Tales from the 60s (Part 1) — The Last Roadtrip

There was a heat wave in Boston in the summer of 1969. There was always a heat wave in the summer in Boston. It was literally the last summer of the 60s, but it was metaphorically the last summer of the 60s as well. We did not know that. Both Kennedy brothers had been assassinated; […]

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Our War and Welcome to It

The Vietnam War — our war — always loomed just beyond the mountains. To serve or not to serve? Our choice — or pure chance in the draft lottery — still marks us. Ken Burns’ documentary “The Vietnam War” once again reminded us of those who lived and those who were lost, on both sides. […]

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Crossing the Border: The Williams-Bennington Experience in late 60s

What was it about Bennington College?

The 17-mile ride up to Bennington was transformative.  But it was not always an easy journey for the Williams student of our day. One classmate, quoting James Joyce’s Ulysses, mentions understanding first-hand what Joyce meant by the “scotumtightening sea,” as he would sign in at the small guard’s office manned by stolid Vermonters whose tacit disapproval he interpreted as directed toward him, but was maybe aimed in a more general way toward the entire permissive and doubtless sinful lifestyle that lay beyond the gates. 

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Father Knows Best

The traditional social system we entered in 1964 sounds medieval to today’s young, but at the time it still generally reflected the rules parents expected single-sex educational institutions to establish and administer for their supposedly grownup children. In loco parentis ruled. As freshmen, although we were addressed in the classroom with the grownup title of […]

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The Fraternity Debate — 1868 to 1968!

The Fraternity Debate — 1868 to 1968! by John Dirlam Fraternities began to take root at Williams in 1833 with the arrival of Kappa Alpha, followed one year later by Sigma Phi.  By the time of the Civil War, four more fraternities had joined them in competing for students—-Chi Psi, Alpha Delta Phi, Delta Psi, and Delta […]

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