painting on the cover of this issue is, for me, something close to a memory.
If you gave that grandfatherly physician a pair of wire-rimmed spectacles
and a trim white moustache, you'd have the spitting image of the doctor
who did my physical exam the summer before my junior year of college,
who happened to be the same small-town doctor who was present at my birth.
Dr. Finis Q. Wyatt
was a Norman Rockwell physician if ever there was one--round, merry and
wise, like a Coca-Cola Santa sans beard. He probably saved my brother's
life by finding an early-stage cancer in his knee. He saw me through chicken
pox, measles and a case of scarlet fever. He knew just about everything
there was to know about me, and he would always perch on a tiny stool
and spend some time querying me about my life and plans as he peered into
my ears or tapped my knee. I trusted him without reservation.
Today, my family doctor
is a likable-enough guy, some years my junior. He's efficient, slightly
aloof and terribly busy. I usually see him at about station four or five
of the medical assembly line, briskly ticking things off on his clipboard.
I suspect that he remembers my name because it's written on the chart
in his hand.
But to be fair, my
memories of Dr. Wyatt are really memories of another age. That was (the
nostalgic) then; this is (the vivid) now. Health care today is a world
Dr. Wyatt couldn't have imagined--a world of HMOs, high-tech medicine
and Viagra ads on TV. Health care in America has never been so harried
or so confusing. The rise of HMOs has been touted as the salvation of
quality health care and lamented as its death knell. In one decade, prospects
for universal health coverage swelled to help rout one sitting president,
then collapsed beneath the feet of another. Physicians, in the meantime,
have been converted from archetypal healers into quasi-bureaucrats.
It must be a hard
time to be a doctor. In fact, it's no wonder doctors increasingly treat
their patients like cogs in the medical machine. They probably feel increasingly
like cogs themselves.
It's a profession,
I confess, that I considered--or rather, that considered me--mainly during
that summer before my junior year. It was during that physical exam that
Dr. Wyatt asked me if I'd considered medicine as a calling. He explained
that he sometimes helped students through medical school and would be
willing to assist if I decided to give it a try. The offer was such a
profound compliment that I really did give it some thought. In the end,
partly out of sheer terror of holding another person's life in my hands,
I said no.
To this day, however,
I have an enormous respect for those young people who say yes--including
an impressive percentage of every Pomona graduating class. I know their
motives are usually mixed, even today, when the profession's prospects
for wealth and prestige aren't what they once were. But whatever brew
of motives may be at work, I suspect it includes an interest in people,
a willingness to take personal responsibility for their welfare, an engagement
with real human needs. In other words, I suspect--and hope--that there's
a little bit of Dr. Wyatt in them all.
of a "Saint"
The strange odyssey
of Eugene (Fr. Seraphim) Rose '56 had particular meaning for me, as
I read PCM Spring 2001. We live in a condominium in La Mesa, and Esther
Rose, Eugene's mother, spent her last years in the home next to ours.
After her death her home was lived in for several years more by a granddaughter,
twin sister to the one who has recently published Eugene's biography.
Mrs. Rose was indeed
a stern and strong-willed lady, but also one of some talent as an amateur
painter. When she heard that I was a graduate of Pomona she spoke several
times of her son. I had hoped to meet him, but this never happened although
I believe he visited here more than once. After his death she informed
me that his monastic brethren were preparing to canonize him. It was
clear that, despite earlier friction, she had already done the same.
I suspect that there
are others among the alumni of Pomona, who (like myself) have had some
experience in the cloister, whether brief or over decades. I can mention
one, Fr. Robert Hale '59. He is a member and sometime prior of the Camaldolese
(Benedictine) monastery in Big Sur. The group at Big Sur are very open
to currents of ecumenism and environmental stewardship, as reflected
in their writings and their hospitality to people of varied persuasions.
While that too is an eremitic and "enclosed" community, it is in great
contrast to the dour Orthodoxy espoused by Fr. Seraphim. I recall reading
one article by him excoriating the decadence of the Western Church,
both Catholic and Protestant.
I have before me
a small scholarly monograph on St. Augustine written by Fr. Rose. It
is an informative look at how Augustine relates to the Eastern Church,
or actually vice versa. This posthumous monograph begins with an introduction
by the Fr. Alexey Young mentioned in your article and concludes with
a sympathetic photographic portrait of Fr. Seraphim.
PCM is an outstanding
publication, often full of welcome surprises.
Pease '50, La Mesa, California
Do we shrink away
with puzzlement--maybe horror or disgust--possibly fear, from such an
article as that in the current PCM on Father Seraphim Eugene Rose '56?
As an old alum from
the class of 1943, an RN from Stanford School of Nursing, a major in
psychiatry, an army nurse in WWII and a Christian lady, I rejoice when
any suffering human being finds the truth of life in our Lord and Savior,
We all tread our
own path to the truth of life and I shall not gainsay his.
I have studied homosexuality
throughout my life (I'm 79 now) and I agree with Eugene Rose who said
he had been in hell. It's not genetic--just a very rotten mixed-up choice.
Thanks for telling
us about him. I shall give him a hug when I'm up in Heaven.
Jean DeCristoforro '43, Sacramento, California
Your article about
the number 47 in the Fall 2000 issue of PCM came out very well indeed,
and I want to congratulate you on capturing the essence of a great Pomona
It seems that this
tradition has followed me, even 10 years after my leaving Claremont.
This fall, two College of Wooster seniors--Marty Coppola '02 from Medina,
Ohio, and Sandy Tecklenburg '01 from Cincinnati--qualified for the NCAA
Division III Cross Country Championships in Spokane. Their "runner ID
numbers," independently and randomly assigned, were very familiar...
Stanton Hales, Jr. '64
President, The College
Regarding your Fall
2000 issue, which contained Sarah Dolinar's fascinating story on "The
Mystery of 47," it has no doubt been pointed out to you that the subject
headings which formed one border of the front cover ("The Sagehen Network--The
Mighty Emeriti--Athletes at Work") contained precisely 47 letters. This
should come as no great surprise. However, if precisely 47 people contact
you to tell you they noticed this bit of trivia, then I will be forced
to consider myself an incredulous convert to this most curious counting
Waner '69, Seattle, Washington
Note: Actually, there are lots of 47s hidden in that issue. I was beginning
to think no one had noticed. Thanks. (If you want more 47s, you might
try checking out the illustrations in that issue). --MW
Last week I received
the spring issue of PCM, and was surprised to find a letter in the Forum
section from my second cousin, Bobby Dozier Spurgin '49, concerning
the Glee Club picture.
The person (second
from left in the back row) was labeled as "Chas Boynton" but was actually
my father, Edmund C. Boynton, 1900. Among the family photos I found
some pictures that clearly establish my identification. Edmund and Charles
Boynton did not resemble each other. My Uncle Charles never wore a moustache
or beard, whereas my father had both until his death.
I realize that all
this is really not terribly important, but it is to me. In his later
life my father not only lived in Claremont but was a well-known and
loved figure in the community until his death in his 98th year. He sang
all his life the church choirs and barbershop groups. He is sadly missed.
You will notice
that the identifying names are all in the same handwriting, which would
seem to indicate that they were written somewhat later by someone who
was not acquainted with the club members.
Boynton Nightingale '32, Nipomo, California
Note: Sadly, this letter was sent just prior to Ms. Nightingale's death
(See page 60). --MW
and Against Frats
As a student who
was heavily involved in the late 1980s in urging the College to end
its support for single-sex fraternities, it was a little distressing
to read Nate Johnson's article "Frats with a Difference," and learn
that there still exist two Pomona fraternities that discriminate on
the basis of sex--Kappa Delta and Sigma Tau. This exclusion of women
continues despite the College's clear statement that sex discrimination
is not allowed "in any of its policies, procedures or practices."
On the positive
side, when my fellow students and I started working for such change,
there were four frats that barred women. This decrease in the number
of these sexist clubs gives me hope, and I look forward to the day when
there will be none. I look forward to the day when the College chooses
to live up to its bold nondiscrimination statement, and to the day when
young men realize that all-male fraternities, with their cultures of
sexism and homophobia, are irrelevant in modern academic life, and interfere
not only with men's ability to relate to women, but to other men, as
Patrick, '90, Portland, Oregon
On the subject of
campus fraternities, I feel completely vindicated. When, a number of
years ago, then-President Alexander solicited alumni views (which he
then ignored) on fraternities, I wrote at some length on their importance
as 'social glue.' I noted the significant diminution of campus social
life that accompanied the demise of the men's and women's associations
during my four years at Pomona. I pointed out that even during my time
several of the frats were in effect coed. Finally, I noted that the
quality of social life that I saw on campus during the mid-'70s (when
I was doing graduate work in Claremont) had declined markedly. [I also
had some other, possibly biased, but more up-to-date information in
that one of my employees had recently graduated from Pomona.] In any
case, political correctness held sway and most of the frats perished.
This was a bad idea from the start--it was addressing the wrong problem
and in doing so exacerbated a more serious one.
Jefferson, '67, Woodbridge, Virginia
I read with great
interest the article regarding the blackouts which occurred this past
winter. The cost of the eight generators on top of the penalties applied
by Southern California Edison must have amounted to a great deal of
money. Coupled with the cost of diesel fuel, the maintenance cost of
internal combustion engines, plus the pollution (noise and air), Pomona
appears to be paying a heavy price to stay plugged in.
I hope every person
involved realizes that generators are a quick and dirty solution to
a problem which will not be going away, at least not by 2003. The college
administrators and leaders at Pomona may have missed a real opportunity
to invest in long-term alternative power generating technologies which
are dependable, readily available, and (compared to fossil fuels) clean
and virtually maintenance free.
Imagine an array
of solar power panels on the flat roof of Big Bridges. Imagine selling
power back to SCE on days when no one is on campus. Imagine being off
the grid in sunny Southern California. Surely there is a faculty member
or student at the College who is well versed in energy technology. Perhaps
a timely senior thesis on getting institutions off the grid will appear.
has the financial and geographical resources to be a trendsetter in
energy generation. Bag the war mentality ("Fire up those generators,
boys, we're in trouble now!") and come up with a good plan. Make it
a priority. If you want it, you can have it. Any free thinkers down
Richardson '68, Port Townsend, WA
Editor's Note: You
raised some points that deserved answers, so I went looking for some.
According to Jim Hansen, director of campus planning and maintenance,
the eight or nine small generators installed early in the energy crisis
have all been removed. Our two 2-megawatt generators, able to power
the entire campus, are utility grade--meaning they could be run 24 hours
a day without exceeding the California Air Resource Board's noise and
air pollution standards. For the longer term, an Energy Committee of
faculty, staff and students has been formed to explore alternative energy
I enclose a poem
I wrote April 29, after attending the memorial ceremony on the lawn
beside Little Bridges. Mac McCloud is the pen name I use for all my
poetry and essays on art.
Richard G. Barnes '54, d. 2000)
by Mac McCloud
Before green lawns
Words rustle through the trees,
Fugitive crows flying
On the morning breeze.
I wonder if they know
They have vanished
like skin, like bones,
like poems, like stones?
There's a certain kind of music
we can't forget
and don't want to.
That's why we are here
on creaky metal chairs
quietly reckoning the losses.
McClain '55, Los Angeles, California
I hope you can find
a place for this poem in PCM. It was written in memory of my classmate,
Gene Morrill '70.
Rag and Bone Shop of
memory of Gene Morrill '70)
Geno wanted the
world to remember
image of the college
the Bombing of Cambodia!" banners
Hall. He wouldn't let a phonathon
the hook, a stray student
at a reunion escape,
without a few
witness. I can't even
those banners now,
What I see
is Geno and me
sitting on the
edge of Bridges'
swinging our legs.
that that memory
six months old
He's giving me
meant for the college library
showed him a poem of my own.
Bone Shop of the Heart,
that got him through
Divorce and single
friend Phyllis," he inscribes,
what she wants
to school at fifty
a poet or die trying.)"
But that is a
is a season of grief.
poet died decades before,
wounded by an instructor's wince.
man just last month.
Geno the teacher
and patron may outlast us all.
book gingerly, never knowing
of birds and bullets
A. Meshulam '70, Sebastopol, California
We welcome letters
about the College or magazine. Letters may be edited for length, style
and clarity. When a letter questions a published article, the author or
another appropriate respondent may be invited to reply. The editor reserves
the right to cut off debate on an issue after a reasonable period of time.