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  • Author:
    Robert Bao
  • Published:
    Fall 2012


One unsung contribution by Leonard Falcone’s Spartan Marching Band was helping lift our Spartan football teams in those magical 1965 & 1966 seasons. As players we never got to witness the pregame and halftime shows, but as we returned to the locker room aft er our pregame warm-up, the band would be wailing on those drums in the tunnel, chomping at the bit to get on the field. Listening to their “thunder” gave us an adrenalin rush that was palpable. We never lost a home game during those two seasons.

Pat Gallinagh, ’67

The article on Leonard Falcone not only brought back a lot of memories, but also taught me a few things I didn’t know. Thanks for recognizing a man I have idolized for years.

Jim VanDevelde, ’62, MA ’67

Great story about Dr. Falcone. When we introduced the Sparty mascot in 1955, we (me wearing the costume and a fraternity brother who helped me strap it on) were allowed to travel to away football games with the marching band. The trips were usually by train. Dr. Falcone always fit us into the band travel plans and so, besides all his other accomplishments, he can be credited with playing a key role in making Sparty known throughout Big Ten country.

William Clithero, ’58
Albuquerque, NM

Your story about Leonard Falcone brings to mind one of my best memories of MSU—the 1953 Rose Bowl game which State won! We went to California by train, taking the southern route through Santa Fe and returning via Union Pacific on the northern route.

E. Alyne Metzer, ’56
New York, NY


Thanks for your column, “Revisiting an Intriguing Chapter of MSU History” (Summer 2012) . I appreciate your summary of David Young’s new book about John Hannah’s long journey to gain admission into the Big Ten. I was amused by the double irony you noted—the fact that Hannah was once a student of the University of Michigan representative who was working against MSU’s admission, and the recent appointment of Hannah’s granddaughter to that very position by UM. Even in the MSU-UM great divide, what goes around comes around.

Dick Pendell, ’62

Your column about MSU getting into the Big Ten is a fascinating read. We all owe a deep sense of gratitude to President John A. Hannah for his vision—and savvy—in getting us into the Big Ten. How ironic that current Big Ten faculty representative from our biggest rival back when our nose was pressed against the window is none other than John Hannah’s granddaughter. Go Green!!!!

Bob Cantrell, ’62


Imagine my surprise when I looked at MSU Moments and saw myself in the photo! Yes, I was in Tower Guard and then also in Mortar Board, tapped at May Morning Sing. My parents couldn’t make it for Tower Guard but Mortar Board two years later was a different story. I was an RA and asked to get one of my girls to Beaumont Tower for Tower Guard. Unbeknownst to me, she was asked to get me there to be tapped for Mortar Board. The symmetry meant no kidnapping and lots of cooperation even though we were both fooled. The biggest surprise was that my parents were hiding in the bushes at dawn aft er driving from Maryland. I was hobbling on crutches for an injury that I had failed to mention to them so they wouldn’t worry about their daughter far from home. My mother almost fainted. I reassured them that it was nothing serious and we had a lovely day.

Donna H. Kinksz, ’69
Catonsville, MD


You really outdid yourself with this latest edition of the alumni magazine. The story of Leonard Falcone was fantastic—I’ve oft en wondered about the history of Dr. Falcone’s time at MSU since the band holds a special place in my MSU memories. I enjoyed reading John T. Madden’s personal perspective as well. Your column about MSU’s membership in the Big Ten was the push I needed to finally purchase David Young’s book (Arrogance and Scheming in the Big Ten). I’m sure it will be just like this issue of the alumni magazine— something I just can’t put down! The icing on the cake was the Lasting Impressions photo of Carson Noll. Keep up the great work! Molly C. Ziske, ’87, PhD ’03 St. Clair Shores


Thanks for the great look back at Coral Gables (Winter 2012). I was a server on Wednesday nights, when we’d go through 400 cases of beer. Owner Tom Johnson ran a tight ship and made sure we hustled every beer to every table.

Later I helped start the (then) East Lansing-Meridian Area Chamber of Commerce. We changed the East Lansing City Charter in 1968 from a dry to wet town.

Back then the two largest volume party stores in Michigan outside of Detroit were Oades on the west edge and Tom’s Party Store next to the Gables on the east edge of town. We won by two-thirds vote and that is why you can get a drink in East Lansing today.

I can still feel the throb of the bands at the Coral Gables and the hustle that Tom demanded. The Gables will always be an MSU legacy memory. Thanks for freshening it up.

Leland K. Bassett