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“Read the footnotes” … a reminder from Guy Creese’s essay on Professor Professor Dudley W. R. Bahlman

A Williams alum might find the story about Todd Ducharme (1994) of interest!!   “Be Prepared” – the motto of the Boy Scouts, and a Tom Lehrer song, and a reminiscence about Football Coach Dick Farley are contained in this news note that reflects how Williams connections and experiences shape our lives.


Perhaps other Williams alums would like to share their Billville times and stories. Just contact David.


Heil To The Chief!

I was in the host Valley Forge District in 1950 at the BSA first Jamboree after WWII. President Truman and General Eisenhower spoke. It wasn’t any thing like the national disgrace on Monday evening.

 Williams and “Be Prepared”


Ellis for The New Yorker



The Houses of Williamstown: Kappa Alpha …

(this is the 7th in a series of 16 )

…in their ‘comments’, these old posts show an interest and avidity to fun as well as the darker side of Williams ongoing course.

My political jabs were also a continuing part of the blog at the time.


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Pardon me … …


Lets dance. Putin’ on the Ritz!

But we’ll have a collusion.

That’s collision… When two people slide into each other.

That’s what I said, collusion

Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo on campus:




Scaramucci in, Spicer out.

Communications to take a turn?


The second Times around?


Alas the link:



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 A follow-up to Strategy. Need those signals from Coach Cobb.

The Williams’ ties to baseball are well-known.


if only the White House had the strategic thinking of baseball …



… Maybe the name-sake will be successful!

Trading cards remain popular. I’ve been offered two Amhersts and a Bennington for my Williams.



The Houses of Williamstown: Delta Upsilon …

(Originally posted 22 Oct, 2009. Click COMMENTS to see the entire post).


(this is the 6th in a series of 16 posts)
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At last, a quiet moment in Paris …


Laurent de Brunhoff

… perhaps at the 2017 Gala Dinner of the American Library in Paris which recently honored biographer Stacy Schiff ’82.

Stacy Schiff, dubbed by Vanity Fair as “the hottest biographer in the block,” is also the author of Véra(Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Saint-Exupéry: A Biography, a Pulitzer Prize finalist about the French aviator and writer; and A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, winner of the George Washington Book Prize, the Ambassador Award in American Studies, and the Gilbert Chinard Prize of the Institut Français de l’Amérique.



Later today from an ami on the Fountain Pen Network.



Dancing with Bears …



… can be very dangerous!













…picture credit: unknown


And that Williams link.

NSCI 204

Animal BehaviorSpring 2018 Cross-listed as BIOL 204

Making sense of what we see while watching animals closely is both an enthralling pastime and a discipline that draws on many aspects of biology. 









“A clash of civilizations”…


“Clash of civilizations” …quote from Trump speech, Poland 6 July, 2017

 hmmmm. Rings a bell …

The Great Crusades (1095-1291)

The following is a list of events that occurred during the Great Crusades and covers the years 1095-1291.

For more bells, this might be a good course when it comes around again. Or maybe it won’t …

 ENGL 212 Spring 2015 Imagining the World, 1096-1650 (D) (W)

As part of the Exploring Diversity Initiative, this course examines the identities that Medieval and early modern Christians and others (for example, Jews and Muslims) imagined for each other and themselves in ways that still linger powerfully today–to give just one example, in Osama bin Laden’s 1998 fatwa against the United States, which describes Americans as participants in the same “crusader campaigns” inaugurated by Pope Urban II at the dawn of the First Crusade in 1095. The course will be divided into three units: Inventing the West, Inventing the East, Inventing the Future. The first will explore the monstrous origins of England and Ireland as well as trace the attempts to create a united West through the crusades (as proclaimed by Urban II, and as witnessed by a Jew, Solomon Bar Samson, from massacred Mainz)



The Houses of Williamstown: Delta Phi …

(originally posted 19 Oct, 2009, Click COMMENT to see entire post)


(this is the 5th in a series of 16 posts)
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The Stars and Stripes Forever!

 Happy Fourth of July!




Washington! What it means to be a leader …

…from the Williams course catalogue

LEAD 285
The Revolutionary Generation: Galaxy of Leaders

Fall 2017 Cross-listed as HIST 354, PSCI 285

The American Revolution produced a galaxy of brilliant politicians, statesmen, and military leaders of extraordinary courage, intellect, creativity, and character: Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison, Adams. In this seminar, we will study their astounding accomplishments–


One can’t help but think of today’s incumbent in this perspective as we ready for Independence Day…




A note to the selection committee …


Former prestigious university president may be available soon!

Current position under fire. Familiar with press and branding.

Campus personal housing may have to be up-gilded.


The Houses of Williamstown: Delta Kappa Epsilon 1956 …

(originally published 15 Oct, 2009. To see full post click on COMMENTS)

(The 4th in a series of 16 posts)

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Trump. No gentleman. Mocks Mika Brzezinski ’89 …


,,, boorish personal references to body and IQ. Is this ‘Presidential’? Is this the ‘New Normal’? God Help The United States of America!


Addendum. In a separate note READ THE email MESSAGE FROM THE COLLEGE … FALK RESIGNS!  


“As someday it may happen that a victim must be found, I’ve got a little list …”

(It beats me why I can’t get this just to play. Watch it … new lyrics including TRUMP (The Eric Idle English Seaside setting premiered by the ENO)

… and who in addition to our Lord High Executioner is keeping such a list? And how has such a list of subtle changes to our basic democracy since his transport to DC become a viral hit?

The answer:

 Amy Siskind, from this article in the WAPO, 25, June 2107 ,“who lives just outside New York City, left Wall Street in 2008. Over a 20-year career, she’d become an expert in distressed-debt trading and, at one point, co-headed the trading department at Morgan Stanley and became the first female managing director at another firm.

… and the list-in-progress:

God, what is the Williams link I hear you gnashing? Why whom else than …

Richard J. Miller, Jr. ’86

A highly successful New York attorney, Rich has also maintained an active career as a tenor, performing in many of the works of Gilbert & Sullivan and Victor Herbert, with professional and amateur companies, international festivals, and college organizations. In 2003, Mr. Miller was designated “Best Male Voice” at the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in Buxton, England.  In 2013, he was the tenor soloist in the Williams College Choir performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah.  Rich currently serves as the President of the Metropolitan Opera Guild.

… from the Williams College list of grads in the world of music.




Is James A. Linen III ’34 spinning in his grave?

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   … a shot of the fake TIME cover proudly on display at Trump courses in the US and Scotland

James A Linen ’34 was one of the key figures in the expansion of TIME Inc after WWII. Nothing that this giant did was “fake”.

I would hope that readers of this Williams blog regardless of political bent would agree that Donald J. Trump is no gentleman.


As The Blue Fairy and The New York Times say: “A lie keeps growing and growing until it’s as plain as the nose on your face”.


 A long list of lies from the lyin’ media …

There was an English Department offering that shed light on the use of puppets including the Disney favorite:

ENGL 162 Fall 2013 Uncanny Valley (W) 

From the Golem of Prague to Wall-E, puppets, robots and dolls show up in a huge variety of film, fiction, and art. Uncanny Valley will explore the complicated reactions that these simulacra inspire. Why this fascination with the lifelike? What can we learn from Pinocchio, the Velveteen Rabbit or John Malkovich that we can’t learn from our interactions with real humans? Works studied will include fiction by Poe, Kafka, Capek, and A. M. Homes, as well as films by Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, and Tim Burton.

Well, “always let your conscionce be your guide”



The Houses of Williamstown: Chi Psi … (originally published 12 Oct 2009)

(The 3rd in a series of 16 posts) Click COMMENTS for full post
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The “Tinker Test” and free speech on campus ? …

anonymous commented on the post “Do your Job” 19 June, 2017

Well, Falk has succeeded in placing Williams dead last in viewpoint diversity:

while the African-American student that Falk unceremoniously shut down, Zach Wood, testifies on Capitol Hill:

His will be a tough act to follow!

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Indeed! The testimony should be interesting.

“Neither students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District 393 U.S. 503 (1969) 

The court’s 7–2 decision held that the First Amendment applied to public schools, and that administrators would have to demonstrate constitutionally valid reasons for any specific regulation of speech in the classroom. 


NB.  I just got a police warning  about Sunday parking in Portland so what do I know about the inclusion of the word ‘public’ in the Tinker judgement. I would think that support of the college from public/tax sources would meet the hopefully broad definition of the word.


Yet another poster note. The Daily Signal, the on-line publication of the Heritage Society cited in a comment below, has chosen a masthead name that has unfortunate echos:

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As an olde propagandist/brandguy, I am interested in the typeface used for the masthead of Signal:


“Mr. President … The witch hunt is coming this way!”


Damn the flames! I’ll prime the pump!*


* I just made that pump thing up. Great!

NB.  I was just browsing  through Thomas Shadwell’s The Lancashire Witches and Tegue O Divelly the Irish Priest. London: Printed for John Starkey, 1682.

The range of books at the Chapin Library is truly amazing, particularly when relevance can be seen to current events! Who would have imagined a section on Witchcraft and Magic!



I’ll give you ‘Male Fantasy’ indeed! From the desk of an outraged Rechtal Turgidley, Jr … (an echo of ‘Come Hither’ below)



.. originally published 1 October, 2008.

I am outraged that in all the in-depth discussion over a Williams distaff member of the press and her photo in Vanity Fair, not one word has been spoken about the obvious exploitation of Vanity Fair columnist and member of the class of 1949, Dominick Dunne.

Certainly the ‘bedroom eyes and come-hither look’ so flagrantly manipulated for purposes too base to be mentioned, are worthy of the indignation of ephblog readers. And appearing in shirt sleeves in the Whittlesley Room of the Williams Club. Shame! Shame!

As the new president of this organization, I had planned to write a thoughtful President’s Letter in a few weeks, but I am so upset by this exploitation of a revered member of the great class of 1949 that I have no choice but to protest.



Rechtal Turgidley, Jr

President of Ephblog

Quark Island, Maine


” A summer-time slice of campus life …”


…   Courtesy of our own WCMA

and as reported in Art & Education 16 June, 2017

Each July and August the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) produces Summer School, a series of public programs that teases out new ways of thinking about learning, art, community, and museums. This summer series offers a playful taste of academic life taking inspiration from unconventional archives and the quirkiest kinds of libraries. It’s a weekly mashup of mini courses, extracurriculars on WCMA’s patio, a lending library, and pop-up programming in the museum’s Reading Room.


What a great extension into the community of this leading college art museum that has helped produce so many Art Mafia members.

Art is for everyone!

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The Houses of Williamstown: Beta Theta Pi … (Originally published 8 Oct. 2009)

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King Augeas, his Stables, and Hercules …


Daumier  Hercule aux écuries d’Augias 1842.

… not that the 5th labor bears any resemblance to DC. After all, there is only the Potomac to be harnessed to cleanse the stables, there is more than one day until the Glorious Fourth, and very few are comparing Priebus, although of Greek background, to Hercules. Yet the thought lingers. As it would if a knowledge of Greek and Latin were still a requirement for admission to Williams.

A further shiver is that Augeas did not pay Hercules when the work was completed.



Building traffic on Spring Street …












… the new bookstore.

In the 150th anniversary of FLW post (below), David asks the question about campus buildings that FLW would have liked/disliked. Paresky is the mention for ‘liked’ from  Anon88.

This for ‘disliked’ from anonymous : Re DDF Q2: Have you seen the new bookstore?

Viewed alone, the new store seems to me rather too Mall-appropriate. However in the scale of Spring Street, at least the facade facing the street seems to  continue the small scale repetition with awnings of a small town business street.

I know that I am cheating when I come to the ‘feel’ of the store with these two comparisons … The Harvard COOP and the former Borders on Union Square in SF. Both were built inside the facades of older construction on Squares. In addition to the sizes of the cities v village, a new structure was needed to house the bookstore since there were no suitable vacant buildings. Read more


The 150th Anniversary Week of the Birth of Frank Lloyd Wright



The Edgar Kaufmann House, 1935 – 1938

This house sums up Frank Lloyd Wright and his driving force of “Organic Architecture”. FLW would ask his students this:

“Can you say when your building is complete, that the landscape is more beautiful than it was before?”

And the tie to Williams. Robert Fordyce ’56, on the occasion of our 50th Reunion, donated his collection of FLW ephemera to the Chapin Library. It contains over 8000 pieces and is the largest collection of FLW ephemera in public or private hands.

Here is the program of the opening exhibition of the collection.

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A major exhibition “Unpacking the Archive” is on view at the MOMA June 12 – October 1.


Williams v Amherst note:


Alas, the only FLW project in Massachusetts is a Usonian House located in Amherst and built for Professor Theodore Baird in 1940.










Steve Case ’80 dubbed ‘DC Tech Whisperer ‘ in Politico Story


Here is a definition of the origin of the phrase ‘horse whisperer':

   A horse trainer who adopts a sympathetic view of the motives, needs, and desires of the horse, based on modern equine psychology.

 Almost any object of your choosing might be substituted for ‘horse’. I assume most Ephblog readers are ‘cow whisperers’ although ‘sympathetic’ may vary in application.

My question to those more familiar with technology and the problems it presents in furthering class distinctions … any thoughts to share with readers?

I am familiar with Richard Florida’s conclusions on the effect of gentrification through art on urban areas. Which you would probably expect of an art history whisperer.


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