Williams College Class of 1953 Bulletin
Williams College Class of 1953 Bulletin, April 14, 2012
Good Dr. Merselis, author of the following observations and advice on aging, has diagnoses and prescriptions for us. Let him know how you have fared on his regimen. Email him at: MSweetwood@aol.com.
The top 10 ways to know youíre really 80
10 Ė Young men in uniform call you ďSirĒ and gray-haired women hold the door for you
9- Work is a lot less fun and fun is a lot more work
8- It takes longer to rest up than it does to get tired-out
7- Everything you have has worn out, spread out, or fallen out
6- You wake up with the ďmorning-afterĒ feeling but you didnít do anything the night before
5- You have learned that ice is an effective pain-killer and that it works best if you pour a little scotch over it
4- You donít care where your wife goes Ė as long as you donít have to go with her
3- There are five women for every man Ė but it no longer matters
2- You have to stop in the middle of a stairway and think whether you were downstairs going up or upstairs going down
1- Youíve learned just about everything worth knowing but you canít remember your anniversary or your wifeís birthday
Advice from others:
ďIf I had known I was going to live this long, Iíd have taken better care of myself.Ē Ė Eubie Blake
ďThere are three signs of old age. The first is loss of memory. I canít remember the other two.Ē Ė Mark Twain
ďI donít feel old. I donít feel anything until noon Ö and then itís time for my nap.Ē Ė Bob Hope
ďAge doesnít matter Ö unless you are a cheese.Ē Ė Billie Burke
ďThe best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.Ē Ralph Waldo Emerson
Advice from me
1- Carry a song in your heart Ė others will hear the music even if you donít sing
2- Keep chasing rainbows Ė someday youíll catch one
3- Love is the most precious gift you can give Ė be generous
I donít know what it takes to be eighty
Since Iíve never been eighty before,
But if itís anything like the seventies were
Who could ask for anything more?
There are no guarantees they tell me
You can never be sure whatís in store
If Iím lucky Iíll get to figure it out
With bold new adventures galore
Itís hard to believe Iím an octogenarian
Needing so much more than neglect
Iím finally entitled to be a contrarian
Iíve earned a bit of respect
Of course it all comes with a few aches and pains
And joints that are stiff whenever it rains
Ears that donít hear well and eyes that grow dimmer
Why do bellies protrude as oneís hair becomes thinner?
Watch where youíre going, you donít want a tumble
You worry that bowels may suddenly rumble
And urine occasionally comes in a hurry
Or else not at all, thatís a much bigger worry
As arteries harden, becoming sclerotic
The brain loses its grip; we become more neurotic
Old timers are touchy, sometimes they cuss
Or act a bit sullen or make a big fuss
So I try to be careful Ė I donít want to fall
Donít worry much about cho-lesterol
It doesnít take much to keep me in line
Just a good book or one glass of wine
Iím an elderly gentleman Ė not an old geezer
A bit of a Scrooge, like old Ebenezer
But Iím not a curmudgeon, just a little bit grumpy
When the coffee is cold or the oatmeal too lumpy
Donít call me ďSirĒ and donít call me ďHoneyĒ
Ask my advice but not for my money
Love, and not wealth, is lifeís greatest treasure
Be sure that each day you give your full measure
My years now add up to an even four score
God willing, perhaps there will be a few more
Next year at Bear Island Iíll be back in the boat
Assuming, of course, that weíre both still afloat
Tonight Iíve been granted one of my wishes.
Somebody else will do all of the dishes.
I can sit back, relax, and take in the view
Just savor the moment with each one of you
No regrets about eighty, no need to feel sad
Iím a most-happy spouse, and a very proud dad
And with beautiful grandchildren, numbering nine
Everythingís bound to keep turning out fine
Happy Birthday to Me, Iím now an old-timer
Still writing verse, still a pretty-good rhyme-r
My journeyís been great, and itís perfectly true
Thatís entirely because of each one of you
Our Class President John Dighton sent me this Email following a recent visit to Williams in an official capacity (representing us) and I send it along to you:
Last night I took part in the second annual performance of a newly instituted "tradition" of accepting the soon-to-graduate members of the senior class at Williams into the Society of Alumni. Members of the Berkshire chapter of that austere organization were invited to stand along the campus route of march of the senior class from the Hopkins Gate, snaking around to Goodrich Hall where a reception was held to welcome them.
You and our classmates will undoubtedly be pleased, but not surprised, to know that '53 was the earliest class and yours truly the oldest alumnus to take part. This resulted in the fact that, representing my classmates and holding aloft a '53 placard, I was in position to welcome the seniors to the reception. On behalf of you all I accepted several hugs and even more expressions of wonder that someone older than their grandparents could still maintain a vertical position and still be awake at 10 PM.
Williams is still in great shape.
Best to you and Barbara,
In response to the last Class Bulletin, November 2011, I received two letters concerning adventures of classmates. First, Timothy Beard, genealogical maven and Nutmeg State original:
Dear Bob,I was in Maine over the Columbus Day week-end. Attached is a photo of me on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park on Mt. Desert Island. The weather was in the 80's. I was there for a meeting of the First Families of Connecticut. I am the immediate past president. A young cousin drove me up, as it is a 7 hour drive from here. [home in Midwestern CT].
Thanks for all the pictures of the reunion.
Second, world-traveler Dave Doheny who found evidence of purple influence in a distant corner of the world:
Thanks for your always illuminating photos and comments. Sorry to have missed all these events, but we were in far Japan on a Williams Alumni tour while most of these went down.
I had not realized that Brother Dighton had descended from tenor to baritone. But you may tell him and the Irish tenors (?) that on Saturday evening October 15, this baritone had the honor, as the senior Eph present, to lead the singing of The Mountains by assorted members of the Williams Alumni Association of Japan and our tour group. The venue was far from the Purple Valley or any other mountains, but on the 28th floor of the Park Hotel in Tokyo, in the Shiodome/Shimbashi highrise district adjacent to the Ginza, in the midst of an endless Japanese dinner. The Japanese alums present included the Hon. Tsuneo Tanaka '55, a former ambassador, and Mme. Naoko Saiki, '85, a prominent official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who must be one of the highest ranking women in Japan. Our tour leader Prof. Emeritus Peter Frost led a panel discussion among these and other locals on current trends in Japan. What would Mark Hopkins have thought?
Later, I visited Amherst House at Doshisha University in Kyoto, founded by Nishima Jo, Amherst class of 1873, the first Japanese graduate of an American college. He converted to Christianity whilst in America and upon his return to Japan founded Doshisha as Japan's first Christian college. With all due respect to Amherst, the seeds of Doshisha must have been sowed by the overseas missionaries inspired by the Williams students of 1806, as described on the Haystack Monument.
Have noted the dates of the 2012 Mini, Oct. 12-14, and plan to attend - deo volante.
With best to you and Barbara,
And from a Middlebury '60 grad, with a close connection to our Fred Preston, news dated February 27th:
Hi Bob, I just wanted to make sure you knew that Dudley Baker flew to FL last Wed. with Barbara Weedon and all is well. Johnny Beard had lunch with them on Sat. Barbara W. returns to VT after 2 1/2 weeks. Hope you and your Barbara are both well and enjoying winter.
[Similar messages concerning the hospitalization and recovery of Dud have been received from Todd Mauck, Don Goldstein, and Mike Lazor, each of whom has been to see Dud during his hospitalization.]
Barbara and I shall be visiting this coming Saturday (April 21) with Steve and Joanne Klein in South Orange NJ, for what is becoming a semi-annual culinary treat. My contribution this time will be Italian stuffed clams from a recipe from Le Cirque, where the key ingredients include not only quahogs but prosciutto, hot pepper flakes, and shallots. Steve will, as is his predilection, ply this Methodist teetotaler with aquavit and, though not necessarily at the same time, India pale ale.
Lastly, though by no means least, you are reminded to get your reservations soon for lodging for the mini-reunion this coming October 12-14.