Fall 2006: From Our Readers
December 11, 2006
"A Poor Farmer" (Voices, WM Spring 2006), Jim Spence’s essay about leaving corporate America to return to his roots in farming, generated numerous compliments. It got some people thinking, too.
Most thought-provoking was the response from a young alumnus considering a career change similar to the one Spence made when he left his job in the printing business to return to the farm more than a decade ago. The young alum’s question led to this reply from Spence, reprinted here by permission. Do not, under any circumstances, wake up an old man some day wishing you could start over. —Jim Spence ’61
I really enjoyed most of my 37 years in corporate America as a sales executive. It was a fast-paced, mentally challenging experience with interesting, talented, intelligent, driven people.
Unfortunately, between 1958 and 1995, printing changed from a service industry to a commodity. Much of the change resulted from rapidly evolving technology that replaced skilled craft people with computers, while the mass production of MBA’s and the development of the electronic spreadsheet pretty much depersonalized the business.
Wabash prepared me well for human relationships, but did not teach me how to cope, joyfully, with the inanimate.
I wish I could offer sage advice to you. I struggle with this issue with my eldest granddaughter who is in Purdue’s Krannert School of Business, working on her MBA of all things!
Bottom line: Do not, under any circumstances, wake up an old man some day wishing you could start over.
All the best.
—Jim Spence ’61, Alamo, IN
The pride of Larwill
Your feature on Dean Jagger ("Wabash Men in History," WM Spring 2006) began by identifying Dean as an "Ohio farm boy." This is an error.
Dean Jagger lived near Larwill, Indiana, in Whitley County. I know, because my brother, Joe Michael ’58, and I are, like Jagger, graduates of Larwill High School.
Dean’s picture was included in one of the class pictures on the wall of the school. We were proud of him and were thrilled when he attended a basketball game when I was in high school. I still remember him sitting there on the steps of our gym.
Larwill High School is no more, having been folded into the Whitco School System. The class pictures, including Dean’s, are now displayed in the Richland Township Fire Hall!
—Tom Michael ’55, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ
Thanks for the correction. As best we can tell, Dean Jagger was born in Columbus Grove, OH, moving to Larwill when he was five. Here’s a little more from whenmoviesweremovies.com:
While a student in Whitley County’s Larwill High School, Jagger entered a speech contest and found that he liked to speak in public. As Jagger recalled, "I discovered right then that that was for me."
Another Wabash-WFP connection
Regarding Mike Stayton’s article on Uganda and his World Food Program experience there: There is another
Wabash connection with Mike and the WFP. Mike’s boss, Jim Morris, of Indianapolis, has headed the United Nations’ WFP based in Rome for the past five years. He received an honorary degree from Wabash College in 2001.
—David Orr ’57, San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, MEXICO
Summer 2006 was another great edition of Wabash Magazine! I read all of the captions for each picture, not knowing most of the men, but knowing some. I recalled the 2005 Big Bash, when I returned for my 40th reunion. I had a great time, and it reinvigorated my relationship with Wabash. Such an interesting publication helps alumni feel connected to an institution we love. Keep up the good work!
—Calvin T. Shearer ’65, Whitefish Bay, WI
Tears of joy
Congratulations on yet another outstanding issue of the magazine (WM Summer 2006).You have certainly captured the heart and soul of three "audacious" occasions.
That "Last Glance" photo of Andy and Anne Ford brought a universal reaction from our family—a few tears of appreciation and joy for all they’ve done for us.
—Paul Hawksworth ’56, Parrish, FL
The article on Andy Ford in the latest issue ("Audacious!" WM Summer 2006) was excellent.What a great issue.
—John Lowe ’73, Indianapolis, IN
Never to be forgotten
We have read the recent Wabash Magazine from cover to cover and it brought back wonderful memories of our weekend visit in June. It was a special time for us, and it is a sweet feeling to know that Pat has not been forgotten. I hope his Wabash friends and brothers see the picture and item ("Never to be forgotten," WM Summer 2006).We are so grateful that Director of Alumni Affairs Tom Runge invited us to attend the Bash.
We are planning to use your magazines to try to recruit deserving Wadsworth, Ohio, students to the College. It was a teacher at Archbishop Hoban High who told our Patrick to check on Wabash, and he found it was the perfect place for him.
—Joan Brannigan, (mother of the late Pat Brannigan ’71), Wadsworth, OH