Spirit of ’25

The reference in William Stimson’s article (Fall 2016) on the 1925 rally for the Cougar football team to students as forerunners of “The Greatest Generation” struck a chord. As a history department T.A., I researched the 1938 student strike for Dr. George Frykman. Issues may seem trivial to postmodern eyes (Dean Fertig’s proscription of blankets on picnics is one example), but students’ experience in campus mobilization was not. What started as pique over parietal rules became an experience in leadership. Indeed, some student organizers became war heroes within the decade. I remember that Lt. Col. Jerry Sage responded to my queries with a helpful note (no emails then!) from his home in Alabama. The strike and its aftermath show that disputes over local, parochial issues can nurture skills useful in the wider world.

Sandy Small ’76 Ph.D.

American Studies

 

The article “Spirit of ’25,” appearing in the Fall 2016 edition, brought back memories of a story my Coug brother Dick and I occasionally heard as we grew up in Wenatchee. As the article reveals, our father, John, caught that game winning pass to upset the USC Trojans in the Los Angeles Coliseum, ending the 1925 season in high style. We had heard there was an impressive celebration in Pullman upon their return, but until reading William Stimson’s article did not realize the tumult it created. We’ll look forward to Dr. Stimson’s depiction of the 1932 retrieval of the stuffed Cougar from the felonious Huskies.

A reminder to those perhaps “not in the know,” the Cougar quarterback who played a key part in that winning touchdown was “Butch” Meeker, for whom all subsequent Cougar mascots have been named.

I believe the news clippings of that game are now framed and hanging in a place of honor in Wenatchee on the wall of the “Man Cave” of Dad’s grandson, David.

It’s likely that the following year Dad may have related that game to his newly pledged Kappa Sigma fraternity roommate, Edward R. Murrow. Our father was honored to serve as president of the WSC Alumni Association during the time that brother Dick and I were on campus and continued through life as a dedicated True Coug.

Mack Parkhill ’56

Dublin, Ohio

 

The Epidemic

I want to thank you for publishing the sobering piece on the heroin epidemic in the Fall 2016 issue. Kudos to Rebecca Phillips for the well-written and well-researched article.

In my former newspaper life, one of the most rewarding projects I was part of covered the heroin epidemic. That series can be found online in the Keizer Times. The series was named “Chasing Dark,” a take on the drug’s street name “Chasing the Dragon,” which is the title of a great video the FBI and DEA released in February.

Your story does an excellent job detailing how indiscriminate the drug is, how hard it is for people to get off the drug, and so much more. As the story points out, heroin can grab ahold of anyone, regardless of things such as family life, affluence, etc.

When our stories started coming out in print, my fervent hope was other publications would do stories on the topic as well. Thank you so much for doing just that.

Craig Murphy ’99 

Springfield, Oregon

 

The Epidemic,” by Rebecca Phillips, touches on the recent uptick in deaths commonly referred to as “heroin overdoses.” Phillips quotes an addict who expressed gratitude toward a methadone clinic in Spokane: “This program saved my life.”

That’s true for every addict lucky enough to have the addiction treated medically. That’s how it was in America, under the Harrison Narcotic Tax Act, 1914. Doctors were keeping addicts alive (alive!), stabilized, and active in their life pursuits, living normal, productive lives. And that’s how it will be again, once we have ended the so-called War on Drugs, which is also a war on doctors.

The U.S. Treasury Department pretended that the act had a prohibitionary intent, and wrote code to enforce that pretense. They arrested tens of thousands of doctors, many of whom appealed, including Charles Linder, a respected doctor in Spokane. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled—unanimously and repeatedly—that the act is a pure revenue measure, and that the department’s code is unconstitutional. The decision in Linder v. U.S., 1925: “They [addicts] are diseased and proper subjects for such treatment.”

Let doctors, once again, treat addicts. It’s the law of the land.

Wiley Hollingsworth ’81 

Pullman

 

The Glassblowers

I enjoyed the piece by Brian Charles Clark in the fall issue of Washington State Magazine, “The glassblowers.”

It should be noted that scientific glassblowing has a long history at WSU. In the 1980s and 90s the glassblower was Bill Ryan. Dating back to 1952, George Harris was glassblowing many fuses and bulbs and tubes on the WSU campus. Many of Mr. Harris’ pieces were sent by WSU to Hanford for nuclear research.

I was delighted to read that, “…glassblowers still play a crucial role in the lives of chemists, engineers, geologists, and all researchers doing benchwork.” At WSU, this crucial role has been going on for decades.

Mr. Harris’ great grandson, Zachary, is a fourth-generation Coug and a sophomore studying biology and education at Washington State University’s Pullman campus.

Arlen Harris ’93

 

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