Published: March 1, 2015

Circled skier is Mary Lou Hawkins Franks

Identified! The circled skier is alumna Mary Lou Hawkins Franks of Springfield, Missouri.

Chautauqua Ski Hill

The article and picture titled “THEN January 1949” [Winter 2014 issue] is very special to me. The young lady sitting on the rock is my boyfriend’s mother. Her name is Mary Lou Hawkins Franks (Econ’51) and [she] was 18 at the time of the picture. Mary Lou resides in Springfield, Mo., with her son, Bob Shattuck, and is 84 years old. When we saw this article and the picture we were so thrilled, and when we showed her she remembered all the good times skiing while living in Boulder and attending CU.

Ronda J. Yung
Springfield, Mo.

The Importance of Humor

Reading your Fall 2014 article on humor [“The Humor Code”] reminded me that every year I taught speech and English classes entailed instructing secondary students on the appropriate uses and limits of humor. Now I find, with all the Internet relays, that people still need better understanding of the difference between humor as fun and humor as a cruel weapon!

Too often we see “humor” used to viciously propagate derogatory stereotypes, belittle adversaries unfairly or ridicule physical or psychological characteristics a person cannot help. However, if you choose to gently jab your own flaws, people tend to love you for being “human,” whereas turning those barbs on others creates resentment. Appropriate use of humor must involve a measure of respect for the intended target.

Thanks for illustrating this neglected but important aspect of our humanity.

Wendie Vermillion (MCommThtr’72)
Sisters, Ore.

Sister Act

[Regarding “Sister Act: Co-Education at CU,” Winter 2014]. It is always nice sharing stories of those ladies who proceeded us. I enjoyed reading about how Ella Tyler (A&S1886) helped found the Delta Gamma chapter in 1886. The Delta Gammas remain an outstanding fraternal organization at CU, as do the Pi Beta Phis, who preceded the Delta Gammas by two years, having come on campus in 1884.

Nancy Dornfeld (Bus’65)
Lakewood, Colo.

Remembering Dr. B

[“Boulder Beat,” by Paul Danish (Hist’65), Fall 2014] brought back many memories, mostly nice. I took a course with Dr. Bitter in either ‘61 or ‘62 (don’t remember meeting Mr. Danish) and found it very interesting. Dr. B challenged us (a very small class) to culture Mycobacterium tuberculosis. As I remember, Dr. B said it was notoriously difficult to culture successfully. Somehow, we succeeded and even made some nice slides of this acid-fast bacillus. I can’t imagine that the current faculty would allow undergraduates today to attempt to culture this very contagious bacterium without benefit of high-powered hoods with HEPA filters. The hip flask story was great!

Philip Johnson (Pharm’63)
Barrington, R.I.

Photography by Carnegie Branch Library for Local History Boulder Historical Society Collection