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the North Texas jazz studies program to fledgling status in 1959,
as done in the fall North Texan, page 9, reflects inexcusable
ignorance of the program or a deliberate attempt to distort history.
In either case, it defames the late M.E. Gene Hall,
who founded the program in 1947 and directed it to national prominence
by 1959, when it was widely acknowledged as the premier jazz studies
program in the nation.
the North Texas Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1987, partially in
recognition of his founding of the jazz program, which by 1959 had
brought unprecedented favorable attention to the university. To
call it fledgling is derogatory and preposterous.
Jr. (37, 38 M.A.)
note: We agree about the important contributions of Gene Hall.
The word fledgling was used to describe the program
in an academic sense. In 1947 the public and the college were not
ready to associate the word jazz with a college degree.
Jazz had to earn its place in academia through the creativity, enthusiasm
and tenacity of people who believed in it, like Hall. Through his
hard work and vision, he established a music program the likes of
which the world had never seen, opening the way for his old friend
Leon Breeden to make jazz education accepted.
bringing back many Saturday morning memories with the cover story
on Bob Dorough and Schoolhouse Rock (summer 01). I
thoroughly enjoyed that piece and laud the magazine for featuring
a fun article center stage. Keep up the great work!
the cover story, I felt compelled to write. To this day, Schoolhouse
Rock jingles bring a smile to my face as I remember the numerous
tests and quizzes I aced because of lyrics like Conjunction
junction and Im just a bill running through
my brother and I would watch Saturday morning cartoons like so many
of our friends, unaware of the impact the words and tunes would
have on our learning curve. The first time I remember using the
jingles from SHR was when my sixth-grade English teacher
at Newton Rayzor Elementary School assigned reciting the Preamble.
Wow, no sweat! I already knew it, as did most of my classmates.
of years ago while I was teaching at a middle school in Garland,
a student was having trouble memorizing the Preamble. I told her
to sing the jingle, assuming she had heard the SHR snippets
when she was younger. She looked at me as if I had lost my mind
when I started singing the first few bars. That was when I realized
that SHR was not broadcast during Saturday morning cartoons
when it would have influenced her most. How sad, I thought, knowing
that she, along with so many of her classmates, wouldnt be
given the same edge we were given. Im glad to see it back
on the air and videos sold of this very worthwhile TV viewing!
Perspective on the U.S.
terrorist attacks from an American in Europe
Europe during this tragedy, I have been given the unique opportunity
to see these events, and the response of our allies, from a perspective
most likely quite different from that which you have viewed the
events of the last week. It seemed appropriate (and I will also
admit therapeutic) to write and share with you some of what I have
experienced in the days since Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001.
of the events while in our office in Grace-Hollogne, Belgium. At
that time, and throughout the rest of the week, I was the only American
in the office. Immediately following news of the attack, various
co-workers (Dutch, Belgian and British) expressed shock, concern
and anger at the attack. And, even early on, they mutually expressed
the desire, the requirement, that their respective governments side
with the United States in response.
our office respected the pan-European three minutes of silence in
memory of the victims of this tragedy. In addition, I even had European
customers with whom I was scheduled to talk on Friday leave me voicemails
in which they stated, "Call anytime today, except at noon,
as our office will be participating in the three minutes of silence
for the victims of the attacks in the United States." This
gave to me a feeling that these events truly have pulled together
people of all countries.
with my managing director (who is British) Friday afternoon, he
mentioned how he truly felt our moment of silence touched the staff
in our office. I asked if this was simply the line they towed when
I was around, or if they really felt united in and affected by the
U.S events. He assured me it was the latter. He had "water
cooler" discussions with a large group of our European office,
and each of them, to the number, stated that they are one with the
United States in this.
I attended a show of respect for victims of the tragedy. It started
in the Vrijthof, which is the large city centre in Maastricht, The
Netherlands. Beginning at 6 o'clock, a very large group began walking
a pre-described route through the city. In the background, the church
bells tolled non-stop through the entire walk, which took about
30 minutes. The walk ended in one of the courtyards in the city.
A large crowd gathered near the front of the courtyard. I worked
my way to the front. There I found the area where the hundreds of
those present had brought flowers, dolls, teddy bears, writings,
pictures and anything else they felt appropriate. As I looked at
this site, I began crying. Emotions running through me, I wanted
to be with my country. After some time, a Dutch guy, about my age,
put his arm around my shoulder and simply hugged me. I finally looked
up and told him, "I am so proud to be from America, but it
is so hard sometimes." With that he realized I was from the
States. With a sweep of his hand to illustrate all of the outpouring
of support, he told me, "You can see you are not alone. We
are with you." He was so sincere. As I left, he looked at me
and said simply, "God bless."
morning our neighbor and landlord brought to us an arrangement of
flowers. With it was a note that truly touched our hearts:
you, your family and all the Americans which are suffering these
days. They hit a tower, but they never can hit your spirit. Remember
we will always stand behind you and your family."
our family felt the need to do something, anything, that would give
us some link with our country. We took a bouquet of roses to the
American cemetery in Margraten, The Netherlands. Immediately in
front of the field of white crosses was a large wreath, under which
were several flowers. I cried as I read a note that had been placed
at the center of the mound of flowers. It read:
years ago you came to help us. Now we support the American people
to cope with their sorrow. God bless you America."
I will never
forget reading those words. No one made that family leave that note.
It was not done for the benefit of television cameras or political
gain. It was simply a sincere expression of thanks and condolence.
And I feel that it echoes the sentiments of the vast majority of
we attended services where we normally do, at the Allied Forces
base in Brunssum, The Netherlands. The impact of the attack was
evident. We had to go through much more stringent checks to get
onto the base. First, your name had to be on a visitor list. Second,
your automobile was thoroughly searched, including engine checks,
trunk checks and the use of mirrors to look at the under-carriage
of each vehicle. Inside the chapel, it was an honor to attend service
with the men and women of our armed forces, who President Bush has
told to "Get ready." They had a sense of concern for the
past as much as for the future. Many of them knew victims of the
Pentagon assault. However, most of all, they were proud to be the
defenders of the greatest nation on earth. That pride showed through
in the prayer requests, the hymns, Scripture readings and sermon.
I was so proud to be among that group.
we visited another American cemetery this one in Henri Chapelle,
Belgium. Again, we found flowers brought in remembrance of the victims
of the tragedy. Through tears, I stood and watched an older man.
He was staring out across a field of crosses, each representing
an American life lost in support of freedom. He stared at a flag
flying at half mast. He had tears streaming down his cheeks. I gathered
that although he was sad, he was proud. Proud to be part of a nation
that has so very much to be proud of. Watching that man is another
sight I will never forget.
weeks have brought disbelief, sorrow, pain and anger. However, they
have also brought an understanding that our European allies are
with us, from the prime ministers on screen to the working men and
women I have met. They feel the pain of this act and see it as an
act against freedom. And they truly have a heartfelt desire to stand
by our side. We are not alone in this. Trust me.
J. Brad Moss ('87)
Skys the limit
I read The
North Texan from cover to cover. I really think you do a great
I am one
of eight children in my family to receive a degree from North Texas.
Please keep sending The North Texan to me. I am 85 years
young, and when I reach 100, I am going skydiving.
(38, 58 M.S.)
Extra long shelf life
out my garage last year, I found the 1968 summer issue of The
North Texan. I enjoyed reading the issue all over again, especially
the story about biotelemetry research. Thanks.