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More From The Mailbag!

Wow, the mail lately has been great. Here's two more letters to pass on, one
about the disaster in Texas from someone who was there, and one from a Cadet.
Thanks, guys, for reminding us that basketball isn't the end-all and be-all.

I was in College Station yesterday on business and saw the rescue effort for
remaining students caught inside the log structure. I have witnessed this
most spectacular student celebration which precedes the A & M/UTexas annual
Thanksgiving battle. Without question there is nothing on so grand a scale
as this. This would include the State campus in '83 and Duke in '92
celebrations I watched. I remember thinking at the time on the Raleigh
campus how dangerous it was to watch guys in the tops of 40 foot trees
swinging the tops back and forth with a fifth in their hand. Or the sofas
and chairs and anything else handy that could be stolen from dorms to add to
each's bonfires. Its almost impossible to describe the engineering feat of
lashing thousands of logs together 40 feet high.

I was there when two students were visible but unconscious, later pulled out
dead, bringing the total to 11 gone. A father of one of the deceased was
there sobbing. It was awfully heart rending. A sobering thought on
celebration on campus. We're all bullet proof at that age until something
like this happens. By the way, naturally the bonfire was called off this
year. In a nice gesture, Texas and A & M's editors of their respective
school papers called off their annual lampoon of the other's paper and pep
rallys scheduled at Texas were cancelled out of respect.
It would be nice to know the same gesture might be made if it were Duke and
Carolina. JB


Thanks for writing what you guys did about the Army basketball team and
their real mission. To put it in perspective, I'm a freshman (Plebe) at West
Point, and Seth Barret (6-6, starting power forward) taught me how to throw
a grenade over the summer, pick up some one using a fireman's carry, and
react to indirect fire. So while, everyone else was working on their
jumpshot over the summer, he was training the next wave of cadets. Thanks
for recognizing their accomplishments.