Letters: December 2012

Letters: December 2012

’Tanks for the memories

Editor’s note: The following were received n response to the September 2012 “Looking back” article.

In 1977, the tank section of the tower has just begun its dismantling process. I knew the days were numbered to climb the tower. I lived on the 7th floor of Travers. One night, I tried to talk some of my floor mates into climbing the tower with me. I explained we only had a few weeks, and that particular evening was a new moon to help cover our tracks. However, everyone was afraid they would get caught. At the time, I think the penalty was suspension for the semester. That was enough to keep anyone from joining me.

As a freshman, I obtained the nickname of “The Animal,” having to do with my wildness at social events and parties. Living up to my nickname, I ventured out from Travers and made for the ladder at the bottom of the tower. I don’t recall if there was a fence to climb, but it was easy enough to get to the base, where a long steel ladder ascended the tower. I began the climb, going higher and higher. It seemed to take forever. At the last 20 feet or so, the ladder angle back slightly, making the climb even more nerve racking.

I finally reached the top, where a cat walk went around the tank. I maneuvered onto the walkway and stood to enjoy the view. On the 7th floor of Travers, there was a audience of people watching from the elevator lobby window. I waved to all my cowardly friends and they waved back. I only stayed a couple of minutes, as I did not want to risk getting caught. Back I went on the ladder and descended rapidly.  By the time I got to the bottom, by forearms ached from gripping the rungs so tightly.

I made it to the ground and got back to my dorm floor, where everyone once again verified that I was indeed an “Animal.” Fortunately, I did not get caught, though to this day I know I was foolish.

I leave you with only my first name, as I am still paranoid to this day that the College may revoke my degree if they find out.

Peter (“The Animal”)

This photo (at right) was taken in late winter of the 1952–53 academic year and shows the Water Tower decorated with an Italian flag once owned by my grandfather and purloined from my dorm room by (I suspect) members of a rival fraternity. After a few days, the stunt finally wore thin and the flag just as mysteriously reappeared in its original place in Bliss Hall room 215. You can barely make out an inscription above the flag—“Viva Zapata,” it reads—which appeared a few years prior and is not related to the escapade. Also note that at the time, the tower was note painted checkerboard red and white.

Robert de Castro ’55 (Theta Nu Sigma)

I climbed the Water Tower many times during my four years at TSC. My first ascent was in winter 1972. I was bet an intensity lamp that I couldn’t do it. That lamp made it all the way through senior year in 1974. My two greatest climbs were in a snowstorm after a Mungo Jerry concert, and when I climbed to the last horizontal supporting beam and traversed half way around the Water Tower to suspend a flag. That flag stayed there for five months before it was removed! TSC held such great memories for me. Phelps Hall, the old student union, the Water Tower, Bliss Hall, ETX island, and the parties on the roof of Wolf Hall during its construction! I thank TSC for a lot of my successes in my career as an elementary school teacher. I was The Governor’s Teacher of the Year in 1983, and was able to teach in Australia from 1976–78—great memories and great experiences at TSC. For me, it was the perfect choice for college.

George Nelson ’74

I climbed the tower in spring 1960. A fellow Theta Phi pledge sister and I decided to hang a sorority banner from the catwalk. At the time it seemed like a really good idea. The school nurse saw us on the catwalk, probably because we were yelling and waving. Her car swerved into the tennis court fence, no damage done. She reported us to the president and we received minor personal discipline. The pledge classes were practicing for a pledge show to be held a bit later. Our sorority was not allowed to participate as a result of our actions. We were truly sorry about that consequence. We did receive a loud round of applause when our pledge class entered the hall where the show was taking place.

Judy Friedman Musa ’63 (speech and language major)

When, as a sophomore in 1952, I moved into veteran’s housing, I had three sons, aged approximately 5, 7, and 9. Sometime between then and 1955 when I graduated, all three of them, obviously unbeknown to me, climbed the water tower. The eldest of the culprits is also a graduate of Trenton State, circa 1968.

Thomas F. Cardea ’55

More tree mail

Editor’s note: The following is in response to the March 2012 “Looking back” photo.

The girl on the far left is definitely me, and yes, it was a team trust-building type project that Phil Costello (the guy with long sideburns, on far right) had promoted. If I recall correctly, all juniors majoring in physical education, special education, and elementary education had to spend time in Stokes State forest doing a variety of outdoor “group survival” tasks. In this photo, we were “testing out the upcoming tasks.” Thanks for the memories.

Deborah (Lippmann) Brennan ’72

Coach Hamilton and the scuba suit

[When] Coach Hamilton came in wearing the mask and snorkel it really lightened the atmosphere in the locker room… The flooded field actually was a drowning risk if you were on the bottom of a pile. Eric was an excellent coach, and I even returned for several years to coach with him. What a great group of men to guide young athletes through their college experiences. I credit Eric and TCNJ for the character and work ethic they built in me.

Mike Taylor ’86

Looking good

I love the new layout of the magazine! The publication looks great!

Jessica DePascale Gasser ’94

Congratulations on the major design improvements and more readable content of the TCNJ Magazine. The format is contemporary, graphically pleasing, and clearly more economical in terms of paper stock, binding method, and document length. I am also aware that you have condensed your mailing lists — another huge cost savings — so that only one copy is mailed to multiple alumna living in the same household. The September 2012 issue poses a provocative question: “If you could change anything, what would it be?” From my point of view, the changes you have already made are a step in the right direction!

Mary Elizabeth O’Connor ’77

Where are the STC grads?

I am astounded at the many changes at my alma mater, some good, some “iffy.” I am 94 years old and my good old “roomie” Charlotte Hills Linthicum ’40 and I wonder about “Class Notes.” Has everyone who graduated before 1950 died off? I’d like to hear how and why all those pre-1950 graduates disappeared.

May Heston Hiltebeitel ’40


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