Monday, January 13, 2014

50 Years since Surgeon General's Report on Smoking! Here from MELVILLE BIOGRAPHY: An Inside Narrative--Why I Left Delaware

25 October 1990--RW smoking away--I got very sick because I did not notice it soon enough--Left word for Hayward Brock.

5 November 1990--Mailed letters to Hayward and Maxine--want violations on record--Someone has been smoking in the dome, even.

7 November 1990--Wrote the Director of Libraries after she refused to move ashtray urns from the entrances: "If I as part Choctaw and part Cherokee I complained that the only way I could get into Morris Library was to walk past signs where the urns read: ‘THE ONLY GOOD INDIAN IS A DEAD INDIAN’ you would find the authority, fast, to remove the signs. I don't see that a psychological assault such as a racist sign should be regarded as necessarily more dangerous than a direct physical assault, which is what anyone allergic to tobacco smoke now suffers in order to enter the library." I added parenthetically: "the users of Smoking Room 323 [in Morris Library] cannot sit in their own smoke: they often prop open the door to let smoke go out into the stacks." I continued: "I am sending a copy of this letter and (with your permission) a copy of your letter to Ronald Whittington, Maxine Colm, Robin Elliott, and Dean Edith Anderson as a way of raising consciousness about the need to see anyone's objection to smoking by an entrance to a building of the University of Delaware strictly as an access issue.  We build ramps for people confined to wheelchairs.  We can find ways of preventing unnecessary damage to the health of people who are still mobile but already damaged by tobacco smoke." [The urns and the smokers stayed, and the door to Smoking Room 323 continued to be open to the stacks much of the time. I retired early in large part because I never could gain smoke-free access to the library.]

12 November 1990--Smokers in lobby--Big blue No Smoking sign torn down--No sign even in men's room--Left word at Dean's office.

20 November 1990--Very depressed by RW and other violators and vandalizing of signs.

As I say in MELVILLE BIOGRAPHY: AN INSIDE NARRATIVE, I had to leave the University of Delaware because I could never gain smoke-free access to Morris Library and once inside could never reach smoke-free areas because there were none.

Is it better in Dublin and Rome and London and Paris now? Is it better in Delaware now?

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