The Troy-Boys of Summer

What a splendid tribute to Trojan baseball and its glorious achievements in “The Summer of ’98” [Spring 1999]. Today the Trojan nine enjoy good facilities at Dedeaux Field, but it was not always that way. Follow-ing World War II, baseball was played on Bovard Field — located north of the Bovard Administration Building and west of the long-gone Old College. Baseball shared the field with football and track and field. Outfielders often dodged javelins during practice.
Coach Sam Barry turned for help to the Daily Trojan. In a page-one story, he pointed out that baseball was the only sport on campus where the facilities for players and fans alike were deplorable. Shamed by the story, the Athletic Department moved the track practice to another area and installed “temporary” bleachers, dugouts and a backstop. These “temporary” facilities remained until baseball moved to Dedeaux Field.

Cliff Dektar ’50
North Hollywood, CA


Homeplate on the cover illustration is pointing the wrong way (I know, I know, you’ve been told about that many times over). That, however, did not detract from the superbly written tribute to Mark McGwire, USC’s “Team of Destiny” and the Trojan baseball heritage.

Richard J. Lopez ’58
Westlake Village, CA


Congratulations on the Spring issue of USC Trojan Family Magazine. That is a splendid account of Trojan baseball heroics that Neil Miller and his co-authors put together! I watched most of the 1998 College World Series and rooted the Trojans on. My wife takes a keen interest, too. Her universities are Arizona State and Arizona, so the rivalry gets intense.

Bill W. Walker ’40
McMinnville, OR


I am a loyal Trojan and have belonged to the Midwest Alumni Club since the early ’60s, when George Moody and Andy Wilson were members. But that is in Chicago, and I live in Quincy — 20 miles up the river from Hannibal, Mo.
To find another Trojan around Quincy is as unusual as seeing a kangaroo jumping through the corn fields. Now in your Spring 1999 issue, I see that Mark McGwire is a Trojan. And he’s right down the river in St. Louis.
For the last two years, on my birthday (July 21), KMOX (St. Louis) has played “Fight On” at 7 a.m. I hope Mark was

Martha Eads Ward ’42
Quincy, IL

Jewish Like Us

I was delighted to read in “Being Jewish in the West” [Spring ’99, page 14] that my alma mater had recently established an Institute for the Study of Jews in American Life and that the faculty has responded enthusiastically to this new USC organization.
As a student in the early 1950s, I encountered no more than two professors who were Jewish and no deans. Let me hasten to add that in my four years on campus, I never encountered the slightest hint of anti-Semitism. But at the same time it would have been comforting to have had some openly Jewish role models. As an academic myself (professor of law at the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University) I am acutely aware of minority students needing role models as both symbols and mentors. I can’t tell you how proud I am of my alma mater for taking this step and once again demonstrating its commitment to diversity and tolerance.

Harvey L. Zuckman ’56
Rockville, MD


I read with great interest the news of the establishment of the Institute for the Study of Jews in American Life. My interest is piqued by the reality that time does change all. During my entire seven years at the university, ’SC was segregated — not whites and blacks but gentiles and Jews. I was in a Jewish fraternity, ZBT, and there was no socializing with the gentile fraternities or sororities. In fact, if a gentile sorority girl dated a Jew, she was fined $50; if pinned, she was kicked out.
Occasionally we had an exchange brunch with a gentile fraternity and brought the usual: lox, bagels and cream cheese. At one brunch, a member of Sigma Chi, upon seeing the bagels, cried: “Who brought the stale donuts?”
The point is simply that in 50 years or so, ’SC now has an institute devoted to the study of Jews. What an irony for me. Thank you and your colleagues, and much success.

Ron Freemond ’52, J.D. ’55
Lakewood, CO

Abuzz about Buskirk

I was so happy to read the letter about another favorite professor [Spring 1999]. I mailed a copy to the wife of the late Dick Buskirk, as I know she’d enjoy reading such passionate and warm words that are shared by so many. Dr. Buskirk made a difference to so many people and will always be remembered and treasured.

Mitchell Goldstone ’85
Irvine, CA


Farewell to a “Super Fan”

I was sad to read of the passing of Mr. Giles Pellerin [Spring ’99, page 69]. As editor in chief of the ’85 and ’86 El Rodeo, I featured him as part of the Trojan Spirit. He was a wonderful person who loved to be around the energy of the stadium and student body. How fitting that he spent his last moments where he loved to be. I certainly hope that the Athletic Department is planning on memorializing him at the Coliseum, maybe by always leaving the best seat in the house available for his “spirit” to watch the game.
I send my sincere condolences out to the Pellerin family. I just can’t imagine an ’SC game without him there.

Kari (Hock) Garland ’86
Riverside, CA

Jim Perry ’64, assistant athletic director, replies: A week after Giles Pellerin died at the UCLA game last fall, he was honored with a moment of silence at the USC-Notre Dame game. He also has been memorialized by a permanent plaque in the Galen Athletic Center, the Athletic Department’s new dining facility adjacent to Heritage Hall. The plaque, located on a table in one of the center’s booths, reads: “In memory of Giles L. Pellerin ’29, ‘Super Fan,’ Attended 797 Consecutive USC Football Games, 1926-1998.” The Galen Center dining facility is open to the general public for lunch.

Giving Harry’s Biographers Hell

Regarding your book review of Franklin D. Mitchell’s Harry S.(sic) Truman and the News Media, Mr. Mitchell lost me as a potential reader when I noticed that the dust cover listed Mr. Truman’s middle initial as “S.”
Harry always took great pains to ensure that it was spelled as “S” without the period, since it was not an abbreviation. It’s just an “S” — there is no name attached to it. This is customarily referred to as an MIN or “middle initial only” on various government forms. In any event, you guys evidently didn’t catch it either (J-school majors?). And maybe Mr. Mitchell isn’t as much of a Truman expert as we would be led to believe.

G.E. Scott MSE ’94
Los Angeles, CA

Franklin D. Mitchell, associate professor of history, responds: “President Truman personally penned or allowed the usage of his name and initials with and without a period following the letter “S.” Thus, his memoirs appeared with his imprinted signature on the hard cover without the period, while the dust jacket and title page bear his name with the period. Another example of his use of a period is found on pages 4 and 5 of volume two of his memoirs. Truman’s recent biographers, Robert Ferrell, Alonzo Hamby and David McCullough, settled on “Harry S. Truman” — a usage which, Hamby notes, was the official standard during the Missourian’s presidency. Neither I nor my publisher wanted to defy this convention in my book. I do very much like the “J-school majors’ ” review title (“Giving Harry Hell”) and only wish that I had thought of it as the title for the book!

Trashing Ballona Creek

I just wonder if those architectural students ever visited Ballona Creek after a rain [“A Creek Runs Through It,” Spring ’99, page 18]. The trash that ends up on its sides is amazing. Until the citizens learn to put their trash in cans instead of in the street — where it is washed into the storm drains, which drain into Ballona Creek, and then to the sea — the idea is impractical. Who wants to sit and look at floating flotsam and jetsam? And dam the Creek? Boating in the little canal created would be like boating in a sewer!

Alice Goldberg ’49
South Gate, CA

Trojan Memories

Your magazine has always been an interesting communicator of change at USC. When I attended school in the 1950s, we had design studio and physics lab classes in the wartime barracks which served as temporary classrooms. The fall issue [“The Art of Craft,” Autumn 1998, page 20], featuring Randell Makinson, an old classmate, brought back memories of school again.
Although the program does not exist today, in the 1950s the School of Architec-ture had a program in industrial design. Also in our class was Charles T. Inatomi, who was responsible for developing the ATM for Citicorp. Charles passed away two years ago, soon after his retirement. Although he worked in relative obscurity throughout his professional career, he did design something which made a huge impact in our lives.
Most people would not know how the ATM was developed. I remember the early foamcore model studies he showed me in the late 1970s in his office. He also told me of the probable changes it would make in banking, retailing and shopping. For example, he told me that supermarkets will be directly connected to a customer’s bank account and the that transactions will be cashless. Twenty years ago, it sounded preposterous, but this is how the world has changed. Citicorp established a subsidiary called Transaction Technology Inc., located in Culver City, Calif., to develop the hardware for Citicorp’s banking goals. This is where Charles worked. The goal of 24-hour banking was set forth by John Reed, a young executive at Citicorp in the 1970s, who is now the company’s chairman.
I thought this might be an interesting story for your magazine and it might shed a small spotlight on the forgotten program of industrial design at USC.

Yoshio Nishimoto ’57
Los Angeles, CA

I, along with Marie (Moog) Harvey ’37, who wrote in the last issue [Mailbag, Spring 1999, page 9], enjoy reading recollections of things that happened to people while attending USC. Her letter about Dr. von KleinSmid brought back memories of my encounter with him.
Back in 1940, I was employed by USC as a student janitor to clean the Education Department offices on the third floor south of the Bovard Administration building (Thank you, USC. I really needed the money!). One Saturday, while I was finishing my work emptying waste baskets, dusting and vacuuming the carpets, my boss asked me to clean the president’s suite. The regular janitor, who was a fulltime employee, was not available. I was given the key to the offices and with my trusty vacuum entered, only to find Dr. von KleinSmid working at his desk. Needless to say, I was surprised, as perhaps he was too, since I was a stranger to him. Nevertheless, he was most cordial and made me feel at ease. We chatted for five minutes or so, whereupon he said I could forgo vacuuming the carpets, and I departed.
And so, 58 years later, I can attest to the last sentence of Ms. Harvey’s letter: “He was nicer after that.” He certainly was nice to me, and I was elated for the opportunity to meet him on a one-on-one basis, as brief as it was. The next time I met Dr. von KleinSmid was at my graduation in June 1942, when he handed me my diploma. He made no mention of our previous meeting. Neither did I.

Donald Pehrson ’42
Rolling Hills Estates, CA


Notice Board

USC sports fans throughout the West can now listen to a weekly, one-hour Sunday night radio interview show with Trojan coaches and Athletic Department officials. The show, “USC Trojan Talk,” airs Sun-days at 7 p.m. on KDWN, a 50,000-watt Las Vegas-based station located at 720 on the AM dial. Hosted by Harvey Hyde and Chuck Hayes, the show can be heard in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, plus parts of Mexico and Canada. If you can’t receive the show in your area, catch it live on the Internet ( talk/kdwn).

Jim Perry ’64
USC Athletic Department

Class of 1949: Come and celebrate the 50th anniversary of your class at a reunion dinner-dance on Friday, May 21, at Town and Gown. Then come to a luncheon on Saturday, May 22, where you will become a member of Half Century Trojans (founded in 1949). The Class of 1939 will be celebrating its 60th anniversary at the luncheon and all USC alumni are welcome to attend. Save the two dates and tell your classmates. For further details, call the Alumni House at 213-740-2300 for further details. Fight on!

Helen Janet Curtis ’45
Half Century Club

The reason for this letter is to request the assistance of our Trojan Family Magazine to generate support for an official California USC license plate.
As you may already know, our rival (UCLA) has a state plate through the California Department of Motor Vehicles, and I was surprised that our university has not set out to do the same. Many Trojans attempt to personalize their license plates to include USC. However, only so many variations of USC can be used, which doesn’t leave much to create or choose from. This is why USC should work with the DMV to create an official USC plate.
You can view the UCLA plate, along with other types, on the DMV homepage (
I encourage you to forward this letter to somebody, anybody, who can make this happen. It’s a guaranteed success!

Paul R. Chabot, M.P.A. ’99
Los Angeles, CA




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