Class of 1953 Mini
Class of 1953 Mini-Reunion, October 10-11, 2014
The very congenial Class of 1953 gathered once again in Williamstown. The first scheduled event of the weekend, 2PM in the Paresky auditorium, featured a documentary, "Cherry Cottage: the Story of an American House." I went with something less than enthusiasm, but yielded to the wishes of Barbara, who, had she been born twenty years later, would have been an architect. Cherry Cottage is located in Stockbridge and was the home of Ephraim Williams's wife. The music was terrific, lots of early Americana and latter day folk melodies. The last few moments belonged to Arlo Guthrie, leathered, wisened, and curly, a guitar picker and singer whom I had never previously glimpsed, but was pleased to see since a newborn grandnephew bears the same Christian name but whose mother bristles at the suggestion she took it from Mr. Guthrie.
At 6PM or thereabouts we enjoyed cocktails at Hobson's Choice on Water Street, before thirty of us occupied the banquet room for dinner. My New York strip steak was delicious. After dinner there was a brief prayer, during which Fred Preston was remembered. Todd Mauck, the organizer of the mini, reminded us of the class events for the weekend. Bob Howard invited everyone interested to buy a humorous novel, "The Inheritance," authored by Jim Tompkins. President John Dighton reported in his capacity as an alumni senior adviser to the college that Williams is embarking on a financial campaign to raise $750.000,000 for capital funding to provide for the anticipated costs in the extensive turnover in teaching personnel in the next decade when the school will be vying with other top-tier colleges for outstanding professors.
The Log beckoned to some of the more hearty, while others, mindful like me, perhaps, of an octogenarian's limited stamina, heard the siren song of the bed... and yielded to it.
I heard no report of a classmate or spouse hiking in the early morning, but let me know if you were there on Pine Cobble to see the sun rise. At 10:30AM in the Brooks Rogers auditorium a panel of coaches and students addressed the topic of Williams athletics, unanimously concluding that, Directors Cups notwithstanding, at Williams studies come first.
The "tailgate" was a sit-down luncheon. Cars are no longer allowed inside the gates to the Weston Field Athletic Complex. The college provided sandwiches, crudités, and beverages; we supplied our own entertainment, catching up on where we had been and what we had seen since last we ate tuna salad sandwiches together in the purple valley.
The game, versus Middlebury, was exciting, if ultimately a downer. It was a rollercoaster ride, with the teams taking quarters to go high and the other low. When the game ended in a 17 - 17 tie, I watched for the first time the NESCAC-approved method of resolving who is the winner. Each team gets a chance at the 25 yard line to score. Williams tried first and kicked a field goal. Middlebury, however, on their try scored a touchdown on a pass deep into the end zone. Score: 20 - 23. Pete Sterling had prophesied minutes earlier that the purple defensive secondary might not be up to the task. They weren't. Williams's record now is 1 and 3. I debate with myself whether or not to attend the Wesleyan game.
The Saturday evening dinner was held at the Williams Inn. Among those attending but not seen in any of the photos of the weekend were Barbara Weedon and Jim Treutner. Ted Potter was also sighted earlier, at the game.
Our next gathering, "God willing and the Hoosic don't rise," will probably be scheduled for the first or second weekend in October 2015. Take your pills, say your prayers, and plan on being there.