Friday, February 13, 2009

Winter Carnival

Here follows a series of e-mails discussing Dartmouth Winter Carnival and its ice sculptures of olde:

Big D-ers,
This coming Friday starts Winter Carnival and this morning the “Boston Globe” published a photo of the 1935 center-campus ice sculpture “Odin”. This has inspired me to this request for your input for the blog site “Dartmouth Traditions”. What I am asking for is your memories of past ice sculptures … both center campus and in front of fraternities/dorms … or, better yet, included JPEG pictures of same. The one I remember most was the center-campus standing Indian with his drawn bow … how this was done in ice still baffles me.) I’ll assemble them into a blog entry that should highlight one of Dartmouth’s most enduring traditions. (I even helped design and build the Sigma Nu ice sculpture in 1959, yet I can’t recall what it was.)
George Potts ‘60

George,The Sigma Nu statue in 1958 was a rocket with features of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles titled "Dull Ice". A picture appeared in Time Magazine and we received letters from upset Republican ladies even though most of us approved of and liked Dulles at the time.John Bousum

George...I remember clearly the Sigma Nu ice sculpture you designed for our Senior year (you say 1959, but technically it was 1960, I believe). I believe the theme for that Winter Carnival was the Gay 90's or some such. We came up with an image of an old carriage with a couple of drivers and we called it "The Good Ol' Drays." Weren't we clever? You did most of the work, I recall, and worked well into the cold nighttime hours in an attempt to complete the statue for the 'judges' who were scheduled to come by fairly early the next morning.
It really was very well done, but I don't recall that we won any prizes.Bob Caulfield

George --
Thanks for including me in your mailing after all these years. I'm not much help. I think somewhere I have a picture of the Wheeler Hall statue we made for freshman year. Usual pun of a mouse on a wedge of holey cheese -- Swiss Skis -- if I recall it, but that's about it. I'm not good at JPEG, but I can send you the picture if that's something you want. Anyway, nice to hear from you.
Wah-hoo-wah --

Why the hell did somebody not take a picture of that? does the college have a archivist or some body like that who might have take one? I wimped out and stayed inside because it was too
cold. It was a good statue.

John: Ah, you have stirred the memory. Dimling and I were tasked with the project and, as you will recall this was the era of Sputnik and the beginning of the ICBM race with Russia. John Foster Dulles was the quintessential hawk and the project turned out pretty well----we got 2nd or 3rd place. I sent the picture and a letter of explanation and, as your correctly recall, we got some very interesting replies ranging from completely off the wall to coeds looking for an invite to Winter Carnival. I think it was the next year that a major TV network did a special on Winter Carnival. Hard to believe that we looking back at this from the perspective of half a century...!!Earle

Earle, et al --A great memory. But I think your recollection of the mail you received -- and it was you, and not "we" who received it, since it was you who sent the letter to Time -- has been a little dulled by the passage of time. I seem to recall that some of the letters from females were offering more than just to come to winter carnival. Of course I was young and impressionable then, so perhaps any suggestion from a young female had more impact than it deserved.John

I'm digging through boxes of old photos to find something for you. Your idea is great . . . my memory less so. Ergo, I'm searching. I'll let you know if and when I find something. Axel

Thanks for all your e-mails. I am assembling them into the "Dartmouth Traditions" blog entry which I will publish shortly. Today starts the 100th anniversary of Winter Carnival and it has met with a minor catastrophe. See I guess this might be thought of as representative given the state of the college, our nation and the world. But all is not lost if I can interpret the spirit of tradition that seems to be exhibited by the response to this setback.

Studernts come to save the day --

George Potts '60


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