Cal’s Ludwig Fountain Foaming at the Mouth

by Steed Dropout
Sept. 8, 2016

Photo by Ted Friedman

Cal’s historic Ludwig Fountain, named after a 60s era dog, sustained a soaping Sunday, to the delight of Sproul strollers, who flocked to the foam for fun and frolic.

Sour-pusses like Andrew Clardy, a Berkeley-based music producer for Yoshi’s Jazz Club, called it “unoriginal,” and the history of this sudsy prank supports him.

Wiki has not yet posted the complete soapy history of this prank, but online sources trace the sudsing of Cal’s Ludwig Fountain, adjacent to Sproul Hall, to 1963. Subsequent sudsings were sighted, reportedly, in 1965, and (recently) in 2013.

Online sources suggest that cleaning fountains with soap can be costly; around the country, fountain officials are foaming at the mouth over soap mounds mounting in their fountains.

Cal Sudsy Sunday. Photo by Ted Friedman

Sudsy Sunday. Photo by Ted Friedman

One such foaming-at-the-mouth “official” was V.Y. Dallman, a dour old man of the mid-west, who condemned a home-town 1957 sudsing.

The sudsing was the beginning of the decline of western civilization, Dallman thundered.

Dallman had sold his newspaper, the [Springfield Illinois] State Register, to Copley Press for a cash-stash, an office near the city-desk, and a tenured post as a curmudgeonly columnist.

In Dallman’s day, students could be busted for chewing gum in the halls of Springfield High School.

Imagine then, Dallman’s wrath when alleged vandals soaped Springfield’s Civic Center Plaza, as a high school graduation prank. The previous year, students had installed an outhouse on the school lawn.

Springfield’s Civic Center Fountain was the jewel of a 1957-dedicated civic-center plaza, replacing the historic city hall, which was bull-dozed to make way for the New Civic Center, a boondoggle scheme if ever there was one.

A lot has been made of corpses spinning in their graves over over-the-top topics, which flouted their values. But Dallman was a columnist, who might fire-up his celestial typewriter for yet another diatribe against disobedient youth.

Cal will merely eat their cleanup expenses, while lauding the spunk of Cal punks.

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