Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tom Fuentes qua student—Rumored Clips & Actual Clips, c. 1967-8!

From the OC Weekly's website: DtB graphic of Tom
LA Times, Dec. 8, 1967
     Perhaps inspired by our recent mention of the late Tom Fuentes’ support of John Schmitz during the former's student days, Gustavo Arellano writes today about Fuentes' predictable writings (opinion pieces), 45 years ago, in the Chapman (College) Panther
     One letter is a rebuttal to criticisms of Schmitz. The other is a rant against war protesters.
     Wadja expect?

Commentaries Written By Tom Fuentes While a Student at Chapman University Unearthed!

     (Please note that Gustavo borrowed our very own “Tom as devil” graphic for this piece. You're welcome, dude.)
     Check it out.

     I’m especially interested in what Gustavo doesn’t provide about Tom Fuentes’ Chapman College years.
     It concerns a rumored artifact. One about Tom.
     At the start of the piece, Gustavo writes:
A rumored newspaper clipping
     Next to a picture of Walt Disney and Walter Knott together, one of the most famous OC historical artifacts that may or may not exist is a newspaper clipping detailing something that former OC GOP head Tom Fuentes was involved in during his student years, something that dares not speak its name. That clip, if it does indeed exist, is in the bowels of some Orange County archive or other, or in the safe of current GOP boss Scott Baugh, so in the meanwhile Fuentes observers will have to content themselves with two op-ed pieces Fuentes wrote while a student at Chapman College (now University, and my alma mater) during the late 1960s showing that even then, Fuentes was a raging wacko.
     Gracias, source, and cue the microfilm!
     OK, I’ve heard about this article/clip before, but it never seems to surface, if it even exists. More specifically, I’ve heard rumors about something that occurred during, or at the site of, Tom’s college job at a motel in Anaheim, near Disneyland. A prominent political journalist in these parts once told me that there was an article in the Times, or maybe the Register.
     But, again, nothing’s ever turned up, not in my world.
     I think Gustavo’s hoping that somebody will leave something special in his mailbox.
     Do not hold your breath, dude.


LA Times, April 17, 1968
     A somewhat related matter:
     I found an old Times article entitled, “Orange County JCs Oppose Tuition” (Oct. 18, 1967). At the time, evidently, State Finance Director Gordon Smith suggested that it might be a good idea to start charging community college students with tuition. (Yes, there was a time when Cal kids paid no tuition at CCs. It was all part of the grand vision of everybody getting an affordable college education. —RIP)
     Naturally, various educators cried foul.
     At one point, the story briefly turns to students and their opinions. The first kid they talk to says, if they charged tuition, he couldn’t attend. Sure.
     Then there’s more “educators,” including “Saddleback Junior College” superintendent Jack Roper, who roars that the question of tuition ought to be left up to the local board. Harrumph!
     Lemme cut to the chase. Eventually, they interview a young Santa Ana College student.
     Guess who?

     Spoken like a politician Tom. 
     I love the blarney about how most students would agree with him.
     Don't think so.

More artifacts:
LA Times, Oct. 26, 1967
LA Times, 3/17/68


Gustavo Arellano said...

Roy: Sorry I couldn't credit the Dissent the Blog Collection, as we always do. As for the clip? Oh, you underestimate the resourcefulness of my beloved sources...and I heard a bar in Laguna Beach.

Roy Bauer said...

I too have heard about a bar in Laguna Beach--sightings much more recent than the Anaheim hotel story. Good luck with your source (who, I hope, has more to say than that the F-man was seen with another man, etc.). I suppose that the hypocrisy entailed by "proof" of the man's "daringness" would excuse an "outing" in this case. I do think that it takes a lot to justify that sort of action. Creepy business, that. Not that any of this necessarily applies here, of course. All hypothetical. Yeah.

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