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Letters to CAM.


In “You Oughta Be in Pictures” in the July/August issue, we showcased a roster of Cornellians who’ve been portrayed in TV and film over the years and asked if there were any performances we’d missed.

The best was William Holden as spy Eric Erickson ’21 in The Counterfeit Traitor.

Richard Girards ’65, BS Ag ’66, MBA ’70 Mattituck, NY

Editor’s note: In World War II Eric Erickson infiltrated the Nazi regime while secretly passing information to American intelligence. The movie The Counterfeit Traitor was based on the book of the same name by Alexander Klein.

It was my understanding that the role played by Jodie Foster (above left) in Carl Sagan’s Contact was based on our own pioneer in space exploration (and my fabulous high school classmate) Jill Cornell Tarter ’65, BEP ’66 (above right).

Bob Everett ’65 Scarsdale, NY

Editor’s note: The character Ellie Arroway in Contact was inspired by Tarter, an astronomer and chair of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, who advised Foster during the making of the movie.  

Page Turner

Regarding the New Student Reading Project and reading by the “broader community,” as an alum I have participated several times and am signed up this year. It’s fun, interesting, and a great outreach to those of us from long ago and far away.

Patricia Kendall Shotwell ’49 Weston, MA

Editor’s note: You can find out more about this year’s book, Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut ’44, at  

The Influence of Wines

I met my husband because of that class (but not in the way you think)! He’d signed up to take it second semester of his senior year and had been assigned a seat in the middle of a row in the 100-plus-yearold, then-unrenovated Statler Auditorium. Allen [Wright] ’87, BS Ag ’89, is 6’7″, and after the second 2.5-hour class, he approached the professor. “Sir, I’m really enjoying your class, but I’m very uncomfortable. Would it be possible for me to change seats?” The answer was “no,” so he dropped the two-credit course, then realized, just after add/drop ended, that he’d be one credit shy for graduation. He was allowed to walk with his class, but had to take summer session . . . and then discovered that one’s final semester at Cornell must consist of a full load, which in summer is six credits. We met in the second class he had to take to complete his degree.

Stacy Strassberg Wright ’90 Kansas City, MO

Major Leaguers

This debate (“Double Play” by Brad Herzog) was not only enlightening, but was also extremely interesting and fun to read. Having known both Marlin McPhail ’82 and Brad Herzog ’90 as undergraduates, they were both Major League in their respective endeavors. It’s great to see both doing well a “few” years after graduation.

Dave Wohlhueter Ithaca, NY (Cornell Sports Information Director, July 1977-July 1998)

  Speak up! We encourage letters from readers and publish as many as we can. They must be signed and may be edited for length, clarity, and civility. Send to: Editor, Cornell Alumni Magazine, 401 E. State St., Suite 301, Ithaca, NY 14850; fax: (607) 272-8532; e-mail: