I was walking along North Harbor Drive in the Marina section of San Diego this past March taking in the sights when a sign caught my eye. It was a large sign advertising a whale-watching cruise, but more importantly, the vessel’s name was Marietta.
The two-story yacht was minutes away from departing for the four-hour tour, so I quickly purchased a single ticket and boarded the Marietta. Just before launch, I had the wherewithal to buy some Dramamine and find a forward-facing place on the bow. It wasn’t long before I noticed a few of the passengers kept asking me questions about the boat, about the types of whales we would see and if I would take their picture.
An expert from Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institute for Oceanography narrated the entire tour, so I wondered why I had so many people asking me random bits of information. A few miles into the voyage I figured it out: They thought I worked for the tour group because I was wearing my navy blue Marietta College raincoat.
When I realized ocean sickness was not going to happen that morning, I moved to the stern for a while and watched as a handful of gray whales surfaced and slapped their tails on the water’s surface. I didn’t get any more questions but I did have a few conversations about the College and how the name of the vessel led to my impulsive decision to come aboard for the morning. Lucky for me, I was able to see seven whales during that voyage, though a couple of them may have been the same whale.
The morning made me think of all the times that I’ve seen Pioneers or Marietta College bumper stickers on cars during my vacations and how those emblems — wherever they are found — make that location seem familiar and comfortable. Because of this, I’ve decided to make the navy blue raincoat my go-to travel jacket. It’s a great conversation starter, even if it means you’re answering questions about the weight of adult gray whales or how many knots the Marietta can travel. I have no idea, but I can tell you about this great college in Southeast Ohio.
Letters From Our Readers
On Jan. 15th, 2019, a beloved former faculty member, Art Buell, passed away in Marietta, Ohio. I was honored by his wife, Betty, and son, Mike, to be asked to speak at his memorial celebration on April 6th. The small Central Christian Church was filled with friends, former colleagues and students and current Marietta College faculty and administrative staff.
One former student in attendance was Greg Maloof ’66, who had driven from Williamsburg, Virginia, because, he said, Art Buell had been one of his best teachers. Greg mentioned that it was important for his former students and alumni to learn of Art’s death. And, he commented on the endowment established in Art’s and Betty’s name, which will forever pay tribute to this fine couple through the Art and Betty Buell Endowment for Communication at Marietta College.
I (looked) forward to returning to Marietta for our Alumni Board meeting and graduation (in May) and having dinner with Betty Buell. I, like so many other former students were touched by her and Art, will miss Art Buell and remember the major impact he had on our lives while students.
Jack Hopkins ’65
Letters to the editor
Because Marietta Magazine seeks to present a wide diversity of subject matter and content, some views presented in the publication may not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or the official policies maintained by Marietta College.
Letters commenting on the material or topics presented in the magazine are encouraged and are available for publication unless the author specifically asks that they do not appear in public print. Published letters may be edited for style, length and clarity.
Mail: Editor, Marietta Magazine, Office of Communication & Brand Management, 215 Fifth St., Marietta, OH 45750-4004