Letters to the Editor Autumn 2014

Fun Run

I forgot how much I enjoy reading the Oregon Quarterly until I sat down and read the latest issue [Summer 2014]. 

All the articles were excellent, but “Pre’s People” by Ben DeJarnette was over the top for me. I started running for a PE class I took while at Oregon and vividly remember many jaunts up through Hendricks Park during good and not-so-good weather. I am like the high school runners who watch the movies about Pre’s life. My wife and I have them recorded and watch them regularly, but neither of us can watch the ending when he crashed.

I will always remember a quote attributed to Pre, which went, “I don’t run to see how much guts I have, but to see how much the other guy has.” That says it all about Pre in my mind. 

Before I read the author credit, I knew it had to be a runner. Only someone who has been there could capture the spirit.

Evan H. Mandigo ’67
Bismarck, North Dakota

More Pre People

We thought Oregon Quarterly readers might be interested in seeing the reunion photo we put together for our new documentary on Pre called Pre’s People. These are all (but one) of Pre’s high school district championship teammates 40-plus years later.

This picture was taken of them at Marshfield High School, where they surprised Pre’s assistant track and cross-country coach Phil Pursian as part of filming the new documentary, which focuses on Pre’s childhood in Coos Bay and his running foundation at Marshfield High. We concluded filming our documentary at the 2014 Prefontaine Classic and in Coos Bay. We captured untold stories, acquired never-before published photos of Pre, and interviewed more than 50 people—coaches, teammates, competitors, and fans—all in high definition over the past three years. Now the editing process begins.

Travis Johnson
Phoenix, Arizona
Brad Jenkins
Portland, Oregon
Pirate Films, LL C

Pre Appreciation

As a graduate student living in student family housing on Villard Street, I frequently would see Pre and his training buddies run by our house at what seemed to me to be four-minute-mile speed and carrying on conversations like they were sitting around a coffee table. An hour later they would return, still running and talking as if it were nothing.

Those were heady days for me and my family, with the likes of Dan Fouts, Bobby Moore (now Ahmad Rashad), Ronny Lee, and others who would put the Ducks on the map. The favorite of all was Hayward Field on a sunny afternoon in spring, with Pre doing his thing.

Darrel Duncan, PhD ’73
Venice, Florida

What a fantastic story about Prefontaine! I had no idea he started the prison running program. Thank you for printing this.

Celia Leber
Bend, Oregon

A special thanks for the article on Pre. I was in the dorm next to him and saw him regularly. The [magazine] brings back many memories, both about Pre and Kesey.

Matt Motchkavitz ’71
Greenwood Village, Colorado

Memories of Mac Court

As a personal friend of Bev and Tara Smith, and a somewhat older Ducks fan, I have to say that I had tears in my eyes reading Bev’s account of her return journey through old Mac Court [“School of Hard Blocks,” Summer 2014]. Personal, spiritual, and blessed—a reminder of older days and ways. My wife, Monica, was also personally touched by the piece, as I’m sure were many other denizens of old Mac Court.

Thanks for that story.

Tony Brunello, MS ’78, PhD ’83
Saint Petersburg, Florida

A New Low

You have reached a new low as to the material you have chosen for the Quarterly magazine. The essay “A Demolition” [Summer 2014] belongs in a porn magazine, not in a college quarterly publication. Really, how could this essay possibly be considered, let alone take first place and be featured in your magazine? I guess this shows the direction that our colleges (at least the University of Oregon) are headed. Congratulations.

Larry Clack ’75
Salem, Oregon

Special Thanks

We always enjoy the magazine. Thanks for your hard work. We especially enjoyed the article by Bev Smith. Well written, for sure. Thanks also for the variety of what you include. The Kesey article [“Kesey, Collected,” Summer 2014] was a great follow-up to the exhibit that the Springfield Museum had about him.

Thanks again.

John, MEd ’68, and Joanne Halgren
Springfield, Oregon

An Oregon Original

Glenn Jackson is my favorite Oregon citizen of all time. The gas tax he promoted funded state parks and natural resources along with 3 percent of the General Fund. His parents operated the Albany newspaper for many years, and his sister Olga was married to a newspaper reporter (Gene Burns) who gained fame when he reported on the Pearl Harbor bombing that started WWII. Thanks.

Bill Sanderson ’63
Mill City, Oregon

Golf Court?

Regarding “Law on the Golf Course” [Summer 2014]: Don’t we have better places than in a courtroom to play this “ball”? The only ones shooting par in this game will be the lawyers. Ping-Pong or tennis, anyone?

John Hawkes ’68
Siletz, Oregon

Thanks, Duck Store

I couldn’t believe the amount of exposure from being on the back cover of the last Quarterly! When I was a student, I served on the Duck Store board during difficult economic times. I think an organization’s true colors show in times of uncertainty, and I really respected the grace and dignity that moved the Duck Store forward. So when I started Campus Sculptures, I let the Duck Store’s people-centered approach shape my decision-making. Finding strength in doing right by others has made me tenacious, and connecting with people has given me confidence and joy. I owe my growth to the Duck Store, both personally and in business. I’d like to say “thank you.”

Alison Brown ’11
Gresham, Oregon

Editor’s note: Alison Brown and her sculpture were featured in the Duck Store ad on the back cover of our Summer 2014 issue.