Michael T. Bradley

Oh, what memories your issue of February 3 brought back to me! When I picked up a copy, I glanced at the photo on the cover. I thought that the individual was vaguely familiar to me, although I could not make any definite connection. However, when I got to page 19 and saw the photograph there, I immediately knew who the person on the cover was and remembered the impact that he had on my life many years ago.

I was a freshman at Tolleson Union High School in the fall of 1936. David Murdock had received his master's degree in music from the University of Arizona in the spring of 1936 and began his teaching career at Tolleson that fall.

David was not only a very accomplished pianist and composer, but he could also play just about any kind of musical instrument. David taught me how to play the trombone, and I played in the school band a couple of years under his direction. In addition to teaching students how to play various instruments, David also taught singing in what was called "glee club" back then. David also directed the musical portion of several operettas that were performed at Tolleson High while he was there.

Much of what I now know about music, I learned from David Murdock. For that I am most grateful. David was a wonderful individual and I consider myself very fortunate to have been acquainted with him.

One of the very first things that David did when he came to Tolleson was to compose both the words and music to a TUHS "fight song." To my knowledge, this was the very first such song in the history of the school. David also taught some tumbling and gymnastic classes and served as coach of the girls' tennis teams.

I believe that David left Tolleson in 1938 and went to Glendale Union High School, where he taught until World War II came along. The story in your paper then followed his Army career from the time that he was drafted until he was killed in the Sicily campaign in 1943.

After graduating from Tolleson Union High School in 1940, I attended the University of Arizona for two years. I then joined the U.S. Navy in 1942 and served both as an enlisted man and an officer.

I was one of the lucky ones who went through World War II without seeing any actual combat duty. As your story so dramatically recounts, David Murdock went through a lot of combat and paid the ultimate price by giving his life for our country. It is to him and to thousands of others like him that we all owe a sincere debt of gratitude.

Thank you so very much for your wonderful story that reminded me of the part that David Murdock had in my life.

Wallis T. Fleming

I just finished reading your feature story on David Murdock. I would like to congratulate you on what I consider to be a masterful job.

You have succeeded in capturing the true feelings of the infantry combat soldier, feelings that only we who have been there really understand: In the beginning, the apprehension, not so much fear of death as fear that we may not measure up, the determination to make our loved ones proud of us. Then the exultation of finding out that we really can do the job and do it well. The fellowship, the esprit de corps, the confusion of battle, our manly pride, our patriotism, our concern for what the folks back home will think of us, and through it all, the terrible and ever-present loneliness and homesickness for home and our loved ones.

The second article in the series, on Jimmy Creasman, was especially meaningful to me, because the route he describes through southern France, the Rhone Valley, Alsace and Worms, Dachau and Berchtesgaden is the same one we of the 7th Infantry fought for earlier. I found it to be deadly accurate, extremely well-written, and it stirred many memories.

On behalf of all combat veterans, I thank you for telling our story so well.

Russ Cloer
via Internet

Best Friend

I thought that if a person has a companion pet, that legally, that individual had to be accepted anywhere he wanted to live as long as he indicated that the pet was prescribed ("Pet Peeve," Laura Laughlin, February 10). Is there anything I can do or anywhere I could send a few dollars to help this man and his pet stay together? I am a dog owner, and I have grown very attached to my dog, Daisy. I know I could not live without her, as weird as that sounds, it is true. I know I would die without my dog.

Greg Kokines

Thin Lizzy

First of all, where the hell are your Trashman articles? For the past two months, I have been waiting for a decent article in the music section, and seeing as no one else is up to the task, where is Bill Blake? I don't know if the last article I saw was serious, about some girlfriend cheating on him, but that is not a reason to stop writing.

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