Letters to the Editor

Making History

Dear Editors,

What a great issue (fall 2008). The Saint Mary’s magazine is not only a class act, it is informative and a wonderful way to keep in touch with the College. I especially enjoyed the phone booth story since I was one of the 22 who stuffed the booth in 1959.

I want to remind Ted (Dr. Tsukahara) and Leo (Father Patrick LaBelle), who were quoted in the article, about the origins of the event. My recollection is that someone in Aquinas Hall heard that a school in South Africa stuffed 21 students into a phone booth. We were a day or two from the loss to Cal in the NCAA basketball tournament and had leftover energy from that fantastic season. I’m not sure who it was, but he and soon the whole dorm rounded up all us smaller guys to stuff the first-floor phone booth to the cry of “Beat South Africa.”

A call was made to the Oakland Tribune, and the next day Life magazine and NBC were on campus with a glass phone booth on the lawn in front of the Chapel. The rest is history. By the way, that photo is one of Life magazine’s 100 most-memorable photographs of the 20th century!

Paul Desrochers ’61
San Diego

Remembering Art’s

Dear Editors,

The back cover of the fall 2008 edition of Saint Mary’s magazine brings back many happy memories. The group pictured there are all from the 1957 class. Second from the end of the bar is Bob Athey, who was my attorney in Walnut Creek since the day he graduated from law school. Closest to the camera is Larry Murphy, who owns Murphy’s Irish Pub in Sonoma. Of course, the bartender is Art Fleuti.

I graduated in 1955 and was a Navy pilot for five years. When I got out, we lived in Concord for 10 years. I started to work as a bartender for Art in 1961 and continued until late 1965, when I took over the family business in Walnut Creek.

Keep up the good work. The magazine is great.

Barry Redfearne ’55
Prescott, Ariz.

More Women’s Sports

Dear Editors,

When reading your “80 Years and Counting” article (fall 2008), I was disappointed in your lack of coverage of women’s sports. I realize a lot has happened in the past 80 years and noticed there was a lot of coverage of the men’s athletic teams, but not much coverage of the women’s sports programs.

I take this a little personally because I was actually one of two people who started the women’s basketball and softball teams at SMC. We did this with a petition on campus. We even had the football quarterback and tight end help coach the first year under the direction of Dr. Doc McKillip.

I played three sports for SMC, and by my senior year I got a partial basketball scholarship and was the first woman to receive a Block SM blanket.

I am very proud to have been a part of the growth of the women’s athletic programs and follow them closely. I now teach and coach in Auburn and run into some of the SMC alumni and always recommend SMC to parents.

I look forward to seeing more coverage in the future and hope you will consider including more women’s athletics articles.

Therese Stack ’80

A Lionized Brother

Dear Editors,

Your fall issue gave us old grads an opportunity to relive some of the glory days of the 1930s and 40s, which we always enjoy. It was a nice tribute to Brother Mel and the other architects of what the College is today.

I could not but notice the glaring omission of Brother Z. Leo, the towering figure in those decades. Leo, the legendary SMC professor, the popular lecturer who filled the Greek Theater at UC Berkeley, the lionized star of the lecture circuit who packed opera houses in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Leo, who authored the Saint Mary’s Man’s Creed.

Brother Leo could well be the theme of a future issue of the magazine. Why not?

Stephen N. Sestanovich ’35

Of Historical Interest

Dear Editors,

As a graduate and former Christian Brother, I read through your (fall 2008) edition with greater-than-usual interest. The 80 years of Brother Mel had quite a few pictures of interest to me as they seem to have been taken when I was matriculating in Moraga.

Although the pictures were juxtaposed more for artistic than historical interest, I would point out that the picture of Bob Hope on page 16 was most likely taken around 1966–67 when Mr. Hope was presented with one of the first Genesian Awards (or was it St. Genesius? Hard to remember). The picture dated 1956 in the middle of pages 16 and 17 was taken around 1965–66 because it contains Brother Thomas Jones ’69. The picture of Brother Albert Rahill on page 19 was most likely taken in the 1950s when he was vacationing at either the Russian River or at Lake Huntington, as I never remember him dressing so casually while on campus, nor did I ever know him without his full head of white hair.

Lastly, speaking of college pranks, my second night on campus in August 1964 I was part of a clandestine group that hiked up the hill in darkness and transformed the rocks that usually formed “SMC” from “GOP” (they had been altered by a visiting group of Young Republicans on campus for a convention) to “LBJ.” To this day one of my fingers bears the scar that I got when a rock fell on my hand.

Loved the issue.

Keith Chapman ’68
Salem, Ore.

DEAR READERS: We welcome your comments. Please send letters to news@stmarys-ca.edu, or mail to the Office of College Communications, Saint Mary's College, Box 5165, Moraga, CA 94575. Please include your class year and hometown. Letters may be edited for space and clarity.