Willamette University

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Tufton Snacks

Tufton Solution 4.0

Last issue’s Tufton reference drew more feedback than ever — readers were amused that Mr. Beamish should show up on the package of a century-old snack. Jim Averill ’70, JD’73 even wondered, “But is the sack biodegradable, and is Tufton watching his salt intake?”

Bob Hawkinson and the Centipede

A while back I realized just how farreaching my Willamette education is. Fifteen months after graduating and a full 1,800 miles away from the university itself, the details of a course I took my senior year — and the great professor who taught it — were still fresh in my thoughts.

It started with a centipede. I had just gotten home from a late night at the bar and was filling a glass of water before going to bed, when I looked up at the wall above the sink and saw it — that long, red creature with more than its fair share of legs. My instinct was to kill the thing and spare my roommates a potentially unpleasant surprise. But as soon as I had taken off my shoe and was poised to strike, a second obligation tugged at me — the obligation to leave the centipede alone and to respect life in all its forms, however squirmy and unsettling they may be. I was caught in the cross-hairs of ethics and morality.

Enter Bob Hawkinson. In his Politics of Memory course, one of Bob’s final gifts to Willamette, he introduced his students to a scholar of political memory, Avishai Margalit. In his book, “The Ethics of Memory,” Margalit makes a distinction between ethics and morality. Ethics, according to Margalit, is the set of unwritten rules and expectations that govern our relationships with people to whom we are close, like family, friends, or in my case, roommates. Morality, on the other hand, governs people who are linked only by some unintentional connection, such as gender, age or common humanity.

Stretching Margalit’s ideas a bit, a moral relationship might even include that between a human and an insect. Margalit uses this ethics/morality framework to argue that obligations to our closer circles trump any obligations to our more distant connections.

So there, standing in the kitchen, shoe in hand and facing the many-footed invader, I understood my dilemma. Thanks to Bob and his careful inspection of political memory, I knew my
instincts were sound.

The centipede was a goner.

— Phoebe Tollefson ’11

The Organ and the Chapel Boycott

When I got to WU in 1957, the chapel services were over at the Methodist Church. But at some point before I graduated in 1961, they were moved to the auditorium now known as Smith Auditorium. I do not know why they got moved.

I remember this because Josef Schnelker, my pipe organ teacher, stopped playing for the chapel services when they moved to the auditorium.

The organ in the auditorium was an old theatre organ, not in the best of repair, that Schnelker derisively called “Mickey.” His abdication presented an opportunity for a couple of his students (Kathy (Burnard) Warner ’61 and me). We got to play the dreadful organ for the weekly services, alternating back and forth every week.

On one of my days, the organ developed a cipher (a tone that sticks on even after you release the key that sounds it), and it wasn’t the usual quiet flute stop or the ilk. Rather, it was a very loud brassy pipe controlled by the pedals. I had to turn off the power to the blower motor to get it to stop, and then turn it back on again. This was right in the middle of a hymn.

The upside to all this was that this was the day my fellow students had decided to boycott the chapel service to protest the required attendance, so only a few dozen people were present to witness this fiasco.

— Paul deLespinasse ’61


Somehow, Rep. Betty Komp showed up last issue as Debbie. We should know, since she’s come to our front doors during her neighborhood acquaintance walks.

Also, the Mr. Paulus who donated the photo collection last issue was actually William (Bill) JD’58.

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