Letters to the Editor

Confessions from a dorm dweller
Aw, that old dorm (Fall 2004). Now that it is gone, the truth can be told: flooding the flat roof on the second floor so we could skate on it, then having to mop it up when it began to melt and drip through the ceiling; Ed Kuipers ’67 and I locking our room to keep the dorm counselors out until we had completely painted it; defacing the cork floors as we tried to hit the bull’s-eye with our pocket knives; dorm parties we hosted for the coops women; and more! What memories my first year at Calvin!

Ron Fisher ’65
Waterloo, Ont.

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Piano encore
Thank you for the wonderfully enjoyable story on Calvin’s concert pianos and some of the students, technicians and teachers associated with Calvin’s pianos over the years (Winter 2004). Like their cousins the organists, concert pianists are unusual in that they rarely travel with their personal instruments and thus spend most of their careers making music on “borrowed” instruments. In contrast to organs however, concert audiences are often unaware of the history and pedigree of great concert pianos, the generations of artists who have played on them, or technicians who have rebuilt them. Your article captured well the emotions of the living traditions associated with every piano.

I must, however, supply a slight addendum to your article in that you missed an entire group of people whose work intersects with concert pianos — the piano movers! On behalf of many Calvin students whose careers in arts management began as stage managers at the Fine Arts Center, I salute Harold Geerdes and Ruth Rus for the professionalism and perfection that informed their careers and inspired ours. I have no doubt that when Calvin adds its next concert grand, you will remember to include us.

Robb Scholten ’74
Brookline, Mass.

Lessons from a Web site
Last spring, while attending a seminar on teaching about the holocaust at Stanford University, I was introduced to Professor Bytwerk’s German Propaganda Archive (Winter 2004). It was one of the Web sites highlighted by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as being exceptionally useful for teaching about the holocaust. No one in the group that I was a part of had heard of Calvin College, and I was all too happy to explain how Calvin is a Christian college and community which has a desire to glorify God with scholarship.

The people in my group, mainly holocaust survivors and public school teachers, were surprised to hear that there were Christians out there who were dedicated to preserving the lessons of holocaust. I was able to share a little bit of God’s love with these people through the conversations that followed.

I’m so proud to be a graduate of a school that encourages this kind of scholarship. I know most of the group was eager to direct their students to the Web site, as was I. My eighth-grade students learned so much exploring the site, especially by reading excerpts and viewing the pictures.

Becky Diephouse ’00
San Jose, Calif.

Cohesive Calvin community
I can’t lay the Spark down when it arrives in the mail. I read it from cover to cover. Attractive, high-interest photographs, engaging articles and information to keep alumni in touch with each other are the “cohesives” that make us grateful in praise to God to be part of Calvin’s alumni!

Continue the effective ministry that provides countless servants participating in the work of the kingdom of Christ. What blessings we share as we prayerfully support one another.

George Groen ’62
Avondale, Ariz.

No geography problem here
The reader’s letter “Geographically Illiterate” (Winter 2004) reflects an air of intellectual superiority. I had no difficulty understanding the location and people referred to in the list of countries, continents, peninsulas, etc. Isn’t that what writing is supposed to do, communicate so that people reading will understand?

Al Van Dyk ’52
Bella Vista, Calif.

Hurricanes did more damage
When the Spark (Winter 2004) came to our home in Winter Haven, it was with special interest that we read the article by Niala Boodhoo on the Florida hurricanes. While she documented some of the damage done, we wish the piece had included mention of other affected areas in the state.

Located in the center of the state and where we own a home, Polk County was hit more severely than any other county of the state. Three of the four hurricanes crisscrossed the region; the damage here is unbelievable.

I am the pastor of Lake Alfred Ministry, and within our relatively small congregation, the losses are many. Some of our church families lost their entire home; our own home needs a new roof and major plumbing and electrical work.

Thanks for drawing attention to this crisis. Please be in prayer for those in Polk County and all across Florida whose lives have been severely affected. Praise be to God whose grace shines brightly through even these challenges.

Garrett H. Stoutmeyer ’55
Winter Haven, Fla.