Letters to the Editor

Landings, Libraries

There is an important ambiguity and error in Matthew Klam's article, "The Pilot's Tale," which otherwise is a fine piece. As a former Navy carrier pilot in World War II, may I point out that an airplane moving 170 mph toward a ship moving 30 mph away from it actually is moving at 140 mph over the ship, less the wind speed, which I shall assume to be 15 mph. This means that the pilot actually lands at a speed of 125 mph. The reason the ship turns into the wind is to give the pilot the advantage of the wind speed in addition to the ship's speed. It would have been helpful had Mr. Klam pointed this out and included the actual wind speed, which he could easily have obtained. Readers who know little about carrier operations are likely to have concluded that the ship's moving away from the pilot made landing more difficult for the pilot, and they couldn't take into account the wind speed.

The author responds: Everything you've said is true; the ship, moving away from the pilot, decreases the plane's approach speed. If the ship were moving toward the pilot, its speed would be added to the plane's airspeed, thus increasing the danger of the carrier landing yet further. In writing the article, I was more concerned that the reader understand the crazy concept of relative motion; and that, on top of everything else a carrier pilot must worry about, he is willing, at the end of a mission, to land on a moving target; whether it is moving toward the pilot or away from him seems to me to be less important than the fact that he's willing to accept this risk, as you did, in the name of our national defense.

That was a wonderful airplane that illustrated "Roger, I Have the Controls" in your Spring issue. Your readers might like to know how the story played out: Brian became a co-pilot for Business Express; I soloed after 48 hours and one more instructor; but our valiant Piper Cub, having survived 56 years of military service and student pilotage, was destroyed in a taxiing accident in June. I was nowhere near the airport at the time!

The fact that it's been 25 years is staggering. What I remember first about four years at UNH is 1:45 of ice hockey. I slept all night in line at the Field House to get tickets to the first round of the ECAC play-offs in Durham. My wife (of 20 years, now) and I got in line outside the rink about four hours before the game started. A beautiful early spring afternoon, in one of the most pleasant parts of the campus. At the start of the second period, we trailed RPI 1-4, and both teams were down two players on matching penalties. Our starting front line, Clark, Hislop and Cox, faced off and scored three goals in 1:45 to tie the game. I've never seen better hockey and probably never will. The final score was tragic, but the UNH team, the best.

Reading the letter by Robert Morrison in the Spring 1999 issue reminded me of the snow sculptures we did while I was a student. I've enclosed pictures of ones we did at Phi Mu Delta fraternity during some good snow years. Each was done to a contest theme. In 1939, it was "The Vikings," in 1940, "Nursery Rhymes," and in 1941, "Ben Thompson."

Just a short note to compliment you on the Spring 1999 edition. As someone who attended Dartmouth for a year before switching to UNH and as someone who graduated from Duke Law School, I receive their alumni magazines and have always been rather disappointed in UNH's. However, the above volume compares extremely well with the Dartmouth magazine, which is excellent, and is certainly now better than the Duke magazine. Keep up the good work.

I just received my first copy of the University of New Hampshire Magazine and was pleasantly surprised. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire publication. Not only did the magazine make me feel proud to be an alumnus, but it brought me back to the best four years of my life. However, as a Greek I would have liked an article dedicated to the largest student organization on campus. I look forward to the next issue. Well done!

Re. the article "Masterful Gardening" in the Spring 1999 issue, I would like to hear more about the program in the magazine, as I'm a Master Gardener in Seminole County, Fla. I wonder how many UNH graduates are in the program all over the U.S. Gardening in Florida is very different from New England gardening. Among the big differences is the tomato plant. Your tomato is great; the Florida tomato is awful.

I want to thank you for the fine article titled "High Altitude Rescue" in the Winter 1999 issue. It brought back memories of a similar incident that I had as a student at UNH. My friend, Scott Davis '73, and I were trapped for three days in the "dungeon" below Lakes of the Clouds hut on Mt. Washington during a fierce storm in January 1972. We also had to abandon our Presidential Range traverse and descend via the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail. Fortunately, we brought snowshoes and were able to walk out without incident.

I want to compliment you on the Winter issue. I enjoyed it all, especially the article "Great Expectations" by President Joan R. Leitzel. She really captured the essence of the value of libraries at academic institutions. My mother, who regularly reads her own alumni magazine and that of my niece, commented,"It is clear that UNH has its priorities focused on academics. I am impressed."

The "new" library is indeed glorious! Finally, the library can claim its rightful place at the center of campus life. The article and pictures made me long for the days when trying to find a good seat in the library was my biggest concern. Comfortable seats with adequate light and writing space were certainly hard to come by. I remember the library being such a dark place. In an effort to seek out whatever light I could find, I spent most of my library time in the glass reading room: we fondly dubbed it "the fishbowl."

Whatever happened to the Hamilton Smith Library? It was the place of choice for quiet studying in the 1940s and 1950s.

Editor's note: Hamilton Smith Library, dedicated in1907, was converted to classrooms and offices following the opening of Dimond Library in 1958. It now houses the English and philosophy departments.

Allow me to congratulate you on the new issue of the UNH Magazine. I was particularly interested in the article on Jerry Azumah '99, the running back of the football team. We wish him the best. I was particularly interested, for I was a member of the 1929 team, small college champions of the East.