DANNY LITWHILER, THE THOMAS EDISON OF BASEBALL It was a pleasure reading Richard Johnson’s article on my former coach Danny Litwhiler. I was honored to be a Spartan under “Skip” in 1968, 1969, and 1970. The article brought back many fond and fun memories of my time as a player for the Spartans. It is true—the man never stopped thinking, tinkering, and trying out new things involving the game of baseball. All of us who played for Skip were the beneficiaries of his knowledge and love of the game. He gave us all an opportunity to take our baseball playing days at Michigan State to new levels: the big leagues, business, teaching, professionals. We all benefited from his coaching, knowledge, and friendship. George J. Petroff Haslett I just read through the spring magazine and so enjoyed it. I really enjoyed the article on Danny Litwhiler by Richard Johnson. Coach Litwhiler was indeed the “Thomas Edison of Baseball” with his inventions. In the photo of Coach Litwhiler in front of the Herculite mirror (page 47) was one of his ace pitchers, southpaw Doug “Skip” Dobrei, who was probably the best athlete that graduated from Fraser High. Doug is a ’65 graduate of the School of Packaging. Rich Whipple, ’73 Canton PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER After reading the spring magazine on the ways MSU works to protect water I wanted to relay a story about my late husband, Alfred. He graduated from MSU in 1958 with a degree in geology and minors in physics and math. He took one semester towards his master’s degree. Then his GI bill ran out. In January, 1959, we moved to California where he worked in the oil fields in different areas of the state and also on the North Slope in Alaska. In 1970 the oil industry kind of dried up so he did various jobs until our family physician, who had just come back from doing a six-month stint as a Peace Corps volunteer physician, told us they were looking for families to join. We inquired, went through all the tests, were accepted, and in July, 1971, were on our way to Southern Africa. There, after being quarantined at the Johannesburg airport we flew to the tiny country of Lesotho. We lived in the capital city of Maseru and our first six weeks were spent learning the culture and language (Sotho). My husband then started drilling water wells all over the country working for the government of Lesotho. He drilled 47 wells for villages that had never had access to water except for rivers or streams that were quite far away. He used techniques he learned at State and drilled judging by the rock formations. We lived quite a normal life, had a nice house and our four children enjoyed it immensely and have more than once said it was the best thing we ever did. Our oldest two children, a son and a daughter, had to leave early because of lack of schooling at their level. Our two youngest attended a British prep school where they were marked down for their American spelling. LOL. They were able to enjoy all aspects of the country and we all did a lot of traveling throughout the country. It was definitely a great experience and if we could, we would go back in a minute to visit. Mary A. Medendorp Holland CORRECTIONS: In the last issue, the caption below the 1947 commencement photo on page 38 incorrectly identified the building in which the ceremony was held. The picture was taken inside the Jenison Fieldhouse. The story on the Rock, page 41, also contained an error. It said the boulder weighed 18,000 pounds. In fact, there is no record of the boulder’s weight. Rather, the rock was estimated to be about 18,000 years old when it was discovered in the early 1870s.
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