Letters to the Editor

Captain of the Buckeye-beaters

I was delighted to read in the latest Bulletin Robert Price's letter regarding the '89 Kenyon football team (Spring/Summer 2007). Having missed the reference to this team in the trivia quiz, I was unaware that it had resurfaced here in the twenty-first century. Now prompted by Mr. Price, I write to add a bit more about this team.

My great uncle, Dayton A. Williams, Class of 1899, was the captain of that band of Buckeye-beaters. Enclosed here you will find a copy of a picture of that team. Uncle Date is the rather large young guy seated fourth from the left in the second row.

Following his graduation from Kenyon, Uncle Date left his family's farm in Monroeville, Ohio, and found his way to the Pacific Northwest, settling in Tacoma, Washington. There he developed a road construction business that he managed until his retirement. Because he never traveled back east, I did not have the pleasure of meeting him. However, I came to know him through his letters. My mother struck up a correspondence with him in the '40s. Upon her death in the late '50s, my father (Edward '29) and older sister, Anne, carried on the exchange of letters.

All of Uncle Date's letters were kept neatly bound in a folder in our home. One of the last letters he wrote arrived in the fall of '67, when I had arrived in Gambier as a freshman. In it he reminisced a bit: ". . . tell the young man [Tom] that on the wooded hills about Gambier arbutus grows, a small shrub with pink and white blossoms, very fragrant. They would make a nice objective in the spring, if one had a young lady to entertain. If he thinks that would be a sissy occupation, tell him that the fellow who captained the last Kenyon football team to ever beat OSU (1898) did just that. And there was no young lady for a companion on the trip."

I took the hulking football player's advice, spending many happy and restful moments with the arbutus.

--Tom Southworth '71

The other side of the pancake

I was puzzled by more than a few points in Michael Kischner's letter concerning my classmate and friend, Cully Stimson (Spring/Summer 2007). Mr. Stimson most recently served as United States deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs.

Mr. Kischner maintains that Kenyon should be embarrassed to be associated with Mr. Stimson, due to comments he made concerning major law firms providing pro bono legal services to terrorism detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He openly questions the value of a "good liberal arts education" at Kenyon, if it could promulgate graduates like Mr. Stimson.

The hallmark of a Kenyon education is the learned ability to think and reason analytically. A good liberal arts education teaches the wisdom of Vincent Bugliosi's oft-quoted statement that "no matter how thin you make the pancakes, there are always two sides." Without further examination to understand specifically what Mr. Stimson actually said (including support of pro bono legal representation, generally), Mr. Kischner renders himself a less than sterling example of the liberal arts education which he rightfully lauds.

His assertion that there exists a "central obligation of all lawyers in our system . . . to make sure that each person is equally represented before the law" is wrong. For criminal defendants there is only a constitutional guarantee of "effective assistance of counsel," not "equal representation." In no small irony, citing such an illusory obligation was an ignorant and, unfortunately, misplaced basis to criticize Mr. Stimson.

Cully Stimson is a dedicated public servant, with service as federal prosecutor, naval officer, judge advocate, and university professor. Beyond that, he is a wonderful family man--with his wife, Laura, he has adopted two children from Russia. His impassioned pleas for leniency as the federal prosecutor in the much-publicized case of Jonathan Magbie, a quadriplegic man sentenced to jail where he later died, reveal that he values the concepts of justice and fair play, and of sympathy and compassion for others.

Unfortunately, in his rush to judgment, Mr. Kischner never looked at that side of the pancake.

--George T. Perrett '86

A salute to dog heaven

"Loving Lincoln" (Spring/Summer 2007) was a treat to read by a fellow canine fan and owner. (In Spanish, the word for "pet" is mascota.) Indeed, every day has adventure and discovery with one's dog, growing side by side.

I remember my days at Kenyon from 1994 to 1997. I was both delighted and, at times, astonished by Gambier's dog world that seemed like dog heaven. Dogs seemed as if they had a life of their own with pampering and glee. "The living is easy!" they seemed to yelp, with gusto, in their long walks. In the early fall, a carpet of leaves cushioned their long walks along Middle Path. The family I met, Linda and Peter Michaels, led me to the world of boxers and canine love. Theirs was a life filled with dogs. I contemplated my next life as that of a pampered dog in Gambier.

Now that I am a dog owner with my partner, Scott, I have a better understanding of a dog's life and world. We own three dogs: a Miniature Pinscher (Teotihuacán), chocolate Labrador Retriever (Manny), and yellow Labrador Retriever (Klaus). Every day we discover something about ourselves in their presence.

Thank you for featuring stories about the animal world ("Crusader Against Cruelty") and the need to act on the well-being and wellness of animals. I look forward to reading future articles.

--R. Joseph Rodríguez '97

A key player

I was deeply saddened to learn about the death of Robert (Bob) Charles Weidenkopf '61. But I must slightly disagree with Hutch Hodgon's comment that Bob "joined in the formation" of a Kenyon hockey club. Bob was one of my defensemen and was central to the team's formation.

The nascent club members were gathered together in South Leonard (Beta lounge) on one of those bleak, dateless Saturday nights, in the winter of '61, when Guy Prosser '40 arrived with an open checkbook to help finance our uniforms and ice fees. We paid for our own skates and pads.

Mr. Prosser without hesitation sought out Bob as the natural leader and gave him the check. The rest is history.

--John R. (Robby) Coughlan Jr. '63, the first goalie of the Kenyon Hockey Club

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