Letters to the Editor

In response to an increasing number of your letters, we’re launching a new Letters to the Editor section. To send us one, see “Write Us!” below.

MY RESIDENCE HALL WAS THE GYMNASIUM

I just read “Central Residence Halls” and felt the need to comment. Since I was in the Class of 1950, it brought back wonderful memories—sufficient to have me go back to my scrapbook and retrieve some photos.

  1. What a surprise to find that my residence hall was the gymnasium. My double-deck bunk bed was shared by one of my roommates.
  2. The new men’s dorm [Gaass Hall] was under construction at that time.
  3. It was completed a few weeks later.
  4. A bit later, I was photographed with two of my three roommates in front of it; left to right is Paul Telford ’50, me and Charles Powleske ’50. Believe it or not, my other roommate was Richard Schultz ’50, who became quite famous as executive director of the NCAA for many years. How proud I am to have known him.
  5. Three of us from Alexandria Bay, New York, enrolled at Central at the same time; left to right is me, Beverly Reynolds Parslow ’50 and Una Cornwall Parker ’50.
  6. And finally, for your amusement, is a picture taken of me when I turned 90. The birthday present came from my daughter, Trudi, who substituted a bouquet of doughnuts for flowers. I’ve just taken a bite out of one of them.

Those years at Central are the most memorable of all my education. The contents of my scrapbooks verify that. Keep your publications coming; I’d hate to miss one.

Don Burns ’50, Los Alamos, New Mexico

Mr. Burns’ reports that his education as a scientist began with him burning a hole in his new bedspread with magnesium ribbon when he was 10, continued with the study of chemistry at Central and Syracuse University and concluded with a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Purdue University. A long publication- and patent-studded career followed, most recently as a senior scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratories. He’s also been a private pilot, a Great Lakes mariner and a musician. While at Central, he used to sneak in through an open window at night to practice the organ. Someone eventually gave him a key, literally opening the door to a lifetime of part-time work as a church organist.

– ed.

RETHINKING THE ART HEIST

I was the Pella Police Department officer who caught the Brower case [“Central’s Great Art Heist”]. After I went to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, a recluse was captured in Ottumwa. He had a huge collection of valuable items, mostly classic and antique books. I suggested to Pella it should follow up on his arrest and see if the Brower collection might be there. Your article reminds me how much I think of that case.

John Frank ’72, Ankeny, Iowa

I just read the fascinating piece “Central’s Great Art Heist.” As an art historian by training, I’m always intrigued by stories such as these. I still harbor hope that the paintings stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston will someday be found!

– Lori Ferguson, Sarasota, Florida

Interesting piece on the Brower Collection. The former CEO of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam suggested contacting Arthur Brand, a famous art detective with a great track record on recovering lost art. I forwarded the piece about the heist to Brand. If I receive a reply I’ll let you know.

– Ton Sels, The Netherlands

WRITE US!

Civitas welcomes letters and emails from readers concerning the contents of the magazine or issues relating to Central College. Please include the author’s name, city and state; anonymous communications will be discarded. Letters selected for publication may be edited for length, content, clarity and style.

Address letters to Civitas, Central Communications, Central College, 812 University St., Pella, Iowa 50219 or email Dan Weeks, Civitas editor, at weeksd@central.edu.

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  • Ruth Jolly Knapman

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    1:58 pm on September 20, 2019

    There needs to new more news about our classes of the 1950s! You may place an item in the class of 1953 that I, Ruth Jolly Knapman, was honored by Pioneer’s of Alaska as their 2019 Queen Regent. I’ve represented Fairbanks Pioneers at Colony Days in Palmer AK, the midnight celebration in Eagle AK where my photo was taken with UK’s Queen Guard of four; and in Valdez for their Gold Rush Days. [riding in antique cars in local parades] I will be attending Pioneer Convention in late Sept and Anchorage Fur Rendevou in Feb. before the end of my rein.

    In May I was honored as Female Lifetime Fitness of Fairbanks North Star Borough (similar to your counties) Have finished another year as a local tour guide … most recent was driving to the end of the Dempster Highway in the Yukon and Northwest Territories of Canada!