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Haverford Fall 2012 : Page 4

letters to the editor HAVERFORD ON THE RADIO As a former DJ on WHRC, I thoroughly enjoyed Jennifer C. Waits’ two articles [Spring/Summer 2012] on Haverford radio and college radio in general. I am still a firm believer in the value of college radio for both the participants and the listeners. I have not been able to pinpoint the reason Haverford radio continues to wax and wane. Is it the lack of access to terrestrial radio waves? Does survival depend on one or two enthusiastic indi-viduals who are not guaranteed from year to year? Is it finances? Please do not let our Bi-College community go without a radio station. —Steven Jaharis ’82 Jennifer Waits ’89 responds: After reading similar accounts from other campus-only college radio stations, it’s clear to me that the ups and downs of Haverford radio are not unique. Yes, Haverford’s lack of a terrestrial license is probably one factor. Stations with terrestrial licenses often draw listeners from outside a campus community and have a more consistent group of year-round volunteers to help keep things running smoothly. Students who have worked to resurrect radio over the years have often been stymied by technical, financial and volunteer challenges. Regardless, I’m hopeful that the radio tradition at Haverford has not died completely. It’s anticipated that within the next year the Federal Communi-cations Commission will allow groups to apply for new low-power FM licenses, which could be yet another opportunity for students to get back on the air and continue the storied Haverford radio tradition. I expect I am not the only one who noticed a problem with the photograph on page 34, “Broadcasting outdoors,” with a date of 1955. The engineer in the picture [top, center] is John Heuss ’63 and I believe the announcer is Dan 4 HaverfordMagazine of the letters in their entirety on the Haverblog at hav.to/haverblog. Gary J. Mezzatesta ’80 , who was head of the committee that brought the band to campus, described the event this way: “The concert was packed by a combina-tion of Haverford/BMC students and local fans. By the end of the third song, 80-plus percent of the Haverford/BMC crowd walked out. In fact, after the concert, there was a student-led discussion on campus to change the Concert Series Organizing Committee due to the unpop-ularity of the Talking Heads concert. I guess the Bi-College community was never known for cutting edge taste!” Steve Rachbach ’79 , who’d snagged a 1955 or 1959? Smiley ’64 . I could be wrong about the latter. No matter whether I have it right or not, that does mean the earliest the picture can be is the fall of 1959. It is almost certainly a broadcast of a home football game. Thank you for including the article; read with great interest. —Richard Unger ’63 TALKING HEADS AT HAVERFORD In the Spring/Summer 2012 issue, our Then and Now photo page included a pitch to alumni to send their memories of an infamous 1977 Talking Heads concert in Roberts Hall. That query brought a flood of responses. While we only have room here for a few excerpts, you can read all promotional copy of the Talking Heads’ debut album before the event and become a fan, confirmed Mezzatesta’s account of the audience exodus. “The Talking Heads concert ‘fiasco’ was the biggest arts controversy on campus since the 1975 screening of Deep Throat , also in Roberts Hall,” wrote Rachbach. For Bill Belt ’80 , the event—his first-ever rock concert—was a revelatory expe-The Bryn Mawr-Haverford College News reviewed the Talking Heads concert, noting that “many who attended... didn't quite know what to expect.”

Letters To The Editor

HAVERFORD ON THE RADIO<br /> <br /> As a former DJ on WHRC, I thoroughly enjoyed Jennifer C. Waits’ two articles [Spring/Summer 2012] on Haverford radio and college radio in general. I am still a firm believer in the value of college radio for both the participants and the listeners. I have not been able to pinpoint the reason Haverford radio continues to wax and wane. Is it the lack of access to terrestrial radio waves? Does survival depend on one or two enthusiastic individuals who are not guaranteed from year to year? Is it finances? Please do not let our Bi-College community go without a radio station. —Steven Jaharis ’82<br /> <br /> Jennifer Waits ’89 responds: After reading similar accounts from other campus-only college radio stations, it’s clear to me that the ups and downs of Haverford radio are not unique. Yes, Haverford’s lack of a terrestrial license is probably one factor. Stations with terrestrial licenses often draw listeners from outside a campus community and have a more consistent group of yearround volunteers to help keep things running smoothly. Students who have worked to resurrect radio over the years have often been stymied by technical, financial and volunteer challenges. Regardless, I’m hopeful that the radio tradition at Haverford has not died completely. It’s anticipated that within the next year the Federal Communications Commission will allow groups to apply for new low-power FM licenses, which could be yet another opportunity for students to get back on the air and continue the storied Haverford radio tradition.<br /> <br /> I expect I am not the only one who noticed a problem with the photograph on page 34, “Broadcasting outdoors,” with a date of 1955. The engineer in the picture [top, center] is John Heuss ’63 and I believe the announcer is Dan Smiley ’64. I could be wrong about the latter. No matter whether I have it right or not, that does mean the earliest the picture can be is the fall of 1959. It is almost certainly a broadcast of a home football game. Thank you for including the article; read with great interest.<br /> <br /> —Richard Unger ’63 <br /> <br /> TALKING HEADS AT HAVERFORD<br /> <br /> In the Spring/Summer 2012 issue, our Then and Now photo page included a pitch to alumni to send their memories of an infamous 1977 Talking Heads concert in Roberts Hall. That query brought a flood of responses. While we only have room here for a few excerpts, you can read all of the letters in their entirety on the Haverblog at hav.to/haverblog.<br /> <br /> Gary J. Mezzatesta ’80, who was head of the committee that brought the band to campus, described the event this way: “The concert was packed by a combination of Haverford/BMC students and local fans. By the end of the third song, 80- plus percent of the Haverford/BMC crowd walked out. In fact, after the concert, there was a student-led discussion on campus to change the Concert Series Organizing Committee due to the unpopularity of the Talking Heads concert. I guess the Bi-College community was never known for cutting edge taste!”<br /> <br /> Steve Rachbach ’79, who’d snagged a promotional copy of the Talking Heads’ debut album before the event and become a fan, confirmed Mezzatesta’s account of the audience exodus. “The Talking Heads concert ‘fiasco’ was the biggest arts controversy on campus since the 1975 screening of Deep Throat, also in Roberts Hall,” wrote Rachbach.<br /> <br /> For Bill Belt ’80, the event—his firstever rock concert—was a revelatory expeletters rience that exposed him to music he’d “never heard the like of.” Wrote Belt, “Looking back, I think part of the power of the Talking Heads for me was that their ascendance coincided so well with my time in college, and that I had been privileged to see them in such intimate surroundings at such an early stage in their evolution, and in my own. It all started, as so many things do, with random chance: a bored freshman looking for something to do on a Saturday night and wandering to the building next door, open to possibility. I found it that night, and I’ve never forgotten it.”<br /> <br /> Jonathan LeBreton ’79, remembered working as a bouncer at the concert with Gerry Lederer ’80. “Roberts was not known for its acoustics, but the volume of sound was quite deafening—painful really. Gerry and I stood our ground by the front doors guarding against illicit entry, but our vigilance and bulk soon became superfluous as first a trickle, then a steady stream of concertgoers began to exit, fleeing the distorted roar.”<br /> <br /> Rick Rennert ’78, who, with his girlfriend at the time (Cornelia Adams BMC ’78), was on the concert committee with Mezzatesta, wrote to offer a precise date for the concert (Oct. 28, 1977), as well as the set list and a recollection of the concert poster (“black with white lettering”), which he drew. “After the concert, [Talking Heads guitarist and keyboard player] Jerry Harrison came with me to a party in my dorm, on the top floor of Lunt. One of the kids in the hallway started talking about the concert and, figuring Jerry was just another student, said he didn’t like the music very much. Then I turned to Jerry and asked, ‘What did you think of it?’ “‘They were just OK,’ he said.” <br /> <br /> TRAVELING WITH TWAIN<br /> <br /> I very much enjoyed the Winter 2012 issue of Haverfordmagazine; as always, the articles were varied, informative, and interesting. As a professor of American literature, I was especially drawn to Loren Ghiglione’s piece, “Traveling with Twain.” His observations … nicely traced some of the changes taking place in rural America and promoted greater interracial understanding.<br /> <br /> Right near the end of this article promoting racial inclusiveness, however, I read a statement that I found quite offputting for its implicit regional prejudice. In his list of “Top 10 Twain Travel Tips,” Ghiglione lists “favorite state motto (ironic?): Nebraska, ‘The Good Life.’ ” Having been raised in the Boston area and educated at Haverford, as well as having lived most of my life on the East Coast, I can understand how this statement might appeal to “Coastal” residents. However, as a 14-year resident of Nebraska and someone who regularly teaches courses on regional cultures and literature, I can tell you that such a statement would be taken as quite condescending by inhabitants of other regions, especially [Nebraskans].<br /> <br /> There is, I would contend, nothing “ironic” about the statement found on the signs welcoming travelers to Nebraska. While it’s not perfect, Nebraska has a thriving economy buoyed by the headquarters of numerous Fortune 500 companies, a concomitantly low unemployment rate, an incredibly friendly atmosphere, a low cost of living, a vibrant cultural scene, and an increasingly cosmopolitan population from around the world. Despite all these positive attributes, Nebraska doesn’t always fare so well in the national news media, as my students see all the time; they would view the “ironic?” comment in Haverfordmagazine as just another unfortunate example of such regional bias. We need, though, to move past stereotypes … part of what is making our country so divided right now, I believe, is that those on the coasts and in certain inland cities have failed to recognize the validity of regional cultures and ways of thinking. I’m writing, then, to play a small role in this effort by letting your readers know that there is, truly, a “good life” to be found in the United States, even in what some derogatorily refer to as “Flyover Country.” <br /> <br /> —Chuck Johanningsmeier ’81 <br /> <br /> WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!<br /> <br /> Let us know what you think about the magazine and its contents. Send us an email at hc-editor@haverford.edu. <br /> <br /> Or write to us: <br /> <br /> Haverford magazine <br /> Office of College Communications <br /> Haverford College <br /> 370 Lancaster Ave.<br /> Haverford, PA 19041

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