Letters to the Editor Summer 2019

Proponent of Preservation

I am especially impressed by "Harmony at Hollering Place" (Spring 2019) and have sent it to the director of our USC heritage conservation program. You must know that there are are only two such programs in the whole western US. I am proud to have initiated both of them–the program at the UO when I was dean of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts, from 1971 to 1981. "Harmony at Hollering Place" is an excellent example of the high quality of the UO program.

Robert S. Harris

Los Angeles, California

A Smorgasbord of Experiences

As an 87-year-old alum and retired teacher, I may well have had the longest smorgasbord of experiences in one’s life. I heard Margaret Mead speak on campus. She was the first wife of my anthropology professor, Luther Cressman, who introduced her at the event.

In the 1960s, I operated an aquarium shop of tropical fish in Eugene while starting a family. For over 50 years I taught mostly English and French. I taught as a substitute teacher for math and history too many of those years.

In 1957–58, I taught English as a foreign language as a Fulbright teacher in Japan, the country of my immigrant parents. After living there for a year, my husband-to-be, Don Loftus, BS ’55 (music), MMus ’67, met me in Japan to marry me. We had our honeymoon there, and on the way home in Hawaii, we were hosted and entertained by “Hawaii’s Songbird,” Lena Machado.

In 2012, six of my former students joined a party of 27 to celebrate my 80th birthday on a cruise up the Inside Passage to Alaska. I have attended their class reunions five or six times, the last being their 61st in 2018! The last time I joined them in Creswell (where I taught), I was 86 and they were all 79!

Mitzi Asai Loftus, BA ’54 (education), MA ’62 (interdisciplinary studies)

Ashland, Oregon

Where Are the Conservative Faculty Members?

I graduated from the University of Oregon in 1982. Currently I live in Southern California and I am proud to be a Duck. Periodically I receive phone calls requesting donations from U of O. As I’ve grown older I believe I’ve gained wisdom. That has led me to becoming more conservative. When I’m asked for donations I have one question, can you name 10 conservative professors at the U of O? That is the end of the conversation. There are 800-plus tenure-track professors at Oregon and I doubt there are even 10 conservative professors. The president of the university should be working on diversity of opinion. That’s not happening. 

Dave Bowman, BS ’82 (marketing)

Corona Del Mar, California

Memories of Morningside

I grew up near Morningside Hospital (“Return to Morningside,” Autumn 2018). Most of the kids who grew up around the hospital knew that it was for psychiatric patients who had mental illness of some kind. In 1998, I began serving as pastor at the Utqiagvik Presbyterian Church in what was then called Barrow, Alaska. I soon began to hear stories from parishioners about how some of them had been sent to school in Oregon and also Morningside Hospital. Neither were pleasant experiences for them or family members sent away. I found it interesting to hear about Morningside in Oregon Quarterly and have always wondered about its history.

Mike Stuart, BA ’71, MA ’74 (history)

Batavia, New York

A Lesson in Listening

“Tracking Conflict and the Wolf” (Winter 2019) was a wonderfully woven story. Particularly noteworthy was the segment titled “Inspired by Political Gridlock.”

UO environmental studies instructor Peg Boulay was so correct when she said, “It seems no one is listening to each other.” And then through so many situations and venues, she obviously taught her students that better listening skills are the tools to promote greater understanding. The ultimate goal (which should be for all of us) is respectful dialogue. Thank you to writer Emily Halnon and instructor Boulay for their message and story. I would have loved to be on that trip through my native state.

Craig Weckesser, BS ’64 (journalism)

Olympia, Washington

Are Algae Farms Next?

Intriguing and hopeful article on biodegradable plastic in the recent Quarterly (“Fantastic Plastic,” Spring 2019). Exciting as it is to anticipate this development, I had to wonder what happens to the marine eco-system when brown algae starts being harvested on a scale sufficient to meet the world’s needs for plastic. Or will it be grown in huge vats? Please publish a follow-up article exploring in more detail.

Carlis Nixon, MA ’86 (art history)

Eugene, Oregon