Thank you for your article on Alyce Conaway Claerbaut (Spring 2012). I was surprised to see the Duke Ellington photo, which I had not thought about for years. My roommate, Judy Eldrenkamp, and I were part of “the Chimes crowd” and got to know Alyce there. I could identify with Alyce’s history at the college, as I also felt at sea when I came to Calvin as a junior in 1966, after transferring from Western Michigan University and spending my previous years at public high school. My father, in his wisdom, wanted me to find a good, Dutch husband.
Judy and I found similar interests in the Chimes crowd; I drew cartoons (which my dad didn’t like) and Judy typed. It was a great atmosphere, with fellow intellectuals like Mark Wagenveld, Paul Schrader, Jeannine Oppewall and Bill Brashler.
Alyce was so kind as to invite us to the concert and backstage afterwards. We hired fellow student Jake Potts to take photos and make copies for us. Judy, the other girl and I were star struck and blessed to have such a close brush with fame. (Senioritis prevents me from remembering the name of the other girl, at my right, even though I pulled out my Prism and pored over it.) I am on Duke’s right and Judy was on Mercer’s left. I still remember my turquoise mohair suit and the oh-so-fashionable Sassoon-style haircut. I even got my photograph autographed later by both musicians when the Duke and Mercer came to Kalamazoo for a concert.
I am so thrilled to see Alyce pursued her interest in music and is mentoring another musician. It’s good to know that God is using Alyce in His work, through her interests. For myself, I retired from teaching art but am now a face painter, teach art to homeschoolers once a week and visit grandchildren. God takes us on different paths, but it’s such a pleasant surprise to see where we have gone and how He is using us.
Henny Hoogendyk Bulten ’68
Like the letter writers in the Spring 2012 Spark, I, too, am amazed that the origins issue has not been put to rest (Drs. Harlow and Schneider). I would be interested in feedback from students and faculty (including the seminary) who have read Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World by John Shelby Spong. I found it a fascinating read.
Fred Kwant ’67