Letter box: March 2012

Letter box: March 2012

“Looking back” at a great moment in Lions’ football history

Ed’s note: The following photos were received in response to the November 2011 “Looking back” photo. Click here to view it.

I was thrilled to open my TCNJ Magazine and find a picture of my father, Don Donaldson ’51, in the halftime locker room shot. He was the quarterback of that team, and he is the player walking in eating an orange behind Coach Ackerman. November 10, 1949, was a great day in football history for the College!

Jan Donaldson Pask ’75

I truly enjoyed seeing the 1949 picture of my grandfather [George L. Ackerman] in your November issue. A framed original copy of the Life magazine page hangs proudly in my office. The frame is engraved “Presented to George Ackerman, May 9, 1970.” I do not know who was the presenter. Perhaps it was the College? Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of knowing quite a few men who were members of that or other teams that [my grandfather] coached, including Nick Gusz ’42, Jim Brooks ’51, and my own middle school soccer coach, Carl Lauricella ’53. The stories about my grandfather prowling the sidelines in his trademark white bucks are, to me, priceless. The “size of the dog” inscription on the locker room wall says so much about George L. Ackerman, as do the circumstances of where I found this lovely framed copy of the picture in the months after his sudden death in 1971, when I was only 10 years old. It was lying in a dusty box in his attic. Modesty was perhaps his greatest virtue.

George Ackerman

’70s, ’80s Pub and Rat Jazz

I was fortunate enough to have been at the College during the “heyday” of the jazz on campus. Most semesters, we had the jazz band play every other week on Monday or Tuesday nights, and, in between Tony DeNicola would bring in professional artists from New York, or other places, including Sal Nistico, Jay Corree, Kenny DaVerne, and even Charlie Ventura. The U.S. Navy Jazz Quartet, from Washington, DC, came in once and had a few of us thinking about enlisting. Also, at Tony’s urging, a few of us formed the TSC Jazz Quintet—a student-run group that featured Mick Rossi (now with Phillip Glass, Paul Simon, and others) Audrey Puzyr, Marie DiPasquale, Jim McDonough, and myself. We played in the Rat about four to five times a semester and at other places around Trenton. That was a great learning experience for most of us—except Mick, who was about a million miles beyond any of us!

The Jazz nights were great for the music students of the time, giving us a chance to actually play in a fun environment. Of course, the lower drinking age did make for larger crowds, as well as tough 8 A.M. classes the follow day, but it was well worth it.

Neil Boumpani ’78, MA ’80

Ed’s note: Click here to read about Neil built the world’s biggest marching band bass drum.

WTSR memories

I was prompted to do some creative writing following my recent reading of the September 2011 issue of TCNJ Magazine. The result is a poem about the College radio station, WTSR. One may think of this poem as my “creative echo” of the early days.

Sue Glassey ’82

Radio Days

by Sue Glassey ’82

Beastie Boys. Frampton. Of course,
solid gold Joe’s got Motown pizazz.
Then Silverstein says, “We have
college radio like nobody has!”

Waves, they air from the basement,
91 dot 3. “Listening live to WTSR.”
There’s power in FM. Do you know
of Caiola or legendary Mark DiDia?

In my office now, there’s a free bird,
he played guitar backup to Skynyrd.
You got that right! Sweet home girl,
working with a real-rock lizard.

Still livin’ those radio days!

Now and then, I’m asked, “How did
you ever get to sound so smooth?”
The truth speaks: “Well, in college,
I did some reading of the news.”

Voice-overs, the phones, back end.
If lucky—maybe a music time slot.
Radiothon, all-talk, live sports, or a
news actual. Go, and give it a shot!

Back to Kendall, nothing’s changed.
Studio letters said at top of the hour.
But for us pioneers, back then, we
called it from the bottom of Brower.

And ‘wired’ to those radio waves!
Goes digital now. Opens your mind.
Linkedin. I’m fine with it—it’s best.
Facebook is friend. But, tell me,
Where did they put the vinyl to rest?

In case you have any doubt, about
the power behind our college FM,
post this announcement on the FCC
tower—but, not as a final amen.

Today, my script goes like this:
YouTube, and messaging on-point,
.DOC files, and meetings that run
as live broadcasts all over the joint!

The first “dot”—you know it, WTSR.
Flash in the pan to this digital age.
Yet—somewhere—still, you’re ON,
floating for a moment, in radio days!

Sue is a communications editor for a state agency in Florida. Her “radio days” at WSTR were from 1978–82. She’s getting a greater appreciation of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

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