Summer 2013

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Northwestern welcomes signed letters of 250 words or less from readers. We reserve the right to edit all letters. Please send correspondence to the

Editor
Northwestern
1800 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208-1800
Fax: 847-491-3040
E-mail: letters@northwestern.edu

LATE-NIGHT SNACK MAN

Thank you so much for the article about “The Sandwichman” [“Late-Night Snacks Delivered,” Then, spring 2013]. I have great memories of his late-night visits when I was a freshman at Elder Hall in 1970. His arrival was a welcome introduction to a much-needed study break.
I recall him as a short man with skinny legs, a fairly taciturn guy with little to say to his hungry customers. Your photo shows him in jeans, but I mostly remember him in shorts and sandals, even in the winter.
His piercing whistle, however, is the most vivid memory. There were a few times when I was talking on the pay phone in the Elder lobby to my girlfriend back home in Kentucky when he arrived. The pitch of his whistle somehow was able to disrupt and end the call abruptly. I learned, after several episodes, to hold my hand over the mouthpiece whenever he arrived.
Mark Greenfield (WCAS73)
Seattle

The Sandwichman is my dad! He is doing well, living in Florida and celebrated his 87th birthday in April. Sanch’s grandson was recently accepted to Northwestern, and he wrote about his grandfather’s history at Northwestern in his essay. My father’s mind is as sharp as ever, and while he may not remember your name, he might remember what sandwich you ordered or how you signed your name on your check!
Jane Walsh
Clarendon Hills, Ill.

The Sandwichman’s piercing whistle would send us barreling down the stairs in the wee hours. Not the greatest sandwiches in the world, but who else would come to the door at 2 a.m. with food and would cash checks in the days before ATMs? Whether interrupting studying, partying or late-night bull sessions he, his German shepherd and full beard were always welcome.
Paul Igasaki (WCAS76)
Alexandria, Va.

Editor’s note: Thanks to University Archives, we tracked down the Rubber Teeth take on the Sandwichman from the winter 1982 edition of the campus humor magazine. Also check out the 1981 documentary on the Sandwichman by JD Freedman (C80).

ALLERGIC REACTION

The story “Allergic Response” [Lab Notes, spring 2013, page 11] definitely triggered a reaction in me. Since she was 18 months, my adult daughter has been living with multiple allergies and asthma. Not a day goes by that I don’t worry that something she eats will cause a reaction.
Education is key. A cure would be a welcome relief for everyone. Thank you, Ruchi Gupta, for sharing your story with the Northwestern community, and good luck in your research.
Renee Pearl Sigler (C85)
Montreal

A VOICE OF SUPPORT

Josh Charlson’s essay, “Voice Interrupted” [Purple Prose, spring 2013], is an insightful and sensitive article. He expressed beautifully and poignantly the struggle, realization and eventual epiphany he experienced during his recovery from surgery. Josh has shown us that even without a surplus of words or a booming voice he was able to convey love, concern and dedication to his family. It is often said that it’s not what you say but how you say it that delivers the most effective message. Josh’s message will stay with me for a long time.
Amy Shutan (SESP97)
Highland Park, Ill.

ADVERTISING PRINCIPLES STILL KEY

I was fortunate enough to take a course on the principles of advertising from Professor Vernon Fryburger [“Mad Men Days,” Feedback, spring 2013] in my freshman year. As a history major who was looking for an “easy A,” I was told to take that course, never realizing that it would change my path at Northwestern and my career. I still have his textbook on my office bookshelf, and through 23 years at the advertising agencies Ted Bates and Scali, McCabe, Sloves and 12-plus years at Las Vegas Sands and Sands China, it remains relevant still.
I didn’t see the article about the Mad Men days [“You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby,” winter 2012], but over the years I have tended to wince every time I hear the next great buzzword. “Integrated Marketing Communications” was somehow considered to be an improvement over advertising, as if it hasn’t always been about all aspects of communications — presenting a cohesive, compelling brand story to the consumer.
I had many professors who offered profound help and guidance to me while at Northwestern and none more so than Vernon Fryburger.
Scott Messinger (J74, GJ75)
Macau

CALL TO DIVEST FROM FOSSIL FUELS

As alumni we are proud of Northwestern’s outstanding contributions to health, science and business, both in academics and in society.
Most scientists agree that humans’ burning of fossil fuels will accelerate and intensify the devastating climate disasters that we have seen this year. Others believe that climate changes are part of cycles taking place over millennia and that human activity is not a significant contributor.
However, if human activity is contributing in any way, shouldn’t we do something to mitigate this contribution?
Fossil fuel companies are dominant in the world economy. Their business strategies largely depend on profits from locating, producing and selling these fuels. Until they see the financial advantage of evolving their businesses more significantly to sustainable, cleaner energy, produced more safely, they will continue to do business as usual.
That is why we have joined with environmental groups such as 350.org and the Sierra Club in petitioning organizations, including Northwestern, to adopt a resolution similar to the following:
Be it resolved that the Board of Trustees of Northwestern University, representing the interests of its students, faculty, alumni and staff, hereby declare that we will stop any new investment in fossil fuel companies and divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within five years from the date of this resolution.
We encourage others to support such action, both at Northwestern and in your communities.
Paul Safyan (GC86)
Wheeling, Ill.
Susie Kern (WCAS86)
Prospect Heights, Ill.

Editor’s note: In early May Northwestern President Morton Schapiro and Lewis & Clark College president Barry Glassner penned a Wall Street Journal op-ed, weighing in on why they don't sign petitions and pledges, including calls to eliminate from their school endowments any holdings in companies dealing with fossil fuels.