UC Davis Magazine Online
Volume 20
Number 4
Summer 2003
Current IssuePast IssuesMagazine HomeSearch Class NotesSend a Letter



[“Cow Chips and a Case Tractor, spring ’03] Very nice story, but I think [author Kathleen L’Ecluse] was more involved in “the guy” than she remembers. First, cow manure does not work; it was horse manure. Cows do a better job of digestion than horses. Second, steam engines don’t have radiators. It was the gasoline Case that had the radiator problem.

The students had worked on the 20-40 Case for several weeks cleaning and painting. They were reminded several times about the leaky radiator. The radiator problem was not addressed until about 10 p.m. the night before the Picnic Day parade. Water poured from the radiator, and I had girls sobbing after all their work.

I sent them to the auto parts store for Bars Leak. One bottle in, then two bottles. When the pellets dissolve, it turns the water milky white. We had a white lake on the floor of the shop. I knew we needed something to expand into those large weeping holes, so off to the grocery store for a box of Pablum. That did not work, and the girls were still sobbing. . . . Their ride through the parade looked pretty bleak.

Then about 1:30 a.m. I remembered the story from an ol’ timer of the horse manure. The students were gone awhile as they had difficulty finding dry manure due to the recent rains. About 2:30 the manure went in, and by 3 the radiator stopped dripping and they headed for the parade. Just one of the all-nighters spent with the students before a parade.

Those were the good ol’ days. Good memories.

Lorry Dunning, Adviser,
Antique Mechanics, 1970-94
via e-mail

I very much enjoyed reading Kathleen L’Ecluse’s article “Cow Chips and a Case Tractor.” I too joined the Antique Mechanics Club, but I was an earlier member in 1973. My club initiation project was the refurbishment of a small corn-husking machine. I remember sand blasting/painting rusted steel parts, refurbishing the wood case and finally painting the whole thing yellow with wonderful black pinstriping. It was really a thing of beauty when I was done. During one of the meetings Lorry Dunning jumped off the back of a running Yuba Ball tractor and landed in a straddle position over the rotating power output shaft. The sprocket on the shaft grabbed his blue jeans and promptly stripped them off. A potentially serious accident turned into a laughing moment plus an educational opportunity [teaching us] to always respect the machines we were faithfully restoring. [Above] is a picture of my antique mechanics badge that I proudly pinned on my striped engineer’s cap. I’ve hung on to the thing for 30 years.

Barry Stephens ’75, M.S. ’76
Vice President of Engineering
Energy Absorption Systems Inc. Rocklin
via e-mail


In the spring magazine I enjoyed the article by Professor Daniel Simmons on taxes [“Do Only Fools Pay Taxes?”]. While he made some good points he failed to address any arguments from the other side. Anyone who thinks the tax system is fairly applied has tipped his hat. The tax burden has shifted to the smallest percentage of the population since World War Two. The reference I found most onerous was the analogy to stealing a candy bar in a shop. Clearly I do not own that candy bar and to make such a reference Dr. Simmons seems to be saying if I try to keep more of my income via legal or questionable off-shore methods I am taking money that does not belong to me. That is clearly wrong in my mind. The problem lies in the government curbing its appetite for money that belongs firstly to those who earned it.

Dirk Pearson ’86
The Pearson Institute
Citrus Heights
via e-mail


What a wonderful surprise to see the poetic article on invasive species in the spring issue! As a student of the Nature and Culture program, I had the opportunity to visit Putah Creek and McLaughlin Reserve, as well as partake in intellectually challenging, if not at times a bit abstract, classes with Dr. Moyle and Dr. Robertson. I am thrilled to see their dedication to the weaving together of science and the humanities developing into even bigger, brighter programs. As a fledgling biocultural anthropologist, with an interest in conservation, the lessons and tools obtained through

UC Davis and the Nature and Culture program have contributed substantially to my research interests and academic perspectives—namely, look longer, wider, deeper!

Cristy Watkins ’00
via e-mail


I want to thank all of the staff and contributors of UC Davis Magazine for consistently publishing a high-quality, informative, thought-provoking and intelligent magazine. Ten years after receiving my bachelor’s degree at UC Davis, I continue to enjoy learning about new research and new developments occurring on campus.

Keep up the great work!

Tesi Low ’93
via e-mail


This Issue | Past Issues | Magazine Home | Search Class Notes | Send a Letter