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Letters to the Editor

Ohio State Alumni Magazine welcomes readers to continue the conversations started in stories that appear online or in the magazine’s quarterly print edition. Letters selected for publication typically address topics raised in the magazine, although the editor sometimes makes exceptions. We edit submissions for space, clarity, accuracy and civility. Letters convey the opinions of the writers, not those of members of the magazine team, alumni association staff or university community. Submit your letter at the bottom of this page.

  • A quite reliable relic

    I loved the fall 2022 Ohio Stadium Anniversary Edition with the many wonderful articles in the Century of the ’Shoe package. This magazine will certainly be a treasured keepsake. I especially enjoyed the article “The quest of a lifetime” with all the engineering details. When engineering graduate Bob Long was talking about the second deck, he mentioned, “They didn’t have computers; everything was done on a slide rule.”

    Also, in the fall issue’s question in “The Ask” — on the most essential thing we brought to college — a good answer would have been a slide rule. This was the essential calculating instrument used by engineering students prior to 1973. Most professors did not allow calculators on tests until then.

    An old slide rule--which looks like an extra-wide ruler with a clear plastic portion that slides along the length--site on top of an instruction manual.

    I’d like to share a photo of my Post Versalog slide rule, which cost $35 in 1969, when I was a freshman. The very same calculating instrument was used to build Ohio Stadium. A true antique.

    James D. McCleary ’73, city engineer
    Stow, Ohio
  • Long-lasting appreciation

    Thank you so much for the articles about Ohio Stadium and for publishing Frank Mohler’s letter about Stadium Theatre (“’Shoe Drama of Another Sort”). As a high school student, I volunteered at Stadium Theatre during the summers of 1964 through 1967 and built sets, helped with costumes and worked with props. It was a wonderful experience, and I have so many great memories.

    I had the pleasure of seeing Frank Mohler perform in several shows and worked under his direction on sets. Theatre is still my first love!

    Gretchen Green ’72, ’90 MPA, ’93 MHRM
  • Next-level listening

    Thank you for your in-depth treatment of the topic of listening (“8 Tips to Listen Better and Improve Your Relationships.”)

    Most of us are aware of the value of really listening and have heard or read more superficial discussions of it in the media. We’re familiar with silence, eye contact, body language, acknowledgment of what the speaker has said, etc.

    But listening for emotions, affirming that those emotions have been conveyed, and considering what is said in the larger context of the speaker’s known values go much deeper. Your succinct tips for doing that make it easy to start practicing.

    Think what the world would be like if everyone “open listened”!

    Sharon Kokot ’73, ’80 MBA, ’89 MA
  • Team proposition shines

    The remembrance of Bill Lowrie ’66 is so well written, opening with his gratitude for the beautiful experience he had during his time at Ohio State and how that shaped his life. You know, none of us are ever successful by ourselves. Some mentoring or educational experience at Ohio State was more often than not responsible for our success. But the critical aspect of this is that these same individuals want to show their gratitude, and they do this by paying forward.

    Tom Mack ’57, ’61 DVM
    San Diego, California
  • Life recipe resonates

    Avishar Barua says in your video, “We may not all be in the same boat, but we are all in the same river.” That is the most relevant thing I’ve heard today.

    Avishar named his restaurant Joya’s after his mom. Here is where I identify with talent passed down, and this puts a smile on my face.

    Morine Watson
  • Marking the occasion

    The corner of an enveloped stamped Oct. 13, 1922, has an ornate stamp labeled "U.S. Postage 2 cents." It has a line drawing portrait of a white man, similar to portraits on cash, but it's unclear who the stamp shows. A stamped mark over that says "Dedication Ohio Stadium Oct. 21, 1922."

    In 1922, the U.S. Post Office in Columbus developed a cancellation to mark the dedication of Ohio Stadium. T. Michael Schwartz ’63 DVM of Morrisville, Pennsylvania, shared this example — from exactly one week before the ’Shoe was dedicated on October 21, 1922.

    “I collect postal history, mostly postmarks from U.S. post offices that have closed,” Schwartz wrote. “I was looking through a box of envelopes at a stamp show when I happened upon this one. I was elated when I found it.”

  • Doctor’s story offers hope

    Your fall issue story and photos of Dr. Christina Knight ’13, ’17 MD were very inspiring. It gives me hope for the future of commitment and compassion to help and understand underserved peoples. At present, that seems to be waning in the United States.

    William Betzhold ’71 DDS
    Richmond, Virginia
  • An example to follow

    Growing wisdom and insight are taking place in the mind and being of Dr. Christina Knight (“The Courage of Dr. Christina Knight,” fall 2022) that she will never forget. Hopefully others, especially those who have a propensity for helping others, will take heed of the path Dr. Knight has taken and follow suit. The best way to show our true mettle as a caring society is to care for each other first.

    Gene Cheatham ’69
    Antioch, Tennessee
  • Giving rooted in getting

    It was so encouraging to read about Dr. Christina Knight, someone who is making sacrifices for others in need, and to see that her passion for helping others is an outpouring from her own experience that brought her to the United States.

    Glenn Jordan ’95 PhD
    Hartsville, South Carolina
  • Behind the scenes of a ’68 reno

    The fall 2022 issue highlighting the Ohio Stadium anniversary brought several thoughts to mind.

    In 1968, I was a structural engineer for a consulting engineering firm Ohio State hired to study the condition of the stadium, which was soon to be 50 years old. I authored that study. As we got started, one of the first things we asked university staff about was their current maintenance plan for the structure. Their practice, they said, was to check the undersides of the seating areas and use long poles to knock off loose concrete. You may think I’m kidding, but that was the extent of the plan.

    During our study, we meticulously examined the structural elements of the stadium and made a number of recommendations. Concrete samples from the seating and other areas were taken and tested. We found the concrete was low strength and not air-entrained, and as a result, moisture penetration was causing the steel framing below to corrode.

    Per our recommendations, some flat slabs in the aisles and deteriorated seating areas were replaced.  Most importantly, a protective coating was applied to the exposed inferior concrete surfaces that were structural in nature. This was done over a number of years and probably saved the stadium from a wholesale concrete replacement. This is the gray surface coating you see in the stadium today.  

    There was substantial rusting of the steel supporting girders, in some areas greater than an inch thick. In some cases, it appeared much worse than it really was: Steel corrosion produces rust approximately eight times the thickness of what is essentially lost. Word of the rust damage was quickly elevated to university leaders, who wanted to ensure the stadium was safe for football games. This all happened during the summer of 1969, with an opening game not far off. After much discussion, it was decided to load test a portion of the stadium. Seating benches were removed from an area of C deck and large steel barrels were filled with water to simulate the weight of fans. The stadium passed the test because, while damaged, it had a large degree of redundancy that provided safety.

    Also of interest to me was the story on Ohio Stadium architect Howard Dwight Smith. My wife, Kathleen, was a nurse and worked at the university hospital while I was attending graduate school. In those days, the hospital had “ward secretaries” who handled clerical duties. The ward secretary on Kathleen’s floor was Mary Edith Gramlich Smith, Howard Dwight Smith’s second wife. Mary and Kathleen became friends, and Mary began to send us Christmas cards. They were not ordinary cards; they featured reproductions of Howard’s sketches of buildings and other places. Mary continued to send us cards even after she retired. We still have about 10 of these.  

    And finally, you mentioned Dan Milosevich in the story about Smith. I was a friend of Dan’s and did structural engineering work for him for several years. I was fortunate to visit with him in August on the day before he died. Dan’s firm, Trautwein & Milosevich, served as architects for the iconic Jai Alai restaurant, formerly on Olentangy River Road. For many years, it was a favorite choice for people from the university and beyond. It was one of Woody Hayes’ top dining destinations, and it was common to see him there.

    J. Thomas Jones ’65 MS

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We welcome your letters. Those selected for publication typically address topics raised in Ohio State Alumni Magazine in print or online, although the editor reserves the right to make exceptions.

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