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Winter 2009: From Our Readers

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"Not an insignificant connection"

Jim Talley ’78 wrote his classmates following the death of Professor Bill Placher. An excerpt from his email:

I am sure you each heard of the untimely passing of Dr. Bill Placher. When I heard the news I visited the Wabash College Web site for additional information. I confess before this month I rarely visited the Web site. When I did it was usually to quickly catch a score of a football game.

But I found during these recent visits to the Web site not only lovely and deserving words written about Dr. Placher, but also podcasts of several of his more meaningful lectures and speeches. There are even some of his
C&T lectures on the podcast. Listening will take you back in time.

I also found on the iTunes Wabash College podcast site under the tab "About Wabash" a promotional video made in 1974, the beginning of our Golden Age at Wabash. If you really want our past brought to life, view
the video Wabash—A Way of Life.

I also found myself wandering through the alumni section and found each of your email addresses. As I scrolled the list I found myself smiling and recalling each and every one of you. It brought me a great deal of joy to think of you and our times together in Crawfordsville.

Dr. Placher’s untimely passing makes me realize time is fleeting. When I saw many of you as freshman in the video and saw your names in the alumni directory, I just had to write and say hello. I have spent considerable time over the last 10 days thinking about our brief but special time together. I found I just could not neglect to let you each know I think of you and wish you well. We are all connected by our common experience at Wabash and our love for the College. That is not an insignificant connection. When you get a chance, reach out to some of your closer friends at Wabash. Let them know you recall them fondly.

—Jim Talley ’78, Winter Garden, FL

Try your hand at writing

Today I received WM Fall 2008 and for the first time in a long time read the entire magazine from front to back, instead of just glancing at Class Notes and obits. I very much enjoyed it and regretted not having read many of the prior issues more carefully.

I am now motivated to perhaps try my hand at writing an article. This past spring I spent my six-week sabbatical in Cameroon, Africa, doing volunteer medical work in a mission hospital. If you think something like this might be of use in WM, let me know and I’ll give it a try.

—Larry Klee ’80, Billings, MT

WM responded: This is just the sort of email we love to receive. Please do give it a try. And that goes for all of our readers. Send your stories and anecdotes to the editor at

Kickapoo Surprise

For all of the time I have spent at, I had no idea that Kickapoo Ed Summers was a Wabash man and Ladoga, IN native. To think, my grandparents (and my Dad) may have known his family. I’ll have to ask.

The article by Jon Pactor ’71 in the Fall 2008 WM got me thinking, of course, so I had to look things up. I found these other Wabash men who made the big leagues: Garland Buckeye ’18 was 30-39 with a 3.91 ERA in 108 games, spent mostly with Cleveland in the mid-1920s; Troy Puckett ’13 got into one game for the 1911 Phillies; Loral John "Joe" Wyatt ’25 played in four games in right field for the 1924 Cleveland Indians; Don Leppert ’54 signed with the Braves in 1955 and was a minor league lifer until he was almost 30. He spent four years in the big leagues as a backup catcher for the Pirates and the Senators.

—Scott Fendley ’88, Eden Prairie, MN

The following response to Scott’s email came from Professor of History Steve Morillo:


Wow, some cool research here, and a great follow-up to Jon’s excellent piece. Y’know, when you put baseball and history together, two of life’s best things on their own, the combo is just about unbeatable. :-)

—Steve Morillo, Crawfordsville