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Groton School The Quarterly • Winter 2014

recipes for success Meet chefs and connoisseurs, bakers and bloggers, restaurateurs and entrepreneurs­— Groton graduates who have built their careers around food.

Second Chances BY JOHN GANNON ’80


F NOT FOR an old photograph, Crista and I might never have

A photo from a 1978 Groton ski trip, left, spurred Crista to think of John, whom she had dated years before on the Circle. At right, the couple in 2013.

had our second chance. We had dated at Groton but married others. Years later, we were both single again, but long out of touch. One day, when Crista was moving a pile of books, out fell a picture of us skiing together during a Groton School vacation. Reminded of our trip, she emailed me, and I replied immediately, telling her that ski trip was one of my happiest memories. At the time, I was living near Washington, D.C., and Crista in Danbury, Connecticut, but we decided to plan another ski trip. We would meet in Hartford and drive to her brother’s ski house in Vermont. Our plans, however, didn’t go smoothly—a huge snowstorm cancelled my flight. Undeterred, I drove up to meet Crista. We don’t get many second chances in life—I wasn’t going to miss this one. We married in 2001, when Crista’s daughter, Katherine, was 6 and her son, John, 8. Katherine, known as KC, went on to attend Groton, where she thrived. All of us love the School deeply. Given all that Groton has done for us, it’s an honor to give back through volunteer work (I’m a form agent), by supporting the Annual Fund, and by putting Groton into our wills. I see our bequest plans as another “second Katherine “KC” Hambleton ‘11, with mom Crista Herbert Gannon ‘81 and stepdad chance,” the opportunity to give future John Gannon ‘80. The love of skiing, passed down from John and Crista, helped lead to KC’s current spot on the Tufts University ski team. students all that Groton has given us. For more information about including Groton School in your will, please contact Elizabeth (Betsy) Ginsberg, Director of Major Gifts, at 978-448-7584 or

Groton School Winter 2014 • Volume LXXVI, No. 1

The Quarterly

Recipes for Success Nine Groton graduates who have built culinary careers, plus a teacher who understands the science of cooking, students’ favorite dorm feeds, Dining Hall secrets, and, yes, recipes. page 1225

Cupcake Mogul: Candace Brown Nelson ’91 Artist in the Kitchen: Ned Claflin ’99 Their Movable Feast: Kate Collier ’90 How Sweet It Is: David Howe ’43, P’75, ’80, GP’14 America’s Kitchen Tester: Suzannah Kerr McFerran ’91 Food Lovers’ Forum: Merrill Stubbs ’95 Scientific Gourmet: Tim Reed, faculty Groton Grown: The Webbers — Josh ’87, Jed ’89, Kate ’93

D e p a r t







Message from the Headmaster

3 Circiter / Around the Circle 8 Personae / Profiles 36 Voces / Chapel Talks 45 De Libris / Books 49 Grotoniana / Arts & Athletics 58 In Memoriam 63 Form Notes

Alexis Ciambotti ’14

On the cover, from left: Candace Brown Nelson ‘91, Ned Claflin ‘99, and Kate Collier ‘90

Annie Card

Message from the Headmaster


his term, I have the pleasure of teaching my own class of Environmental Chemistry. On the first day, we discussed the second law of thermodynamics and the greenhouse phenomenon—simply put, how molecules absorb radiation to give us energy and vitality. To me, these are not abstract concepts. As I explained to my class, I am at my best when students impart energy that matches the frequencies within my own molecules. In other words, when students energize the Groton community, we all feel the warmth. Such has been the case for Vuyelwa and me at Groton. We have received similar radiant energy from parents, faculty, alumni, and staff wherever we have gone. We believe these warm feelings have embraced us because our energy and frequency matches Groton’s, our priorities are the same as the School’s. Indeed, there is no energy shortage on the Circle. One source comes from Groton’s many traditions—I am buoyed by each that I experience. No tradition is more significant, or motivating, than the morning Chapel service. We hear extraordinary Chapel Talks, but we also “hear” a silence, a silence that heightens our capacity to digest what will be said, and what has been said. I learn so much from collective silence, especially in an august space that has served as a beacon at Groton for more than a century. Another tradition, the headmaster’s reading of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, left a powerful impression. On the last day of classes in 2013, just before the buses

Editor Gail Friedman Design Irene Chu

Contributing Editors Kimberly A. Gerighty Elizabeth Z. Ginsberg P’16 Elizabeth Wray Lawrence ‘82 John D. MacEachern P’10, ‘14, ’16 Melissa J. Ribaudo Amy Sim Photography/Editorial Assistant Christopher Temerson


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that were lined up on the Circle took students home, I assembled the Second Formers in my office to finish reading A Christmas Carol, which we had started in the living room of the Headmaster’s House the night before. (I had to negotiate with my spouse, who teaches all of them, to free time from her English class for this.) Again, there was silence, as the students paid rapt attention, then they became animated and discussed the message of the story. This Groton tradition began our holidays with a feeling of abundance and gratitude—for the students who inspire me, for the faculty and staff who nurture them, and for the steadfastness of this School. I had read from the same book used by my predecessors, dating back to the second headmaster. Another tradition has both impressed and surprised me; in fact, my jaw dropped when I realized how much time we devote to discussing every single student at our end-of-term faculty meetings. I had heard about this just before I came to Groton; to be a part of this family discussion of the progress of each student in all spheres of their lives is extraordinary and a uniquely Grotonian experience. Of course, tradition remains relevant when accompanied by progress. This winter, we will break ground on the renovation of the Schoolhouse (see page 3), the perfect symbol of tradition merging with progress. The project will create state-of-the-art facilities, an addition geared toward classes in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) disciplines, and, overall, a more collaborative, student-centered experience. From the Circle, you will notice no visible change to the Schoolhouse, but from the west and north, you will. As we blend tradition with contemporary thought, so will the building—another example of the movement between history and possibility, and another source of energy for our exceptional community.

Temba Maqubela Headmaster

Editorial Offices The Schoolhouse Groton School Groton, MA 01450 978 - 448 -7506 Other School Offices Alumni Office: 978 - 448 -7520 Admission Office: 978 - 448 -7510

Groton School publishes the Groton School Quarterly three times a year, in late summer, winter, and spring, and the Annual Report once a year, in the fall.

Schoolhouse Project Update


he building will soon begin! In March, the first shovel goes into the ground behind the Schoolhouse, signaling the start of construction on Groton’s Schoolhouse Project, which, by design, won’t go into high gear until the summer. After competitive bidding and a comprehensive evaluation, the School has hired the Lee Kennedy Company to build the Schoolhouse Project. Lee

Kennedy has extensive experience with both academic settings and the complexities of joining historic buildings with new construction; the company will execute the architectural plans of Shepley Bulfinch, a firm involved in this effort since the master planning stage. When it opens in fall 2015, the renovated building will include an addition that will double the classroom and lab

Corrections Palmer Higgins’ ’06 employer, Breaking the Barrier, was incorrectly described in the fall Quarterly. Breaking the Barrier is a Spanish and French language company that provides print and digital curricula for secondary schools, colleges, and universities. In the article on Groton’s Athletic Hall of Fame, Gordon Gray ’51 was erroneously listed as a member of the Form of ’61. In addition, Form Notes reported that Mr. Gray’s widow, Carter, attended the induction ceremony, but she did not.

space dedicated to the STEM disciplines; an interior Forum suitable for social interaction and informal performances; a relocated McCormick Library; additional humanities and music classrooms; and many other improvements (for details, see the Spring 2013 Groton School Quarterly, www. The first stage of the Schoolhouse Project

Letters Thank you, Headmaster Temba Maqubela, for being our headmaster. Thank you for your commitment to education and service. Thank you for bridging cultures. And thank you for leading Groton into the future. I graduated from Groton in 1972. I first visited South Africa in 1982, a trying time but one open to possibilities. In fact, I was so moved by South Africa that my doctoral dissertation book was published in 1988 as a comparison between the

USA and South Africa. You and your family are steeped in the best of Groton. And you embody the continued future hope and promise that Groton offers to all, here in the USA and the world. Dwight N. Hopkins ’72 Director of MA Studies, Professor of Theology University of Chicago Divinity School



The new north side of the Schoolhouse will create a “second front” to the building.

construction is modest: before the end of this school year, the Business Office will move into a portion of the south section of the current library, which until recently had housed stacks of books. The library will continue to function in its current location until the Schoolhouse Project is complete. By vacating its space in the Schoolhouse, the Business Office will allow the construction company to jump into full swing in June, limiting disruption during the academic year. During summer 2014, the Schoolhouse will close and administrative offices will temporarily relocate. As much of the construction as possible will occur over the summers, with the work during the school year focused outside the current Schoolhouse’s walls. By fall 2014, you will notice a difference: current math and STEM classrooms will be on the first floor, some administrative offices will be on the ground floor, and the wood shop will be in its new location, near where the STEM classrooms currently are. In just about a year and a half, we look forward to helping you explore a completed Schoolhouse — renewed, expanded, and ready to inspire lives of character, learning, leadership, and service.

Ram Eisenberg

circiter Annie Card

Temba Maqubela and Albie Sachs, 2014 winners of the Desmond Tutu Social Justice Award

Honoring a Commitment to Social Justice


outh Africa Partners announced in October that Headmaster Temba Maqubela will be one of two recipients of its 2014 Desmond Tutu Social Justice Award. He will share the award with Albie Sachs, an anti-apartheid activist and former judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Mr. Maqubela said he was especially proud to share the award with Mr. Sachs, who worked against apartheid with the headmaster’s grandfather. “He really is what I think about when I think about inclusion,” he said of Sachs. Mr. Maqubela also finds it particularly meaningful to receive an award named for the Reverend Tutu. “Archbishop Tutu is a man of truth,” Mr. Maqubela said. “I’m humbled beyond words. According to South Africa Partners, “A Desmond Tutu Social Justice Award honoree is an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to social justice, community empowerment, and peace and reconciliation — hallmarks of the archbishop’s many years of service. In addition, the individual is someone who has made a particularly important contribution to the realization of a free and democratic South Africa.” In its announcement, South Africa Partners said, “Temba’s extraordinary contributions to the field of education and his amazing personal journey are intertwined with South Africa’s transition to democracy.” Past recipients of the Desmond Tutu Social Justice Award include the archbishop himself, Desmond Tutu, in 2002; actor and activist Danny Glover in 2004; CARE president Helene Gayle in 2009; former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino in 2010; Margaret Marshall, former chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, in 2011; and singer and activist Harry Belafonte in 2012. The honorees will receive their awards Saturday, April 26, 2014, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The timing coincides with the 20th anniversary of democratic elections in South Africa, where April 27 is a public holiday known as Freedom Day.


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Rick and Lindsay Commons, on Canvas


portrait of former Headmaster Rick Commons and his wife, Lindsay, now hangs in the Dining Hall, joining the collection of headmaster paintings that began when John Singer Sargent painted the School’s founder, the Reverend Endicott Peabody. Mary Minifie P’04, ’08, an accomplished painter and longtime faculty spouse—her late husband, Jonathan, taught English at Groton for 16 years—spent about five months on the portrait, working both from live sittings and photographs. Set in the back living room of the Headmaster’s House, the portrait shows the former headmaster’s books and Groton yearbooks. On the bottom shelf in the painting are toys, which allowed Minifie to bring the Commons’ children, Matthew and Clara, into the painting. “I love the idea of creating a portrait that is more than just the person,” the artist says, “that tells a whole story about the person or people.”


n late October, students studying American history and other campus history buffs heard Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gordon Wood talk about the Revolutionary War, the Constitution, and the early history of America. Through his extensive knowledge, the historian — a professor emeritus at Brown University and author of The Radicalism of The American Revolution — gave energy and relevance to the names and dates of our nation’s early history in ways textbooks cannot. He did not simply share the chronological progression of events leading to the adoption of the Constitution, but also drew parallels to other historical periods. Mr. Wood told the story of America turning from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution through characters like John Adams and Alexander Hamilton, who came to life thanks to the speaker’s vast knowledge of their actions and personalities.  America’s republic was an unprecedented experiment in democracy. As a result, leaders

encountered unpredictable issues surrounding the “excesses of democracy” and the power majorities had under the Articles of Confederation. At the time, there was considerable doubt about whether America’s fledgling democracy would survive. “Many thought the country might fall apart under the Articles of Confederation, so perhaps we need a bit more patience with the Arab Spring if it took us over a decade to figure out our own government,” Professor Wood pointed out, casting current events in the context of our own country’s history. The historian went on to talk about religious tolerance as it existed in early America, drawing parallels and distinctions with the Arab Spring. In his opinion, the absence of a dominant religious denomination in the U.S. — not the case in the Middle East today — allowed for separation of church and state, which was critical to the co-existence of the many different religious groups that were present in America at that time.  — Schuyler Colloredo-Mansfeld ’14 

Christopher Temerson

Colonial America and the Arab Spring

Historian Gordon Wood

Dangers of a Single Story


Gail Friedman

he Diversity and Inclusion Committee presented an all-School program in November that focused on the false presumptions that we often make when we don’t know each other’s full stories. The program began with author Chimamanda Adichie’s TED talk, “The Danger of a Single Story.” Adichie speaks of untrue assumptions about her native Nigeria, cultural biases, and myths that take root when a shaky foundation is built on stereotypes. Her talk prodded the community to consider whether we judge a person, a country, or an ethnicity based on a full story, or a single story. After the TED talk, faculty, staff, and students split into small groups and discussed their own stories, relating little-known facts that surprised their peers, sharing times when they were victims of untrue assumptions, and describing moments when they discovered that their own preconceived notions about a person were false.

Chimamanda Adichie in her online TED talk



From Sermon to Song, Lessons and Inspiration


he Reverend Becca Stevens joined the Circle in December as the 2013 Pyne Lecturer; through a sermon, lecture, and Chapel Talk, she spoke about changing the balance of love in the world through individual efforts.

Ms. Stevens, an Episcopal priest at Vanderbilt University, shared her involvement with Magdalene, a two-year residential community she began for women who have survived prostitution, trafficking, and addiction. After seeing the impact the program brought to its residents, she concluded, “Even smalls acts of love can change the balance of love in the world.” Ms. Stevens also founded Thistle Farms, a social enterprise that employs Magdalene residents and graduates and produces a line of natural body care products ( Through Thistle Farms, the women of Magdalene gain much needed job skills, share their stories, and learn cooperation. The Thistle Stop Café, as Ms. Stevens explained, anchors a corner of the Thistle Farms building and serves as a stage for the women to share their stories and showcase their

artistic talents. The café impresses not only with its beautiful decor but also with its incredible healing power. “Faith, humility, and compassion are all it takes to change the world,” Stevens said. This year’s Pyne Lecturer came with a bonus: Stevens’ husband, Marcus Hummon, who has written several hit songs and won a Grammy for Best Country Song, worked closely with Groton students, offering a master class in songwriting and a workshop in which he critiqued students’ original songs. He finished Sunday’s activities with a concert in Gammons Recital Hall. The Percy and Eben Pyne Chapel Speakers Fund was established in 2007 by members of the Pyne family to bring distinguished guests to speak to the Groton community. — Amy Zhang ‘14

Foreshadowing Martin Luther King, Jr.


ast winter’s Quarterly told the story of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s visit to Groton School in 1963. But another prominent black leader spoke at Groton long, long before Dr. King. Booker T. Washington spoke at Groton twice — on January 19, 1899, and November 22, 1904. According to an article in The Grotonian  in 1899: “... Mr. Booker T. Washington addressed the school on the problem of the education and elevation of the negro race. Mr. Washington, who was himself a slave, is among the foremost men of this country who are working for the good of the negroes. He is the head of the negro school at Tuskegee, where hundreds of negroes are each year educated to become intelligent and industrious citizens. The earnest and hopeful way in which Mr. Washington spoke of the cause to which he is devoting his life made a great impression upon everyone.” A 1904 Grotonian report described a speech that seemed to focus on the Tuskegee Institute:


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“The school was founded by him in 1881. It lies in the heart of the so-called ‘Black Belt’ of Alabama, where in some districts there are eight negroes to one man [sic]. Starting in a small log cabin, the school has grown rapidly year by year, until now the property owned by it amounts to 2,300 acres and 69 buildings. During the first year at the institute, the students do practically nothing but manual and industrial labor; only after passing through this probation may they take an academic course. The purpose of the Tuskegee Institute is to teach the negroes how to help themselves — to buy land, build houses, and become useful citizens. About 6,000 men and women have graduated from Tuskegee.” The article goes on to relate the educator’s responses to those who criticize his efforts, and concludes, “The Tuskegee graduates are giving up their lives to teach these people and to spread their work all over the South. Graduates and scholars alike enter in to the work of helping their race with a spirit that is certain to accomplish results.”

Booker T. Washington spoke at Groton in 1899 and 1904, decades before Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1963 visit to the Circle.


ew York Times columnist Frank Bruni spoke to the community in October, tailoring his talk to the government shutdown that had Congress in a stalemate at the time. Bruni criticized the “narrowly customized information cocoons” of today’s media and political leaders who reinforce their own beliefs by accessing only likeminded media. These narrow “cocoons”— Fox TV for conservatives, MSNBC for liberals, for example — “…[push] them toward conflict and combat, not cooperation,” which Bruni said was apparent in those

whose minority views had stalemated Congress. “All they ever look at, and all they ever hear, is the selective applause inside their customized cocoons,” Bruni lamented, urging Groton students “not to construct and dwell in one of these cocoons. The very purpose and mandate of education are to confront new ideas and consider different perspectives. To challenge yourself. To stretch. So please, please do that, and not just with the information you take in but with the adventures you take on.” Bruni is the uncle of Frank Bruni ’15.

Christopher temerson

New York Times’ Frank Bruni Delivers Chapel Talk

New York Times columnist Frank Bruni continued his discussions with students after his Chapel Talk.

Parents Weekend

G Photos by Jon Chase

roton School welcomed families to the Circle in October for Parents Weekend. They came from Australia, Bermuda, Canada, China, Curaçao, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and all over the United States. Parents attended nearly 2,200 teacher and advisor conferences, watched their children’s teams compete, enjoyed receptions with fellow parents, and attended a concert featuring Groton’s instrumental and vocal groups.

Clockwise from right: Langa Chinyoka ’17 (foreground); Carrie Moore ’17 and her father, Tom; Angus Warren ’16, Harry Jones ’15, Jared Belsky ’15, and Charlie Oberrender ’14; Amani Jiu ’17; (front) Michael Ma ’15, David Howe ’14, Shangyan Li ’14, and (back) Philippe Heitzmann ’15, Matt O’Donnell ’17, Christine Bernard ’17, and Peter Zhang ’17


Miles Morgan ’46


A World of Music By Benjamin N. Pyne ’77, P’12, ’15


iles Morgan’s passion for music and the

arts, spanning from his time at Groton in the 1940s to the present day, has literally taken him around the world. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Miles in his New York City home to talk about his musical and artistic journey as well as his memories of Groton. Miles arrived at Groton for his first of six years in the fall of 1940. Already a proficient pianist, Miles continued his keyboard studies at Groton and remembers being the first organ student of longtime faculty member and choirmaster Ned Gammons. Music has been an important part of the Groton experience over the years, and in those days, Ned Gammons not only took care of the daily musical needs of the community, but also found time to coach and teach more gifted students, making sure they had the fundamentals of music education so that they could pursue music at a higher level after graduation. Miles was one those students. Miles describes Groton in the 1940s as an inclusive community where someone dedicated to music, like him, fit in. He remembers the Prize Day organ recital that he performed at his own graduation in 1946, when he played pieces including Charles-Marie Widor’s Organ Symphony No. 4. From Groton, Miles went to Harvard, where, in addition to pursuing his organ studies with George Faxon, he also rowed on the Harvard crew and began to get involved in the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge. He helped develop the Brattle’s Humphrey Bogart Festival—featuring classic films such as Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon—which still exists today. Immediately after Harvard, Miles served in the U.S. Army as a motion picture photographer, and then returned to Cambridge to continue work at the Brattle and then at Janus Films, where he became a corporate vice president. He also worked as a lighting designer in the 1960s, including a three-year stint at the Chicago Lyric Opera.

Miles Morgan ’46

© 2013 David Beyda Studio, NYC


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the community wanted to establish a festival to mark its significance. Miles worked with local community leaders and the monastery where the organ was housed and even raised money from the local embassies to establish the festival that now also incorporates a school with 2,500 students. He is proud of what the festival has accomplished over the years and says he is grateful for his early involvement. More recently, Miles has served in advisory roles within the music world. His responsibilities include associate producer of the Venice Music Festival, member of the boards of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and the Boston Early Music Festival, and artistic director of the Tropical Baroque Festival in Miami, a position he has held since 2000.

From his organ studies with Ned Gammons at Groton in the 1940s to the present day, Miles Morgan has led a vibrant life in the arts—as theater manager, film distribution executive, lighting designer, conductor, organist, pianist, harpsichordist, artistic director of a number of world-renowned music festivals, and finally, as a board member to several organizations, where he shares his wisdom, experience, and passion for music and the arts.


During these years, he continued his study of music and conducting in both this country and in Europe. In the early 1960s he received a grant to study in Rome at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under the famed conductor Franco Ferrara. Working with someone like Ferrara, who was a protégé of Arturo Toscanini as well as a famous film scorer in his own right, led to Miles’ initial conducting opportunities at the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, where he was an assistant conductor, and other opportunities in Hungary, Belgium, Scandinavia, Italy, and elsewhere throughout Europe. In Italy in 1968, Miles helped create the Associazione Musicale Romana, which became part of the cultural scene in Rome, where a range of musical evenings were put together focusing on Baroque music and featuring concerts in historic churches and other significant sites throughout Rome. It became such a success that he served as the Associazione’s artistic director from 1968 until 1985. In addition to his responsibilities in Rome, Miles also served as music director of the Bangor (Maine) Symphony Orchestra from 1976 to 1981 and of the Bamboo Organ Festival in Manila from 1981 to 2000. It’s heartwarming to hear Miles describe his initial involvement in the festival in Manila as well as the significance it holds to young musicians in the Philippines to this day. Father Diego Cera designed and built the first organ in the Philippines in the early 1820s, using European techniques in organbuilding but using local materials to adjust for the humidity. Bamboo was the ideal local material for the pipes, and Cera’s became the only bamboo organ in the world. In the 1970s, the organ was sent to Germany for repair, and upon its return in 1976,

Ben Pyne ’77, P’12,’15, an accomplished classical guitarist and executive at Disney, managed the New Jersey Symphony in the late 1980s, before attending business school. Miles Morgan’s stories about Ned Gammons brought back Ben’s own memories of singing in the last choir that Mr. Gammons directed.

with Franco Ferrara, a protégé » Working of Arturo Toscanini, led to conducting opportunities throughout Europe.

Miles Morgan (standing, far right) and the 1946 crew


Andres Reyes ’80, faculty


A Classicist, and a Classic H

e co-authored an archaeological survey of Khirbet et-Tannur in Jordan, and is considered an expert on the history and iconography of

Cyprus. He has a doctorate from Oxford University, and edited C.S. Lewis’ translation of Virgil’s Aeneid. And one more thing: he has read five Gossip Girl novels. We’re describing Andres Reyes ’80, so this all makes sense in his extraordinarily student-centered life. A few years back, students suggested the classics teacher read Gossip Girl, so he binged on the series. “It was interesting to see why they liked it,” he says. It’s not difficult to see why students like him. Dr. Reyes’ classroom is both intensely serious and powerfully relaxed. “It’s all just conversation,” Dr. Reyes says, explaining the dynamic in class. Perhaps it is. But it’s conversation that engages students and puts them at ease. They appear blithely unafraid of Dr. Reyes’ admonitions when they err, for he delivers criticism so matter-offactly and equitably that no one escapes. Almost always, a humorous undertone colors comments that might otherwise appear curmudgeonly. “It’s all right to be serious,” he says. “You don’t want to be solemn.” Often, he is downright playful. One day recently in Latin 1, Dr. Reyes—in his trademark vest—paused to scribble extra-credit points on a corner of his blackboard. The extensive running tally doesn’t mean much, but students seem to hang on it anyway. Perhaps it’s because the number of credits and demerits seems joyfully random. Perhaps it’s because the teacher gives himself demerits, too. In fact, he encourages students to correct him. Groton students may put Dr. Reyes on a pedestal, but he does not put himself there. Dr. Reyes arrived at Groton from Manila in 1975 as a Second Former. He has been teaching Latin and Greek at Groton since 1993 and now teaches in the same classroom where Hugh Sackett—who has been at Groton since 1955—taught him. Some of the books and knickknacks on his shelves predate Mr. Sackett. Some, however, like 10

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the tiny Snoopy sitting atop the wooden blackboard, are uniquely Dr. Reyes’. “The boys and girls know about the Snoopy fetish,” he says. Dr. Reyes has bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in classics, but originally intended to attend law school, not teach classics. His plans changed in 1984, when he received a Rhodes Scholarship; he withdrew his law school applications and plunged into study at Oxford. In 1992, at a professional meeting, he ran into Mr. Sackett, who asked him to be a sabbatical replacement at Groton. He substituted for two years before being hired permanently. Enigmatic and hard to categorize, Dr. Reyes has published works on the stamp seals used in Cyprus, but also co-authored a whimsical book of double dactyl poetry—a journey through Roman history through his own original verse—called Abbreviated Lays. “I still don’t understand how that book came about, but it came about,” he says. Despite his scholarly achievements, he prefers teaching Lower School. “The boys and girls in Lower School are more lively, less worried about the future, freer,” he says. He hosts them for dinner in his home, sometimes several times a week—a coveted invitation. One class recently earned a home-cooked meal by beating their teacher in a game of hangman. Dr. Reyes loves to stump his students: he relishes the fact that he has given the same extra-credit question that former teacher Bob Gula started giving in 1968, and that, year after year, no one has gotten it right. Dr. Reyes, scholar, teacher, mentor, and friend, can puzzle people who expect him to fit a stereotype. “My roommate at Harvard said the idea of me is much better than the reality,” Dr. Reyes says. “There might be some truth in that.” At Groton, no doubt, his students would disagree. — Gail Friedman

his scholarly achievements, » Despite he prefers teaching Lower School. “The boys and girls in Lower School are more lively, less worried about the future, freer.”

Bob Krist


recipes for success BY GAIL FRIEDMAN


You may be soon, as you turn these pages and meet Grotonians who have focused their careers around food. They are chefs, bloggers, shop owners, restaurateurs, and entrepreneurs. They serve up some of the finest dishes in New York City, bring farm-fresh food to schoolchildren in Virginia, tap maple trees in New Hampshire, and bake cupcakes in Beverly Hills. Some focus on running a successful business, while others make food an art form. You’ll also meet Groton’s Dining Hall staff, and learn why campus food went from OK to gourmet. Of course, we couldn’t cover food without mentioning our students’ favorite feeds. Remember yours? Pick up your fork and bite into some of Groton’s littleknown culinary stories.


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Cupcake Mogul Sprinkles Cupcakes

Candace Brown Nelson ’91


er cupcakes are media darlings. Conceived in Beverly Hills, the confections have grabbed the attention of talk show hosts from Oprah to Jimmy Kimmel, Tyra Banks to Dr. Phil, Martha Stewart to Jon Stewart. They even cameoed on Entourage. Candace Brown Nelson ’91, who owns Sprinkles Cupcakes with her husband, Charles, has appeared on many of those shows, not to mention The Today Show, Good Morning America, Nightline, and Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Anyone who watches Cupcake Wars on Food Network recognizes Candace as one of the judges, a discerning arbiter who knows buttercream bliss from cream cheese calamity. Candace is a cupcake mogul. She helped change a confection once found primarily at bake sales and school birthday parties into a bona fide bakery trend. The Sprinkles Cupcakes empire has 14 U.S. locations—in California, Texas, Illinois, New York, Arizona, and Georgia, and more on the way—as well as several shops in the Middle East. If her vision pans out, Sprinkles—which recently branched into ice cream—will become a widely known, go-to sweet standard. “The goal is the great American dessert brand,” she says. In part, Candace can thank the economic downturn of 2000 for her success. Anticipating a layoff from the investment bank where she worked in San Francisco, she decided to “pursue something I really love.” As a child, she baked frequently with her mother— growing up in Indonesia, if the family wanted American-style goodies, such


as chocolate chip cookies or brownies, they had to bake them. Whenever her family visited Europe, a bakery tour would be on the sightseeing itinerary. “It was definitely part of my upbringing and part of my value system to appreciate wonderful desserts and baked goods,” Candace says. Candace and Charles plunged into professional baking without naiveté, acutely aware that a cupcake career was a long shot. “I kind of gave myself a hall pass,” Candace says. “I said to myself, ‘Even if I can’t make a career out of this, this will add to my life. I need to get it out of my system. I’m still young; if nothing comes of it, I’m still OK.’” Candace had some business experience from her finance job, where she helped take small technology companies public, and Charles has an M.B.A. Still, to the pragmatic eye, the Sprinkles business model looked iffy. There was no precedent for a cupcake-only bakery, and the country was in the middle of a low-carb diet craze. Many of Candace’s friends refused to even taste her cupcakes. “There were plenty of reasons to scratch our heads and think, ‘Are we crazy to be doing this?’” she recalls. But they were determined to find a niche by updating an American classic (the same mindset driving Sprinkles’ recent move into the ice cream market). For most of the first year, marketing came through word of mouth. Fortunately, many of those talking were celebrities. “Katie Holmes was the first one who really got hooked,” Candace says. “Celebrities were even waiting in line.” Jimmy

Favorite Kitchen tool KitchenAid mixer

can’t live WithoUt Fleur de sel for seasoning cooked and baked items

Favorite Food Hot fudge sundae


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Winter 2014

Kimmel joked on air about waiting in line for 45 minutes then spending $80 on cupcakes. Candace would go on camera fresh from the kitchen, wearing a baseball cap and no makeup. Today she has a publicist. Success solidified when Oprah called—the business was only eight months old. Candace’s own late-night cupcake cravings during her second pregnancy led to another idea—one of Sprinkles’ greatest innovations—the cupcake ATM. Pop in $3.50 and out comes a freshly baked cupcake. “We kind of like to embrace crazy ideas,” she admitted. Candace knew she was not alone in her off-hours cupcake cravings, making the idea less than “crazy.” Sprinkles’ ATMs are in Chicago, Dallas, and the original Beverly Hills location, and they have received widespread media attention. Nowadays, Candace develops recipes, which requires baking, but she no longer bakes the cupcakes that line the store shelves. She tastes plenty of cupcakes, however, on Cupcake Wars, which consumes about three months of her year. Although she has filmed more than 100 episodes, it’s not too much of a hardship. “I have a real raging sweet tooth, and I love to eat dessert,” she says. Occasionally a Cupcake Wars contestant inspires a new Sprinkles flavor—the case with salted caramel cupcakes. Candace chooses Sprinkles flavors—from raspberry chocolate chip and key lime to lemon meringue and maple bacon—based on what she likes, what customers ask for (often via social media), and current trends. She never expected to develop

There was no precedent for a cupcake-only bakery, and the country was in the middle of a low-carb diet craze. gluten-free and vegan cupcakes, but responded to the demand. It’s hard to believe that, early on, she hadn’t planned to offer Sprinkles’ most popular flavor. “Charles, being from Oklahoma, said, ‘You have to have a red velvet cupcake,’” she says. She hesitated at first because the red velvet cakes she had tasted were flavorless. “I listened to him, but said, this has to be done my way. I amped up the cocoa, added butter to the cream cheese frosting, used less food coloring. It’s been our number-one selling cupcake since we opened.” Candace’s own personal favorite? A tie between dark chocolate and banana. The next frontier: ice cream. So far, Sprinkles ice cream stores, which also sell cookies, are open in Beverly Hills and Newport Beach, California, and in Dallas. Candace was at Groton during an ice cream heyday, when superior scoops were available through ice cream innovators like Steve’s and Ben and Jerry’s. More recently, at least on the West Coast, excellent, fresh ice cream has been rare. “American ice cream was dead,” Candace says bluntly. “Good oldfashioned American ice cream is really, really hard to find.” For Candace, and Sprinkles, that spelled opportunity. To a dessert devotee with business savvy, bad ice cream can be a very good thing.

Sprinkles’ Strawberry Cupcakes with Frosting MAKES 1 DOZEN

INGREDIENTS 2/3 cup whole fresh or thawed frozen strawberries 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt 1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended. 6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.

1 cup sugar 1 large egg, room temperature 2 large egg whites, room temperature DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside. 2. Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside. 3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside. 4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until wellcombined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended. 5. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture;

Frosting INGREDIENTS 1/2 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold Pinch of coarse salt 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract DIRECTIONS

Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.


Artist in the Kitchen


onsider some of the iced confections that Ned Claflin ’99 has made recently: basil and peppercorn ice cream, cornbread ice cream, Cabernet and blackberry sorbet with pepper, eggnog ice cream accompanied by a licorice digestif. Ned’s bold and creative approach to food—he’s expert at braised meat, sauces, and stews, too—helps explain why a student once destined for environmental law or marine biology found career satisfaction in the kitchen instead. “It’s definitely manual labor,” says Ned, “but you’re also sort of an artist.” The rewards come from the food and how he transforms it—he loves pairing perfectly, and unexpectedly, complementary flavors. But Ned also gets a rush from learning new cooking techniques or from discovering ways to make a restaurant more efficient. Most satisfying of all is knowing that he has pushed himself to thrive in a cutthroat world that few could hack. Until recently, Ned was chef de cuisine at Bobo, a contemporary French restaurant in New York’s West

Village. His typical day, beginning around noon, centered more on behind-the-scenes management—ordering food, creating specials, controlling labor and food costs—than on hands-on cooking. Before Bobo, Ned was the head line cook in the catering department of New York’s famed Restaurant Daniel. In December, he started working with Chef Cedric Tovar, who left Bobo to open Tessa, a new French Mediterranean restaurant on the Upper West Side. Preparing for Tessa’s opening, expected this winter, Ned has established the menu and explored farms and fish markets, looking for the best locally sourced ingredients. He has figured out how many cooks to hire and built them into a team; bought cooking equipment, dishes, and utensils; finalized schedules; worked on permits and licenses; and otherwise handled the multitude of details that no diner will think about once Tessa’s tables are full. Even back at Groton, Ned was more interested in food than the average student, but he nurtured his creative culinary streak primarily through the sandwich

Most satisfying is knowing that he has pushed himself to thrive in a cutthroat world that few could hack.


Groton School Quarterly

Winter 2014

Jennifer Mui

Ned Claflin ’99, preparing to grind white pepper for a foie gras torchon

Ned Claflin’s Cream Cheese Ice Cream Ned typically serves this with carrot cake, but also loves making an ice cream sandwich by putting it between slices of fresh-baked banana bread. INGREDIENTS


2 1/4 cups milk

1 Reserve the cream cheese, vanilla, orange juice, and salt in a large bowl. Warm the milk, heavy cream, and corn syrup to a simmer in a pot until the volume of the mixture quadruples. When warm, whisk in the milk powder and sugar.

1/4 cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons corn syrup 2 egg yolks 1 1/3 cups sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons whole milk powder 2 tablespoons orange juice 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract Pinch of salt 1 pound cream cheese

2 Once simmering starts again, gently add half the hot dairy mixture to the yolks. Bring the remaining dairy mixture to a rolling boil. 3 Dump the yolk mixture all at once into the boiling dairy while vigorously whisking for 15-30 seconds. Steam should be rising intensely off the mixture, indicating the proper temperature, and you should have a custard that has started to thicken slightly. 4 Quickly pour the custard over the reserved flavored cream cheese, not allowing the mixture to overcook. Whisk to combine. Let mixture sit at least 4 hours before spinning in an ice cream machine.

Favorite Kitchen tool A gray Kunz spoon — “for stirring, mixing, flipping, basting, and most important, tasting.“

can’t live WithoUt Coffee. “Well maybe I could, but it wouldn’t be pretty.”

Favorite Food bar. “I was the master of getting random ingredients and making grand sandwiches on the grill,” he says. His resume lists numerous food jobs, including his very first: 1998: Scudders Bar and Grill, Groton School, Groton, MA— Worked the grill, making hot sandwiches and pizza Despite Scudders, it would be several years before a restaurant career crossed Ned’s mind. After studying marine biology in college and interning at a marine lab in the Galapagos, Ned planned to attend law school and pursue a career in environmental law. But a summer job, helping to open McKay’s Public House in Bar Harbor, Maine, changed his mind. “Opening a restaurant was

incredibly difficult, but I loved every aspect of it,” he says. Instead of law school, Ned enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America, where he earned two degrees, in culinary arts and baking/pastry arts. He interned at Bouley in New York, and after graduating, early in his career, cooked in restaurants in his native Nantucket (Le Languedoc Inn and Bistro and The Rope Walk) and in New Orleans (Restaurant Cuvée and August). Making it in New York has been the ultimate challenge, with the launch of a new restaurant an adrenaline-drenched pinnacle. Some might find this fast-paced, ultracompetitive career frenzied, nervewracking, exhausting, even depleting. Not Ned. To this culinary innovator, it’s exhilarating.

Pastas. “I am a carb junkie. Most of my time has been spent in fine dining, but the simplest foods make me the happiest.”


Kate Collier ’90 and husband Eric

Their Movable Feast


f schoolchildren in Virginia are eating fresh fruit, if nursing home residents and hospital patients are eating meat from local farms, Kate Collier ’90 may have been working behind the scenes. Kate and her husband, Eric, became known in foodie circles for Feast, their gourmet shop in Charlottesville, Virginia. People throng there for locally produced cheeses, top-grade cured meats, and other products that connoisseurs might not expect outside a major city. In fact, The New York Times called Feast “an artisanal cheese shop, charcuterie, and gourmet market that could easily be found in Paris.” While they were building a food following, the couple also recognized that good, farm-fresh food wasn’t sating 18

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enough local appetites. Kate took a leave from Feast and helped build Local Food Hub, a distributor that connects farmers and affordable, fresh foods with major food purchasers in the area. In hindsight, it seems obvious that Kate was bred for a career in food. By age 11, she was helping her mother make horseshoe-shaped shortbread for the then-fledgling Hunt Country Foods. Kate, dressed in a riding outfit, would hand out samples of Best of Luck Shortbread Cookies at Neiman Marcus, her mother’s first client. “I grew up in Virginia on a farm where my mom had turned the machine sheds into a bakery,” she says. “My brother and I were raised in the shortbread bakery.” Around the same time, Kate was working in her

Favorite Kitchen Tool

7-inch Santoku knife, “great for everything from peeling to chopping to carving”

Can’t LIVE WITHOUT Our Rondeau pan, “a wide, heavy-bottomed pot with straight sides and two loop handles; we use it for everything from frying a big batch of eggs for breakfast to making stock. It’s ideal for making saltcrusted potatoes.”

Favorite Food Steamed Maine lobster with lemon butter

father’s restaurant, carrying a chalkboard menu and taking orders from patrons; Kate and her brother often joined their father for early-morning jaunts to the farmers’ market. She was already a foodie at Groton, though she may not have known it. She once biked to town and bought a steak, then cooked it in her dorm kitchen. Her father sent her two live lobsters for her birthday, leading to a one-of-a-kind dorm feed. Kate still didn’t realize she was destined for a food career when she decided to study prelaw at University of Virginia. “I wanted a regular paycheck and to be a professional and wear a suit and hose,” she says. That desire dissipated before college ended: at the end of her junior year, she began waiting tables; by senior year, she was cooking in a local restaurant. While fellow students browsed in the local Food of All Nations shop,

looking for something to eat, she was noticing branding, packaging, marketing. Before leaving UVa, Kate realized that food, not law, was her passion. After graduation, she worked for the Kenny Rogers Roasters chain, opening three stores in Virginia. It was trial by fire, with little guidance, and she learned on her feet. She then managed a Virginia store that sold kitchen equipment and specialty food products, moving on to a job for a food distributor in San Francisco, which provided cheeses, greens, and olive oils to the best restaurants in San Francisco and Napa Valley. Her next move may have been the turning point—the experience that catapulted Kate onto a never-lookback, food-driven trajectory. She and a friend traveled through Europe for three months, meeting with many of the producers who worked with the San Francisco food distributor. In Paris, they visited a Camembert factory, then headed to the farm that produced its milk. Ambling from country to country in a rented Citroën, they drove to Brittany, where they learned about oysters and sea salts, to the South of France, where they became olive connoisseurs, to Italy (prosciutto), Spain (tapas), and throughout Europe, filming and taking notes along the way. Kate returned to the U.S. dreaming of owning a gourmet shop and implementing the concepts she learned in Europe. Knowing Charlottesville was a sophisticated market that supported dozens of nearby wineries, and that her mother wanted her closer to home, Kate


Kate and Eric were promoting local before it became a buzzword; they knew that a local focus could improve the lives of both farmers and the people who eat their goods.

Kate Collier’s Salt-Crusted Fingerling Potatoes with Green Dipping Sauce SERvES 8


borrowed funding and got to work. Feast opened in 2002. It became popular almost instantly. Customers sample the cheeses (including a homemade pimiento cheese with “a huge cult following”), olive oils, salted caramels, and other candies. “Instead of telling people that something is great, we put it in their mouths,” says Kate. When the line for sandwiches was out the door, Kate and Eric opened a café. When Feast was seven years old, Kate and Eric began pondering the complaints they often heard from farmers, who were frustrated that they couldn’t sell their products to hospitals and other local institutions. Informally, the couple began acting as a go-between, connecting sellers and buyers, but realizing that small specialized farmers couldn’t offer the broad selection or volume of a big distributor. The missing link was a distributor geared toward their local market. Kate and Eric wrote a one-page white paper and started fundraising. They needed a refrigerated warehouse and truck. “It was totally new,” Kate says. “We were running a non-profit business.” A local business owner donated use of his warehouse; a local produce distributor provided 20

Groton School Quarterly

a forklift; citizens who cared about fresh food and nutrition wrote checks. When Local Food Hub opened in July 2009, the non-profit hoped to connect 30 farmers with 10 buyers. Almost immediately, 35 farmers were working with 90 buyers. Today, the non-profit has purchased $2.5 million in products from farmers; it delivers goods to 50 public schools and all the local senior centers and hospitals. Unlike some similar nonprofits, the food comes only from Virginia. The beauty of this hyperlocal approach, Kate notes, is that it enhances both community economic development and food access. For two-and-a-half years, Kate worked as executive director of Local Food Hub; she is now on the board and is back full-time at Feast, which uses Local Food Hub for its produce. Farm-to-table has become a dining trend, and more and more people are patronizing local food producers. But Kate and Eric were promoting local before it became a buzzword; they knew that a local focus could improve the lives of both farmers and the people who eat their goods. “The thing I like about local more than anything is that you can make a difference,” she says. “You can make an impact.”

Winter 2014

3 pounds fingerling potatoes 2 tablespoons salt 2 bunches cilantro 1 medium shallot or 2 cloves garlic 1 lemon, juiced 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil salt, pepper, vinegar to taste


Select your favorite fingerling potatoes, ideally of fairly uniform small-medium size. Rinse with warm water to clean skin and place in a single layer in a large, wide, medium-lipped pan or pot. Add water until covering potatoes plus 1 inch. Add 2 tablespoons kosher, table, or sea salt. Stir to dissolve. Turn to high heat and let boil until all water has evaporated (20-30 minutes). When water has boiled totally away, turn heat to low and shake potatoes in pan until the skins are dry and crusty-white with salt. Remove from heat. Let cool for 5 minutes. (Your pan will look crusty and rough at the end of cooking, but warm water dissolves the salt and cleans it easily.) Green Dipping Sauce Cut stems off two big bunches of cilantro. Rough chop 1 medium shallot (or 2 cloves garlic). Squeeze juice of 1 lemon (or 2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar). Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender. Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup good olive oil as you pulse, until ingredients are mixed to a nice thick dip consistency. Doctor it up with salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, or hot sauce to your taste. Serve on large round platter — with dipping sauce in a bowl in the center and potatoes surrounding it.

Gail Friedman

David Howe ’43, P’75, ’80, GP’14

How Sweet It Is


eep in the woods of Marlboro, New Hampshire, down a gravelly dirt path, is a humble wooden building, its exterior weathered with age. Inside the shack are large white tanks, a reverse osmosis machine, and other equipment that turns simple sap into the golden elixir that ends up on pancakes, waffles, and—if you take the advice of David Howe ’43, P’75, ’80, GP’14—in a marinade for chicken livers. Whippoorwill Farm has been in David’s family since 1934, and his parents started tapping its maple trees around 1940. In the early years, they produced about 100 gallons of syrup, but today 700 trees with three taps each send sap downhill to the wooden sugar shack, where much of the water is removed through reverse osmosis, the sap boiled and distilled into syrup. Sugar season is February through April, and, depending on the weather, the farm can produce anywhere from 400 to 700 gallons of syrup each year. The syrup of Whippoorwill Farm is not sold in stores; it arrives in the kitchens of only a lucky few. Howe ships syrup primarily to longtime clients, including a few

who drive the business with annual orders of 200 quarts or more. Former Headmaster Bill Polk ’58 used to be a regular customer, ordering some 250 quarts for Christmas gifts. David’ s primary career was not on the farm—he spent many years at the American Thread Company and as financial director of Northfield Mount Hermon School. But through the years he helped with every aspect of maple syrup production. “It gets you out in the woods,” he says simply, explaining its appeal. Today, he doesn’t spend as much time on the farm as he used to. He depends on a full-time employee to manage all aspects of the farm— including its sheep and chickens—and a few part-timers to help with syrup production, packaging, and shipping. The farm has 50 sheep and dozens of chickens, and it sells lamb meat and hay, but syrup has always been its sweet spot. It’s not a terribly lucrative business, but over the years profits have helped sustain the 400-acre farm, a picturesque expanse with stunning views of Mount Monadnock. For a family that has tended the maple trees for more than 70 years, that has meant a sweet life indeed.


Suzannah Kerr McFerran ’91

Steve Klise


Groton School Quarterly

Winter 2014

America’s Kitchen Tester


uzannah Kerr McFerran ’91 was certain that

the tray of burnt cookies had ruined her job prospects. After the standard interviews at America’s Test Kitchen—home of Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines, producer of two accompanying TV shows, and publisher of dozens of cookbooks—she had entered the grueling cook-under-pressure portion of her visit, called “the Bench Test.” Her challenge seemed simple enough: prepare pan-roasted chicken and sugar cookies. Suzannah wasn’t sure what the judges were looking for. But she knew what they weren’t looking for—burnt cookies. “I left laughing that there was no way I was going to get hired,” she says. Now that she’s conducting those interviews, seven years later, she knows exactly what America’s Test Kitchen is after: Do applicants know how to break down a chicken? Handle knives? Do they weigh the flour and sugar? Follow the recipe? Most important, are they organized? Despite the slightly charred cookies, Suzannah was invited back for a final evaluation: she would develop a bran muffin, testing it element by element, and write its recipe. “You’re developing a recipe and pretending it’s going in the magazine,” she says. Both her recipe, which was prepared in a test kitchen, and the article she wrote about her testing process were scrutinized. The muffin clinched the deal, and Suzannah was

To create a recipe suitable for publication, Suzannah and a team of cooks would find five entirely different published recipes for the same dish, prepare them all, and discuss the best attributes of each.

hired as a test cook for America’s Test Kitchen’s book division. To create a recipe suitable for publication, Suzannah and a team of cooks would find five entirely different published recipes for the same dish, prepare them all, and discuss the best attributes of each, using that analysis to build their own recipe. Once written, each variable of the new recipe would be tested over and over and over, sometimes dozens of times, in America’s Test Kitchen’s kitchen. Today Suzannah is a senior editor, managing a team of test cooks and helping develop and write various cookbooks, most recently a gourmet guide for the gluten-free. While she no longer cooks in the kitchen on a daily basis, she is constantly in the kitchen tasting her team’s food. During development for the gluten-free book, she and her team tasted literally dozens of cakes, muffins, cookies, and pies. She gets back into cooking twice a year when the television shows—America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country—are filmed. Those periods are intense. America’s


Test Kitchen films a year’s worth of episodes in three to four weeks. “We film six episodes a day,” Suzannah says. “It is a logistical feat to get it all done.” For example, if the host tells viewers he is going to cook a Bolognese sauce for two hours, behind-thescenes staff have three versions ready at the two-hour cooking point. If the dish is a roast pork loin, ovens are filled. “We’ll have five porks going in the back to try to have one at the right temperature,” she says. Suzannah first fell in love with food while studying abroad in Italy and took several cooking classes there, but she stumbled into a food career, in part through a coincidental Groton connection. When she moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, in the summer of 2001, she was looking for work while her husband attended business school. A friend suggested she call someone named Kate who was opening a cheese and wine shop. Although Suzannah had just left a job at an Internet company in San Francisco and was hesitant, she made the call. The voicemail message was startling: Suzannah knew immediately that Kate was Kate Collier ’90 from Groton. They hadn’t talked since high school, but would spend the next two years launching Feast, a Charlottesville gourmet shop (see page 18). After two years at Feast, Suzannah studied at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, then interned with famed chef Jody Adams at Rialto in Boston. She stayed on as a line cook—“the hardest job I’ve ever

Favorite Kitchen tool A sharp knife

can’t live WithoUt Dark chocolate

Favorite Food Avocados


Groton School Quarterly

Winter 2014

had.” She likens it to putting on a play every night, with immediate feedback, good and bad. At 30, Suzannah was by far the oldest cook on the line, but she worked her way up the kitchen hierarchy. She moved from the “cold station,” where she prepared salads and other cold appetizers, to hot appetizers, and then to the oven station, where she mastered the proper roasting of duck, chicken, and other meats and poultry. She never made it to the next stop, the grilling station. “I stopped at oven,” she says. “I was eight-and-a-half months pregnant and I couldn’t do it anymore.” The lifestyle was easy to give up. She and her husband had opposite schedules, and she often arrived home at 2 a.m. After several months at home with her baby, she applied for the job at America’s Test Kitchen. Now her work days are filled with perfectly composed recipes, but her nights are spent at home with her husband and two kids, where she cooks simply and seasonally. In the summer, she loves grilling steak with chimichurri sauce and Mexican street corn (slathered with mayonnaise, queso fresco, sour cream, lime, and chili powder). In cooler weather, she gravitates toward squash soups, short ribs—whatever is fresh at the local farmers’ market. “I don’t cook restaurant food at home,” she says. Considering Suzannah’s workaday standards, her home cooking may be even better.

James Ransom

Merrill Stubbs ’95

Food Lovers’ Forum


errill Stubbs ’95 was a few minutes late for

our phone call. “I was making maple honeycomb candy,” she apologized. A few days later, the recipe was posted on, the online food community that Merrill cofounded, and some of the site’s 2 million followers were responding. “Like a very quick peanut brittle, love it.” “Could you make this with honey instead of maple syrup?” “This is going to be the recipe that makes me finally break down and get a candy thermometer.” Merrill had tasted the candy weeks before, inside the

winning entry at an ice cream contest she was judging. “It’s an interesting technique,” Merrill says. “You make a caramel and whisk in baking soda. It foams up and you pour it onto a cookie sheet and it hardens right away.” The recipe was unusual not only for its technique, but also because Merrill had posted it on her site: 98 percent of Food52’s recipes come from members, the diehard foodies and casual cooks who flock to the Food52 community. The site’s identity as a community, a place to hang out and chat, distinguishes it from most food sites. In fact, Food52 began with a communal effort, when Merrill and cofounder Amanda Hesser, a cookbook author and former New York Times Magazine food editor, decided to


crowdsource a cookbook. They got a book advance and launched a website, where they ran contests and collected recipes online for each week of the year. The Food52 Cookbook: 140 Winning Recipes from Exceptional Home Cooks was published in 2011; a subsequent volume followed in 2012. Merrill has always had a fascination with food. “I definitely grew up with good food, so I had an appreciation for higher-than-your-average standards for home-cooked meals,” she says. Her mother loves to tell the story of a very young Merrill, who, after reading a chapter from the Little House on the Prairie series in which the family spit-roasted a pig, asked, “Can we roast some meat?” Merrill loved those books. “There was so much cooking and hunting and food in them,” she says. At that point, Merrill was more reader than cook. “I would be lying if I said I was by my mother’s side cooking from a really young age,” she says. It wasn’t until her senior year at Brown University that she began cooking in earnest. Working on a senior thesis in comparative literature, she had plenty of unstructured time, which she often filled by pulling out her dog-eared Joy of Cooking and testing recipes. In many ways, that cookbook bible taught Merrill to cook. And to entertain. “What I enjoyed was not just the cooking itself, but also the social aspect of it,” she says. When she graduated from college, she was torn between teaching and attending cooking school. She taught second grade at the Buckley School in Manhattan, where, for one unit, she

Favorite Kitchen tool “I love this mini whisk my husband got me. It was a metaphor — he was going to whisk me off to all the five boroughs of New York— but I also love it as a tool.”

Can’t LIVE WITHOUT Tomatoes

Favorite Food A tie between cheese and a really good baguette with butter


Groton School Quarterly

Winter 2014

had her students turn the classroom into a restaurant, cooking and serving their parents. “I chose dishes that could be linked to a specific country,” Merrill says. It was multicultural and educational, but it was also a wake-up call. Merrill realized that if she had turned her second grade boys into chefs, she probably should nurture her inner foodie. She headed to Le Cordon Bleu in London for a formal education, and landed her first cooking job at Flour in Boston, where she perfected the art of sandwich-making, which sounds simpler than it is. She would make the same sandwich over and over, striving for the right balance of components. At the same time, she was catering small dinner parties and writing a food newsletter. “I put it in a Word doc with bad photos, recipes, tips, and techniques.” She sent it by email to about 400 people. “I was blogging in a very primitive form,” she now realizes. That popular newsletter, requested by friends and friends of friends, made Merrill consider food writing. After an internship at Cook’s Illustrated in Boston, she moved to New York and met Hesser, who hired her to research and test recipes for The Essential New York Times Cookbook, a project that consumed five years. During that time, food blogs started to explode. “There was this revolution that we were witnessing,” Merrill says. “Everyone wanted to talk about what they were cooking.” The two writers recognized the opportunity. “We felt there was a real need for a place where people could

Merrill realized that if she had turned her second grade boys into chefs, she probably should nurture her inner foodie. Ryan Dausch

gather,” she says. “Selfishly, we also wanted to create a place where we would hang out online.” Which is what they, and their followers, now do. Readers gather and chat about how to salvage a bad melon, what kind of pan to buy, what to pack in a lunchbox. They seek help from the Food52 Hotline—the 911 for food emergencies. “Help—watery turkey chili!” “Making daube de boeuf and I don’t know what kind of white wine to use!” “Who sells the highest quality truffle salt?” In August, Food52 moved into retail, opening Provisions, an online kitchen and home goods store. More than ever, Merrill is both cook and entrepreneur. “I’ve learned more than I ever thought I would about bookkeeping and HR and legal stuff and contracts and meeting with investors,” says Merrill, who also finds time to chair the Groton Women’s Network. But she still can’t stay out of the kitchen. A week after posting the recipe for salted maple honeycomb candy, she shared a recipe for green olive tapenade, and the next day put up simple guidelines for making apple chips. “Feeding people is very primal,” she explains. “To be able to nourish others can be very satisfying.”

Merrill Stubbs’ Salted Maple Honeycomb Candy “This recipe is a miracle of science: add a little baking soda to a dark, maple caramel and soon you have this impossibly crunchy, airy candy. I sprinkle it with sea salt to cut the sweetness,” says Merrill. MAKES ABOuT 2 CuPS INGREDIENTS 1 1/4 cups sugar 1/2 cup maple syrup 1 tablespoon baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoons flaky sea salt, like Maldon DIRECTIONS

1. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat mat or some greased parchment. 2. Combine the sugar and maple syrup with 1/4 cup cold water in a medium, heavy saucepan. Set over mediumhigh heat, stirring just until the sugar dissolves. (After this point, do not stir—you can swirl the pan occasionally if you’d like.) Let the mixture come to a boil and cook until it reaches nearly

300 degrees and is a dark amber color (this should take 5 to 7 minutes). 3. Working quickly, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the baking soda, just enough to mix the two thoroughly. Immediately pour the mixture onto the lined baking sheet, using a heatproof spatula to scrape it from the pan. It will be tempting, but do not smooth the mixture—you’ll get rid of all those air bubbles! 4. Quickly sprinkle the surface of the candy evenly with the sea salt. Set the baking sheet in a cool, dry place and let the candy cool. When it is hard, break it apart into uneven chunks with your fingers. Note: Dip the candy pieces in melted semisweet chocolate and let them cool again for an even richer treat.


Scientific Gourmet Tim Reed, faculty



Groton School Quarterly

Winter 2014

Annie Card

t’s no wonder chemistry teacher Tim Reed is so at home in the kitchen. To him, it’s another laboratory. When he talks of “changing variables” and molecular dynamics, he’s just as likely to be discussing a new recipe as a classroom lesson. In many ways, cooking is a natural extension of his day job. “The thing I find natural is the procedural aspect,” he says. “It’s the laboratory, it’s the technique. It’s a relaxing and rewarding laboratory experience.” Tim calls himself a “devotee of Chris Kimball,” the TV chef on America’s Test Kitchen. The appeal is understandable: “His approach is scientific,” Tim says of Kimball. “He carefully gauges the temperature, the process.” With Kimball as guide—“his grill book is our bible”—Tim has mastered grilling, brining, and now hopes to move on to smoking meats. He raves about Kimball’s recipes for spicy grilled shrimp and grilled pork chops. With scientific precision, Tim spent much of last summer perfecting a single recipe. “I grilled rosemary chicken 15 to 20 times over the summer,” he says. “I’m getting there. The last iteration was close. I have to crisp the skin in a way so that it’s not burned and so it’s smoked long enough to have the rosemary flavor permeate the meat.” Tim’s wife, Margaret Irwin, who teaches home economics at Weston (MA) High School, gets credit for some of this obsession, and for focusing many of the couple’s vacations around food. A trip to Thailand, India, and Greece was courtesy of a grant she received from her school district. The couple attended a cooking school in Thailand, learned to cook on home stays in India, and observed in the kitchen of the small hotel where they stayed on the Greek island of Paros. On a different trip, they house-swapped with a family in Geneva, then

traveled through the Normandy and Brittany regions of France, staying in homes and learning to cook along the way. “A lot of our expertise has come from travel,” Tim says. “When we stay with people, we gravitate toward the kitchen.” Tim and his wife led a Groton student trip to Uganda in 2012; Margaret, hoping to learn as much as possible about the cuisine, helped prepare lunch every day. Tim paid attention to the cooking, but really had a different goal: to teach students science while also reducing the polluted air in the Ugandan kitchens. He introduced rocket stove technology to the villagers, which uses less firewood and contains emissions. “We built a demonstration stove from local materials there,” he says. Many Groton students have benefited from Tim’s culinary expertise without leaving campus. He occasionally grills outside the student center with his advisees. “I’ve got a killer marinated sirloin tip recipe that’s always a hit,” he says. And each year, he prepares an international feed for the dorm that he helps supervise. He might prepare a green Thai chili, chicken tikka masala, and other specialties learned through his travels. “It’s a hit because

Jacob Berman ’13, demonstrating rocket stove technology in Uganda. Right, the school kitchen in Uganda; Tim Reed hopes to improve air quality with rocket stove technology on his next trip.

we have so many international students,” he says. Tim is forever broadening his palette, and has been since he served in the Peace Corps in Ghana in 1969. While there, he acquired a taste for spicy food and learned to cook Middle Eastern food because of the large Lebanese community in that region. His influences may be global, but his everyday cooking is as local as possible. He tends a garden at his home in Stow, Massachusetts, and always submits vegetables to the agricultural exhibit at the local Bolton fair. He doesn’t go far for his main dishes either. “We’re big on buying local proteins, rediscovering the enormous change in flavor in locally produced chicken, hamburger, beef,” he says. Not surprisingly, the Reeds’ social life centers on food: they formed a dining club, which moves from home to home every six weeks, with members preparing meals based on a theme. They even have plans for a food-centered retirement. Says Tim, “We want to start having cooking lessons from our house—as a retirement plan and to crystalize all the experience.”

Chicken Tikka Masala

Adapted from Food and Wine; this is one of the dishes Tim Reed serves during dorm feeds. INGREDIENTS 1 cup plain lowfat yogurt 4 garlic cloves, minced (divide in half) 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander 1/4 teaspoon cardamom 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric 2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, fat trimmed Salt and freshly ground pepper 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon vegetable oil 1/4 cup blanched whole almonds 1 large onion, finely chopped 1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala 3/4 teaspoon pure chili powder (deghi murch), available in Indian markets 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 35-ounce can peeled tomatoes, finely chopped, juices reserved Pinch of sugar 1 cup heavy cream


In a large glass or stainless steel bowl, combine 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon minced ginger (save the remaining 2 garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon ginger), 1 1/2 teaspoons each of ground cumin and ground coriander, 1/4 teaspoon each of ground cardamom, cayenne pepper, and ground turmeric, and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

using a sharp knife, make a few shallow slashes in each piece of chicken. Add the chicken to the marinade, turn to coat, and refrigerate overnight. Preheat the broiler and position a rack about 8 inches from the heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade, scraping off as much marinade as possible. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and spread the pieces on a baking sheet. Broil the chicken, turning once or twice, until just cooked through and browned in spots, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 2-inch pieces. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil. Add the almonds and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer the almonds to a plate and let cool completely. In a food processor, pulse the almonds until finely ground. In a large enameled, cast-iron casserole, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until simmering. Add the onion and remaining garlic and ginger and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garam masala, chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and their juices and the sugar, and season with salt and pepper. Cover partially and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Add the cream and ground almonds and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes longer. Stir in the chicken; simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, and serve with basmati rice, rice pilaf, or warm nan.


Groton Grown


he Webbers—Josh ’87, Jed ’89, and Kate ’93—never expected to run a restaurant. When the brothers were working in finance and consulting—Josh in New York and Jed in San Francisco—they didn’t plan to apply their business acumen to what would become the most popular restaurant in the town of Groton. Nor did Kate, while earning an M.F.A. in creative writing, realize that someday she would become a certified sommelier and work toward an advanced degree in wine. The Webber Restaurant Group started right down the street from

Groton School, with Gibbet Hill Grill and The Barn at Gibbet Hill, which hosts weddings and other catered events. The family business now includes the Scarlet Oak Tavern in Hingham, Fireside Catering in Burlington, the café at the Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, and three additional wedding venues. The Webbers might not be a foodie family at all if the farm land around Gibbet Hill hadn’t been in danger of development in 2000. The Webbers’ parents bought 550 acres, primarily to prevent a housing development; after the purchase, Josh, the eldest child, worked with his father

The Webbers — Josh ’87, Jed ’89, Kate ’93


Groton School Quarterly

Winter 2014

to move most of the land into permanent conservation. They held onto the two buildings—now the restaurant and barn—and six acres around them, mulling various uses for the space, including retail shops and even a golf course. “We didn’t know what to do with it,” recalls Josh. Almost as a test case, Jed got married in the barn in 2002, confirming its potential as a lovely, bucolic venue. The Webbers had seen Groton grow and its demographic base become more prosperous. They also knew, from five years each at Groton School, that parents visiting children at Groton and Lawrence Academy had nowhere to go for a nice dinner in town. Bolstered by market studies but really running on a hunch, the Webbers broke ground on Gibbet Hill Grill in 2002. “Perhaps it was unreasonable confidence, but we felt it was going to work,” says Josh. “We felt the market was underserved.” With the help of restaurant consultants, they created a warm, down-toearth interior; planned a menu around locally sourced beef and comfort food; and hired an experienced restaurant manager. Success came quickly, as it did at the Hingham location. Now they’re hoping diners will line up at their new restaurant, The Bancroft, a high-end, reimagined version of the classic steakhouse, which is scheduled to open in April in Burlington, Massachusetts. The Webbers say they don’t have a 10-year plan, but “grow responsibly,” when existing businesses are thriving and stable. After The Bancroft is on its feet, the next project is likely to be a new wedding venue, if they can find

The Webbers might not be a foodie family at all if the farm land around Gibbet Hill hadn’t been in danger of development.

the perfect spot. They currently cater and host some 300 weddings a year. But land is scarce around Boston, and because their meat and vegetables come from farms in Groton, they won’t venture too far away. The farm adjacent to Gibbet Hill, which the Webbers opened in 2008, grows all kinds of greens, berries, peppers, and herbs, and has had as many as 40 varieties of heirloom tomatoes at once. While many restaurants have gardens, Gibbet Hill may be the only one in the area with its own farm. “It’s one thing to go to Verrill Farm [in Concord] and pick an onion,” says Jed. “It’s another

to sit down with a seed catalog and your chef.” The Webbers occasionally take time to enjoy Gibbet Hill as guests would. Jed’s favorite dish is the farm burger—grass-fed beef with pork belly confit, smoked gouda, and roasted red pepper mayonnaise. Josh is likely to opt for a crabcake and the bone-in sirloin, and Kate for the shepherd’s pie. The menu has adapted over the years to suit increasingly sophisticated palates—it never would have offered duck confit sliders or seared tuna appetizers a few years ago. A handful of dishes like that attract the adventurous, while

steaks attract the traditionalists. The food may be the bottom line, but the Webbers think they might be making it in the notoriously difficult world of restaurants because they came to it with business, not culinary, training. They also were ahead of the farm-to-table trend, dedicating themselves to it before it became fashionable. Regardless of their reason, the secret to the Webbers’ suceess is undeniable. Just ask the people forming lines out the door on weekends, reserving Prize Day tables months in advance, and savoring the farmfresh meat.


Kate Webber ’93 is the Webber Restaurant Group’s wine director, a sommelier, and is working toward her master of wine.

What are the most important things people should consider when choosing a wine with dinner? The most important thing above all else is to drink what you like. People can tell you all day to drink a Napa Cabernet with a steak, but if you don’t like Cabernet then that’s going to be a terrible food-and-wine pairing. If you’re looking for

technical food and wine pairing tips, the second thing I’d say to consider would be to match weight with weight. I don’t necessarily believe that red wine goes with red meat and white wine goes with white meat. Heavy wines go with heavy food. So yes, that Napa Cabernet will go great with a steak, but so might a fullbodied oaky Napa Chardonnay. They can get pretty big, and you’ll taste them just fine through a filet. What does it take to become a master of wine? The technical requirements are to pass four days of theory exams covering viticulture, winemaking, the business of

wine, and contemporary issues in wine, and three days of blind tasting exams, of 36 wines in total. Following that, you have to write a research paper, which takes about a year to complete, much like a thesis. People will sit for their exams anywhere from two to three years after being accepted into the master of wine program. As of right now there are just over 300 M.W.s around the world in 24 countries. It takes an enormous amount of dedication to studying, traveling, tasting, interviewing, and delving into topics about which you previously knew very little. It can take years. continued on page 32


Memorable Feeds


Photos by Talia Horvath ’14

vintage Expertise (continued)

What is your favorite reasonable bottle? Your favorite splurge? I’ve never really been able to answer this question comfortably, because it changes from day to day. There’s plenty of excellent wine within the $10-$20 price point, and I can’t list just one. I think the Yalumba Y Series Viognier from South Australia is an excellent value for white wine, as is the Columna Albariño from Spain. For red wine I like the Corvidae Lenore Syrah from Washington. But as soon as I send this, I’m going to think, “Oh, I should have said X or Y.” As for my favorite splurge, well, that changes, too. I love Blanc de Blanc Champagne, Henschke

“Hill of Grace” from Eden Valley, Trimbach Clos Ste Hune Riesling from Alsace. I had a bottle of 2003 Nyetimber sparkling wine from the U.K. about a year ago that I thought was amazing. But all of these would really require someone to buy them for me!


Groton School Quarterly

How often do you travel for work? I travel a lot, whether for the restaurants as a buyer or for the MW program for classes. I’m out of the country at least four times a year, and then around the country a good deal more than that. I’ve recently been to Spain, Italy, France, Australia, and then up and down the wine regions

Winter 2014

on the West Coast to look at vineyards, but I’ve also judged wine competitions in places like London and Las Vegas, so I don’t just travel to look at wineries, I also travel to conferences and competitions. Does your degree in creative writing ever come in handy? Absolutely. Writing is something we all do every day. Communication in business is critical, whether it’s with my colleagues or with people from whom I’m buying wine and spirits. It’s certainly necessary in my studies and in my essay writing for my master of wine. Just because it’s creative doesn’t mean it isn’t useful. I also write articles for various

magazines, so it definitely comes in handy there. Did you ever imagine you’d be in the food business? After graduating from Kenyon College, I worked in theater and independent film before I got my M.F.A. at UVa, and then I worked as the executive assistant to Rita Dove, who was the former poet laureate of the United States. Working in the food industry wasn’t really on my radar.

Students salivate at the mention of a dorm feed. We asked around and discovered some of the favorites: Homemade pizza bagels Michael O'Donnell's dorm Decorating Christmas cookies Sandy Kelly's dorm Annie's mac 'n cheese Jane Watkins' dorm Monkey bread Kristen Leatherbee's and Sandy Kelly's dorms Chocolate chip pumpkin bread Laura Lyons' dorm Chocolate fountain Chris Hampson's dorm

— Morgan Pagliocco '14 and Olivia Thompson '14

What was your favorite dorm feed? Tell us at

Eleonor Wolf ’17, Emma Keeling ’17, and Kai Volcy ’17


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John Merrill: Loves to create special hot sauces for Groton (recently, peach and habanero)

Julie Laroque: Recently inducted into Les Dames d’Escoffier; lead banquet cook at Gibbet Hill

Not pictured, Sheryl Johnson: Taps her own trees for the Dining Hall’s maple syrup


Groton School Quarterly

Winter 2014

Christopher Temerson

Jed Coughlin: Dining Hall director; educated at Culinary Institute of America; started his career at Boston’s Parker House, where he worked with Jasper White

Jim Shuel: Won two BBQ contests for Chef Jim’s Cajun Lightning Chicken recipe (below)

Ed Wetterwald: Dining Hall Chef; named Chef of the Year by the Epicurean Club of Boston; brews his own beer for faculty events

Cajun Lightning Chicken S er v es 6 - 8

ingredients 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, in 1-inch cubes 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, in 1-inch cubes 1/4 cup hot sauce* 1 tablespoon McCormick’s Cajun Spice (double for extra spicy) 1 cup combined green peppers, onions, and celery, diced 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons canola oil 2 tablespoons flour, whole wheat or white 1 cup BBQ sauce* 1 cup chicken stock 1/2 cup cream sherry wine (or Sauterne) 1/8 cup real maple syrup


Chuck Grimm: Colleagues cooked for his wedding reception at Groton last summer (including “Drink Me” drinks and “Eat Me” cookies, part of an Alice in Wonderland theme)

1. Combine the first four ingredients in a stainless steel bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. After marinading, melt butter and oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add diced vegetables and cook for 2-3 minutes. 2. Add flour and whisk for 2-3 more minutes until golden brown. Add chicken stock and wine. Cook for 1 minute. Add BBQ sauce and maple syrup and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. 3. Cook marinated chicken in oven or pan until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Add chicken to prepared sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes.

* Jim prefers Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and Cattlemen’s BBQ sauce if using prepared ingredients.


A C hapel T alk

by Christoper C. Higginson ’14 October 4, 2013


into Newness


ave you ever thought about the Voyager? For those of you who don’t know, the Voyager is the little spaceship that was launched over 30 years ago. It’s the spaceship whose computer is less powerful than the iPhone you have in your pocket. It’s also the spaceship that just left our solar system. It’s traveling at 38,000 miles per hour and has traveled more than 25 billion kilometers. It’s the farthest man-made object from Earth. If you pretend the Voyager was a human, doesn’t that make you think how lonely that would be? Not even to have a destination. Well, I guess the destination is leaving. All the Voyager is doing is leaving Earth, leaving everything known to travel into the unknown. Each one of us left what we knew to come to a place we didn’t know. If you’re like me, the question you were asked most often was, why would you leave your family and everybody you know? I wish I could tell you I was just

Dr. Peter Kilmarx of the Centers for Disease Control, Chris Higginson ’14, and Methembe Ndlovu of Grassroot Soccer, in Zimbabwe


Groton School Quarterly

Winter 2014

brave, like Marco Polo, or Christopher Columbus, or Lewis and Clark, but I don’t think that’s quite it. It wasn’t an act of bravery. For me, I like newness. I like meeting new people; I always have. Last year, I had my greatest encounter with something new, when I went to Zimbab­we. Before I can tell you about that, however, I need to tell you about something else I’ve learned. I have come to believe that big adventures, like the Voyager leaving forever, are fantastic, but they can only be taken after you’ve had smaller adventures. It’s like walking before running. My first little step into newness, and my most famous step, was forced on me. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina was a Category 5 storm that came all the way from Africa and smashed straight into my home, New Orleans. The city flooded and the people evacuated. Everything I knew, the whole city, was underwater. What it meant for me was in four days my family drove all the way from the Gulf of Mexico to the South Shore of Massachusetts, and I was put in a new fourth grade class there. There were a lot of unfamiliar things. For the first time, I was in a community where most people were white. For the first time, I was playing soccer after Thanksgiving, and the field was completely white. For the first time, I had to make brand new friends. It’s long ago now, and I didn’t choose it, but I remember all the new things vividly. When the city returned, some people remembered the dislocation negatively. They didn’t like entering a new community. They thought mostly about getting back. Even though lots of people faced much greater hardship than I did, I remember that year differently. It was an adventure. It was full of newness and “first times.” I remember liking being different. Kids in Massachusetts kept asking me to say “you all.” Y’all. They wanted to know about eating the tails and sucking the heads of crawfish. It’s easy, just break it in half and squeeze. They wanted to know how big the biggest alligator I’ve ever seen is. I would say “This big,” but the truth is my uncle has a pet alligator named Buddy who

“His house had no hot water, inconsistent electricity, and one mattress. I had never met anyone as welcoming.”

is 12 feet long. Kids in Massachusetts especially wanted to know about Mardi Gras, and how much nakedness there is. My second small step of going from the known to the unknown was more my choice. Most of my middle school classmates all went to the same private high school. To this day, I don’t know exactly why I didn’t. I went instead to a big inner-city public high school that has a strong reputation. Let me tell you about my first conversation in that school. I walked up to my locker on the first day. To my right was an older boy, probably a senior. Not yet owning any business cards, I put my hand out and said, “My name’s Chris Higginson, nice to meet you.” He looked at me for a second and said, “Don’t ever talk to me again, freshman.” Things didn’t get much better later in the day when I met my math teacher but thought he was a student and asked him what grade he was in, and he said, “I’m your teacher. Please sit down.” But in the end I met one of my best friends there, Joe Allen, whose race and background are different from mine. In the end, I played in a public high school state soccer championship, in a giant stadium, with a screaming crowd. In the end, I feel like I understand the city I call home a lot better because my class was a majority minority class. My third step from known to unknown was coming here. Each of you has your own memory of your first visit here. Some of you may have felt very comfortable, some of you may have felt very frightened. I was nervous. I was traveling with my mother, who doesn’t come from New


Chris Higginson ’14 photographed this soccer field outside a secondary school near Bulawayo (left) and children from the Grassroot Soccer program (above).

England, and she’s definitely never been to a prep school. To her horror, but to my complete delight, when we got to Chapel in the morning, it was empty. The kids had all disappeared. I only found out later that I visited on the day of the filibuster. Many of you were not here for that. Well, from what I heard that day, it was a remarkable senior prank. They organized the entire School to sneak down to the boathouse early in the morning without telling anyone. They then proceeded to have Chapel and Roll Call down there, still without anyone knowing. They actually spent the entire morning at the boathouse, before coming back to School for lunch. I had always heard from my father how great Groton was. It suddenly dawned on me, the reason kids were so successful, and came out so strong, was because they never went to class. They could skip whenever they wanted. It all made sense. No classrooms, no teaching, and the kids come out brilliant. But in all seriousness, I learned for the first time that day that I love this School, and once again that I love newness. And Groton has remained just as entertaining as on that first encounter. As all of you have seen, I’ve loved my three years here. One thing that Groton is great at is trying new things. We always find new ways to experiment with desserts in the Dining Hall. But for me, squash, lacrosse, late night swims in the Nashua, and of course the Arthropod Club have all been new and wonderful things.



In the time I have left, I want to describe how I took a big step last summer to some place new. I was fortunate last spring when Groton agreed to help send me to Africa. I had dreamed of going to Africa and playing soccer there ever since I saw Siphiwe Tshabalala’s goal for South Africa in the first game of the 2010 World Cup. Also, my parents knew an old friend in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, who works for the Centers for Disease Control, trying to stop the spread of HIV. I had also heard of a program called Coaches Across Continents that was willing to let me go work for them in Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, as I was writing my application for the grant, they withdrew from Zimbabwe due to the political commotion. I was sure that with no place to work, that was it for my adventure, that is, until I heard from a friend of a friend about a trip he had made recently. Derek Stinquist went to Rivers and on to Dartmouth College. He met a man there named Dr. Tommy Clark and found out about an organization that Dr. Clark started in Africa. Grassroot Soccer is a non-profit organization committed to fighting the spread of HIV through teaching kids about soccer and life in a broader sense. By amazing coincidence, our own Mrs. Maqubela was on the Grassroot Soccer Board of Directors even though I didn’t know her at the time. Derek warned me about going to Zimbabwe, however, because he had just been stopped by authorities in the country. But I felt I was ready for an adventure, and was ready to go. I wasn’t. A week before I left for Bulawayo, I broke my arm in a soccer game in Alabama, making things more complicated. Additionally, I lost my only bag with everything I had in it going through the Johannesburg airport, so I stepped off the plane with a cast on my dominant hand and nothing else. And then my trip began. Methembe Ndlovu, the co-founder of Grassroot Soccer and national director in Zimbabwe, had an easy time spotting me at the airport. I was the only American boy there with no luggage, a cast on his hand, and looking very lost. He took me right to lunch and introduced me to pap, which is like mashed potatoes except you eat it with your hands; along with “meaty bones,” it was what I lived on for the next three weeks. We then went straight to a football match between Highlanders F.C., the powerhouse from Bulawayo, and Quelaton, a weaker team. I can’t fully describe how crazy the fans were, but most took their shirts off, blew loudly on vuvuzelas, and consumed a lot of alcohol. Well, on more thought, that describes most college football games I’ve seen in 38

Groton School Quarterly

Winter 2014

the United States. There was a section reserved for the loudest fans. I even met one. I was about halfway down the stairs, leaving after the 7-1 blowout, trying to stay near Methembe, when a fan jumped out, put his arm around me, spun me around to the rest of the stadium, and screamed, “I GOT ME AN AMERICAN!” And the crowd exploded. The roar was deafening. At that moment, I realized I was a long way from Groton, but I waved and put on my best smile. The other challenge I had was finding a place to stay. Because I planned the trip myself, I had forgotten about certain parts. I knew that Grassroot Soccer was affiliated with a professional soccer team in Zimbabwe, which I was actually able to play with later in the trip, and they had a dormitory, but what I didn’t realize is that I would need a car to get there. So I showed up in a foreign country without a place to stay. Somehow, and I still can’t quite believe I was so lucky to have this happen, I met a boy about my age who, within minutes of meeting me, invited me to stay with his family. Having no other place to stay, I of course said yes. When we got back to his house, I was startled. He lived in a township outside of the city. His house had no hot water, inconsistent electricity, and one mattress. But they gave as much of that as they could to me. I had never met anyone as welcoming and generous as they were. I’ve been happy to stay in touch with Stofo and his father. Mostly, I worked on dirt soccer fields. One of the things I remember most was going with Grassroot Soccer to a clinic hosting 200 HIV-positive kids. I saw children, some only 2 years old, smiling through adversity. There will always be setbacks when you go into the unknown. I’ve just mentioned my broken arm, my lost bag, my lack of a place to stay, and some culture shock, but the upsides made it all worthwhile: I met Methembe and made a great friend. I took a seven-hour bus ride across Africa; I taught kids in an orphanage how to play rock-paper-scissors; I was even able to take a trip to Lake Kariba, where I saw elephants, hippos, rhinos, lions, and unknowingly swam with wild crocodiles. And I was able to meet so many new people. The biggest part of me loves what I know, which is Groton and all of you. Right now, I can’t imagine leaving it. I want every day to stretch longer and longer. But just like all of you, my life has already shown me how wonderful the next unknown will be. So if I think of Groton as mission control in Houston, each of us, before too long, will be our own Voyager, leaving Groton’s heliosphere and venturing into a universe of newness.

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by Laurie Sales October 18, 2013

On the Precipice of Parenthood


have always loved Christmas. I don’t know if this is true of other Jewish children, but for me, there was a kind of magic about Christmastime that totally enthralled me. Perhaps it was because it was always at arm’s length, while at the same time being force-fed to me through TV commercials, Christmas choir concerts, and neighborhood decorations. I am not quite sure what it was, but something about the onset of the Christmas season gave me goosebumps and giggles. I distinctly remember walking home from middle school in the days after we turned the clock back, looking into the windows of people who were just starting to put up Christmas lights, and dreaming of what this year’s holiday season would bring. The smell of Christmas in my hometown of Ridgewood, New Jersey, is and will forever be one of the best smells I know. If I close my eyes now, I can just about bring it back. Memory works magic on our senses, doesn’t it? These days the Christmas season starts around Halloween. This is earlier than it did when I was a kid, but it’s true, right? Any day now, we are bound to start hearing that Christmas Shoes song on the radio and seeing Santa show up in just about every advertisement selling TVs and DVDs at low, low prices. This year, however, the feeling I have is different. This year, I suppose I could be dreaming about hanging stockings by the fire, dressing the tree with all the new beaded Maasai stars I brought home from my friends in Tanzania, convincing the dorm to host a Christmas party, and getting each other Secret Santa gifts—but I am not dreaming of those things this year. I am not really dreaming about Christmas at all because, well, the month of December feels like a Big Blank Page. Because nowadays, when people talk to me about anything that exists more than a few weeks into the future, all I can see is question marks, blank spaces, and this kind of blinding light that is full of intense anticipation and promise, but is totally shapeless.

Samuel arrived nine days after his mom’s Chapel Talk.

Is that what it feels like to become a mom? I’ve always imagined that I would be a mom. Just like many of you, I’ve said things like, “When I have kids I’m going to . . .” my whole life. And yet now, I feel like I am stepping into the complete unknown. Standing on the precipice of something intensely bigger than anything else I have ever known. It kind of gives me goosebumps and giggles of a very different kind. Precipice—a word I love. One of the definitions is “a very steep rock face or cliff, typically a tall one.” Precipice. Used figuratively, it means on the verge of something, but not just anything: it implies being on the verge of something that will forever change your perspective, forever change your sense of being. I talk about this idea often when I take groups of you to Kenya or Tanzania. The day before we arrive in our host community, I ask each one of you to imagine



the community and to record your expectations, fears, insecurities, and ideas about what is ahead. I think it’s an important exercise, those of you who have traveled with me know, because you can never unknow what you know. Once you have stepped off the cliff, you can never unknow the drop and where it will take you. In a few weeks, I will be holding my son, and from that moment on, I will never be able to unknow him, unknow the feeling of being his mom, unknow the feeling of having brought his little life into the world. So here’s the funny thing—when I look around this Chapel, right now, I see each and every one of you as someone’s child. Not just you students either, I mean my colleagues and friends as well. I am suddenly seeing the world through this lens, in which the arrival of each and every one of you was awaited with the same kind of unknowing anticipation that I have for my kiddo right now. I don’t know how often you think about the unconditional love that comes to you from your parents, but I can guarantee you, from where I stand now, it’s maybe one of the most remarkable feelings a person can have. And each and every one of you is the recipient of it. Just think what we, as a community, could do if we could channel a common direction for the surge of all that love—well, it might be larger than what I can take on in a morning Chapel Talk, but it sure is a thought. One morning when I was a senior in college, I was sitting with my four roommates at our favorite diner in Evanston and we were chatting about our parents and our upbringings and one of my friends asked, “If your parents raised you to be one thing, what one thing did they raise you to be? Like they would have looked at you as a kid and blessed you to be what?” I still remember each of the answers. My friend from Manhattan, whose mother was a curator at the MOMA at the time, answered, “Be smart.” My friend Jackie, from Pennsylvania, who had been raised on a resort owned by her parents and who was a successful child actor answered, “Be cool.” We laughed at her, and I think that hurt her feelings, because it was somewhat true. Whether by example or by design, Jackie had indeed been raised to be funky, hip, and cool. And she was. My third roommate answered, “Be successful.” My remaining roommate and myself looked at each other. We were both from New Jersey, from parents of moderate wealth and modest lifestyle. I knew what she was thinking. “Be happy,” she said. Then everyone looked at me. “Be good.” I don’t think I really knew at the time what “be good” 40

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meant to me or how it would play out in my life. I like to think that now I know more. I try to be good—I try to be good to others, be good to the Earth, even be good to myself. Back then, I think it was more about a drive to appear to be good so that I would not get in trouble. Being good for me as a kid meant winning approval. Even as a little girl, I was the kid who would rush into my parents bedroom at midnight to tell them that while they were out I had convinced the babysitter to let me stay up a whole extra half hour, and that I was sorry, and that I couldn’t sleep until they knew the truth. Disappointing my parents was one of the worst things I could imagine. How many times has any of you used the phrase, “My mom (or my dad) is going to kill me?” I used that all the time when I was a teenager. I was deeply afraid of getting in trouble, and I was convinced that my latest mistake was grave enough that I would lose their respect and admiration forever. Some of you may relate to this feeling. But of course the truth is, our parents are people, just like us, and they have the same background of mistakes and failures and bad judgment calls. They may not want to broadcast it, but all of your parents are full flesh and blood people. And like you, they have needs and fears and insecurities. And like you, they are not perfect, they are not always happy, and they are not always right. But they always love you. Even when you can’t surely see it. The best example I have of this comes from my own grandmother—my father’s mother, who suffered with Alzheimer’s the last several years of her life. Her deterioration started with a paranoia and grew from a state of intermittent confusion to utter loss of all name/face/ place/event history. It happened slowly, and it was very difficult to witness. She lived with my grandfather and an amazing health care aide, about whom I could write a whole other Chapel Talk, until my grandfather died in his early 80s. He was the last person she really knew, and in his hospital room, when we were all there to say goodbye, she was so disturbed and frightened that she accused us all of plotting to kill him. It was very painful and strange. She was my grandma, and even though I was a young adult at the time, it seemed like a significant betrayal of everything we were supposed to mean to each other. But then, a few days later, this amazing thing happened. My grandpa, Sam, passed away, and my family made plans for sitting shiva, a mourning ritual that is an important part of the Jewish tradition. Sitting shiva is a gathering of family and friends, and in this case, we hosted my grandfather’s family and friends in the house in Florida

She knew everything about me. She clearly adored me. She just didn’t know that I was me.

that he shared with my grandma. My grandma did not recognize anybody there, including my father—her son— and my aunt—her daughter. She spent most of her time sitting on the salmon-colored sofa, pointing to people and asking, “Who is that?” For a while, I positioned myself by the lox platter, greeting older aunts and uncles who approached me with kind faces and compassionate glances. Then I sat down to eat in the chair opposite my grandmother. “Who is that?” she asked the woman sitting with her. “That’s Laurie.” “Oh, hello, Laurie,” she said to me, “Do I know you?” The question has a bit of a stab to it, doesn’t it? Like, how could she not know me? She was the first person who took me to the theater, the grandma who taught me about manicures and tea parties and who snuck me M&Ms when my own mother wasn’t looking. “Yes.” I said. “You know me.”

“What do you do?” she asked me. I told her that I worked in the theater, and that I was in the process of directing a play. She jumped in. “I have a niece who works in the theater.” And then she proceeded to tell me all about me. She told me about my college graduation that she had attended and how I had studied theater at Northwestern University and at the graduation all the theater majors had worn their new headshots on the top of the their caps. She told me about my best friend from high school, Kelly, and how Kelly and I had a theater company together in New York, and we were raising money for an important play that we had written. She told me about my brother, and how I was always trying to get him involved with me in my theatrical pursuits. She knew everything about me. She clearly adored me. She just didn’t know that I was me. And I guess that is how it goes sometimes. The people who love you from day one, the people who love you truly unconditionally, will love you through anything—even when they don’t know who you are. That is the kind of potent feeling of which I am just now starting to be aware. That’s the precipice on which I stand. It feels really, really big. I’ve been recording this whole talk so someday he can listen to it. Or maybe so I can listen to it to remember how I felt on this morning. So before I step down, I’d like to say a few things to the little guy who can hear my heart beating from the inside of my body. “Hi, guy. I don’t want you to worry about being smart, or being cool, or being successful, or being good. I don’t even want you to worry about being happy, because you won’t always be and that’s OK. You’ll know, I hope, from watching your dad and me that we believe in deep feelings, and that those feelings come in a wide variety of flavors. It’s why we can cry at weddings and laugh at funerals and put beloved pets and people in the ground and not pretend it doesn’t matter. I hope that you have insatiable curiosity about the world and that, like your dad, you find the behavior of crows and ravens to be so fascinating that you will forget whatever important thing you are doing to watch these birds whenever they cross your path. I hope you love the stars, like your grandma, and never cease to appreciate how small we all are in this beautiful universe. I hope you grow up with the capacity to be deeply moved by the human experience. Maybe, like your



grandpa, you will tear up at the Olympics or when a favorite baseball player is inducted into the Hall of Fame. Or maybe, like me, you will sit in this Chapel and feel your heart open up so big as you listen to students share their personal stories and songs. I hope you love this community. I hope you will know so many of the people who are sitting in this room today as your extended family. I hope you will celebrate big moments of life with them—I hope you will appreciate small moments of life with them as well. I hope you know the world to be your community and for it to be yours. I hope we raise you to take responsibility for your place here on earth. A few months ago we danced with you and 20 Maasai children under the stars in Kenya and promised we wouldn’t make you wait as long as we had to discover that there are so many ways of being in the world. So many ways of seeing in the world. I hope when you listen to this, we have made good on that promise. I hope you forgive us, me and your dad, when we


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aren’t what you want us to be. Because we won’t always be. We’ve been known to make pretty big mistakes and suffer pretty big failures and make really bad judgment calls. We have our own needs and huge fears and insecurities. And like you, we are not perfect, we are not always happy, and we are not always right. But we always love you. Even when you can’t surely see it. So this is me, your mom, talking to you from the pulpit in Chapel on Friday, October 18, 2013. You are up here with me. There are like 400 people listening to this right now. I’d like to take this opportunity to enlist the help of these folks in giving you your first enormous feeling of love coupled with cheek-reddening embarrassment.” I would like to ask everyone in the Chapel to, on the count of three, face me here and lend your voice to our son to say, “Hello, baby” together. Will you all agree to do it? OK—one, two, three. Thank you.

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by Henry Barker November 11, 2013

Patiently Looking

for Meaning


few weeks ago in Latin class, we read the first poem of Horace’s The Odes. This poem, which is a sort of introduction to the rest of Horace’s Odes, lists a myriad of different occupations that people in the ancient world had. The poem describes the Olympic athlete, who finds happiness in obtaining first place, and in the exhilaration of the contest. The poem describes the politician, who finds happiness in manipulating the crowds of fickle Romans in order to be elected to office. The poem mentions the small farmer, who wants nothing more than a simple life of hard manual labor. The poem ends with Horace explaining that what brings him happiness, and what separates him from everyone else, is his poetry. All of these characters in Horace’s poem have found their niche in life. However superficial it may seem to find meaning from the pursuit of fame and power as an athlete or politician, or however deeply meaningful it may seem to find fulfillment from working on a small farm or from writing poetry, fulfillment is fulfillment nonetheless. All of these people have found the singular pursuit that gives them a reason to get up in the morning. And it is a natural thing to do as a human being to seek out a niche for yourself, to find something that brings your life meaning. In Second Form, in Ms. Rennard’s English class, we read a well-known short story by Eudora Welty entitled “A Worn Path.” The story is about an old woman named Phoenix Jackson, who is making a journey from her home to the center of town in order to find medicine for her sick grandson. Phoenix encounters many obstacles on her trek into town: she struggles to make her way through thorn bushes and across streams, she falls on her back and finds a way to get back up again, and she continues on her way despite being told to go home by an intimidating hunter. But when she reaches the hospital that is her destination, she forgets why she made the journey in the

first place. After her long and perilous trek, this frail old woman completely forgets the reason why she went to so much effort to come to the hospital. This is because the woman is not making the journey to bring medicine to her grandson as she claims. In fact, it later becomes clear that the woman makes these trips into town regularly, and that it is likely that her grandson is not even sick anymore. Instead, the old woman makes these long and difficult journeys in order to give her life a purpose. We all do what Phoenix Jackson does to a certain extent. It is impossible to go through life without manufacturing some kind of purpose, whether or not it is as seemingly meaningless as Phoenix’s trips to get unnecessary medicine. People look for something that they can latch onto and give all of their effort to in order to stay sane. For those who have had to struggle just to survive, survival can be that something. But for those of us who are fortunate enough to not have to worry about where our next meal is coming from, we must find something else. For many people that something is religion. All religions give simple answers to the question of what “should”



be done. Hinduism gives strict rules about what each person’s dharma is, and as a reward for following your dharma, it offers reincarnation. Buddhism is similar, with the exception being that the ultimate goal is enlightenment rather than reincarnation. Both the Old and New Testaments and the Quran give commands explaining what you are supposed to do with your life. All religions provide their followers with that something to strive for that we all need, and can be incredibly helpful to people who are seeking something meaningful. Maybe it is just my upbringing that has led me away from religion as a source of meaning, or maybe it is just part of my character to be skeptical, but I have never been able to find solace in religion. The answers that it provides have always seemed too convenient and too reliant on the supernatural. It has always seemed like an easy way out to adopt the answers given to you in a book and end the search there. But however false I might think it is to find meaning in religion, the reality is that meaning is subjective, not objective. Regardless of what anyone else thinks about what is truth, the important thing is to find what is meaningful to you, not what is meaningful in an absolute sense, and if that meaning can be found in religion, then it is no less than any other kind of meaning. In our increasingly secular world, however, most people do not truly devote their lives to the principles of religion anymore. Many people, whether or not they are willing to admit it, devote their lives to the acquisition of material wealth. In my time at Groton, I have heard people make enough materialistic comments to last a lifetime. Groton attracts many people with materialistic attitudes because it is so good at preparing people to get into and thrive at top colleges, get great jobs, and go on to make good money. And one thing that I have realized from being surrounded by so much materialism is that, while we tend to view it as shallow, materialism is just as viable a world view as any other. If someone can find true happiness and fulfillment from the pursuit of wealth, then what gives anyone the right to judge him? After all, he is pursuing meaning in life just the same as anyone else; he just finds it in a simpler place. Obtaining wealth is not the only thing that people at Groton consider a meaningful purpose to life, however. There are many for whom sports are the primary concern; to improve their skills and fight to be the best at hockey or basketball is the most important thing in their lives. There are also those whose primary goal is just to have fun. I have met many people here who do not sacrifice their happiness for concerns about what they “should” be doing. Instead they just put all of their energy into having a great time, and I admire these people immensely because I could never do what they do. For with every moment that I was trying to just sit back and enjoy life, I would be craving something larger than just enjoyment. 44

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But the most common thing that people adopt as the central element of their life at Groton is the all-consuming college process. Not necessarily because college can be a steppingstone to wealth, but also just because trying to get into a good college is what is expected of you. People grab hold of the college process as their primary goal for their four years here because it is an easy thing to grab hold of. Almost everyone here takes it incredibly seriously, and it is easy to adopt attaining an Ivy League acceptance letter as your ultimate goal when you are immersed in this culture. At the beginning of my Fifth Form English class, Mr. Capen told us all to write down our goals, and he saved our answers for us to see the next year. Over the course of the year, I completely forgot about this exercise, and at the beginning of this fall, I was surprised to find a list of my goals from Fifth Form in my mailbox. But I was even more surprised that the first thing that I had written on this little piece of notebook paper was “get into a good college.” It reminded me that for my Fifth Form year, this was the purpose that I too had latched onto. The reason why it surprised me so much is not because I think that getting into college is a useless or shallow goal—in fact I admire those who can focus all of their energy on getting into college, and I think that I would be much better off if I could convince myself, even subconsciously, that getting into college is the current purpose of my life. Finding this goal that I had scribbled out hastily in the beginning of Fifth Form surprised me so much because today I am so unsure of what my goals are. As I stand here in the pulpit, I have no idea what my niche is, what my purpose is. I have observed all of these different kinds of people, who are all so sure that what they are doing is meaningful that they don’t even need to think about it. I have tried to mimic some of them to a certain extent. But I still can’t find anything that I can truly say brings my life fulfillment. At the beginning of this year, I was depressed by this fact. When I came back from summer vacation and I was trying to make the transition back to life at Groton, I took a step back and looked at my Groton experience as a whole. I was disappointed to think that nothing I had done at Groton had been for any greater purpose other than getting good grades and getting into college. Of course, I have had great friendships, interesting classes, and good times at Groton. But even so, it really depressed me to think that what I had been doing had no greater meaning. I am only now beginning to come to terms with the fact that I may not be able to come up with any deeper meaning at this point in my life. It may be that there is no simple answer. I am now beginning to accept this fact, that I don’t know what my purpose is, or what my goals are, and that that is OK. It is not unreasonable that I have not found an ultimate goal or purpose to my life by this time, and in fact it will make it that much more meaningful when I do.

book review

Touching America’s History by Meredith Mason Brown ’58

Reviewed by Thomas S. Lamont, History Department Head


VERY GOOD history teacher, whether at the

Americans such as Washington, Brown gives voice to a diverse group of Americans through his elegant prose. Native Americans, in particular, play a prominent role in four of the first six chapters as Brown describes their complex and often violent interaction with white settlers who flooded the continent as early as the 1630s. Using well-chosen anecdotes and quotes, the author brings to life Americans both famous and unfamiliar. And although Brown does not directly address the many historiographical debates in American history, he indirectly touches upon them by taking the reader right to the heart of the disputes that dominated American society. For instance, his chapter on the abolitionist John Brown brilliantly captures the urgency, outrage, and brutality of the growing sectional divide caused by slavery. Touching America’s History is “old school” history in the sense that there is little social history or information about ordinary life. Instead, there is a great deal of political and especially military history. As Brown points out in the afterword, the United States was engaged in war, mostly against Native Americans, almost 50 percent of the time between 1637 and 1945. Many of Brown’s ancestors seem to have participated in many of these military conflicts, and the lesser-known conflicts, such as the Seminole Wars, the Mexican War, and the Philippine War, get a good deal of attention from the author. Brown, who clearly has read widely in American history, boldly proclaims that “History is the sum of actions by individual human beings,” and in Touching America’s History he adeptly relates the course of American history with his family’s history. In today’s era, when it seems that so many Americans are disengaged from or uninterested in civic engagement, Brown’s fine little book reminds us that individual human beings can influence their world and in many cases remain masters of their own destinies. Brown’s book also reminds us that one person’s “junk” may be another person’s “artifact.”


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college or the elementary school level, knows that a useful way to help students enjoy history and perhaps embrace it as a discipline is to make historical material relevant. In his book, Touching America’s History, Meredith Mason Brown manages to do just that. Drawing on the tried and true “show and tell” method, Brown has written an accessible and somewhat unusual history of the United States, one that radiates enthusiasm and excitement by focusing on history that is “concrete and personal.” Brown’s narrative, which covers the colonial era through World War II, develops from 12 historical artifacts, which Brown refers to as “relics in the sense of things left behind, things we can touch, which may not be extraordinary in themselves, but which bring powerfully to mind what was here before.” Touching America’s History is “old school” history written for the “new school.” Among the artifacts that Brown employs are a surveyor’s compass, a frontiersman’s musket, and a letter from George Washington, all of which were originally possessions of Brown’s various relatives who lived in early America. A stone ax and adze head crafted by native Americans living almost 400 years ago in what is now the Connecticut River Valley were purchased by the author as he delved into the history of his home town in Connecticut. And a piece of a toilet bowl that came from Adolph Hitler’s mountain retreat in Bavaria was given to Brown by a godfather who, as part of the victorious American army in the Second World War, carried the unusual booty back with him when the war ended in Europe. These artifacts’ own histories, as well as those of Brown’s ancestors, are skillfully intertwined with the history of the broader society. For example, the letter by George Washington, dated March 15, 1787, is a mostly unremarkable memo to a lawyer. However, Brown points out that near the end of the letter, the nation’s most respected citizen says that he is unlikely to attend the upcoming Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Brown goes on to explain the creation of the Constitution and Washington’s presidency in the context of the fascinating question: what might have happened if George Washington had not been present “at the creation” and thus not lent his unmatched imprimatur to an achievement so central to American civilization? While there are plenty of references to well-known

new releases






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1 The Battle of the Frogs and the Mice, An Homeric Fable George Martin ’44

When Crum-snatcher, a Mouse, cautiously mounts the back of Puff-jaw, King of the Frogs, to explore the Frogs’ pond, the Mouse meets with disaster, which soon brings the two nations into mortal conflict. The battle of this small world assumes heroic proportions and becomes a classic tale of the foolhardiness of war. First published in 1962 by George Martin, with illustrations by Fred Gwynne ’44, the book was hard to categorize, and it languished. Was it poetry? Mythology? For children or adults? Publishers advised George to drop either the adult language of the verse or the illustrations, which seemed suited to children. In 2009, George offered a free download on Doug Brown ’57, Groton’s wood shop teacher and archivist, suggested that George issue a private, paperback edition, and he did. George sent three copies of the paperback to a man in Washington state who had downloaded the book and written George about it. That man’s friend works for Penguin Books, which published the current edition.

2 Sisterland Curtis Sittenfeld ’93

From an early age, Kate and her identical twin sister, Violet, knew that they were unlike everyone else. Kate and Vi were born with peculiar “senses”—innate psychic abilities

concerning future events and other people’s secrets. Though Vi embraced her visions, Kate did her best to hide them. Now, years later, their different paths have led them both back to their hometown of St. Louis. Vi has pursued an eccentric career as a psychic medium, while Kate, a devoted wife and mother, has settled down in the suburbs to raise her two young children. But when a minor earthquake hits in the middle of the night, the normal life Kate has always wished for begins to shift. After Vi goes on television to share a premonition that another, more devastating earthquake will soon hit the St. Louis area, Kate is mortified. Equally troubling, however, is her fear that Vi may be right. As the date of the predicted earthquake quickly approaches, Kate is forced to reconcile her fraught relationship with her sister and to face truths about herself she’s long tried to deny. Sisterland, a novel of family and identity, loyalty and deception, and the delicate line between truth and belief, also delves into the obligation we have toward others, and the responsibility we take for ourselves.

3 The Well-Tempered Flutist: 101 Pieces for Solo Flute by J.S. Bach Transcribed and edited by Robert Stallman ’64

World-class soloist, recording artist, chamber musician, and transcriber, Robert Stallman ’64 believes that it is difficult to be a serious musician without a strong foundation in Bach. In The Well-Tempered Flutist, he presents a wealth of Bach, taken from the great keyboard works as well as

from sonatas for other instruments. Many of the 101 pieces in the book are available for flute for the first time.

Bach Sonatas for Flute & Obbligato Harpsichord Robert Stallman '64 “Rnowned flutist Robert Stallman ‘64 has released a highly acclaimed collection of works for flute and harpsichord on Bogner’s Café, his own chamber music label. calls the performances “sublime,” while Fanfare magazine says, “In every respect, this is a sensational disc and urgently recommended.”

4 The Puppy Prince Candace Tong-Li ’16

A humorous story about a puppy’s adventure into the world, the joy of making friends, and the appreciation of one’s family, The Puppy Prince centers around young, naive Sam, who is excited and curious about everything he sees and senses, and who identifies himself to each baby animal he meets.


The Puppy Prince, Candace’s eighth book, is an easy-to-read picture book for early readers and a read-aloud story for toddlers. Young readers and listeners learn the vocabulary and characteristics of baby animals, as well as an important lesson: everyone is unique, and it’s our differences that make us special. Candace is donating half of her profits from this book to Nothing But Nets, which helps fight malaria. The Puppy Prince also has published a bilingual Chinese-English version in China.

5 Crony Capitalism Hunter Lewis ’65

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When private interests need a political favor, they know whom to call. When politicians need money, they also know whom to call. The people involved try to keep most of it concealed behind closed doors. This is the system that prevailed in Russia after the fall of Communism. But increasingly, according to Crony Capitalism, it is America’s system as well. Many people regard Wall Street as the epicenter of American capitalism. Hunter Lewis argues that it is the epicenter of American crony capitalism, that where Wall Street stops and Washington begins is impossible to say. If we are going to do anything about our present economic problems, and also give the poor a chance at a better life, we will need to eliminate crony capitalism and restore an honest economy. Although full of hair-raising stories, this book is also about solutions. It relates in clear and simple

terms what is wrong and what needs to be done about it. Hunter Lewis also recently published Free Prices Now, which explores the idea that government price controls impede an honest economic system.

6 How Dark the Night William Hammond ’65

How Dark the Night profiles the difficult years between the First Barbary War and the War of 1812, as dark settles over the young republic and also over the Cutler family of William Hammond’s book series. The Cutlers’ commercial empire is threatened at home and abroad, and its most beloved member is stricken with a terrible illness. The jacket image depicts the naval engagement between USS Chesapeake and HMS Leopard off the Virginia Capes in June of 1807. How Dark the Night picks up where Hammond’s fourth volume, A Call to Arms, leaves off.

7 The Laurels of Lake Constance Marie Chaix Translated from the French by Harry Matthews ‘47

Harry Matthews ’47 translated this story by Marie Chaix about Albert, one of the first French citizens to join the Fascist party. During the war, he becomes a collaborator, and it’s only a matter of time before he dons a German uniform himself. Taking place in the limbo

between the moment of Albert’s initial “fall” and his inevitable capture, following the Allied invasion of Mainau, The Laurels of Lake Constance is the story not only of Albert himself, but also of his daughter, who must endure the paradox of loving a man whose beliefs and allegiances are nothing short of catastrophic. The Laurels of Lake Constance explores the intersection of war and childhood in one household, conjured in all its details, be they beautiful or shameful: a resigned mother playing music, a father absent, an era frozen in a tragic fresco where novelistic detail mixes with history.

8 The Descendants of Dr. Nathaniel Saltonstall of Haverhill, Massachusetts Scott C. Steward ’81

The first full genealogical account of the Saltonstall family since Leverett Saltonstall’s 1897 account, this study of the descendants of Dr. Nathaniel Saltonstall (1747-1815) includes biographical treatments of many family members, including Leverett, who was governor of Massachusetts and a U.S. senator, as well as new material on earlier generations in both England and America. Scott Steward is editor-in-chief at the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Book summaries were provided by the authors and/or their publishers. 48

Groton School Quarterly

Winter 2014

Jon Chase


The girls soccer team enjoyed a fine season in 2013, finishing with a record of 10-4-4 and earning the fourth seed in the New England Class B Tournament. After overpowering the Williston Northampton School 3-0 in front of a raucous home crowd in the quarterfinal round, the girls lost at number-one seeded Tabor Academy 3-0 in the semifinal. A balanced team, the Zebras scored 42 goals this fall while compiling seven shutouts. Captains Breezy Thomas ’14 and Dorrie Varley-Barrett ’15 provided ample leadership, and Sixth Formers Tess Despres, Deki Namgyal, and Cayley Geffen worked with them to set a positive tone in matches and training sessions alike. Along with Tess, Caroline Morss ’15,

Marie Wesson ’15, Carrie Moore ’17, and Lyle Prockop ’17 created a formidable backline in front of goalkeepers Amani Jiu ’17, Sophie DiCara ’16, and Sophie Baker ’16. Dorrie anchored the midfield with help from Ali Lamson ’16 and Deki. Sam Volpe ’15 emerged as a dangerous wing on the left flank, while Jenna Blouin ’15 proved extremely versatile, alternating between center midfield and the right flank. Rachel Hardej ’15 and Piper Higgins ’17 filled in admirably, playing crucial minutes in each match. Up front, the tandem of Sydney Brackett ’16 and Caitlyn DiSarcina ’17 developed into one of the most dangerous, if not the most dangerous, pair of forwards in the Independent School League (ISL). Sydney won the league scoring title, while Caitlyn finished

ninth. Cayley and Coco Wallace ’17 also contributed to the attack. Next year looks promising as well, with 16 players returning, including 10 starters. — Coach Ryan Spring

Boys Soccer 6-6-3 the 2012 season was remarkable for Groton boys varsity soccer — after starting 0-6, we ran nine straight wins to finish tied for fourth in the ISL. Given this recent history, we knew that the 2013 season would be one of ups and downs, in which a core of experienced, dedicated, and optimistic returning players, as well as important additions, would have to step into some big boots. We were fortunate to have had not only a talented crop of



Girls Soccer 10-4-4

Dorrie varley-Barrett ’15, right


returning underclassmen, but also focused and committed Sixth Formers who rose to the challenge throughout the season and led us to seventh place in the ISL. There were some disappointments and near misses to be sure as the squad learned more about itself and how to put two halves of quality soccer together, but there were also those wonderfully memorable moments when the team was really clicking, turning in some fantastic performances. In fact, a number of our ties and losses could have easily fallen our way, and we were proud to see that some of our best performances of the year came at the end of the season against Lawrence Academy, the top team in the ISL. Groton fans who watched us on this day caught a glimpse of our determination, ability, and bright potential. I think the best comment on our season came from a fellow faculty member who stopped me in the hall one day: “Hey, I


Groton School Quarterly

Winter 2014

watched your game yesterday and I just wanted to tell you how impressed I was,” he said, shaking his head with a bemused smile. “I just love how hard your kids go. It’s so great that every guy out there gives everything he has.” Determination, unity and effort were defining features of our squad this year, and much of the credit for these attitudes goes to our seniors: Captains Chris Higginson and Charlie Oberrender, and Schuyler Colloredo-Mansfeld, Ross Coneybeer, Christian Fogarty, Dan MacDonald, Andrew Popp, and Carter Cockrell. — Coach Peter Quagliaroli

Football 2-6 After getting off to a great start with an opening day 55-36 win over the dragons of St. George’s, the Groton gridders finished their campaign with a difficult stretch of losses. Opening day was followed by a 38-11 loss to Belmont Hill. Though Groton rushed for

more than 200 yards, four turnovers — a problem that would plague the team throughout the season — proved impossible to overcome against a tough Belmont Hill defense. A week-three highlight came in Groton’s first-ever home night game. Temporary lights were installed and an enthusiastic Friday night crowd cheered as the Zebras downed Thayer, 26-24, in a game that came down to the wire with a fine defensive stand. The season took an unfortunate turn in the next five weeks. Four of the five losses were by an average seven points, and a particular heartbreaker occurred in a 22-20 overtime loss against Brooks. Though geared up for long-time rival St. Mark’s in the final game of the season, the jumpy Zebras committed five turnovers in the first half, a deficit that proved insurmountable despite settling down in the second half. Youth, inexperience, limited roster depth, and an opening day season-ending injury to Cam Cullen ’15 left the squad little room for

Photos by Jon Chase

Opposite page: top, Charlotte Gemes ’14; bottom, Will Popik ’15, Peter Zhang ’17, and Matthew Higgins Iati ’17; right, Axel Brown ’14 (#2) and John Beatty ’16 (#14) This page: Jared Belsky ’15

error as the campaign unfolded. Nevertheless, the team benefitted from some very fine individual performances. Sixth Form Co-captain Austin Stern enjoyed a dominant senior season, leading the running game as an offensive guard and dominating the inside of the field from his linebacker spot. Stern recorded a total of 70 tackles, including seven quarterback sacks. He also intercepted one pass and blocked a punt against St. Mark’s. Named to the All-ISL and All-New England teams, Austin will continue his career at Bowdoin College next year. Co-captain Matt Borghi ’14, the other offensive guard, formed a strong duo with Austin. As a three-year starter at defensive tackle, Matt also posted 35 tackles, including four quarterback sacks. To round out individual highlights, Fourth Form All-ISL running back John Beatty finished fourth in the ISL in scoring, tallying 76 points. As a safety, John was the team’s second leading tackler on defense with 56 total

takedowns. The team looks forward to building upon lessons learned this season. — Coach John Lyons

Field Hockey 4-11-1 With the graduation of five starters in spring 2013, the varsity field hockey team had some rebuilding to do this fall. The key was to figure out the team chemistry and learn how to play a sound passing game. While the final record was not heavy in the win column, the team did improve. The Athletic Department made certain we had the opportunity to practice on turf before we competed in away games versus turf teams, and that certainly improved the pace and intensity of our play. Highlights of the season included a game that went into overtime against Cushing Academy (a team that ended up in the NEPSAC Class B finals) on their turf under lights, a win against St. Paul’s on Parents Weekend, a tie against Governor’s Academy,

and a victory against Lawrence Academy — a game we were able to play under the lights here at Groton. Our Sixth Formers were inspirational this season and will be sorely missed — Co-Captains Melissa Cusanello and Charlotte Gemes, as well as Hadley Stack, Morgan Pagliocco, and Jessie Ewald. — Coach Martha Gracey

Girls Cross Country 6-5 A fit group of girls arrived for preseason in the humidity of early September and concluded the season in the chill of November, the better for having travailed together through the course of the fall. the team’s earliest races — an invitational at Deerfield and a dual meet at home against St. Mark’s — suggested that the team had promise that could be realized through hard work and determination, and many members never failed to challenge themselves and each other as the season got into full swing.



Injuries and illness tested the team’s resolve, as did challenging races — some of which Groton won — but these runners really morphed into a team of racers after a few key victories (most notably against Middlesex just prior to Long Weekend) and a few close defeats. In the final race of the season, Groton’s squad finished an impressive sixth in the Class B New england Championships despite missing one of our top runners, and the team’s satisfied smiles after completing this final, rigorous 3.1 mile race suggested that they enjoyed the fruits of their shared efforts. Much of the success this team experienced is due to the outstanding leadership of Sixth Form Tri-Captains Ellie Dolan, Addie Ewald, and Lucie Oken, who, along with a handful of other key Sixth Formers, set a wonderful example of devotion to the task of becoming and remaining a team through good and bad. — Coach Craig Gemmell


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Winter 2014

Boys Cross Country 6-9 Groton’s varsity boys cross country team finished the season at 10th place in the ISL, with 6 wins and 9 losses. Captains and Coach’s Award winners David Howe ’14, who ran most races in the 19-minute range, and Jamie Thorndike ’14, who ran our course in 18:13 by the end of October, competed at the varsity level all season and were excellent leaders. Hayes Cooper ’14, who improved his race times by more than two minutes from the beginning to the end of the season, and JJ Kim ’14, who improved his race times by nearly three minutes, led the junior varsity squad with grit and grace. Shangyan Li ’14 ran our course in over 20 minutes early in the fall and then in 17:54 by the end of the season, earning Most Improved Runner this season. We had a particularly close race with Belmont Hill on Parents Weekend, when we lost to their varsity squad by only one point and most of

our runners had personal records. We placed ninth in the ISL Championship at St. Mark’s one week later and 11th at the New england Championship race at Suffield Academy in Connecticut (thanks to some stiffer than usual competition). Our lead and Most Valuable Runner, Willy Anderson ’15, placed 18th in this last race to earn All New england honors and then placed 27th in the New England All-Star race in mid-November with an official time of 17:46. We look forward to another pre-pre-season gathering of our faster runners in Maine at the end of next summer; let us know if you’ll be up in Acadia National Park on Labor Day weekend. If those of you who are running even further these days would like a challenge, join me for the Mount Desert Island Marathon on Sunday, October 19. Happy trails! —Coach John Capen

Photos by Jon Chase

Opposite page, from left: Kelsey Peterson ’15, with Hannah Conner ’14 in the background; Sam volpe ‘15; runner Will Popik ’15; Ejaaz Jiu ’15 This page, clockwise from top left: Joe Gentile ’14, Melissa Cusanello ‘14, Christian Fogarty ’14, and Maddy Forbess ’16



Most Valuable Runner Willy Anderson ’15

Most Valuable Runner Addie ewald ’14

Most Improved Runner Shangyan Li ’14

Most Improved Runner Alexis Ciambotti ’14

Coaches’ Award David Howe ’14 Jamie thorndike ’14

Coaches’ Award Hannah Conner ’14

ISL Honorable Mention Willy Anderson ’15 New England All-Star Meet Willy Anderson ’15 Captains-Elect Willy Anderson ’15 Simon ColloredoMansfeld ’15

All ISL Addie ewald ’14 All New england Addie ewald ’14 Maddie Forbess ’16 Captains-Elect Maddie Forbess ’16 Anne McCreery ’15 Kelsey Peterson ’15





Coaches’ Award Melissa Cusanello ’14 Jessie ewald ’14 Charlotte Gemes ’14 Morgan Pagliocco ’14 Hadley Stack ’14

Coaches’ Award Ejaaz Jiu ’15 ycar Devis ’14 Matt Borghi ’14

Most Valuable Player Chris Higginson ’14

Most Valuable Players Sydney Brackett ’16 Dorrie Varley-Barrett ’15

ISL Honorable Mention Melissa Cusanello ’14 Charlotte Gemes ’14 Captains-Elect Grace Liggett ’15 Annie McElgunn ’15

Charles Alexander Award Austin Stern ’14 Most Improved Players Ryan Metro ’15 Frank Bruni ’15 All-ISL Austin Stern ’14 John Beatty ’16 ISL Honorable Mention Matt Borghi ’14 Will Richardson ’15 Frank Bruni ’15

Coaches’ Award Christian Fogarty ’14 Andrew Popp ’14 All ISL Chris Higginson ’14 ISL Second Team Ross Coneybeer ’14, Charlie Oberrender ’14

Most Improved Player Deki Namgyal ’14 All-ISL Sydney Brackett ’16 Dorrie Varley-Barrett ’15 ISL Honorable Mention Caitlyn DiSarcina ’17

All state Chris Higginson ’14

All-State Sydney Brackett ’16

Captains-Elect Jared Belsky ’15 Tyler Sar ’15

All New england Sydney Brackett ’16

All New england Austin Stern ’14

senior Award tess Despres ’14 Captains-Elect Caroline Morss ’15 Dorrie Varley-Barrett ’15 Samantha Volpe ’15

Captains-Elect Ejaaz, Jiu ’15 Johnny Lamont ’15


Photos by Mike Sperling

Clockwise from top left: Alex Folts ’14 and Becca Gracey ’14; Katie Slavicinska ’15; Mimi Fiertz ’14, Becca, and Katie; Kevin Maldonado, Zach Kosnitsky, and Mimi


Clockwise from top, Mac Galinson ’17; Kevin Maldonado ’14 and (facing away) Luke Holey ‘16; Malik Gaye ‘18 and Emma Rimmer ‘16; Becca Gracey ’14; Katie Slavicinska ’15 and Luke Holey ’16; James Hovet ’18


November 8 -10, 2013


Christopher Carey Brodigan Gallery WINTER EXHIBIT

“Construction of Light” Sarah Meyer January 13 – March 6, 2014



rtist Sarah Meyer’s work is an exploration of light. She is compelled by its mystery and has discovered that the interaction of light and space drives her creative pursuits. Windows, walls, and ceilings are critical components in her art, allowing her to construct compositions that reveal light’s consistent yet transient nature. Sarah seeks to build tension in her work through the marriage of light and shadow, challenging us to decipher whether the subject is light itself, or the presence of shadow. This very ambiguity is critical in maintaining her perception of light—that light is invisible, and only by observing its absence do we become aware of its presence. It is through the very act of creating that Sarah navigates this complex reality. The works in this show speak to light’s elusiveness, subtlety, and clarity within a variety of constructed spaces. Sarah has no desire to capture light itself, thus emptying it of its mystery, but hopes to give a momentary glimpse of the intricacies that light embodies. Sarah Meyer is teaching art at Groton as a sabbatical replacement this year.

“Attic” by Sarah Meyer


Groton School Quarterly

Winter 2014

The Brodigan Gallery, located on the Dining Hall’s ground level, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. It is free and open to the public.

de Menil Gallery WINTER EXHIBIT

“Icons of the Civil Rights Movement” and “Staying Grounded”

The Chandler family reunion by Mark Person

January 13 – March 7, 2014


cons of the Civil Rights Movement” contains 30 images of heroes and martyrs of the 1950s and ’60s civil rights movement painted on wooden panels. Each is surrounded in a gilded frame reminiscent of a Renaissance altarpiece and is embellished with scriptural quotations and found objects. All are painted with a red underground that occasionally shows through the gold leaf, following the technique used in Greek Orthodox iconography. These works join artist Pamela Chatterton-Purdy’s twin passions for oil paint and collage, while at the same time expressing her deep religious faith that the historical movement for equal justice was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Chronologically, the images begin with the death of Emmett Till in summer 1955 and culminate with the inauguration of President Barack Obama in January 2009. Chatterton-Purdy’s creations remind us that the progress of the civil rights movement was all too often marked by the martyrdom of courageous men and women who died so that others might be free. Chatterton-Purdy and her husband, David Purdy, a Methodist minister, were married in 1963 and witnessed the March on Washington that summer. That fall, she began her first job as an art editor for Ebony magazine, a unique vantage point

for watching the Civil Rights movement unfold. “Icons of the Civil Rights Movement” has been exhibited at more than 25 schools and colleges as well as the Massachusetts State House and at President Obama’s inauguration festivities. Photographer Mark Person’s large-format images in “Staying Grounded” reflect his experience with faith, family, and growing up as an African-American in rural Georgia. “This exhibit is very personal to me,” he says, “because no matter how far one goes in life, it’s always about

staying grounded. You have to go through things to get through things. The images in ‘Staying Grounded’ reflect that.” Person has previously exhibited with Chatterton-Purdy at the Zion Union Heritage Museum in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

The de Menil Gallery, in the Dillon Art Center at Groton School, is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays (except Wednesdays) and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends (except school holidays). It will be closed February 7-10. The gallery is free and open to the public. “Rosa Parks,” a triptych by Pamela Chatterton-Purdy


Kent Chandler, Jr. ’38 January 10, 1920 – September 7, 2013 by Henry T. Chandler ’42



ent died on September 7, 2013, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease. It was not pleasant to watch, but he handled it very well and never complained. He was five years older than me, so during the early years we were on different paths. My earliest recollection was my seventh birthday, when I was given a brand new Lincoln bicycle. Kent and our brother, Emerson ’39, took me out on the street and helped me climb aboard. Then they ran down the street holding me up until I learned how to balance. When I was 12 and accepted by Groton, Kent took me in hand and we rode the New England States Limited from Chicago to Fitchburg through Ayer and finally Groton. He was my guide visiting buildings, greeting masters, and meeting some of his Sixth Form pals. In the Schoolhouse, Mr. Lynes came out of his classroom and asked if I was a new boy. He took me inside and asked me to sing the scale as he tapped the beat on his piano. I didn’t pass, so I was never invited to sing in the Choir. Nevertheless, I did have an advantage with brothers in the Sixth and Fifth Forms. I could call their formmates by their first names. Four of us in the Second Form enjoyed this privilege: Ned Lord, Peter Walker, Soupy Gardiner, and I. Kent’s career at Groton was outstanding. He graduated magna cum laude and played end on the finest football team Groton ever had. They were unscored upon until the St. Mark’s game. Groton won 26-6. On that team were two future All Americans at Harvard: Chub Peabody ’38 and Tommy Gardiner ’38. In addition, Kent rowed number 3 on the varsity crew and was hockey captain. Somehow he found time to play on the tennis team. He was a busy man. He sang in the Glee Club, was


Groton School Quarterly

Winter 2014

secretary-treasurer of the Missionary Society, member of the Civics Club, Debating Society, and associate editor of the yearbook board. He was part of a remarkable Sixth Form, but his career was just getting started. He damaged his back playing freshman football at Yale, but his tennis improved. He was a member of DKE fraternity, Scroll and Key, and Phi Beta Kappa. Kent graduated magna cum laude in 1942, majoring in English and history. He wrote his thesis on the Boer War. I don’t know if that was the impetus, but he joined the U.S. Marines and was sent to officer candidate school at Quantico, Virginia. He became a Marine intelligence officer and later was assigned to the newly activated 5th Marine Division. This division trained on the big island of Hawaii and went ashore on Iwo Jima. Kent was there and survived. He never talked about the landings or fighting except to comment “that he never wanted to see that place again.” He retired with the rank of major. After the war, Kent entered the University of Michigan Law School with our brother Emerson ’39. Not surprisingly, they graduated first and second in their class. After getting his back repaired, he joined the firm Wilson & McIlvaine in Chicago. In June 1948, Kent married Frances Robertson and settled in Lake Forest. They had two children, Gail Gaston and Robby Chandler, and six grandchildren. Franny died in May 2011. Kent was on the board of many organizations, including Lake Forest Country Day School, Onwentsia Club, University Club of Chicago, Lake Forest Hospital, Old Elm Club, A.B. Dick Company, the Chicago Botanic Garden, the First National Bank of Lake Forest, the Chicago Bar Association Committee of Professional Ethics, and the International Crane

Kent Chandler ’38 as a young man, with wife Franny, and in recent years

in memoriam

Foundation. The latter was of special interest, and he spent many days at their facilities in Baraboo, Wisconsin, with George Archibald, the founder. He was also involved in his own community—Lake Forest, Illinois—following the model set by our parents and encouraged by the Rector and faculty at Groton. He was chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals, and on the Plan Commission and the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners. These roles prepared him to be mayor of Lake Forest for three years, 1970-73. His years of public service developed in him a disdain for the media, which is not surprising. In his spare time, Kent fly-fished for brook trout in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We hunted pheasant together, and he loved to play golf and bridge. Golf was a passion, and he scored well. His greatest regret was that he couldn’t walk the course in his final years. As you can imagine, Kent was well liked, with many good friends. Everyone enjoyed his kindness, his intelligence, and his pleasant approach to others. Groton played an important part in all that he was.


Ward H. Goodenough ’37,  p’71, ’77, gp’08, ’12 May 30, 1919 – June 9, 2013 by Oliver R. Goodenough ’71, p’08, ’12



in memoriam

y father , Ward H. Goodenough, died on June 9, 2013, in Haverford, Pennsylvania. He was 94. A member of the Form of 1937, at the time of his death he was among the oldest of the living Groton graduates, and a link to the School of Peabody, Billings, and Gardner. He died almost exactly a year after receiving the Distinguished Grotonian Award at the 2012 Prize Day. And, transcending the triteness of the terms, he was a true renaissance man and a consummate gentleman. Professionally, as a longtime professor at the University of Pennsylvania, he shaped the discipline of anthropology in the second half of the 20th century. He was also active as a composer and poet, and was loved as a friend, a mentor, and a patriarch of his family. Born May 30, 1919, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he lived in England and Germany as a young child while his father, Irwin Goodenough, studied for a doctorate at Oxford. My father became fluent in German by age 4, and his fascination with languages continued throughout his life. In his later childhood, his father was appointed a professor at Yale, and the family moved to the New Haven, Connecticut, area. Ward came to study at Groton at his father’s prompting; Irwin had found that, on the whole, Groton graduates were the best prepared of his Yale students. At Groton, Ward created his own path, a trait that defined him through his life. He was an enthusiastic football player, making a virtue of his short, stocky frame as a guard, and was active in the Dramat, starring as Captain Applejack in the now forgotten play of that name in his Sixth Form year. In academics, he made the most of the possibility for language studies, taking Latin and Greek along with German. In his summers as an Upper Schooler, he worked at the School camp.


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Winter 2014

He was moved by the music and moral teaching in the Chapel, but his commitment was to scholarship and humanism rather than to a Christian calling. He was always a bit in awe of the Rector, and often quoted his famous aphorism condemning students who “got by.” “Did you ever,” the Rector memorably asked, “have an egg that just got by?” But this awe did not prevent a moment of successful rebellion when it came to selecting his college. At the time, or so my father’s story went, Mr. Peabody would call students in and tell them whether they were headed for Harvard, Yale, or, on occasion, Princeton. With his family connection, the Rector informed Ward that Yale was the choice. But my father had other ideas—he wanted to go to Cornell, where he could study Old Icelandic and Norse. And Cornell was where he went, to major in Scandinavian languages and literature. In Ithaca, he lived in Telluride House, and, most importantly, met his wife, Ruth Gallagher, through a campus organization in which they both served as officers. Although he enrolled in graduate school at Yale University, his studies were interrupted by World War II, where he served as a noncommissioned officer in the United States Army from November 1941 to December 1945. During the last years of the war, he did research under General George Marshall that helped enable two of Marshall’s signature achievements: showing that integration of the armed forces was both feasible and desirable and that the GI Bill would meet the needs of returning soldiers and thereby prevent destabilization of civilian society. Meanwhile, he and Ruth were starting a family and coping with both the uncertainties of the war years and the added problem of how to get his pay to my mother to support the family. Because of his research, my father traveled far from his unit, which meant he could not sign his pay

Ward Goodenough ’37 at Cornell, doing the anthropological fieldwork for which he became known, and with his wife, Ruth

slip—a prerequisite to releasing the money. Eventually, the sergeant in charge simply forged the signature, and the problem was solved. Returning to Yale after the war, Ward earned his Ph.D. in anthropology in 1949 and devoted the remainder of his professional life to scholarship and teaching. In this, he was following in the tradition set by his father and joined by a number of his siblings, including fellow Grotonians John Goodenough ’40 (who served on the faculty at MIT, Oxford, and the University of Texas and received the National Science Medal in 2013) and Daniel Goodenough ’62 (who served on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School). In his scholarship, Ward was greatly influenced by George Peter Murdock, who supervised his dissertation. He worked with Murdock as a research assistant on the Cross-Cultural Survey in 1940, and then did fieldwork on Chuuk (Truk) in Micronesia with Murdock for seven months in 1947. His resulting Ph.D. thesis was published as Property, Kin, and Community on Truk (1951). He had a lifelong attachment to Chuuk and its people and was the author and compiler of the Trukese English Dictionary (1980). My father’s later fieldwork was also in Oceania, both in Micronesia (Kiribati

and Chuuk) and in Melanesia (New Britain and Papua New Guinea). As one might expect from his love of language, in his scholarship Ward did foundational work in linguistic anthropology (Cultural Anthropology and Linguistics, 1957). He also theorized kinship, applying componential analysis to the study of kinship terminology, particularly in his articles “Componential Analysis and the Study of Meaning” (1956) and “Yankee Kinship Terminology: A Problem in Componential Analysis” (1965). He made contributions to economic development studies (Cooperation in Change: An Anthropological Approach to Community Development, 1963), and culture theory (Description and Comparison in Cultural Anthropology, 1970, and “In Pursuit of Culture,” 2003). Ward was an active writer into his 80s; his last book, Under Heaven’s Brow: Pre-Christian Religious Tradition in Chuuk, appeared in 2002. His scholarship was not just a matter of academic interest; it also had application in public policy decisions, including work on emergency planning for the National Research Council, on arms control and environmental health, on agency structure and public health programs, on the activities of the Peace Corps, and


in memoriam

on multiculturalism. He served on a committee of the Ocean Studies Board of the National Research Council, appraising fishing quota shares, and on a panel of consultants that advised the Department of Energy on how to mark its Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, a project for disposing of radioactive waste, so as to “prevent inadvertent intrusion for the next 10,000 years” (“Communicating 10,000 Years into the Future,” 1999). A teacher as well as a scholar, Ward first taught anthropology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison from 1948-1949. He moved to the University of Pennsylvania in 1949, where he remained until his retirement in 1989, serving as the department chair from 1976 to 1982 and as a university professor from 1980-89. He was appointed to many leadership positions and received many honors in his career. He was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford (1958), president of the Society for Applied Anthropology (1963), editor of the American Anthropologist (1966-70), a Guggenheim Fellow (1979-80), and president of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (1987). For many years he was active in the management of Human Relations Area Files, including service on its board (1986-98). He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences (1971), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1975), and the American Philosophical Society (1973), where he served in several capacities. He received the American Anthropological Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 1986 and the Bronislaw Malinowski Award from the Society for Applied Anthropology in 1997. Listing all of these honors and achievements shouldn’t mask his human side. His marriage to Ruth Goodenough was a central pillar in his life, and it lasted until her death in 2001. A fitting partner, she often served as his editor, and the success of his writing owed a debt to her lively intellect and lightness of touch. Her quick wit complemented Ward’s insightful attention to structure, and her love of baseball sat easily with his of football. They raised four children, Hester Gelber, Deborah Gordon, Oliver Goodenough ’71, and Garrick Gallagher ’77, and he left 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He is also survived by Joan May, his beloved partner of recent years. Ward’s travels in the Pacific made him a bit of an exotic figure, and he enjoyed regaling his children with tales of surviving bouts of malaria, meeting former head-hunters, and getting inducted as a “shellback” by Davey Jones on a crossing of the equator. But all this


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Winter 2014

sat a little oddly on someone as pragmatic, matter-offact, and “down-home” as Ward could be. Oddly, that is, until one recalls his music and poems. My father combined a love of formalism and order with a capacity for love and a deeply felt sense of passion, and by writing fugues and sonnets he could bring these important strands of his life together.

May By Ward Goodenough Yellow and red tulips stand arrayed In close formation. Lilac scents the air, While dogwood floats its flecks of white, and there Along stream-edged viburnum, brightly splayed With many-petaled arms, lifts up the heart. This hour of hope and expectation clear Of doubt, when youth sets off on life’s career And fresh beginnings have auspicious start, Revives for me a world where all is well For yet a while, where dreams come true, our plans Have promise, voyagers seek the farthest lands, Research brings revelations rich to tell. No matter senses fail and years get few. My spirit knows the joy of life anew.

The Peace that Passes Understanding By Ward Goodenough The “dance of death” is danced not by the dead But us, the living, learning how to age, Our lessons choreographed for every stage Of life’s relentless step-school. We are led Through fortune and misfortune up each stair To pirouette at every pleasure, plight, And pain up to the top tread of the flight— Then, stepping off, we find there’s nothing there. The void from which all living things arose Receives us back within its hollow womb, Dissolves us down into an empty tomb Whose nothingness gives infinite repose. Transcending all, released from space and time, At one with nothing, such is peace sublime. (From Sonnets from After Middle Age and Other Verse, 1997)

Form notes

R Form Notes are now password-protected. Members of the Groton community may read them online by signing in at

Second Chances BY JOHN GANNON ’80


F NOT FOR an old photograph, Crista and I might never have

A photo from a 1978 Groton ski trip, left, spurred Crista to think of John, whom she had dated years before on the Circle. At right, the couple in 2013.

had our second chance. We had dated at Groton but married others. Years later, we were both single again, but long out of touch. One day, when Crista was moving a pile of books, out fell a picture of us skiing together during a Groton School vacation. Reminded of our trip, she emailed me, and I replied immediately, telling her that ski trip was one of my happiest memories. At the time, I was living near Washington, D.C., and Crista in Danbury, Connecticut, but we decided to plan another ski trip. We would meet in Hartford and drive to her brother’s ski house in Vermont. Our plans, however, didn’t go smoothly—a huge snowstorm cancelled my flight. Undeterred, I drove up to meet Crista. We don’t get many second chances in life—I wasn’t going to miss this one. We married in 2001, when Crista’s daughter, Katherine, was 6 and her son, John, 8. Katherine, known as KC, went on to attend Groton, where she thrived. All of us love the School deeply. Given all that Groton has done for us, it’s an honor to give back through volunteer work (I’m a form agent), by supporting the Annual Fund, and by putting Groton into our wills. I see our bequest plans as another “second Katherine “KC” Hambleton ‘11, with mom Crista Herbert Gannon ‘81 and stepdad chance,” the opportunity to give future John Gannon ‘80. The love of skiing, passed down from John and Crista, helped lead to KC’s current spot on the Tufts University ski team. students all that Groton has given us. For more information about including Groton School in your will, please contact Elizabeth (Betsy) Ginsberg, Director of Major Gifts, at 978-448-7584 or

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have several athletic blazers and letter sweaters from the School’s early years. Henry King, Form of 1917, p’39, gp’61 earned this Groton football blazer in 1915. His son-inlaw, Charles Putnam ’39, p’61, discovered it in a trunk after Henry’s death in 1969. Charles, who died in 2009, wore the blazer to his own 50th reunion then donated it to the School.



Groton School Quarterly, Winter 2014  
Groton School Quarterly, Winter 2014  

Groton School Quarterly, Winter 2014