Charlie Snauffer ’72

Charlie Snauffer ’72 is an excellent story teller. Here is his Howe diploma:

Charlie Snauffer Diploma 1974

Charlie’s Story – You’re Going To Howe!

I will start with some of my first experiences with the Howe way of life. After my first meeting with COL Bouton and having received my first G.O.[General Orders – a maroon-covered booklet given to each cadet upon enrollment with the School’s Rules and Regulations and a list of demerits for various infractions. In the early 1950s it was 3×5 and about 1/8-inch thick. Charlie’s copy was 5×7 and almost a half-inch thick. There were detailed drawings how your room was to be arranged. The double rooms in Gray Hall and Howe Hall were much larger than those in the c. 1954 barracks. Here are the room diagrams from Charlie’s G.O.:].

When I got home my Mother told my Dad that everything went fine and that I was given the Schools’ Rules and Regs and I was told to read them… my Dad in his o.c.d. mind thought that I had to memorize the whole book… he told me to read it every day and he would test me each night… keep in mind that I am 12 yrs old and in my way of thinking I had a whole lot of stuff that was way more important than learning that G.O. word for word…..but in my house there was zero deviation from the rules…..and the rule was to learn that damn G.O. word for word… I did…..I soon learned when I got to Howe I really only needed to know 3 pages.

A few weeks after being enrolled my parents got a letter from the School. In it was a list of 12 or so books that were suggested that I read 3 or 4 of them over the summer and be ready to write book reports about them when school started… the key word here is suggested… my Mother being a teacher and also suffering with her version of o.c.d……took it upon herself to see to it that I read the books and wrote the book reports… the next morning she had me standing at the front door of Fort Wayne’s public library so when the doors opened we went right to the front desk with the list of books. Mom told them that she needed all 12 books… we leave with a bushel of books and I am told to start reading…..well, so much for playing baseball that summer… I finish the first book in a couple of days and Mom tells me to write a report about the book… picture yourself doing this with a Mother who is a teacher… me school was never out in my house… anyway after several attempts I end up with a book report that reads like a New York Times Book Review…..finish all 12 or so books and the accompanying reviews… fast forward to the first week of school. I had Mrs. Kelly for reading and I asked her when she wants my book reports…..of course, she had no idea what I was talking about… I tell her the book reports from the summer reading list…..she tells me just to hang on to them for the time being…..guess what: never had to turn them in… parents reaction to this was…..well, it never hurts to be prepared…..just a wasted summer…..I did find those book reports in a box of Howe stuff several years ago…..I just pitched them.

A WHWE Disc Jockey Tells All

Howe’s very own WHWE 89.7 FM was located in the studio which was adjacent to the speech classroom in the northeast corner of the second floor of the Academic Building. Here is a 1958 photo of the studio showing two cadet speakers being coached by Lester M. Tucker, speech and debate teacher/coach. This studio was later the WHWE studio.

Charlie Snauffer ’72 writes his recollections: Please forgive me if I get some of the details wrong…..around 1970 Gordon Gauss’s (’71) family donated a 5-watt transmitter to the School to start our own radio station staffed by cadets…..this was an FM transmitter and the station was to be like a PBS-type of station…..well that didn’t last long, more on that later…..the broadcast booth was next to Mr. Hicks’s [speech] classroom…..the station WHWE was on the air from (I think) 3:30 p.m. to around 6:00 p.m……so since I was in Mr Hick’s speech class, in the back of my mind I thought I could be the next Larry Lujack (WLS out of Chicago) so I got involved with WHWE…..I started to learn how a radio station is supposed to work…..found out real fast it’s more than playing records…..there were about 6 or so cadets who had passed the FCC test and received their 3rd Class Radio/Telephone FCC License. I studied for the test and I am proud to say that I failed it with flying colors…..I could still go on the air but somebody with a license had to do all the stuff that the FCC required… I did the afternoon drive time slot…..well I could only take so much of Broadway show tunes and Lawrence Welk… one day i went thru a stack of records that record companies sent to the School and found some good stuff…..Creedence Clearwater Revival, Temptations, Four Tops and so on… I went on the air just like Dr. Johnny Fever from WKRP and started to rock the School from Old Guard Pond to the Athletic Complex that is if the wind was right and the batteries were strong enough in the transmitter…..I have no idea how many people listened to the station but it was fun and a learning experience…..and that’s what I remember about WHWE.