Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 21, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, Augutl 21, 1971 THE LETHBRIDGE HERAID 5 Jonathan Kioitny Who failed-class or teacher? Collectors not stupid just fanatics 'rum The New York Times IF JERK'S a tip for all you in- vestors who haven't done so well with stocks or bonds or coffee futures or whatever. Get into cornflaks. You can make a guaranteed 33 per cent minus postage fees) That's thanks to Richard D. Eeuss, of 20451 Yacama Street, Detroit. Mich., zip code 4B203. Mr. Reuss says he will pay 20 cents for every picture of a baseball player plucked from a box of Kellogg's cornflakes, as long as the picture is in good condition. Since in the U.S. a box of cornflakes costs 15 cents in many stores, down recently from 18 cents (but another anyone who sends Mr. Reuss any baseball cards is go- ing to clear five per card minus postage. That's one of the ironies nf sticking pictures of baseball players in your product peo- ple are willing to pay more money to gel the cards without the product. The Topps Chew- ing Gum people could have told the cornflakes people that years ago. Topps has become a superbly successful company by making bubble gum that lots of people buy but don't chew. They buy it by the carload to get their hands on those bubble gum cards for years ffith the pictures of ballplayers. Kids, of course, have bought bubble gum cards for years. But it isn't just kids who are buying them now. Tt's their fathers men like Richard Reuss, who collect baseball cards with a passion others reserve for love or war. These serious collectors buy and sell bubble gum cards for hundreds of dollars apiece. vSome claim to earn thousands of dollars a year running card auctions in their spare time. They have produced an author- itative reference catalogue, sev- eral monlhlv magazines and a volume entitled "Who's Who in Card Collecting." They havr in- filtraled nubble gum cards into the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They are about to hold second annual convention at the Detroit Hilton Hotel. Thomas Collier, 39 ot Wil- mington. Del., says be is pre- paring to quit working as a pro- fessional carpenter to devote full-time to his mail-order sale of bubble gum cards. Mr. Col- lier recently received for a rare set of 1RO cards issued :ng the 1930s by an outfit called Bailer Up Gum Co. He say another collector was of- fered and refused for a copy of a Konus Wagner card distributed in 1910 with packages of Sweet Capnral cis- arr'lr The card is rare be- cause the great shortstop, who didn't want his name connect- ed Tith tobacco, threatened to sue, nd F ,'et Csporal with- drew most of the cards from the market. A: the refusal to sell the Wagucr indicates. collectors place great value on the cards of yesteryear. Some of them have saved their cards since childhood but many others rue the day that Ihcy. like Mr. Reuss, allowed their mothers years ago to throw away a col- lection lhal might be worth thousands loday. Collectors v.iio curse themselves for that oversight spend much time scanning the horizon for some- one else throwing away cards. A few years ago. Mr. Heuss was visiting a friend in the process of moving. He man- aged (o intercept a bundle of bubble gum cards a few feet from the wastcbasket. The friend, not suspecting their value, gave the bundle gratis to Mr. Reuss. who found there- in are you ready? the first known copy of a Boh Frl- Icr card issued in 1948 by the Loaf Gum Co. IjCaf late of the bubble gum card business, but not la- mented by collectors had conceived a scheme whereby it skip-numbered iLs card sets (number 1. 2. 3, li. 7. 0. and so op) so kids would go on buy- ing bubble gran forever lo find the non-e.xislent numbered c a r d s. Furthermore some press runs produced precious few of certain cards includ- ing one ot Bob Feller. By now most collectors have figured out what Leaf cards were nover issued ?nd what cards arc just rare. The recent rlisrovery of several olhor Nob Fellers has reduced the value of Mr. Reuss' copy from ?35 lo SM. Nonetheless, he brags, "I was the firs! lo report it nnd it was published as such in the Card Collector's Bulletin." Now. Mr. Reuss is not dumb. He recently picked up his Ph.D. in folklore, and he lectures in the iinUirnpnlngy deparlmonl. at Wayne Slnlo University. His ar- licle.- appear not ju.sl in the Card Collector's Bullcliu, but also in learned journals. Ncillior are other collectors who range from doctors and law- yers lo policemen nnd factory workers dumb They are jusl, like Mr. Heuss, fanalirs. None more so than (lie Mid- weslcrn collector whose uifo ha.s sued for divorce, lie iK'gau buying cornflakes by Ihe case last year to build his collection of Kellogg's cards. For a while, friends report, his ivifo was making cornflake soup, corn- fbke stew and cornflake pie. Finally, she ran out of either recipes or patience and then ran out or, him. Frank Nagy sympathizes not with Uiat wife, but with her husband. Mr. Nagy, a 48-year- old mechanic from Grosse Mich., says he himself "used to have a lot of run-ins with my wife. You just can't explain a hobby like this." Once Mr. Nagy learned of a well-known Eastern collector who had grown seriously ill and wanted to sell his bubble gum cards be- fore he passed on. Mr. Nagy says that without telling his wife, "I took everything we had in our savings account, about and went lo Philadelphia to buy the collection. He want- ed When I finally con- vinced him I didn't have any more (after several days of flickering) lie gave me every- thing for Mr.Nagy crammed lus new bubble gum cards into the truck and rear seat of his car and bead- ed for home. But the weight of the cards broke the rear springs on his Oldsmobile, and he barely managed to limp back to Grosse He. "When my wife found out what I did, she packed herself, the two kids and her father in the car and said she was going home to Pittsburgh. But 60 miles down the road the car broke down because of the rear springs and thev had to tow the lot of them back Mr. Nagy recalls, deadpan. "She wouldn't speak to me for months." Mrs. has since ap- parently adjusted. Last year, when Mr. Nagy went to the store and shelled out for around 200 boxes of cornflakes, Mrs. Napy put up with it al- though she did make him haul the cornflakes out of her house. He took them to work it took three aulos and gave them away. This year. Milk Duds appear- ed with pictures of ballplayers on its packages. Milk Duds cost five cents a box at candy coun- ters, but only three and a half cents if you buy them by tho ccse. Mr. Nagy does. "I have S40 worth of Milk Duds in the basenenl right now if any- body's interested in eating he volunteers. "We keep them in shoe boxes." Topps Chewing Gum began issuing cards in the late 1940s, about the lime you'll recall, of the fearsome bubble gum wars. Ballplayers were casually sign- ing exclusive contracts with any number of gum companies. The gum firms wound up suing each other over their conflicting "ex- clusive" rights. By 1055, Topps had out-muscled its competitors and gained a virtual monopoly. Ballplayers formed a union and signed a collective contract with Topps. Today, even' player from Willie Mays to the lowliest rookie get-s S250 a year from Topps. Such democracy befits the hobby. When bubble gum card collectors sit around and chew things over, they say that the rarity of the card contri- butes more to its value than the skill of the player it de- picts. Take the 20 Detroit Tig- ers of 1D53 an abysmal bail- team whose faces went out on pictures with the hot dogs o' the Glendale Meat Co. of Detroit. Collectors routinely pay 512 apiece for portraits of such nonstars as Dave Mar- lowe or Don Lund. In 1933, 70 cents would have bought the card and a wiener roast as "Meat issues generally are says Mr. Reuss mainly because most meat companies are regional, not na- tional, and most o' them issue cards only as a one-shot promo- tional gimmick. Furthermore, few of them keep records of what they have issued, so col- Great tribute "Rcetlioven" II. C. Rob- hins Landon (Oxford Univer- sity Press, 400 pages with il- lustrations. JVEWSPAPER critic, author and publisher put out Ibis handsome edilion on the life of flic German compos- er in 1970 on the occasion of the 200lb anniversary of Bcel- hoven's birth. Lushly fitted out with portraits of the composer, people lie knew and places ho lived, it includes letters, adap- tations he marie in his works, and accounts of Ihe musical temper of his limes, 1770-1827. A comprehensive addilion lo any music lover's library, it shows Bcolhoven as a man of magnificent determination and meddlesome pettiness towards others in short, the kind of mail who will always evade his- lory's allcmpls lo understand him. But this volume goes a long way in frying. JOAN BOWMAN. lectors must piece together for themselves the order an exk-nl of the issues. "As a rule of says Mr. Reuss, "they command a lot more than cer- eal or bubble gum issues." The scat of honor in the card collector's Valhalla is reserved for Jefferson Burdick, a Syra- cuse, N.Y., advertising sales- man who died in 1903 and left his definitive collection of to- bacco and bubble gum cards to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Over Ihe years, collectors' circles have buzzed with ru- jnor: that the museum, not aware of the forlune it has on its hands, is mistreating the Burdick collodion, allowing it (o rot away in some moldy cor- ner of the basemenl. Such ru- mors distress the museum. "There are an awful lot of followers of Jefferson Burdick who keep circulating quite false a museum spokesman says. "Periodically somebody with a bubble gum mania claims the material is being abused. Well, tlffi truth is, it's catalogued and kept." The pub- lic, he says, can see the collec- tion any time, by appointment "just like Rembrandt, or any other legitimate work we liavp." (The Wall Street Journal) Cooling drops of deiv by Bryan Wilson Book Reviews The evolution of a radical "Revolutionary Priest: The Complete Writings and Ales- sages of Camilo Torres" ed- ited and with an introduction by John Gcrassi (Vintage pa- perback, 4CO pages, S2.05, dis- tributed by Random House of AT least one Canadian alh- Icle declined to go lo the Pan-American games in Co- lumbia this summer because of his disapproval of the political situation in that country. He could very well look on Camilo Torres as a hero. Camilo Torres Restrepo, son of a well-to-do Bogota family, surprised h i s family and friends by entering the priest- hood. He seemed headed for a "normal'' career in the church until as a university chaplain he look the side of students in a strike. After that he moved rapidly to the Left. In 19G5 he resigned from the piicsfhood and soon joined a guerrilla force. At the age of 37, in early 1966, he was killed Brain transplanting Will Fear No Evil" by Robert A. Heinldn (Long- man Canada 101 pages; COME books must be read to be believed, and this is one of them. One might term it "imagination unleashed" in fact. Heiiiicm's first book in about five years shows he's lost none of the vitalily which has made him one of today's leading wrilers of science fiction. To describe too much of I Will Fear No Evil would bo to lead the reader lo disap- poinlmcnt in being too well in- formed; however, sit in a quiet chair for a few minutes and conteinplale all of Ihe pos- sibililies of BRAIN transplant is il body transplant? Medical science is close to perfccling heart transplants to- day, and brain transplants are nol cnlirely oulside of reason, lleinlein set out to explore the pathways of brain trans- plant, and the results are a fascinating sludv oi human be- ings. Consider: a rich, ancient man is dying. His mind, how- ever, has not succumbed lo Ihe senility of inactive old age; all he needs for lus second century is a new and uscable body. So, be directs that one be found, and that his brain be transplanled into it. And (of course) the operation is a com- plete success. The patient lives. Bui, docs also the "donor" live in some way too? Imagine meeting ils old friends? Consider also Irving to prove you are who you are, in order to cash a cheque or transact other business. Just try it, if all of the real "you" left is your brain, so that your finger- prints, face, age, even your voice, are completely different. An absolutely fasciualiug book! JIM WILSON. Once a monlb, on page five, The Herald will fcalure the best photo submitted by persons not on Ihe staff of ihe paper. There is no set subject. Entries should be unmounled black-and-white prinls in. or larger. On Ibc back of each print should be Ihe photographer's name, address and proposed lillc fer Ihe picture as well as any ex- planatory information Ibat might be needed. Ten dollars will be paid Ibc monthly winner. Entries should be sent to Ihe Kditorial I'agc Editor by the end of Hip third week of Ihe month. Non-winning entries can be left wilh The Herald for compelilion in succeeding monlhs or can be recovered by enclosing n stamped, self-addressed envelope of .suitable size. A panel from The Herald slaff will do Ihe judging. in a skirmish with an army pa- trol and lies buried in an un- marked grave. The radicalization of Camilo Tones can be followed in his collected writings winch are arranged chronologically. No doubt the seed for lus develop- ment into a radical was sown by his sociological studies. He became increasingly concerned by the fact that multitudes of Columbians lived in poverty while 24 families controlled the economic and political affairs of the nation to their advant- age. In due time he concluded that the church was inextric- ably bound up with the estab- lishment and that he had to cease to be identified with it. Eventually his conclusion that reform would never come be- cause privilege is always pro- tected, caused him to embrace violent revolution. Those who are inclined to identify all revolutionaries as communists should read the writings of Camilo Torres. He grounds his radicalism in Christian leaching and drew heavily on Pope John XXIII. The appendix contains a pas- toral letter from the bishops of Biazil and a statement signed by 920 Roman Catholic clergy- men in South America reflect- ing similar thinking lo that of Camilo Torres. The lerrible disparity be- tween the privileged and Ihe poor is nowhere more obvious lhan in South America. It must require a steely heart not to be moved to outran by what one sees in a country like Colum- bia. It must also require un- usual courage lo lake up arms in a very unequal struggle lo change Ihe situation. These are the tlungs that many people- think about when they hear the nnmc of Camilo Torres, a hero of the Left. There arc long portions of this book which do nol. contri- bute anything lo an undcrsland- ing of ihe revolutionary priest. Much of (he writing is nol es- pecially dislinguished, either. Bui (he impacl of the whole collcclion is such lhal even lbo.se who arc geared lo rcjecl radicalism arc likely lo be im- pressed by the sincerity and compassion of Camilo Torres. DOUG WALKER. (The pic.ce iiial appeared in this space last week, reprinted from The New York Times and hcasiiil Wliy did llic cluss drew an unusually large response from tcacliL-rs and slndiinls. A sample of lellcrs received by The Times follows.) fly MALCOLM L. DIAMOND rriIE RECENT contribution from Mr. Ottinger was a sad example of faculty backlash In teacliing his composition course, he responded to what he felt to be student current desires by giving them complete freedom. Dispensing with a list of standard topics, IK told them to write on anything that interested them. At the end of the term, he was utterly disillusion- ed. The students hadn't thought, and they hadn't been turned on. In the context Mr. Ottinger's tough talk lo his students is moralistic, like the tough talk of a father who tells a child wilh a hand-washing compulsion to cut out that nonsense ar.d get down to work. Mr. Ottin- ger writes as though he had never heard of Freud, Marx and other thinkers who have helped us to understand our conditioning. As for self-knowledge, students may be reluctant to take a hard look at them- selves, but so are faculty. Tho motivation of teachers is complex. It involves such laudable features as curiosity aboul the world and the desire to help students to learn about it. It also involves such na- tural drives as the search for status and olher rewards of a successful career. One of these rewards is turning students on. Mr. Ollinger was clearly frustrated be- cause he was open to students, gave them freedom, and still [ailed to turn them on. Castigating students for unimaginative- ness, laziness, and irresponsibility doesn't help education. It only encourages the stu- dents to play the same game of name- calling. They, in turn, castigate their pro- fessors for being smug, status-conscious and opportunistic. Malcolm L. Diamond ib professor of religion at Princeton. By WILLIAM BONDESON A LOVER is spumed by his love, all the brightness is taken away and disillusionment sets in. I sense that that is what has happened to you. I can't help but feel that you really do love those half- formed, recalcitrant, and ignorant young minds. Like most good tlungs, a reply should begin with Plato. He says that when the young student of philosophy is [o be edu- cated, the first thing not to do is to expose him to the highest and most important principles. And this is just what >ou did when you tried to put those romantic half-truths into practice. In the name of freedom, you ap- parently abolished all structure, all re- straint, and put the terrible burden of edu- cation upon the students themselves. In Uie ideal case there is much validity in doing this, but that's jusl the Irouble with romantics. They assume that every case is the ideal case, act accordingly, and then become disillusioned when it turns out not (o be that way. You seem lo have forgotten that your composition course is required; that sets us some resistance to it auto- matically. If students are freed of one re- quirement, when all the others are retain- ed, it is unreasonable to expect them to use that one bit of freedom in any other way than to spend more time doing tho other required things. What nbout the seekers of instant gratifi- cation whom you so deservedly put down' First, they are not all the young; they are not even a major fraction ol the young. But they are appreciated, if not emulated, by a very large number of our students. With you, I find it quite distressing that these students believe in the proposition: "if it feels good, it's true." This is anti- inlcllectualism at its worst and is partly the result of their faulty concept of individ- ualism. William Bondeson is director of the honors college and associate professor of philosophy at the University of Missouri Mr. Ollingcr is a graduate stu- dent, By HARVEY A. THOMSON1 "VTR. OTTINGER apparently attempted to design an English composition course in which students had complete re- sponsibility for choosing what to work OD and how to use class time during the term. The class failed and the article contains the substance of the instructor's final lec- ture, a ringing denunciation of the stu- dents. This article had a powerful impact on me because it was honest, expressed feelings, and described the author's actual experience rather than abstract polemic. Our methods of teaching rest on implicit assumptions about the nature of the students we teach. Mr. Ottinger experimented with a method winch assumed that students were motivated toward achievement and knowledge, were responsible, and could regulate themselves to achieve the course objectives. The fact that they were Mr. Ottinger's objectives and not the students' limits the extern to which they were really but that is not the main reason for Uie failure of the design. My own experience with leaching this type of course is similar to Mr. Ottinger's. Most students have a great deal of diffi- culty handling this degree of autonomy in the classroom. But more important than this fairly predictable result is the way Mr. Ottinger and the class dealt with this problem. Both parties seemed to feel frustrated and inadequate even debated with my- self whether or not to go on teaching next and responded by projecting the blame onto the other (or the "system" in the case of the While both par- ties probably have a point, 1 can't help feeling, from Mr. Ottinger's own account, that he bears a large part of the responsi- bility for the polarization that took place. He seems to be totally unaware of the ways in which he failed to be effective in the classroom and hence his own respon- sibility for what happened. Classroom dynamics can be described in terms of teacher and student roles. Ac- ceptable role behavior is normally agreed upon implicitly by both parties. However, the change in the ground rules in Mr. Ot- tinger's course meant that both students and the instructor had to learn to play their roles differently than they had been used to in the past. Harvey A. Thomson Is assistant pro- fessor of organization behavior at McGill University. Future of English The London Times is some piquancy in the news of a conference on the teaching of En- glish to be held shortly in Singapore by the South EabL Asian Regional English Language Centre. All over Ihe world there is a multiplicity of agencies, only a few of them British, working with a diversity of motives for the propagation of the ton- gue of Shakespeare, of Milton and of Ed- ward Healh. The existance of these agen- cies poses a problem for Britain, whose culture and traditions lie at the heart of this efflorescence. Dr. Johnson remarked that "languages are the pedigrees of na- in the long run the deeper and more widespread the penetralion of the En- glish language, the more profound will be the consequences for the nation which is supplying the pedigree. The French have long been more aware than the English of lire significance of these issues. Their sensitivity does not date merely from the realization in the late nineteenth century of the extent of the challenge represenled by English and Ger- man; nor from the development of the sense of organic cultural nationality in the Romantic period. II reaches back perhaps as far a.s the Albigenfian cnisnde; and it has always been associated with the build- ing of a unified and authoritative French state. In the sevenleenth century the diffu- sion of French civilization was already an instrument of foreign policy. At the same time the monarchy created aulhorilative instilutions to guarantee the purily and cor- rectness of Ihe language. These traditions have left their stamp on Ihe external cul- tural policy which loday absorbs two-thirds of the foreign ministry's budget. Ftance has for centuries been devoted to the de- fence and propagation of Ixr language in iLs exclusively melropolitan form. The growth of negritude in Africa is ono consequence of Uiis policy, ,'ind il is signifi- cant thai tlw same development did not take place in Anglophone Africa. In sharp contrast wilh Ihe French, Ihe English have generally adopted a lais.sez-fairc at- titude lo (he proliferation of Ihcjr language. Macaulay's notorious education minute rep- resents a striking exception to the Burkean trend of Brilifb imperial policy; and its motives were nol national bill utilitarian. Mallhcw Arnold in English lileraturc is a .solitary railing for iiiMilnlions mod- elled on the French Academy to guard against the corruption of English culture. The English tongue came into the world a mongrel; revelling in Hie richness of Iheir vocabulary, the diversity of its lin- guistic roots and the flexibility and ambi- guity of its expression, Englishmen have been content to let their language live as it was bora. There are already to be found around the world many different forms of English, pursuing their own evolution free from the disciplines of mctropohtanisnr. In India and South East Asia, in many parts of the Middle East, in the West Indies and Af- rica, the mterpenetration of English with a hundred vernacular tongues has acceler- ated tendencies which sensitive observers have already detected in the lands of Anglo Saxon settlement particularly in the Uniled Stales. In the long run, the logic of these developments points towards the emergence of a world-wide family of En- glish-derived languages, bound toglher at least as closely as the modern Romance descendants of Latin. The attempts of France to ensure the geographical breadth and cultural unity of the French lEJiguage provide the British with both a challenge and an alternative model for the future ot their lontme. But [here are powerful reasons for believing that we have chosen the right course in abstaining from a more positive policy. Although there might be some gain lo the world from Ihe possession of a uniform second language, such a form of speech would be utterly debased and its corrup- tion would threaten the vitality of the cul- tural heartland of (he language which lias been universalized. Attempts to resist the disintegration of English into a variety of related languages with their own local roots woidd probably lead to its becoming (he firsl language of the ctiles; which mild frustrate the cul- tural development of (he societies where (his look place and would propagate a speech divorced from its springs of lila among the common people. Above all, a positive allcmpt to secure Hie hegemony of English would lead to a clash with other languages and particularly with French. And victory1 in such a conflict could only lead to (he breaking-down of those olher centres of cultural life whoso existence is necessary for Iho coherence of om' own language and civilization.