LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
I enjoyed Alex Sachare ’71’s “Within the Family”
essay in the November CCT, in which he remembered Ferris
Booth Hall and the Lions Den. I was in the first class to move into
FBH in fall 1959 — I lived on the 11th floor and thought I
was on top of the world. (To a Montanan, FBH seemed a skyscraper.)
I have two marvelous memories of the Lions Den. I was at the cash
register in 1960 when Bill Mazeroski iced the World Series for the
Pirates with a homer to left that broke the hearts of the New Yorkers
around me. And three springs later, my girlfriend (Margaret French
’64 Barnard) proposed to me in one of the LD booths. I accepted.
To this day, she says it was the other way around, but it doesn’t
matter. We were married on June 1, 1963, in St. Paul’s Chapel,
and we are working on year 42.
Mike Bowler ’63
During my sophomore year (1961), I had a job cleaning the Lions
Den at 7 a.m. every day — I swept the floor and wet-wiped
the tables. In return for doing that, I did not pay for the meal
plan at the John Jay Hall dining room.
My alarm clock was set to go off early every morning. I didn’t
realize it until later, but I guess my three suite-mates (Harvey
Lefkowitz ’65, Arnold Lesser ’65 and Art Lew ’64)
weren’t too happy about that. We were housed in the Kings
Crown Hotel off Amsterdam around 115th Street, due to the scarcity
of dorm rooms. One morning, I was awakened much earlier than usual
by a hidden alarm clock. At intervals, four or five other hidden
alarm clocks went off. My roommates had set these alarms to
get back at me for waking them early every day.
I had access to the jukebox while cleaning the Lions Den. I usually
played the song “Yellow Bird,” which begins “Yellow
bird way up in banana tree.” Now, whenever I hear that song,
it brings me back to those early mornings in the Lions Den.
Jeff Sol ’64
Thanks so much for doing an alumni profile on me and featuring
Doctors for Designated Driving (November CCT). I have received
many e-mails from alumni congratulating me and offering their well-wishes.
Signatures to our petition have risen at a quickened pace since
the story has run.
Thanks again for helping my organization get off the ground. Together,
I think we can save thousands of lives.
Howard Forman ’01
New York City
We take issue with your response to John McCormack’s complaint
about the use of the phrase “student-athlete” (September
CCT). We agree with him that the term is disingenuous,
originally applied to support the dubious academic credentials of
recruits to Division I football factories, whose graduation rates
were (and in many cases still are) miniscule. Whether the term originated
in admissions offices, in newspaper sports pages or in the creative
imagination of a sports information office is immaterial.
We also disagree with its acceptance by your faculty consultants.
Sports fans know that it is a euphemism unrelated to academic pursuits.
It should not be used to describe Columbia athletes, unless you
describe other Columbia students as student-musicians, student-writers
and editors, student-actors and even student-physicists. We recognize
the time commitment of athletes to practice, games and travel, creating
additional stress on their academic obligations. However, other
students, described above, also spend much time in their chosen
extracurricular activities; our athletes are not unique in that
Herbert Mark M.D. ’42
White Plains, N.Y.
Melvin Hershkowitz M.D. ’42
[Editor’s note: The authors are class correspondent
and president, respectively, of the Class of 1942.]
CCT welcomes letters from readers about articles
in the magazine, but cannot print or personally respond to
all letters received. All letters are subject to editing for
space and clarity. Please direct letters for publication “to
Editor, Columbia College Today
475 Riverside Dr., Ste 917
New York, NY 10115-0998