CoverIn Their Words Indeed

Congratulations on your fall bicentennial issue. As the title indicated, you reported “In Their Footsteps, In Their Words.” You did not editorialize or add any “politically correct” comments. You let these pioneers of the Baptist faith speak for themselves about this new but remote place of higher learning in Maine, still part of the mother state of Massachusetts.

History major that I was, I looked up the year 1813 in my Time Tables of History, published by Simon & Schuster. It indicated that the War of 1812 was still raging. Buffalo was burned by the British but Detroit was retaken. Byron and Shelley were in their heyday in England, and the waltz conquered the European ballrooms. But under the heading of religion, philosophy, and learning, I read “Colby College Maine founded.”

Rev. Charles L. Smith Jr. ’50

Providence, R.I.


Finding More Memories of the late Bill Holland

I was very moved to read the wonderful article about my classmate Bill Holland by his daughter, Laurel (“Finding a Life on the Edge,” fall 2012 Colby). She is a beautiful writer and her story of growing up without her dad, coping with the accident that claimed his life, and not knowing the whereabouts of his body for 21 years was beyond moving. When she described the trip she and her mother took to the 40th reunion of our class to learn more about their father/husband, I began remembering Bill fondly. He and I had a natural connection through our four Colby years, which I just revisited in my memorabilia. 

 As Holland and Holm we entered Colby side by side in Faces and Places, the booklet of classmates’ photos we received as incoming freshman. At graduation we were paired for the processional and sat through the ceremony together. In the years between, we were not close friends but were friendly. I knew him well enough to want Laurel to know what a kind, deeply thoughtful person I found him to be. And I also want to thank Laurel for writing about her remarkable father for all of his friends and classmates.

Janet Holm Gerber ’72

Rockville, Md.


I enjoyed, but not without both a smirk and a tinge of sadness, Laurel Holland’s moving story about her dad, who was my fraternity brother at KDR.

If Colby had prepared a time capsule during our years on the Hill, one of the objects finding its way into that box would have been a fraternity paddle. Yes, Modern Readers, there was such a thing as a fraternity paddle. And yes, we were whacked on the backside with them during, miserabile dictu et auditu, Hell Week. In addition to these historical facts, add the concept of fraternity fathers and sons—older members acting as mentors for younger members. (Not much mentoring was ever done.) Bill was my fraternity son and presented me with a beautifully carved and hand-stenciled paddle, which in correspondence subsequent to her article, Laurel has agreed to accept as a memento of her father’s years at Colby.

To close on a personal note, Bill Holland was a loyal friend and a gentleman, but also someone with a fierce and sometimes wild independent streak (think a motorcycle racing up the Hill by Lovejoy to Johnson Pond when there was a road there).

Tony Maramarco ’71

Los Angeles, Calif. 


Some Praise, Not Criticism

In today’s society it seems it’s easier to criticize than to praise, but I do think the fall issue of Colby was superb. I found the articles interesting and informative.

I was particularly moved by Laurel Holland’s article about her father, Bill Holland ’72. He was diagnosed with severe manic depression. My family has been exposed to this type of behavior, so we are aware of the difficulties of this horrible illness and can sympathize with the struggles placed on Laurel’s father.

Ron Rasmussen ’57

Ramona, Calif.