Fall 2000, Volume 37, No. 1

The Mystery of 47
In Full Bloom
The Sagehen Network

Pomona Forum
Being 47

Pomona Today
Say What?
Making a Gleeful Noise
New Professorships
Trustees Named

Sports Report
The Price They Pay

Faculty News
New Faces

Portrait of the Artist

Campaign Update
Community Properties

Alumni Past
The One-Man Air Force

Parlor Talk
Running Against the Wind

Family Tree
The Lorbeer Family

Alumni Profile
The War Room
On Wilderness Time

Alumni Photo Gallery

Alumni Puzzler
Just Say Yes

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I recall, when I was just a kid, pondering that strange and distant shore, the Year 2000. I remember calculating with a touch of horror how old I would be then and thinking that it was too bad my life would be nearly over.

Today I look at it a little differently. I've reached that shore--I am that age. Now it seems to me that it's a very special age indeed. And that's not just the usual parallax of aging. It's something more precise. In particular, it seems a great and wonderful age to be at Pomona College. You see, last March I turned 47.

Before I came here, of course, that number held no particular meaning for me. It was just one of those gawky, oversized primes that always struck me as a bit lonely among the great clans of divisible numbers, like aging bachelors at a family reunion. As an age, it was simply part of the final countdown to the half-century mark--not even close enough to that mark to be particularly dreaded.

But now, my perceptions have changed. I seem to discover that strange little number wherever I turn, and it always brings a spark of humor into my day. Being 47 incarnate now has come to seem something of a privilege--even an honor. And it's all thanks to what has to be one of higher education's stranger traditions.

Of course, it's also a fairly recent tradition. Soon after I discovered the secret life of the number 47 myself, I came to understand that many Pomona alumni--particularly those my age and older--were as deeply puzzled by all this fuss over a random number as I had been. Many others, however, have already joined wholeheartedly in the fun of 47 hunting. And what a subtle sport it is.

Whether it's a casual mention of the number of a planetary scan on an episode of Star Trek Voyager, or an article in The Washington Post about a marine biologist whose statistical model predicts the number of undiscovered "monsters" left to be found in the sea, or a casual mention on the History Channel of the age at which Al Capone shuffled off this mortal coil, the number never ceases to surprise and amuse us, as if we had glimpsed some essence of Pomona in the very fabric of the universe.

And that's what's so delightful about the 47 tradition. Unlike most college traditions, it doesn't look inward or backward. It's all about looking a bit more closely at the world, looking for those secret connections, those hidden bits of meaning. It's emblematic, in a way, of the lively, observant, engaged interaction with life that marks Pomona alumni everywhere.

Therefore, for those of you who view the number with perplexity, this issue is a Rosetta stone. For those who are already engaged in the universal 47 watch, it is also a challenge. How many 47s, either open or artfully hidden, can you find? --Mark Wood


The Price of Speech
I just want to thank you very much for Matt Cartmill's very enjoyable and thought-provoking article on the possible mechanism that allowed humans to speak. The two major anatomical changes that possibly allowed this to happen (and their implications--including our easier ability to choke to death as a result!) are very intriguing. --Loeta Tyree '67, South Hadley, Massachusetts

Dissent on Chopra
I read Zayn Kassam's article "The Color of Myth" with great interest and was pleased to see that she named the proactive model for human activity as crucial for individual and societal change. However, I do not agree that the teachings of Deepak Chopra are necessarily antithetical to the goals of a proactive life, as she indicates in the article. In fact, the article makes a polarity of the contemplative versus the socially active life, which perpetuates an unuseful dualistic paradigm.

There is a political dimension to finding the garden within. While Chopra usually does not focus on the social implications of the spiritual, he does teach people how to access their center. Most effective and committed people know that they must find their spiritual center as a source for social activity and that without energy from this source they lose clarity and energy.

So, a more useful position might be to evaluate the extent to which cultures develop both the spiritual and social dimension as a way of maximizing the potential of the people. I do agree with Zayn that the development of only one of those dimensions is not enough. --Sheila Pinkel, Associate Professor of Art

The Best Yet
This is to tell you that the Summer 2000 issue of Pomona College Magazine on communication and other fascinating topics is absolutely and unequivocally the best issue that has ever come out. This issue is equivalent in quality and interest to any of the intelligent, creative and attractively presented magazines in the English language.

Great congratulations on a fabulous issue and the promise of really high quality articles with intellectual content and not just some fuzzy marketing array of names and pictures. --Katie Goodridge Ingram '59, Santa Barbara, California

Matching 'Battle' With 'War'
Having just finished a pair of books by the Pomona duo, Paul and Betty Fussell, I can't help but feel that they could easily fit together as a boxed set were it not for the objections of at least one of the authors. The books I refer to are Paul Fussell's Doing Battle: The Making of a Skeptic and Betty Fussell's My Kitchen Wars. Although only the latter is designated as a memoir, both are autobiographical and cover roughly the same years, including their life together and their days at Pomona College. One can't help but feel that ...Wars was intended partly to flesh out parts of ...Battle, and it succeeds admirably. Nothing could illustrate more convincingly that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Both are highly recommended, although Paul's quirky refusal ever to use the verb 'convince' seems eccentric. --Frances Russell '46, Burbank, California

Between Stories
Thanks so much for the moving piece in the Summer issue on the AIDS quilt at Pomona, and also for the article on "The Language of Aging"--relevant to more and more of us alumni! And related to this, thanks for the thought-provoking "Traces of God" review. Katra and Targ, consulting 'wisdom teachers throughout history" and citing teachings of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam, argue for at least a mysterious "universal consciousness" that "can loosely be termed 'God.'" Would not a real consensus of these same sources enable us to take a further step and intuit that that "universal consciousness" is somehow related to compassion? If this is the case, we have new, mysterious and powerful resources in coming to terms with the AIDS quilt and aging and all such human challenges. --The Reverend Robert Hale '59, Big Sur, California

Professors Remembered
I know I join many Pomona Glee Club alumni in being saddened by the death of William F. Russell. "More geese than swan now live, more fools than wise."

I sang first soprano in the Women's Glee Club, 1957-61, but I was one of the lesser first sopranos. Bill Russell shaped our lives with his wit and humanity and taught us to perform and appreciate choral music.

Last October, I was in Santa Clara to present a paper on laser physics at the annual meeting of the Optical Society of America. We had a tour of the Ginzton Lab to see lots of fancy solid-state lasers. As I boarded the bus to return to the conference, I looked in the direction of the Stanford Memorial Chapel and recalled a glorious moment. During the 1958 Glee Club Tour, the combined glee clubs sang Heinrich Schutz's Deutches Magnificat: "Meine Seule erhebt den Herren und meine Geist erfreuet sich." This double chorus work, performed in the upper balconies of the Stanford Memorial Chapel, stunned the audience with its glorious music.

Every spring, the Women's Glee Club would rebel against having to sing "Lift Thine Eyes" from Mendelssohn's oratorio "Elijah" at the annual memorial service for Pomonans departed that year. This year, William F. Russell's name was read. While we are all saddened by his passing, we will never forget the glorious music we sang under his baton. "Und von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit, Amen." --Katherine Holtom Jones '61, The Woodlands, Texas

Late last month I received a letter from Graydon Beeks '69 and learned to my profound sadness that William F. Russell had passed away on May 4. Many years ago I was a music major at Pomona, and Bill was one of my professors. He was a gifted teacher and equally splendid Music Department chair. I feel privileged and enriched to have known him. I remember with special fondness our trips into the Monday evening concerts: Bill and his wife, Jean, Karl and Margaret Kohn, sometimes Peggy Smith and Theresa Fulton, and always the Russells' van full of students. The music at Plummer Park auditorium, Stravinsky and Aldous Huxley a few rows in front of us, and afterwards a deli snack at Canter's--such magic memories! I remember, too, Bill's marvelous wit. On one occasion we traveled to UCLA's Royce Hall, where Stravinsky was conducting some of his own works as part of a gala celebration of his 75th birthday. When the great man came onto the stage he quickly crossed it with a measured, leonine agility and, with a sudden little leap, he was on the podium. He then turned to acknowledge the applause, and at this point, Bill, with a twinkle in his eye, turned and said, "I see Igor has been playing with his cat again!" I feel immeasurably grateful to Bill and Jean for sharing part of their lives with me, for their caring spirit and generosity, for their unassuming warmth, and most of all, for just being who they were. --Ron Morrison '57, Arcadia, California

I was greatly saddened to learn of the death of Dick Barnes, my professor, adviser and friend. Knowing him deepened my college experience, as I know it did those of many others. He was a brilliant man who was utterly unpretentious about his accomplishments and his intellect. As an immature student, I often went to his office because I knew that he would offer an enjoyable conversation and that he would make me laugh. It wasn't until some time later that I realized he was actually mentoring and teaching me the entire time. He was sneaky like that. I suppose my most vivid memory of Prof. Barnes is of a day early in my sophomore year when he delivered a lecture on Chaucer to my Survey of English Literature class at the invitation of Prof. Martha Andresen. What I remember most is that, in the course of that one-hour talk, he made references to astronomy, race car drivers and the silent comedies of Buster Keaton. It may have seemed as if he was veering far afield from his subject, but if you stayed with him, you realized that it all related and made sense. That was who Dick Barnes was: he took you on a wild ride, but he always had a firm grip on the wheel and he always delivered you to a fascinating place. All of us who knew Prof. Barnes are privileged to have had our lives enriched by this fine educator and wonderful human being. --Eric Meyer '87, Lake Oswego, Oregon

Applause for Activism
I was heartened to read in the Summer 2000 PCM of Pomona students' successful action in support of Aramark contract food service workers. As reported, the action resulted in the workers being put on the College payroll, with increases in rates of pay and access to benefit plans. This last quarter decade has hardly been an encouraging one for us '60s lefties. Those of us who cut our political teeth on Vietnam have had to struggle to maintain the faith that social justice will, in the end, prevail. My odyssey from Pomona anti-war protester and SDS'er, through a conventional career as a community psychologist, through labor movement activism, to full-time union work in the health care sector has been a saga of balancing rage and optimism. Many of my compadres fell by the wayside, and I suspect that many corporate lawyers still wonder how they ended up where they are. Worst of all has been the clear indication that the generation after ours might not even be wondering. Buffeted between a sense of personal vulnerability, demographic disadvantages, and a propaganda machine that has likely never seen its equal, self-preoccupation appeared to have become the hallmark of an entire cohort. But indications are that the sensibilities of the children of our generation may be tending more to social justice than to personal security. Who knows why--be it our dinner conversations, favorable demographics, or just their own developing awareness of how far wrong things have gone--the young appear to be again finding a voice with which to express compassion, anger and faith. From Seattle/ WTO, to Washington, to--Pomona students speaking out for food service workers--signs of a new consciousness, analysis and activism are showing. I relate particularly to the Pomona student action in that I have been involved for the last several years in a campaign to bring hospital contract work in-house, within our union's contract. We have had some success, and our repatriated brothers and sisters have experienced a doubling of their wages, decent benefits and the dignity that comes from being protected from arbitrary treatment. The politics of labor law and the labor movement are vastly different in Canada than in the U.S., so the parallels cannot be drawn too closely. What binds these movements is their common wellspring: the commitment to right wrongs as they become accessible to change. So... congratulations, Pomona students! Many of us have waited a long, long time for you to rediscover the quest for social justice that drove your parents a long, long time ago. In some ways, we brought about change, but, in others, we are found sadly wanting. May you do better and achieve more. --Gordon Bailey '69, Vancouver, B.C., Canada

The "Iceberg" Debate
I would like to voice my support of Rick Hazlett's statements in his article titled "Icebergs of the Third Millennium" (PCM Fall 1999) as well as his response to a letter from Peter Morrissey '90 (PCM Summer 2000), who disputed most of his calculations. As a student and teacher of the Earth and environmental sciences, I was inspired to recalculate some of Rick's figures. (I should say here that I was a geology major at Pomona, and Rick was not only my adviser, but also an inspiration and a friend.)

Regarding the percentage of net primary production (NPP) appropriated by humans, one can work out the calculations oneself using widely available data. Applying published scientific information and methods on 1998 data on the average caloric intake of a person, the amount of vegetable matter consumed by livestock and the amount of wood consumed for construction, fiber and fuel, one can calculate that humans directly use 7.75 gigatons (Gt) of organic material annually. While estimates of total global NPP vary widely, the most recent and widely used data place annual global terrestrial NPP at 110-147 Gt. This translates to humans directly appropriating between 5-7% of NPP.

This low number is by far a conservative estimate, as it does not include 1) the lowered NPP of all cultivated, grazing, urbanized and desertified lands, 2) the amount of biomass wasted or lost to spoilage or pests during harvests, and 3) material burned in human-caused fires. Including such data, the percentage of NPP appropriated, co-opted, or forgone due to human activity rises to almost 40%, exactly as Rick states in his article. If, as Mr. Morrissey suggests, one does not include NPP forgone (lowered future NPP due to human alteration of terrestrial ecosystems), the percentage of global terrestrial NPP appropriated by humans decreases only to 26-34%.

Regarding the amount of land required to produce food for one American versus the amount required for the average person, one can, again, calculate one's own figure. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, 179,000,000 hectares of U.S. land was, in 1998, arable or covered with permanent crops. Eighteen percent of the food from these lands was exported, so the number of hectares available to produce food becomes 146,780,000. Divide this by the U.S. population (274,028,000 in 1998), and the result is 0.5 ha of land to produce food for each U.S. citizen--just as Rick said in his reply. Alternatively, 1,511,766,000 ha of arable land exist in the world (FAO). Dividing by the world population (6,055,053,000), this works out to 0.25 ha per person, still half the U.S. requirement.

Clearly, we can continue in this fashion ad nauseum. The amount of information available these days is immense, and one can find "scientific" facts to back up almost any statement. But as world population continues to grow, it seems inconceivable that the world community will tolerate the high level of U.S. consumption. --Amishi Joshi, '95 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

One of the advantages of a small campus such as Pomona's is that it should facilitate discussion of cross-disciplinary issues among faculty and students. Thus I was struck by the parochial position assumed by Prof. Hazlett in his recent response (PCM, Summer 2000) to a letter from Peter Morrissey. I suspect that if Prof. Hazlett would have taken the time to discuss his points with some of his colleagues in Pomona's Economics Dept. they would have referred him to, for example, the work of eminent scholars at the nonpartisan Resources for the Future (www.rff.org). RFF has widely acknowledged credentials as one of the premier nonpartisan centers for study of natural resources management policies. Prof. Hazlett might also consult a recent article in the Economic and Financial Review of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank--"Natural Resource Scarcity and Technological Change" by Stephen Brown and Daniel Wolk--on the same theme. Serious policy analysis supports the safe bets Mr. Morrissey proposes. His bets are certainly a surer thing than renewing one's membership in the Club of Rome!

In the interest of full disclosure, I should clarify that some time back I worked at RFF for several years. --Del Fitchett '58 Bethesda, Maryland

Regarding "Icebergs of the Third Millennium" in the Fall 1999 PCM and Peter Morrissey's letter (PCM Summer 2000), I simply want to applaud the comments of Mr. Morrissey, written to critically dissect Prof. Hazlett's nonscientific write-up.

In a remarkable coincidence of timing, an abstract on the same complicated subject appeared in a well-known scientific journal at almost the same time as Hazlett's "Icebergs." Authored by Robert C. Balling Jr., director, Office of Climatology, Arizona State University, under the title "A Climate of Doubt about Global Warming," the abstract is a refreshing contrast to the unjustified bleakness of Hazlett's piece.

"Many of the most fundamental global warming issues remain in a state of considerable debate in the scientific community..." Balling says. "We now fully realize that the future climate will be impacted by many changes in atmospheric composition, including the buildup of greenhouse gases. Increasing levels of sulfate and mineral aerosols and the depletion of stratospheric ozone all have a known cooling effect that may completely cancel any projected warming."

A basic requirement of sound science is objectivity and adherence to all observational data. Prof. Hazlett violated these basic requirements and Mr. Morrissey caught him between bases. I admit to some concern about good science teaching at Pomona. --T.H. McCulloh '49 Dallas, Texas

In fairness, it should be noted that Professor Hazlett's article was not about global warming and mentioned it only in passing. --The Editor

Stereotype or Reality?
As a member of the U.S. occupation forces in Japan from fall 1945 to spring 1946, I would like to disagree with Ms. Watanabe's assertion that Japan's negative record was a stereotype creation: "They not only demystified Japan; they also dispelled the vicious negative stereotypes of Japan. ..." That negative record was earned by Japan's heinous crimes against the people of its Asian neighbors prior to WWI and against Allied servicemen and innocent civilians during WWII. The horrors perpetrated by Japan defy description, but such books as, The Rape of Nanking, The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II by Iris Chong and Prisoners of the Japanese, POWs of World War II in the Pacific by Gavan Daws are a good place to learn how Japan achieved its singular reputation as a rapacious nation.

The reason we were in Japan was because of the Allies' concern that if Japan was not closely monitored by our military forces it could once again attack its neighbors. Were there rogue individuals in our military during that period of occupation? I have no doubt. There are also rogues in our military stationed in our own country. It has never been the policy of our military, however, to turn rogues loose on innocent people in Japan, in our country, or any other country. It was Japan's policy to have its military commit mass rapes and murders of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, to enslave them and, in defiance of Geneva Conventions, to enslave and to murder its Allied military prisoners of war.

Another troublesome assertion of Ms. Watanabe's is the statement," While the war launched the careers of the Boulder intellectual elite, it destroyed the lives of their teachers. Like other Japanese-Americans interned during the war, they lost their homes, businesses and sometimes family members who succumbed to illness in the camps." Ms. Watanabe has Japan to thank for the unfortunate treatment that Japanese-Americans received after Japan carried out its sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Japan's record of rapacious behavior in China in the 1930s was well known in this country. After the sneak attack our fear was that we would be invaded by Japanese forces and treated to Nanking-type massacres. It would be helpful in creating a better mutual understanding of conditions in this country between those of us who were attacked and those who were interned if the internees would put the blame for their experience where it belongs--on Japan. I will accept no guilt for the internment. We did what we did to cope with a very frightful situation. We made mistakes during wartime, but they were greatly outweighed by the good we accomplished in ridding the world of the evil forces in Japan and Germany. Japanese-Americans contributed to that victory when given a chance to participate.

For that we are all grateful. The article about the "Boulder Boys" was very interesting, but Ms. Watanabe missed an opportunity to give us more insight into the Japanese mind gleaned from the translations of the diaries of the dead Japanese soldiers. She chose instead to rewrite the record on Japan's rapacious behavior by describing Japan's record as a stereotype. This serves only to continue the efforts of some to cover up a record of atrocities that Japan has only grudgingly acknowledged and for which it has never apologized. --Ivan P. Colburn '51, Pasadena, 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 may be invited to respond. The editor reserves the right to cut off debate on an issue after a reasonable period.

Pomona Forum