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McCormick, Bart E. (ed.) / The Wisconsin alumni magazine
Volume 28, Number 2 (Dec. 1926)

Things in general,   pp. 56-58

Page 58

     Letter From An Old-Timer-"Homecoming"
W    ELL, I attended "Homecoming."       he spoke, I was sure that
Carl Russel
    'I arrived early and stayed clear    Fish.had found what many of us have
through and I took in everything. I      sought in vain, the secret for the
walked up the "hill" just to see if I    preservation of youth.
could make it as I used to. I confess it   But instead of Phil. King of Princeton
seemed just a little bit longer and      fame and training, a great character
steeper, apid while I found myself head- leader, there was George- Little,
a fine
ing directly for the door of old "Main   upstanding, square jawed fighter
Hall" (now Bascom Hall, I understand),   very bearing inspired the confidence,
without any particular business (force   love and respect I learned his boys
of habit I suppose),, I did miss some    for him. And then there, was a new
things and others were quite strange to  feature. The President of the univer-
me. I missed old familiar faces that were sity was introducedc.. A young
man, not
recalled'vividly to memory as I passed   much older in appearance than the
"Library Hall" (now Music Hall).    I    captain of the team, stepped
to the front
imagined myself about to meet some of    of the stage. My suspicion that
the old teachers, in North and South     President -might have sent a substitute
Halls, but they were not there. It was   was dispelled by a "skyrocket"
a shock to me. Then I started down the   ended with a lusty "Prexy,"
and then a
"hill" again. It was a little mote diffi- silence that bespoke
the love and re-
cult to "hold,, back'" I remembered      spect of that great sea
of young faces- for
those slippery walks of about this time  their youthfl, capable and energetic
of the year, and-yes, the engineers      leader. Of course, "Ikey"
Karel did just
on one side and the lawyers on the other what I -expected him to do, for
I have
side of the campus.       .              heard him before. "Ikey"
doesn't look a
   I followed. the crowd to the stock    day older, he has just as.much pep
pavilion for the mass meeting (I felt    he gets away as fast as he did that
all the time that I should be going to the  day down at Milwaukee along in
old gym). It was the same type of meet-  early 9o's when he scooped up the
ing. T/here were new faces on the stage,  that had fallen from a Northwestern
but I did recognize one or two among     player's hands, and ran the length
them. One gentleman wore a red vest,      the field for a touchdown and a
and a red necktie. He had the same        for Wisconsin.
kindly face with a broad smile, the same  Well, I followed the band back
to the,.
flowing hair, a trifle sparse perhaps, and lower campus for the big bonfire.
tinged a bit more with grey, the same     crowded around it just as in the
animated attractive personality that      There were yells and songs but
the bon-
we all respected and admired, and when  fire wasn't -quite the same. The
promptu feature was lacking. But then
wooden steps, board walks, and horse
blocks have disappeared and if there
was to be a bonfire, it was necessary to
pile up boxes in advance.
  I sought a point of vantage for the
"hobo" parade on Saturday morning.
The makeups and the impersonations
were handed down from the past, and,
by their appearance so were some of the
vehicles, but on the whole, the latter
were of a new vintage. "Lincolnettes,"
"Lizzies," "Mary Janes," and "Rattlers"
were a new feature. In my day, the code
of ethics of the "'hobo" forbade the use-
of vehicles of rapid transportation other
than the legitimate R. R. train.
  The 'game was a thriller. Same old
Wisconsin pep and spirit, the same
fight-and Victory.  Every timne our
team made a good gain or scored, I lost
myself in excitement. On one or two
occasions, I "came- to" with a shock
when my. neighbor in front of me. made
known to me with a look, that was more
effective than a growl that programs:
were not made to "pound" with and
heads were not made to be "pounded."
But what harm anyway? There were
no stiff "cadys" and if there had been it
was contrary to practice for any man in
my day to return from     a victorious
game- without naking the sacrifice that
victor'y deserved.  Of course, I was
dazed for a minute when I stepped
through the gate and was confronted by
forty thousand faces, everyone seated
in his right place in the gieat horseshoe,
and although my first inclination was to
edge up to the fence where I could get-a
good view of the game with the as-
sistance of a polite young man, I had no
trouble in finding a very comfortable
seat where I could see each play very
   The crowd was larger (there were
 more people in that horseshoe than
 there were, men, women, and children in
 Madison in my time) and the decora-
 tions more beautiful than they used to
 be. That great red "W" on the dome of
 the new Capitol, illuminated pumpkins,
 harvest scenes, ships, and other designs
 at the fraternity and sorority houses,
 thousands of pennants, yards and yards
 of bunting everywhere in the city, beauti-
 ful store windows, decorated porches,
 cardinal and white lights in homes,
 around the state house, and on either
 side of the "upper Campus," only
 served to emphasize changes that have
 come to the University, to Madison,
 and to all of us in a little more than a
   It was a real revelation for one who
 has been thinking of "Homecoming" in
 the light of his experiences of twenty-
 five years ago. I am coming again.
                    A. N. Oldtimer
      Stephen Moulton Babcock, Sc. D. '17
  Perhaps you are wondering why we chose Dr. Babcock's picture for the
cover design of the Magazine this month. Sh-h-h, it's a secret--or was-he
had a birthday and we thought we'd surprise him-a/though we're just about
a month late so far as the birthday's concerned.
  No, we shouldn't have believed it either, but he admits it himself-eighty-
three years on October 22nd. But his clear, keen eyes that look out from
a familiar gray cap, his steady voice, his quick energetic step that we have
noted so often on State Street or the Square, all belie his years.
  He is one of Wisconsin's grand, young old men-one whom we feel has
found the secret of happy, useful living and one whom more of the present
day students should be privileged to know.
  Most of you know the circumstances of Dr. Babcock's discovery, the Babcock
milk test; how it saved the dairy industry in Wisconsin, revived the cooperative
dairy business and made it possible over the entire world. Think of it-a
standard for the world, and with but slight modifications, as true and un-
altered today as the time it was discovered in z89o--a remarkable achieve-
ment and one most gratifying to Dr. Babcock himself. Farmers all over the
world who depend upon milk as a commodity, owe him a debt of gratitude
they can never repay.
  And so, though we are a trifle late, we wish you a very happy birthday,
Babcock, and many, many more. We feel that we are voicing in this the
sentiment of the great body of Wisconsin alumni. May you feel somewhat
repaid for your generous gijt from which you never personally received reward
or profit, by the thought that you have brought fame and fortune to the great
state of Wisconsin and blessed in some measure all mankind.
Decemb~er, .r926

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