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Saturday's MIT Class of '60 mini-reunion

Every year for the past few years there has been a MIT Class of '60 Mini-reunion: lunch and a speaker. This year the speaker was Robert Dimmick, who is an Etiquetteer. He gave an amusing talk about the evolution of the Dinner Party from Queen Victoria to the Kennedy Administration - proper dress, appropriate food and serving procedures, etc. (I jokingly commented to him and the organizer afterwards that we should have invited the staff of the restaurant to this so when we have next year's event it would be more elegant. It was at the Glass House restaurant in Kendall Square.)

This brought up some memories of my childhood. When my parents had dinner parties we used special dinnerware, fancier silver cutlery, we had a live-in cook and a chambermaid-waitress who wore fancier uniforms than the usual ones and we dressed up. Many apartments in NYC had a small suite of maid's rooms behind the kitchen - ours had two small rooms and a bathroom. I still have some of the plates which we use when we have guests for dinner.

Near the end there was a drawing for a door prize and I won. This year it was a delightlful beaver (the MIT mascot of course). Last year I also won the door prize which was a very interesting book by Charles Sullivan of the Cambridge Historical Commission and another author titled Building Old Cambridge. Sullivan was the speaker for that lunch.

The beaver has joined our family. He told us his name which is Barton. He was named after William Barton Rogers, the founder of MIT.

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Hah! My high school (and now my daughter's) is the Ballard Beavers.

Hi, Barton!! Wait, you won the door prize two years in a row? And nobody's challenging that???

When we lived in NYC, my brother got the maid's room. In our houses, growing up, we were not allowed in the living room or dining room without permission. They were guest areas. You only went into them in your best clothes on very special occasions.

My parents did not have many dinner parties but they had most elaborate cocktail parties and then everyone (way too drunk) got in their cars and drove to dinner at the club or a restaurant. At every cocktail party, Daddy hired Jack to tend bar. Jack was always most smartly attired and a master at service. And we all loved him to bits. Thanks for making me remember him especially.

Nowadays the beaver goes by TIM. I don't remember him having a name in my undergrad days. (I am class of 1980.)

What are the odds you won the drawing two years in a row?! Congratulations! I will be hosting my first gathering at my home in two weeks. It's not a sit down dinner occasion. I'd like to get better at entertaining, as I inherited my mother's china, service for eight. She never had "good" flatware. I envy, in a very positive way, the continuity of your life ... your long time relationship ... the dances ... the reunions ... Howdy, Barton!

Edited at 2018-10-09 11:06 pm (UTC)

Congrats on winning the prize. :)

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