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On Saramaccan Serenade
I READ WITH a great deal of interest “Saramaccan Serenade” by John Williams ’10 (autumn 2013).
The article underscores the value of a Colgate education. If John is an example of the product Colgate is turning out, we should all be proud.
It will be interesting to see where he is 10 years from now. As we say in Baltimore, “The world is his oyster.”
Congratulations and best wishes to John, his parents, and to Colgate.
Robert W. Locke ’68
I READ “OCEAN REVERIES” (autumn 2013) with great pleasure, and gained a sense of how Colgate has broadened its students’ horizons with programs such as the core course The Caribbean that author Leah Feldman ’14 took. I have the same fascination with the sea that has been so influential in Leah’s upbringing and education.
By great coincidence, my family kept our very first boat (albeit a powerboat) at the 79th Street Marina during the several years before I entered Colgate. My father won the boat gambling in Miami Beach, and with no prior experience, I was allowed to motor up the Intracoastal Waterway from Florida to the Marina at 79th Street single-handedly. Needless to say, both the boat and I were in pretty sad shape on arrival, but we both were undamaged and I had whetted my appetite for salt water.
Sailing dinghies on Taylor Lake as soon as the ice cleared whetted my appetite for all things marine. But it was many years later, having moved to Texas in the military, graduated law school, then laboring for 25 years in litigation practice, before I went to sea again. This time, 150 miles from my chosen home in San Antonio, Corpus Christi on the Texas Gulf Coast, I found a sailboat. It was a 30' sloop and was just fine for bumming around on weekends.
I now own a 14' Wenonah canoe (no laughs, please) and paddle the Intracoastal Waterway between Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter weekly.
Mitch Rosenheim ’53
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
On marriage and maturity
I LOOK FORWARD TO reading the Scene to hear about Colgate’s alumni and their helpful advice. Unfortunately, Ms. Koch’s piece (Tableau, autumn 2013: “Marriage — The Ultimate Maturity Gauge?”) was not only unhelpful, but also offensive. Her advice? Women will not be taken seriously in their career unless they get married.
When I began reading her piece, I thought she was going to go in a completely different direction. She could have said, “I got married and everybody began taking me seriously in my career. Why is the workforce suspicious of unmarried women? Why do men not face this kind of scrutiny? I’ve had an impressive career, why should my marriage mean more than my résumé?”
At Colgate, I was taught to think critically and question societal values, yet this article not only accepts these outdated norms, it promotes them.
Kathryn David ’12
Editor’s note: The Tableau series shares personal essays on a wide variety of topics. Our goal is to inspire our readers with accounts of individual human experiences, and to inspire dialogue about subjects of societal interest. To submit an essay, write to firstname.lastname@example.org and put Tableau in the subject line.
Seeking Mystery Reader
THIS COLGATE SCENE (pictured, above right) was found by the mom of one of our staffers, in the magazine rack at the YMCA in Johnson City, N.Y. We were intrigued by several of what we assume are its original reader’s habits: nearly every page crossed off (perhaps when finished), nearly every reference to a book circled. The crossword puzzle on pg. 72 was partially done. Looks like a cover-to-cover reader (or at least close)!
A needle in a haystack, most likely, but if you see this and let us know who you are (315-228-7415 or e-mail email@example.com), we’d love to express our appreciation by sending you a Colgate Scene T-shirt!
— The editors
|Remembering George Hudson (1937–2013)
THERE IS SOMETHING
mythic about George Hudson (In tribute
), something larger than life.
We first met in 1993 after I’d been hired to write a screenplay set in Meiji Japan for what would eventually become The Last Samurai. By chance, that summer Colgate was offering a seminar to be taught by George that explored the cultural evolution of Japan following Admiral Perry’s gunboat diplomacy that brought an end to 250 years of isolation. I immediately signed on.
Several weeks later, as I prepared to travel to Hamilton, word came that the seminar had been canceled. George apologized for the unexpected turn of events. And then he said a remarkable thing: I should come to Hamilton anyway, for a one-on-one tutorial on Meiji Japan. I did not hesitate.
George began by turning on two slide projectors casting upon the wall what appeared to be the U.S. fleet under Perry sailing into Yokohama Harbor in 1853. He then recounted the isolationist history of the Tokugawa shogunate from 1603 to 1853 followed by the effect of the Western intrusion on Japanese culture. Detailing the collapse of the Shogunate and the Meiji Restoration, he continued to explain the complex relations between East and West as he slowly adjusted the projectors until what had appeared to be a single image was now two: on the left were, indeed, Perry’s Black Ships at Yokohama; on the right, the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. He had visually bracketed the period with two similar yet distinctly different images as he laid out the complicated cultural and political relationship that developed between Japan and the United States. It was brilliant.
Over the next week, he helped me focus my research, providing comprehensive reading lists as I prowled the stacks in Case Library. By the time I left for LA, I had a firm grasp of Meiji Japan, as well as a firm friendship.
A few years later, when my oldest son, Ryan, entered Colgate’s Class of ’98, it came as no surprise that he decided to take George’s first-year seminar “Myth, the Bible and the Roots of 20th Century Literature” so that he, in turn, would become Ryan’s adviser.
George Hudson embodies the spirit that has kept Colgate alive for me ever since we met. His friendship has been my great good fortune. A bond that can never be broken.
Garner Simmons ’65
Woodland Hills, Calif.
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