Letters to the Editor

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Those Amazing Mountain Men

I thoroughly enjoyed "Mountain Men" about the 10th Mountain Infantry in the Winter 2011 issue. My 91-year-old father, Wendall "Chummy" Broomhall, was a member of the 10th Mountain and many of the UNH alumni were his Army buddies. As a matter of fact, Ralph Townsend '49, '53G was with my father the night he met my mother in 1943 in Wausau, Wis. They had been on survival training in the Upper Peninsula, Mich., when the 40-day training had to be canceled after 27 days because so many troops were getting frostbite. Ralph and my dad walked six miles into Wausau to sit in a warm bar and drink a beer or two. My mother, a 19-year-old Finnish farm girl, had gone out with some friends to dance. When my dad saw her, he decided to wander over and see if she would dance with him. Both Ralph and my dad were rather grubby after 20-plus days in the wilderness, and wearing ski boots as well, but that didn't seem to matter. Two weeks later, my dad returned—clean shaven and dapper. They wrote letters for two years until he returned, and they were married on Nov. 17, 1945. Their wonderful marriage lasted 60 years until my mother passed away in 2006. Until his death, Ralph Townsend '49 remained a good friend of my dad's. Men like Ralph and my dad and many other members of the 10th Mountain Division have made huge contributions to the sport of skiing in this country. They were truly "the greatest generation." Thank you so much for this wonderful article about these amazing men.

Townsend and Meserve
RECUPERATING: Paul Townsend ’41, left, and Malcolm Meserve ’47 play cribbage at Rhoads General Hospital after World War II.
Kudos for the magnificent article on the 10th Mountain Division—a long overdue recognition of UNH skiers who suffered and served through Camp Hale and Italy. Paul Townsend '41, wounded during the final, bitter struggle in northern Italy, ended his hospitalization at Rhoads General Hospital in Utica, N.Y., where I was stationed with the American Red Cross. We had a wonderful reunion and he became a good friend of the medical officer in charge of his ward, Dr. John M. Baker, who later became my husband. Another UNH patient, flown in from the South Pacific, was Malcolm W. Meserve '47, an old friend of Paul's. The enclosed picture (right) shows them playing cribbage at Rhoads while recuperating.

It might be noted that Steve Knowlton '45, who skied at Holderness before coming to UNH—where his mother was housemother at Scott Hall—was on hand at the time of the German surrender. Coach Ed Blood must have been immensely proud of his UNH ski team.

My stepfather, Dudley Merrill, 97, was part of the original 10th Mountain Division. I believe he's the oldest member still living in New Hampshire! I look forward to sharing the article with him.

Wonderful story. I am currently a lieutenant stationed out of Fort Drum, N.Y., in the 10th Mountain Division. As I write this from Kyrgyzstan, I am waiting on a flight to Afghanistan for a year-long deployment in the Arghandab River Valley. To my alma mater mates and to our fallen 1st Lt. Scott F. Milley '09, God's speed.

My dad, Clifford H. Perkins Jr. '46, was one of those lucky few from UNH. He lived in the old East/West dorms until 1943, when he volunteered for duty in the 10th Mountain. He was in the 86th Regiment and was part of the first unit to get to Italy. During the war and training at Camp Croft in South Carolina, Camp Hale in Colorado, and Camp Swift in Texas, my dad wrote home more than 300 letters, which I am in the process of transcribing. What a life these men lived for three years or more.

A great story. My dad, Mac MacKenzie of Keene, N.H., was in the 10th and served as New England Chapter president and national president of the 10th Mountain Division Alumni Association.

Dave Dupee '51 was my colleague and supervisor during the 1970s at the New England Division Army Corps of Engineers. Dave was one who kept on skiing as long as he could, and looked forward to the annual reunions held by the 10th Mountain Division. He frequently talked about his adventures during this critical time period. Our appreciation to all those soldiers that served in this unique group.

Big Picture, Pro and Con

I was very disappointed and disturbed that the publishers of the UNH Magazine thought it appropriate to print the photo of the man throwing a cat into the Amazon River. I am a graduate of the Thompson School animal science program. Animal abuse is an international disease. This photo promotes animal abuse. The fact that the cats returned to their abuser is irrelevant. Is this the message we want to send to our young people? That it's OK to throw your pets in the river? Let's set an example for our youth and don't "glorify" actions such as those depicted in the photo.

Editor's note: We're sorry the photo may have disturbed some readers and given the impression that the magazine was condoning the man's behavior. That was not our intent. We included the photo because it was a striking example of the cultural differences that UNH students encounter when they travel abroad.

"The Big Picture" was a delightful presentation of photos taken by some of the UNH students who have studied in over 800 programs in 39 different countries. Each of these excellent pictures captures a unique aspect of a foreign land, while proving the axiom: "A picture is worth a thousand words." Let's see more of these unique and personal viewpoints in future publications.

Peyton Place Muse

Grace Metalious '51S ("Revisiting Peyton Place," Web Extras) was a role model for me as a novelist. Scandal in a small New Hampshire town was the impetus for my book, Incubus: Fast Friends. I found the pressure-cooker atmosphere of Amherst, N.H., gave me the impulse to write.

Correction: Kenneth Kincaid '76 of Westborough, Mass., emailed to point out that Bill Burnham graduated in '78, not in '66, as stated in the Winter '11 answer to the Trivia Quiz.

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