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on campus

st. lawrence university magazine | spring 2015



the nearby Chautauqua Institution to

the airwaves.

He recounts all of this in his autobi-


Jim Roselle: The Best Times of

My Life

(Falconer Printing, 2014). The

book includes the hard-working but

fun years at St. Lawrence and describes

how, because he knew everyone has a

story, he interviewed a multitude of

famous people, from anthropologist

Margaret Meade to Bill Clinton to

humorist Mark Russell.

More than 60 years at WJTN and 40

years of interviews at Chautauqua might

seem enough. But then Jim reflects on a

listener’s comment: “She told me, ‘Every

morning I roll over in bed and turn you

on.’ I decided to delay my retirement.”

—Stephen N. Anderson ’61


or more on books by Laurentians, go


We provide information on books by alumni

and others on a first-come, first-served basis.

Books that do not receive attention here may

be recognized in a future issue.

Douglas’s poems and accompany-

ing narration are delightfully playful at

times. Painful struggles with the death

of a son and loss of his speech from a de-

bilitating stroke dissolve into triumphant

recovery and acceptance of his own mor-

tality. The warmth of love for his family

overflows onto the pages as he recognizes

that fame and fortune are not what have

made his life fulfilling. He writes with

the humility, good humor and wisdom

of a man who has lived 98 years, admit-

tedly not perfectly, but certainly well. He

teaches us all that “life could be verse.”

—Shayla Snyder Witherell ’11

Six Decades Behind the Mike

Jim Roselle ’49

is in the New York

State Broadcasters Hall of Fame today.

His first broadcast was a KSLU remote

play-by-play of a St. Lawrence basketball

game that his radio professor, Gertrude

Paisel, arranged in order to see if he

should major in radio or not. Afterward,

Roselle says she told him, “I liked the

idea of making the game exciting, but

you need to tone it down.” He was

allowed to continue with a major in

radio, and to broadcast every St. Law-

rence major sport from that point on.

The hours of play-by-play helped

hone his skills for a job he’d thought

since childhood would be the best in

the world. Returning after college to

his hometown, Jamestown, New York,

he signed on with WJTN-AM radio.

Eventually he moved into interviewing,

and for 40 years he has brought world-

class authors, musicians, politicians,

poets, journalists, film-makers, histo-

rians, comedians, naturalists, Supreme

Court justices and others appearing at



Verses from Kirk

“I hope you enjoy the journey,”


Douglas ’39

bids you as you embark on

his fascinating life from ragman’s son to

the richness of Hollywood legend. Replete

with classic movie poses and intimate

family moments, his little brown hard-

cover book

Life Could Be Verse: Reflections

on Love, Loss, and What Really Matters

(Health Communications, 2014) contains

the poems he has written since childhood

to traverse the ups and downs of life. St.

Lawrence is the setting behind a Shake-

speare-inspired sonnet to woo an auburn-

haired girl and two additional poems to

heal from her rejection. The starlets from

the movies come and go, but it is easy to

see that there is only one leading lady in

his life: his wife of 60 years, Anne.

signed around centuries-old agricultural

practices, the garden is becoming an eco-

logical, holistic and sustainable support

system that will help encourage awareness

of the interconnectedness of all.

The “P-Garden” was started in the

spring of 2012. Supported by an Innova-

tion Grant, students and staff replaced

asphalt with cardboard, compost, soils,

trees, bushes, herbs and path-marking

boulders. Since then, an outdoor class-

room, hand-made Adirondack benches

and welcoming signs have been added.

Students harvest the food plants for

cooking, and classes meet there. Chaplain

Kathleen Buckley’s First-Year Program

course “The Power of Place” created

watch as a blue-winged skip-

per alights momentarily on

a rock, her wings shifting up

and down. I’ve never seen one

before. But then, I’ve never

headed a University permac-

ulture garden either, and that’s what I am

doing here.

It’s June, hot and sunny, and I am

mulching what used to be a parking lot

behind Commons College theme house

on Park Street. The St. Lawrence Uni-

versity Fruit for the Future Permaculture

Garden holds more than 50 perenni-

als and self-seeding annuals in what is

quickly becoming a smooth compromise

between cultivation and wildness. De-


By Catherine Bennett ’16

Jim Roselle ’49, with microphone,

broadcasts a basketball game in the

old Brewer Fieldhouse in 1947. Some

68 years later, he’s still at it.

the benches and plant signs, and Sara

Ashpole takes her Environmental Stud-

ies 101 class there to teach them about

permaculture and biodiversity, as well

as how interactions among everything,

one of the foundations of permaculture,


The future does look fruitful. Goals for

the fall semester include adding a com-

post system, water barrel and grape arbor;

completing a plant catalog, helping to

educate those unfamiliar with the garden.

As this garden grows, so we hope the

number of participants will as well.


Those interested in learning more about

the campus “P-Garden” may contact the

writer at

Unpaving Paradise

Permaculture Garden Replaces Part

of a Campus Parking Lot.