A High School Classmate

My Belmont High School classmate has passed away. Professor Marvin Zonis passed away on Sunday November 15, 2020. He was a popular and talented friend. In fact he was the President of our Class, Belmont High School 1954. He lived about 1/2 a mile from me, half way to the High School. I passed his home on Goden Street every day.

As Class President he gave a speech at our graduation, as did I as Valedictorian. He was far more accomplished as a public speaker! It is rather fitting that he went on in life to be such a popular and prominent professor at the University of Chicago. We sort of shared similar fields of study, he chose political science, I chose economics. I don’t know if he was in Chicago when I was at Northwestern in Evanston, just to the north. Early on in the post-high school years, he and 2 other classmates traveled to Afghanistan. That adventure must have provided good fodder for his chosen field of study.

We remember Marvin fondly. May he rest in peace.

Was It Written In The Stars?

If my genealogy research is correct, my maternal grandmother and my husband Ian’s maternal grandmother were born in the same year – 1863. My maternal grandmother was born in Crown Point New York. Ian’s maternal grandmother was born in Coleraine Northern Ireland. Ian and I married in 1968 in Nairobi Kenya.

All Aboard – Chicago Bound

This is a snippet of a memory – I wonder if it’s true. My sister Ruth once told me that when our brother Bob was 12 years old, our father put him on a train going to Chicago and asked the porter to look after him and be sure he returned. I’m not clear whether this was in Boston or New York. I wonder………. July 20 would have been Bob’s 96th birthday, sadly he died at age 67 in June 1992. He is buried in the grounds of the Episcopal Church in Rutland Vermont, where he and his wife Lillian were married in 1953. Lillian is buried there also along with her sister Dottie and her parents. Rest in Peace Bob, Lil, Dottie, John and Cecilia

SUDDENLY

As I was going about my business this morning, suddenly a totally unrelated memory popped into my head. It was a memory I hadn’t had for years and years and years. It was a memory of the day my father died. He died at noon in March 1949. I heard him die as my sister Nan and I waited anxiously in another bedroom. Later my mother and I sat on the living room sofa and she told me the sad news. We sadly proceeded to have lunch in the kitchen. In the afternoon I was taken out to Hartwell Farm to get some of their special heart warming soup. I can’t remember who took me – possibly my brother Bob and sister Nan. My sister Ruth would have stayed at home to help my mother with all the things that had to be done.

300 Words for a Biography

IMG_0001  Graduation from Middlebury College, Middlebury Vermont, June 1958Aunt Libby, Cousin Betsy, Jan, my mother, Lil my sister-in-law

Janet was born on December 7, 1936 in Boston Massachusetts, daughter of the late Joseph Buckingham Miller and Dorothy Friend Miller.  She grew up in Belmont, MA and after graduating from Belmont High School she went on to Middlebury College in Vermont to study French and Geography and to ski, her favorite sport among many.  At Middlebury she scored out the “et” -on her name badge and from then on she was known as Jan.

From Middlebury she went on to Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois to obtain a Master’s Degree in Geography.  In the summer following graduation she took a 2 month trip to Europe.  She flew Tiger Airlines.  It took 14 hours with stops in Halifax Nova Scotia, Gander Newfoundland, Shannon in Ireland, and finally London.  And then she spent a month cycling and staying in Youth Hostels in England, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.  Along with 2 other girls, Betty and Miriam, she then traveled by train to Geneva Switzerland where Betty picked up a brand new Volkswagen.  The 3 girls spent a month driving in southern France and Spain and western France to reach Paris and fly home to New York in August.

Her travels were not over.  She then rode in another VW with her Middlebury friend Lucy  to go to Chicago/Evanston to attend a mutual friend’s wedding.  Middlebury classmates, Ginny and John,  She missed the wedding.  She  met a Northwestern classmate/friend who was driving to California.  He was leaving almost immediately and had room in his car.  Off she went on Route 66 with Mohammed, Bob, and Helene.   Next stop Palm Springs California.  Followed by a camping trip to a lake in the mountains east of San Francisco.

Still footloose and fancy free she traveled by bus from San Francisco to Seattle, again to visit another Middlebury friend, Rachel.

The above Middlebury friends are still close over 60 years later.

I think I’ve exceeded my allotted 300 words.  To be continued.

 

Electric Cars

The trivia question in this morning’s edition of the Daily Chronicle (an in-house publication here at Ida Culver House Broadview) – the question was “Who invented the electric car?”  Answer – A. William Morrison  B. Robert Anderson. C. Thomas Edison

The correct answer is B.  The Scottish inventor Robert Anderson in the 1830’s

This little bit of trivia sparked (excuse the choice of words) a memory.  Years ago in the 1940’s if I remember correctly I used to see an electric vehicle parked in the driveway of a house across the street from the Longfellow House on Brattle Street in Cambridge Massachusetts.  Not far from Harvard Square.

Now the sad thing is that my sisters Ruth and Nan are no longer alive to help verify or contradict this memory.  I miss them!  And reaching further into the past my mother and her father are of course long gone as well.  My grandfather in particular could tell me in detail about this black car.  He lived in the Commander Hotel nearby.2019_07_25_12_10_37.pdf000Longfellow House

2019_07_12_12_18_24.pdf002Hotel Commander

 

 

Golf in Hawaii

2019_05_05_16_28_44.pdf002

Royal Kaanapali Golf Course – First Green

I wonder if my mother ever played this course.  She lived in Wailuku Maui on the other side of the island from Kaanapali.  The more modest Maui Country Club was closer and less spectacular.

Day 50 – Arrival in New York, Friday July 27, 1934

The sisters got up at 7:30 after she and Lib had laughed and laughed about their trip and getting home. They were in New York Harbor with six or eight tugs playing around.  Saw the Monarch of Bermuda go out, later the Majestic.

They got their passports checked and their landing cards before breakfast.

Saw the Statue of Liberty.

Said goodby to people and waited on the boat for a time while the crowd got off, then disembarked and waited and waited for our baggage.  American Express man was there. A nice steward helped them.

Virginia met them and rode in the taxi with them to Grand Central where they had lunch.

They got the 3 o’clock train.  Hot.  They were in an unairconditioned car.  Train was full.

Met by the family at 8:15 in Back Bay.  Rode home and talked until twelve.  She felt rotten – still traveling on the ocean.

01-FrontCover-250 Cunard Line Passwnger List    sample passenger list (I can’t find the list for their particular trip)

1934_lowermanhattan004.jpg Lower Manhattan, New York Harbor 1934