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Readers Write

Something new, we're revamping our letters section's traditional role as a place for readers to sound off on past stories, extol our virtues, or excoriate us for our shortcomings. (Not that we don't appreciate the praise and enjoy a good verbal thumping every so often.)

Here's how it works. We'll post an assignment in each issue and ask you to respond for publication in the next. We'll print our favorite responses and even award a prize to the best in show.

A little background on your first assignment - last semester, Scott Baldwin '76 and Bill Wachtel '76 put together “Politics and Public Trust: In Search of the Next Generation of Civic Heroes,” a panel discussion in honor of Charlie Ross, a longtime Vermont public servant who taught at UVM for several years. Ross's teaching greatly influenced this pair of longtime alumni pals who first crossed paths in his class. Mark Fox '75, another Ross fan, put it this way: “Charlie Ross never asked us to do the easy or popular thing. He encouraged us to do the difficult or right thing.”

Here's your assignment:

Among your professors from your UVM years, who was your Charlie Ross and what's one lesson that has stayed with you?

Please keep the text at 100 words or less. Our very favorite response will receive a copy of Professor Frank Bryan's book Real Democracy: The New England Town Meeting and How it Works.

P.S. You're still welcome to write letters to the editor to VQ. We will publish them in our on-line version and reserve the right to dust off the traditional print format if we get lively reader input on a particular issue.

E-mail responses to vermontquarterly@uvm.edu or mail to Vermont Quarterly, 86 South Williams, Burlington, VT 05401.Letter to the editor

Fountain Fun

Jack Stern '62 of Annapolis, Md., wrote to us with his best attempt at identifying the pajama boys featured in the spring issue. He proposes that the photo pictures Danny Batonick '63, center in the shades, and Larry Yarkin '63, walking around the back. The other two remain at large. Campus security officials will be contacting Batonick and Yarkin regarding violation of University policy on fountain frolic. (Just kidding, the statute of limitations has expired.)