The Perfect Party: September 2011

The Reed College alums we’d like to see at our table.

August 19, 2011 Published in the September 2011 issue of Portland Monthly

GARY SNYDER ’51 The Beat bard acquired the name “Leitswics” on a vision quest during which he communed with a benevolent light switch. His spirit guardian landed him a room at a raucous coed house in Sellwood—possibly America’s archetypal counterculture crash pad. May the light switch bless our repast!

THE DOYLE OWL ’13 This three-foot concrete statue began life as a simple lawn ornament, until a gang of Doyle dorm pranksters stole it. Every few years the coveted Owl turns up: suspended over bridges, in Indonesia, or even in Tears for Fears music videos. Whoever has the Owl, please bring it for our centerpiece.

JAMES BEARD ’24 (EXPELLED) Long before Portland chefs began winning Beard’s coveted awards, Reed chased the round gourmand out, deciding his gay lifestyle wasn’t a good fit. Jim, bring your date of choice.

BARBARA EHRENREICH ’63 Ehrenreich put society’s problems under her microscope in books like Nickel and Dimed—maybe because she spent her Reed years staring through an actual microscope. Her senior thesis? “Electrochemical oscillations of the silicon anode.” Ms. Ehrenreich, please give us a reading from your, uh, more recent work.

ROSE FRIEDMAN ’30 (TRANSFFERRED) This staunchly libertarian economist attended Reed for two years before fleeing. Rose, help yourself to our veggies. They’re free-market!

IGOR VAMOS ’93 Vamos—one half of pro prank duo the Yes Men—honed his mayhem at Reed. Greatest hits: marching a small army into a downtown Gulf War protest where they vomited red, white, and blue; and switching every Naito Parkway street sign to read “Malcolm X Blvd.” Who knows what might find its way into our punch bowl?

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