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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.


Summer trips

I remember Carlsbad Caverns, Yellowstone Park, the Painted Desert, the great show in East Texas and Flossie Belle, and certainly my favorite professor, Doc Hansen ("Timetracks" on geography field trips, summer 2007).

I also remember him telling us that not only the soil would change to black and red — so too would our faces, if we dared touch any of the young ladies in any inappropriate manner while on one of his science trips. (He was joking, of course, and well known for his dry, morbid sense of humor.)

I left North Texas because my father died and I had to return to California to help my grandfather work his grocery store. Some of the best nearly four years of my life were there in the "second big D" in Texas.

I am long retired from a 29-year career with Pacific Gas and Electric and 10 years with the state. I used many skills I learned from the science profs at North Texas on my jobs.

Douglas Thomas (attended 1956-1960) Venice, Calif.

It is with great sadness that I read of the passing of my dear friend Annette Stevens Zeck ('57). We lost touch in the middle 1960s, unfortunately.

A box of precious keepsakes with my address book was lost when my husband and I were stationed in Virginia right before the Vietnam War started. I knew she was a teacher in Dallas and I have no doubt she was as loved by her students as she was by her friends at North Texas.

Also, I fondly remember those geography and geology science class trips. In fact, I met my first husband, David, while I was on one of them. He was a soldier stationed near Roswell, N.M.

I met him in 1955 at a diner where 15 or so soldiers were eating burgers and playing pool and we were stopping for nourishment and necessity.

Dave called me daily after my return to Denton. He flew to see me a month later and we were married 10 years, stationed later in Fort Wolters, Texas, before he died in that war in 1967.

Please thank the magazine crew for these memories.

Mary Douglas ('56)

  1633 map by Matthaeus Merian

Doc Hansen leads a science trip in the Painted Desert.

In case you don 't know the names of the professor and students in the geography trip photo (below), Doc Hansen is the teacher at Painted Desert. The two boys at the top were friends of mine, Jimmy Earl Watson ('59) and below him Lonnie Young ('57). Lonnie died a few years ago after teaching much of his life in West Texas.

The woman next to them was one of the yearbook beauty queens named Peggy. She was high school-age when she was at North Texas — she was a genius!

The woman at the bottom may be Janice Joyce Davis ('59). I am surprised I am not in the picture too. I was with them on that trip.

We went on to science careers, thanks to Doc. I spent 32 years working for the state of Nevada as an urban and street planning technician and retired in 1994.

G.B. Smith ('60)
Las Vegas, Nev.

Spidey 3

I had the pleasure of working alongside Thomas Haden Church on Spider-Man 3 (summer 2007) as a fellow alumni brother. He would sometimes share Ol' North Texas stories with me and crew during rehearsals or lighting set ups.

It was a real blast to have worked with him, and he is a true professional. I look forward to seeing more of him on set and the big screen.

Abraham Martinez ('96),
camera assistant,
Spider-Man 3

Dr. Friedsam

Although Dr. Hiram J. Friedsam ("Friends We 'll Miss," summer 2007) did indeed retire from his positions as professor and dean in 1983, he continued to work pro bono for UNT and the Center for Studies in Aging/ Department of Applied Gerontology until the onset of his final illness in the summer of 2006.

His ongoing post-retirement contributions as a thinker, writer, editor, advisor and mentor were invaluable to our department, the College of Public Affairs and Community Service and the university as a whole.

Thank you for honoring the memory of this great man.

Phyllis Eccleston
('75 M.A.),
Department of Applied Gerontology

A Jack Rumbley moment


Jack Rumbley in the Eagle Marching Band


Ever since I read Jack Rumbley 's letter in the spring 2005 issue (in which he encouraged friends from the past to write in about their activities), I have intended to answer. The last time I saw Jack ('51, '52 M.M.Ed.) was at the Brownwood Stage Band Festival when he brought his band from Alice, where he followed John Farris ('49, '50 M.M.Ed.)

While at North Texas, I played in the Aces of Collegeland trombone section.

I was band director in Brownwood, where I hosted the last stage band festival. North Texas had a big part in the festival, with much participation by the One O 'Clock Lab Band and "Dr. Jazz" — Gene Hall ('41, '44 M.A.).

Clive W.
McClelland ('52)
Fort Garland, Colo.


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