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Honoring John Hunwick

Elizabeth Blackwell's article on John Hunwick, "Saving Africa's Islamic History" [fall 2004], is very interesting and brings out the multicultural spirit of Northwestern University. Continue featuring such topics in future issues.

Habib Alshuwaikhat (GMcC88)
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

I thoroughly enjoyed the excellent article "Saving Africa's Islamic History." John Hunwick was my mentor and dissertation adviser in the mid-1980s, and I still remember the many times my fellow grad students and I were stunned to silence at the depth and breadth of his knowledge. To be able to study for several years at the feet of such a person was a privilege indeed.

My favorite memory of those times, however, is one of John sitting on the balcony of my apartment in the northwest suburbs, my 3-year-old daughter on his lap, shrieking with laughter as he recited limericks and nursery rhymes to her. A world-class scholar who can also delight the heart of a child — such is the mark of true greatness.

Larry Poston (G86, 88)
Valley Cottage, N.Y.

The Man Behind the Mustang

I want to let you know that I especially enjoyed the fall issue of Northwestern. I found the article on Don Frey, "The Man Behind the Mustang," very interesting.

And I also enjoyed the article "Saving Africa's Islamic History," which was very informative — I had not known that Islam was known in that part of Africa.

Bob Dent (EB47)
McFarland, Wis.

Dixon Film a Real Help

I am a school psychologist in southwestern Florida who has a 10-year-old African American boy with albinism on my caseload. In searching the Internet for information to help this student I came across the article on Osato Dixon in Northwestern magazine, "Making a Film in Black and White" [fall 2004]. What a wonderful, well-written article. I would love for this student to see Dixon 's film.

Barbara Clancy
Naples, Fla.

Don't Forget Tony Randall's Movies

It's too bad that that space didn't permit a full-page obit on Tony Randall because there wasn't room to mention his film career. This talented and versatile actor appeared not only on Broadway and television but in such movies as Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?, 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, The Mating Game, Pillow Talk and at least 30 other flicks. The best thing ever said about Tony was by Frank Tashlin. He said that directing him was like playing a Stradivarius.

Don Kreger (C50)
Milwaukee

Father Still Knows Best

Marcia Frellick's memories ["Father Knows Best," fall 2004] of growing up in the home of a minister father who had known the Depression years evoked a host of my own. There is, however, one difference. My childhood was spent during those days of the Depression. In our throw-away society of today it is truly difficult to imagine the frugality which was a necessary way of life during that era. And yet they were not unhappy years.

On the contrary, my memories are of a closely knit family where everyone did whatever they could to help as we together appreciated and savored the simple blessings of life — food, shelter, clothing and love for all.

Thanks for an issue truly worth reading.

Jim Bertsche (G63)
Goshen, Ind.

Radio Days

What fun to read Roz Yastrow Alexander's recollections of our radio days ["Return of Radio Drama," News on Campus, fall 2004]!

On March 5, 1945, my husband, then a graduate student in theater, and I, a lowly undergraduate radio writing major, met during a production of 100,000 Dollars for a Wife that was broadcast over WIND. We were pinned by the middle of April; married in '46 (despite the lack of a hundred thousand dollars) and are still clicking along!

More power to fostering the imagination of the mind — radio!

Ann Neill Black (C46) and E. Robert Black (GC45)
Colorado Springs

One Northwestern Radio Playshop outlet not mentioned was WEDC — EDC standing for Emil Denemark Cadillac. The studio, in Chicago, was in the automobile showroom. I well remember Mr. Denemark himself advising us students, waiting for our cues: "Stay out of the Cadillacs!"

With Albert Crews as mentor, I performed and wrote for the Playshop. I wonder if the recently unearthed scripts include my "Class of '41," written on an Australia-bound ship during World War II. Another script I wrote was "Home to Cynthia," about the return of a WWII veteran to his college campus.

Phil Moss (C46)
Millington, Tenn.

A Well-deserved "N"

I was surprised and disappointed to discover, after reading David Shaffer's article, "On Course" [summer 2004], that there was no mention of our only national championship female golfer: Meriam Bailey Leeke [EB59], whose portrait hangs in the Northwestern Athletic Hall of Fame. Meriam Bailey Leeke was a rare student-athlete; rare because she did so prior to the beginning of university-sponsored women's sports.

During the summer of 1956, following her freshman year, Meriam captured the Illinois State Women's Amateur golf championship and also earned the Chicago District Women's Amateur Title. During the summer of 1957, Meriam won the Women's National Intercollegiate championship. She waited only a few weeks to spring an even bigger surprise when she won the Women's Western Amateur championship!

Following her junior year in 1958, she was a member of the United States Curtis Cup team that competed against the top women amateur golfers from Great Britain.

She competed against the nation's finest professional and amateur golfers in three straight United States Opens during her college days and made the 36-hole cut all three years, finishing as high as 22nd. Meriam considers her U.S. Open performances as perhaps her most notable achievements since the competitions took place just one week after the conclusion of final examinations at Northwestern!

A sports writer in the September 1957 issue of Coach and Athlete cited Northwestern men's track victories in the Big Ten Outdoor Championships and the Wildcat baseball team winning the Big Ten pennant. Then, alluding to a lack of an athletic program for women at Northwestern, he wrote: "However it remained for Meriam Bailey, the young lady who'll never win an 'N,' to bring Northwestern a national championship."

Well, after 47 years, the "wrong" was finally made "right." Meriam Bailey Leeke was presented with her well-deserved "N" during halftime activities of the Northwestern/Illinois football game.

I know she cherishes this honor.

Barbara Semrad North (SESP59)
DeKalb, Ill.

Mee-Ow Turning 30

It's hard to believe that it is almost 30 years since I graduated. I enjoyed a blast from the past when I read the article "Mee-Ow Turns 30" [summer 2004]. What was created as a "counterculture" show has stood the test of time.

My good friend and Alpha Tau Omega fraternity brother Jeff Wilson [C74], from Middleton, Wis., was one of the founders of the show. Jeff Wilson was an extremely talented and creative individual who was able to cajole his fraternity brothers to star in a film called Go-Karts, which was shot in one 12-hour all-nighter at the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house resulting in a 32-second short film.

After Jeff graduated he decided a stint in the U.S. Air Force would give him additional technical skills as well as provide him with a nest egg for his future film career.

Unfortunately, Jeff Wilson died tragically in an Air Force accident in Greenland in 1976. Jeff had tremendous energy, creativity and was a good friend. His memory lives on in the Mee-Ow show.

Donald L. Altschuler (C75)
Wallingford, Conn.



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