Pioneer 10/11 Mission Patch
Pioneer 10/11 Mission Patch. (Courtesy NASA)


Another close encounter with outer space

Fifty years ago, 1966, I graduated from WSU and then went to work for NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California. I spent the next 40 years exploring our solar system. WSU gave me the “right stuff” to be a part of sending a “spacecraft where no spacecraft had gone before.” I was in the Pioneer Project and we sent the first spacecraft to the outer planets, Pioneer-10, to fly beyond the orbit of Mars through the asteroid belt and encounter Jupiter in 1973. After the flyby of Jupiter, Pioneer-10, on an escape trajectory from the Sun and hundreds of millions of years later, will enter an orbit in our Milky Way Galaxy. It was in 1979 that I realized the extent and size of our universe when I saw a plot of the Pioneer-10 galactic orbit. It just occurred to me that Pioneer-10 can go no further than our Milky Way and our galaxy is one of “billions and billions” in the universe. “To infinity and beyond,” as Buzz Lightyear has said.

David Lozier ’66 

EDITOR’S NOTE: A number of WSU alumni have been involved with space exploration. Read about some at and write us if you know of more.


Take a walk

When I moved to Riverside, California, in 1955, my father told me the biggest transportation mistake was to sell the trolley right of ways. The rail tracks were still there. The trolleys were fun and I never gave a thought to walking to them in San Francisco. I rode on the last run of a trolley in Waukegan, Illinois. There was a pot belly stove on it and the rail fans let me sit next to it. Exercise and camaraderie.

Kathleen Gallagher ’83


Regarding the article in the Spring issue of Washington State Magazine, “Take a walk … and call me in the morning,” seniors here on Whidbey Island are able to participate in the Senior Striders hiking group every Thursday morning through the South Whidbey Senior Center. Unseen by the casual traveler on Whidbey Island, there are networks of trails on the island that provide endless opportunities for those who love to hike. Roads here typically have narrow shoulders, so hiking these trails is where to safely enjoy the beauty of the island.

The Senior Striders, created years ago by a few hiking women companions, has turned into a hiking community of almost thirty women and men. Seniors here hike weekly through the forests on its trails with wondrous meditative scenic beauty which is lovingly spiritual. As we hike we meet new friends with heartfelt socializing as our social facades or “masks” begin to disappear.

I hope my description of the hiking opportunities and friendships on Whidbey Island have made you want to come and hike the trails sometime or perhaps walk in your neighborhood. Every place one walks is a special place. Enjoy it, walk with others, make friends and have good days. As one can see, walking is so much more than about walking.

Ken Simpson ’61


Cougs at the Olympics

I enjoyed the article by David Wasson in the summer edition of Washington State Magazine regarding WSU’s Olympic athletes.

I, too, was a WSU athlete, having been a two-year letterman in boxing in 1958–59 (a lifetime ago) and on the boxing team with Ike Deeter as the coach. I ultimately graduated in 1964 with a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Although I wasn’t a member of the Olympic boxing team, I was honored to have been selected as a U.S. Olympic Track & Field Official for the 1984 games in Los Angeles and 1992 Olympic trials in New Orleans. If there was a running event, I was there to officiate. It was quite a responsibility; an incorrect call could result in a significant kerfuffle.

There are many Olympic venues and it would be of great interest to know which WSU alumni rose to that level of officiating and their stories of getting there. I know mine is rather unique. As a veterinary medicine graduate, how I ended up as an Olympic track and field official and not in equestrian events is another story.

Donald L. Brust ’64 DVM 


Rademacher’s pro boxing days

Concerning boxer Pete Rademacher (Summer ’16 issue): Brashly self-confident following his Olympic success, he challenged champion Floyd Patterson for the world title in his very first professional fight, held in the Seattle Sick’s Stadium in August 1957. And, seemingly validating his boldness, he knocked Patterson down in the second round, but then lost by a K.O. in the sixth.

Richard Boyce 

Sick's Stadium
Sick’s Stadium, 1967 aerial view. (Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives)


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