As an author in the Pitt Poetry Series, I was
disappointed by "Bobby Chamberlain on Brazilian Literature" (January 1995). It
quoted not a single poet. In Brazil, both poets and poetry are highly esteemed;
good English translations have been around for over 20 years. Be original--next
time, talk about the poets.
I must object to "Secret Life: The Pitt Stadium's Gym" (January 1995). The author forgets that basketball then was different from the semi-pro game we have today. Pitt's basketball "heyday" was not the '40s and '50s but the '30s, when collegiate basketball was in its infancy locally. Yet, Pitt students so loved the game that we never noticed the dirt floors. Instead we cheered the teams on to defeats of Duquesne and Tech. Then again, coeds didn't wear high heels to sport events then, nor was this a time when schools shared in multi-million dollar TV rights.
The author dismisses the career of Doc Carlson, ignoring the fact that coaching
was a part-time job for Carlson, an instructor at the medical center. He was a
man "ahead of his time." I took his course in Diagnosis and remember well his
warning about the dangers of smoking--at a time when smoking was the "in thing."
Remember, too, he did not receive thousands of dollars for outfitting his teams
with Reebok shoes. His teams were lucky they had Keds.
Mai Emery Chaffat
Editor Sally Ann Flecker wrote in January 1995 (4200 Fifth Avenue) that she begins each year walking in a cemetery. I do not walk in cemeteries on a fixed schedule, but walk in them I do. I have walked in Hawaii's Punchbowl to visit the grave of Ernie Pyle. I have walked in Arlington, sometimes to visit men I knew in service, once or twice to visit Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, and always to visit the Tomb of the Unknowns.
on just such a stroll I unexpectedly came upon a headstone on which was inscribed
the name Hugh Henry Brakenridge. It tells passersby only that Brackenridge was
a Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. It is too bad that those responsible
for the stone were motivated more by his success as a lawyer than by his success
at having founed the Pittsburgh Academy, seed of the University of Pittsburgh.
George F. Harrington
Arts and Sciences '32
James c. Hayes (Letters, November 1994) was "disappointed" with the magazine for prnting an article on Peri Jude Radecic's affiliation with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force ("Active Voice," September 1994). I'm curious as to what Pitt Magazine's article has "taken away" from the University. The true disappointment lies in the fact that Mr. Hayes has not yet developed a mind-set that would enable him to embrace diversity. He needs to realize that gay men and women are the brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, and grandparents of people who love them, and of whom they love back. I and my fellow graduates will continue to fight against hatred and oppression. You see, Mr. Hayes, there are some things our Pitt family does talk about.
Pitt's Nationality Rooms have played an important role in dispelling prejudices. As we sat in the rooms, we saw that all peoples make philosophic, humanistic, and artistic contributions to our common life, and none should be looked down upon. This was as important a part of our education as learning math or science or literture.
I propose that Pitt now needs a Gay Accomplishments Room to help counter today's prejudices. They are equally foolish.
Arts and Sciences '47
It was gratifying to read about the important activities of Peri Jude Radecic, yet another member of our Pitt "family," and nice to know these activities are now reported upon.
Nursing, '85, '94
Your September 1994 issue features the woman physician who heads significant research efforts in bone-mrrow transplant, the African-American woman alumna who directs the Alzheimer's Outreach Center, the Japanese-American female professor of sociology who studies perspectives on aging, and, yes, the lesbian alumna who heads the National Gay and Lesbian Task Gorce. During my years at the University, I , too discovered that there are 'somethings our Pitt family does not talk about." I am proud of Pitt and proud of the fact that that race, class, nationality, gender, and sexual orientation no longer grace the list of our unmentionables.
Arts and Science '71, Library and Information Science '73