The Ohio State University Alumni Association

Alumni share their views in letters to the editor.

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Letters spark memories

The letters about Woody Hayes (January–February 2016) brought back memories. I had the opportunity to work with Coach Hayes in the mid-1970s. He would fly into Norfolk, Virginia, on recruiting trips, and I was his driver, as I spent 10 years in the Tidewater area.

My Ohio State story began thanks to the G.I. Bill. I came back from Korea and was stationed at Lockbourne Air Force Base in 1953.

I was given an honorable discharge and enrolled at Ohio State’s hospital to become an X-ray technician. Upon completion, I enrolled as a freshman at Ohio State on the G.I. Bill. I graduated in the spring of 1961 with a bachelor’s degree.

I spent most of my spare time in college as a bartender at the North Heidelberg. (I needed to supplement my income as the G.I. Bill didn’t cover everything.) I worked a total of five years for Herm Will, the owner, along with other Buckeyes who were also vets.

I have often thought of all the Friday and Saturday nights at the ’Berg and the long lines at the top of the stairs as students waited to get in. Down the stairs, an ID check and a merge into the ’Berg! Doug Schere would be playing the piano in the back room, with kids singing various fight songs. Those were the days.

We had a small kitchen and served BBQ chicken, ribs, beef sandwiches, potato salad and BBQ beans, and we would slice dill pickles and sell them by the cup. Gambrinus on tap came from a brewery in what is now German Village.

But it was the students who frequented the place, including some now-famous doctors and lawyers, who made it special. Upstairs was Jack’s Party House, where we catered private events. I could make a movie out of the characters who came down the stairs.

It’s not easy getting old, but reflections of those nights are a treasure.

Jimmy Othrow ’61
Estes Park, Colorado

Mea culpa in order

Alumna Gilia Iafolla Rethman ’74 and I, with the help of others, rebuilt the Ohio State Alumni Club of Hawaii starting in the late 1990s. The club now has a large membership as well as an ample and growing scholarship endowment. The club functions as a “home away from home” for visiting Buckeyes. It sponsors the best game watches on Oahu — often featured in the main Honolulu newspaper.

Yet somehow the article in the January–February print edition overlooked America’s 49th and 50th states. We in the Hawaii club know there aren’t 57 states, but we are baffled when some in Columbus seem to think there are only 48. Alaska and Hawaii deserve better!

Michael P. Rethman ’74 DDS
Prescott, Arizona

I would like to introduce you to the 50th state. No, wait, the 49th comes first. Please say hello to Alaska, welcomed into the union in January 1959. Now we can introduce Hawaii, admitted to the union, the United States, the mainland, in August 1959.

Please, before running an article about “building a better network,” check the basic facts. There is no greater slight than being excluded.

The Alumni Club of Hawaii works hard to bring a touch of our university to these islands, 4,500 miles from Columbus, Ohio. We have welcomed hundreds of visitors every year looking for an Ohio State game day away from home, even if it is 6 a.m. HST. We have hosted TBDBITL, Archie Griffin, professors and band directors and greeted volleyball teams with lei.

We matter and deserve to be on the map in your magazine, along with Alaska.

Suzanne Pierce Ivey ’79 (LM)
President, Alumni Club of Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii

Editor’s note: Please accept our apology for the oversight. Our story on The Ohio State University Alumni Association’s new Regional Advancement Program should have noted that Hawaii and Alaska — with an estimated 633 and 430 alumni, respectively — are in the alumni association’s West Region.