Features

The Elusive Frontline

STEPHEN YOUNG ’73 IS A CAREER DIPLOMAT IN THE STATE DEPARTMENT who was looking for a one-year bridge assignment until a posting he desired opened up in 2002. A colleague persuaded him to serve as director for three countries in the South Asia Affairs section: Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. He started this assignment in late August.…

New York Recovers

SEPTEMBER 11 WAS A DAY OFF FOR NICK MALTER ’87, a New York City firefighter assigned to ladder company 113 in Brooklyn. He and his wife, Jill, were listening to the police scanner after the World Trade Center was attacked when they heard an unprecedented announcement: the recall of all off-duty firefighters. More than anything…

Retailing In Style

JACK MITCHELL ’61 LOOKS UP FROM A CONVERSATION as an irrepressible saleswoman bursts into his office with a story she can’t resist telling at that very moment. A local woman, not someone who shops a great deal, was astonished when a limo showed up at her door, courtesy of her husband. The driver escorted her to…

“Mr. Social Security” Battles On

ONE OF THE MOST FORMIDABLE OPPONENTS TO PRESIDENT BUSH’S controversial proposal for partially privatizing Social Security can be found not on Capitol Hill, nor among lobbyists, nor among liberal think tanks in Washington. In a modest suburban house overlooking the Potomac River, not far from George Washington’s estate at Mount Vernon, Bob Ball ’35 is on…

Stages of Our Lives

KARL SCHEIBE ARGUES THAT WE NEED A NEW PSYCHOLOGY useful in our daily lives. The language of the theater best illuminates this study of ourselves, he says, offering us the possibility of transformation. I remember my first meeting with Karl as dramatic, because it radically transformed my perspective. More than a decade ago, when my youngest…

The Art of Selection

When museum curators trade stories, Alan Shestack ’60 has one for the hall of fame.Everyone, it seemed, wanted to see the Vermeer exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., where Shestack is chief curator and deputy director. The known works by this 17th–century Dutch master number a scant 35, and for the…

Scenes from a Spiritual Journey

The shimmering light dances and glows in her eyes. Jan Willis is an earnest teenage girl from a small dirt road mining town who has just been awarded a full scholarship to an Ivy League university. It’s an incredible opportunity, a bright shining beacon filled with promise and dream-like possibilities. It’s a triumphant moment—an undeniable…

Musician Heal Thyself

The afternoon sun slants into the West End Avenue apartment, bringing out warmth in the parquet floors, the mellow gold of hardwood cabinets. On top of the piano, the pencil–written score of David Leisner’s newest chamber music piece, Vision of Orpheus, awaits the composer’s attention. At the moment, Leisner’s rapt focus is on his student. His…

A Genius for Water

Even by the standards of rural northern Idaho, East Hope is barely a blip on the map. Home to Claudia Stearns, widow of Harold Stearns ’21, this village of 200 souls has little more than a tiny post office to mark its existence by the highway on the edge of Lake Pend Oreille, a remnant…

CSS & COL: Looking Good at 40

The College of Letters celebrated its 40th anniversary September 22–23 with a gathering of faculty and alumni who reminisced about their past experiences in the program. William Blakemore ’65, a correspondent for ABC News, was among the speakers. He recalled a cold January morning 37 years ago when he and a dozen or so fellow…