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The North Texan welcomes letters from readers. Send letters, with writer's full name and address, by e-mail to, fax to (940) 369-8763, submit on the web at the "Contact us" link or mail to The North Texan; University of North Texas; University Relations, Communications and Marketing; P.O. Box 311070; Denton, Texas 76203-1070. Letters may be edited for length and publication style.


Homecoming invitation

Many thanks for the “Did You Know …?” in the spring North Texan (about the house on 811 W. Oak being named a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark). I’d like to offer an invitation to Don’s students to join us on our lawn to view the 2008 Homecoming parade.

In 42 years, there have been many memorable parade moments. The year after band director Maurice McAdow retired, he and his wife, Evelyn (’48), were here for lunch. The band stopped, faced him and played “Glory to the Green” and the fight song.

When Jitter Nolen was president, Mickey Mantle was the honored guest in an antique car. I had seen Mickey play at Yankee Stadium in 1955 and had seen Damn Yankees that same trip. I had my album and pen in hand, and when the car stopped in front of our house, I got Mickey’s signature!

Once upon a time, North Texas had a historical museum, and a lovely brochure was produced showing eight of the old, old houses on Oak Street. One year a call went out for the community to take part in the parade, and I made illustrated copies of seven of the houses on huge boxes for my two children and Ron Fink’s three — only their little heads and legs showed.

I left them at the parking lot on Bell and McKinney to walk to the university! I came back to 811 and Ron (now a Professor Emeritus of music) followed them on a bike. Someone in charge of the parade put them behind a float that gave them a ride and won a first-place ribbon. But “Mrs. Vann” saw them walking proudly past the Oak Street houses.

Dolores Vann

Museum work

The Eagle Tale by Gladys Seelbach Renfro (’43) in the spring issue reminded me of some memories of Mrs. J.L. Kingsbury and the North Texas museum in the early 1950s when I was a student at the college.

Mrs. Kingsbury, widow of Dr. Kingsbury, was the curator of the museum and I was the employee; the museum was open for a few hours in the afternoons a couple of days a week and visited mainly by high school classes by appointment.

I remember the fine collection of guns (pistols, muskets and rifles), relics from the War Between the States. There was also a collection of scrapbooks originally belonging to Joachim von Ribbentrop, foreign minister of Germany in the 1930s and ’40s who was hanged as a war criminal by the Allies after the fall of Nazi Germany.

Alfred Leland Crabb from Tennessee, author of several Civil War novels, visited the museum one afternoon and was surprised and pleased to learn that I had read several of his books.

Earlier my family had connection with the college when my Aunt Fannie May Hunt attended around 1910 to 1913 and had room and board, along with several other female students, in the home of Dad Pender and Mrs. Pender.

Other part-time jobs I had in Denton during my student days included soda jerk at Hamilton Perryman Drug Store; radio announcer at station KDNT; and usher at the Campus Theatre and DreamLand Theatre.

Dave Hunt (’54)
Flower Mound

Advisor and mentor

I was shocked and saddened to learn of the untimely death of Dr. B. Dwain Vance, Professor Emeritus of biology (Friends We’ll Miss, spring 2008). It was my privilege to know Dr. Vance through the years as he served as my doctoral program advisor and a mentor. He had a combination of unlimited energy and highest devotion.

I found Dr. Vance a man of superlatively high standards, complete integrity and boundless enthusiasm for whatever he took in hand. In his passing, I feel a personal loss too great to put into words.

Mohammad Ihtisham Alam (’77 Ph.D.)
Director, Environmental Health Services, Cincinnati Health Department

World travels

Spring 2008 issueI enjoyed the “International Reach” story (spring 2008). I got my B.S. in 1937 and my M.S. at Stephen F. Austin in 1958. I taught 45 years and retired in 1984. I lost my husband in 1974 and began traveling.

In Nepal, I rode elephants in the Tiger Tops jungle — I have a picture of the top of Mount Everest (from 25 miles away). I rode camels in Egypt and saw Abu Simbel. I took a hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti in Africa and visited many parks. I saw Madagascar, Zanzibar and the Seychelles. I saw Jordan with the Rose City of Petra, much of Israel and all of Europe and Scandinavia. I have been in the Vatican several times and loved Paris, London and many cities. In the U.S., my Elderhostels took me to every state, and I’ve cruised on most shipping lines.

I have two wonderful adopted children, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. For my 90th birthday two years ago, I had tap dancers and more than 100 guests. I am most thankful.

Lillie White (’37)

Changing government

I was not at North Texas when Sister Myrlie Evers (her last name is now Williams) visited (Time Tracks, spring 2008). She came the semester before I did. I know she was right about how we could change government. The best example is playing right now in Washington. I wonder if back then she even imagined that we Democrats would have to choose between a Caucasian woman and a Brother for presidential candidate.

Cathy Walker McAnally (’77)
Clear Lake

Organ details


The Richard Ardoin-Paul Voertman concert organ in the Murchison Performing Arts Center has 60 stops. Its formal inauguration is scheduled for October.

I found it curious that in your article about the new Voertman concert organ (fall 2007) no mention is made of the number of ranks in the new organ or the design of its action.

The number of pipes is interesting to many, but musicians are more interested in the number of ranks.

John Bridges (’70 M.M.Ed.)
Canton, Ohio

Editor's note: For the answers to your questions, we checked with Jesse Eschbach, professor of music and chair of the keyboard studies division, who gave an inaugural recital on the organ this spring. He says the action is mechanical (tracker) with electric stop action so that a modern combination can be used. Because it’s a mechanical organ, it’s measured in terms of stops rather than ranks, and this one has 60 stops. The new organ will formally be inaugurated at a three-day conference in October.

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