[ back and forth ]
Letters to the Editor
Summer 2009

It’s the Guitar Man

oldcoverAs an adjunct law professor at USD for almost 40 years, I have a great affection for the school. Your Spring 2009 issue was a marvelous tour through so many areas. Congratulations.

However, I must rise to the defense of my friend David Gates, whose album you mentioned in your editorial (“Light My Fire”), followed by the lament “(shudder).” As the founder and lead singer of [the band] Bread, David continues to do well living in Fairbanks Ranch with his wife of 50-plus years. They have four children: three doctors and one attorney. Regarding his music, many of his early songs were written for his wife; they went to rival high schools in Tulsa. When he succeeded in getting one ballad — in which he mentioned her name— played on local radio, he won her heart! His mother was a poet; perhaps that’s why so many of his beautiful lyrics stand impressively on their own (“If,” “Aubrey” et al).

While I’m kidding, of course, he is a great guy. After his “Goodbye Girl” success, he continued to perform in the ‘90s, mostly abroad; he’s now retired. Thanks again for a delightful series of articles. Keep up the good work.

— Michael Dessent


letter1I’m writing to let you know how thrilled our family was to be chosen as the models for the February bookstore advertisement in USD Magazine (“Live the Moment, Dream the Future”). We received a copy of the magazine by mail (and had received some messages from friends who saw our pictures even before we did) and thought it came out beautifully. (Bias towards the models aside, of course!) Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of such a fun alumni project; we especially loved [our son being noted as] “William Barrett ‘29!”

As a side note, we’ll be adding to the USD class of ‘31, as new baby brother Nicolas made his entrance into the world on March 3, 2009.

— Audrey Barrett ’08 (Ph.D.)

Baptism by Fire

letter2I thoroughly enjoyed reading the tribute to Bishop Buddy in the latest issue of USD Magazine (“Sixty Years and Counting”).

I attended San Diego State my first two years in college, and then took a semester off to accompany my parents to Japan, where my father served a two-year tour in the Navy. In January 1957, my parents sent me to the San Diego College for Women.

When Mother Danz found out I wasn’t baptized, she called me into her office and wanted to know why. I explained that even though I always went to Catholic schools I somehow was never baptized. Well, Mother Danz made an appointment for me to see the bishop.

With trepidation I was escorted into his office. He greeted me with such a big smile I felt relaxed. “And why is that you are not baptized, young lady?” Bishop Buddy asked me.

“Er, I, well, I have been waiting to be sure I can be a good Catholic. Obey all the rules and give myself to God,” I mumbled. “I go to Mass every morning, Your Excellency, and say the rosary every night.”

“Well, I can see you have everything under control and don’t need the sacraments to help you. Good for you. I have enjoyed our little visit and if there is ever anything I can do to help you, let me know. Kneel down for my blessing.”

I left the bishop and went back to my room. “Did he just tell me I was the most conceited thing he had ever met? Yes, I believe he did — and I deserved it.” A few days later I called the bishop and said, “If it is possible, I would like to be baptized. I do need and want the grace the sacraments can give me.”

Well, no one has ever had such a baptism. All the students had to wear their cap and gown, the bishop baptized me with priests assisting him. The mothers gave me the most beautiful white lace mantilla. When I went back to my room, my roommate said she really didn’t want to be near me: “You just had all your sins erased, I am so jealous.” I replied, “Don’t worry, give me a week or two, and I’ll stumble.”

My year and a half at the San Diego College for Women was wonderful. I got married over Christmas vacation my senior year, and Mother Hill called me into her room and gave me five $20 bills: “It is difficult for a young bride to ask her husband for money, so this is for your honeymoon.” I was so touched that I cried.

— Nadine G. (Trevors) Thomas ‘58


A story about the late physician Michael Bajo (“Family Affair”) in the Spring 2009 issue of USD Magazine misspelled the name of his alma mater. The Chicago school that Dr. Bajo graduated from is St. Procopius University (now Benedictine University). We sincerely regret the error.

We welcome letters to the editor about articles in the magazine. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and must include a daytime phone number. Write: Editor, USD Magazine, 5998 Alcalá Park, San Diego, CA 92110.