More letters to the editor
Praising Military Spouses
"An Army of Two" by Beth Knotts brings tears to the eyes of this 83-year-old retired Reoulav Army Lieutenant Colonel, in a career that goes back to World War II days in Germany, Holland, Belgium and France as an Army Infantry PFC scout/machine gunner.
My wife Helen was laid to her final rest last October in such a beautiful service at Arlington National Cemetery—such a well-deserved honor for over 20 years of mothering our seven children. In our travels every three years from post to post: Monterrey, San Francisco, Virginia/Washington, D.C., San Antonio, Leavenworth, Kan., Massachusetts, Fort Knox, Ky., etc. At each post she guaranteed the quality of the chapel/community life as perennial choir director, Sunday school principal, first Communion coordinator, organizer/president of the women sodalities—culminating in election as president of the Euro Pearl Military Catholic Women—traveling to Italy, France, Great Britain, Belgium, Holland and all over chapel communities of Germany as a keynote speaker of the regional women gatherings. She represented military women from all over the world as a delegate to the Pope’s Third World Lay Conference in Rome and was the primary guest speaker at the European Conference of Protestant Women in Pertchgarden, Germany.
As Ms. Knotts notes, military spouses are remarkable people, sisters lifting each other up in the absence of extended family—a newborn in my absence—and neighbors rallying around. All this brings tears of nostalgia for me because all that Helen and so many spouses did while operating on such a low military pay were the true strength behind this nation's great military.
Our son Trey Daly and his spouse, Mimi Chamberlin, are graduates of Xavier in the 90s and, with their four children—two being adopted—are very community-focused people.
Our appreciation to Mr. Knotts.
Being a member of the Class of 1969, I read the article “End of Innocence” in the Spring 2005 edition with great interest. However, I do want to make a few corrections.
According to my memory, and The Musketeer, Raymond J. Fellinger was the registrar. Mrs. Tekuele did work in the office. She always provided friendly assistance to everyone.
Marie Bourgeois was the daughter of the late Dr. Joseph E. Bourgeois, chairman of the modern languages department. He had several children and they lived on Dana Avenue. I minored in German so he was my teacher for three or four years.
You used the graduation picture taken from The Musketeer of Edward M. Yokely who received a B.S. in Chemistry. He was part of a group of us who used to play cards in the Musketeer Grill when we had time. He’s not identified in the article.
In 1968 I often had time to take the bus to campus and I remember riding through the Reading Road and Rockdale Avenue area where the buildings were burned to the ground. While that riot was a stunning event, most of us students who had to work attended classes and were subject to the draft and did not have time to be distracted.
ROTC was mandatory for all freshmen and sophomores, but many juniors and seniors were enrolled as well. During my junior year, I was in the “corps” with Bob Rice. I know he was “gung-ho.” We cannot forget that as Catholics we had been taught that Communism was not only anti-American, but also atheistic. We had a duty to stop it. Ask Adrian Schiess who was quoted in the article. I do not recall one anti-war demonstration on campus during class time.
Shortly after graduation, I joined the Air Force and was stationed in Japan. I did not keep track of what occurred at Xavier in those years, but I do know that the major sentiment of students before 1970 was still for the war. Many of us volunteered for the military.
I offer the above inspiration by Father Bennish who taught historiography based on the writings of Leopold von Ranke who said, “Wie es eighentlich gewesen ist” or "How it really happened."
Robert J. Wimberg
I just read in your Winter 2005 issue that my favorite Xavier University teacher, Professor Bernard Gendreau, recently died. I also noticed that in your article Dr. Gendreau was called a very “traditional Catholic” by one of his fellow philosophy professors. The Dr. Gendreau that I remember, or, “Doctor Gendrooooooo” as I can still hear him proclaim, was hardly “traditional.” Dr. Gendreau, with his quick wit and flair for explaining complicated concepts, was the Johnny Carson of Xavier University’s philosophy department.
Back in the late 80s, I found myself in Dr. Gendreau’s class wondering why the heck I was there; and more importantly, why I needed to take a total of four philosophy courses in order to earn my undergraduate communication arts degree. After all, I reasoned, I was going to become a journalist, so how was philosophy going to help me in my career or later life?
I didn’t know it at the time, but, yes, I would go on to work for Ebony Magazine and several other noteworthy publications; but after a few awards and a few years, I would change career paths. In 1994, I opened my own business, Martha’s Crib, a store that specializes in art, crafts and black memorabilia. And now, after more than ten years of entrepreneurship, I have my eyes fixed on a third more exciting goal.
That’s probably what I learned best in Dr. Gendreau’s class: When entering unfamiliar territory, presented with change or challenges—most things can be broken down and made understandable.
When Dr. Gendreau taught philosophy—it made sense. Sitting in his class, hearing his vivid explanations, seeing his excitement as he shared his knowledge and then finding myself gradually beginning to understand, was like riding a wonderful wave of knowledge.
I am glad that I didn't select a university that may have allowed me to pursue an academic path that would have limited my studies to classes that only related to my major—or only to classes that taught what I thought I needed to know.
When we are young, we think we know where we want to go, how we will get there and how nice it will be once we have arrived. But life often teaches us that where we thought we wanted to be, expected to enjoy or thought we couldn’t do without, sometimes, needs to be left behind. A greater road, a larger challenge or a higher mountain is before us and we want to climb. It’s easy for a teacher to be popular with a student who wants to be in his class and is eager to learn what is being taught. But when a teacher can take a student and open their mind to learn something they feel they have no need to know he is a teacher to be remembered.
For anyone who didn't take Dr. Gendreau’s class—you missed an experience.
Marchel’le Renise Barber