Letters: Fall/Winter 2012

On Nov. 23, 1965, I took possession of a 1966 Pontiac GTO hardtop in Rolla, Mo. I was a college graduating senior. I had no job. I had, as yet, no firm job offer. Nonetheless, the dealer offered a financing deal:  my old 1958 Hillman Minx, no payments for 30 days, the first year’s insurance was included in the purchase price and the first three payments were $25.00. The deal was closed in less than 30 minutes. The dealer gave me the keys and told me to drive it off of the show room floor, which I did. I bought the car with every intention of keeping it forever. So far so good.

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What are your favorite car songs?

Chances are, even if you don’t own a Hot Rod Lincoln or a Little Deuce Coupe, you still have a favorite song about cars.

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Q&A: Which Best Ever was the best ever?

In 1908, a tradition was born — the annual St. Pat’s celebration at Missouri S&T. Each year, the celebration becomes larger than life. However, everyone seems to have a favorite, or most memorable year, for a variety of reasons.

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Letters: Spring 2012

As usual I enjoyed the latest issue of Missouri S&T Magazine. Item No. 125 (Ramey’s) of the “140 things we love” reminded me of Bear Tracks. As I recall, it was downtown above a bowling alley. You could have your own beer stein with your name on it and it was always available from a rack of steins on the wall. You walked in, grabbed your stein, and it was filled at a discount price. I still have my stein from the place. How about doing a bit of research on Bear Tracks and include the information in a future issue of the magazine? I think us older alumni would enjoy it. (I did, on rare occasion of course, visit Ramey’s.)
Keep up the good work.
Gary W. Davis, EE’57
Onyx, Calif.

The list of 140 things was a welcome and inspired idea for the Fall magazine. Having attended UMR in the late ’60s, I kept looking for mention of the “Green Sheet” (I think that was the name). This several-green-page publication would appear around campus about the time of St. Pat’s and would be a kind of “roast” for professors, graduate assistants and others who deserved a bit of mention — mostly negative, often bawdy, mainly off-color remarks and description. No one knew where this paper originated, but I remember looking forward to it year after year. I wonder if someone has a copy tucked away in the attic somewhere.
Lyle Hill, ME’73
Rhineland, Mo.

Regarding No. 129 of the 140 things we love about S&T in the Fall 2011 issue, before it was the Grotto, the Cavern, Brewster’s, or the Mine Shaft, it was Hiram and Mortimers. I know; I was a bartender there in 1975, just before I graduated. That was the first that I know of that basement being a bar. It was during the foosball days. We had six foosball tables and free barrels of peanuts; eat the peanuts and throw the shells on the floor. Good times!
Roger Keller, MinE’75, MS MinE’82
Las Vegas

In the Fall 2011 issue, you missed the football team’s unbeaten season in 1980. You also missed the 1949 football team, which was undefeated in the MIAA Conference. They lost the first two games, both non-conference games. The 1950 football team played in tennis shoes on ice and snow. They were the MIAA Conference champions, losing one non-conference game and one conference game.

The 1914 and 1980 football teams were the only unbeaten teams, and 1949 was the only other undefeated football team in the MIAA conference.
Since the 1980 unbeaten team, Missouri S&T has changed to a weaker conference and still is unable to have a winning championship season. I still enjoyed the Missouri S&T Magazine.
Arthur L. Schmidt, ChE’50
Lake St. Louis, Mo.

Regarding the 140 things we love about S&T, No. 102 Schuman Pond? As both a townie and proud 1977 graduate, I always heard it referred to as Frisco Pond, named after the Frisco railroad. Has my memory finally gone or has the name changed? And yes, No. 126 Tim’s Pizza did have the best pizza and salads in town. There was nothing wrong with the pitchers of beer, either.

I lived in Rolla from 1955, when my dad was assigned to the ROTC department after we returned from Japan, until I graduated in 1977, with time out for the Navy (1970-74). Back then, the ROTC department was in a wooden two story WWI-era building behind the gym. My dad’s office was on the second floor and I remember a rifle range on the ground floor. I pretty much grew up on campus and have fond memories of both the university and Rolla.
John Walker, Econ’77
La Porte, Texas

The 141st thing we love about Missouri S&T is amateur radio station W0EEE.
Douglas Hughes, EE’63
Ann Arbor, Mich.

Letters: Spring 2009

Mike Swoboda and I pledged Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity in Rolla in the fall of 1956. Mike was voted in as chapter president in his sophomore year: An unusual move at that time.
He quickly consolidated his leadership team and our fraternity began to move up in all aspects of our activities and in prestige on campus. Bob Elrod, CerE’63, was the chapter treasurer and Mike would have Elrod announce all the moves and changes that might be controversial. Poor Elrod was his lightning rod but they made a good team. Mike led our fraternity to high respect on campus in his two years as president.

We shared a great love for sport and competition. Mike’s primary sport was tennis but he became a very effective player in flag football, volleyball, basketball, and softball (fast pitch). At one point we did not have a good pitcher so Mike and I went up to one of the local school play grounds that had a backstop fence and took turns trying to learn to pitch using the classic windmill motion of fast pitch softball. Neither of us could master it.

Though we were about the same height, Mike was a spiker and I was his setter in volleyball. He was left handed and not an overpowering spiker but enormously effective. Mike had that rare ability to think in the middle of a competitive event and would sense where the defense was and direct the ball away. His dinks scored as often as his slams.
Once I came into his room and it happened to be election night. Mike had two yellow legal pads on his desk and was listening intently to the radio. On the pads were the names of all the Senators and Governors running for office and he was keeping tally with a pencil.

He loved the political process and particularly loved small town politics. He eventually got his dream job, Mayor of Kirkwood, and he brought to it the same skills that make him so effective as a fraternity president. Mike would always do all of the grunt work to secure and know where all of his votes were. Folks who found themselves on the opposite side of an issue from Mike rarely were willing to put in the time and effort that Mike did regularly. As a result they regularly lost and Mike won setting up some long standing resentments.

But one could never question where Mike’s heart was. He was determined to be the very best mayor that a town ever had… And he was. I keep thinking of that song “Jimmy Walker loved New York… “Well Michael E. Swoboda really loved Kirkwood and served his town well.

Michael C. Kearney, EE’60, Kirkwood, Mo.
Kearney is a fraternity brother of late Kirkwood, Mo., Mayor Mike Swoboda, ME’60, who died Sept. 6 as a result of injuries suffered in the Kirkwood City Hall shootings of Feb. 7, 2008.