Your piece about Galloping Gertie brought back memories. In 1966 the Men of Todd took it upon ourselves (quite literally) to bring a Christmas tree from Gig Harbor to the great hall of the student union building. We carried it upon our shoulders. We were not, however, allowed to carry it over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge because regulations at the time prohibited more than three people walking together. Thus, for that portion of the trip the tree was put on a flatbed truck, and then it was returned to our shoulders for the balance of the expedition.
Dave Kinman ’69
My late father, Paul Lange, graduated from CPS in 1921 or thereabouts. I remember he had an old movie reel of Galloping Gertie, the ill-fated Narrows Bridge, which he would show from time to time. I wonder how many folks have seen that dramatic footage and the absolutely astounding undulations of the bridge. It’s quite a sight to see a bridge behave as though it were made of rubber!
As usual I was delighted to read through this recent issue. In particular my memory was jogged by the article about Galloping Gertie. I was attending Bremerton High School at the time and recall, vividly, changing class and hearing that “the Tacoma Narrows Bridge fell in!” Since it was not April 1, was this really true? My brother, a photographer, was able to get a friend with a small plane to fly over. They took pictures as the bridge fell. It was interesting to read the firsthand account in Arches.
Also, “Epic Journeys” stirred many memories of my own. I believe it was Andrew Marsters ’05 who noted that “life is itself an epic journey.” How true. At 80-plus (now some 60 years after graduation from CPS in 1946), I can well attest to that truth. My four years did not give any hint at the variety of places I would have the privilege and opportunity to visit and live, nor the adventures I would experience.
They began with a six-week voyage in a freighter from New York to Bombay via the Atlantic, Suez Canal, and Persian Gulf, including “transhipping” just off Kuwait. This was followed by three years as a missionary in India. That in itself was not all work, and I count a real mountaintop experience among things done there—a trek with two Indian women doctors to Pindari Glacier in the Himalayas. (We were among the first 75 women to have made that trek, according to the logbook we signed at the end.)
Indeed life has proved to be one epic journey after another. I was thrilled to read about the students and their journeys. More power to you all. But don’t expect that to be the epic journey. There will be many more.
Murden Woods ’46
Pat was Pius
I enjoyed reading my friend Rick Stockstad’s recollections about Pat’s Place—the local hangout during my days at UPS and before. The owner’s name was Pius Flannigan (not Halloran)—better known as Pat. Pat was a prize fighter in his early days and his given name, after the Pope, would just not work in a ringside introduction. But his spouse, Vivian, always called him Pi. What was unusual about Pat’s is that it had a restaurant’s license, which meant that kids like me could come in, sit in a booth, and have a milkshake and hamburger. It was great. It was also fun to see the local College of Puget Sound athletes come in for a burger and shake. Later, as a UPS student and then faculty member, I was a regular at Pat’s Place. In fact I celebrated my 21st birthday there by drinking the traditional mug of beer. Pat’s son, whose name is Pat, was and is one of my best friends. And I still remember Vivian always saying: “Bye now, thanks,” as I left Pat’s.
Bill Baarsma ’64
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