A memory submitted by Chris Rentzel, Class of 1972

The one that stands out the most and of whom I have shared the most memories over the years is the great Lon Tinkle. You just had to be there … his look recalled that of Mark Twain, and, appropriately enough, he taught a class about the classic novels. He was an author, scholar, and reviewer of the highest regard, but it was his spellbinding speaking that made him unforgettable. His class met twice a week in that large classroom at the bottom of the Fincher Building, and to say that it was packed does it no justice. The students who were actually taking the class filled the hundred or so chairs, and others who had only heard about his lectures took every available spot on the floor. In truth, these were not lectures, they were virtuoso performances, worthy of Olivier. Some how, some way, he would, in his marvelous one of a kind part Texas, part British accent, take us on eighty minute literary journeys. Yes, he would always start out from a launching point premised on  the book that we were reading, but soon the storytelling would lead onto apparently disconnected yet mesmerizing avenues, only to have him tie it all up a second or two before the bell rang. Every time. You could not hear a pin drop in that crowded room,  and everyone leaned in closer as the end of class neared just to see him do it again. Had it been in a theatre, he would have received a prolonged standing ovation as the curtain closed.  Instead, we just sat there, amazed, finally looking at each other, shaking our heads, and smiling. Marvelous.