Trip to Seattle and Fairbanks, AK

At the beginning of this month we took a trip to Seattle and Fairbanks, Alaska.

In Seattle we met up with various soc-motss and LJ friends, took in a RedSox Mariners game, went to the Seattle Underground Tour, rode the Great Wheel, took a harbor ferry cruise.

We visited susandennis and got to see her month's work of bears and dolls, and also went with her to the baseball game - which is just a short work from her apartment.

We started the Fairbanks trip with a vist to Denali Park. The weather was a bit hazy, but we did get to see the Denali peak in the clouds. Plus bears, moose, caribou, and Dall sheep.

In Fairbanks we stayed with Ken McFarland and Dennis Rogers. Ken is the trip organizer whose many trips we have been on. Among othere things we went to the Georgeson Botanical Garden, the Large Animal Research station, the U of Alaska Museum of the Nortg, the Creamers waterfowl reserve, and the Antique Auto musum. We got to see the pipleine.

A portion of Ken and Dennis's garden.

And there will be mnore posts with pictures.


Steve's IceCream and Legal Sea Foods

A friend just posted eating ice cream at a Herrell's on Lnng Island.

It's hard to think of that as a chain. Steve Herrell opened a store in Davis Square in 1973, Somerville (MA) many years ago called Steve's Ice Cream and it was one of the very first such places that served homemade ice-cream with mix-ins. The line was very long; I remember once a 30 minute wait. He sold the store to someone else who turned it into a chain. A few years he opened a new store called Herrell's (he couldn't use Steve's any more because of the prior sale) in Harvard Square.

In not far-away Inman Square was the one and only Legal Sea Foods. George Berkowitz was sometimes the person who manned the fish counter (it was a restaurant and fish store). At the restaurant you lined up and ordered your food and paid for it. Then you took a seat at one of the tables and waited until you were called when it was ready. Now I think it is George's son who is CEO of the chain. It is called Legal Sea Foods because it was orginally a grocery store that carried Legal trading stamps.


One of my favorite phrases

Repeating a phrase with emphasis on different words can be interesting because it makes you think about that particular item and variations.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,


TBT: In memory of Andy Goodman

In 1958 (I might be off by a year or so) I was a Counselor at Camp Tacoma Pines and the Jr. Councelor assigned to my cabin was Andy Goodman.

On June 21, 1964 while being part of Freedom Summer in Missipppi he was one of the three people murdered by members of the Ku Klux Klan. Mississippi Burning was a film about this.

Me and Andy;

Our Cabin picture - it was a double cabin with two sides, 2 councillors/jr. councillors.TacomaPines1958.jpg

moi 1946

The Dalton School - some memories

Going to the reunion brought back a bunch of memories.

I went to the Dalton School from 1st through 8th grades. The high school at the time was girls only. It was (and still is) a very amazingly wonderful progressive school in NYC. In 5th through 8th grades the academic work was organized into what was called the Dalton Plan.

Students were divided into Houses which people for each of the grades and there was a House Meeting every morning. Part of the day was called Labvoratory time where you were free to go to any classroom and meet with the teacher or work on projects either alone or with other students. It was a good exercise in learning how to manage time. Classes were called Conferences.

Every month each subject teacher gave each student an Assignment Sheet that described what was to be done that month. It was divided into 20 Units and you had a Unit Card with two columns for each subject, When you completed work you marked the student column and then at a meeting with a teacher the other column would be marked. At the end of the month when the last of the 20 units was completed you got the teacher to sign off. When all subjects had their signoffs you ran back to your House and posted it on the wall and proclaim "I'm off my assingment". It was often a contest to see who would be first. They still follow the Assignment pattern and time allocation but don't have Unit Cards any more.

A few tidbits about teachers and rituals:

My second grade teacher was Norma Jones. Among other things she taught us cooking. The idea was to give us some practical exercises with fractions and the idea of following a recipe. Pretty good ideas i think.

My 5th grade and more Geography teacher was John Seeger, Pete's brother as it happens. He was a great story teller. In addition to geography I was in his House once. It was in geography where I learned how to do research. We would each or sometimes a pair of people pick a country and study it with books and go to the country office if there was one, make a paper maché and prepare a report and make a presentation to the class. He and his wife were also the Directors of Camp Killoleet in Hancock, Vermont that I went to for a few years and then in '59-'61 was councillor. The camp still exists and is run by his daughter Kate. I went to the camp for his memorial service a few years ago (and got to speak to Pete about a common friend).

My 6th and 8th Grade Social Studies teacher was Ethel Mukerji, the wife of Dhan Gopal Mukerji, a well known Indian author who wrote in English. We studied Indian history and medieval history, among other things; She was tough, exacting, and wonderful.

My 5th and 7th grade Social Studies teacher was Mrs. Dal Negro, An Argentinian (or Brazillian - I forget which) and among other things we studied South American History.

Hugo Robus was my science teacher. He was great. In my one year of teaching at Dalton my clasroom was the one that had been his; it looked pretty much the same.

My Math teacher was Kitty O'Connell. Once when I was having trouble being motivated to do my homework my mother made an appointment with her and we went in and she gave a lot of reasons why math was going to be impoortant in my life. It worked.

My 6th and 8th grade English teacher was Hortense Tyroler, or Horty as my mother called her because they had been classmates at Barnard. In 6th grade we were challenged by reading a Shakespeare play, I forget which one, but I think it was Julius Caesar.

The boys gym teacher was John McCook, or Muscles as he liked to be called. He also ran a summer camp, Camp Tacoma Pines (no longer in existence) that I went to as a camper and councillor. The basement had a pool - no longer there, the gyms were on the 10th floor - we sometimes went by bus to another gym and to Randall's Island for outdoor sports - they still use Randall's island, but have a gym building a couple of blocks away.

Lincoln's Birthday, Feb 12, was Book Day. Everybody donated a book to the library and we paraded up to the stage in the Auditorium to leave our offering.

Arch Day was at the end of the year and we all marched up to the auditorium stage and walked through the arch to signify passing on to the next grade or graduation. They still do this.

Around Christmas time we Candle Lighting day where we paraded up to the stage to light a candle.

I'm out of touch with any of my classmates, but it was nice seeing a few of them at the reunion. I do know that several of my best friends from those days are deceased or have disappeared. Dalton tried to have a cross section of people - not everyone was white, but most were moderately or more wealthy. One of my best friends was Chris Kazan, son of Elia. There were some others with famous parents: Eileen, daughter of William Shirer; Fiona, daughter of Marshall Field; Jeff, son of William Paley.


My 60th High School Reunion at Dalton

Last weekend I went to New York City for my 60th High School reunion at Dalton School. When I attended there, the high school was girls only so I only attended 1st through 8th grades and then went on to Fieldston. My 8th grade graduation was in 1952 but they treat us as if we were in the class of 56.

TimesSquare.jpg I went to NYC on Thursday and my first activitiy after checking into my hotel was to get a ticket for American in Paris which was playing in the Palace Theatre - a magnificent old theatre. I loved it. I am a big Gershwin fan. The dancing was wonderful and they had fascinating scenery/stage effects. I just read that it is coming to Boston in the late fall and I will go again. Times Square at night is pretty amazing.
On Friday I went downtown to take the Statue of Liberty / Ellis Island Ferry. Lots of waiting in line to buy tickets, go through security, wait for the boat to Liberty, wait for the boat to Ellis Island, and wait for the boat back to Manhattan.

I walked around the statue - to go up to the crown you need tickets which have to be bought in advance - way in advance I am told. Many years ago I did get all the way to the top - up a narrow staircase; now Ithink you can only go to the crown.

So as I said earlier in FB: on Thursday I went to see an American in Paris and on Friday a French woman in New York.

EllisIslandHall.jpgEllis Island is fascinating and overwhelming. I don't remember if I was every there before. (My great grandparents were - since that is how they came to the US). There is so much information - data, pictures, posters, etc. about the whole migration history of people coming to the US. It's definitely a must see.

Then I went uptown, checked out the lobby of the building on 74th St and 5th Avenue where I lived during my last years at Dalton and then Fieldston. It looked nice, the doorman said it had been restored and they found the original marble walls under the plaster. After this I walked to Central Park to the sailboat pond. I didn't see Stuart Little; I used to sail my boat there.

DaltonAuditorium.jpgAnd then up to Dalton. The tour was not well organized but interesting. Our group's guide is a current teacher and was a teacher there during my one year of teaching there in 1960-61. On the 12th floor (which didn't exist in my day) they have lots of science labs for the middle and high schools. I got to ask about what 7th and 8th grade science was like these days (that is what I taught). he auditorium was a lot smaller than I remember.

There were a few of my classmates there, some of which were High School only so I didn't know them. It was fun - but we weren't as chatty as the previous week at my Fieldston reunion.

We sung the Dalton School School Song - I actually remembered it.
We go forth unafraid,
Strong with love and strong with learning,
New worlds will be made
Where we set our beacons burning.
For each child,
Great and small
Is friendly with man and beast,
And the world that holds them all.
We sing to you; this is our praise,
Flung like a banner over Dalton days.
This is the school we have worked in and made.
Here we have learned to go forth unafraid.
Words by Nancy Cowles Cardozo '36 and Music by Lee Russell '38

Then I went down to the LGBT Center for the last couple of dances at Village Contra where I know quite a few of the people from dance camp. And then we went to the Village Den for food and more conversation.


Form III at Fieldston

My first year at Fieldston was in Form III - 9th grade. Fieldston is a day school, part of the Ethical Culture system. It has a very nice campus - in imitation of some prep schools and clearly in competition with them. The Quadrangle looks about the same now -although the trees are bigger and some of the buildings look just like I remember them. It is bigger now - about 150 in a class insead of 90 and the athletic fields and buidlings are completely different now.

I and a few other students started that year, the rest had been there the two previous years and then many in either Filedston Lower - next door, or Ethical Culture in Manhattan. I didn't feel any problems with acceptance.

My English teacher was Louise Slipper. What I remember most about her was that she encouraged recreational reading and there was a notebook with pages for each student where we recorded what we had read with a few comments. For a while it was a competition for some of us to see how much each could read. And it was a good way to find out about other interesting books.

History was with Stanley Elkins - I don't remember what period of history it was, Math with Georgia Elgar, and French with René Spodheim. Miss Spodheim was quite a character. I remember one day when Peter Goldman and I were clowning around she uttered: "Jean, Pierre: Qui est le singe?". (Singe is monkey). And who can forget the sentence from the text book?
"J'entre dans la salle de class, Je regarde autour de moi, Je regarde les élèves et le professeur; Je dis "Bonjour" au professeur; Je prends ma place."

I took Fine Arts with Phillip Held. I remember how much fun it was making linoleum block prints. I made one of subway trains and printed it in lots of different ways. And there was Chorus with Bernie Werthman and Ethics with Ies Spetter.

Phys Ed was interesting. The boys were divided into 4 teams, named Lewis, Adler, Kelly, and Elliot (after founders of the school). The scheme was called LAKE. Shirt color for Lewis was blue, Adler was red, Kelly was green, and Eliot was yellow. I was on Kelly. We played football, soccer, field hockey, swimming. basketball, baseball, track, and did tumbling. Not that I have ever been much of an athlete, but it was a good program with exposure to lots of activities and emphasis on team work.

First verse of the school song:
Oh grassy banks and wooded ways,
Oh hillsides echo with our praise;
Iam cantate, jubilate;
shout giant oaks that touch the sky,
Ye massive rocks below reply, Iam cantate, jubilate;
Iam canamus, jubilamus, gaudeamus


My 60th High School Reunion at Fieldston

Last weekend was my Class of '56 60th High School Reunion at Fieldston (now called Fiedlston Ethical) in NYC.
I went down to New York on Friday and went to Brooklyn Contra that evening - there I saw and danced with quite a few people I know from Village Contra and Dance Camp. It was a very nice dance - it is now gender free).
The plan for Satuday was High Lie, the Whitney Museum, the Cloisters, and the reunion.

I like the fact the some of the tracks are preserved on the High Line - there is even some furniture that rolls on them.

On Saturday I went to the new Whitney Museum after my walk on part of the High Line (the Whitney is right by the lower end of the High Line). There was lots of interesting modern art there and the building itself is pretty interesting with lots of outdoor terraces and outdoor staircases.


After lunch at the Whitney I went to the Cloisters which was on the way to Fieldston (which is in the part of the Bronx near the Hudson River that is called Riverdale - and sometimes a part of that is called Fieldston). Medieval times, the 21st century and a nice reuse of an old railline and then 60 years ago reminiscing all in one day.


The reunion was nice. There were about 11 of us from our class of 95 people and we spent the whole time talking. First in the Quadrangle where wine and hors d'ouevres were served. And then off to a room where we had dinner. There was lots of reminiscing, some gossipping and talking about teachers - the good and the bad aspects. We did so much talking that most of didn't take campus tours. (I did take tours at my 50th reunion).

One bizarre memory: In those days at lunch a a certain time they would flick the lights and then you could light up cigarettes and lots of us did. In my senior year I took auto mechanics and that allowed me to park my car on the small campus lot where we could sneak out and smoke. Because I had taken Driver Ed I got a full drivers licence at 17 - I didn't usually drive to school. Also I remember when I was on the tech crew for a play we would smoke up in the lighting room. Fortunately, a few years later I quit.

My standard way of going to school was 79th st crosstown bus, local and the A train to to 207th st and then the Bx7 bus which stopped at the edge of campus. Going home I would walk down the hill to the 242nd stop of the Broadway subway and took it to 79th St and then the crosstowbn bus home. I lived on 74th St and 5th Ave.
For the reunion I took the A train (and a shuttle because of construction) to the Cloisters and then the Bx7 to Fieldston. I was going to go home the usual way, but it was raining and I got a ride.

moi 1981

High School reunions coming up

My 60th High School Reunions are coming up - on next Saturday, and the other the following Friday. Why 2? I went to Dalton School in NYC for 1st through 8th grades and at that time it was only co-ed through 8th grade; the high school was girls only. Now it is co-ed all the way. So then I went to Fieldston - now called Fieldston Ethical School for 9th through 12th grades - called Form III through Form VI. These were two excellent progressive private schools - and still are excellent. I loved them both - the facilities, the courses, the teachers, the many activities.

I'm looking forward to seeing the buildings - now quite different - and some of my classmates.

I did go to my 50th reunions - see here and enjoyed them both. After graduating from Fieldston I went to MIT and after that I was a PhD candidate in Physics at Columbia. In my first year at Columbia I had a part-time job teaching 7th and 8th grade science in Dalton.

At the end of that year I decided I didn't want to be a Mathematician, a Physicist, or a teacher. My father in one of his one-sentence pieces of advice said: You should take a computer progamming course. This was in 1961. You had to worry about the draft in those days and scholastic deferments were nice to have. I returned to Columbia with a mixed bag of courses and a few weeks into the programming course I knew what I wanted to do for my career. For the Spring term I came back to Cambridge, took several more courses at MIT as a Special Student while thinking of applying. Instead I found a job at Honeywell who was in the computer business then starting in the summer and that launched my career.

Another one of my father's one-sentence pieces of advice was when in my junior year of high school I was wondering about where to apply to colleges he said: Oh, you are going to MIT.


A succesful interaction with the IRS

The other day I called the IRS to settle an issue with my taxes. I was on hold for an hour, when the agent came on I explained the situation, he asked for ID info, found my record, said "give me two minutes", and he came back and said it was properly settled.

The problem was that when I filed my taxes via TurboTax I made a mistake in entering my bank account number. Several weeks later I got a notice that I owed them the (large) amount because the transfer failed. I went to the IRS web site and transferred the money. Several days ago I got a notice that said the payment had been misapplied to my account (my guess is they considered it as estimated for 2016). So I called - lousy music and frequent brief announcements, but painless; I owed them a small payment of interest which I sent with the form that they had sent requesting the large amount. I changed the number as instructed by the agent and added the Agent name and ID number to the form.


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