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Letters to the Editor: Spring 2018

Luxurious Langham

As I was reading the latest IUP Magazine, the Langham photo caught my eye. I can fully identify at least two people—myself and my roommate. I am standing fourth from the right (short blond hair and glasses), and my roommate, Beth Green Harris, is standing fifth from the right, directly over the second a in Langham. We were freshmen, so this was either the fall of 1979 or the spring of 1980. Our hall counselor, Liz, was standing beside Beth, directly over the h. The building in the background is Wahr Hall.

I remember we didn’t just want a plain group photo and needed something to identify who we were. So, we pulled the large Langham floor mat from inside the front door of the dorm to the outside location where this was taken.
Langham’s rooms were both “oversized” and carpeted, a luxury in those days. We painted our room a bright, sunny yellow. Liz was a senior and graduated in 1980. Beth and I both graduated in May 1983. This photo totally made my day! 

Dianne Gano Diefenderfer ’83
Zionsville, IN

Editor’s Note: Mary Lambert Rossi ’85 also identified Nancy Weick Baker ’85 in the photograph.

Pod’s Challenge

So glad to see an article about Ruth “Pod” Podbielski (Summer 2017). She was one of the best teachers I ever had at IUP. She was a great golfer, tennis player, badminton player, archer, fencer, etc. I was a physical education major in the early ’70s. One day in badminton class, Pod and another P.E. teacher challenged my partner Sandy Schlater [Walter ’73] and me to a match. We thought we were so good that no one could beat us. Really, how could a 60-year-old (I had no concept of age at that time) beat the reigning champs? Well, they beat us badly. I was so impressed! She will surely be missed and go down as one of the best faculty members at IUP.

Carla Rodavich Paull ’73
Weeki Wachee, FL

Pizza-Powered Reunion

Thank you for the article “Historical Hangouts” in the Summer 2017 IUP Magazine. The most recent photo of Pizza House (which has not substantially changed) brought back a flood of memories of my years at IUP (1975-80), as I used to deliver pizzas and grinders for Johnny, who was the owner at that time. George, of course, manned the phones! I was so inspired that I looked up the four housemates who met in Turnbull Hall in 1975. After moving out of the dorms, we lived in various off-campus housing for our remaining time at IUP. We lived on South 10th Street right behind Pizza House as well.

With help from the alumni office, I was able to contact Bruce, Dave, Joe, and Paul, and we will meet at IUP next September to swap memories of our time together during those formative years as well as share where life has taken us since. All due to the Pizza House photo!

Recently retired after 35 years of teaching, my wife and I had time to do some reconnaissance last month, since I have not been back to campus in nearly 40 years. We spoke with the owner of Pizza House and found the perfect place to stay. The Hilton Garden Inn is practically on campus, so the rooms are already booked for next September. Thanks for the memories...not to mention the great education!

Lawrence Talotta ’79
Topton, PA

Editor’s Note: With his letter, Lawrence Talotta submitted a photograph, taken around 1978 at a formal for physical education majors. If you can identify anyone in the photo, Harrison Wick, IUP Special Collections librarian and university archivist, would love to hear from you. Additional photos from Talotta’s IUP days appear on the Alumni Extra website. Since the printing of “Pizza House: Through the Years” last summer, the restaurant has had another change in ownership. It has operated as Capri Pizza since January.

‘A Huge Hole’

It was with shock and sadness that I learned Dan Deaton passed. He was not only a fraternity brother but also a roommate our junior and senior years at IUP.

We first met pledging Lambda Chi Alpha in spring ’70. He was studious and took college seriously—more so than many of us. When he was not at the apartment, we knew he was in the library. However, he had a keen sense of humor. Numerous times he was willing to set up scenarios to lavish pranks on his roommates.

Unlike with today’s social media, we did not stay in touch with any means of common communication. When reflecting back on IUP as the Big Indians and “Lamboda Cheese,” we roommates, including Neil Boyer ’73 and Bob Tomasko ’73, have a huge hole with the loss of roommate and fraternity brother “Dietz.”

Jeff Dentler ’73
Point Judith, RI

Indebted to PhD Program

In 2012, I retired as director of Rhetoric and Composition at Portland State University. I will always feel indebted to the wonderful PhD program in rhetoric and composition at IUP. My years of study at IUP prepared me well to take on the responsibility of directing a writing program and teaching upper-division and graduate-level classes in composition theory, rhetoric, teaching and tutoring writing, sociolinguistics, and practical grammar.

I was fortunate to take classes from gifted and inspiring teachers at IUP between the years 1978 and 1982: Patrick Hartwell (dissertation advisor), Sociolinguistics and Philosophy of Composition; James DeGeorge, Classical Rhetoric; Dan Tannacito, Psycholinguistics; Lorrie Bright, Linguistics and the English Teacher and Teaching Communications Skills—Writing; Marilyn Sternglass, Teaching Communication Skills—Reading; and Malcolm Day, Approaches to Literature.

Whenever I have the opportunity, I encourage postbaccalaureate students to look into the rich and rewarding PhD English program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Greg Jacob D’82
Hillsboro, OR

Image Offends

I am offended by the picture of a shooting gun in the Walt Gray article on page 32 of my IUP Magazine (Fall/Winter 2017). Surely there could have been a more pleasant picture with this article. We need to be cognizant of unintended bias toward violence in our daily lives.

Shirley Hamel ’66
Garnet Valley, PA