Forum: When Dartmouth Beat Harvard; Trump’s Service to the Nation; Pull Plug on Fracking

Saturday, January 30, 2016
When Dartmouth Beat Harvard

To the Editor:

As my sharp-eyed neighbor pointed out to me, no British, Italian or Russian troops fought at Verdun, and the U.S. would not declare war for almost 14 months; the first sentence of Jaime Seaton’s Nugget history (Sunday Valley News, Jan. 24) about the Allies turning back the Germans is therefore in error: the carnage was exclusively a Franco-German affair.

It was to another battle, however, that the account of Bill Cunningham’s role in the Nugget’s creation led my memory. Traditionally, Harvard was Dartmouth’s most hated football rival; the game, with rare exceptions played in Boston, drew a large, boisterous incursion from the rural campus. Cunningham, a Dartmouth alumnus and Boston’s leading sportswriter, annually suffered taunts from his crimson-steeped friends and colleagues about the drunken louts from “Lumberjack U.” In 1957, however, Cunningham was holding his head high: while Harvard was struggling to stay above perennial league doormat Columbia, Dartmouth’s notable scholar-athletes were contending for the Ivy championship

All week before the game, Boston sports pages compensated for the local team’s poor prospects with daily ado about the Harvard marching band’s gigantic drum. It proved an irresistible goad. When the drum was pulled onto the field at halftime, a chant of “Get the Drum” propelled a squad of Dartmouth spectators across the turf to a quick capture of the vaunted prize. Trumpets, trombones and even a tuba rose in a feeble counteroffensive, but the invaders, obviously perplexed by what to do with their trophy, relinquished it in smiling retreat. The crowd laughed. The second half began and Dartmouth won, 26-0.

Cunningham didn’t laugh. He was mortified; ignoring his alma mater’s football victory, his Boston Herald column painted the prankish tussle as an infamy almost comparable to the Sack of Rome. No doubt stirred by that column, Dartmouth’s administration had the newspaper’s photo of the melee enlarged to blackboard size and quickly moved to identify and punish the malefactors. (The current administration’s delay in delivering the promised investigation of November’s Black Lives Matter truly nasty library incursion presents an instructive contrast requiring no elaboration.)

Finally, Seaton’s essay piqued recognition of how consequential the Nugget has been in my life and for the town. In the ’50s, when I was a Dartmouth undergraduate, a vibrant art house movement was alerting Americans to cinematic fare more substantial than represented by the Wonder Bread conduct of Doris Day and Rock Hudson, and a large portion of the films at the Nugget were European or Japanese. Truffaut, Kurosawa, Fellini and, especially, Bergman, intrigued me in a way that most of my courses did not. After joining a college faculty sometime later, I applied for a Fulbright to Sweden to confirm my suspicion that there was more to Bergman’s films than the subtitles conveyed. That led, not only to writing a book on Ingmar Bergman but also marriage to a Swede and three half-Swedish children. The first of the progeny eventually became a highly-esteemed English teacher at Hanover High School. Without the Nugget, the sequence would never have been set in motion.

Frank Gado

White River Junction

Trump’s Service to the Nation

To the Editor:

Good for Mr. Trump. He is, unwittingly, doing a great service to our nation. With others, he is virtually destroying the Ultra Right Wing Radical Party. And I predict that in the not far future, reasonable moderates will again create and control a rational, national Republican party. Then we will again have what our country needs — two centrist parties, one veering right, one left. Today we have but one.

Raymond Malley

Pull Plug on Fracking

To the Editor:

After reading in the business section of the Sunday Valley News that cheap oil is pushing stocks down, the reason being that we are now producing too much of it, it is my hope that the first thing we do is to stop the fast-track practice of fracking which is so harmful to the Earth and to mountain environments. Let’s hope it won’t take long for our government to take action. It seems to me that at times we are far too slow to recognize what’s so badly needed.

Susanne Dubroff


Don’t Fear Democratic Socialism

To the Editor:

So, it’s primary season in New Hampshire and the airways as well as conversations are ripe with talk of politics. Amidst all this babble, one particularly evocative term heard often from both camps is “democratic socialism” — generally truncated to “socialism.”

Mostly, these words are muttered in a minor key, full of ominous foreboding, as if whoever — indeed whatever — aligns with such evil is worthy of the most pointed contempt, being un-American. With this in mind, I go about my day.

I wander down Main Street and pass a beautiful brick and granite building that serves as the town public library. For citizens of all ages it lends books, hosts book talks, readings and meetings, and offers Internet to those who might lack a connection at home. Back in the early 20th century, someone with democratic socialist ideas thought this might be a good thing. The town agreed and many people are served here.

I hop over to the post office to get my mail. For about 50 cents, I can drop an envelope with birthday greetings and personal wishes into a slot. A few days later, it arrives 3,000 miles away, to be appreciated (hopefully) and posted on the fridge or desk. I also realize that a great deal of my shopping and business transactions use this same system day after day. I am a willing and grateful participant in democratic socialism.

A winter night finds me roused from sleep by the rumble of a truck outside my window. Looking out, I see the town plow clearing my road, making it safe for passage come morning. I return to bed and sleep, comforted by democratic socialism.

I could go on adding police, fire, emergency services, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, parks and, of course, public education — all democratic socialist constructs that serve every one of us directly or indirectly. None of them is perfect, but they all do pretty darn well and have for generations.

So what is the deal here? Bernie Sanders unabashedly calls himself a democratic socialist. All the other candidates seem to think this is horrible. I don’t. I refuse to fall victim to the derogatory sound bite of “big government.” I believe in government for the public good. And we are a big public. Sanders’ proposals are valid and necessary to advance the public good. So, I’m casting my vote for Bernie in the New Hampshire primary — in a major key.

Geoffrey Hirsch

Bradford, N.H.

Supporting Marco Rubio

To the Editor:

My name is George Caccavaro Jr., and I am a 43-year resident of Claremont who served in elected or appointed city positions, including mayor, for over 30 of those years.

I know this city and problems we face on a daily basis. High taxes, a lack of good-paying jobs, and drugs on our streets are only a few of the many troubles we live with.

As a resident on a fixed income, I understand the impact a $600 per-year tax increase on a property with a $16,000 lower valuation. This type of tax will cripple us seniors and force drastic changes in some senior lifestyles.

Recently, I was privileged to attend a town hall meeting and heard Marco Rubio’s sincere interaction with the people of Claremont. I left convinced that he is the one America needs as its next president. Rubio impressed me with his intelligence, honesty, knowledge of our country’s needs and what clearly was a desire to serve his fellow Americans. His belief in family values and the role of faith in our lives was genuine and refreshing and sorely missed by his opponents.

In my 75 years I have seen and studied my share of presidents, but only two stand out because of their willingness to stand up for what they believed was best for our country: Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan.

Marco Rubio is cast from the same mold and deserves your vote as the next president. He is determined, intelligent, patriotic, family-oriented, faith-based and not afraid to defend any of these positions.

I would have no problem with Truman’s quote that “the buck stops here” if “here” is Marco Rubio’s desk in the Oval Office.

George Caccavaro Jr.


Vote Carefully

To the Editor:

We just completed testing of the Enfield voting machine/paper ballot system supported by LHS Associates. As in previous years, ballots mismarked off-center or X could be counted inconsistently by the voting machines. With the likelihood of close New Hampshire presidential primary vote counts for several candidates, this carries potentially significant impacts with important national consequences.

I strongly urge you to correctly mark your ballot for the candidate of your choice when voting Tuesday, Feb. 9. Make your vote count correctly!

David Beaufait

Moderator, Town of Enfield

Kasich Has Performed

To the Editor:

We will be voting for Gov. John Kasich in the New Hampshire presidential primary. Both of us had the opportunity to meet repeatedly with Gov. Kasich while he was in the House of Representatives. He has a thorough knowledge of the economy and how the government affects it. He is intelligent, honest and, it seemed to us both, a person of genuine goodwill. As the chief executive of a large state with both industrial and agricultural interests, his performance was excellent.

Given the angry and partisan climate that has frozen our national government for years, we need a president who has the character as well as the expertise to do the job. In the Republican field, that man is John Kasich.

Ted Eck

Mary Wilson


Recruiting Vixens

To the Editor:

I am writing to thank Jared Pendak for his recent sports feature about Twin State Derby and the Upper Valley Vixens (“Back on the Track: Vixens Look To Build On Success,” Jan. 28). We are holding open recruitment for new skaters on Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Great View Roller Rink in Enfield. If you are at all interested in joining us on the track as a skater or skating official, please come and learn about the sport. We will have a short information session at 8, followed by skating from 8:30 to 9:30. Come dressed in athletic clothing, and bring your own mouth guard and water bottle. We will loan you all of the other gear. For more information, check our Facebook page or our website,

“Apple” Corrie Wolosin


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