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Letter to the editor: Jones Tower rappel remembered after 40 years

A clipping from The Lantern published April, 18, 1974

A clipping from The Lantern published April, 18, 1974. Credit: Courtesy of Jim Breitenbach

Letter to the editor:


The year was 1974, the location was the Ohio State University Columbus campus, and at the time, there were only three broadcast television stations in Columbus, the newest technology that could be found in students’ dorm rooms were cassette tape decks and the Walkman had not been invented yet.

Students kept active on campus by playing softball, basketball, tennis, bowling, ice skating, playing Euchre, canoeing on the Olentangy River, and visiting the many drinking and dancing establishments up and down High Street.

Without the technology of today’s world available to them, some students resorted to creative was to keep active. This is an example of that creativity.

An activity that was introduced to me and the other students who lived on the first floor of Haverfield House during the 1972-73 school year was rappelling. We were taught rappelling by Roger Kahle, class of 1975, at an old limestone quarry located along the Scioto River. Quickly getting bored with the 40 foot cliffs at the limestone quarry, we searched more challenging cliffs in Hocking Hills. We continued our rappelling activities into the 1973-74 school year.

The cliffs we found in Hocking Hills were somewhere around 100 feet in height. The climbing rope we had recently purchased was 150 feet in length. So once again, we went looking for a higher cliff face. We did not have to look far from our dorm room in Norton House. The Jones Graduate Tower looked like the perfect spot to try out our rappelling skills. Once we found out our dorm rooms keys with a little jiggling would open the rooftop doors on Jones Graduate Tower, we planned our descent.

On the evening of April 16, 1974, the following occurred as reported in The Lantern.


Jim Breitenbach
OSU class of 1976

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