiful article.

Henry T. Courtney ’62, ’65
Coral Gables, Florida

Proud Geographer

How times have changed! Kimber Williams’ excellent article about Erin Aigner, “Maps for the Times” [Summer 2010], brought back many a fond memory for me. In getting my masters in geography way back in the olden days (1972), I had the pleasure of having Bill Loy (may he rest in peace) as my thesis advisor. My thesis, “The Halftoned Slope Method of Topographic Mapping,” was completed at a time when computer-assisted graphics was just coming into vogue and was pretty much in its infancy. In fact, my thesis was that you could use computers to more accurately and more cheaply build a topographic map than what the Defense Mapping Agency was currently doing. Yes, Leroy lettering sets, Koh-I-Noor pens, scribe sheets, handheld scribing tools, and stick-down symbols were the order of the day. Only forty years ago, but eons technologically. The research turned out to be the easy part of my thesis. But Commander Bill Loy (I was an Army captain at the time; it made for interesting times near Army–Navy game day) and the rest of the geography department were supportive, sustaining, and superlative. Little did I know then that I would eventually end my military career working for the Defense Mapping Agency. Erin Aigner, you're making geographers, cartographers, and the UO proud!

Rich Boerckel, MA ’72
Newtown, Pennsylvania

Praise and Correction

First, I just want to thank you for your work with the Oregon Quarterly. To be absolutely honest, up until about a year ago, I regarded the Quarterly as another UO mass mailing and treated it pretty much as recycling. Sometime last year, I read a copy and found myself somewhat ashamed I had disregarded it before. Simply put, I think that the Quarterly is one of the best news and informational publications put out in our area. I appreciate the quality of the articles, as well as their content. In particular, I enjoyed the article in the Summer issue about the cultural and social melting pot that exists inside a small courtroom (“Day in Court”) by Ellen Waterston. I am currently working locally in law enforcement and have worked in federal law enforcement in rural Oregon. In both capacities, I have witnessed some of the most interesting displays of the human condition sitting in a hot, stuffy, and uncomfortable courtroom waiting for a case to be called.

All that aside, I just wanted to point out a small correction. In the Pacifica Forum article [“The Great Debate: Pacifica Forum,” UpFront], a fact was stated that “large numbers of campus security personnel and Eugene police officers were present.” The only law enforcement officers present at any Pacifica Forum events this year have been those of the University of Oregon (with the exception of an EPD officer acting only as a liaison for a meeting in January). The University has been exceedingly supportive of the continued increase in professionalism on the part of the University of Oregon Department of Public Safety. Included in this change has been a transition from reliance on outside agencies (EPD) for essential services of the University. While I don't think that this article made any major mistake (in fact, I feel that the article presented the opinions which form the crux of the Pacifica issue far better than any actual meeting), I feel it would be unfortunate to present the University as incapable of providing for its own needs. The UO, through both the recent “New Partnership with the State” white paper and several other UO initiatives, is finally moving forward as a truly progressive state institution. Progress in the area of public safety and emergency services is a vital part of this endeavor.

Chris Enquist

O History Question

Was it a new site for the “O” that Don Gunther ’58 wrote about in his letter [Summer 2010]? I recall as part of my freshman hazing, 1926, sliding down the “O” on Skinner Butte with my pants soaked in lemon yellow paint.

Karl Landstrom ’30, MA ’32 
Arlington, Virginia

Roy Paul

I read with sadness (in the Spring issue of OQ) about the passing of Roy Paul Nelson, professor of journalism and communications. As a UO journalism major in the 1960s, I took both magazine reporting and editing courses he taught. He required students in the magazine reporting class to have an article published in a periodical. Mine was published in a trade magazine. I often popped into his office and found him a voice of encouragement to someone facing the impending world of work. In autumn 1968, while visiting England, I was offered a job as a reporter on a small weekly newspaper in Buckinghamshire. The editor hired me on condition that I could provide the British agency that awarded work permits with documentation showing that I was a published journalist in the United States. Once again, I turned to Roy Paul, and he did not disappoint. Soon, there arrived an official looking letter from him printed on UO letterhead. In it, he explained that I was a professional journalist and had written and published articles in both the Oregon Daily Emerald and in trade magazines. I will be always grateful to Roy Paul for helping me get my start in the journalism field. I went on to a career filled with newspaper reporting, trade magazine editing, and corporate public relations.

Cheryl Adamscheck ’68
Lacey, Washington