Discussion

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25 thoughts on “Discussion

  1. I’m curious about his musical career. When did he take up the bass? How did he end up with the Campus Owls? Did anyone else in the family play an instrument?

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    1. The Tammens were very musical. Mr. Tammen played in a band, and that’s how he met Mrs. Tammen. I believe they met at Miami U. as he was playing in the band and she was a student there. Ron played bass in high school (Maple Heights H.S.) and John played an instrument there too. I’m thinking that Richard did too, since he tended to follow in his brothers’ footsteps, but I’ll need to double check. I’ll check on other specifics too. For example, I believe Ron could play a second instrument. As far as the Campus Owls, it was pretty much that they had an opening and he auditioned for it.

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    1. I’ve asked people if he’d mentioned that he was concerned about the draft, and they’ve told me no. I don’t believe I’ve asked if he mentioned his status per se. My feeling is that if he were concerned, all he needed to do was renew his student deferment at the required times. Plus, the fact that he attempted to enroll in the Naval ROTC tells me that he was willing to serve in the military.

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  2. Whoa, that needs some investigation. I am thinking more and more things were not going well. It doesn’t make sense to drop classes you were apparently doing at least okay in. Other people thought he was always studying…but only 11 hours at the end of the semester? Strange. Were the academic struggles a cause or a symptom…

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    1. I’ve always had the sense that he reached a point of crisis, but I couldn’t put my finger on what the crisis might have been. I’ve had theories but nothing concrete. This might qualify. I’ll definitely be looking into this question.

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  3. This is a long shot, but why not? When I was in a dorm, one resident was in charge of sorting mail to the individual boxes. Did Miami have that setup in 1953? Would there be some way of identitying who worked the mailroom? Wouldn’t you love to ask them if anything stood out in Ron’s mail?

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    1. Yeah, that would be nice. Phone records would be awesome too. But I’m not giving up — there may be other ways to figure out if Ron had received some troubling news.

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  4. Doesn’t that suggest they knew each other better than the average roommates? They had to go to the meetings, surely they talked shop, and you’d think they compared notes on their residents. Not sure what any of this means, just thinking out loud.

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  5. I noticed some of the comment sections are closed. Do you have some time frame for doing that? No problem, but I did want to commend you on the great prose in Seeking Grace.

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    1. Thank you! Yeah, I’ve been reading that it’s generally a good idea to close comments on old posts, so I’ve now set the comment period to 14 days. I figure that people can still comment on any topic of their choosing (related to Ronald Tammen) on the new discussion page, as you have. Also, you may have noticed that there is no longer a wait period before posts go live. We’ll see how it goes!

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      1. I’m not a website expert, but I’d think maybe 14 days with a renewal 3 or 7 or 10 day period each time a new comment is added would help comments stay on topic. No big deal.

        I noticed the no wait period. The first time I thought “She’s up late”, and assumed you were looking at the site as I posted. The second time I figured it out and only wondered if that was the new standard for everyone. It should be fine. Maybe a contact link with a little more prominence and a suggestion they contact you regarding inappropriate content would be in order.

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  6. You may have this planned already, but an occasional Q&A post would work for me. Catching up on all the questions/issues raised since the last one, cleaning up the unaddressed points raised in the various blog entries, dealing with the ongoing posts in the backgrounder section, etc.

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  7. I’m just full of great ideas to cause more work for you. One more is maybe people should have a probationary period of say, 5 posts, where you moderate them. After that, you graduate them to immediate posting.

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    1. I see SOME resemblance between Ron and the dog handler. The problem is that the dog handler looks the same age as Ron in 1953, but the dog handler photo was published in 1967. Assuming the photo was taken the same year, Ron would have been about 34 years old?
      Interestingly, the soldier in the water has the same glassy-eyed look – a “cast” perhaps – that several people, including Ron’s parents, mentioned in describing Ron. Hmmm………..

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  8. Just watched the Phantom of Oxford again. At 5:52 of part 1, Chuck references the psych book as “Ron’s book”. I see no reason to think that’s not the case.

    At 6:08, he says he “got back at 9”. I see many references to 10:30 in the literature and that 9 seems pretty important. It sure narrows down the window of opportunity for Ron to disappear. Not sure what to make of it.

    It mentions Ron’s bankbook on the desk. Very strange.

    At 7:43, Chuck says, “For the first 3 or 4 days, I wasn’t concerned.”
    Whattttttttttt?! Was Ron in the habit of disappearing for that long? If not, it’s incomprehensible to me that someone wouldn’t be concerned long before that. And again, this is someone repeatedly referenced as studying all the time, apparently in his room.

    I guess life isn’t all neat and tidy, but there’s a couple really bizarre issues involving Chuck that are very hard to explain.

    That “got back at 9” sure seems like it bears examination. Do you have any contacts from Fischer Hall who have ever mentioned when they saw Chuck?

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    1. It’s important to keep in mind that “The Phantom of Oxford” was produced in 1976, 23 years after Ron disappeared. Some of the comments made are inconsistent with what had been established much earlier. This includes Chuck’s comment about not being concerned for 3 or 4 days or his estimate of the time he arrived back to the room. Dean Knox’s notes and Joe Cella’s reporting indicate that the time was 10:30 p.m., which is the time that I trust most. Thank you for the reminder that Chuck had made a reference to Ron’s book.

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  9. I understand and expected this response per the 23 years. The 9/10:30 issue, I tend to agree with you. But I bet the only basis for that original 10:30 statement was that Chuck told them. Most of the time, if someone is being honest, and they have 2 different stories over the years, what they say early on is almost surely the correct position. But there’s something very unsettling about this. Would YOU forget that detail, even if it was 23 years later? No way I would. No chance. Would Chuck? Well, maybe he just honestly messed up. But people also routinely mess up when they aren’t being honest. That’s hard to dismiss here. It just is. Do I think Chuck had anything to do with it? No. Do I think he knew anything about it? Well……you think Richard was being evasive. It’s kind of hard to not think the same about Chuck. I lean toward no, he didn’t know anything about it. But there’s a couple really big issues that make you wonder.

    I’m a bit disappointed Joe Cella didn’t look into the 9/10:30 issue. But I understand that in 2018, we have been conditioned to be really skeptical of most everything in a way that people weren’t even 40 years ago. The reasons why could fill an encyclopedia.

    The big problem with dismissing what Chuck said due to the passage of 23 years is that here we are 60 some years later and we’re to trust anything any of the witnesses tell you? I don’t know.

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