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Friday, November 13, 2015

Recognition Reception at PSU

Yesterday afternoon, in a cold rain, I walked from my parking space at Speare Hall across the canpus' main quadrangle to Heritage Commons, a hall on the ground floor of Hall Dorm used for faculty meetings, and modestly-sized campus events.  My reason for being there was an invitation received a month or so ago, to be "recognized" as a 2015 retiree from Plymouth State University.

It was a very nice event.  Significant to me was an opportunity to meet Dr. Donald Birx, the university's recently-appointed president.  Also significant was the opportunity to learn of all my retiring colleagues, most of whom I have known, liked, and respected since first teaching full-time at PSU in 1976.  The University has lost a lot of talent to retirement this year, but I have faith that you younger teachers, coaches, and support-department folks will prove every bit as loyal, caring and competent as were we who have just left your ranks.

When she spoke so kindly of my PSU career, our new College of Business Administration (CoBA) Chairperson, Dr. Robyn Parker, captured the gist of it. But after she spoke, I made so bold as to mention two of my business experiences in the Plymouth vicinity that had contributed to my teaching career: I had served in Campton as plant manager of the Beebe River Bobbin Mill of the Draper Division of Rockwell International from 1972 to 1975, located about five miles to the north of Plymouth, and I had served from 1988 to 1992 as president of the Rochester Shoe Tree Co., Inc, in Ashland, about five miles south of Plymouth.  I mentioned these experiences because I guessed that some of the people in the room had relatives who had also worked in those local industrial companies, and because those managerial experiences had contributed profoundly to my ability to teach business.

Someday soon I must draw a timeline of my entire career.  It has included many jobs in industry, and many academic activities.  I have been blessed, both with a great family, and a great career.

Thanks be to God!  (Let no one see me as ungrateful.)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Tales of Wheels to Whales

Our son Jamie, 38, is the financial accountant for Sea World in Orlando.  He and his wife Amy have given us two darling grandchildren, Brynn, a girl of almost 3, and Killian, a boy not yet 1.  In Orlando they have been getting by with one car, whereas we have been housing three lately, since our youngest son Alex, 30, moved to Portland, Oregon in September, leaving behind his 1999 Honda Civic.

So it was that Jamie flew up to MHT, the airport in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Friday afternoon to pick up Alex's car as a "loaner," which Alex had kindly offered to him until he got a chance to retrieve it, and drive it west.

Shirl and I met Jamie at MHT, and brought him to Plymouth for a good dinner at The Italian Farmhouse, and a night's sleep before embarking on his two-day drive home, which was to start Saturday morning.

Thus, early yesterday Jamie helped me with a couple of late-fall chores requiring muscles, such as pushing Shirl's old (non-running) Triumph Spitfire out of the barn far enough to allow me to extract our snow-blower, which is now at-the-ready in our garage.  I then helped him to clean out Alex's car, for which I had had an oil change and general maintenance check done on Friday.  It had been running perfectly.

At about 10:30, Jamie and we hugged, said our "Drum buns," and off he went to fill up with gas at the Irving station near Plymouth, then head over to I-91 for the trip south, while I headed north to the Campton/Thornton Town Dump with a week's load of trash.  I did not take my cell phone with me.  Hence, it was perhaps 30 minutes later when I arrived home to find Shirl in the garage, waiting for me.

"Do you have your cell phone?" Shirl asked.


"Well, the car won't start.  Jamie is waiting for you at the Irving station."

I immediately headed to the gas station, and found Jamie reminiscing about his last ride to Orlando from Campton (See Link).

The car was newly filled with fresh gasoline, would crank like the dickens, indicating a powerful charge in its battery, but would not fire up.  I surmised that either the fuel pump had failed, or the ignition system was "on the fritz."

In my Santa Fe I keep a tow rope, so we hitched the Civic to my trailer hitch, and with Jamie steering the Civic, I towed him and it to J&M Imports, our marvelous mechanic's shop on Route U.S. 3, just north of the Plymouth/Campton town line.

Fortunately, Danny was working Saturday.  He checked the ignition, and determined that there was no spark.  We left the ailing car at J&M, and drove home in the Santa Fe.

Now what to do?  We had Jamie in Campton on Saturday noon, needing to work at Sea World - Orlando on Monday morning.  I offered to take him back to MHT to catch a flight home.  Shirl offered him her 2003 SAAB 9-3 convertible as her loaner, for him to use until she and I can get the Civic repaired, and bring it down to Florida (a trip that we have been planning to take for several months, but in her SAAB).  Tonight, Jamie is sleeping in Scotland, Pennsylvania, and has 1000 miles left to drive tomorrow.  At his age, that should be no problem... (said with fingers crossed).

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

European Connections from HBS Days via our Indian-American Section Secretary

MBA 1970, E

FROM : Mr. Ajit B. Jhangiani

SUBJECT : Gordon Walker

Ed note : As Gordon had said to us, he had moved to Frankfurt to lead the LDS church European division, after reducing chronic homelessness in Salt Lake by 90%. His solution in Salt Lake leaned toward first providing shelter to homeless people, and only then triaging who needs what. In a similar vein Albuquerque mayor had offerred the homeless some employment first, and it too worked well. I had sent that article to Gordon. Here is his response, with some minor tweaks by me :).
Dear Section E,
Thank you very much for thinking of us and sending us articles to keep us involved.  It sounds you all had a great time at the Reunion, and we wished that we could have been with you celebrating.
We are enjoying our service here in Frankfurt, Germany where we are working in Public Affairs throughout Europe for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We just returned from a five day swing through Moldova and Romania where we provided training to local members in Public Affairs and also participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a Center for Learning and Self Reliance.  The Center will be used to teach local citizens advanced English, employment skills such as resume building and how to get a job.  At the beginning of the year, classes in coding will be taught so that individuals will improve their market skills.  The University of Utah will also have some teachers come to provide some classes in entrepreneurship.  All of these classes are provided for free.  Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe and its citizens can certainly use the assistance.  This is exciting work to do as we donate our time and skills to help others.
The Moldovans certainly provided some lively times for us as the first day was the celebration of the birthday of the city with all of the main downtown streets blocked off for a big party.  The second day there were significant demonstrations as the government held hearings on arresting a former Prime Minister for helping to loot three major banks.  The people won and the former Prime Minister was arrested.  The hearings were broadcast to the people by large screens and competing demonstrations were held just down the street.  Exciting.
I hope you all are well.  Again, thank you all for keeping us together and aware in our active years. Best,

Ed Note. Hey Romania pops up again, our very own Duncan's hangouts, where he taught quite a bit.

Just chatted with old roomie John Lay who was taking both sons to the mountains to shoot some innocent elk. I urged they shoot a tree or rock instead. So there, did my part. Other roomie Peter Burnim is headed toward some back surgery. We hope the best for him too.

Any news on Kennard? Some great pics up on barry's Section E FB page, and awaiting album from Donna Zimmer. DOOONNNNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! YOOOOHOOOOO!.

Autumn's Chores and Classmates' Comments

While towing my lawn sweeper behind my Honda tractor today, I aroused the curiosity of a grey wolf. Sorry, I did not get a picture. He came out of the southern woods, in which I was dumping leaves swept from the lawn. He stood and watched me for a couple of minutes, while I talked softly to him, "Hi there, Big Boy!" etc. He even hung around long enough for me to go in and tell Shirley he was there, so she could look out her office window to see him. Yes, friends, HNH is in pretty wild country, with truly unspoiled forest behind our piece of New Hampshire.
Like   Comment   

Debbie Powell Evans When my friendly neighborhood deer are enjoying my garden, which they call their salad buffet, I talk to them, too. smile emoticonsmile emoticon
UnlikeReply1Yesterday at 2:06pm

Annie Waterman Beautiful experience!
Bill Stewart Knowing that we share our place on earth with other creatures is part of the treasure to be passed along to our offspring.
UnlikeReply223 hrs
Stephen Eiss No coyote definitely a wolf huh? That is magnificent 
UnlikeReply122 hrs
Duncan C. McDougall He was far too big to be a coyote. We have too many coyotes in the state, and I am told it is legal to shoot them (though I do not have livestock, so I do not do that). When the coyotes run a deer on the power line behind us at night, their howling is loud, and positively eerie... until all of a sudden, it stops.
LikeReply217 hrs
Lynn David Newton Lawn sweeper? I didn't know they made these, at least not something affordable by non-pros. I have a tractor, too and a ton of leaves. My tractor mulches, so I try to just mow them down as much as I can -- just did that today -- but by tomorrow my bigg...See More
LikeReply22 hrs
Duncan C. McDougall Lynn: It is a Craftsman, from Sears. I have used it for over 20 years. I have a huge maple (see above) whose yellow leaves form a thick blanket on our side lawn each fall. I have swept it twice so far this month, and have one more pass to make once it loses its last leaves.
LikeReply117 hrsEdited
Lynn David Newton Yep. Here's mine as of day before yesterday. (On the right.) The magnolia on the left also has about a billion leaves and will follow soon. Then the very tall pear in the back yard. I've thought about something like a sweeper, but I don't want something I have to stop and dump every two minutes. I'll have to think about something like this for next season.
LikeReply9 hrs
Duncan C. McDougall Beautiful! The big problem can be where to dump the leaves, now that we can not burn them on Wilmette's brick streets, as we did in the 1950s.
LikeReply28 minsEdited
Lynn David Newton Duncan, right, it's a bit of a hassle, but we have that covered. I get them into trash barrels or leaf bags. We have pickup that intensifies this time of year. The thing I hate is bending over, e.g., to get them from the ground into whatever they are g...See More
UnlikeReply114 mins
Duncan C. McDougall Lynn: I use the forest... creating new soil, and I see it. There is a lot of forest around me. No one has complained in my 25 years here. wink emoticon
LikeReply111 mins
Lynn David Newton Duncan, my in-laws (ages 89 and 90) live on the edge of a forest on the side of a mountain. That land is theirs. And that's what they do with stuff like that, too. Year before last my father-in-law chainsawed and dragged a medium-size tree that fell in their yard overnight. (Yes, he can still do that, but barely. He did the chain saw, I did the dragging.) I just had to haul the pieces about 75 feet into the woods.
UnlikeReply19 mins
Duncan C. McDougall Did the same two weeks ago with half a tree that had been hit by lightning, and had fallen onto our tennis court's fence. Fortunately, though the top bar was bent a bit, the fence is still there. In fact, as my old Homelite chain saw no linger makes a spark, and the repairman said, "not worth fixing," I went down to Rand's Hardware in Plymouth and bought a new Stihl chainsaw. It seems a little lightweight gem, perfect for the trimming I now have to do from time to time.