[Editor's note: These notes were due at CCT just
prior to the September 11 tragedy, although class correspondents
were offered the opportunity to update them in light of events, and
many chose to do so. As a result, some of the notes that follow
deal with births and marriages, reunions and job changes —
the milestones that mark our progression through ordinary life;
others are intensely personal reflections, from correspondents and
classmates, on a most extraordinary day.]
Columbia College Today
475 Riverside Drive,
New York, NY 10115
Lloyd Seidman '32 continues to enjoy retirement and
travels extensively. In the past year he has visited China, Russia,
France and New Orleans (for the Tennessee Williams Festival 2000).
This fall he planned a tour of a number of U.S. National Parks in
the west, winding up on his 88th birthday.
Irwin Grossman '36 reports that Abraham Druss '28
recently celebrated his 95th birthday. Originally a member of the
class of '26, Abe graduated in '28 due to illness. "Many members of
his family were Columbians and most lived to a ripe old age...must
have been the high quality of the food in John Jay," Grossman says.
"Incidentally, Abe is still in good health except for one finger
that still curls occasionally. He claims it's a leftover from the
cane spree that he won as a freshman on South Field."
are sad to report a number of deaths: Col. E.L. Robbins '27,
Randolph Thornton '28, Samuel J. Silverman '28, Theodore Lidz '31,
Robert Guernsey '31, Seymour Goldreben '32, Donald McKay Shafer
'32, Sidney Siegel '32, Lawrence W. Golde '34, L. Floyd Rodman
'34 and Eugene A. Mechler '35.
Paul V. Nyden
1202 Kanawha Blvd. East
Charleston, WV 25301
Murray T. Bloom
40 Hemlock Drive
Kings Point, NY 11024
Vince Merendino retired from his medical practice four
years ago (obstetrics/gynecology). He still lives in Englewood,
N.J., and is catching up on his reading.
Larry Gussman recently had major surgery. His wife died
but his three children are fine. He reads a lot when doctors are
not poking at him.
Bill Ragsdale, rather to his surprise, became a
successful CPA. When he retired in 1972, he was a partner in
PriceWaterhouse. He now plays tennis three times a week —
doubles only — near his retirement home in Williamsburg,
[Editor's note: Our apologies for the extra inclusion of
Murray Bloom's address in the midst of his class note
about Simeon Hutner in the September 2001 issue. The scanner picked
up the address, which appears at the bottom of the first page of
the faxed notes, as part of the text.]
A. Leonard Luhby
3333 Henry Hudson
Bronx, NY 10463
Ralph de Toledano is "still at it. My 24th book,
Notes from the Underground — the Whittaker Chambers-Ralph
de Toledano Letters, appeared a couple of years ago. I have two
books going the rounds: Mark Twain on Practically Anything
and Cry Havoc: the Internal War on America. And I'm working
on an autobiography that should shake society. I got the title
— Exit, Pursued By a Bear — from Lionel
Trilling's book on E.M. Forster. Over the years I have been in
touch with one of Columbia's great professors, Jacques Barzun '27,
who with Trilling ran the most significant course I had at
Columbia, Senior Colloquium. Back in 1960, Bob Giroux '36 published
my memoir, Lament for a Generation.
had some wonderful people on campus in those days, including Robert
Paul Smith, who knew more about jazz than any of us. When I was
president of Philolexian, we spent more time listening to jazz
records than discussing poetry."
Toledano was part of the Columbia literary crowd that included
Thomas Merton, Robert Lax and Ed Rice '40. For more
about them, see the profile of
Rice in the May 2001
701 Dallam Road
Newark, DE 19711
"Have you ever heard of Bishop Ussher?" Do you recall Professor
Raymond Weaver, perching on the edge of the stage of McMillan Hall
at our freshman orientation, asking us that question? He went on to
give us a taste of historical scholarship by telling us that Bishop
James Ussher in about 1650 A.D. held that the world had been
created in 4000 B.C.
have never forgotten those words and wonder whether other members
of the Class of 1939 (A.D.) recall the stimulation of "Buck"
Weaver's first words to us.
Winter 2001 issue of Columbia provided several articles and photos
that will probably ring bells for us, including Mark Van Doren,
Harry J. Carman, Irwin Edman, Douglas Moore and Joseph Wood Krutch.
They have been honored by the Society of Columbia Graduates as
great teachers, but we remember them also by personal contacts. Van
Doren, for instance, returned a paper in which I argued that
King Lear was not good theater with the notation, "You will
be interested to know that Voltaire agreed with you." I don't
recall the grade he assigned, but I'll never forget his comment. He
was a great teacher.
Krutch went west to influence many people, but we knew him as a
drama critic who could give us clues about Broadway plays on which
we might best spend our limited amount of cash.
hope that I have stimulated you to tell me about yourself and your
contacts with great teachers, '39ers, so that I can share your
experiences with everyone in the next Class Notes.
1349 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10028