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Williams College Class of 1953 Bulletin Board

Williams College Class of 1953 Bulletin Board, November 16, 2010

    Sunday, October 31st: it may have been Halloween, but this photo should not be seen as a late septuagenarian's (our own John Allan) get-up for a costume party.  The gentleman is very much in earnest in his MacFarlane kilt.  He and we have a standing date to attend the Scottish Heritage Sunday at First Presbyterian Church (, Stamford CT, every last Sunday in October.  I could only manage a Weir tartan tie, while another companion at worship so admired the kilt he vowed to get his own (Rob Roy MacGregor) for the 2011 service where one of the highlights, other than processing to bagpipes playing "Scotland the Brave," is the Kirkin' of the Tartans during which representatives of various clans lay their tartans on the communion table for a blessing, to commemorate the gesture of defiance of the Scots to the English crown and its onetime prohibition of plaids. 

    We celebrated our Highland heritage in customary fashion, following worship with dining in an Italian restaurant on ravioli (John), lasagna (Barbara), and spaghetti and two meatballs (Bob).


   Saturday, November 6th: Homecoming Weekend at Williams.  Barbara and I and Tappy (our bichon friese) left West Hartford at 10 AM and arrived sufficiently in advance of the kickoff at 1PM to park in front of the hockey rink (in a space reserved for faculty).  We had dressed warmly anticipating a chill afternoon; but all the scarves and down jackets failed to keep us warm in the breezy purple valley where the thermometer never got much above 40.  Barbara left for a full quarter at half-time to get the blood flowing again to the extremities.  I stayed on, probably because I had a small furry heater in my lap, that oversized dog of French heritage.

    Wesleyan proved no match for the Ephmen, especially the passing of Moffitt and the running of Lupo, running up a score (34-7) that had me feeling sorry for the Cardinals, the previous Williams coach (Whelan) and quarterback (Matt Coyne).

    The route from Williamstown back to West Hartford affords few opportunities for reasonably priced and swiftly served nourishment for the wayfarer.  By chance we discovered a diner slightly to the east of Rte 7 in Pittsfield, with retro '50's furnishings and "reasonably priced... swiftly served nourishment."  We dined there after Parents Weekend, but Homecoming Weekend, when arriving at DaddyO's we were an hour too late for their 3 PM closing time. It was basically a breakfast diner.  Any recommendations? 


   Saturday, November 13th, Pratt Field, Amherst College: as chill as it was a week earlier, warm beyond belief was it for this 125th meeting of the purple teams.  The fourth quarter found me with my down jacket off and my flannel-lined denim shirt open half way down, like a true Guido.  The visitors' stands were far more accommodating to 79 year old legs, especially the provision of a double width walk way with minimal risk to anything slipping between the spaces to the ground below.  Of course, I proceeded to do exactly that, let my camera case slip between the cracks. 

    The game was an exciting one, 10 - 10 at halftime, neither team able to sustain a running game.  The final score, 35-16, hints at Williams' superiority in the air (quarterback, Pat Moffitt) and defense, plus the rediscovery of a running attack (Ryan Lupo).  The turning point, that moment when Amherst realized it just wasn't going to win the game, came with 9:40 to go when the Lord Jeffs scored a touchdown, but the extra point attempt hit the goal post and bounced back to the playing field.  What would have been a seven point deficit, now was eight, two scores or one and a two point try.  Amherst did not score again.



    Among those I spied at the game was John Whitney up from D.C. to Amherst biannually to visit with a friend who lives in town.  When I identified John with the wrong surname as I took the photo, he asked, without correcting me, whether or not I would get his name right.  Sure, I said; but it was Steve Klein who really got it right.  I also called out to Steve's granddaughter, Rebecca Tyson '11, who walked by before the half, but she didn't hear me.  I did catch several glimpses of President Adam Falk.  Doug Wilson '52 greeted me and we reminisced about the game on Pratt Field in the fall of 1950 when Joe Ferrie double-reversed to a touchdown, while I stood motionless in amazement at the thirty yard hash mark.


    Remember the mini-reunion next October.  Bob Tucker does.  He wrote yesterday: "I have already marked my 2011 calendar for our Oct. 7-9 Mini Reunion. Our plan is to make our almost annual trip to Martha's Vineyard before proceeding to the Hartford area to visit Kingswood Oxford as well as my sister who is now in an assisted living facility in E. Windsor. Williamstown and New England leaf peeping will follow."

    Bob also expressed a thought most of us have had but may not have articulated as keenly: "Joan Dighton's death along with an increasing number of memorial gatherings bring to the forefront the inevitability of our mortality. Our living classmates are now close to two years beyond our life expectancy. Many of us have exceeded the longevity of our Fathers by 5-10 years. I don't know how other classmates run their lives, but I am enjoying an increasing amount of time recalling and reliving the past. I think of growing up in Hartford, of Kingswood School, of Williams, of competing internationally, of living in Europe and of appreciating the many friends and influencers in my life. No, it is not a matter of being focused on the past but it is, I feel, a recognition of how blessed I have been. Tom Brokaw may have labeled our immediate predecessors The Greatest Generation but our generation may well deserve the label "The Luckiest Generation". Our generation avoided much of the Great Depression (although I recall some difficult times), we were not of age during WW II and too old in Vietnam, enjoyed an unparalleled period of economic prosperity and have benefited from major advances in health care and technology . WOW. How lucky can a generation be?"




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