Letters: Notes on News & Notes

When I came to UW-Madison in 1974, I wanted a bona fide “campus” job, so, with a ton of cooking experience at Mr. Steak on my resume, I landed work flipping burgers at the Red Oak Grill at Union South. I was good at it, and it wasn’t long before I was promoted to food service manager, which made me student honcho over the Red Oak Grill, the Snack Bar, and the Union’s catering business.

That was only a way station, though, as I soon found myself promoted to student building manager (making $2.75 an hour), dating the girl who worked the info desk, and being threatened by possibly inebriated bowlers who had somehow broken their lane’s pin changer.

It was with these memories that I read with some sadness about the demise of my former workplace [“A More Perfect Union,” News & Notes, Spring 2009]. Sure, it was sterile and underutilized, but where could you get a better steak sandwich and fries than the Red Oak Grill? How about the two bigger-than-the-plate pancakes at the Snack Bar for 65 cents?

A lot of my Madison experience was tied to that place, and, while I’m sure the new building will be fantastic, I hope it will provide for a whole new group of students the memories and life experiences the old one did for me. That’s what’s cool about a student union.

Mike Gottsacker ’76
St. Paul, Minnesota

Regarding the Quick Take from the Spring 2009 issue [News & Notes]: UW climatologists now appear to accept that global warming cannot be solely attributed to modern conveniences such as power plants and automobiles, since the climate changes predate these greenhouse gas sources. It is refreshing to hear that global warming might be a good thing. Still, they persist in the belief, based upon “correlation = causation,” that any climate changes must have been caused by man. I suppose this is one way for them to publish legitimate global warming science and yet stay on the right side of the green lobby to preserve their grants and reputations.

Peter Staats ’64
Loveland, Ohio

Published in the Summer 2009 issue


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