Letters to the Editor

Bookmark and Share

Richard Phillips in UNH dorm phone booth
ORIGINAL "CELL PHONE": Richard Phillips '63 of Williamsburg, Va., wrote to let us know that he was the caller in the tiny booth pictured in "On Ben's Farm" in the last issue—and to suggest a caption based on The American Heritage Dictionary definition of "cell" as "a narrow, confining room, as in a prison, asylum, or convent." His caption: "Dick Phillips demonstrates a 'cell phone' in 1960."

Recalling the Past

Thanks to Mylinda Woodward '97 for the memories she brings us with "On Ben's Farm." The coed in the photo in the last issue is Connie Fletcher Morris '42 in the phone closet on the second floor of Alpha Xi. If one closed the door, it was dark as pitch and answering was haphazard to say the least. There were not many missed connections, however, as a phone call could be of great significance in the early 1940s. Aside from parents and boyfriends, there was the constant concern of men dropping out of school to enter the service and the sad news that a fraternity brother had been killed in North Africa. Later came the crushing news that Theta Chi had lost Donald and Mado Crafts. It was also in that phone booth that I learned my Aunt Madeline had died in the Cocoanut Grove Fire [the deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history, killing 492 people]. It was an unsettling time.

Kudos to the Mayor

I am a resident of Hoboken who witnessed Mayor Zimmer's tour of our flooded, grimy, sometimes stench-ridden town, street by street, day in, day out, sometimes with an entourage of public officials, following the brutal beating of Hurricane Sandy. The mayor showed genuine concern for the well-being of the residents and infrastructure of her town. I was one of those people who walked the 15 minutes to Town Hall each day for any new word at her press briefings, which so many of us had come to rely on as our only beacon during a time of telecommunication and electricity failure, which severed our contact with the rest of the country.

The mayor [arranged for] something as simple as free ice stations where residents could collect bags of ice to keep food cool in the absence of refrigeration. She also got the National Guard to assist with evacuation and security efforts and arranged for news trucks to bring us free Wi-Fi.

Did I mention the free batteries? Or the night we plodded through the dark streets to volunteer at Columbus High School? The mayor was already there, as we unloaded trucks of food. She set up a hotline, was relentless in her negotiations to restore power to the town, and provided a lifeline through Facebook and Twitter, sending updates on available services.

I know many of us were grateful to have Mayor Zimmer at the helm when her town was beleaguered and under crisis. She has redefined the role of mayor to incorporate the extended family of all Hoboken.

Mayor Zimmer also went to Washington to testify and request funds on behalf of the city. One of her latest initiatives is the exploration of flood protection barriers around the town, for which she has called on experienced Dutch consultants. Her work, accomplishments, and continued efforts for Hoboken, have earned her the unqualified respect and gratitude of her municipality!

Pros and Cons

"A River Rolled Through It," in the Winter '13 issue, along with the cover photo of Hoboken, N.J., mayor Dawn Zimmer '90, was inappropriate because the emphasis was not on our great university, but rather about an outstanding alumna. But "Mission: Possible" about '70s grads Linda and Craig Rydin, who are endowing scholarships, was deeply touching.

Our magazine needs more articles on what is being done for the state in terms of legislative funding, the development of academic programs, and the generosity of alumni in recruiting students.

A Better Berlin

Though not all that has transpired in Berlin [N.H.] since my childhood is for the worse, from my vantage—close enough to be informed, but far enough away to gain perspective—the situation in Berlin today is quite bleak. All the more reason to be delighted to see Berlin mentioned in UNH Magazine in a favorable light.

I wish to express my gratitude to Linda Labnon Rydin '71 and Craig Rydin '73. The fact that they have made their decision to endow UNH scholarships for students from Berlin is especially meaningful for me in that I also graduated from UNH. I was "fortunate" enough to work my way through school. It took more than four years, but it was an education worth paying for. Today, working through school may be out of the question with the higher cost of education. This makes their endowment all the more consequential.

Remembering a Legend

In regard to the letter in the Winter '13 "Letters to the Editor" section, I would like to add another name to those with structures named in their honor. Earl E. Lorden '21 became a legend at Turners Falls High School and then became the baseball coach at the UMass. He was a great coach, a gentleman, and a personal friend. The baseball field at UMass is named Lorden Field and is an additional credit to that particular class.

blog comments powered by Disqus