Letters from our readers
Readers welcome back old SWC rivals, remember KTCU, Allene Jones and Walther Volbach, and ask for more conservative views.
by The TCU Magazine staff
Updated: Thursday, April 05, 2012
The TCU Magazine welcomes letters that focus on issues of concern to Texas Christian University and its alumni. Send letters to: The TCU Magazine, TCU Box 298940, Fort Worth, Texas 76129; or email them to email@example.com. Please limit comments to 200 words. Letters may be edited for length or clarity. Unsigned letters will not be published. Opinions expressed are those of the signed contributors and do not represent the official position of TCU.
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More conservative points of view
I’m a 1980 grad of TCU’s J-School. While there, I was (for a time) the golden boy to one of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s senior editors who held a teaching position at the school. I was on a fast track for a newspaper career, probably in the editorial department … that is, until he discerned my conservative political bent. After that he never had time for me.
I had always suspected the school leaned heavily to the left, and these suspicions were confirmed forever with the announcement of the newly refurbished Schieffer School of Journalism. His (Schieffer’s) first symposium had not one single conservative voice on the panel. And several letters to the editor of the following The TCU Magazine were united in their condemnation of this fact. Now comes the eighth annual Schieffer Symposium — featuring (no surprise here) “the chief White House correspondents representing three of the major television networks and the founder and editor-in-chief of POLITICO, the top journalistic minds of our time.” (Emphasis mine.)
No intelligent person can claim POLITICO is anything but a far left-wing blog, mostly repeating the talking points from the Obama White House. And as for the “three major television networks” … well let’s just say the record shows they are anything but “balanced” in their reporting. The facts are irrefutable.
When (if) this “symposium” begins to consistently include major conservative voices — in equal numbers, provided equal time, and given equal respect — you can expect my generous donations. There are two sides to the raging political debate in our nation, and until you recognize this and allow the other side to be heard, expect no support from TCU’s plethora of conservative voices.
Frank “Pappy” Badder ’80
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On air with KTCU
I read your article in The TCU Magazine, Winter 2011 about KTCU with fond memories. You did a good job. I am a 1964 graduate of RTVF, Dept. of Speech. I was the student, a senior, who hand delivered the KTCU-FM application to the FCC in Washington.
Good luck KTCU and GO Frogs.
John Paul Kimzey ’64
It was nice to see KTCU get a shout-out in the recent magazine, although sobering to realize my short time there came during the wretched “public affairs” era where as few as two popular music shows ran on the station per week. Indeed, before getting on air on Saturday at 10 p.m. until whenever we gave out, first as a third- or fourth- or fifth-wheel on the FM Salad (Fall 1987) and later from its ashes, Feast of Friends (Spring 1988, featuring Guido Climer ’91, Jack Lewis ’89, Susan Wirsdorfer ’90, and Q*Bert, who regrettably did not graduate) I would “engineer” (or turn the reel-to-reel player on and off) a big-band show.
All in all, it was a brief experiment in dead air, poor turntable cues, cajoling Domino’s into sponsorship, embarrassing dedications, political protest, and the occasional boa constrictor lost in the machinery. But isn’t that what the college radio experience is all about? (Well, everything but the boa constrictor.)
Believe it or not, I miss wheeling a wagon full of LPs across campus to Moudy, under cover of darkness. Thanks for giving the station some shine.
Brett Ballantini ’91
The lower picture on Page 78 of the radio studio shows a male at the piano. Do you have the name of the pianist? He resembles my late husband, David Warren Keay (I believe he was Class of ‘51 or ‘52). He was supposed to be majoring in something like broadcasting, but really spent most of his time at Dave Bloxom’s Pool Hall across the street from the campus.
Dave was a veteran, attending college on the GI Bill, and we met when we were both classmates at Emerson College in Boston. He transferred from Boston University to Emerson College and after two years there, in 1949, he transferred to TCU. When we later moved to Lubbock he was asked to represent TCU in the procession for the inauguration of the new president of Texas Tech.
I attended television-writing classes at TCU, through which I obtained a job at WBAP-TV Channel 5, and at one time shared an office with Luther Atkins ’49, who is also pictured on Page 78. Luther had the longest title of any employee at Channel 5: “Religious, Educational and Public Service Coordinator,” and was on the air with a regular show, “Christian Questions.” His wife Kitty had her own show on TV.
Lou Carter Keay ’53
Editor's note: The only one identified in the photo is Fredrick B. Folks, who is in the control room. If you know who the pianist or performers are, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 817.257.7807.
Will delightful surprises never cease? I wrote to you a couple of years ago about passing through Fort Worth on my way home to Houston and stopping by the KTCU studios.
I visited with the manager, Russell Scott, and told him I had been a part of KTCU when it was “broadcasting” on carrier-current AM 1025 in one room in the basement of the Fine Arts Building from 1958 to 1961. He told me there were some pictures on the wall from that period that I might recognize. I did. One was of me! (That same year I came across a video on the Internet of me in my Army uniform as an announcer with the American Forces Network (AFN) in Frankfurt, Germany. Delightful surprise No. 2.)
Then today I opened to the back page of The TCU Magazine and saw my picture at KTCU from the 1959 yearbook. I don’t have a copy of that book and I assume the photo is captioned in it, but I recognize everybody there. Standing, left to right, is Linda Craugh, Clem Candelaria, Phil Crow (Clem and Phil both went on to long and successful careers with KTVT, Channel 11), Leroy Quick, me, Mike Marshall and the station manager, Bebe (Edmundson?)
The board operator seated is at the console is Jack (?) and at the mic is, I believe, June Pence.
It was always difficult to get a start as an announcer at a radio station without some experience, especially in a major market. (I applied for an opening at a radio station surrounded by a cornfield in Grand Prairie and was told to come back when I had some experience.) KTCU gave me a lot of us that experience, even if no one was listening. I worked at radio stations in Fort Worth, Dallas and Houston until my last station flipped from Easy Listening music to Sports Talk and chucked out all the disc jockeys. It’s just as well, I guess. I wouldn’t have lasted long in the sports format. I never really understood the infield fly rule.
Mike Marshall ’66
Editor's note: The caption says the students are, back row left to right: Linda Hubbard, Linda Jeanne Craugh, Clem Candelaria, Phil Crow, Lee Roy Quick, Mike Marshall. Front: Jack Pippen, June Pence, Bebe Edmonson
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Remembering Walther Volbach
I enjoyed reading the letter of Dale H. Edmonds ’57, who, as a Skiff reporter, interviewed the late Dr. Walther Volbach. I was a Skiff staffer too, and in fact inherited Edmonds’ job as “fine arts” reporter.
When I met “Doc” (as we all called Dr. Volbach), I also made the acquaintance of his personal secretary, John W. Gaston, who built his own business in Dallas and recently retired to Sequim, Wa.
I even wrote a reverential portrait of Doc in the paper, mentioning his propensity to tell actors arriving late for rehearsals that in spite of their apologies, “You are NOT sorry, you are late.” I minored in theatre and Doc cast me in two plays, Strindberg’s A Dream Play and Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. John W. Gaston was in both plays, too. In that way, I was able to do the portrait of Doc “up close and personal.”
I was saddened by the deaths of both Doc and Dick Hanley, whom you identify as “head yell leader” at the time. Like me, Dick took up the law, but unlike me, he died prematurely in a car accident in ’95. I remember him fondly as a supremely nice, considerate individual, very outgoing and personable.
Thanks to you and your readers for keeping me informed of my TCU friends.
James M. (“Mike”) Martin ‘65
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Renewed rivalry welcome
As a loyal Tea-Sip [University of Texas students and alumnus], yet parent of a Horned Frog, I am just pleased as punch that the UT/TCU Rivalry that I grew up following closely is due to resume. My daughter is a senior at UT, majoring in chemical engineering and my son Jon is a freshman at TCU, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. My daughter has stated many times that if chem-E were offered at TCU, she would be a Horned Frog, also.
My mother attended TCU her first year of college, then transferred to UT. She graduated from Paschal High School with Dan Jenkins ’53, having been his editor on the school newspaper there, whereupon they both entered TCU. TCU was my second choice, but alas, Orange Blood won.
Our home will be an interesting place to be at Thanksgiving, henceforth, with three Tea-Sippers (that are all fans of TCU also) and one very smart Horned Frog. In fact, there will be four people rooting for TCU — except at Thanksgiving. Riff-Ram & Hook-Em!
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I enjoyed the article “Trailblazer” in the Winter 2011 edition. I remember Allene Jones from my student days. I had a class with Patsy Brown, another of the first three
African-American students in HCN. One day after class a group of us decided to go out to eat and cheerfully headed over to a restaurant on Berry Street. As we climbed out of the car, Patsy commented, “I wonder if they’ll let me in there.” I was dumbstruck, as I had never realized before just what it meant to be black in 1960s Texas. Although we got some odd looks, no one challenged us and we had a pleasant lunch with our classmate. Thank you for the article. I have often wondered where Patsy wound up, and assume you were not able to contact her since you did not provide an update.
Judy Cravens ’64