Letters to the Editor

The Bulletin welcomes letters of three hundred or fewer words. Letters to the editor may be used for publication unless the author states the letter is not to be published. Letters may be edited for style, length, clarity, grammar, and relevance to Kenyon issues. Please address submissions to: Editor, Kenyon College Alumni Bulletin, Office of Public Affairs, Gambier, Ohio 43022. Letters may also be submitted to alumni@kenyon.edu or through our online feedback form.

College Bowl recruit

In 1963, I was a high school sophomore in Shaker Heights, fiendishly addicted to College Bowl. Though Kenyon was barely a hundred miles south, I doubt I would ever have heard of her, much less applied, matriculated, and graduated, were it not for her team's incredible performance on my favorite show. Cause and effect weaves interesting tapestries through the arc of a lifetime. Thank you for recalling that moment of our youth when so much was so much simpler.
-William (Bill) Blank '69

Trescott recalls College Bowl and Kenyon

I was delighted to read the article about our College Bowl experience. I considered it a great honor to be invited by the student organizers to be the coach. Dennis Fiely researched the topic well.

There was indeed a lot of ambivalence at first. The Mount Vernon News ran only a small paragraph reporting our first win. By the fifth week, they sent a reporter along with us. We conducted several practice sessions on the campus and our team lost all of them. On the day of the show, we were in studio all day and had several practice rounds-and lost all of them. I felt our players were not ringing in fast enough. After the last practice, feeling desperate, I rode the bus back to our hotel, grabbed the book of practice questions, rode the bus back, and drilled the team on rapid response. When John got the first toss-up, the ice was broken and we were on a roll. I always suspected the practice losses reflected some "Kenyon cool," saving game-day performance for the actual game.

College Bowl came at a time when the College was experiencing downtime. Good senior professors were leaving as jobs opened in large universities. A well-intentioned self-study unleashed a torrent of hurtful student criticisms which contributed to Dennie Sutcliffe's untimely death.

Ironically, our College Bowl experience contributed to my joining the exodus. In 1963 I published a well-received book on American banking history. In combination with the College Bowl success, this got me puffed up and I went to the president to lobby for a pay increase. His response was so disparaging that I resolved to leave. Early in 1965 I was invited by the Rockefeller Foundation to take an overseas assignment and I jumped at the chance.

I have many good recollections from my eleven years at Kenyon. Wonderful colleagues-Paul Titus, Carl Brehm, Lanny Warner, Dan Finkbeiner. I always read the Alumni Bulletin and have been pleased to read about my former students such as Ed Eaton '60, Phil Currier '56, and Martin McKerrow '64. Gambier was a wonderful place for my children when they were small. But my time at Kenyon was high-stress. A new marriage in 1982 and a Fulbright opportunity to teach in China in 1983-84 enabled me to reinvent myself, masquerading as a China person. I joined Southern Illinois University in 1976 and found it and the community a wonderful environment. I quit teaching four years ago at age eighty-two.
-Paul B. Trescott, Professor of Economics Emeritus, Southern Illinois University

Half-time movie

When the College Bowl appearance was announced, I approached the College with ideas for a half-time film that would convey Kenyon's unique character and not be the usual sterile parade of campus building exteriors. The College gave me the go-ahead to make the movie and engaged a Mount Vernon man with a home-movie camera to shoot it. I enlisted fellow Psi U Jay Cocks to assist in directing. Physics professor Franklin Miller's son Franklin, a film grad student at Ohio State, edited. English professor Denham Sutcliffe wrote (and possibly narrated) a script about the College to accompany the film.

We shot the film in only a couple of sessions, improvising as we went. For example, we propped the cameraman through the sunroof of Dave Langston's VW Beetle and filmed (heaven forbid, even bearded) students as it drove the length of Middle Path.

We surely were the first, and probably the only, College Bowl film to show a party, which we staged complete with keg in the darkwooded Psi U lounge. In a very narrow camera focus, we squeezed in my roommate Ray Jordan's band, The Untouchables, featuring Rocking Bill Henninger on sax and the three-literally-girls on campus dancing in front.

I'd like to think our film contributed along with the team's wins to the increased number of applications to attend the College. I also think the film still reflects timeless Kenyon. Perhaps someone can find the film in the archives and post it on the Web site.
-Robin F. Goldsmith '65

Editor's Note: A copy of the one-minute film, generously provided by Jay Cocks '66, has been digitized and can be viewed at bulletin.kenyon.edu/quizkids. While the visuals are priceless, the film did not include a soundtrack. If any reader has a recording of the voiceover, or a copy of the script, please contact bulletin@kenyon.edu. Further identifications of those making cameo appearances would also be appreciated and will be printed in a future edition of the Bulletin.

Better than most

I rarely do anything more than skim through each publication, maybe picking out a special article that catches an interest of mine. The Fall 2012 issue, I have read cover to cover. I can partially attribute it to the College Bowl article since I was on campus at the time and recognize the participants. Whatever else attracted me, I am not certain. But I commend you on an especially enjoyable issue for me.
-Kenneth R. (Ken) Klug '65

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