Monday, July 28, 2014


        I need to back up a bit to early December, 1946. Clear the Track, the eagerly anticipated Princeton Triangle Show, was shaping up very well. The cast was excited and confident the show would be well received. 
        Because there were so many quick costume changes, we needed more than one dress  rehearsal. The show opened in Princeton on Saturday, December 14. With a matinee and an evening performance at McCarter Theater. I got Margie a ticket for the evening performance,  and she absolutely loved it! Both audiences instantly rose to their feet for boisterous standing ovations at the end. Margie accompanied me to the opening night party hosted by the Triangle Club for the cast and everyone connected with the show, and their friends and family members.
        In October the Nassoons had been entranced by the Triangle veterans’ enticing tales of THE TOUR. We could not imagine how much fun it would be in the various cities where we would be performing, they told us. In addition to the exhilaration of appearing before wildly enthusiastic audiences of alumni and friends, we would be royally entertained everywhere, with fantastic meals and parties, music and dancing, and GIRLS! It sounded wonderful!

Saturday, July 12, 2014


One exception to the rule!
        I mentioned in an earlier post (see How We Got Started) that the Princeton Nassoons’ rehearsals in the fall of 1946 were strictly private. Because we were starting from scratch, so to speak, and because we wanted to meet the standard of excellence established by our predecessors prior to the World War II hiatus, and because the expectations of the University community for the new Nassoons were very high, we did not want to be heard by anyone until we were ready to make our formal public debut, which was scheduled for Friday night of the big Princeton-Dartmouth weekend.
        There was one exception to that rule, however, and her name was Margie, nee Margaret Frances Childs, daughter of Harwood L. Childs, Professor of Political Science at Princeton. This is how it came about. Margie and I had dated regularly when I was attending the Midshipmen-Officers Course at the Naval Supply Corps School at Harvard and she was a student at Wellesley.
        At the end of WWII, shortly after our ship had arrived at the Philadelphia Naval Base in the late spring of 1946, I made an appointment to see the Dean of Admissions about returning to Princeton the following fall to complete my undergraduate education. As I was sitting on a bench

Monday, July 7, 2014


The first letter in Margie's file of my letters to her. Months
before, while I was overseas, I had written another letter,
which she never received. I had also sent her a Christmas
card in December, 1945, which she did receive. 
        Margie and I saved all the letters we ever wrote to each other. She had numbered and put my letters to her in chronological order, beginning with one I had written while still on board ship at the end of World War II. I had arranged her letters to me in chronological order as well, and all of our letters were stored in shoe boxes in the basements, attics, or closets  of our various homes. The shoe boxes were neatly packed in a much larger box, which was carted off by different moving vans, untouched and unopened, along with our other belongings, as we moved from place to place. In the nearly sixty-six years we were married we lived in 14 different apartments or houses in five different States.
        When Margie’s terminal illness was diagnosed, I brought up the boxes of letters from our storage bin in order to search for a particular letter I had written to her after we had been dating for some months. We both remembered the letter because it was the one in which I first told her that I loved her. In fact, it was the first time I had ever committed myself to any girl, especially in writing. It was easy to find, because Margie had "starred" it.
        No one but the two of us had ever seen any of our love letters, but I intended to make copies of that one letter for our children, after Margie died. I wanted them to know when, how, and why I fell in love with their mother. My good intentions were postponed, however, because of all the

Friday, July 4, 2014

Time for a musical interlude.

I've been an admirer of the Dutch conductor André Rieu since before he became popular in the United States. He is also an accomplished violinist, as you will see and hear, if you click on the above video. It is taken from a 2012 DVD entitled "André Rieu - New York Memories- Live at Radio City Music Hall."

Even if you have seen it before, it's worth watching again. If you haven't seen it, I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as the audience did that night. You will see that Maestro Rieu touched their hearts, as he does mine and will yours, with his beautiful rendition of I Did It My Way, a song made popular by Frank Sinatra, another one of our famous "Jersey Boys."

Enlarge your screen.


        When King Hezekiah became critically ill, the prophet Isaiah paid him a pastoral call of sorts, with this message from God: “Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die. You shall not recover” (II Kings 20:1, NRSV).
        How often people are told to get their affairs in order when facing the likelihood of their death. One wonders why people have to wait to be told they are going to die before putting their affairs in order. We all know we are going to die sooner or later, so why wait? Would life not be smoother and less stressful if our affairs were always in order? That’s easier said than done, of course.
        But that’s another subject. What I want to discuss in this article is the relationship between a couple’s putting their affairs in order and their coping with the reality of being separated by death. When death comes suddenly and unexpectedly, all of the survivors are confronted with the devastating, sometimes even frightening, reality that their loved one is no longer there to respond to their questions or to share their joys, their sorrows, their worries, their dreams. They have been deprived forever of their accustomed access to a precious source of information they may have taken for granted all their lives. That’s what makes losing a beloved parent so difficult for the children, not to mention the sheer grief of their loss.