Sunday, October 26, 2008

VU Class of 1973 35th Reunion--Day 2

Photo courtesy of John Russell, Vanderbilt University
Well, despite our highest hopes and expectations, the football thing didn't go very well Saturday afternoon. Dudley Field was again a dud for Homecoming.

But that didn't stop the VU Centennial Class from throughly enjoying a wonderful Day 2 of our Reunion weekend, which began with a morning brunch at the home of Wendy and Buzz Martin.

It gave everyone a chance to visit again, including seeing some folks who had not made it in Friday for the educational classes and the Class Party. For me that included Dan Brown, who when we were freshman worked together (he was the D.J, I was the newsman) on a Noon to 2 shift at WRVU Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

It was the first time I had seen Dan in some years and we laughed about the time, he left the studio and came running down the stairs at Neely to the second floor landing to get a soft drink. I was there too. But Dan in his haste, let the door leading back up to the studio slam behind him (and it locked!).

Needless to say when the record Dan had on the air, ended, we were basically off the air (dead air we called it),until Mary Bristow, the station's business manager, came in about an hour later (she had a key).

All kinds of long-ago stories were being told at the brunch as folks brought photo albums, yearbooks and even our freshman annual (I think most people called it the pig book). It was fun poking through all the stuff and recognizing each other.

After that, it was on to the Homecoming tailgate and then the game.

While we were all hoping to celebrate a bowl-qualifying victory after the game, there is nothing quite like a fried chicken dinner at Loveless (including all the other trimmings, such as those wonderful biscuits, homemade preserves,country ham, mashed potatoes and green beans)to put the real comfort in comfort food.

Kacky Fell along with David and Anne Walker, enjoy good food and an evening with good friends at Loveless.

Mark Esterle re-unites with fellow Class of '73 members Charlie Burnett and Susan Fritts Burnett at dinner at Loveless

Ellen Brooks, Tina Fast & Linda Henderson at Loveless.

Randy and Carol Lang Matz

John Holland and his wife Lori

The Loveless dinner was not an "official" Reunion event. Neither was the brunch at Kacky Fell's held Sunday morning before everyone went their separate ways until we meet again for our 40th Class Reunion in 2013 (although hopefully I will see most of these folks long before that).

This 35th Reunion was a lot of fun for me, especially doing this blog. But, it's not the parties, the brunches, the educational sessions, or the football game (of course), that make it all so memorable. It's seeing and being with all the folks above and all the other former classmates I visited with this past weekend, which makes this such a special event.

And so our Reunion is history. I may well be posting a few more things in the next few days. There ar stories and items I didn't get to in the months and weeks leading up to our event.

I hope you'll check back. But if not, it's really been a lot of fun. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog as much I did producing it!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Oh What A Night!

With Vanderbilt's new Chancellor Nick Zeppos joining us, over 200 members of the Centennial Class of 1973, their spouses and significant others, celebrated a wonderful Reunion evening at the new Student Life Center on Friday evening, October 24.

The Class Party had plenty of good times for all. But more than the wonderful food and great '60s and '70s music provided by a DJ, what most folks really seemed to relish the most was just the chance to see old friends again, some for the first time in many years.

Jim Lober returns to campus to catch up with former classmates

Of course, a little liquid refreshment helped the evening along, as did the slide show of old pictures that flashed high on the wall near the front of the ballroom....

Barry Banker was seen often during the evening with a broad grin on his face and why not. He headed up a fund raising effort that saw the Class raise a record $2.8 million for the University. He and Class Reunion Chair, John Stein, did a fabulous job, as did all the others who helped plan the party.

The Centennial Class 35th Reunion--Day One

What a great first day!

The rain stopped and the sun even came out for a while.

But the true highlight of the afternoon came when Vice Chancellor David Williams delivered his "History of Motown" presentation to the Class of '73 and other alumni classes making their reunion return to Vanderbilt this weekend.

Williams grew up in Detroit in the same neighborhood where Motown was located. He knew many of the people involved in developing this famous American musical institution. So many of the stories he told had such deep personal insights, it really made the history come to life. And of course, the Motown music he played was fabulous and had many in the crowd singing and moving with the beat.

David Williams is a true renaissance man. Not only is he Vice Chancellor, but he also acts as University Counsel and Vanderbilt's de-facto Athletic Director. It is no mistake that under his leadership Vanderbilt is enjoying a period of success almost unparalleled in its history on the playing fields, and in how its athletes perform in the classroom and in university life.

But the surprise to me about his presentation was his own life-long love of music. He performed and even majored in the subject for a while in college. While doing that, he was encouraged by a friend to come join a new singing group that soon was recording with Motown and acting as the lead act for The Jackson 5 on the road.

That group was The Commodores! Here, courtesy of You Tube, are The Commodores performing one of their biggest hits (I think it was a hit while we were in school and played for years at almost every frat party you attended):"Brick House."

You can tell Vice Chancellor Williams truly loves his subject matter when it comes to Motown. When you think he was almost a member of the Commodores and is now Vanderbilt's Athletic Director, I guess you can say, one way or the other, he was always destined to be a Commodore.

Go Vandy!

My Favorite Concert--The Fifth Dimension

We've written a lot on this blog about the various concerts we enjoyed while we were students at Vanderbilt.

But my personal favorite is one I attended off-campus downtown at Municipal Auditorium. It was in the spring of 1972 and the group performing was the fabulous Fifth Dimension.

Why it is my favorite? That's easy. While I really like the Fifth Dimension,the concert is my favorite because it was the first date I had with my future wife, Betty Lee Love, also a member of the Class of '73. In fact, I still have one of the ticket stubs from that night in my keepsake drawer.

Actually, the Fifth Dimension concert was my second attempt to take out Betty Lee. She turned me down when I asked the first time (to see a Barbara Streisand movie) because she already had a date that night. I learned later she was very unhappy she had to turn me down, so she was hoping I would ask again.

So, courtesy of YouTube, here's the group that brought us together over 36 years ago, singing a medley of several of their hit songs from the late '60s and early '70s....

The Centennial Class Returns!

It's Reunion Weekend!

Welcome back, Class of 1973!

Sure, we are off to a soggy start, but the forecast is for better weather this afternoon with rain slowly ending, then dry conditions for our Class Party tonight and sunny skies for the Brunch and Homecoming Game Saturday afternoon.

I'm sure you recognize the two fellows in the picture above: Deans K.C. Potter and James Sandlin.

If you spent too much time with these guys while you were at Vandy, it probably wasn't a good thing (although you could often hang out with K.C. at Rotier's and have a good time).

We're going to continue to blog throughout Reunion weekend. If there's a topic or something you want to talk about or reminisce, leave a comment or find me at one of the Reunion events. We may also be adding some current photos from the Reunion festivities themselves.

But mostly we are just going to have a great time!

See you later today (Friday).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

One More Motown!

I hope this can hold us until tomorrow afternoon.

As we wait for our "History of Motown" lesson from Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor David Williams at 4:00 PM Friday in the Board of Trust Room at the new Student Life Center, how about some music from another Motown super group:

Gladys Knight And The Pips, with their smash hit: "I Heard Through The Grapevine" from 1971:

Or how about this song from the year we graduated from Vanderbilt
(1973): "The Midnight Train to Georgia:"

Until tomorrow at 4:00 PM. It's going to be a great program and a great way to kick off our Reunion Weekend!

Our Concerts 19691973: Volume VI & VII


They were one of the top rock groups of the early 1970s and they came to Vanderbilt to perform at Memorial Gym while we were on campus. I went to the show, but I can't remember exactly what year or semester it was. Can you? I am pretty sure it was either sophomore or junior year, but my memory is fuzzy about that.

What I do recall is that I thought it was a great concert, and how neat it was to see, in person, a group whose songs we played all the time on WRVU.

Here, courtesy of You Tube, are a couple of their top hits, beginning with "If":

And here's "Make It With You" featuring lead singer David Gate...

Another concert I remember is when Joan Baez came to school, again to perform at Memorial Gym. I think it was during our senior year. It was another show I thoughly enjoyed.

With a look back, courtesy of YouTube, here's her big pop hit, "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down"....

And how about another one of her hit songs: "Diamonds and Rust:"

A Homecoming Prediction From 35 Years Ago

Neil Skene was editor of THE VANDERBILT HUSTLER our senior year.

He's coming up back for Reunion and I am looking forward to seeing him on Friday. I'm pretty sure we haven't seen or talked to each other since we graduated in the spring of 1973, so that's pretty exciting.

On May 8, 1973, a little less than three weeks before we graduated, Neil wrote an article in the paper which amounted to kind of a prediction about our Class' future Reunions. It's turned out to pretty accurate. Here's what he wrote and my updates follow:

"....When Alumni and Development invites the Class of '73 back for its reunion, new dorms will probably be flung up.

(you gotta see the new freshman Commons over at Peabody).

New streets and sidewalks will lead us to new buildings.

(how about those two pontoon walking bridges over 21st Avenue and you won't believe all the other new buildings, especially around the Medical Center, as well as the Student Life and Student Rec Centers).

And maybe even liberals, if there are any left, will have short hair."

(I guess we'll need to wait for the November 4 election to figure out if any liberals are still surviving. Meanwhile for what it's worth, I'm getting a hair cut Friday morning).

In light of Neil's prediction, here's something kind of hard to believe.

This barber shop is still open and operating on the ground level of the Oxford House, which functioned as a dorm while we were students (my wife, Betty Lee, lived there junior year).

What are the odds that a place like this would still be there 35 years after we left, especially given all the other massive changes in that part of campus? But when you think about it, why not? If the folks operating this place could survive a time when nobody wanted to cut their hair, such as the years we were in school ...why not now?

I Hope You Are Coming Hungry!

I am told it's going to be quite a spread at our Class Party on Friday night.

It all begins at 7:00 PM in the Student Life Center Ballroom. Just show up in what is described as "dressy, casual attire" and be ready to party.

There'll be a full bar and a buffet dinner (described in an e-mail I received from the Reunion Office as a "delicious man meal") including the following:

Rosemary Tenderloin Points with Herbed Cream Cheese

Curried Chicken Salad Tarts with Apple Chutney

Herbed Petite Shrimp Skewers

Roasted Harvest Vegetable Fritta Squares

European Baby Shrimp Cocktails in Tomato Cups

Carmelized Garlic Artichoke Dip with Tortillas

Fire Roasted Red Peppers and Pesto Terrine with Crostinis

Wild Blueberry Brie Bremers with Sage Honey Drizzle

Sliced Roasted Pork Loin on Rolls with Peach Chutney

Wow! Never had anything like this at Rand or the Elliston Place Soda Shop or Rotier's!

The theme is described as a "Grateful Dead-ish retro party" with special floral arrangements and LED lighting. There'll also be a DJ playing our favorite hits and a slideshow going all night showing many of the photos you've seen on this well as many others.

And if that's not enough to tucker you out for the evening, there will be an All-Class Band Party with desserts and drinks on Alumni Lawn from 10:00 PM to 1:00 PM.

Get ready!

The Commodore Awaits The Centennial Class

Reunion Weekend begins in less than 24 hours!

Here are a couple of updates about our activities.

First, it appears, for the most part, the rain will be moving through Nashville overnight tonight (Thursday) and during the morning on Friday. So hopefully you won't need that umbrella. But bring it anyway because, as you'll recall from being in school here, you can never tell about Nashville weather.

Also remember, you can't use umbrellas in the football stadium. Hopefully, it will be sunny for the game as we beat the Duke Blue Devils Saturday afternoon to become bowl-eligible and record our first non-losing season since 1982.

As for the educational sessions Friday afternoon, a couple of location moves. Because of the popularity of the "Uncoventional Thinking about the 2008 Presidential Campaign" class with Political Science professor, Dr. John Greer, it has now been moved to the larger Board of Trust Room at the Student Life Center. It begins at 2:00 PM.

That's the same location as our "History of Motown" session at 4:00 PM. So just come early and get a seat. It's going to be crowded.

Or maybe you want move cross-campus to hear the Chancellor's speech which is now set for Alumni Lawn. It also begins at 3:00 PM.

So many choices, so little time. :)

See you in just a few hours!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The History of Motown Is Just Two Days Away

Just two days from now (Friday, October 24),as a part of our 35th Reunion activities, Vanderbilt Vice-Chancellor David Williams will be giving his "History of Motown" presentation from 3:00 until 4:30 PM in the Board of Trust Room at the new Student Life Center on 25th Avenue South right across from Memorial Gym.

To get you in the mood, how about a double shot of Motown greats, beginning with Martha And The Vandellas, performing one of my favorite Motown hits.

It's about something all Vanderbilt fans will be doing this weekend after we defeat the Duke Blue Devils at our Homeconing game, making Vandy bowl eligible and giving the school, at the very least,its first non-losing season in football since 1982.

What other hit can it be, but "Dancing In The Streets". This particular video, courtesy of YouTube, seems to be from a performance on a TV dance show with some of the sub-titles appearing to be in Japanese?

Anyway, what ever language it's in, the song is still in English and it still sounds really great...

Want more Motown? How about Marvin Gaye, one of the greatest voices of all time, singing one his greatest hits, "What's Going On" from 1971. This YouTube video is set to video of some of the major news events of that year, so I think that makes it even interesting to listen to and watch....

See you Friday afternoon at 4:00. It's going to be a great show. Remember, one of last times the Nashville Vanderbilt Club put on the Vice Chancellor and his Motown history, people got so excited, they wouldn't go home!

If You're Flying In For Reunion...

In just two days, we'll be back together again, filling these seats to celebrate our 35th Class Reunion.

I suspect a number of you may be flying into town for the event.If so, and you haven't been to Nashville in a while, you'll find our current airport a major upgrade from the dinky little Berry Field that was in use while we were at Vanderbilt from 1969 to 1973.

Since the 9/11 tragedies in 2001, air travel has become more and more of a hassle, especially going through the neccessary, but often annoying, passenger screenings and security.

But it is interesting to note, that passenger screenings first began at American airports just as we began our last semester at VU in January of 1973.

Here, courtesy of the Vanderbilt News Archives, is how The CBS Evening News reported on the beginning of airport passenger screenings. The date is Janaury 5, 1973 (not long before we all returned to classes after Christmas break). The anchor is Dan Rather, the reporter is Bill Plante...

Well, I guess you can see from this story that in many ways, some of the questions and controversies about passenger inspections and security (who pays and how much is too much) are still being fought.

Have a great trip and don't forget to bring an umbrella or a rain coat. An 80% chance of rain is predicted for Friday, hopefully coming through overnight and in the morning, then leaving before our afternoon and evening Reunion activities. And certainly we hope for sunny skies and dry conditions for the Homecoming game against Duke Saturday afternoon.

Go Vandy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Final Look Back At The Dead Concert

Taking a final look back on this 36th anniversary of the Grateful Dead concert on the Vanderbilt campus, I have found some interesting questions to ask and some tidbits of information to share from some of my research into this event.

First, the question: What is the meaning of the Mickey Mouse-looking character that suddenly appeared on the Kirkland Hall clock face the morning of the concert?

In my limited research, I haven't been able to find any connection to the Grateful Dead for The Mouse, so what is it? I am missing something? That's always a real possibility. I led a sheltered life as a town student at Vanderbilt. :)

One last question, and its the most interesting question of all after 36 years, who is ready to fess up with the story for how Mr. Mouse got up there? We want names. We want intrique. We want the truth (think we can handle the truth?)

Your thoughts, memories and confessions are welcome below by clicking on the comments link. Don't worry surely the statutue of limitations have run out by now about the Mouse. I am sure after all these years, even Disney won't care about this possible copyright infringement. Heck, it really doesn't look that much like Mickey really.

Just give us something new and different to laugh about this weekend at Reunion!

In the meantime how about one last song from the Dead. This time it's Jerry Garcia performing "Bird Song" which was one of the numbers done at the Vanderbilt concert. This particular performance, courtesy of YouTube, is from a 1980 show at Radio City Music Hall in New York City...

Here are a few other tidbits of information I have learned.The Grateful Dead came to Vanderbilt in between a show in St. Louis and one in Minneapolis. It was at the concert at The Performing Arts Center in Minneapolis, after leaving Nashville, where apparently some problems occurred with the crowd.

Says an e-mail I found on one of the Dead web sites: "This (The Performing Arts Center) was/is an elegant venue. Some ner'do-wells either intentionally smashed a huge widow to the vestibule or were simply victims of the laws of physics. Hardly matters because the incident set the tone. Milwaukee, in those days, was under tyrannical seige by Mayor Meier, Police Chief Breier, His Honor Christ T. Seaphim...not to be riled. The show went on, but it felt like house arrest."

The e-mail continues:"Despite Bobby's pleas to the audience not to ruin future visits to venues of this ilk, some just felt compelled to take things a bit too far (burning pristinely cushy seats tends to ruffle feathers)....Jerry didn't smile the whole night. I was seated stage left a few rows away. No dancing allowed. Enough said."

Wow! I guess we were lucky our concert was outside, where the only thing we could damage with our dancing and whatever was the grass on Alumni Lawn...

Well, that's not the kind of grass I was talking about, but I am sure there was plenty of that kind of weed present there that day. Along with who knows what else.

In doing more research on the internet, I found some other very interesting e-mails posted on some of the Grateful Dead sites. One said he remembered the Vandy concert being delayed that Saturday from its 10:00 AM start time until closer to noon when the LSAT Exam, which was being given that day on campus, was over.

Does anyone know if that is correct?

I took the LSAT exam, and all I remember is getting out the exam and being attracted to the music on Alumni Lawn as I made my way to the WRVU studios over in Neely Auditorium. I quickly got caught up in helping out some members of the WRVU news staff, as we sold snack food and drink items out one of the ground floor windows to the very large and hungry crowd that was assembled.

Our food and drink was part of "The News Council General Store" (so called because members of the crack WRVU News Department operated this special enterprise). Usually only staff brought the stuff, but this day, we did so well, we had to go back out for supplies a couple of times, and we made a pretty nice piece of change for our efforts as I remember.

Another e-mail I found doing research on this concert, reminded me of how many non-Vanderbilt students attended. Even some who were definitely underage.

Said one e-mail I found: "I was too young to drive and I took the Greyhound bus to Nashville...walked down Broadway to VU. It was a beautiful Fall afternoon...the show was outdoors on a hillside (editor note:not really, it's pretty flat on Alumni Lawn, maybe a gradual rise). What a magical afternoon that was...Great show."

To which, all I can add, even 36 years later, is....Amen.

More From The Dead---36 Years Later

As promised in the last posting, here's a chance to actually re-live a portion of the Vanderbilt Grateful Dead concert performed 36 years ago today.

Just click on the link below and it will take you to a web site that has a recording of six songs performed in the second set of the show. The songs include:

He's Gone
Greatest//Story Ever Told
Bird Song
The Other//One
Morning Dew

Just look to your right when you get on the site and you will see the songs listed above. Click on the play button and the music should start (although it is a bit faint at first). Enjoy!

Now for those of you who want still more: How about both sight and sound from this period performance by the Grateful Dead, courtesy of YouTube, from a concert performance in Copenhagen in April of 1972, just a few month before the group came to Vanderbilt? The song is "Truckin' ".....

We'll have more later today as we continue to celebrate the 36th anniversary of the Dead at Vandy. Remember our Reunion is just 3 days away!

We, The Living, Still Salute "The Dead"

It was 36 years ago today, Saturday, October 21, 1972, that the legendary rock bank, The Grateful Dead, came to the Vanderbilt campus to perform a free concert on Alumni Lawn.

Here's how THE VANDERBILT HUSTLER announced the news a couple of days before the concert was held.

And here's just part of the huge crowd that showed up that day..

It would seem a good time was had by all, some maybe more than others...

So what are your memories of this day and this concert? Please leave your thoughts by clicking on the comments link below.

More coming up later...including a link that will transport you back in time to actually hear a portion of the Grateful Dead Concert as it was performed at Vanderbilt 36 years ago today.

By the way, if you can't read the HUSTLER article above, just click on it, and it should expand to a larger, more readable type size. Too bad our eyes aren't quite as good as they were 36 years ago. :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nashville---It's Not The Little Cow Town It Used To Be

If it's been a while since you've been back to campus and visited Nashville, you might be in for something of a surprise.

The Little Salt Lick on the Cumberland River has grown quite a bit over the last 35 years. Just look at the downtown skyline. When we were in school, the only building of any height was the Life & Casualty Tower. Now, its hard to even find the L&C on the skyline.

Another big way Nashville has changed is the arrival of professional sports. When we were at Vandy, there was no professional baseball (the AAA Nashville Sounds) and certainly no NFL football (the Tennessee Titans).

There was a professional hockey team, The Nashville Dixie Flyers of the old Eastern League. But that franchise was on its last legs in those days, and when it folded, no one would have believed the city would one day be home to an NHL franchise, the Nashville Predators.

But we are, and most of our sports franchises are doing reasonably well at the moment, except for The Sounds. The team is locked in a lease dispute with the city and may well be headed out of town soon unless ownership changes.

The Predators looked headed out of town a year ago. But new local ownership and a more generous lease from the city has given the franchise new life to try and succeed in a non-traditional hockey market. The team's off to a pretty good start so far. But questions do remain about whether the Predators can attract enough fans to remain viable.

The NFL Titans are the sports king of Nashville. Since they opened their new riverfront stadium in 1999 they have sold out every home game. This year the Titans are 6-0, the only undefeated team left in the league. With the rival Indianapolis Colts headed to town for a Monday Night Football game (October 27), excitement about the team has not been higher since the Super Bowl season back in 1999-2000.

Surprisingly, despite all this extra competition for the sports entertainment dollar, Vanderbilt is competing pretty well. The football team has the town excited about beating Duke this weekend and then being on the way to a possible winning season and a bowl berth for the first in over a quarter of a century.

Both the men's and women's basketball teams are coming off multi-year NCAA tournament appearances and more of the same is expected this coming season. Coach Tim Corbin is bringing in another very highly-regarded recruit class, and the baseball team is expected to back among the best in the SEC and the nation again this spring.

Heck, even the Vandy womens' bowling team is continuing its tradition of excellence. After winning Vanderbilt's first NCAA championship in any sport two years ago, they have now recruited the number one freshman bowler in the nation to come to school here.

I think it's fair to say that Vanderbilt athletics is having a renaissance such like all of Nashville. And when you are here this coming weekend for Reunion, you'll probably get a chance to experience it for yourself.

David Slays Goliath Again: Former Vandy Star Sparks Rays to World Series

Former Vanderbilt Star David Price Celebrates His Priceless Performance To Spark The Tampa Bay Rays To Their First World Series

The Price Was Right Again!

Lefthanded Pitcher David Price, former Vanderbilt All-American and 2006 National Player of the Year, came out of the bullpen Sunday night (October 20)to lead the Tampa Bay Rays to their first American League pennant and World Series appearance.

It was Price's first major league save to add to his first major league victory which he recorded against the defending World Champion Boston Red Sox earlier in this same American League Championship Series. That's remarkable for someone who made the Rays playoff roster only because of an injury to another player, and the fact that Price has yet to record a regular-season win or save in the Majors. But don't worry, Price's future appears to hold many special moments ahead!

David Price spent this past season playing at every level in professional baseball. He began with spring training, then went to extended spring training in the Instructional League while recovering from a minor arm injury. Then, in May, he began a remarkable climb through the Rays minor league system from Class A all the way through AAA, garnering a 12-1 record and being named Minor League Player of the Year.

His performance earned him a late season promotion to the big league club, where he pitched well in several late season games, including his first major league appearance (in relief) at Yankee Stadium and his first major league start for the Rays which resulted in a no-decision.

All that set the stage for the AL Championship Series where twice Price came out of the bullpen in the late innings to snuff out bases-loaded rallies by the Red Sox. In the first game, the Rays then scored in their next at-bat to give Price his first major league win, while in the second game (and the seventh and deciding game of the best-of-seven series), Price recorded the final four outs of the game, touching off a wild celebration that saw him swarmed under by his delirious teammates.

All this quick succes for David Price may come as a suprise to the sports world, but not to Vanderbilt fans, who saw his promise as a gifted player throughout the years the Murfreesboro native played for the Black and Gold. Courtesy of YouTube, check out this highlight video of his senior season when David was named National Player of the Year and became the Number One pick in the Major League Draft....

Of course, even some Vanderbilt fans may have mixed emotions about Price's ALCS success. I am sure Vanderbilt Baseball Coach Tim Corbin is more than thrilled for David, but he probably wishes it hadn't come against his beloved Red Sox. Ditto for my wife, Betty Lee. But hey, we still have someone to root for big time in the World Series,right!

I was particularly happy about Price's performance. Both times, when he came into the game (especially in Game 7), I remembered his one and only relief appearance for Vanderbilt in the NCAA Playoffs in 2006. Price pitched brilliantly but gave up a solo home run to a little used player for Michigan. which resulted in a Vanderbilt loss and the end of its season.

It was the last time David Price ever pitched for the Black & Gold. But he is clearly the type of player who can put disappointments behind him.

All this sets up a World Series between two teams Vanderbilt fans can certainly relate to, with this being the Rays first trip ever to the Fall Classic (in fact they's gone from worst to first so far, this being their first post-season appearance ever) opposing the National League champion Philadephia Phillies, a team that has won just one World Championship Flag during its many years in the league.

But the Rays have David, and now the whole world knows he is Priceless! Go Rays!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Another Visit to TV Land: How Steven Greil Got a Corner Office, A Nashville Drug Deal Gets Strange And We Get The Vote

Once again going back in time with the help of the Vanderbilt TV News Archives, here's a mixture of stories reported by NBC NIGHTLY NEWS.

All of them are from the summer of 1971. That's when the city of Nashville blew up The Andrew Jackson Hotel downtown. Implosions were still relatively new in those days, and so media coverage of the event was extensive. In fact, for several years afterwards, WSM-TV, Channel 4 used some of this film to open its newscasts each night.

Our own Steven Greil of the Class of '73, got a corner office out of it eventually, as the hotel site was later developed as the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, where Steven was the very successful Executive Director of that facility for many years.

The other clips we have today concern a Nashville drug deal gone strange (and very funny), while the last part of the video concerns 18 year olds officially getting the right to vote that summer.

Here's how it was reported on NBC with David Brinkley, Frank McGee and Edwin Newman....

OK, on the drug deal, it's been long enough that the statute of limitations has expired: Any one out there want to fess up about being involved in either buying or sell that oregeno?

As for the right to vote, I remember going down to register at the Metro Courthouse almost immediately after the constitutional amendment was approved. Nashville had a hotly contested city election going on that summer, and the candidates were everywhere, shaking hands and handing out their materials, as we stood in a long line that extended outside the Election Commission in the basement of the Courthouse, all the way down a long hallway and out the door to a parking lot across the street. It took a while, but I got through the line and registered.

All these young people signing up to vote was much to the displeasure of Davidson County Voter Registar, Mary Ferrell. She was convinced this was a very bad idea and that it would eventually be repealed.

So for everyone under 21 who registered, she developed a big red stamp marked "Under 21" which she placed on every one of our permanent voter registration records.

As far as I know it is still there today. I used to see it every election day when the poll workers checked my voter card and ID against their permanent records...and there it was.

Everytime I see it, it always makes me laugh.

building in

Lurkers & Here Come the Judges

I never really know who's been reading this blog.

It's been produced to encourage members of the Vanderbilt Class of 1973, The Centennial Class, to come back to campus for our 35th Reunion this coming weekend (October 24-25).

But from time to time, it has come to my attention that we have some visitors reading the postings here who are not members of the Class.

That's great. You are very welcome to be here and I hope you have enjoyed what you've found on this blogspot as much as I have enjoyed producing it.

Apparently what some folks have found here however, has placed some doubts and concerns in their minds looking towards their own Reunions in the years to come.

I won't use any names but here's what at least one person e-mailed to his buddies about their next Vanderbilt Reunion:

"Okay, we need to come to an understanding here, as we approach our
30th Reunion.Anyone tries to put up a blog or otherwise collect or disseminate information, pictures, rumors, myths, even facts, just remember, I had a camera and I used it."

Well, all righty then. Can't wait for that Reunion year. Sounds like the Reunion staff has some folks with the "right materials" to choose from to be that class' blogger! :)

Speaking of photographs how about how this one:

Now these two guys may look like Vanderbilt's version of Cheech and Chong, but today, 35 years after we graduated, you better call them "Your Honor."

That's right..."Here Come The Judges". On the left above that's Cliff Knowles, the Federal Magistrate here in Nashville and on the right, Charles (Chuck) Kahn, Judge of the 1st District Court of Appeals in the State of Florida.

God help me, if I ever wind up before either of them in court. :)

And so to be fair, here's a less than wonderful photo of me from back when I was working at WRVU.....

Now, my ears are not as big as they look in that photo. The earphones I am wearing are broken, and that's why it looks so strange. I look strange because....well....because that's the way I looked in those days.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Where Did You Eat Off Campus? Volume 5

This time next week (Saturday evening), the formal activities of our 35th Reunion will be history. But several of us plan to continue the festivities with a dinner after the football game at The Loveless Cafe.

Even though it is quite a hike, even by car, from the Vanderbilt campus, it remains a wonderful place to eat after all these years. There have been a couple of ownership changes since we graduated, but the latest group has managed to upgrade the facilities (there's a wonderful gift shop on site), while keeping the quaint atmosphere and the wonderful southern-style cooking of the original Loveless.

You can even get some argument about what's the best thing to order on the menu. Is it the fried chicken? How about the country ham? One thing everyone does agree on: the biscuits and preserves are to die for. (Full disclosure: the biscuits are made exclusively with Martha White Flour, which has been a client at my firm, DVL Public Relations, for many years).

So what's you favorite Loveless dish? Just click on the comments link below and leave your thoughts.

In this world, some things change and some things never do. When it comes to The Loveless Cafe, that's a good thing either way. Check it out if you have time while you are in town for Reunion. You won't be sorry to make that trip out Highway 100.

By the way, the restaurant is now right off the exit for the Natchez Trace Parkway, in case you are coming up from Mississippi or perhaps parts of West Tennessee.

Our Concerts 1969-1973 Volume V

Our Steven Greil and Gordon Lightfoot backstage at his Vandy concert

One of my favorite concerts during the years I was at Vanderbilt was Gordon Lightfoot's performance at Memorial Gym. I can't remember exactly when it was (can you?), but I think he came to campus during the second semester of our junior year.

I have always loved his music and his songs. Remembering back, here's one of my favorites, and one of his biggest commercial hits: "If You Could Read My Mind", from what looks to be a recent TV appearance celebrating "Canada Day" in his native land......

Gordon Lightfoot is a true folk singer, and many of his songs tell stories based on actual events, such as another favorite of mine: "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald"....

If you have any memories or thoughts you'd like to share concerning the Gordon Lightfoot concert while we were at Vandy, or any of the concerts you saw, on or off-campus, while you were in school, please feel free to click on the comments link below and leave them with us.

Reunion is less than a week away!

Friday, October 17, 2008

It Won't Happen Next Weekend!

Ever had a late night round of studying and cramming for exams wind up like this? Oh sure, the beer didn't help (although you thought it might at the time). But then despite all your efforts, and those cliff notes you bought at the Bookstore, the test wound up like this....

Well, despite all those recurring nightmares since you left school 35 years ago, don't worry about any of that Reunion weekend, just good food, old friends and great times. And no tests. To make it even easier, we'll make everyone wear their name tags :)

Motown Loses Another Legend

One week from today (Friday) as a part of our 35th Reunion activities at Vanderbilt, Vice Chancellor David Williams will be presenting his "History of Motown" to what is expected to be an overflow crowd in the Board of Trust Room at the Student Life Center on 25th Avenue South, right across from Memorial Gym (from 4:00 to 5:30PM).

Unfortunately, just days before we all come together, Motown has lost another of its recording legends.Levi Stubbs, the lead singer of the Four Tops, has passed away at the age of 72, according to a report by CNN.

Stubbs, described as possessing "one of the most dynamic and emotive voices of all the Motown" stars had been ill in recent days and died in his sleep at the Detriot home which he shared with his wife. Audrey Smith, the chief operating officer of the Motown Historical Museum told CNN that Stubbs "fits right up there with all the icons of Motown. His voice was as unique as Marvin's on as Smokey's or as Stevie's."

In his memory, let's take a moment to watch and listen once again to Levi Stubbs and the Four Tops perform one of their greatest hits during a concert in Miami back in 2007. The song is "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" and the fans know all the words...

The Four Tops reportedly performed for more than four decades without a single change in personnel. However, time has taken its toll in recent years. According to CNN, Stubbs'death leaves just one surviving member of the orginal group: Abdul "Duke" Fakir. Here they are performing another one of the Four Tops great hits of the 1960s, "Baby, I Need Your Loving"....

And there's more, how a look back at Motown and the city of Detroit while listening to "Reach Out, I'll Be There"..

The Four Tops sold millions of records over the years and left their fans with an unforgettable string of recordings. If you have any memories to share about Levi Stubbs, The Four Tops or Motown, please feel free to leave by clicking on the comments link below.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dr. Earl Sutherland

Vanderbilt Nobel Laurette Dr. Earl Sutherland

Thirty-seven years ago this week (October 14, 1971), the Vanderbilt campus was abuzz about an unprecedented event.

For the first time in the nearly 100-year history of the University, a member of the faculty had been honored with a Nobel Prize.

Dr. Earl Sutherland had come to Vanderbilt in 1963 as a researcher and professor of Physiology at the School of Medicine.

He was honored with the 1971 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery and research of what became known as "cyclic AMP", a substance found in every human cell that is vital to the way hormones work.

Here's the way the story was covered on NBC Nightly News with John Chancellor....

Unfortunately for Vanderbilt, within two years after receiving this highest honor, Dr. Sutherland left the University to become a distinguished professor of biochemistry at the University of Miami (FL) Medical School.

It was there that Dr. Sutherland died on March 9, 1974.

Since that time, Vanderbilt has been honored with one other faculty member becoming a Nobel Laurette in Medicine. Dr. Stanley Cohen, a biochemist, came to the University in 1959 from Washington University in St. Louis, where he and a colleague had extensively researched cell-growth factors in animals. By the time Dr. Cohen and his colleague received their Nobel recognition in 1986, their work had led to better treatment for burn victims and cancer patients.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Our Concerts 1969-1973, Volume V

One of my favorite concerts while I was at Vanderbilt was when Sha-Na-Na came to Nashville to perform at Memorial Gym. I can't remember exactly when it happened, but I know it was either the late winter or early spring of our junior or senior years. If your memory is more clear that mine, please post your thoughts and memories of the concert below.

What I do remember about that night is what fun it was to watch this group perform their vintage rock and roll live and in person. Here's how they put on a show when they later performed on "The Flip Wilson Show" on network TV....

Looking back,it seems to me we did pretty well in attracting concerts to campus, and in many ways we can thank our two classmates, Steve Greil and Aubrey Hornsby. Here they looked during their salad days at Vanderbilt...

Of course, their greatest feat was attracting The Grateful Dead to come to Nashville and perform on the Vanderbilt campus in the fall of 1972. The anniversary of that concert is October 21. So next week, just prior to our 35th Reunion Weekend, we will be looking back and celebrating that occasion with special blog postings several times that day.

Your thoughts and memories of any of our Vanderbilt concerts, or for that matter, any of the concerts you enjoyed on or off campus while you attended Vanderbilt, are always welcome. Just click on the comments link below.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

And Now, Another Word From Our Sponsors

It's been a while since we've traveled back to TV Land.

So here,courtesy of the Vanderbilt News Archives, is another look at it was like to watch the commercials on the evening network newscasts back when we were on campus.

In this case, from the ABC Evening News on February 9, 1973, here are a couple of ads that should have warned us about the aches and pains of the future, and about what many of us would be driving in the future...a foreign car.


Or how about these ads from NBC Nightly News from July 28, 1969? Notice the ad for a well known pain relief product and its use of black actresses, something still very uncommon in those days. And note the laundry product being advertised, something you never see anymore on the TV newscasts these days.

So while you were at Vanderbilt, what TV shows did you watch? Did you have your own TV in your room (lucky you) or did you watch the tube with others on your floor or suite? Please share your memories by clicking on the comments link below.

It's Just What We Always Wanted In College

Most of us never had much money in our pockets while we were in school, so this is what we always wanted while we were at Vanderbilt!

Free food and drink, with lots of good friends to share it!

And that's exactly what's available to all of us during Reunion Weekend on Saturday morning, October 25.

Prior to the Vanderbilt-Duke football game that afternoon (2:00 PM), all members of the Class of 1973 are invited to drop by the home of our classmates (and Vanderbilt sweethearts), Wendy and Buzz Martin, who are hosting a Reunion brunch for us.

Buzz and Wendy Williamson Martin, in their earlier days together on the Vanderbilt campus

If you plan to attend (and we sure hope you do) please RSVP to Wendy Martin at (615) 298-1595 or to Again, there is no charge to attend this brunch.

Our thanks to the Martins, and our other hosts for this event: our classmates Sarah Buchanan, Margie Dale, Kacky Fell, Mary Louise Linn, Paula Lovell and Beth O'Shea.

As for directions, get off I-440 and head out Hillsboro Road. When you come to the intersection of Hillsboro and Golf Club Lane, turn right and look for 2310.

Come hungry and ready to party, as we prepare to root for the Commodores to beat the Blue Devils, and lock up at least our bowl eligibility and our first non-losing season since 1982.

If that's not reason enough to party (along with being together again with so many members of our Vanderbilt class), I don't know what it is!

Now I just hope posting that old picture of Wendy and Buzz doesn't get me in trouble...:)