The North Texas Daily (Denton, Tex.), Vol. 71, No. 43, Ed. 1 Thursday, November 12, 1987 Page: 1 of 8
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By Jay Johnson
An NT student came home from class about
I p.m. Wednesday to find his apartment ablaze.
A cigarette started the fire, an investigator said.
“Careless smoking set the bed on fire,"
said investigator Bill Daniel of the Denton Fire
Department. "It could have been burning for
about an hour, but with no air, a bed can
smolder for a long time.”
Four fire engines and 20 firefighters re-
sponded to combat the fire at Prairie Walk
Apartments, a i4-unit complex one block west
of campus at 1000 W. Prairie St.
The fire was reported at 1:15 p.m. by Yo-
hannes Kiflezion, Asmara, Ethiopia, senior.
No one was injured in the blaze, which was
declared under control at 2:10 p.m.
“1 got home from class and the living room
was full of smoke,” Kiflezion said. “1 opened
the bedroom door to see where it was coming
from, and it was completely dark inside.”
Two apartments were damaged by the blaze,
and Daniel estimated the damage to the complex
Kiflezion said his possessions in the apart-
ment were not insured.
“I hope my books are safe,” he said.
Denton Fire Chief John Cook said the blaze
started in Kiflezion’s apartment on the ground
floor and spread to the apartment directly above
it through an outside window
Then the insulation in the attic, which is
shared by all the apartments in the complex,
caught fire It continued to smolder after the
blaze was brought under control. Firefighters
had to cut three holes in the complex's roof
with a chainsaw to gain access to die fire in
The North Texas Daily
Thursday, November 12, 1987 North Texas State University, Denton, Texas 71st Year No. 43
Mike Jones of the Denton Fire Department takes oxygen
after inhaling smoke while fighting the Prairie Walk fire.
Shannon Dt awe/NT Daity Staff
Cigarette sets apartments ablaze
'I died five times'
while captive in Iran,
says Navy captain
Ex-administrator crosses international dateline for alums
to kill them. Sharer, who was threatened five times,
said, “You’d feel the cold steel behind your ear
and hear their Islamic prayers. I died five times
After the first day, life in captivity became routine,
he said. “It settled into 90 percent boredom, 10
percent stark terror.
“We used sleep as an escape mechanism. I’d
dream of Chesapeake, Virginia, at night, but in
the morning. I’d wake up to the same gray walls,”
The hostages spent their time playing card games
by candlelight and exercising, Sharer said. “I turned
39 and 40 over there, but I got in great shape,”
“The Iranians learned early on that they had to
keep the American mind busy," he said. The
captives were allowed to read books including
"Moby Dick” and “War and Peace," but most
world news was kept from them, Sharer said.
“They’d sometimes give us old ‘Time’ and
‘Newsweek’ magazines with articles about us cut
out,” he said.
Communication between the hostages at times
was limited to a code of taps on cell walls and
notes left in the restrooms. “The toilet was a great
place,” Sharer said. “We got to get out of our
cell and leave to find notes."
Sharer said he kept a diary during his captivity
by pricking holes under letters in his bible. The
diary was taken from him on the last day of his
captivity, Sharer said.
The American hostages were released Jan. 20,
1981. “We got the most wonderful homecoming
anyone in the service ever had,” Sharer said.
“I appreciate what all these fellows have done,”
Sharer said, speaking of American Veterans.
“They’re responsible for the freedoms we have
The American Legion is the largest veterans’
organization in the United States.
By Jean Pagel
A Navy captain stationed at the American Em-
bassy in Teheran, Iran, wrote a letter to his wife
and two children in the United States on Nov. 4,
1979, a seemingly uneventful day. In the letter,
Captain Don A. Sharer wrote that he would return
to his country within two weeks.
Later that day, Iranian students invaded the
embassy. Sharer and
51 other Americans fled DU i
to the third floor of the ** ^
building. “When we
they told us to walk out
with heads held high. I
thought it was pretty
crummy advice,” he
The Iranians cap-
tured them, tied their
hands behind their backs
and blindfolded them,
“We did a lot of
whistling of ‘Yankee
Doodle Dandy’ when OtlSrSf
the Iranians burned American flags in front of us.
We knew we’d be released the next day,” he said.
Their stay ended 444 days later.
Sharer, now commandihg officer of the Dallas
Naval Air Station, recounted his experiences as a
hostage in Iran Wednesday at the annual Veterans
Day breakfast of the American Legion Post No. 71
He said he had been temporarily stationed in Iran
in 1979 as a liaison officer between the United States
and the Iranian Air Force. “I got in trouble because
I knew so much about the F-14,” Sharer said.
On the first day of captivity, Sharer said, the
Iranians tied the Americans to chairs and threatened
Kim Hopkina/NT Daily Staff
Dr. Robert Toulouse, NT provost emeritus, demonstrates
the marionette elephant he got in Thailand.
Forum to feature future
Future economy, politics, education and development of Texas are topics to be
assessed at a symposium from 8 a m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Loews Anatole Hotel
“Toward 1990: The Future of Texas” is a forum that will focus on the topics of
economic assessments, political horizons, educational issues and prescriptions for
Featured panelists scheduled to speak at the symposium include Ann Richards,
Texas state treasurer; Jack Rains, Texas secretary of state; Rep. Wilhemina Delco,
D-Austin; and Kathy Whitmire, mayor of Houston.
For further information call (214) 871-8787.
Asians first asked about football team, says provost emeritus
^ They’re really very up-to-date about what's
happening here. They care enough about the
school to find ways of staying in touch. If
—Dr. Robert Toulouse,
NT provost emeritus
By Joy Jones
Eagle spirit is alive and well and has
crossed the international dateline.
Dr. Robert Toulouse, NT provost
emeritus, recently returned from a three-
week trip to Asia. While there, he visited
with two groups of NT graduates who
attended the university as international
The graduates Toulouse visited are
currently living and working in Bangkok,
Thailand, and Hong Kong.
"They’re very interested to know
what’s going on at NT,” he said. "One
of the first things the Hong Kong group
asked about was the football team.
“I was there just before Homecoming,
and we were doing so well then I told
them there was a good chance we would
win the Southland Conference cham-
pionship. I think we will.”
The alumni also wanted to know about
the school’s impending name change and
they sent messages back to favorite pro-
fessors, Toulouse said. “They’re really
very up-to-date about what’s happening
here,” he said. “They care enough about
the school to find ways of staying in
HE SAID MOST OF the alumni he
met had earned degrees in business,
education or computer science.
Toulouse said he first became involved
with the international student community
at NT when he was Dean of Students for
the Graduate School. He served in that
job from 1954 to 1982, when he became
provost and vice president for academic-
affairs. He retired in 1985.
"I was one of the first people that
international students would meet. My wife
and I became very active as a host family
for international students,” he said.
Though the student does not live with
the host family in most cases, Toulouse
said he and his wife always treat the
student as “one of the family ... we have
them over for dinner, take them out to
entertainment in town and help them adjust
to life at NT and in Denton.”
One student to whom they became very
attached is Threekwan Bunnag, a Thai
student who earned a master’s degree in
business administration from NT in 1981.
"We love him as a son,” Toulouse said.
THE ALUMNI GROUP in Bangkok
was organized by Bunnag, who now works
for the Bank of America in Bangkok.
"Part of the charm of the visit was
being able to meet with so many people
we have known over the years here at
NT,” Toulouse said. "One young man
remembered eating Thanksgiving dinner
with us several years ago.”
Toulouse said Bunnag made a special
effort to show them the sights of Bangkok.
One highlight of the trip, he said, was
the Floating Market, a marketplace con-
structed on a lake. Merchants display their
wares on boats, and buyers float by and
choose whatever they want.
The alumni met for dinner at a restaurant
constructed like a “mini-Floating Mar-
ket," Toulouse said. “We were out on
a little dock in an open-air, secluded area
by a lake. The courses of the meal were
on different little boats, and when we
fininshed dinner, dessert floated by.”
Timothy Leung, who graduated from
NT with a master's degree in counseling
and is currently working as a school
psychologist at the University of Hong
Kong, organized the group in Hong Kong
“NEITHER OF THESE groups I
visited are meeting in any formal sort of
way as an NT alumni group, but the
conditions are just right,”Toulouse said,
“Given the right impetus, they would
probably be more active than a similar
group in a large city in the United States.
"The exchange of culture is extremely
important International students who have
a good experience at NT will go home
happy and with good impressions of
America. That's certainly one way of
improving international relations ... most
of these people become successful leaders
in their own countries.”
He said he believes that NT should
strive to maintain contact with international
“I’m convinced that these successful
graduates would contribute to scholarship
funds and other activities for their uni-
versity," Toulouse said, "and they make
it very clear that they see it as their
university. They continue to support the
Women have Army's
attention on equality
By Roberta Hastings
Sgt. Thomas Johnson of the U S. Army
said women have almost the same oppor-
tunities men do in the military except that
women are excluded from combat duty.
“Basically, the only thing a woman
cannot do is combat arms MOS (military
occupational specialty). She can jump out
of airplanes just as long as she is
physically, mentally and morally fit,"
Johnson said the training for women is
as rigorous as that for male recruits. “The
Army is an equal opportunity employer.
It doesn’t matter to us. Every soldier is
there to leam basic skills, and if he can’t
handle it, we send him home,” he said.
Army Staff Sgt. Candace Doyle has
been enlisted for 10 years. Her MOS is
military intelligence. “Job security is
really the best part about the military. The
fact that it is an equal opportunity employer
is also great," Doyle said.
The Army is the largest non-profit
organization, she said, emphasizing that
the U.S. Department of Defense is run
much the same as a large corporation
“The red tape is the only thing that I
hate about the Army," she said. "You’re
going to find that everywhere, though,”
Spec. 4 Kelly Peterson, Texas Woman's
University junior, is assigned to the 236th
Ordnance Company in Carrollton. An
ordnance company handles ammunition,
weapons and vehicles, Peterson said.
Her MOS is 55R10 (pronounced 55
“Romeo" in the military alphabet) which
is an ammunition stock accounting special-
“I count bullets, bombs, missiles,
grenades, mortars and other forms of
munitions," she said. She compared her
job with that of a certified public ac-
countant. “Instead of being accountable
for money, I am accountable for ammo,"
“For the most part, my experience in
the military has been a positive one. Like
any other job, there will be aspects of it
that I do not like, but that is what life is
all about," she said.
"Women in the military can be pro-
moted just as easily as men. Of course
there will always be the harassment that
women come to expect in all working
situations. But unlike the civilian world,
the military takes a very dim view of this,
and a woman can. for the most part.
Continued on Page 4/See WOMEN'S
WOMEN IN ’70S PAVED WAY FOR TODAY’S ARTISTS—
Women’s art in the 1970s prepared the way for women to enter the
mainstream of the art world, said artist Judith Brodsky, an educator
from the Mason Gross of the Art, at Rutgers, the State University of
Brodsky, a faculty member of the New Jersey university’s visual
arts department, recently discussed the impact of women’s art in the
1970s in a slide and lecture presentation at Texas Woman's University,
which was co-sponsored by the art departments of NT and TWU See
NT PLAYER WINS TENNIS TOURNEY—NT’s Jim Kohr has a
lot to smile about these days. He won the Fairoaks Invitational Tennis
Tournament in San Antonio Sunday. NT placed fourth in the tournament.
See Page 8.
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Dowlearn, Laura. The North Texas Daily (Denton, Tex.), Vol. 71, No. 43, Ed. 1 Thursday, November 12, 1987, newspaper, November 12, 1987; Denton, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth560698/m1/1/?q=%22north%20texas%20daily%22: accessed March 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.