Last issue’s stories struck nerves and strummed heartstrings for so many. We were not at all surprised at the love and intrigue expressed for the Horsebarn Hill story and video (if you haven’t seen that, go online now) nor the colorful memories shared of North Campus — some too colorful to print. A less harmonic chord ran through the responses on the Connecticut DMV and social media features. There were far too many letters to print, but here’s a smattering, edited for length; find the rest online. And please add your own:
“The Shape of Storrs”
➼ Hi and thanks for this video. Dr. Thorson took us on a remarkably entertaining walk through Pleistocene “deep time” to bring everything forward to the Holocene and even into direct contact with his melting ice cream cone patiently waiting there and softening in the warmth of the Anthropocene.
Thanks for an informative piece and for the addendum which, as a Quaternary geologist myself, I really appreciated. Starling Childs MFS, Norfolk, Connecticut, via our website
➼ We used to slide down Horsebarn Hill on trays from the cafeteria. There were many romantic moments on the hill. John Belter ’69 (CAHNR), Burlington, Vermont, via our website
➼ How do you make the correlation of “husbandry” with “bigamy”? My etymological research shows that the word “husband” comes from the old Norse, which simply means “keeper” or “tiller of the house.” Joe Barile ’84 (CLAS), Windsor Locks, Connecticut, via our website
➼ It was our senior year January 1972 and my girlfriend and I had no plans on a quiet Saturday night. Snow had been falling since early evening and looking out the window of my Buckley Hall dorm room an idea flashed through my head. It was by then near midnight as I glanced to the corner where stood my 8’6″ Bing surfboard. Then I glanced to Janet with a mischievous smile. She read my mind before I said anything.
“You know what we need to do, right?” I said to her. I didn’t need say anything more.
“Let’s go!” she exclaimed as she put on her long coat and I grabbed the board and unscrewed the fin from the fin box. Down the elevator with the surfboard we went and out the doors and down the road we walked. Snow continued falling as she held tightly to my arm, giggling like a child.
We soon reached Horsebarn Hill. I placed the board on the snow and Janet took the front position. I held her around the waist and gave a push. The incline of the slope was perfect for a good fast ride and reaching the bottom, we rolled off our make-shift toboggan into the snow laughing hysterically. We went back to the top of the hill for a second, third, fourth, and more rides until our legs were so tired we couldn’t continue.
Of my experiences at UConn, it stands out as one of the most memorable and certainly the most romantic. Rob Downey ’72 (BUS), Melbourne Village, Florida, via our website
➼ I enjoyed reading “The Shape of Storrs,” the development and history of UConn. I was born in the same year as UConn and experienced some of its growth. The last time I visited was 15 years ago and I hardly recognized the campus — buildings now stand where we had lawn and athletic fields. Thank you for your appreciation of the UConn heritage and the beauty that can still be found there. Reid Crawshaw ’62 (BUS), Jacksonville, Florida, via our website
➼ Thank you for this informative view of the history of UConn. I graduated in 1966. When I attended the campus still had that warm small town feeling. At the time my home was in New London. Now my wife and I live in Salida, Colorado. We truly love living here.
Thank you again for this really interesting piece of history. David Eckstein ’96, via our website
➼ I just loved the article by Robert Thorson, "The Shape of Storrs." He reminded me that I enjoyed to ski slope on Horsebarn Hill when I was a graduate student in 1970. He also made me understand how the geology shaped the settlement of Storrs.
I also love the softly colored paintings by Blanche Serban, which emphasize the gentle beauty of the hills. Naomi Goring ’70 MA, Sneads Ferry, North Carolina, via email
➼ I read geology professor Robert Thorson’s article on Storrs with interest. Not only did he mention geological history, but some social history. One anecdote I stumbled across in “Decisive Day” by Richard M. Ketchum was about Experience Storrs who, in May 1775 (after the battles of Lexington and Concord), led a group of Connecticut militiamen from Mansfield, Connecticut, to Boston. They participated in the blockade of Boston and were stationed near the battle of Breed’s Hill (erroneously called the Battle of Bunker Hill). His troops occupied other high ground and were too late to get into the fight. Tom Brokaw was wrong. As someone who has had a father and uncles serve in World War II, they were indeed a great generation, but they were not the greatest generation. In my mind, the greatest generation was the founding generation, who set aside daily life to serve and fight for an ideal called liberty, thus establishing the greatest country, a republic, in the history of the world. Frederick Stu ’79 Ph.D., via email
➼ Many thanks for bringing back fond memories of idling away warm afternoons on Horsebarn Hill when I should have been hitting the books! And not so fond memories of a year in the Jungle. We didn’t have motorcycles in the corridors, but the skateboards were sure fun. Congrats to Blanch Serban on her beautiful painting! Doug Larime ’68 (SFA), Albany, Oregon, via our website
“North Campus aka the Jungle”
➼ Can’t believe it’s been over 40 years since I moved into Fairfield Hall in September of 1975 as a freshman. I actually moved into adjacent New Haven by mistake and didn’t figure it out for two days! Anyway, I ended up having an unforgettable two-year run there and yes, it did live up to its rep at times, and most of my many friends on Fairfield third floor and I did our best to maintain that hard-earned stature. I may have even driven my blue Chevy Vega up and down the quad between the dorm wings one night, but that was a long time ago and really, who can remember clearly that far back?
Loved every minute of my time in the Jungle, wouldn’t trade it for anything! Jerry Yedlin ’79 (BUS), North Branford, Connecticut, via our website
➼ It wasn’t rowdy in the early ’90s, but it was definitely still the Jungle. I remember Around the World parties, the vast cafeteria, and watching a couple of crazies in the courtyard when UConn won a game (or lost). And we loved our mellower neighbors to the west in Frats. Angela Velon ’95 (CLAS), Canton, Connecticut, via our website
➼ I fondly remember my freshman year (1967) in the Jungle – Davenport 104 — second building on the left. Between the entire male freshman class in one centralized location and our next door neighbors, the fraternity houses, there was never a dull moment. It was always an adventure going up “the Hill” to the cafeteria. Between the daily mystery meat, the lovely serving ladies with those beautiful nets on their heads, and the unexpected always taking place, the dining experience taught you to keep your eyes open and always be ready to duck!
For some reason, I cannot forget hearing the song “The Letter” by The Box Tops blaring loudly out of the cafeteria jukebox 10 times every meal. To this day, I remember every word of that song.
Fast forward to the second semester Freshman year. Things were not calming down in the Jungle. I am not sure what genius came up with this idea, but it truly was a stroke of genius. When we all returned at the beginning of the semester, the first two dorms at the bottom of the Hill (both sides) had new residents. Both dorms were now inhabited with female — what just happened?
The crazy, unforgiving, wild Jungle had been transformed to a degree of civility overnight. All of a sudden, the guys were dressing a little nicer (or dressing at all); language transformed to words with more than 4 letters; food was not flying in the cafeteria (as often as usual); and “The Letter” only played 5 times every meal. Alan Srebnick ’71 (BUS), Weston, Florida, via our website
“The Wait Is Over”
➼ Congratulations on your new position Bongi. I enjoyed working with you on the BGCF at HFPG and was elated to hear about your new venture. It appears that you are off to a great start by identifying the systemic traffic jams. Darryl Thames, via our website
➼ God bless you, Bongi Magubane! I look forward to seeing our DMV become the best in the nation —all thanks to a UConn grad — and we read about her first in UConn Magazine. Anita Bologna ’69 (Home Economics), Waterbury, Connecticut, via our website
➼ Love this Tom. I certainly knew the answer to #1 as my office was down the hall from the Anonymous Pub; but I never heard of Blood and Bones (where was it? ) — I did not get here until ’78. Certainly knew of Wizards, good friend of mine ran it.
Keep ’em coming. M. Kevin Fahey ’09 (H), Coventry, Connecticut, via our website
➼ Still have hanging in my kitchen:
Diane Darby ’68
➼Thanks for keeping us informed with the UConn Magazine.
FYI — your 1st trivia question is a little misleading. I had no recollection of anything but a dry town in my years at Storrs. Coming from Long Island, that was a real shocker for an 18 year old used to New York laws in 1966.
When I look it up, here is what I see:
The Connecticut drinking age has changed a number of times over the years: 21 in 1933, 18 in 1972, 19 in 1982, 20 in 1983, and lastly back to 21 in 1985.
So you are partially correct, but I think a bunch of us old guys may be scratching our heads on how we missed the on-campus bar in 1966 . . . or hoping we didn’t lose some more brain cells.
PS.. The Jungle was not entirely wild. I did manage to get in deep stuff with staff on at least one occasion. Angelo Celesia ’70 (CLAS), via our website
—Tom Responds: The Anonymous Pub was opened after the drinking age was lowered to 1972, which is two years after this alum graduated, which is why Angelo would have no memory of it.
“I. Am. Outraged.”
➼ I wish to commend Michael Lynch on this article. I always knew there was a problem with all the re-posting people do, but I never could explain it. This article was so informative in showing how people are merely re-posting outrageous emotions meant to make others feel outraged to reflect their own outrage. And also informative from the article is how the goal is the formation of a “tribe” even though the people who re-post might not be aware of that; nor are they aware of how social media has taken over their lives. Yes, I loved the article, but I will not re-post it to anyone. Instead, I will try to live it. Thank you, Michael Lynch! Josephine Ball ’64 MS, Sante Fe, New Mexico, via our website
➼ If I share this article, what does it say about me? Ruth Sandin, via our website
➼ Interesting and I believe accurate assessment. I think in general that people are experiencing what I refer to as “media overload.” That is, being overwhelmed with the ideas presented by others to the point that it obscures rational thought. Tom Tilsch ’95 (CLAS), Marlborough, Connecticut, via our website
“UConn Mag Meets the Keets”
➼ What a wonderful article about an amazing family and legacy! I am fortunate enough to be a “sister” in-law and can say that I’ve never met another group of siblings (eight) that have such an incredible bond. This speaks volume about their parents. They are a wonderful representation of “family” and it’s very awesome that five of the eight siblings attended UConn with four of them being there at the same time. I loved this article. Thank you for sharing this history. Jeannene Keet Wedowee, Alabama, via our website
➼ Such a great article about my sisters. It was very special to share this story with my daughter as we toured UConn in the summer of 2011 and her aunt’s yearbook (1981) was on the table of the visitors center. We also follow the UConn Women’s basketball team here in Arizona. Thank you for this story. Barbara Jean Keet, Montgomery, Alabama, via our website
➼ I enjoyed reading the article “Tiny” by Catherine Newman. It was so interesting and insightful. However, when I tried to get the book of her photography called Finding Lilliput by Judy Robinson-Cox, I could not find anyone who sold it. Do you know where I might buy one? If you could help me out, I'd appreciate it; I'd love to own that book. Blanche Feero ’79 MA, via email
—Judy Responds: If you go to this link, http://judy.robinson-cox.com/book.html you can see a flip book version. There is a “Buy Now” button on that page.
➼ I had the honor and pleasure to be at the inauguration of President Katsouleas.
As a proud UConn alumnus (a member of the "UCONN Biggest Family" from a few years ago), and heavily involved in the Greek-American community on many levels, his ascendancy to this State's flagship university is almost surreal. To use the cliche, I had the honor and pleasure of serving as the Master of Ceremony at the Connecticut Greek-American communities’
Welcome to President Tom on Sept. 29 at the Hellenic Studies-Paideia Center on Dog Lane. I also want to thank your photographer, Peter Morenus, for sharing with me some great pictures from the inauguration.
Keep up the great work.
Greg Stamos ’77, via our website
➼ I so enjoy reading the magazine from cover to cover.
My years at Storrs (1968-72) were truly a time of change, throughout the country and for myself. Many fond memories & friendships that have spanned over 50 years!
I am so glad the Huskies are back in the Big East. I knew they had an outstanding record, but didn’t realize that they won “80 conference championships in its 34 years.” Guess that’s all sports, not men's basketball as implied by the photo at MSG.
Keep up the fine work. Look forward to the next issue.
Dave Arney ’72 (CLAS), Gold Canyon, Arizona, via our website