take a stab at fencing
After a photo of RIT
fencers from the 1950s appeared a year ago, The University
Magazine received a number of letters from people who remember
the glory days for this sport (a few more appear elsewhere on
John T. Horan of Califon,
N.J., wrote of the efforts of his son, second-year computer engineering
technology major Sean Horan. Sean was on the fencing team at Voorhees
High School in Hunterdon County, N.J., where 120 men and women
participate in the sport. After arriving at RIT, Horan connected
with another fencing enthusiast, Carl Lutzer, assistant professor
of mathematics. The two are responsible for starting a fencing
club that regularly draws 30 to 40 men and women for Saturday
training sessions. Most are beginners, who have the opportunity
to work with the three traditional weapons of the sport: saber,
épée and foil.
Its a wonderful
sport, says Lutzer, who was on the varsity fencing team
at Michigan State. Theres nothing in the world like
being chased by somebody with a sword.
Among the many plusses,
according to Lutzer: Agility, endurance, timing, control and finesse
are more important than brute strength. Men and women can compete
equally (although not in NCAA-sanctioned events). The psychological
components of the sport help develop self-confidence, assertiveness
and strategic thinking.
At this point, fencing
is strictly a club activity at RIT. It takes time to get
good, says Lutzer, and students dont have a
lot of time. In spite of that, theyre doing quite well.
It will take some time possibly several years to
develop a team and acquire the equipment needed to compete in
That doesnt deter
the enthusiasm of the students.
I love it, says Horan. Fencing is more of a
rush than any other sport Ive every played.
Horan, center, shares some pointers during a Saturday session
of RITs new fencing club.
To the Editors
I am (longtime RIT fencing coach) Harold Florescues son
and I was so pleased to see the comments in the Fall 2002 edition
of the magazine. It brought back numerous happy memories for me
I was born in 1946
and remember many of these people and fencing against them, including
in particular Clea Cooper. One person who no one mentioned was
named Rochell, I think. I recall having a huge crush on her and
being extremely angry when she got married.
For my family, thanks
for including the photos and thanks for the memories.
Leonard G. Florescue
New York City
To the Editors
I was a member of the womens fencing team during the 1951-52
and the 1952-53 seasons and I am pictured third from the
left in the photo in the Spring 2002 issue of The University
Second from the left
is Ellie Rulof Chasey 53, who was my roommate in Kate Gleason
Hall. She married Paul Chasey 52 (photo tech) and now lives
in California. The person on the right is Lyn Thiemke. I am not
certain who the person on the left is. This photo was taken at
the end of the 1953 season, since Ellie and I were not on the
The Fall 2002 issue
of the magazine shows letters stating that Barbara Brill may be
in this photo. I do not recall her being on the fencing team when
I was. The 1954 photo from Techmila (the RIT yearbook)
does show her; perhaps that was her first year.