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Monty’s fan club, animal rights reconsidered, more on gene therapy.

 

MAKING MUSIC FUN

    Hoorah, Hoorah for Bruce Montgomery [“Monty in Full,” May/June]. Like the late C.J. Burnett Ed’33 L’36 G’41, he is a rare, enduring faculty treasure who stands out from the crowd.
    By having fun with music, Bruce made music fun for many of us who woudn’t have been otherwise inclined. And like C.J., he was also a helluva good guy!

Robert W. Swaney W’63
Newport News, Va.

GENERATION GAFFE

    What a lovely and deserved tribute to Bruce Montgomery!
    The reference to the Glee Club’s first trip to Puerto Rico annotated Alumni Secretary Leonard Dill’s class as C’56 when, in fact, it was I, his son, who graduated that year. Dad, Leonard C. Dill Jr., was C’28 and he had been secretary of the General Alumni Society (and editor of the Gazette) since early in the 1940s. I think the Puerto Rico meeting was the first-ever outside the continental U.S. and that the Glee Club made a major contribution to its success.

Leonard C. Dill III C’56
West Palm Beach, Fla.

NEXT STOP, RIKER’S ISLAND

    Loved the interview with Bruce Montgomery. My friend Meryle Ettleson and I were the lucky female accompanists for the Glee Club from 1956 to about 1959. How could Bruce forget our first “tour” during Spring Break 1957—New York and its environs, including a home for disturbed children and Riker’s Island. Maybe it was just too bizarre to remember. Bruce recognized me and knew my name 20 years after I had last seen him. He is one of the most talented, interesting people I have ever known. I wish him all the best.

Edie Saltzberg CW’60
Merion Station, Pa.

BRAVO ON MONTGOMERY,
BUT
BOBBY TROUP DESERVED BETTER

    Thanks for the profile-Q&A on Bruce Montgomery. He has set in onyx what it takes to nourish a musical activity at a major university.
    Miffed is the only word I can use to describe my feelings about the farewell to my friend Bobby Troup C’40—the only triple-threat matriculate at the University in my undergraduate days: Beta Gamma Sigma, Mask&Wig, varsity track [“Obituaries”].
    However, in my best memory I don’t associate “Daddy” with a Mask&Wig varsity production. I don’t even know if it was downloaded to the then-Mask&Wig freshman show. I have no knowledge of Mask&Wig archives since Robert F. [“Bo”] Brown C’28 L’31 died. However, there must be references in the old copies of The Daily Pennsylvanian that might clarify the status of “Daddy.”

C. Robert Paul Jr. W’39
Little Neck, N.Y.

The reference to “Daddy” in the obituary was based on a story in the October 15, 1941 issue of The Daily Pennsylvanian about an appearance by Sammy Kaye and his orchestra, of which Troup was then a member, at “Penn Night” at the Earle Theater. It included the following: “It will be remembered that two years ago this winter “Daddy” first appeared. Troup, then a junior and a member of the Mask and Wig Club, wrote the now famous song and Bobby Martin introduced it to the campus and the world in the Freshman Mask and Wig Show of that year.”—Ed.


ARTICLE NEGLECTED
DAMAGE CAUSED BY PETS

    “Saving the Animal Planet” [May/June] seems to be a study in contradictions and rationalizations because of several issues not addressed. The article fails to mention that human pets such as cats and dogs are carnivores. As such, other animals must be slaughtered to provide food for them. Domestic cats are wreaking havoc upon declining song-bird populations in North America and Europe (the UK especially). While vegetarians may be animal-friendly, their canine and feline companions are not.
    Although it is suggested that animals (poultry in particular) may be healthier (and happier) if allowed to range freely, one of the major political issues here in the American West is essentially free-ranging of cattle and sheep on public lands. Environmentalists and some animal rightists want the practice stopped. Anyone who must travel or live in the vicinity of feed lots, with their associated stench and negative environmental impact, can attest that this is not a desirable alternative way to handle meat production.
    Also not addressed is the quantity of organic waste generated and dispersed by pet cats and dogs, especially in urban areas. This material presents potential health hazards for both humans and other animals.
    The issues that must be addressed are not just bringing food producers and animal rightists to a common ground regarding the humane treatment of animals, but the associated environmental impacts of keeping pets as well. If the animal rightists wish to do something positive, they should promote pet population control (especially for cats and dogs). Some municipalities do have limits.
    Dr. Serpell’s efforts are to be applauded, but there are many complex and interacting issues involved, and it is not clear from the article that some of them have been considered.
    In closing, I note that I am neither a vegetarian nor do I keep pets.

Clifford D. Ferris EE’57 Gr’58
Laramie, Wyo.

EXCELLENT ISSUE

    Thank you for your excellent May/June 2000 issue: feature articles about two of my favorite former professors, Dan Hoffman [“Gazetteer”] and Nina Auerbach [“Haunted by an Heiress”], and an astonishing cover by perhaps the most gifted
illustrator alive, Natalie Ascencios. By the way, is Ms. Ascencios an alumna?

Anthony Splendora C’83 GEd’86
Milford, Pa.

She is not. And thank you.—Ed.


PENN MISSED CHANCE TO LEAD ON
CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST GUIDELINES

    I would have been more sanguine about President Rodin’s otherwise cogent essay on gene therapy in the May/June Gazette if she had taken her actions just a bit further [“From College Hall”]. I am referring to the most laudable recent actions of Dr. Joseph Martin, dean of Harvard Medical School, in severely limiting investigators with a financial interest in the outcome of studies, especially clinical trials, from participating in such studies. His position, according to The Boston Globe, was partially influenced by his participation in a committee investigating the [Institute for Human Gene Therapy]. Here Penn had a unique chance to lead the way, and missed it. May we look forward to a verbatim report on that committee’s findings, or must we await newspaper coverage?

Dr. James J. Ferguson Jr., Emeritus faculty
Chevy Chase, Md.

Please see the story on page 20 on the Danforth Committee’s report and the University’s response. The complete text of both documents are available at (www.upenn.edu/almanac/v46/n34/IHGT-review.html).—Ed.


CLINTON SPEECH DIDN’T ADD UP

    The May/June Gazette described Bill Clinton’s speech at the Granoff Forum [“Gazetteer”]. In that speech, Mr. Clinton gave as a specific reason for the economic expansion of the nineties “the nation’s willingness to cut the national debt.”
    According to the U.S. Treasury, the national debt in 1992 was $4.065 trillion and in early 2000 was $5.6 trillion.
    We know that Clinton slept through truth class, but it seems that he must also have skipped his math courses.

Henry C. Clifford W’52
Wainscott, N.Y.

REMEMBERING DR. MITCHELL

    I was saddened to read of the death of Dr. Howard Mitchell Gr’51 in the May/June Gazette. While it is true that Dr. Mitchell was a champion of social and racial equality, I will remember him as one of Penn basketball’s biggest fans.
    I had the honor of meeting and getting to know Dr. and Mrs. Mitchell while broadcasting Penn basketball on WXPN as an undergraduate student during the late 1970s. Back then, the broadcast booth was right behind the Quaker bench and Dr. Mitchell’s seats were right behind us. The good professor served as a faculty advisor to many of the players, and I could always count on the “inside scoop” before the game and his unique analysis afterward.
    As our friendship grew in my senior year, Dr. Mitchell invited me to enroll in his graduate-level management course. While it was a little unnerving at first being with all of the “older and wiser” students, I got to experience first hand what a terrific educator he was. He will be missed by his students and, more importantly, he will be missed at the Palestra.

Larry A. Joseph W’79
Philadelphia

 

DISAPPOINTED AT COVERAGE
OF DR. ROYSTER’S DEATH

    I was disappointed at the small note on the passing of Dr. Henry Royster, plastic surgeon and former professor at the University [“Obituaries,” May/June].
    Dr. Royster was a dedicated teacher as well as an outstanding physician. Under his supervision, repair of cleft palate and other defects was provided to numerous indigent patients in our area. When I was a senior medical student an incident occurred which was among my most memorable. Dr. Royster’s teaching technique required a student to evaluate the patient before he did and present the case to him with analysis. One day, a female patient refused to allow me to examine her. On learning this, Dr. Royster calmly explained to her that unless new physicians were trained there would be a lack of qualified doctors to succeed him. And further, he would not be the physician for patients who would not help train the next generation. He left the room; she agreed to participate in medical education.

Barry Halpern C’59 M’63
South Miami, Fla.

PERTURBED PUZZLE-LOVER

    The May/June Gazette arrived and, as has been my habit for some years now, I skimmed the articles, looked to see what my classmates are up to, then turned to the puzzle. I must confess to being a puzzle fanatic and very much enjoy doing the puzzles.
    But not this time. Ten of the 24 clues refer to works of Tennyson. To say the least, the puzzle is “unbalanced”. It appeals to a very, very narrow set of people, those who memorize works of Tennyson. Anyone else is left out.
    Surely, a person could look up the answers, but, to a true puzzle fanatic, that is cheating. There is no enjoyment in that.
    I might note that I usually do the Gazette doublecrostic—the correct name for such puzzles, created by a person named Kingsley—in about an hour. This month, I was tempted to throw the Gazette into the trash. I may yet.

James R. Coleman, Jr. C’67
Minneapolis, Minn.

Even lovers of Tennyson may have had the same reaction. Due to mistakes in editing, there were several errors in last issue’s puzzle. For a corrected version, go to our Web site at (www.upenn.edu/gazette/puzzle.html).—Ed.

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