Your Letters – Summer 2016

More on NU Mentors

On a wintry afternoon in 1961, I sat in my Goodyear Hall dorm room and decided to try out for the Norwich baseball team. It was a long shot at best. I hadn’t played organized baseball since I played on the JV team as a sophomore at Walpole (Mass.) High School.

Coach Wendell (“Wendy”) Forbes, in 1963. Do you know who the player at right is? Email his name to record@norwich.edu. (NU Archives; Roger Conant photo.)

Coach Wendell (“Wendy”) Forbes, in 1963. Do you know who the player at right is? Email his name to record@norwich.edu. (NU Archives; Roger Conant photo.)

On an icy February afternoon, I nervously walked into Plumley. Our coach was Wendell Forbes, a taskmaster and a stickler for details. Since I was rather slow afoot with a mediocre arm, I asked to try out for first base. I had never played that position before. As the indoor workouts progressed, I gained more confidence and was awarded the position prior to our opening game. Coach Forbes provided me with the confidence to become a good player, both offensively and defensively. He pushed me and convinced me I could excel at the college level. Since he had actually played briefly for the New York Yankees, Coach Forbes had tremendous credibility with each team member.

Coach Forbes was a father figure and I loved playing for him. Throughout my baseball career at Norwich I batted in the third spot in the lineup. I possessed only average power and had only one home run in three years. But my coach knew that I would be a tough out and would put the ball in play. Most importantly, Coach Forbes instilled self-confidence in me, which has endured throughout my adult life. I evolved from a shy introvert to an outgoing, positive person. I owe so much to the late Wendell Forbes. He allowed me to become a grown man right there on Sabine Field.

Charles “Aboo” Hall ’63
Walpole, Massachusetts

Never Give Up

Don Wallace taught my first computer course in FORTRAN. This was when we had to create punch-card decks of our programs and then drop them in a basket in the computer lab. The card decks were run at night when the computer was shut down and reloaded with FORTRAN, because during the day it ran BASIC for the business students and could not run two languages at the same time. The next day you would come back and get your card deck wrapped in a printout of your program. When the program didn’t run, you would sit with Professor Wallace to go over it, and he would pull out his red pen and circle 20 or 30 lines of code and say “Your problem is right here,” with no further indication of what to look at or what you did wrong. Most of us made a couple different decks for the same program, so you ended up with several printouts with big red circles of lines of code to go and figure out. I hate red pens to this day.

That was the only course I had with him. He was a great professor. I think I would have enjoyed more classes with him to challenge me. I currently live in Washington, Va., and have my own company that develops renewable energy power plants. My Norwich years are with me all the time, and I feel that what I learned at Norwich, both in the Corps and in the classroom, factor into my persistence to succeed and to never give up.

Bradley Schneider ’78
Washington, Virginia

More on the NU Sport Parachute Club

Bob Anthony ’70 lands his first parachute jump at Orange, Mass., in 1966. (Courtesy of Bob Anthony.)

Bob Anthony ’70 lands his first parachute jump at Orange, Mass., in 1966. (Courtesy of Bob Anthony.)

Reading the article on the NU Sport Parachute Club brought back many memories of my first jump at the Orange, Mass., Jump Center. Attached is a photo of my first landing in December 1966, 40 years ago. This was the first of two that day and one the next day. I jumped many more times before graduating in 1970. I continued jumping while in the Army and afterwards and ended this part of my carefree days in the late ’70s at 101 jumps. During that time, I jumped from many different aircraft, including Huey helicopters on three continents and half a dozen states.
Bob Anthony ’70
Medina, Ohio

“From the Archives” in the spring 2016 issue of the Norwich Record brought back fond memories, but I wish to make some corrections. During the spring of 1961, a short movie was shown at the school about the World Championship Parachute event in the late 1950s in Europe.

Getting the bug, I went to the facility in Orange, Mass., which was run by two of those competitors. I made my first three jumps that weekend. Captain John Albree ’51 got word of what I had done and showed interest. That summer at Fort Knox I was invited to watch him jump with the Fort Knox Parachute club. Later that summer I joined Capt. Albree in Orange. I had flown down there in the NU Flying Club plane and gave him a ride after a weekend of jumping. That fall, the NU Sport Parachute Club was formed. As per the 1962 War Whoop, the charter officers were: Richard Johnson, VP; James Weller, secretary; and Visvaldis Kimonos, treasurer. I was the president. Our advisers were Captains Albree and Samuel C. Ferguson. My jumping career ended with my last jump in December 1964 in Nakom Phanom, Thailand.
Brian Barquin ’62
Charlottesville, Virginia

More on “Maj”

I read the short piece about “Maj” by Mark Dahm ’83 [winter 2016] and was delighted to remember how much grace Wally had. I was part of a group that started the team back in 1967 (not ’68 as mentioned).

We were a club team for two years, then varsity my final two years. Coach Baines was a gentleman, and I will always be proud to have known and played under his guidance.
David Hallam ’70
Middlebury, Vermont

Quite an Impression

Wow! Was I surprised to see a display of my donated football equipment and a picture of me in attack stance in the winter 2016 issue of the Norwich Record. It made quite an impression on my son and grandson.

The story of the football jersey is simple. We were playing Colby College, and on the last play of the first half, I was hit with a hard block. As I fell, I put out my right arm out to cushion the fall and dislocated my elbow. In order to treat the injury, the doctor cut the sleeve open. Joe Garrity gave me the jersey. Fortunately, we had an open slot next the week so I did not miss our next game.
Martin Wasserman ’55
Syosset, New York

Not Surprised

I was pleased, though not surprised, to read that Norwich is taking the lead in developing women coaches [“Gaining Ground: Joya Clark ’14, Assistant Men’s Rugby Coach,” winter 2016 Norwich Record]. Further, it is nice to see women athletes like Baylee Annis ’14 and Joya Clark ’14 giving back to their sport. I have had the privilege of seeing these two play on only one or two occasions. The quality of the women’s game has greatly improved, and this is due in no small measure to the remarkable achievements of a small university in Northfield, Vt., that has routinely defeated much larger universities. Even on the rare occasion when the Cadets lose one, I cannot help but be impressed with the Norwich side for their teamwork, knowledge of the game, and sportsmanship.
Richard Prevost ’76
Springfield, Virginia

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