MEMORIES from Old Photos.
Pat and I came across some old Haskell Family photos recently that we thought belonged on my blog site. I will add as more arise:
Haskell Twins, Mercy and Hank off to ski in New Hampshire, 1952
Four generations of Haskell-Peacocks—Pat’s mother, Alma, Jan, Pat, and Sayde.
Hank, Mercy and Peter in Moosup, CT. 1950
Grandma Hussey, Lt. and Mrs. Haskell at Wedding 1957.
Hank and Tina in Pickens, 1971.
Hank in France, 1958
George Rockwood, Phil Russell, Calvin Kendall, and writer, 1954 on Emily Morgan, Stonington, CT, and 1985 in Lenzerheide, Switzerland—All Alpha Delt Brothers (Bowdoin)
Reading “A Frat Boy and A Gentleman” by Alexandra Robbins, an article in the Sunday January 27thN.Y. Times, inspired me to write about my own experiences on fraternity life at Bowdoin College—albeit 67 years ago in 1952-56.
My father was a Bowdoin graduate and a member of Theta Delta Chi Fraternity. I’d heard about his fraternity days growing up and looked forward to checking out Theta Delta in Rush Week. During our first week at college, all fraternities would “rush” to sign up incoming freshmen. Most incoming students pledged to fraternities this first week; only a few remained independents.
My roommate, BK Connor, was one of my Cape Cod friends. I didn’t know him well but heard he was going to Bowdoin and asked him to room with me. He seemed like a serious, studious guy. BK’s father was a Bowdoin grad and Theta Delta; BK pledged TD on his first day.
I told BK my dad had been a TD, and he told me, “You’re a legacy—let’s go over to the TD house; I’ll remind them of this”.
I was quite reserved at age 18 ½ and apparently made a poor impression on the Theta Delts. They didn’t give me the time of day—so much for my legacy status.
BK grew up in a strict household. His father was principal at Barnstable High School on Cape Cod. BK became an avid fraternity guy but went wild with his college freedom. He drank a lot and wound up flunking out his freshman year. He and I had a complicated relationship. Although I definitely drank at Bowdoin, my consumption was minor compared with BK. I recently received a wonderful letter from him saying albeit he felt badly about his time at college, he’d subsequently become a major in the U. S. Marine Corps and was proud of his military career. Unfortunately, he later developed a serious illness and has since died
I’d graduated from Tabor Academy that June and two Tabor friends, Warren Slesinger and Dave Sewall, were in my Bowdoin class (1956). I ran into them on campus and talked about fraternities. They both pledged Alpha Delta Phi and urged me to visit that house, which I did. I suspect Warren and Dave put in a good word for me, as the Alpha Delt Brothers were very friendly and offered me a bid-to-pledge immediately after my first visit. I was impressed with other classmates who pledged AD and thought it would be good to stay close to my Tabor friends. I accepted the AD offer and never regretted my choice. In addition to AD having the best food of all Bowdoin fraternities (no one could beat Emma Marstaller in the kitchen), Alpha Delta Phi allowed me to meet and become friends with some fascinating men.
Warren Slesinger was, and still is, a good friend. He and I roomed together part of our sophomore year at my grandfather’s house at 72 Federal Street. Warren majored in English and went into the publishing business after graduation. He has written poems and published a few books, many of which he has shared with me. “Sles,” his nickname at Tabor and Bowdoin, met his lifelong love, Betty, in his sophomore year. Betty had been a waitress at Sles’s father’s inn on Cape Cod, the Belmont, where my twin-sister, Mercy also worked. Betty went to the University of New Hampshire, and Sles invited the beautiful blonde for a Bowdoin date. Warren and Betty made a handsome and smart couple and now live close to Pat and me, in Beaufort, SC. They were great supporters of our theatre.
Dave Sewall was a friendly shy guy from Bath, Maine with a good, quirky, Maine sense of humor. His father, Sumner Sewall, was a celebrated ace in World War I and had a distinguished political career, serving as Governor of Maine from 1941 to 1945. Dave’s mother was reputed to be a ‘Russian Countess,” although we never found out if that was actually true. Dave was more interested in antique cars than Bowdoin studies and dropped out of college after his freshman year. I remember visiting him in Bath, where he showed me the Model T Ford he was refinishing. I met Dave’s very impressive father and mother, and Dave took me down to Small Point, Maine to give me a gun lesson with a model 22 rifle. Dave and his brother, Nick, became quite successful in the Maine lobster business, and I heard they were some of the first lobstermen to ship their catch out of state. Unfortunately, Dave took his own life in 2004 at age 72. I don’t know the circumstances but suspect he might have felt he never measured up to his celebrated family.
Another one of my classmates who’d pledged AD was Calvin Benjamin Kendall. Cal grew up in Connecticut and graduated from Noroton High School. Six feet six inches tall with red hair and a pleasant personality, Cal and I became close friends and roomed together in the Alpha Delta Phi house in our junior and senior years. Cal was an English major who went on to earn his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley. He became the Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Minnesota (now retired), where he taught for thirty-eight years. Cal has helped me immeasurably in my writing and edited most of my books. He and his terrific wife, Ellie (a high school classmate of his) have been friends of mine for decades, and we visit each other in Minneapolis, Vermont, and Maine almost every year. I taught Cal how to ski and he’s teaching me how to write. We’ve skied together in Minnesota and Lenzerheide in Switzerland. Pat and I attended our 50thBowdoin Reunion with Cal and Ellie.
One of the features of Bowdoin fraternities, and fraternities in general at that time, was hazing. Hazing occurred at the beginning of our freshman year and lasted about six weeks. Although difficult at times, this was also a time for our future fraternity brothers to get to know each one of the pledges. We began eating together immediately upon pledging and would individually stand up on tables at mealtime answering questions about fraternity history, reciting poems, singing Bowdoin songs, and preparing to be harassed.
Each one of the pledges was assigned a Big Brother to guide us in the hazing process and help us get acquainted with fraternity and college life. My Big Brother was a Boston-bred (Waltham) rugged matter-of-fact guy and Bowdoin football star named John Paul McGovern. After one or two meetings with John Paul, he told me, “Look Haskell, you might as well know I selected you because I don’t like you. I want to get to know you better in the next six weeks, but I have the power to blackball you from joining this fraternity.”
I honestly didn’t know what to say to him except to tell him I knew what he was saying and hoped I would measure up. At the end of the hazing period, John Paul called me to his dorm room and said, “Haskell, I like you after all and will definitely vote to welcome you into Alpha Delta Phi.” I told him I appreciated his confidence in me, and we became AD Brothers.
I wrote a book about the long-time owner of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan, W. Stewart Woodfill. I worked at the Grand the summer before entering Bowdoin and got to know Mr. Woodfill. WSW was a classmate and Theta Delta Chi fraternity brother with my father at Bowdoin. WSW had visited Bowdoin and other New England colleges in 1948, searching for a school for his nephew, Dan. He told me he was “horrified” at what he saw at Bowdoin and most of the other colleges they visited. He wrote:
My nephew was interested in Bowdoin, and I was interested in having him consider it because I attended that college and have always felt it was one of the most conservative and soundest of small colleges in the country. However, I was disappointed in what I found there. The same conditions existed, no worse and no better at Williams, Amherst, and Dartmouth.
While working at the Grand, Mr. Woodfill and I talked at length about his college days at Bowdoin, and he encouraged me to try to set an example there “and stay off the booze.” He was particularly concerned with the drinking and other activities in fraternities at the colleges they visited, plus he’d observed many national fraternity conventions at his hotel. Notwithstanding his uncle’s observations, Woodfill’s nephew, Dan Musser, graduated from Dartmouth, where he, too, was a member of Alpha Delta Phi. I visited Dan there and witnessed even more drinking than I’d experienced at my fraternity.
Based on my experience, I believe fraternities once served a useful purpose. Students lived and ate all meals in fraternity houses and got to know fellow classmates. A sense of community was formed. There was a lot of drinking, for sure, and the fact Bowdoin was all male contributed to that. I believe fraternity life and silly antics in hazing dominated too much of our time and, looking back, was of questionable value. I also agree we became too attached to our particular fraternity and didn’t get to know other students as well as we might have. The sense of community should have been with the entire college, which only had about 900 students at the time.
Bowdoin has always been a college known for innovative policies. In the early 1970s, Bowdoin admitted six women, who roomed in the house at 72 Federal Street, by then donated to Bowdoin by my father. Many other colleges became coeducational at this time, and I applauded this move. I know drinking and other behavior I’d participated in at my fraternity would have been different if women were there every day, rather than just on ‘special weekends.’ Today, I understand Bowdoin is more than 50% women. Bowdoin was also one of the first New England schools to eliminate the necessity of submitting SAT scores in admission applications, and in 1997, under the direction of President Edwards, the college ultimately shut down all the fraternities at Bowdoin.
Twenty -two years later, Harvard University is attempting a similar feat. A Harvard committee haspointed to Bowdoinas a model for eradicating final clubs, fraternities, and sororities from campus social life.
My brother-in-law, Bancroft Wheeler graduated from both Harvard and Harvard Law School. He recently sent me this e-mail on the Harvard fraternity/club issue.
Hi Hank There has been a great deal of back AND FORTH BETWEEN THE DEAN OF STUDENTS who has taken the position that the clubs are elitist and gender exclusive and those who feel that they have a place at the university. The dean would prevent anyone who joins a club from accepting a scholarship ( Rhodes, Oxford/Cambridge) or being a captain of an athletic team.Harvard has been sued by a group that claims it discriminates against Asians in its admissions policy so nothing has been decided on the club issue as of now.
Harvard faces the same decision Bowdoin made 22 years ago. As a Harvard Business School graduate, I will be interested to watch this process unfold.
Although Bowdoin’s decision to close fraternities was probably a good one, I do have fond memories of my four years at Alpha Delta Phi.
My photos above show four Bowdoin Fraternity Brothers having fun
More on Bahamas and A Great Read
I'm writing this in February 2019 and thinking about our friends in the Midwest and Northeast as they cope with record-breaking low temperatures.
I've recently started walking our dog, Lady Diana, at the wonderful dog park on Hilton Head Island. Lady is getting along well with most of the other dogs and I am meeting some very interesting people— all of whom are obvious dog lovers. Of course, our conversations get around to my writings and I've distributed a number of my books to my new friends.
One of the people I've met is a psycho therapist named Rob. When I mentioned that I was a writer he told me about some friends of his who he met in his practice. These friends, Peg and Art Crimmins, pioneered private yacht chartering in the Bahama Islands in the 1950s and Peg wrote the book “Traveler.”
Rob assisted the Crimmins in publishing the book and gave me a copy. I became enchanted with this book. Published in 1997 the book shows Victor Lloyd as the author but Rob told me that Peg Crimmins actually wrote it. I surmised this when I read it—a super writer and story-teller.
Being a sailor myself and interested in boats and cruising I was especially interested in Peg and Art's story. Having also chartered many different sailboats in North America and recently visiting Ann and Buell Miller at their lovely house on Long Island in the Bahamas, a book about cruising in this beautiful area was particularly fascinating to me.
The Crimmins were one of the first couples to offer cruises on their boat named TRAVELER. Inspired by the late Irving Johnson, who was based in England and made his living by taking on paid-passengers and sailing all over the world. Art admired this independent-minded sailor and decided to do a similar thing in the Bahamas. I once heard Skipper Johnson speak at Tabor Academy— the school that inspired my life-long interest in sailing and cruising,
Capt. Art Crimmins and his first mate Peg, became inveterate skippers with unique personalities and their book is a most interesting read of many well-known personalities who sailed with them. people like folksinger Burl Ives, Hollywood stars Elizabeth Taylor and her husband, Mike Todd, and a host of others, many well-known skippers on their own boats who enjoyed visiting the Bahamas and cruising with the Crimmins.
Peg’s detail descriptions of cruising in and around many of the Bahama Islands, including Long Island which Pat and I visited, reminded me of this fascinating area. The book talks about the 1950s when Nassau and the Bahamas really started their growth. When I read her book, I wondered why my sailing friends—who called themselves “The Salty Four,” had not chosen this area for our annual cruise.
One of the many subjects Peg wrote about was the marvelous swimming in this area—and Pat and I really enjoyed swimming with Ann and Buell there. Peg ends her story with some words by her husband, Art, skipper and philosopher par excellent:
“Life is a voyage, a vast learning experience, a give-and-take. Respect, and responsibility, doing the best you can with what you've got and can become.
As you become older, take time off every now and again, away from the demands of business and routine. Take time to share, and to enjoy...
It's the friendships you develop that accounts for everything . . .”
Above photos: 1.Sasha Morgenthaler Dolls & Pat's Sculptures. 2.Lourdes Doll, 1858. 3. Dolls purchased at Paris Doll Shop. 4.Hank's Sailor Dolls. 5. Haskell Boat Shop Room Box. 6. Pat's Doll House, etc. 7. Charm Charleston Doll Club. 8. Pat with Lynn Murray, Silvia Cangas, and Marie Doll, Italy 2017.
In the spring of 2014, Pat saw an ad in Antique Doll magazine for a European doll tour. Touring was one of the things we’d thought of to keep us busy. She showed me the TLC Doll Tour ad and said, “I’m going on this trip. Read it over and see if you’d like to join me.” When I saw the tour included a stop in Bavaria—where Pat and I had spent our honeymoon in 1957—I decided to join her and we signed up for our first Doll Tour—and first tour of any kind.
In May 2014, we joined 21 doll collectors, dealers, and the editor, Donna Kaonis of Antique Doll magazine on our first TLC doll tour to Italy, Switzerland and Germany. We met our tour director, Lynn Murray from Canada and her sister, Anne. We got to know them very well. Lynn’s personality, knowledge, organizational skills and just being fun to be around, made her trips so interesting. I was the only man on that first tour except for Marshall and Craig, who were part of Lynn’s staff. I was concerned about whether a doll tour would keep me interested and soon found that was no problem—the doll business is fascinating plus Lynn organizes her tours so they are balanced between doll-oriented places and other art museums, palaces, churches, historical places and private homes.
Pat and I became fascinated with these TLC Doll Tours and we joined Lynn Murray and her sister, Anne Trump (no relation) on a total of six tours in 2014 ’15, ’16 and 2017. We travelled in a private bus all over Europe, staying in excellent hotels and visiting numerous art museums, churches, doll shops, people’s homes with doll collections, flea markets, antique shows, and many historical castles. I’ll talk about a few of our experiences & people on these tours—recognizing we’d be here all day if I tried covering every detail of all tours.
b.We visited Samy Odinand saw his doll museum there. Unfortunately, terrorists attacked Paris just three days after this tour ended and Samy recently told us he had to close his museum because of the dramatic drop in tourists. (From average of 200 daily to 10-12 Daily). While at Samy’s he put on a seminar on Francois Gaultier Fashion Lady dolls, also called Poupée de Mode from 1860 to1916, Bebe's with open or closed mouth from 1879 to1900 and small All Bisque dolls and other porcelain doll parts.
c.Later that same day, Pat and I, together with our friends, Silvia (Madrid) and Pat Blythe (Australia), visited a marvelous doll shop, Maison de Poupee—one of the few remaining dollshops left from the hundreds that used to be in this city.
Lynnwrote the following about this shop:
The owners, Françoise du Roth-Hazard and Gilles Valée have had the shop in this location for as long as I remember going to Paris looking for dolls... I met them in the late 1970s or early 1980s. They always have the most fabulous dolls! Typically, the best dolls are not out on display, nor can they be seen from the enticing window displays. Françoise takes her time to "size you up" before bringing out things that she thinks might suit you.... a tiny Bru or diminutive Steiner, an original French papier maché in a wooden wedding box or a complete set of Psyche Paper Dolls, to name a few. The magazine, LA TOILETTE de PSYC E, first published in Paris in 1834 with all subscribers receiving a paper doll.
Pat bought a French doll, paper-mache from the 1850-60s era. Point the doll out!We learned later that our daughter-in-law, Michelle, had lived in her aunt’s apt. in the same building while she attended Le Sorbonne for her master’s degree.
d.Another special treat was the day we walked to the Place Bastille for the opening of the Antiquites Brocanta, ‘the grand antique show that takes place twice a year along the banks of Canal St. Martin. This show was a mix of antiques and flea market stalls and Pat was, once again, in her glory.
We had one experience with our credit card when Pat selected a pair of antique earrings from a couple who have an antique shop in London. They said they weren’t able to process a card at their stall but would bring me to the ‘head office’ where it could be done. Leaving Pat in the show, I walked up to the central place and they ran my card. When I went to sign it, I saw the figure was four times the price we thought was on the tag. She turned the tag over and showed me the price. I knew Pat wouldn’t want to pay that much—but how do we erase a credit card charge that’s already been processed. Fortunately I spoke enough French to explain the problem and after I stood my ground, they admitted they didn’t know how to reverse the charge, and gave me the full amount of the wrong charge in Euro Cash!We were lucky.
Visiting Spain turned out being a pleasant surprise, although it was more of a cultural tour than a doll tour. Although our tour members were doll oriented, we saw so many fascinating places, they didn’t seem to mind. We saw a few doll and toy exhibits but, compared with Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and France, Spain is definitely not known for dolls.
This area, formally part of East Germany, is the piece de resistance of Lynn’s Doll Tours. We have been to this area on three of the six tours as is the location of the famous Puppen-festival. I’d like to read from Lynn’s noteson this area:
We will start the day at the wonderful doll shop of Daniela Zitzmann. Daniela traditionally brings out some very fine, rare dolls from her own collection every year at this time. I have purchased many dolls, porcelain figures, trinket boxes, etc. from Daniela and always been very happy with my purchases.
Across the parking lot, Danielle's husband, Klause, has a shop devoted to Christmas items and old store stock. It is a fascinating place to visit.
Just up the street, the Zismann's have turned an old elementary school into a fleamarket. This is truly a fleamarket with treasures hiding in among the trash . . .
From the Zitzmann “enclave” we will get back on the bus and to visit another part of the family. Daniela's brother, Martin Haida and his parents.They were the first people I met in Sonnenberg after re- unification. They struggled to get their family teddy bear business thriving, but it was simply too difficult to attract skilled workers to stay in Sonnenberg. Today the Haida’s run a mainly export business catering to doll makers. During the week of Puppenfestival, their large building is given over to a fleamarket that focuses on dolls, bears, dollhouses, and miniatures.
The town of Neustadt has been taken over by the huge doll and flea market the runs all through the main square and up and down the side streets. You will be surprised to see the high quality of dolls and toys at this market and many dealers from Germany, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Italy attend this free market and the two-day show at the Neustadt Frankenhalle—a huge display of German bisque dolls, French dolls, a moderate amount of early china, wooden and wax dolls, doll supplies—also delicious bratwurst available at the restaurant in this showroom.
The Sonneberg Toy and Game Museum has reopened and fully renovated and we will spend a full day visiting this well-known doll and toy museum. End of Lynn’s notes.
Coburg is a beautiful small city, where Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, was born. This area was once the center of German doll-making and is still an area visited by doll-collectors from all over the world. We visited the Lesch Glass Eye factory, the HERMANN Teddy Bear factory and outlet, and a company making Santa figures for more than 100 years, a German Doll Doctor and his shop with so many doll parts for sale. On the way to Munich we toured the Kathe Kruse Doll Company in Donauworth.
On our final European Doll Tour we visited Italy and Germany. It was in Pompei and Venice where we realized that our leader, Lynn, was seriously ill. In Venice she had to be taken to a hospital in a boat where she received four transfusions of blood. Pat and I were very worried.
In Bologna we visited a brand new Doll Museum, which had not opened to the public yet. Lynn had heard about it from the curator, Marco Tosa. In the Foreword of the museum booklet, Marco writes:
Dolls have been preserved over time with a form of respect and care that is never encountered in other toys. . . . the thousands of dolls produced in Europe during the 19thcentury, by an industry that had a profound effect on the national economy of the manufacturing countries, reached such aesthetic perfection and sophisticated elegance that they are still considered amongst the best ever made.
LYNN MURRAY died this past summer of ovarian cancer and the future of the TLC Doll Tours is in doubt. Pat and I are so delighted we took Lynn’s fantastic tours—and we will never forget Lynn and her wonderfully informative, and fun tours.
LONG ISLAND in the Bahamas
A good friend of ours, Ann Foskett, married Dr. Buell Miller of Cumberland, Maine three years ago. We have known Ann for many years and are getting to know Buell—a retired ObGyn Dr. This summer they invited us to visit them at their house in the Bahamas over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. We decided to do so as we’ve never been to this area and decided why not try something different!
We flew from Hilton Head Island to Charlotte and non-stop to Nassau. After a three hour wait, we met Joel, our pilot who flew us in a twin-engine plane to the Stella Maris Airport on Long Island—one of 700 islands in the entire Bahamas. Ann and Buell met us there and we drove on a pot-holed road to their house on the Atlantic side of the island, facing east. The west faces the Caribbean and not far off the Florida coast.
Long Island is approximately 80 miles long and fairly narrow most of the time.
Buell bought this house in 2007— ‘just before the real estate crash—and one reason we decided to visit them is that their house is now for sale. One of the days we were here a couple of their friends stopped by to look their house over.
This area is unique. Not too ritzy with a number of developments started and ended when the principals ran out of money. The Miller house is located in a beautiful area, over-looking the Atlantic and built about 20 years ago. There are not many houses in the area and the roads are terrible. Ann and Buell have a Honda Horizon car which seems like the perfect car for these roads. It is like a Land Rover, only not as fancy. These Honda cars were never sold in the US.
The development we’ve gotten to know best is the Stella Maris Resort. This resort was started by Germans and is still managed by a German named George who was with Stella Maris development from the beginning. Joel is George’s son and helps out at the resort. Buell has been coming here for almost 40 years and knows everyone. Another former German named Bruno cares for the Miller house when they are in Maine. Bruno is married to an attractive black woman, Yvonne, who is a native of the Bahamas, growing up in Freeport on the island of Grand Bahama. She reports to George and oversees the front office, dining room, and bar at Stella Maris.
We had our first evening meal at Eagles Nesting Restaurant that I’d give an A-. We were the only guests there but they have developed a good take-out business.
We’ve been to a number of places for dinners. Among our favorite was Chez Pierre Restaurant and beach, cottages. We stopped there on our way back from a two-hour drive to the Flying Fish Marina Restaurant in Clarence Town—down on the southern end of the island; where we enjpyed a delicious lunch.
We’ve been here five nights with four more ahead of us. It’s been a relaxing time as there really isn’t much to do on Long Island. Today, Friday, December 28thwould have been my father’s 121st. birthday. Tonight, we are going to a restaurant at Stalla Maris called “The Cave.”
Buell is almost the same age as Pat and I with Ann five years younger. They lead a fairly relaxed life and are staying here longer than most trips (four months). Living in Maine during winters is rough and they are fortunate to have their get-a-way in this warm area with an average temperature of 79-80 this week.
I’m writing this blog on a Friday afternoon. Buell is reading at the same table I’m writing on and Pat and Ann are working on a 1,000-piece puzzle. We had talked about driving up to see a Columbus monument in an area reportedly entered by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage to the New World. We walked this morning on a beach called, “Love Beach” and ran into a rain shower, which seem to be frequent this time of year. We decided not to see the Columbus monument today as the weather was iffy.
It’s December 20, 2018. Yesterday I celebrated my 85th. birthday—actually, we celebrated my BD on the night before with Margo, Butch, Jan, Joss, and Pat at El Carpaccio Restaurant on Hilton Head. See photo above.
Normally at this time we are anticipating the entire family headed for Hilton Head to celebrate Christmas with each other and with Pat and me. This year, we decided to visit Ann and Dr. Buell Miller at their house on Long Island in the Bahamas. Ann Foskett Miller is a long-time friend who lost her husband, Roger, to Alzheimer’s a few years ago. She met Dr. Miller on the internet and they fell in love and married. Buell had a house at the Stella Maris Resort in the Bahamas and they have invited us a number of times to visit them there. We fly there on December 23rd.
This year, for the first time ever since our first year of marriage, Pat and I will celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve outside of the USA. Sixty-one year’s ago (December 1957) Pat and I had just married in Atlanta on November 30th., honeymooned in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, and moved into an apartment in Fresnes en Woevre, France. We had a Christmas tree in that small apartment and remember it was chilly the day before Christmas and we drove to Verdun to get fuel for our house-heater—a device we learned later was dangerous because of fire and carbon-monoxide poisoning. I believe it was called ‘Aladdin’s Space Heater’ and used kerosene. I googled it today and noticed that Amazon still sells these heaters.
In addition to wanting to get away and have a change in Christmas, we decided since all of our adult-children had met recently at our grandson Winslow’s wedding, this would enable them to celebrate the holidays with their own families. Particularly in Steve and Tina’s case, they had to fly four of each family back and forth across the USA—which is expensive.
We loved having our family all together each year and look forward to finding out how this major change works out. I’ll report!
Pat and I are in Berkeley, California visiting Steve, Michelle, Morgan, and Emily.
On Pat’s Birthday, yesterday, she received a marvelous gift of viewing a play ( The Visit) directed by our son, Steve Morgan as a ‘local guest artist’ at Michelle’s French-American School in downtown San Francisco, where she has run their drama program for more than twelve years.
The lead in this play is named Germaine Patricia Peacock, played with gusto by a gifted senior (Natalie Rathle) in Michelle’s acting class. The protagonist is named Henry—played by another gifted senior studying with Michelle (Rhea McSpadden). Both of these actors are shown in the above photo of the original Germaine and Henry with the actor, Natalie, to the left and the actor, Rhea on the right. Director Steve stands behind the two Germaines and Morgan and Emily (Michelle and Steve’s talented children) sit in front.
The play is about Germaine Patricia Peacock (Pat's maiden name) and Henry (played by a woman) had a brief relationship in Berkeley years ago and after leaving the city and marrying seven times, Germaine returns to Berkeley and offers to donate one billion dollars to the city—with the one stipulation that ‘Justice’ be served in Berkeley.
The vitality and skills exhibited on stage were amazing as 24 outstanding high school students, taught by Michelle and directed by Steve Morgan, speak to adult issues in this fascinating story—the program says,
But this is the season of bringing the darkness into the light. . .so together we may both laugh and cry (and then, perhaps share, reflect and take action, as well).
Steve Morgan and Michelle Haner Haskell have done a superb job of creating a play that is timely in today’s political climate and rewritten to depict a bankrupt Berkeley. Written by a Swiss dramatist in the 20thCentury, Friedrich Durrenmatt, Steve, with Michelle’s help, has created an outstanding play that was enjoyed by the full house—and particularly by Pat and me this outstanding night.
We are supercalifragilistic proud and looking forward to spending the remainder of this week celebrating Michelle’s and Steve's twelfth anniversary on Thanksgiving Day.
Winslow and Amanda’s Wedding
Good evening! I am Hank— one of Winslow’s two grandfathers here tonight. I am known to Win as ‘Buppy,’ and his other grandfather is known as ‘Grumps.’
What a joy it was for Win’s grands, Pat, Nancy, John and me, to watch Winslow marry Amanda today.
Since we've heard from Amanda's dad about her growing up, I thought it appropriate for me to say a few words about our grandson.
Winslow and his sister, Sayde, lived most of their growing up years in South Bristol, Maine— across the street from Pat and my house there. We saw these bright kids have fun playing together, and we spent lots of time with both of them. They attended the small South Bristol school where Winslow, Liam, and Markus were classmates and great friends. It is fitting that Sayde, Liam, and Markus are all in the wedding party today.
I remember when Sayde Mohr was on stage in one of Pat and my theatre productions. My assignment was to be Winslow's babysitter with instructions to attempt to get him to go to sleep by a certain hour. I taught Winslow most of the Bowdoin College drinking songs those evenings. He told me today he still remembers most of the words.
When he was about 10 years old, Winslow appeared on our stage in a wonderful production of the play, “Yellow Dog Crossing.” He was the star of the show, learning not only his own lines, but the lines of everyone else in the cast. I’ll never forget Winslow on stage up in a tree with his stage grandfather talking and casually feeding his grandfather some of his lines as he spoke his own with intensity and feeling.
Soon after his performance on our stage, Winslow was cast in the New York City production of “Brothers Karamazov.” Pat and I offered to care for this budding actor for the three-week run at the MAMA Theater off-Broadway. It was during the days he spent with us in our hotel that chilly January, that we saw Win’s budding interest in computer games. Hour after hour, Winslow entertained himself with his computer game. Pat taught Win how to knit in NYC; he then taught all his fellow actors.
Winslow learned much from his theatre experiences and exhibited his great ability to present himself in the business world and in all social endeavors. You saw this today at their wedding.
Win has combined the ability to play well and work hard. He impressed us with his working with Toyota Racing Development while studying and distinguishing himself with computers at Clemson University. We are delighted he chose this field of study as his career.
We have gotten to know Amanda and see how they interact and love each other.
On behalf of all four grandparents, we salute this couple and wish them much happiness together in their life’s journey.
Writer & Editor Meet Again in Maine
Cal and Ellie Kendall joined Pat and me in Maine this past week for another memorable get-together. We visited the Bowdoin campus where Cal and I were roommates 64 years ago. The Bowdoin book store finally stocks sweatshirts in Cal’s size and he wears his new shirt with pride in the above photo.
Coming out of the Bowdoin store, we ran into a violent muni-burst with heavy rain and gusty winds. We watched the Bowdoin students scurry for shelter with one of them enjoying the drama and putting on a water-show for us as we sat in our car.
The burst turned out being a serious storm albeit brief in duration. When we returned to our house we saw huge trees down all around us.
We ate some great meals together, including a new-found restaurant called Maxwell’s in Bath. My favorite meal together was lobsters at our house. This time Pat laboriously took the meat out of the shells which was a pleasant change and I cooked my blueberry cake—my fifth one this summer.
We went boating on Connie and Toby’s Mako 19-footer across the Damariscotta River to Lobby’s wharf restaurant for a good lunch.
I’ve been working on another writing-project and Cal is editing. Unfortunately, he’s had some problems with Word, which we’re working on to correct so he can send me his edited version on line. Cal and I talked at length about my current writing project and, once again, he came up with a wonderful suggestion for an additional writing project for me to consider. I’ve already prepared a tentative outline of what I’m referring to as “Project #2.”
When I was in Peru with Dora a couple years ago, I developed an allergy to shrimp. Well about an hour after our lobster-dinner I developed a serious allergy—which must have been the lobster. Pat stuck me with that expensive Epi-Pen and I recovered. I hate to think I’ve got to add lobster to my allergy-list.
The Kendall’s left for Vermont and sent us the following:
It seems a long time ago that we were with you. It was a marvelous visit. And Pat, you deserve a special thank you for that dinner finale. Hank, first shrimp now lobster is a problem. Will scallops be next?
Cal and Ellie have visited us many times, both in Maine and SC. As we move along in age, We appreciate their visits all the more—and look forward to visiting them In MN this winter. We’ll probably not ski but just being together is always great fun!
MONHEGAN ISLAND, August 2018.
Last week was very special! Pat, our eldest daughter, Jan, and I took the Hardy Boat to Monhegan Island—twelve miles off the coast of Maine. Jan has been going to Monhegan to visit her friends, Ingrid and Andy Sherrill and convinced us to return to the island and spend a night at the Island Inn.
Theodore Edison, inventor Thomas Edison’s son, started coming to the Island in the 1908 at ten years old. He wrote, “The beauty and freedom with which I and other members of my family have fond memories of Monhegan as it was ‘in the old days.’” He loved Monhegan as it was and after graduating from MIT (about the same time my father was there) he heard about plans to divide the Island into building lots, He started buying land as it became available. In 1954 he announced his plan to organize a trust, which would consist of all his land at his death. He donated his land to an organization called the Monhegan Associates, Inc. Although Ted and his wife, Ann, never owned a house of their own and always stayed at the Island Inn. Ann was an artist and eventually they bought a studio. Today, thanks to Edison and many others, two-thirds of the Island is set aside with no development possible.
After the boat arrived, we walked up the steep path to the Monhegan Museum of Art and History. Fortunately, Pat and I brought walking sticks which were most helpful. This amazing museum just received a million-dollar challenge grant from Jamie and Phyllis Wyeth, who own the refurbished Monhegan house built in 1905 by the artist Rockwell Kent (for his mother.)
The Monhegan Museum—celebrating its 50thAnniversary with a very special art show of the many artists (70) who have painted on this island. Rockwell Kent, Andrew Wyeth, Edward Hopper, Jim Fitzgerald, George Bellows and many others have painted here. We enjoyed the variety of paintings and historical items from the Island known for its lobster industry and tourism. We later walked down and stopped by the Monhegan Brewery that opened in 2013.
I first heard about the Island Inn from my father who spent a week there in 1920 with his parents and talked about Monhegan the rest of his life.. The inn has only thirty-two rooms, but it has been well maintained and we loved the experience staying there. We had a wonderful dinner at the Inn with the Sherrills and their three offspring, Maddie, Vlade, and William.
I started going out there 18 years ago on my own boat. I remember a day trip on my boat, Pat Patwith our granddaughter, Sayde. on a beautiful Maine day. We anchored close to shore where Ingrid and Andy Sherrill now rent a house. I took a nap while Sayde swam. On another Monhegan trip with Pat, my Twin sister Mercy, and her husband Bats, we picked up a mooring in the small harbor. The only dock there is for Ferry boats and one must ‘borrow’ a mooring from a lobster boat that may be out fishing. We ate a delicious lunch on another beautiful day. On our trip back to South Bristol, Bats took the helm and assured me he knew the way back. Mercy and I talked for about an hour on the stern seat, not paying any attention to where we were headed. The weather was hazy, and Bats and Pat were talking. I asked Bats if he knew where we were, and he said, “You’d better check, Hank.” I discovered we were headed for somewhere between the Maine Coast and Spain. We turned 90 degrees and took another hour to reach the Damariscotta River and home base.
This island was discovered by Captain John Smith in 1614—the same year he discovered and named ‘Christmas Cove.’ Since it is out in the Atlantic Ocean, most islanders leave in the fall with between 40 and 70 year-round residents.
We loved our short Monhegan stay and look forward to returning next year. Perhaps Pat will join the illustrious list of famous painters in capturing the spectacular scenic beauty and uniqueness of this rustic island.