IMAGE:  February 2003 GRAPHIC:  University of Chicago Magazine
Volume 95, Issue 3
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"From encouraging terror to wasting pages"

Nostalgic details
Your story on Mitchell Tower (“Architectural Details,” December/02) brought back a memory or two. You failed to note that the tune played each night was the Alma Mater. This job was held by a friend who occasionally needed a substitute, and so he taught me how to do it. On the night I joined the Psi Upsilon fraternity he let me borrow his keys to the Tower and instead of the Alma Mater the campus heard the Psi U hymn “Bold and Ready.” I thought I was being very “bold,” but no one even noticed except a few Phi Gams, led by the pugnacious Nick Melas (of later Chicago Sanitary District fame), who lived right down the street. We Psi U’s of course denied any knowledge of how this sacrilege might have occurred.

One other Tower footnote: the University Theater group, a seminal progenitor of Chicago’s Second City, used the chime room to store sets, costumes, and props for productions on the third floor of the Reynolds Club. This made that dark and dusty medieval chamber an even more mysterious and romantic place to show the occasional date who might be lured up there by an eager bell ringer.

The December issue also reported the passing of our beloved Law School classmate Patsy Takemoto Mink and listed her very impressive political career. Her political talents were no surprise to our class. At our first freshmen gathering she performed a beautiful hula atop a grand piano, accompanied by another classmate, the late Charlie Russ, and at least once a month Dean [Edward H.] Levi’s secretarial staff received a box of fresh orchids sent from Hawaii by her parents. With political instincts like that we knew she would be unbeatable by any mere mortal!

Larry Lee, PhB’46, JD’51
Lake Bluff, Illinois

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