Letters to the Editor

Summer 2016

I had just finished a phone discussion with one of my daughters regarding my participation in the 1976 Iowa caucuses, when I opened the Winter 2015 The Grinnell Magazine. While 40 years have grayed my hair and thickened my waistline (just a bit), I think I recognized myself in the picture on the inside front cover, second row, kinda slumped over, ready to listen to Governor Carter. Finally, a bit of proof that at least one of “Dad’s college stories” has some legitimacy!

Carroll McKibbin ’60’s piece on the caucuses was terrific and a wonderful reminder of the political arguments I had with Jim Strickler ’78 and Jack Dane ’79, as well as all the fabulously interesting small towns we visited during the campaign.

Thanks for a great edition. Please keep up the good reporting and interesting articles.
 

- Dan Finkelman ’77

I was appalled by the letter in the spring issue of The Grinnell Magazine
saying: “How disgusting!” it was to have a photo of Jimmy Carter on the
cover of the previous issue.

Is that what our political dialogue has come to?

- Alan Goldfarb ’52

Your “Letters” section (Liz Rosen Kroin ’80) reminded me of a cartoon from the fall of 1976 that appeared in The S&B. The caricature was Jimmy Carter smiling. The line below read: “What do Grinnell College and Jimmy Carter have in common? A Georgia Dentel problem.”

Can you please forward to her and let her know that I too remember those days?
 

- Cornell Rudov ’79

As the chair of the committee that proposed the [Mentored Advanced Project] MAP program to the Fund for Excellence during the Osgood administration, I was delighted with “The Essence of Inquiry” focus in the spring 2016 issue. I realize that the subject is too big to cover in a single issue so I look forward to further treatment of the range of MAPs done in the social studies and humanities divisions. We too produce and publish new knowledge.

Many of my student collaborators, for example, have been presenters or co-presenters at one, or preferably two, professional conferences. They also co-author journal articles, book chapters, and newspaper articles. Some of our papers even win prizes from professional organizations.

[The article] plausibly contends that MAPs are one reason why “Grinnell ranks seventh among all private and public national institutions for graduating students who go on to earn Ph.D.s.” This kind of research collaboration is one of the reasons that the Department of Anthropology, among other Grinnell social studies departments, is so highly ranked, third among national institutions for graduating students who go on to earn Ph.D.s in anthropology.

Thanks for the good start to the story of MAP research collaboration at Grinnell.

- Doug Caulkins, professor emeritus of anthropology and director emeritus of the Wilson Program in Enterprise and Leadership

My copy of the spring Grinnell magazine arrived today, and I have read it cover to cover. The magazine keeps improving, and this one had many of the features I have been hoping for for a long time including small bios of those who have passed on.

- Judy Mahle Lutter ’61

Piles of kudos to everyone involved in the redesign of The Grinnell Magazine. It manages to be both more informative/engaging and less stuffy — a fine line to walk. I especially like the combined layout and graphic design of “Classnotes,” Kevin Cannon’s illustrations, the overall size and paper stock, and the Grinnellian feel of the whole thing.

I know undertakings like these aren’t easy, and it can feel like your work disappears into the void with little to no — or only negative — feedback. Consider this a ping from the darkness that your work hit its mark.

- Sarah Cook ’98

Congratulations on the latest issue of The Grinnell Magazine. It has the look, feel, and editorial judgment of a magazine that I want to read from cover to cover with good surprises on almost every page.

The double page spread is a beautiful example of eco-friendly printing. One small suggestion: Use the adjectival form of “pertaining to all things Grinnell” — which is Grinnellish. Save Grinnellian for references to “Grinnell people.” Now that is so Grinnellish.

Old English majors never die. We just parse away.

- Mark Schorr ’66

I was disappointed that The Grinnell Magazine showcased the series of prints entitled “All Hands on Deck” in its Spring 2016 publication. The hands-up mantra was shown through eyewitness accounts as well as the grand-jury testimony to be a total fabrication, to such an extent that even Obama’s sympathetic Justice Department didn’t deem it worth pursuing.

From the grand-jury testimony: “… Brown then reached into the SUV through the open driver’s window and punched and grabbed Wilson.” “Brown used his right hand to grab and attempt to control Wilson’s gun.” “… Brown’s hand was within inches of the muzzle of Wilson’s gun when it was fired.” “… Brown was moving toward Wilson when Wilson shot him.” “… [W]itnesses describe Brown then dropping his hands and ‘charging’ at Wilson.”

Tragically, a decent and honest police officer will never be able to work in his profession any longer due to this fabrication.

- Rich Bohm ’86

Spring 2016

I was the SGA [Student Government Association] social coordinator my senior year starting in the fall of 1976. Pat Irwin ’77
 and the late Dan Hexter ’77 were concert chairmen, and we managed a robust budget of $37,500 for the year to book bands for South Lounge parties, cultural weekends, and in Roberts Theatre. Georgia Dentel was an absolute genius at stretching that budget and getting acts at incredible prices. If Dan and Pat wanted a band, Georgia would not only book that concert for Grinnell, she would create a mini-tour for the band at two other colleges, get a reduced price for us, and of course mandate that our show would be on Saturday night. Her strategy for booking groups when they were on the cusp of stardom was legendary, and her network of former Grinnell students in the business, agents, and people she charmed provided her edge. 

But that is not even half of the story. I spent hours and hours on the phone with Georgia discussing politics, classes, music, and my family. She remembered every detail, and at graduation time I really wanted her to meet my dad. Georgia rarely met with us in person but finally agreed on her terms, sitting behind the wheel in her vintage 1964 Ford Falcon for a fast getaway.

I remember the open forum in September of 1976 well, as I spoke on her behalf representing the SGA. I said, “Georgia Dentel plays an integral role in shaping the ‘Grinnell Experience.’ Her dedication to the College and its students’ education cannot be distilled to a line item in a budget.”

- Robert Render ’77

Could someone compile a chronology of everyone Georgia Dentel brought to Grinnell and publish it in the magazine? I loved the story about her, although my faith in humanity took another hit when I learned she was almost fired once and was reduced to part-time once.

- Liz Rosen Kroin ’80