|Quoted ››“Regarding the origins of the iconic ‘Reality ends here’ inscription, a specific individual in the spring of 1976 coined and wrote what has become an enduring notice, warning and inspiration…It reflected the remarkable experience of our film crew, as we lived, documented and debated what went on…”
I can make some identification with him, for I served in the Marines. But I never faced the multitude of obstacles which confronted Dr. Perkins.
William G. Jamison ’46
I read the article by Cindy Chang on Ambassador Edward J. Perkins. I would love to find a way to get a signed copy of his book. Great story!
George O. Davis MBA ’96
Because of a great tutor at USC, Prof. Ross Berkes, there was a career of 30 years for me, as well, in the Foreign Service. As fate would have it, I enjoyed having Ed Perkins as a colleague for two years in Accra, Ghana, where he served as political counselor in the U.S. Embassy, and I was the cultural attaché.
It soon became evident to me that I was serving with a Foreign Service officer who displayed incredible dedication to duty. I was really amazed at his stamina and perseverance. Even when Ed was present at embassy social gatherings, he was at work, collecting information for inclusion in his cogent reports to Washington. Although I had come to Ghana after three assignments at Class A Foreign Service posts – South Korea, Vietnam and Japan – I had never previously met such a hard-working officer. And, he labored with an elegant, quiet dignity.
It is no wonder that he was selected for several important ambassadorships. While Ed was ambassador to South Africa, my brother, a retired U.S. Marine who lives over there, had a chance to interact with Ed at occasional functions, and he reported to me (I’m also a Marine) that he believed Ed was definitely a Marine who was ready to “fight for right and freedom” (a line from “The Marine Corps Hymn”).
Finally, the photos with the article don’t show it, but Ed certainly can smile and laugh!
Regarding the origins of the iconic “Reality ends here” inscription, it was a specific individual in the spring of 1976 who coined and wrote what has become an enduring notice, warning and inspiration. I can speak with authority on this as the deed was recorded by the camera of the production of The 480 Experience, on which I participated as editor. Alas the actual deed did not make the final cut of the production.
The phrase reflected the remarkable experience of that crew, as we lived, documented and debated the nature of what went on within those walls. The project enjoyed full attendance of its faculty committee, as our teachers experienced discussing themselves as characters in the edited sequences. Every week we had Mort Zarcoff, Gene Peterson, Dave Johnson and Mel Sloan challenging us to articulate on any number of questions, including exactly what differences our cameras’ presence made in the events we documented. The ongoing aesthetic, philosophical and ethical discussions demanded of us the kind of inquiry and investigation that one hopes every university education provides.
It is not my place to reveal the identity of the author, although should that person choose to be known, he or she would be due the honor and appreciation of the many who have been enlightened by it.
Somewhat lost to history was another message which appeared that same semester below the waterline of a commode in the men’s bathroom, in a very similar hand – “My Sharpie writes anywhere.”
I look forward to more accounts of Trojans leading, both on campus and at large.
Patrick Gregston ’77
Alice Winn ’55
We wish. Unfortunately, no CD or recording was made of the 99-tuba memorial salute due to complicated union issues involving the musicians.
Design for a King
Contributions to the MLK Memorial can be made using the Web site also.
Paul M. Farrar MS ’71
He Humored Us
More to the point, when he was given an Honorary Doctor of Literature degree in 1993, your magazine published his hilarious address. Perhaps you can publish it again, in his memory.
Philip Kessler ’48
Below, reproduced in full, is the speech Art Buchwald gave when he received his honorary degree from USC in May, 1993. His obituary appears on page 62 of this issue.
As everyone west of the Mississippi knows by now, I never graduated from USC. This was because in my third year I was informed by a guy drinking coffee in the Student Union that I could go to Paris on the GI Bill. Since I wanted to be a writer, this made more sense than hanging around the engineering school. I left, but there wasn’t much sadness. I was hoping for a farewell party from the faculty, but apparently they didn’t care that I was leaving. So I bought a one-way ticket to France, and turned my back on the school I loved and which had put up with me for so long. Since I had no money – and even fewer prospects – it was impossible to get the girls on sorority row to come down to the bus station.
What did I get out of USC? I discovered that the extracurricular activities were far more fun than sitting in class. I became a columnist for the Daily Trojan, although I didn’t major in journalism. Down the hall from the Daily Trojan was the Wampus, the humor magazine. It came out once a month…or every two months…or every three weeks, depending on how we felt. Al Hix was editor, I was managing editor and David Wolper (who became rich and famous as a television producer and creator of spectacles) was business manager. We stole all our jokes from other humor magazines – but the copy was original. We also had a “Playmate of the Month,” complete with clothes. We made fun of the administration, but it didn’t seem to bother anyone.
I wrote a show with a guy named Ray Pippin called No Love Atoll. The reviews were okay. The only problem was that the fraternities had a water fight on opening night and a lot of people who had bought tickets didn’t show up. That was the extent of my education at USC.
In Paris, I kept running into ’SC alums, and they treated me much better there than they had on campus. I think this was because I knew all the good restaurants in Paris.
Like most people, I take a certain amount of pride when the football team wins, but I take more pride when somebody at USC makes a discovery that changes our lives. I am very happy that USC has seen fit to award me an honorary degree this year, because I need it very badly. When I go to fancy press affairs, people always ask me where I graduated from. In the past, I pretended that I didn’t understand the question. But now I will have a diploma, suitable for framing, and I will put it up in my office next to a copy of Richard Nixon’s resignation letter.
I don’t take this honor lightly. It’s one thing to get an honorary degree from another institution, but when you get it from your own school, it has meaning. The award could not have come at a better time because I am just making out my will, and I’d like to donate a couple of TV stations to the school. As Walter Annenberg frequently donates to USC, I feel I should too, as we both have about the same amount of money.
I looked over the clues in the Spring 2007 issue’s Last Word, and I noticed in number 6 “… a priest pedaling a portable confession booth…” and got a mental picture of something about the size of an outhouse mounted on a bicycle. Or did you mean “peddling,” as in “selling”?
Spell-checkers just don’t catch this kind of error.
Your mental picture – and our spelling – was correct. Hoaxer Joey Skaggs did pedal a bicycle that carried a portable confession booth.
In your “Hook, Line and Sinker” Last Word contest (Spring 2007), I’m surprised that you failed to include the Legends of Troy, the many pranks of Hugh Troy (1906-1964). One great one was at a van Gogh exhibit at MOMA, New York. He and a friend slipped into the exhibition and propped a fake ear on the table. It was carved out of meat and set before a sign which said, “This is the ear which van Gogh cut off and sent to his mistress, a French prostitute, Dec. 24, 1888.” Soon, more people crowded around the ear than were looking at the paintings.
Last, I must mention my distant cousin, Paul J. Smith, who founded the Disumbrationist School of Art. He painted a blurry, squiggly picture of a South Sea maiden holding a banana over her head, and entered it into an art exhibition as a spoof upon abstract art. He claimed it was by the Russian artist Pavel Jerdanowich, founder of the Disumbrationist School of Art, and wrote wall captions with lots of Abstract Expressionist jargon. Of course, the painting received high praise instead of scorn, encouraging the creation and exhibition of more Jerdanowichs. Paul finally grew weary of this foolery and couldn’t resist unmasking Jerdanowich in the Los Angeles Times, along with some cutting remarks about modern art.
We wish we could identify this writer, but he (or she), like many of you who respond to us via email, did not include any other contact information. If we can’t find you, we can’t send you your prize if you win!
I, as you may note from the past on the Last Word puzzles, have won it once, and had one selection used, for which you paid me $300 (and as a loyal alumnus, I gave it back to the Alumni Fund!).
The one on “Completely Mad,” I caviled in my answers that George III did not have blue urine, but port wine color urine, and I would also cavil at your answer #5, that in Jane Eyre, Bertha was named Mason – she was married to Edward Rochester, and obviously was named Mrs. Rochester. I personally didn’t name her in the Wide Sargasso Sea, just put that in, but Selah!
Murray C. Zimmerman ’41, MD ’44
I am a great fan and regular respondent to the Last Word contests. When I looked over your answers to the Last Word puzzle “They’re Mad, Completely Mad” (Winter 2006, p. 64), I was very puzzled by some of them. The contest rules specified that “We are looking for the individuals, literary characters, their authors…” but NOT the applicable literary work or, except for No. 6, any other answer. Yet the answer given for No. 1 is the literary work Alice in Wonderland, but not the author Lewis Carroll. Likewise, the answer given for No. 5, including the literary works, is “Bertha Mason (Jane Eyre) & Antoinette Conway (Wide Sargasso Sea)”; for No. 6, “Bethlehem Royal Hospital (Tom O’Bedlam),” but not the literary character Edgar (alias Tom O’Bedlam); for No. 7, “Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” & Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, but not Gillman’s literary character Jane; and for No. 8, “Dan White” and the unspecified answer “Twinkie Defense,” but not the murdered individuals George Moscone and Harvey Milk.
Your comments will be appreciated. In the meantime, I have to get to work on “Hook, Line and Sinker.”
Mark Weissman MBA ’63
Senior editor and Last Word puzzler Diane Krieger answers:
Last Word is supposed to be fun, so we try not to get too bogged down in “terms and conditions.” The directions in the contest rules try to generally characterize the kinds of possible answers, and we’re pretty flexible in our judging. Many of your answers are as creative as the questions; some contestants fill two typed pages with their entries, giving far more information than was requested. I select only the most essential to reprint.
In the age of Google, if you know the character’s name, you also know the literary work and the author, so it’s superfluous to ask contestants to list them all. However, we might provide that additional information in the answer box for the sake of those contestants who got it wrong.
With regard to some of your specific queries, I submit that Alice in Wonderland is both a character and a work. The rules actually make reference to the “institution referenced” in clue 6, i.e., Bethlehem Royal Hospital; and Tom O’Bedlam is also Edgar.
You’re right that clue 8 does not fit the pattern, but from the context, I think it’s clear what we’re looking for. If you know Harvey Milk or “Twinkie Defense,” again, thanks to Google, you know the rest.
Hope this helps explain. Keep puzzling.
I missed your music department concert notices this time. Have they not submitted them or are you purposely omitting them? We love the intimate programs at Newman. We do not have computer access, so we will try to find Los Angeles Times announcements!
Wallace Umber ’61
The struggle to get current information into a quarterly magazine finally defeated us, and we succumbed to the allure of the World Wide Web, where we can list all USC events, large and small, cultural and athletic, and keep them all up to date. If you cannot access these events (www.usc.edu/ calendar), you can contact the USC Thornton School of Music at (213) 821-4405 and ask to be put on its mailing list.
A Brief History of L.A. Art
Not one name, not one person that laid the groundwork of the remarkable infra-structure of fine arts culture at USC, prior to 1955, appears in your article.
Furthermore, the title on page 34, “110 Years of the USC Roski School of Fine Arts,” is a misnomer, since the Roskis were probably not born when the famous artist Rico Lebrun declared that, “The USC School of Fine Arts with Francis de Erdely and Edgar Ewing on the faculty, is a great contribution to the Los Angeles art scene.”
The title, “Los Angeles 1955-1985, Birth of an Art Capital” (p. 34), is another absurdity since the city’s foundation as an art capital, prior to 1955, had already been established because of the efforts of many selective art educators in various institutions. Some of these are:
USC: Francis de Erdely, Edgar Ewing, Keith Crown, Merrell Gage, Carlton Ball, Glenn Lukens and Dr. Goodall, Dept. Head.
Jepson Art Institute: Rico Lebrun, Emil Cosa, George Jepson et al.
Otis Art Institute: Millard Sheets, Joseph Mugniani, Charles White, Norman Rockwell et al.
Art Center School of Design: Lorser Feitelson, Reynolds Brown, Harry Carmean et al.
The Chouinard School of Art, Scripps College and Claremont art faculty also made adamant contributions.
While living in Alhambra with a friend, Norman Rockwell was invited to join the staff of Otis by Millard Sheets. In 1942, this writer was a ninth grader when Millard Sheets assigned me to Mr. Rockwell’s watercolor class at Otis; my older brother, Jesse, was in Millard’s class.
Addendum to this illustrious group that pioneered the growth of Los Angeles’ art culture was a group of painters and musicians from Russia, Mexico and Western Europe. Francis de Erdely, Millard Sheets, Rico Lebrun and Lorser Feitelson were the deans of the Southern California art movement prior to 1955. They are the ones to which we should express our eternal gratitude; they were preceded by the dedicated members of the California school of plein air painters.
Vincent Price and other artist celebrities were frequent visitors to the studios of professors de Erdely and Edgar Ewing. The Russians, Nicolai Fechin and Sergei Bongart, were other respected artists, especially among the movie elite of West Los Angeles. Rico Lebrun had the largest one-man exhibit ever at LACMA. de Erdely motivated foreign study for several of his students, including this writer. de Erdely commemorative exhibits were held at Scripps College, Palos Verdes Art Gallery and Pasadena galleries. His 1966 commemorative exhibit at Cerritos College was attended by former students and art enthusiasts.
Among the many disciples of professors “Papa” de Erdely and Edgar Ewing at USC that went on to distinguish themselves as successful artists and art instructors in higher education were Jae Carmichael, David Rameriz, Shelley Schoneberg, Jesse De Leon, Jean Stevenson, Yosh Nakamura, Jim Nastasia and this writer.
I cannot disagree with Jud Fine’s statement in the first paragraph on page 35, “You don’t need to be able to draw to be an artist,” but as Francis de Erdely and Rico Lebrun have confirmed, the command of basic drawing techniques will contribute significantly to maturity and dimension in any artistic expression.
Fine should continue with the missing quotation, “But if you can draw you will be a better artist.” Drawing skill will always contribute to any form of creative art expression as confirmed by art history, especially as taught by the masters that laid the foundation of art culture in Southern California.
Manuel E. De Leon ’51, MS ’61
Some teams, like the overwhelming favorite, Indiana – chosen the best team in the world, if their swimmers were off the USA team, by Swimming World magazine – went up to altitude up to two weeks early to acclimate.
Since our team did not have the money, coach Peter Daland had us train long course meters breathing one-half as much as we normally would, which emulated being at altitude. Some of us would do our best time in our life – great idea!
We had 13 swimmers. Indiana had 18 swimmers and four top divers. This was the first time that electronic timing would be official. This was to our benefit, since we won three events by five-hundredths of a second each. One of these, the 400 free relay, had two sophomores, John Lambert and Ken Krueger in the middle.
Their exchange was practiced endlessly and turned out to be crucial. They called their exchange the “Bat Exchange,” after the popular TV show Batman. It was termed a perfect exchange by most, a jump by Indiana. We did not get disqualified, so it was perfect.
Later before the last event, the 800 free relay, a judge came to me and requested that I have a slower exchange, since he had taken a lot of heat from some coaches who thought my exchanges were too fast. (I had been on all three relays.) By this time, all we had to do was not get disqualified and we would win. I did a very slow exchange. The heroes of the meet for USC were people like Roy Saari (three wins), Rich McGeagh, Sandy Gilchrist, Wayne Anderson, etc. It was a true team win where every point was important. Typical of the USC Spirit … always team-oriented.
Ken Krueger ’68
I’m looking for most any type of memorabilia – old game programs, autographs, photos, etc. I would also be interested in meeting my uncle’s old friends and teammates. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David A. Cannamela
We need your assistance in preserving the heritage of our university. The USC University Archives exist to collect, preserve and make available records having permanent value in documenting the history and growth of the university; its administrative offices, academic departments and USC-related organizations, as well as the activities of faculty, staff and students. Books (including faculty publications), manuscripts, USC periodicals and newspapers, posters, photographic images, disc and tape recordings and other archival items are available for research under supervised conditions.
Gifts of papers, pictures, letters, programs, student publications, any item contributing to documentation of the history of USC, will be greatly appreciated and carefully preserved.
The Office of Advancement for the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences is collecting past El Rodeo yearbooks. They can be sent to the Office of Advancement at 3551 Trousdale Parkway, Bovard 204; Los Angeles, Calif. 90089-4015 or dropped off in person.
Your contributions are greatly appreciated. For more information, please contact me at (213) 740-4990 or at email@example.com.
For the Record