LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
The Van Dorens
Mark Van Doren (top) and Adam Van Doren ’84
Bottom Photo: Mimi Capone
When I received Columbia College Today [January/February] with the excellent Mimi Capone
photograph of Adam Van Doren ’84 on the cover, I said to myself, “He looks like his grandpa.” To
prove the point, I found my photograph of the good prof that I like best.
When I brought him my gift of prints just before shipping out for Europe, he said, “Write to
me,” and of course I didn’t. The folly of youth!
George S. Zimbel ’51
The Dating Game
The homecoming picture on page 34 of the November/December issue of CCT cannot be from the
1940s. The painting of the “C” on the rock in the background was not started until the ’50s,
during my undergraduate years. In fact, this discrepancy was noted by Don Fagan ’53, one of the
original painters, following a crew tradition.
John Garnjost ’56, ’61 Business
The Gift of Learning
Next month I will be 81, and soon I will celebrate the 60th anniversary of my graduation from Columbia
College. What does an 81-year-old do often? He remembers or reminisces. I can still see the young faces
of Lionel Trilling [’25 ], Meyer Schapiro [’24], Jacques Barzun [’27] and Theodosius
Dobzhansky. But what I remember most is the immersion into a world of high culture, which
deepened and enriched my life.
How else could I say with assurance that the three most profound expressions of the human condition
are Homer’s Iliad, Dante’s Divine Comedy and Shakespeare’s opus.
Not to omit Goethe, Cervantes and so forth. I have read hundreds of marvelous books since graduation,
books of science, history, philosophy and art, but my capacity to read and properly evaluate them was
established at Columbia. Even my abiding love of music (especially opera and chamber music) was deepened
My experience at Columbia College gifted me with the capacity to live deeply and intensely — a
life is not measured quantitatively. And so my memory constantly drifts back to that 16-year-old awestruck
freshman ready and willing to absorb the gift of learning that Columbia was ready to bestow upon him.
Anson K. Kessler ’47
Remembering Mama Joy’s
I wish to bring your attention to a glaring omission in the latest CCT despite its excellent
story about Adam Van Doren ’84. The puzzle “Chock Full O’Memories” failed to
memorialize a principal source of sustenance for many of us during the late 1960s — Mama Joy’s.
Think back to those overstuffed warm roast beef and egg salad sandwiches. The long lines at the deli
counter also served as a social mixing bowl of students, neighborhood residents and the cops from the
26th Precinct, often late into the night. And then there was Mama, standing behind the deli counter
in her dark glasses, keeping a watchful eye on the enterprise and keeping us well-fed. A fond memory.
Nick Garaufis ’69, ’74L
Editor’s note: The puzzle referred only to sit-down eateries in Morningside Heights, not
to take-out places such as Mama Joy’s or Ta-Kome.
Thank you for including my letter in the November/December CCT. I was surprised to see that
I lived in New Hampshire. Is it senility? I asked myself. But after conferring with friends, including
Gene Stone ’48, with whom I have lunch frequently, I was assured that, yes, I actually live on
Nantucket in Massachusetts.
William A. Hance ’38, ’41 Business,
Editor’s note: It is Warren Hance ’65 GSAS who lives in New Hampshire.