Spring 2009: From Our Readers

July 20, 2009

Alive in Memory

It was only in April, reading WM, that I learned Professor William Placher ’70 had died. In some ways, I am glad I did not learn about his death until the week
following Easter.

As a young student, I had figured such a legendary professor as Bill Placher would be unapproachable, and I shied away from initiating a relationship with him. But during the summer before my senior year, Dr. Placher reached out to me, inviting me to lunch that we might get to know each other better and so he could help give me direction regarding what graduate programs I should apply to. His ability to listen to me as a student and help clarify my own thoughts and even God’s calling on my life are an important part of who I am today.

And so I am glad to have only learned of his passing in light of our recent celebration of Easter—resurrection is so real to me. Bill Placher’s love, righteousness, and firm grasp on who God is live on
in many ways despite his passing. Who he was as a scholar and teacher were so intertwined with who he is because of Christ that even in his death he seems still very much alive—certainly he is alive in my memory, in who I am today, and in whom I long to become.

—Rev. Eric Helms ’01, Pastor, United Methodist Church, Somers Point, NJ

Love the History Blog!

Editor’s Note: Wabash Archivist Beth Swift is getting great reviews of her history blog on the Wabash Web site. A sample:

Dear Beth,

I just wanted to drop a note to tell you how much I enjoy reading your history blog. The stories and pictures of Wabash through the years provide a wonderful background and context for understanding Wabash College, and are always a source of some nostalgia. 

The photo of downtown Crawfordsville with the old interurban tracks reminded me of a couple of years (1965-67) when the College’s Scarlet Masque theater group was housed in an old interurban “barn” downtown for our theater. It was a bit of a dilapidated building on the intersection of two alleys (behind a drive-through liquor store).

George Tuttle was the theater professor and director, followed by Bob Clymire. lymire wrote several one-act plays that we performed in a “cabaret” style—the audience sitting around tables (made from huge cable spools we got from one of the utility companies). We even took one of those plays to the Yale Drama
festival in 1967.

—Earl Houck ’67, Woodbine, MD

Jim, Not Jack

The article on page 70 of the latest WM [“Saluting Eli’s Birthday”] was actually written by Jim Engledow ’78, not Jack Engledow ’78. Though Jack ’53 would have been pleased to have written the article about a typically funny and zany Wabash event, and particularly pleased to be associated with the youngsters in ’78, he didn’t do it.

—Jack Engledow ’53, Carmel, IN

Editor’s Note: Our apologies to both Jim Engledow ’78 and his father, Jack. Don’t know how we mixed up father and son, but thanks for taking our error with good humor.

“To Savor and Enjoy Words”

Holding a quality product to savor and enjoy words, thoughts, and feelings is an increasingly rare experience. You offer that in WM and I think I would say that even if I hadn’t graduated from Wabash.

The Winter 2009 WM is inviting for all the tastings of the Northwest offered.

—Tim Conlon ’61, Bend, OR

Corrections: The story “Seasoning” by Austin Rovenstine [WM Winter 2009] issue was incorrectly attributed to The Bachelor.
The article was excerpted from the November 2008 issue of The Phoenix. Our apologies
to Austin and the staff of The Phoenix.

The photo of Professor Eric Olofson of WM Winter 2009 was incorrectly attributed. It was taken by Chad Simpson ’10.



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