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"A Bubbling Fountain" (Time
Tracks, summer '01), let me get this straight. A beautiful fountain
in a wonderfully acoustic surrounding area was built, was sadly
misused, and is still intact under rocks and planters. Thirty years
later a new fountain will be built at considerable expense.
today's students are thought to be more mature and will never put
soap in the new fountain. Wake up! What happens if they do make
it a bubble fountain again? Will it be another planter in a few
restore the old fountain if one is wanted?
We're told that restoring the old fountain would be too costly,
considering that a new lighting system for that part of campus would
have to be installed (a tall light pole is now mounted in the fountain)
and the old fountain parts dug up and replaced. The design and location
of the new water feature and improved filtering systems should help
cut down on pranks and their effects.
Texas in the '60s, James Davidson (Feedback, spring '01) was one
of those professors whose influence and friendship guided our lives
with an ease most of us missed at the time. His wit, his wisdom,
his teaching methods and his love of writing made him an extraordinary
of Dr. Davidson, I became a professor of English, largely because
he believed in me ("When you're good, you're damn good")
at a time when I found that hard to do. After 30 years of teaching
and scores of pedagogical techniques designed to encourage thinking,
the best method is still one of Dr. Davidson's. He would ask each
of us to write 10 questions about a poem or story in a "Blue
we resisted thinking that we had all the answers and should
be allowed to give those. Then, slowly, we began to understand:
Until you learn to ask the questions, you really won't be able to
find the answers.
end this without mentioning Emily Dickinson she may have
been Dr. Davidson's favorite poet and I never think of her without
remembering him. He seemed to delight in one poem especially. The
gentle, insightful beauty of Dickinson's lines about the hummingbird
reflects, for me, the life of this great man.
A Route of
With a revolving wheel -
A resonance of Emerald -
A Rush of Cochineal -
And every Blossom on the Bush
Adjusts its tumbled head -
The mail from Tunis, probably,
An easy Morning's Ride -
stopped when I read the name Mark Gash ('79) in "Friends We'll
Miss" (winter 2000). Mark had a rare disease that left him
in a wheelchair and with very little mobility or control in his
hands. Nevertheless, he managed to become a well-known artist, not
only in Denton but in Los Angeles as well.
arrived in Denton in the fall of 1979. I was privileged soon after
to attend a birthday party for Mark at a local club. He was immensely
popular. A great wit and self-confident charm characterized his
brilliance. He was one of the humble leaders of an avant-garde art
movement that was in full swing by the time I arrived in Denton.
a card-carrying minister in the Church of the Sub-genius, a world
traveler and a spokesman for the many uses of Velcro. When he left
North Texas, he moved to Los Angeles and began a popular comic strip
in a local magazine there. He was later featured in a book titled
24 L.A., published in the late '80s.
an amazing legacy. Those of us fortunate enough to be a part of
Denton's golden age of art and music in the late '70s and early
'80s will miss him. I have traveled the world and lived in artistic
communities and have never found a movement as profound or creative
as that time in Denton, nor have I met an artist to compare to Mark
Gash. He was a rare man with a rare gift.
issue's "Great Debate" story, we managed to launch a little
debate of our own. We identified the coach in one of the photos
as William DeMougeot, who directed the program from 1954 to 1971
and from 1979 to 1981. The man pictured was actually Bullock Hyder,
who served as debate coach from 1938 to 1942. Hyder left the university
to serve in the war and returned in 1947 as a special assistant
to the president and part-time instructor. He taught economics and
government full-time from 1948 until his retirement in 1977. DeMougeot
was serving as a professor of communication and public address when
he died in 1985.
news of the coach's mistaken identity, we found out the names of
some of the students in the photo. Bernie W. Ellis ('85 M.M.) of
Greenville, S.C., recognized his father, Carroll B. Ellis ('41),
as the young man standing third from the left. Carroll went on to
direct a nationally prominent debate program himself at David Lipscomb
College in Nashville. Jim Townsend ('42) of Dallas also identified
his school friends Ellis and, second from left, Henry Amlin.