letters

HANAWALT DESERVED BETTER

I think you did an injustice to the memory of Frank Hanawalt, '48 ("In Memory," December 2009 Columns), by stating that he is perhaps best known as the principal of Garfield High "who expelled a student named Jimi Hendrix for skipping classes in 1960." Not to those who knew both "Buster" and Mr. Hanawalt.

"Buster" Hendrix was not the global "Jimi" Hendrix when he was expelled. At the time, Garfield High School had a relatively equitable ethnic mix of African, European (including Jewish), Hispanic and Asian (Japanese, Filipino and Chinese) Americans. Not only did Mr. Hanawalt invite Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to speak, on another occasion he made arrangements for the boxing legend Archie Moore to speak. Mr. Moore spoke, looking out over the student body, and the students reminded him of a vibrant field of flowers—all different colors.

Mr. Hanawalt was way ahead of his time; he treated all us ethnically/economically diversified kids as equals. He disciplined those kids who needed discipline, no matter what the ethnicity. The Smiths, Andersons, Joneses, Mitchels, Seinfelds, Chins, Shimonos, Wyatts, Del Rios and Sanchezes [were] all American kids, [and] all received equitable treatment (from my perspective, often sitting in the Principal's office).

Lee A. Wyatt, '68
James A. Garfield High School, Class of 1961
Kaneohe, Hawaii

DR. BABB'S BRILLIANCE

Thank you for the wonderful article about the University's pioneering efforts to save the lives of people afflicted with kidney failure, by Diane Mapes.

I was a graduate student recruited by Dr. Les Babb in nuclear engineering in 1965-66 and had the privilege of hearing him many times discuss the home dialysis, portable single-patient unit.

The lessons about research and public policy in the service of humankind that we learned from him in the Department of Nuclear Engineering are among the most important parts of the education the UW gave me.

Dr. Babb is a great credit to the University. Thank you for this terrific article.

Gerald P. McCarthy, '67
Executive Director
Virginia Environmental Endowment
Richmond, Va.

PLAYING A PART IN HISTORY

"Shunting Death" [March 2010 Columns] was an excellent article. As an R.N., I had a small part in that dialysis history. Jo Ann Albers, '63, the R.N. quoted in the article, was my best friend. We lost contact when my surgeon husband and I moved to Japan on completion of his UW surgical residency. This article (and Editor Jon Marmor) reconnected me 40 years later with Jo Ann.

University Hospital and my nursing degree were both sparkling new in 1960 when I arrived. On University Hospital's first postcard, with a magnifying glass, you can spot me as one of the nurses strolling by.

When I transferred to the groundbreaking dialysis department, the dialysis machines resembled huge, open freezers that, instead of ice cream, were packed with a mass of tubing. Arterial blood coursed through that tubing so nursing care was exacting, with moments of terror. A crack, a slip or a kink could be life-threatening. It could also be depressing. Even with this new technology, patients' life expectancy might be only marginally extended. They were usually terribly nauseated between dialysis sessions and often too weak for any normal activity. But, of course, all were incredibly thankful to have been selected by the "Life and Death Committee."

Against hospital policy, but with informed permission, Jo Ann married one of the dialysis patients, a brilliant physics major. He survived, utilizing advanced home dialysis, through a career including college professor and provost, camping and traveling the world.

In 1963, I married Al Dickson, who completed his UW surgical residency in 1967 just before he was inducted into the Army Medical Corps. In Japan, he treated severely injured soldiers transferred by Medevac from Vietnam.

Ironically, in his 20 years of surgical practice in San Diego, many midnight calls involved clotted dialysis shunts which required immediate clearing or replacement before the patient's scheduled dialysis session the following morning.

Nancy Dickson
Portland, Ore.

LOSE THE MYOPIA

I was elated to open Columns and find an article on the Northwest Style of regional Modernism, a movement that presaged many of the climatically responsive building methodologies now celebrated as "green architecture."

But I was dismayed that there was not a single mention of the Oregon architects who, along with Paul Thiry, '28, and Paul Hayden Kirk, '37, pioneered the first generation of buildings:

Pietro Belluschi and, more importantly, John Yeon. Though neither of them were, ahem, UW grads (Yeon never bothered getting a degree), to leave them out of even the single paragraph the article devoted to the movement's important (and actually more interesting) early history fosters a sadly narrow reading of the term "Northwest."

Travel between Portland and Seattle might have taken a lot longer back in those days, but the shared ethic among architects and artists was far stronger. Even as late as 1986, the University of Oregon's School of Architecture invited Yeon to give the Lionel H. Pries Distinguished Lecture.

Yes, I know this is UW's magazine. But c'mon folks, let's keep the alumni-myopia and Washington-centrism (and quick-turnaround freelance writing) at least a little under control!

I'm sure the library has a copy of Space, Style, Structure: Building in Northwest America.

Randy Gragg, '87
Editor in Chief
Portland Monthly magazine
Portland, Ore.

COMMITMENT TO SCHOLARSHIPS

There were 54 graduates in the School of Pharmacy class of 1969.  At our 35th class reunion in 2004, we committed to endowing a class scholarship.

The Class of 1969 Endowed Scholarship became a reality in 2005 after we raised over $65,000, surpassing the minimum requirement of $50,000. In a subsequent UW Foundation newsletter story, we were able to challenge all other pharmacy classes, classes in other schools at the UW, and entire classes at the UW to also endow class scholarships.

In the last two issues of Columns, reference has been made to a UW Class of 1959 Endowed Scholarship. We heartily congratulate that class on their efforts, and hope they will join our class in again extending the challenge to all other UW classes. With the economic downturn, budget cuts and rising tuitions, there has never been a greater need to financially support our students.

Raymond S. Wilson, '69
Bellevue

NO GOVERNMENT DEPENDENCY

In the March edition of Columns magazine, President Emmert rightly praises the UW's achievements in job creation. However, I am saddened that the University has to depend on grants from the federal government.

Stimulus money and other federal programs are an inefficient use of resources. I am not a fan of government dependency. Perhaps it is a fact of life for the University that it must appeal to the state and federal governments for its survival and prosperity.

How much better would it be for individuals acting in their own self-interest (or through their sense of community, citizenship and civil responsibility) to donate directly to a research fund. I believe President Emmert misses the larger point. He praises a government for its largesse, when that government forcibly takes "life energy" from citizens and distributes it for good and bad uses.

The direction of federal funds toward good uses, even job creation, does not absolve government from acting in its self-interest rather than the citizens who are drained to support it.

Rich Chwaszczewski, '80
Belfair

BURGERMASTER MEMORIES

In the "In Memory" section of the March issue, I found an entry for Lester P. Jensen, the founder of the Burgermaster in Laurelhurst, a short walk from the Union Bay Village Graduate Housing. In the years 1958-62, my family and I lived in the village before leaving the U of W for Denmark, where I took a postdoc in marine zoology.

For several of those years, my wife Ruth worked for Phil Jensen as a waitress. He was often helpful to many of the spouses from the village who worked for him although they often carried on prolonged dialogs with him in regard to politics.

The Burgermaster was always a helpful location for students and the village who needed a quick meal or an inexpensive meal during a date. He also will be remembered by several generations of the UW population.

Jack Pearce, '57, '62
Falmouth, Mass.

Submit an Alumnote
Send your updates to columns@uw.edu. If you'd prefer to send by mail, see the About Columns page for our address.


Join the UWAA