Letters

Written by you, the readers. See what your fellow readers have to say and catch up with SCM.

Letters
Spotted this summer in Swig Residence Hall. / Image by Shengchun Li.

OF WINE AND WOMEN

I enjoyed all the articles on wine in the Spring 2020 issue, but I have my own take on “Of Wine and Women.” As a 17-year-old graduate of Georgetown Prep, I traveled cross-country to Santa Clara and was assigned to Nobili Hall as my freshman residence. They held a “movie mixer” at Nobili and an attractive young lady sat down next to me. I told her my name was Karl Felsen, but she didn’t quite catch the last name. I said “It’s Felsen. It means rock in German.” She quickly replied, “My name’s Sebastiani. It means wine in California.” I still fondly recall my introduction to wine, women, and wit at Santa Clara.

—Karl Felsen ’69

Great article on Bronco winemakers, but you left out my law school classmate Jennifer Jackson (Hartford) J.D. ’82, whose family owns and operates the Jackson Winery labels, including La Crema, the one she co-owns with her sister after serving for many years as the vp of Kendall-Jackson.

—Tim Grant J.D. ’84

Alas, it was impossible to fit all the winemakers with SCU connections into our Wine Issue! Visit magazine.scu.edu/wine for a more exhaustive list.

IN THE BEGINNING

What a delightful article, where we are invited more into Santa Clara University’s new president’s life and leadership. Would love to hear more from Kevin O’Brien, S.J. as he continues his role as SCU’s new President. Was also wondering if Fr. O’Brien might share books he is currently reading or has read? My professors at SCU always brought home the importance of books and reading in general to expand our horizons. I still believe in this.

—Dr. James McDonnell ’66

In March, Fr. O’Brien shared a list of recent books he enjoyed with this magazine, ranging from spiritual classics to tomes on effective leadership. You can find that list here.

LETTERS

Paul A. Conrado, civil engineering grad of 1956, wrote a letter to the editor printed in the Spring 2020 edition. I was dismayed by the dismissive reply given to him. He mentioned his great-great-great-great-grandmother Mary McSwain Bennett Love, who lived at the Mission before the Jesuits took over from the Franciscans. She was a very interesting historical character including the fact she obtained a large area of land west of the Mission now on maps as the Bennett Tract. She also homesteaded four city blocks north of the campus where the Alameda turns left onto the El Camino. Paul died Dec. 26, 2019.

—Dan Bosque ’74

We are sorry to hear you found our response to Paul’s thoughtful letter dismissive, and saddened to hear of his passing at the age of 84. As we said, Mary sounded like a tenacious spirit with a captivating story, which Paul told beautifully with great enthusiasm and warmth.

POETRY

I have a poetry submission I’d like to share.

Eyes meet
and in the fleeting moment of youth
a bond sets.
No one knows the strength of that bond.
As days add into months and months add into years,
the union formed proves so valuable.
In good times, we celebrate.
In hard times, we share.
Friendship.

After over 50 years as an SCU alum, this is so much more relevant now than when I wrote it. When I discuss friendships with my grandsons, I explain that there is a small group of friends who would drop everything to be of support to me—my “drop dead friends.” Likewise, I would drop all to be of service to them. Five decades later, these bonds of friendship are stronger than before. How blessed am I to have friends of such value.

—George “Cap” O’Brien ’73

Especially today, as we all must endure “hard times” separated from our loved ones, we revel in the friendships that buoy us. Thank you for sharing.

Looking Up

Spotted by stargazers this summer, during a profoundly difficult period for humanity, NEOWISE reminded us to look up, together.

The First

Mel Lewis ’53—the first Black graduate of SCU—reflects on his days as a Bronco.

Following the Trail

Spaniard Franciscan priest Magin Catalá arrived at Mission Santa Clara in 1794. His legacy is deep rooted in campus, literally.

Letters & Corrections

Written by you, the readers: see what your fellow readers have to say and catch up with SCM.