Aboard the ARC
Remembering Those
  We Lost




WKCR's Beginnings

Three score and a fraction years ago, your predecessors brought forth a campus radio station called CURC — Columbia University Radio Club. Our one-room studio was in the little building between Hamilton and Hartley. Our signal went through the pipes that criss-crossed campus buildings, and could radiate several feet outside them. (At least that's what the engineers, who were the backbone of the club, told me.) Our control room contained one panel and two phonograph turntables.

Our first spoken program, I believe, was a nightly 15-minute sports report organized by Bill Levinson, a junior, and me, a freshman. We were offshoots of the Spectator staff, with no radio experience or skills. But dealing only with Columbia activities, we had exclusivity and inside dope.

There were about a dozen of us at CURC then. We also did comedy, drama and music programs. Our most prized resources were a sound effects record and whatever we could find for studio-generated noises. Our listener totals were not zero, but rarely exceeded two digits.

In due course, CURC became WKCR and real radio. We surviving pioneers are awed and gratified by its development, and we honor those whose dedication has seen to it that radio for the campus, by the campus and of the campus has not perished from the face of Morningside Heights.

Leonard Koppett '44

Editor's note: The writer, a member of the media wings of both the Baseball and Basketball Halls of Fame, was unable to attend WKCR's 60th anniversary celebration on October 12 but forwarded his recollections of the station's early days.

If you dig out a 1941 Columbian, you will see a photograph of the Kings Crown Advisory Board. This board authorized the original funds to finance the studio and transmitter for CURC. I assume all the faculty members have passed on to the advisory board in the sky. However, Dick Kuh '41 and I were both at Arden House in June to celebrate our class's 60th reunion.

Samuel W. Hughes '41

CCT Online

The latest online layout of CCT is fantastic. It's readable and attractive. Far better, in fact, than many commercial magazines.

Amol Sarva '98

Diversity on Campus

David G.D. Hecht's letter about my letter (September 2001) reads more into my letter than I indicated. I did not say that favoring Gore over Bush was a positive. What I did say is that the students at a very selective Ivy League school in the most cosmopolitan city in the United States will have very different opinions from a national average on almost any subject. I did not draw any value judgment on this fact.

I don't think that today's Columbia students feel superior in being out of step with the rest of the country. I am sure that Columbians are aware that there are other opinions in the country than those held by the majority of Columbia students.

The point I was making is that favoring one candidate over another by a large margin does not indicate a lack of diversity on campus. If a national poll showed that 5 percent of Americans went to an opera once a year, but 75 percent of Columbians did, would that indicate a lack of diversity on campus?

Michael I. Frischberg '54

Lightweight Football

I was delighted to see in the class notes of '50, '51 and '52 names of Columbia's initial lightweight (150-pound) football team. There were almost enough to field that starting team of more than 50 years ago. Names like [Raymond] Annino '50, [Mario] Palmieri '50, [Alfred] Byra '51, [Frank] Raimondo '51, even Bob Osnos '51, our player-reporter. I would hope with more than 50 years gone by that we could reunite that inaugural football squad. We weren't the best, but we played with plenty of Columbia spirit.

Andre J. Ognibene '52
Left Tackle


Don't Ignore Chest Pains

On July 21, at home, I had a heart attack. I was dumbfounded. I still am. I didn't have any of the risk factors associated with a heart attack.

I was sitting at my computer when I felt as if a hand was resting on my heart. It was not really painful. I've had headaches and bruises that hurt a lot more. Nonetheless I walked the length of the house to my wife, Mary Ann, and told her I had a chest pain and said maybe we had better go to the emergency room. She drove us there in record time. I received immediate attention, and within 30 minutes of the attack, the morphine, blood-thinners, anti-coagulants, etc. had opened up the artery and the blood was once again flowing normally. Monday morning they did an angiogram and concluded that the opening needed to be greater. So I went by ambulance to Indianapolis and had a stent inserted in the artery — one of the main arteries to the heart, I should add. Sixty days later, after cardiac rehab, I felt totally back to normal.

Getting to the hospital immediately made a difference. I feel extremely lucky that I did. Because the pain was not severe, I truly expected that once at the hospital they would tell me it was nothing major, and to go home, take two aspirin and it would go away. From how I felt then, I now understand why heart attack victims on average wait three hours before seeking treatment. But because I got to the emergency room as soon as I did, the damage to my heart muscle was as slight as it possibly could have been.
My advice, whether wanted or not, is this: If you feel even just a slight but evenly constant pain in your chest where you think your heart is, go, go, go at once to your local emergency room.

Gordon G. Henderson '53


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