I posted this letter from my old roommate on 11 April, 2008. It is  pertinent today

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“Civility was, I believe, very directly related to wearing a coat and tie at dinner.”

… Rechtal Turgidley Jr

The yellowed envelope the postman delivered on Tuesday  with the printed address ‘Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Beane,  40 Pine Street, New York 4, New York” crossed out smacked of a frugality honed for a lifetime. As did the corner of a block of 3 cent Lewis and Clark stamps making up the necessary postage, obviously licked and placed on the letter with care.

A glance at the ‘Quark Island ME’ postmark and my name written with the distinctive strokes of a Parker 51 and in his trademark peacock blue Parker Quink. confirmed it was another letter from my old roommate, Rechtal Turgidley Jr.

 

Swart (he begins) ,

I am quite worried about you. And, NO, not for the usual reasons of your incipient alcoholism, the smoking of quantities of an unidentified vegetation, or even your strange predilection for Baroque opera.

I am worried because I see you appearing  much too frequently in the, granted, ephemeral columns of that peculiar ‘blog’ purportedly written ‘about’, ‘over’, ‘under’ and all the other prepositions, Williams.

Since you pointed me in the direction of this supposed diversion several months ago, I have been following it and, indeed, have written you before with my thoughts (and I was amazed to see that you had forwarded that note to a ‘DKane; , what ever that may be). I objected to anonymity among gentlemen, the use of a first name appellation in referring to the President of the College, and some of the nature of the writings that appeared that would have roused my father Rechtal Turgidley ‘28 to a fury. But enough of these aforementioned items.

 It is my analysis of recent daily editions that raise my concerns for you as a too-frequent participant in them.

 I shall go on.

As to DKane, he does, indeed, know how to rouse the fish to intemperate biting on his carefully tied lures. If one doesn’t work, he will flail the water with others. He seems to know how to ‘match the hatch’ with great skill. If the dry thorax is not working, he will switch to a terrestrial and may end up with a midge. The question is, does he truly believe in each and every offering cast out or is he simply looking for some bites to keep the pond jumping.  If he doesn’t believe all that he offers, all well and good. If, on the other hand he does, then the comments of many of the respondents o his lures need to be carefully weighed by the local police.

As to topics and response. Is this ‘blog’ an extension of the management of the College and vested with some powers for change? For it would appear that many of the postings and comments have to do with what the Trustees, the President, the faculty, and even the students themselves should do. Whining seems to be the hallmark of much of the correspondence. As Grandfather Turgidley ‘06 used to remark “I can’t abide whining dogs or whining Williams men”.

And there is such a lack of civility and humor in the verbiage! I did notice, Swart, your attempts to change the subject several times. While I was not interested in DIY -The Romance of Drains, or Cooking with Clarified Butter, I was hopeful that All About Stamps might catch on. I am happy to discuss at the drop of a hat, my 1922 6 cent Garfield’s by that wonderful team of Eissler and Hall. But no matter.

Civility was, I believe, very directly related to wearing a coat and tie at dinner. Has civility gone by the boards, replaced with diversity?  “O brave new world that hath such people in it”.

Thus my concern for your over-participation in this activity. In the jargon of some past psychobabble I am doing an ‘intervention’.

Pack your bag. Say ‘Ave et Vale’ to your virtual pals. You are coming with me. We will be concentrating on these three ‘g’s’ –  Gehry’s Guggenheim, Gaudy, and the modern architect hated by Ian Fleming, Erno Goldfinger.

    In the Bonds,

    Recht

 

 

 

 

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