W. Dixon Ward had a colorful and active presence in the scientific community and in the Acoustical Society of America as an officer, editor, presenter, and author. Many of his ideas and much of his written work sparked debate and discussion. On the homefront at the University of Minnesota, he had an equally colorful presence as a mentor to graduate students and as a frequent and controversial letter writer to the Minnesota Daily, the university newspaper. Selections of Dix's letters on a variety of topics from word usage to university and world affairs will be presented. In this introduction, Dix's professional life outside the Acoustical Society will be reviewed and discussed through the eyes of his students and colleagues.