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The Hillside S o u t h Ke n t S ch o o l M a ga zi n e | Summer 2009

Gilder Hall

The Hillside Summer 2009 Volume XLVI Number 2

Editor: Mark Berghold Director of Communications

The New Landscape

Copy Editor: Mary Flemming Brown

Contributors: Laura Brande Carol-Ann Bruen Gonzalo Garcia Steve Klots Tom O’Leary David Spagnolo Design: LHF & Co.

All Alumni Weekend and Class photos courtesy of Laura Brande. Send address changes to: South Kent School 40 Bull’s Bridge Road South Kent, CT 06785-1199 (860) 927-3539 x299 email:

South Kent School adheres to a long-standing policy of admitting students of any race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, and national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, and other schooladministered programs. Mission Statement South Kent School is an independent, college preparatory school for boys. Since its founding, South Kent has maintained ties with the Episcopal Church. Three principles define the school: Simplicity of Life, Self-Reliance, and Directness of Purpose. We offer, by living simply, an uncluttered environment for lively and rigorous learning. We encourage our students to become self-reliant in order to develop competence and self-esteem. We value directness of purpose: we want each student to welcome the challenge to focus his energies, to set goals, and to work to meet them. South Kent School fosters these principles in a community, small in numbers, that provides a safe and supportive family structure. We embrace diversity and cherish honesty, courtesy, and compassion. In this energizing atmosphere, we provide leadership opportunities that develop a student’s sense of responsibility and service. We nurture in our students, regardless of belief or religious affiliation, a thoughtful engagement with spirituality. Visit South Kent School’s website at

Printed on recycled paper Cover image by David Spagnolo


espite the turmoil everywhere — the hubbub over health care reform, the persistent recession and deepening unemployment, global climate change, and two wars — life at South Kent is moving along smoothly and predict-

ably. Prize Day 2009 was a beautiful event. Under a deep blue sky, our newly minted graduates, all sixty-four of them, left the Hillside pleased, for the most part, with their time at school. New college names on our acceptance list include Williams, Amherst, Colgate, Northwestern, The University of the South, and Dartmouth. We look ahead with cautious optimism and in the hope that the principles upon which South Kent was founded will continue to guide us as we push into these turbulent times. Initiatives for the 2009-2010 academic year include continuing to expand the breadth and depth of our AP curriculum, finding new ways to leverage the educational advantages of globalization, beginning the launch of our Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurial Studies, and embracing the values of sustainable living and physical work. If all goes well this fall, visitors to campus will see small but profound improvements in how we teach and how we use energy. For instance, this summer, we have installed ten “SmartBoards” in classrooms around campus. This web-based teaching technology will transform the way in which learning is done in a classroom setting. This fall, we will construct a biodiesel plant capable of recycling dining hall cooking oil into fuel for the Advanced Media Group’s bus. In addition, we hope to install four Sterling thermal solar collectors, a gift from an alumni family. These “thermal engines” will enable us to produce green electricity, perhaps enough to remove Gilder Hall from the energy grid. These are admittedly small steps. We hope that, in time, these will lead to larger and larger steps. There is a new world emerging before our eyes, whether we like it or not. The writer Thomas Friedman likes to say that this new world will surely be hot, flat, and crowded. Our job at South Kent is to be sure our graduates understand this new world and can thrive in it. In closing, I admit to being somewhat envious of the experience John Matthews recounts in his to-be-published autobiography, excerpts of which appear in this issue. That world, and that South Kent, seemed so much simpler, filled with larger-than-life personalities. I remind myself that the world had its challenges, too, but somehow they seem now to have been so much more manageable.


Biouth Ke od nt S ie choo se l l

Andrew J. Vadnais

The Hillside


Volume XLVI, Number 2 Summer 2009

“That’s what separates the sheep from the goats.” see page 12


2 3 4 18




Portrait of an Artist

Letters to the School

With over six decades of experience, Charles Reid ’55 is clearly a master of his medium. He returned to the Hillside this spring to share his talents with some budding artists.

Prize Day 2009 School Notes Winter/Spring Athletics





6 23 24 30

Alumnus Profile Alumni Authors Class Notes In Memoriam

Not Exactly...


John Matthews ’47 reminisces about his years on the Hillside – his classmates, his mentors and the big game.

To read several of this issue’s stories, along with supplementary material, please visit

Summer 2009 The Hillside • 1



Two Moms’ Reflections Dear South Kent: I can’t believe Tom is about to start his last year at the School… Years ago, when I first started dating my husband, Jeff ’76, he took me to his 5th reunion. I had a great time! The guys were all so funny and seemed to know each other so well. I guess living together in Garfield Dorm will do that! I was touched by the familial feel of South Kent. Five years later, Jeff and I were married and I attended another reunion — his tenth. Once again, it was warm and friendly. I was touched by the feeling of family on the Hillside. His teachers and mentors — the Bartletts, the Richards, the Willings, among others — all greeted Jeff as if he were another one of their boys “coming home.” I’ll admit, I especially enjoyed the way Big Bill and Little Billy greeted the returning boys! Our family had the opportunity to live overseas and, somehow, Jeff managed to make it back for most of his reunions. On the occasion of this thirtieth reunion, we were in the process of moving from Toronto to Illinois. Our then 14-year-old son, Tom, went with Jeff to the reunion. We had always secretly hoped that Tom would want to attend South Kent, but he never seemed interested. That visit was all that it took for Tom to change his mind — he was sold. He filled out an application, gathered recommendations from his teachers in Canada and

To Reach Us... Editor’s Note: We welcome any correspondence that you might be willing to share with us. Please email letters to the editor to You can also send mail to Hillside Letters, South Kent School, 40 Bull’s Bridge Road, South Kent, CT 06785. All letters may be edited for content. Letters received by The Hillside will be considered for publication unless otherwise stipulated by the sender.

2 • The Hillside Summer 2009

waited to hear if he’d be admitted. That summer we found out that Tom would follow in his father’s footsteps and become a student at South Kent. In the three years that Tom has been on the Hillside, I am always reminded of family at South Kent. I take comfort in the fact that while he is away from home, he has the benefit of his “other” family at South Kent — the Brandes, the Vinings, the Darrins, the Bonises, the Garcias, everyone at South Kent. They have all been important mentors and teachers to Tom. They have celebrated victories in the classroom and in athletics with him. They have made sure that his January birthday never goes unnoticed. And, in difficult times, they have helped him to mature and make decisions that as a parent far away, we are unable to do. I learned long ago that no matter how many bells and whistles a school has, if the staff and teachers are not totally invested in the students, those wonderful facilities are meaningless. South Kent is one of those places that may not be all new and shiny, but the values are pretty much the same as they were when Jeff started there in 1972. And they are pretty much the same as they were when the school began in 1923. Simplicity of life, self-reliance and directness of purpose are the cornerstones of content and productive people. And, ultimately, isn’t education about more than just memorizing from a book or scoring well on a standardized test? And isn’t it wonderful that the teachers are not only invested in the students, but they are genuinely happy to be on the Hillside with the boys! I am sad that Tom’s time at South Kent will be finished after next year. But who knows… perhaps our other son, Will, will want to follow in his father’s and brother’s footsteps! Nancy Conover Lake Forest, IL Dear South Kent Community, We can scarcely believe that our son Michael’s time at South Kent has come to an end. It truly seems like just yesterday that we were getting him prepared

for his first day at SKS, ordering books and purchasing dress code attire. In these past few years we have seen Michael grow into an honest, considerate, hardworking young man, and we know that SKS deserves much credit in helping to guide him. Yes, most small schools are able to give one-on-one attention to their students, but South Kent gave so much more than that. When asked about his SKS experience, Michael

experienced the elation of winning the title of All New England Champions and the disappointment of having to have surgery mid-season. Seeing him conquer setbacks with a “nothing will hold me back” attitude and seeing him fight to gain his strength so he could be there for his team was a testament to the character that SKS develops. Playing on the soccer team has taught Michael the value of discipline, hard work and

I know for the rest of my life I will always have a group of people, other than my family, cheering me on, wishing the best for me and supporting me when I need it.

becomes thoughtful. Then he replies, “I know for the rest of my life, no matter what happens, I will always have a group of people, other than my family, cheering me on, wishing the best for me and supporting me when I need it.” This family quality is what is exceptional about SKS. And just like in a family, SKS doesn’t expect every student to have the same talents and abilities. No matter their differences, all are equally valued. SKS gives these young men the confidence, support, and courage to enter their communities as leaders. Further encouraging these values, the young men are encouraged to give back to their communities. That is the legacy of South Kent School. We would be remiss if we did not recognize the coaches and sports program at SKS. Owen Finberg and the soccer program have had such a positive impact on Mike. Our son has

Colgate-bound Michael Garzi ’09

teamwork. These traits will serve him well throughout the rest of his life. We would also like to thank you for the fun Michael has experienced during his time at SKS. Yes, fun! Mike would always come home excited, recalling the day’s events, or a form trip experience, or a conversation with a teacher. These events kept him thinking, growing, and moving along the path on his journey into manhood. As Michael moves forward, continuing his journey at Colgate University this fall, we know that South Kent School has prepared him well for the challenges he will face in college. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the South Kent School community has done for Michael. Best Regards, Joe and Brenda Garzi New Milford, CT

South Kent’s Class of 2009

Mark Berghold

Congratulations, Class of 2009! Prize Day Awards Headmaster’s Cup.............................................................................. David Benjamin Benmocha and Tresor Kayumba SSB Cup............................................................................................................................................ Mark Anthony Cruz The James S. Johnson Memorial Trophy..................................Matthew Colin Moore and Jackie Ray Carmichael, Jr. The George and Maggie Bartlett Cup................................................. Blake Antonio Taylor and Byron Eduardo Vega The Mary Flemming Brown & Arthur Wood Brown Award................... Byung Il Choi and Pedro Luiz Teruel-Filho The Cum Laude Society........................................................... Byung Il Choi, Blake Antonio Taylor, Kun Wook Kim Glennon Creative Writing Prize............................................................................................................... Yu Cheng Cao George D. Knopf Science Prize................................................................................................................ Yu Cheng Cao AMG Media Prize..............................................................................Jesse Michael Bruen and Merrick McQuilling III Chapel Reading Prize..................................................................................................................... Michael Joseph Garzi Spanish Prize........................................................................................................................Wilbur Matteson Goldsholl Pigtail Prize............................................................................................................................................ Tresor Kayumba Bartlett English Prize.............................................................................................................................. Kun Wook Kim Academic Leader of the Sixth Form....................................................................................................... Kun Wook Kim Mathematics Prize................................................................................................................................... Kun Wook Kim Scholastic Improvement Award....................................................................................................................Aru Dut Kok Studio Art Prize.............................................................................................................................. John Edward Rooney EFL Prize........................................................................................................................................ Byron Eduardo Vega History Prize............................................................................................................................................... Byung Il Choi Summer 2009 The Hillside • 3


Going Places... While the geographical distance travelled may not have been great, current Sixth Former Blake Taylor’s road to earning the rank of Eagle Scout required tremendous dedication and focus. Exhibiting South Kent’s “Three Pillars” and serving as a role model for his fellow scouts, Blake was recognized for this achievement before the Eagle Scout Court of Honor at a ceremony on May 2.

Patrick Fleming spent several weeks this summer at the High Mountain Institute in Leadville, Colorado. While Patrick characterized the leadership training program’s strenuous regimen as “intense,” he strongly recommends the program, and he believes that the skills he acquired will help him in his role as senior prefect in the coming year. Current 5th Former Benjamin Bruen spent four weeks this summer on Virgin Gorda in the British West Indies as a member of a VISIONS Service Adventures program. VISIONS runs community service programs around the globe, and Ben is the most recent of several South Kent participants in this exciting program. Ben helped to build homes and worked on local farms within the community.

4 • The Hillside Summer 2009

Third Formers travelled to the Deer Lake Scouting Reservation in Killingworth, CT and Hammonasset State Park in Madison, CT for their end-of-year form trip. The eighteen boys and three faculty members celebrated their successful first year on the Hillside through rock-climbing, swimming, crabbing and general Third Form mayhem.

Going back in time to the Battle of the Bulge, the D-Day landing at Normandy, Appomattox and the Tet Offensive, the Fifth Form boys were visited by a Civil War historian and veterans of WWII and the Vietnam War. The weeklong program consisted of the special guest lecturers, student presentations on topics related to specific battles, and battle reenactments carried out in appropriate locations on the School’s campus. Highlight: the paintball reenactments. Low point: those delicious K-Rations that Mr. Darrin insisted on serving up.

Close to one-hundred people attended South Kent’s First Annual Gala Dinner at the close of the School’s 2008-09 Academic Year. Hosted by Chairman of the Board Jeffrey Rosenberg ’80 (pictured), the many past and current trustees, Headmasters, faculty and friends of the School enjoyed a wonderful evening while honoring David Erskine as the 2009 recipient of the Robert and Anna MacLean Distinguished Service Award.

SKS faculty member Don Mousted was selected by the National Endowment for the Humanities to attend a six-week seminar in Italy this summer. The program, entitled “The Thirteenth-Century ‘Lives’ of St. Francis of Assisi,” included fifteen grant recipients who split their time between Siena and Assisi. Don was thrilled with the program and is looking forward to incorporating some of what he learned into his classes this year.

South Kent alumnus and Fulbright recipient, Jon Guss, has begun his 10-month teaching assistantship in Kostice, Slovakia. Jon completed his term with Americorps as an education coordinator and is looking forward to the challenges - and the rewards - of teaching in the Slovak Republic.

The cultural exchange between SKS and a secondary school in the Czech Republic continued this spring for the fourth year in a row. The adventures of the group, composed of eight SKS boys and two members of the faculty, were chronicled by student participant McKinnon Tompkins on his “SKS Czech Trip 2009 Blog”,

Longtime South Kent teachers Pixie and Woody Brown have been selected as South Kent’s representatives to a cultural and educational exchange program with the Guang Ming school in China. Teaching 10th and 11th graders conversational English at Guang Ming, Pixie and Woody will be living in Shanghai until December 2009. A teacher from Guang Ming will be joining the SKS faculty in January as part of this exciting opportunity for both schools.

Summer 2009 The Hillside • 5


Alumnus Profile

Portrait Artist of an

(and a teacher)

by Mary Flemming Brown

6 • The Hillside Summer 2009


for art at a young age. His father enrolled him in The Famous Artists School program when he was 15. He completed seven of the lessons and submitted them for critiquing, working at that time in oils. Then he came to South Kent, where he contributed his talents to the Pigtail, as Photography Editor, and to the Yearbook, for which he drew illustrations. Those, he now dismisses as “not very good.” His work today, however, is highly regarded; Reid is rep-

Kent as crucial to his fantastically successful career as an artist. Though one South Kent teacher told Charles flat out that he would “never amount to anything,” Sam Bartlett, the Headmaster, reassured him, “If you make it through SKS, the rest of your life will be easy.” And Reid claims that the truth of that was proven over and over in his life. For instance, he found the Army, “a breeze.” His South Kent experience, living in a Spartan environment, following orders, responding to regular demands and routine, turned out to be good training. Reid showed an interest in and an affinity

resented in collections at Smith College, at Brigham Young College, and the Roche Corporation. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Childe Hassam Purchase Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the First Altman Prize for the Figure from the National Academy of Design. For someone who struggled with books as a youngster, Reid has made a name for himself as an author, writing a dozen instructional books on painting. In addition to that time-consuming effort, he leads about 15 workshops a year, all over the world – in Japan, in

David Spagnolo

outh Kent in 1952 would seem an unlikely school to choose for a son who was a budding artist. There were no art classes; there was no studio in which to work; the town of Kent boasted none of the art galleries which proliferate today. But Charles Reid’s older brother Gordon had enjoyed a very successful career at South Kent, both as a student and as an athlete. Neither of those venues was Charles’ forte. And yet he regards his time at South

Summer 2009 The Hillside • 7


Alumnus Profile

Charles Reid, Self Portrait

Italy, in England. In 2009, he has taught a month-long class in Australia, a two-week seminar in France and workshops in the UK. In 2010 he will offer classes during a Baltic cruise and in Spain. Charles Reid’s visit on April 14th might have mirrored what his life at SKS as a student was like. No doubt he has gained confidence in his professional life that he did not feel as a student, but the same persistence, concentration, and discipline that saw him through South Kent has resulted in a very successful career as a widely recognized and respected watercolorist and teacher. The South Kent master who casually dismissed Reid as someone “who would never amount to anything” — a comment never forgotten by the artist — would undoubtedly see the irony of Reid’s ending up a well-respected teacher himself. Charles Reid arrived in the art studios the afternoon before his scheduled 8 • The Hillside Summer 2009

Master Class for South Kent art students. Demonstrating that disciplined selfreliance, he and Judy set up items for a still life, organized the classroom, and made sure that any necessary materials were prepared. The early visit also gave him the opportunity to meet the students informally and establish a friendly, easy exchange with them. Reid has held on to one of the defining characteristics of a South Kent student: a wholesome lack of pretension. The following morning, Reid appeared wearing a bright pink, Key West baseball cap with the Pink Jeep Taxi logo. Within minutes, the students had replaced that with a black SKS baseball cap which he wore the rest of the day. Reid commented to the students who were wearing very casual dress, “In my day the students had to wear jacket and tie during classes. Can you believe that?” They quickly assured him that they still do; they simply had been given an “art teacher’s dispensation” for that full-day class with him. Donning a long, worker’s apron at his wife’s encouragement, to minimize the paint wiped on his shirt front, Reid begins by demonstrating his version of contour drawing, talking the students through the process as he works, determining sizes, checking angles, letting his pencil jog in place as he looks up and consults reality, setting off again across white space. The relaxed patter must come naturally to him now, as he has recorded several DVDs on the art of painting in watercolor. On the DVDs, as well, he speaks informally and with no artsy jargon, re-assessing as he works, explaining the changes as he moves along, chatting comfortably about his materials, his work habits. This is Reid’s first experience teaching teenagers. After his demonstration, he takes a 20-minute break away from the work, a practice to which he is faithful. Judy informs us, sotto voce, that he is off smoking his pipe, an unlikely part of his student schedule at South Kent,

though in the very early days, the Old Man did allow 6th formers to join him for an after-dinner smoke in his study. When he returns, the morning continues with the students choosing two to three pieces of fruit, drawing them, and then painting, trying to achieve strong color values. While they work, Reid moves quietly among them, studying their results, appreciating their successes. But if they get up and wander or appear to have lost their concentration, he gently but insistently pushes them back to work. The critiquing of student art is what Reid did for a living in the 60s and 70s when he worked for Westport’s Famous Artists School, the correspondence program of which he himself took advantage, before he was a student at South Kent. Reid attended the University of Vermont after South Kent and was later educated at the New York Art Students League. When he was first employed by the Famous Artists School, Reid was working in oils, and so he was hired to critique oil paintings; students would send in photographs of their work, and he would sent back comments and suggestions for improvement. A few years into his employment, however, the school needed someone to critique watercolors. With his characteristic determination and ability to adapt, Reid taught himself watercolor painting and became the school’s critic of that medium. In that type of teaching, he never saw his students. Here in the Master Class, the students sat silently with him as he worked. Reid couldn’t tell if they were paying attention, worried that they might not be interested. They, on the other hand, weren’t sure whether they were supposed to be questioning him as he worked, whether he intended them to interact, to interrupt his concentration. He would have to wait until the end of the day to see if his teaching resulted in anything. At chapel and lunch, Reid had an opportunity to observe today’s South Kent. He sat with Headmaster Andy Vadnais at the

David Spagnolo

head table and learned about changes to his old school. Memories came back about everything from food in the dining room (“We used to eat tongue on Wednesday. Spinach pie was a regular on the menu.”), to teachers in the 50s (“Dr. Whittemore was responsible for my getting through South Kent. Bruce Small was a gem, and Ma Brown, a lovely man. He coached me in football.”), to sports (“There was only one sport each season. Everyone was a hockey player, a football player, and a baseball player.”), to living conditions (“They turned off the heat in the dorms at 9 p.m.” “Sometimes we had to run to the tracks for punishment.”). The School today was startling in its newness. For three hours in the afternoon, Reid led the students through a still-life painting of an arrangement of flowers, paint brushes and tubes, and a wooden decoy. They struggled with the challenges of color and background and negative space. They faced the special challenge of watercolor: “finish.” Reid reminded them, “With oils, what you put on the canvas is what you get. With watercolor, what you put on the paper changes; it lightens, blends, bleeds. Mastering finish takes great control and many years of experimenting with different paints, different papers and brushes, until you find what works for you.” The students were instructed to maintain contact with the paper, both when drawing and painting, by resting the little finger or side of the hand against the surface at all times; this forced them to use the brush correctly – not over-using the tip – and to vary the direction of the strokes, leading from the tip out; the handle points in the direction the stroke is going. There were some surprises, some mystery, in watching Reid paint. He hardly ever changed the water in his bowl; he used one brush for the entire painting; he left visible pencil lines on the paper; he left paint drips down the bottom of the painting. He flicked water onto the paper

You shouldn’t be too successful too young; it’s not good for your career. surface seemingly at random; he blended the colors on the paper, not the palette; he used Kleenex and paper towels to blot up paint dams. Yet his finished painting was inarguably lovely. Thus, he gave the students implicit permission to experiment with what might seem illogical, or imperfect, or unexpected. When Reid had finished painting, he put down his brushes and palette, pushed back from the easel, and got down on his knees to wipe up the spattered paint, to pick up the torn bits of Kleenex and towel that had fallen on the floor at his feet. That was perhaps his most moving lesson, the most South

Kent-like lesson of the day. The nine students worked on their own still lifes for two hours. Reid walked from desk to desk, commenting only occasionally; at this point he let them work on their own. When he saw the results, he was enthusiastic about much of the work. He felt so many of the boys had real talent. Reid walked to his car with one student, interested in chatting with him about college plans and his future. It was time for sports, but two of the students begged to be allowed to work further on their paintings. They stayed and stayed, playing hooky from their sports practices. And the paintings that resulted were truly wonderful, were certainly worth the misdemeanor. Charles Reid’s visit to school spoke persuasively to a couple of educational issues. The arts are one of the first areas of study to be eliminated from a school’s curriculum in times of financial stress. And yet, as an area of study and passion for some boys, as an arena for success and self-confidence, it can’t afford to be ignored. And equally important, perhaps, to any other knowledge resulting from Reid’s visit, is the reminder, the assurance, that what we as teachers and/or parents understand about or judge our students to be as teenagers often has no relation to what they become as adults. Charles Reid was emphatic in stating that he struggled hard at school; academics did not come easily to him; he “barely made it through.” Almost in support of that fact, though he was speaking specifically of art, he stated, “You shouldn’t be too successful too young; it’s not good for your career. You begin to think you’re better than everybody else, and that is bad. You need to work hard—be determined. That is a big part of being a painter. It takes persistence. It’s a tough job.” Reid was forced to live that philosophy. He was not a natural student. And yet, defying all odds, he and the world discovered he was a natural teacher.


Summer 2009 The Hillside • 9

Student Gallery

Watercolor Mike Burwell

Mixed Media Mark Graham

Watercolor Yu Yu

Watercolor Victor Leung 10 • The Hillside Summer 2009

Pencil Branislav Adam

Watercolor Yu Cheng Cao

Watercolor Yu Cheng Cao

Mixed Media Cheng Zou

Summer 2009 The Hillside • 11



Not exactly... When people assume that John Matthews ’47 attended Kent School and not South Kent, or worked in the Armed Forces instead of as a journalist for Radio Free Europe, or worked for the Council of Foreign Relations instead of the Foreign Policy Association, Matthews begins his clarification with “Not exactly...”. Asked by The Hillside if he could say when his two-volume memoirs from which these excerpts have been selected would be ready for publishing, Matthews responded...

photo by David Spagnolo

12 • The Hillside Summer 2009


hat summer in Montana was quickly followed by my departure for South Kent School. Tommy had already been there for three years, so the School was already quite familiar to me. In fact, on one visit, a year before I attended, I had walked with the entire school the ten miles to Canterbury School just north of New Milford to see the two schools play football against each other. Having the whole school walk was headmaster Sam Bartlett’s way of getting around gas rationing. It was also typical of him to assume that every boy could walk 20 miles, for most, though not I, had had to walk back again.

The school motto was (and still is) “Simplicity of Life, Self Reliance and Directness of Purpose.” With headmaster Samuel Slater Bartlett in charge, those phrases were drilled into us on a daily basis. “The Old Man,” as he was known to all, including his wife Carol, was a rock-ribbed New Englander. I later discovered, to my delight, that he was a direct descendent of Samuel Slater, the infamous industrialist of Revolutionary days who ruthlessly employed child labor in his Pawtucket mills. But S.S.B. was a straight arrow, a muscular Christian whose moral rectitude was such that it was he, rather than the school chaplain, who was the moral leader of the School. His talks could come just about anywhere and any time, but usually they were at assembly or on Saturday nights in the candle-lit dining room with all of us sitting in our threepiece suits after a meal of baked beans and Boston brown bread. He used simple words – he had many besetting phrases (“I don’t give a tinker’s damn,” “That’s what separates the sheep from the goats,” “As long as you have a keen sense of the ridiculous,” “Just follow the green line, boys”) – and if repetition is the mother of propaganda, he was a good propagandist. But his talks were spellbinding and provided a moral compass for the entire school, faculty as well as boys.

There is a vast difference between day school and boarding school. In the former, if you are very active in sports and extra curricular activities, you might spend as much as eight hours at school each weekday and another couple on Saturday. At boarding school you are there 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You don’t just see your fellow students in class or on the playing fields but at meals, getting up and going to bed, at daily Chapel, and on those long weekends when your time is

first at South Kent, he stroked the only South Kent boat ever to beat Kent on the Housatonic River. That turned out to be one of the happiest days of the Old Man’s life, for while Tommy’s boat was beating Kent on the river, the Old Man’s baseball team was whipping Kent on the South Kent diamond. He sported an ear-to-ear grin for the rest of that day.

Sam Bartlett

much less structured. By the end of your first term you have gotten to know the name of every boy in school and you have interacted in some way with a majority of them.

My older brother Tom was not just Head Prefect, he was South Kent’s renaissance man. Always on the honor roll, member of the glee club, dramatic club, chess club and organizer of a jazz band, which disintegrated after he graduated, he was a consummate athlete as well. While he played the ignominious position of left guard on the varsity football team, he nonetheless managed to garner the football trophy as the most valuable member of the team. Usually such an award went to the quarterback or some flashy end. Tommy was seldom seen from the sidelines for he was almost always at the bottom of the pile and the last to get up. But he was in on nearly every play, and the coaches knew how important he was to the team. In winter he was captain of the varsity hockey team and in the spring, stroke of the first boat. Though shorter than I was at his age, he had an extremely muscular body, and he was the perfect size for a stroke for whom a smaller sweep of the oar makes it possible to take the stroke up when needed at the finish of a race. The spring of his senior year, my

The faculty consisted of old timers, those who had been around for a decade or more, and newcomers who had been hired to replace those who had gone forth to war. It was the newcomers who kept leaving – or were asked to leave – every few years. Only one of these, Martin (“Doc” because he was the only teacher with a PhD) Henry stayed. He had taught for some years at the Hun School in Princeton. “Doc” was an odd fit for he coached no athletic team as did most of the old-timers, and he and his wife and two daughters lived off-campus. But he was devoted to teaching and to books. The library, located on the third floor of the Old Building where the original

Rev. John Cuyler

dormitory had been, became his bailiwick. The current library is named for him. He taught French, and to many of us he was known as “Le Penguin,” for he was shaped Summer 2009 The Hillside • 13

Not exactly...

Poster, by Jon Richards ‘58, created on the occasion of the School’s 50th Anniversary

14 • The Hillside Summer 2009

like one. With his visored cap with flaps over his ears and his briefcase flattened under what could have been one flipper and snow on his cap and shoulders as he trudged up the walk to the School House, he really did resemble a penguin. His first words as he entered the classroom were always “I hate snow.” Then as books were unfolded he would say, “Scholar Matthews,” or “Scholar Brekus” or whoever – we were all addressed as “scholar”– “Would you favor us with your translation of the passage beginning on page 37?” Of the other newly-hired masters whose tenure ended before our class graduated, little need be said. But one transient teacher was my Uncle Dick’s younger brother and my uncle, John Cuyler, who was an Episcopal priest. He was between churches. For three or four years he had been the Rector of St. Columba’s, the Chapel just down the road from Boothden in Middletown, RI. But he had also become a Buchmanite, part of an evangelical movement within the Episcopal Church which was highly controversial. And this may have led to his leaving St. Columba’s. His career at South Kent, where he taught French, began a year before mine and he left before my senior year to become Rector of St. John’s, New Milford. He and my Aunt Gene and their three children lived at the top of the hill in what later came to be called “Wit’s End” when Lester (“Wuz”) Wittenberg moved into it. In winter my uncle would come to evening chapel sliding downhill on his stomach on a Flexible Flyer. He came through the dark at a terrific speed yelling a warning, often too late, as he scattered students and sparks flew off his runners as they hit some boulder near the chapel path. He then got up and brushed off the snow and straightened his fedora as though nothing had happened and joined the procession into the chapel. His son Dickie attended the school a year or two after me. Next in line after Sam Bartlett and Dick Cuyler was Samuel Woodward whom everyone called “The Moose.” Mr. Woodward taught history and doubled

as the School business manager. He was famous for getting fabulous second-hand bargains for the School and never paying more than he had to for anything. One class he taught was in the basement of the Old Building. It had pipes running not far above his head, and it became his habit to place his large hands on these pipes and sort of hang like an orangutan while he lectured his young gentlemen. One day a bad boy in the class snuck in ahead of time and emptied a tube of toothpaste precisely where he knew the unsuspecting master would be placing his hands. At length Mr. Woodward did so, looked surprised, but went right on talking. Then, still talking, he collected all the toothpaste in one hand and, still talking, went up to the boy he was sure had done it (he had) and wiped it all over the boy’s face.

On those Saturdays when the varsity was away, boys were free to pick up a box lunch at the kitchen and hike around the countryside so long as they made it back by chapel time. On those Saturday nights when there was not a talk by the Old Man in the dining room, there was a movie in the Playhouse, an old converted barn next to the Bull’s Bridge Road on the south side of the campus. And that first year my brother’s jazz band played for the gathering assembly before the movie. This included me, for while I did not play a proper instrument, I did play the makeshift bull fiddle consisting of a washtub upside down, a broom handle with a screw to make the handle stick on the rim of the tub and a clothes line from the top of the stick to a hole in the middle of the tub. The sound was amazingly authentic, but people said I looked like a monkey on a stick. The show was preceded by a walk down to the village (about five or six houses/general store/post office) to buy candy and ice cream. Each boy was entitled to an allowance of 25 cents which he could only obtain by writing out a check in his

checkbook. These quarters would all get spent in Rob Boyd’s general store in the village and the following Monday would make the journey back up to school for use on the following weekend.

I don’t know whether it was the war or simply a South Kent tradition from the very beginning, but work holidays would suddenly be announced several times a term at morning assembly. I don’t think the masters were even given fair warning. The announcement always brought a burst of cheering for it meant no classes that day. What it meant was that the whole school would spread out into the School’s potato fields and dig an entire crop of potatoes in one day. Farmer Deak would then transport them by horse wagon to the root cellar to be used for the rest of the school year. There were inevitable potato fights, but these, because they took place in a holiday spirit, seldom lasted or caused anyone to end up in the infirmary.

Fifth Former John Matthews, Fall 1946

My school home that first year was with about 30 other guys in the north end of the third floor dormitory in the School House. I emphasize north end because one winter night somebody had the bright

idea of putting a glass of water on the table in the middle of the room. Sure enough, by morning it was frozen solid. On my right side was a Second Former and possibly a distant cousin by the name of R. (for Richard) Stockton (“Stocky) Rush. On the other side was a blond guy from Cape Cod who actually did turn out to be a distant relation, Ralph C. Woodward. “Woody”, as he was then called, had the temerity, once we were all in bed but the lights still on, to say loudly, “Well, we might as well all get acquainted.” With that the lights went out, and we all broke out in laughter. Little did we know at that moment that he and I would decide to room together the following year and all four years at college.

But there were also things which we knew were unique to South Kent. At no other school were you denied Monday morning breakfast until you had physically deposited your letter home (usually written hastily late Sunday night) on the Headmaster’s desk. At no other school did you have to run the half mile down to the railroad tracks in the pre-dawn darkness if you missed the cut-off bell for admission to breakfast. You prayed that somebody at your table would know of your plight and save a little food for the end of your mile run. On the more civilized side, few schools had daily chapel at night, and though that service seldom lasted more than seven minutes, those seven minutes of repose and quietness at the end of a strenuous day, and the thunderous unison of a hundred and fifty male voices saying the creed and singing the evening hymn had

Richard Cuyler, 1951

a healing effect on all, whether they were religious or not. And all news, all jokes were shared around the school with even the faculty and their wives getting to hear them. My uncle, Dick Cuyler, once spotted his five-year-old son, Legare (pronounced “LeGREE) climbing an apple tree to look into the Latin class he was teaching. ‘Now LeGREE, get outta that tree!” drawled Mr. Cuyler in his southern accent. By noon everyone in the School was saying “Now LeGREE, get outta that tree.”

Ice on Lane’s Pond had already permitted skating before we had left for vacation. Now Hatch Pond, really a small lake, it was frozen over and snow cleared off to make hockey rinks. Using the snow base on the land rink next to the chapel, boys were spraying water with fire hoses to make layer upon layer of ice for the varsity hockey team. I say varsity, but there was no junior varsity. Those who did not make the varsity played on intramural teams, and those who had never seen ice before joined the “tripods,” learners who used a hockey stick as a third leg to keep them upright.

I cannot remember whether it was during our fourth or fifth form year that they tore down the big barn in the middle of the South Kent hamlet. It stood right next Summer 2009 The Hillside • 15

Not exactly...

Boyd’s store, South Kent, from an undated photograph (Courtesy of Kevin Peet)

16 • The Hillside Summer 2009

to Rob Boyd’s store and was even closer to the main road. There was a slogan painted high up on the side facing the road, but the paint was so faded it was hard to read: “Pigtail against the World, the World against Pigtail.” “Pigtail,” you see, was the derogatory name with which neighboring farmers had dubbed the little hamlet in the dim past. At length the citizens of the little town had come to accept the epithet and to defy their unfriendly neighbors, finally codifying this defiance by painting this slogan on their main barn. There were several stories as to where the name came from. One was that this village marked the tail end of the pig iron country, which it does. A more likely origin was the story of a drunken farmer who got so mad at his neighbor that he cut off all of the latter’s pigs’ tails. Whether it acquired the name of Pigtail in the 19th or even the 18th century, I don’t know, but it was certainly long before the School was founded there in 1923. Doubtless with the Old Man’s encouragement, a bunch of us – Dunc Chaplin, Woody, and I and probably a few boys from other classes – decided to rescue the sign from oblivion. We put up ladders and sawed away for the better part of a day. A hornet’s nest slowed our progress and we quit after we had only managed to saw out

the first half of the slogan. As it turned out, that was all that would fit above the stage in the Playhouse, where we had decided to install it. I think it was even before this that my roommate, Ralph Woodward, who had become editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, The South Kent Record, decided to change the name of the paper back to its original name: The Pigtail. About ten years previously it had been decided that this name was too undignified. Woody discovered this digging into the archives of the paper and decided, on the contrary, it was a distinctive and original name which far outshone The South Kent Record. Sixty plus years later it remains The Pigtail with the same typography.

While we had lost most of our football games the previous year, we won game after game in the fall of 1946, even though several of them were only by two or three points. The Gunnery, our arch rival, had an even more successful season, beating teams we had just barely defeated by wide margins. We had beaten Salisbury, for instance, 14 to 12; they by 34 to 0. They had a number of postgraduates playing, and they outweighed us by about 12 pounds per man. And we were reliably told that they had already ordered their gold footballs in anticipation of trouncing us. Fortunately the season-ending game was played at South Kent, and fortunately we had a coach in Bill Gillette who was both smart and inspirational. He drilled us in a number of special plays including an onside kick which no one had ever seen before or, I imagine, since. Instead of kicking the ball slantwise into the air he had the boy holding the ball shift it at the very last second to a flat position where the two ends were pointing to the sides of the field. Then the kicker, Dave Humphrey, had to just click the top of the ball lightly with his cleats and the ball would roll like a soccer ball straight forward.

Dave then was to run directly over the ball and when he saw the second white stripe, fall on it. We played our hearts out, but by halftime Gunnery had several touchdowns and we had none. During the halftime Bill Gillette gave us a fiery talk ending up saying, “Gents, a team that won’t be beat, can’t be beat!” We all emerged chanting that mantra under our breaths. In the third quarter Duane Newton, our other linebacker, and I had the satisfaction of tackling their 210-pound fullback, Ratcliff, as he tried to cross the line of scrimmage. Newty hit him high and I hit him low. Two Gunnery players had to come in and half carry him off the field. He never returned. Finally we scored, but as the fourth quarter began, the score was 20 to 6 in favor of Gunnery. Then everything clicked. We scored and the onside kick we tried after it worked like a charm. We scored again. Gunnery, which had never faced so determined an opponent, began to fall apart. With less than a minute to go we had the ball on about their 30 yard line. I took the ball on a reverse through the middle of the line for an 8-yard gain. The next play had been planned and we took no huddle, catching Gunnery off guard. Johnny Clark threw a pass to Rusty Hansel who had stayed on his side of the field and not come back into a tight line-up. Quickly he was behind their safety and across the goal line, winning the game by 25 to 20. As the New Milford Times wrote the next day, “A cheer which must have been heard from Kent to Gaylordsville rocked the South Kent stands.” But there were still some seconds left to play. South Kent kicked

off and Gunnery ran it back to midfield. There was time for just one more play. One Gunnery back went in motion to the far side of the field. The quarterback then threw a 25-yard overhand pass laterally across the field to him. He, in turn, threw a 50-yard pass down field to an end who caught the ball behind our safety, Birdy Edwards. Birdy ran like hell, caught the guy’s shirt and pulled him down inside the South Kent ten-yard line. The game was finally over. None of us who played in that game and nobody who saw it will ever forget it. Even today it remains one of the proudest moments of my life.

South Kent’s (still-)undefeated 1947 Football Team

The hockey season wasn’t bad: we beat Taft twice and Hotchkiss once and nearly beat Kent. All of these schools were three times our size, and we beat enough schools our size to have a winning season, which is all a captain can hope for. But none of them came close to that Gunnery football game. I recall the crew season being less successful, though we did place fifth in the finals at Quinsigamond (Worcester, Massachusetts) which was the equivalent of the New England schoolboy championship. We spent the night before in the Bartlett

home in Brewster on the edge of Lake Chargaugagoggmanchaugagoggchaubunagungamogg, which we all learned both to pronounce and spell. (In Algonquin it is supposed to mean: “You fish on your side of the lake, I’ll fish on my side and we’ll both fish in the middle.”)

Prize Day was like the three I had witnessed earlier, except that my form was now sitting in chairs on a platform below the road running in front of the New Building, and the rest of the School and our families were sitting on the grass between the road and the New Building. Like the others, it was a glorious June day. I don’t remember who gave the main address or what he said. The Old Man was mercifully brief. I won a couple of prizes, the most important of which to me was for all-around contribution to the School. Others might be better athletes or brighter students, but might not have also been members of the dramatic club, the glee club and student council. I had achieved my goal of being jack-of-all-trades and, indeed, had become master of some. “Oh, Savior, precious Savior,” the School hymn, may not be much of a hymn – indeed, it was dropped from the 1982 Episcopal Hymnal – but it will always bring tears to my eyes, as it did that day. South Kent had not only formed me and my fellow students for life, but, as a friend later put it, had “branded” us for life. Matthews is the author of “Tinderbox” and “Explosion”, which chronicle the events leading up to the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and its aftermath. Please visit the following link for more information.


Summer 2009 The Hillside • 17


Winter & Spring Athletics

Prep Basketball The 2008-2009 Prep Basketball season was a successful one for the team. As a coach, I could not have hoped for a better start in my first year at South Kent. The Cardinals finished the season with the most wins ever for a South Kent School team, the longest winning streak in the school’s history with 16 consecutive wins, and within a hair’s breadth of their first-ever NEPSAC Class A championship. The Cardinal Prep Basketball Team finished the season with 26 wins and only seven losses. The team had key wins over several prep powerhouse teams including Tilton School, Bridgton Academy, Northfield Mount Hermon and an overtime win versus Brewster Academy. South Kent School also won the New Hampton School Invitational Championship behind strong performances from Omari Lawrence, Jackie Carmichael, and MVP Kevin Parrom. The key to the team’s success was the players on the team. With no player averaging over 14 points per game, the team learned to share the ball and play together. Anyone lucky enough to watch a South Kent Prep Basketball game saw a team that shared the ball, played hard and executed offense. We will see eight players from this year’s team move on to Division I colleges. Next season looks promising with Majok Majok returning for his senior season. It was my privilege to coach this year’s squad and I am looking forward to an exciting and successful 2009-2010 season. Coach Kelvin Jefferson 18 • The Hillside Summer 2009

Varsity Basketball Participating in a league championship game is an accomplishment every coach would hope for at the beginning of the season. This year’s team was talented from top to bottom. Ending the season with a 16 ‑ 4 record, South Kent’s Varsity Basketball Team competed extremely well in our league, against teams in higher prep school divisions, and against local public schools. While an initial concern was our point guard position, Deejay Brown and Dylan Benz shared this responsibility, performing above and beyond my expectations with a skill set and confidence far beyond their years. For both of these players to compete against boys four or five years older, and bigger and stronger than they, was truly amazing and rewarding to watch. The area in which the team was superior to all of their competitors was the bench. There was no let-up on the pressure we put on teams from tip-off to finish, and this might be one of the biggest reasons for South Kent’s appearance in the championship game. This season was extremely special for me as a father. Having the opportunity to coach both of my boys on the same team is something I will remember forever. I can’t thank South Kent enough for giving me this tremendous opportunity. The other parents of this year’s team can be very proud of their sons as they represented themselves and South Kent School very well. Congratulations to all of them on a job well done! Coach Gary Benz

Varsity A Hockey This year the Varsity A Hockey Team played an exciting season with an extremely tough schedule, making the best of it until the very end. They got their feet wet early in the Berkshire tournament playing very close games with Berkshire and The Gunnery. Even though they lost both games, the team felt confident about their performance this early in the season. This confidence paid off as they went on a five-game winning streak with big wins against Avon and Berkshire (who had beaten SKS a few weeks earlier). Then at the Christmas Invitational

An airborne Rashad Wright goes for two in an earlyseason game against Winchendon. Jeff Silengo keeps the puck from a Millbrook defender.

for next season. South Kent will be back stronger and tougher next year, ready to get some revenge and a playoff berth. James Fuoroli

Varsity B Hockey

Photos by David Spagnolo

Tournament at St. Sebastian’s School, the South Kent squad faltered. An early round, overtime loss to Albany Academy seemed to take the wind out of the team’s sails, but the South Kent squad rebounded quickly to win the Belmont Hill-Nichols Tournament only a few days later in Buffalo, NY. The rest of the season saw scattered tough games. There were both big wins and losses during this stretch. The Cardinals beat a top-ranked school, Proctor Academy, 7-2, and lost to the first-ranked Taft by a score of only 3-2. The most exciting weeks of the season were the last, during the playoff push. The Cardinals had a chance to gain a

playoff spot right until the end, where they fell short and missed the playoffs by just a few points. South Kent finished with a record of 19-11-1 which, in most cases, would ensure being in the playoffs, but unfortunately that was not good enough this year. As for the huge senior and post-graduate class, their hockey careers are by no means over. In that class there are six Division I college recruits and seven Division III college recruits. Some of the schools include Boston University, University of New Hampshire, Clarkson, Niagara, Nichols, and Tufts University. We wish these boys luck, as Coach Marottolo prepares his returning boys

Varsity B Hockey opened with two big questions: would we have enough players and, if so, would we be able to compete? Not only did the boys compete, they overcame many obstacles to sustain their competitiveness over the course of a long season. The South Kent Varsity B team had exceptional leadership in Matt Moore, Billy Speight and Andrew Jansen as well as many great role players. It is important to note that the leaders and the role players were interchangeable from game to game. While Matt and Billy were clear leaders, young men like Chance Denbrook and McKinnon Tompkins stepped up often. Ray Vincent and Trevor Berry were the two defensemen who not only grew the most but were there every game ready to play, for the entire season. Tim Quigley’s role should not go unrecognized as he played a truly physical game that could have compromised his Division I soccer scholarship. The team genuinely appreciated all his efforts. The Varsity B season started with one player, Ryan Kaplan, who had never played hockey before. By season’s end, Ryan was an important member of the team who contributed greatly to its success. All of this made for amazing chemistry on the ice, in the locker room and on many of the long, cramped bus rides. The boys worked hard every day in practice to be able to skate a full three periods, with sometimes only six forwards and three defensemen. The team also played much of the season with one goalie and supported him rain or shine. Throughout the season, they met a variety of challenges with focus and diligence. Their overall Summer 2009 The Hillside • 19

Winter & Spring Athletics

David Spagnolo

Matt Moore on attack in a late season match against Harvey

success was a result of these qualities as well as the respect that they showed each other, their coaches and the game. Coach Patrick Bonis

Varsity Lacrosse Despite having only fourteen players to begin the season, the South Kent Cardinal Varsity Lacrosse Team posted an impressive 8-8 record for the 2009 season and finished second in the Hudson Valley Athletic League. The season could be most easily characterized by relentless efforts by each and every player from the goaltender all the way out to the attack. The Cardinals started off the season with back-to-back HVAL wins over Wooster and Marvelwood with a remarkable combined score of 25-0. The team then suffered a few losses to elite 20 • The Hillside Summer 2009

Division II teams (St. Luke’s and Rye Country Day) but finally found their stride in a close, hard-fought game against The Gunnery. The game against The Gunnery finished in a 12-10 loss for the Cardinals but was certainly one of the best games the boys of South Kent played all year. From that point on, South Kent played great lacrosse, including two comefrom-behind wins over Harvey. The second win over Harvey propelled the Cardinal into the HVAL finals to face league foe Chase for the final game of the season. The boys of South Kent showed tremendous heart and persistence as they traveled to Chase with only one substitute. It was a hard-fought battle but ended in a tough 7-4 loss for the Cardinals. Although it was very difficult to single out just one player, the team’s Most Valuable, Goaltender Chris Egan earned the honors with an almost unanimous vote by his teammates. The votes alone

proved his importance to the squad as he played in all but one game for the Cardinals. With his many 15-plus save games, Chris was one of the main reasons the team made it as far as they did. Ryan Kaplan earned the Most Improved Player honor. Ryan started the season having never touched a lacrosse stick and ended up being an integral part of the team’s success. Matt Moore earned the Coach’s Award as he was one of the most hard-working players on the team. He came to play every day and had many multiple-point games, which also earned him Division II All-New England honors and a spot on the Senior All-Star Team roster. Other notable performances were put forth by attackman Tim Glynn, midfielders Joe Tebano, CJ Chartrain, Matt Hickman, defensemen Curran Forgue and Chance Denbrook. Coach Jeff Hill

Opening Doors

Mark Berghold

Connor Greene, Pedro Teruel, Evan Zhou, and Blake Taylor practice on Hatch Pond.

Crew Building on a successful fall season, South Kent Crew launched an ambitious spring season in April. This was the busiest crew season in recent history at South Kent, as the boys competed in ten regattas in two short, but action-packed, months. The first regattas of the season pitted the Crew against snow, hail, and stiff competition from prep school powerhouses Pomfret, Taft and Choate. With the exception of a few technical mishaps, our First Boat competed well against their more decorated rivals and asserted themselves as respectable competition. The season truly began to take off in late April and early May, when the Crew had some its most successful competitions. On April 19th, South Kent made the voyage up to Worcester, Massachusetts, where they competed against Bancroft,

Canterbury, and Worcester Academy. This was the first meeting between South Kent and Canterbury, which would become a back-and-forth rivalry through the rest of the season. Our First Boat finished in second place, fending off a late charge from Worcester Academy and nipping at the heels of Canterbury. Our Second Boat, consisting mostly of novice oarsmen, made its debut in Worcester, competing well and finishing in third. The most successful day of competition for Crew came on April 29th, when Canterbury hosted South Kent and Chase Collegiate. First and Second Boat fought through what would be the closest and most evenly-matched race of the season to come out ahead of Canterbury in their respective races. Our Third Boat had its first competition, finishing in second place against Chase after a hard-fought battle. The tail-end of the season saw South Kent Crew competing in the storied

Founder’s Day Regatta and the Smith Cup at nearby Lake Waramaug against nearby crews. South Kent Crew made another long voyage on May 6th, this time up to Storrs, Connecticut, to race E.O. Smith. The day was frustrating for our First Boat who lost by the narrowest of margins after E.O. Smith made a late charge. Our Second Boat was successful in holding off the competition, however, and ended up with a win. South Kent also held its first home competition in years on May 15th, hosting Rumsey Hall in a friendly race on Hatch Pond. The final competition of the season, the Lower Boat Regatta, was another successful day for South Kent Crew and ended the season on a high note. Our Third Boat had their best race of the season, ousting the crew from Lenox to finish in third place. The Second Boat finished first in their race, fighting off a strong crew from Choate. End-of-the-season honors were bestowed upon Fourth Former Billy Speight, Fifth Formers Dan Levine and Pat Fleming, as well as Sixth Former Pedro Teruel. Levine received the “One Step Ahead of Everyone” award for his consistent position as top rower on the squad; Fleming and Speight were given the “Getting the Job Done” award and Teruel was given the “Most Improved Rower” award. Coach Jeff Galusha

Golf After graduating six out of the seven players from the 2008 team, the 2009 team was left with some key spots to fill. Newcomers Doug MacLean, Jason Bellonio, Andrew Jansen, Jamison Etting, Jeff Silengo and Garrett Clement stepped up and, under the leadership of Captain Wade Megan, gave the Cardinals the fire power to go 8-0 in league play, capturing their fifth straight HVAL Championship. Summer 2009 The Hillside • 21

Winter & Spring Athletics

A big highlight of the season was Wade Megan winning the silver medal in the HVAL individuals match. MVP was Doug MacLean, and most improved was Jeff Silengo who dropped 15 strokes off his score. Coach Jon Bellonio


The 2009 baseball season was both successful and disappointing. The Cardinals were undefeated in their conference, a perfect 10-0. I was particularly pleased that we earned our first victory against the Forman Lions since I joined South Kent five years ago. The team shut out Christian Heritage 4-0, giving them their only loss for the season. The boys also earned a number one seed in the New England tournament. These 22 • The Hillside Summer 2009

Mark Berghold


David Spagnolo

The tennis season this spring was a far greater success than we had expected. The team record in league play was 8 wins and 2 losses, with strong showings in nonleague matches. Far and away the highlight of the season was the team chemistry. The boys always showed a strong will to compete but never lost their sense of humor or ability to just have fun playing the game. This year’s team drew three boys who were already committed to the spring fitness program. This meant that they voluntarily gave up their Wednesday and Saturday afternoons to represent the school in a sport that tends to get little recognition. Their sacrifice was a big part of making the season a great one. All of the players played their part and did so with great sportsmanship and class. MVP Paul Armstrong received the Most Valuable Player award, and the Coaches Award was given to Wil Goldsholl. Coach Tim Bonis

Doug MacLean takes one out of the sand.

Fourth Former Yoshi Otake keeps his eye on the ball.

are indications of a successful season. Unfortunately the boys lost to Christian Heritage in the HVAL Championship and finished the season with a loss to Greens Farms Academy in the New England Tournament. It was not a great way to end, but we still had a fine season. The Cardinals were led by a number of Sixth Formers. Short-stop Neil Fachini led the offensive attack with a .488 batting average and 22 RBIs. First baseman Will Rayner had 3 HRs and a .960 OPS. John Rooney and Zach Utting anchored a solid pitching staff, accumulating a team ERA under 5. Dan Pelletier was a solid bat and stalwart third-baseman for 4 years. Khimo Harrison played two seasons with the Cardinal, mostly in left field. Khimo’s speed and good nature will be missed. The fifth form class was also critical to the success of the team this year. Centerfielder Mike Pereira took over very well defensively for the graduated John Tague. Tom Conover put some valuable innings in for us on the mound and also played a solid second base. Tom O’Connor was a critical utility player and solid offensive contributor. Tom

played every outfield position, 2B, 1B, and catcher. Finally, Alex Bartis was a good contributor off the bench and will be remembered for his great defensive play against NYMA this year. The Fourth Form looks promising, led by catcher Sam Locke who proved to be a valuable lead-off man and signal caller. Yoshi Otake played right field for us during a critical stage in the year. He will be a powerful hitter next year as well. Julien Thevenin came to the team with little skill and left with the Most Improved award. He is a phenomenal athlete, and we expect good things from him in the future. The third form class had some solid contributors as well, led by second baseman Jim O’Connor. Jimmy will be a good hitter in years to come and should also improve defensively as he grows. Andrew Bonetti has raw talent and should be a prolific hitter in years to come. Award winners were: MVP Neil Fachini; Best Pitcher: Zach Utting; Most Improved: Julien Thevenin; Gold Glove: Tom O’Connor. Coach Phil Darrin


Alumni Authors

Recently published? Please let us know, and please consider donating a copy of your book to The Martin A. Henry Library’s “Alumni Authors” collection. Not only will our students be impressed by the scholarly and literary accomplishments of alumni, but we will gratefully list your publication on the SKS website’s “Alumni Authors” page! All book donations are considered gifts-in-kind to the school. Please visit www. to see a more complete list of alumni authors’ works as well as purchasing information.

Attending Alaska’s Birds James Gore King, ’46

Pierre-Simon Laplace Charles Coulston Gillispie, ’35

Attending Alaska’s Birds, au‑ thor King’s 60-year memoir, covers a dramatic period in Alaska’s history, a time when the people increased five-fold to over 600 thousand. King arrived in Alaska in 1949 at the age of 21. He describes life as a pilot/game warden, a refuge manager, a flyway biologist and an expert at enumerating birds while whizzing over them in a small plane.

Pierre-Simon Laplace was among the most influential scientists in history. Often referred to as the lawgiver of French science, he is known for his technical contribu‑ tions to exact science, for the philosophical point of view he developed in the presenta‑ tion of his work, and for the leading part he took in form‑ ing the modern discipline of mathematical physics.

The story covers a series of accomplishments including learning to fly in northern Alaska, game law enforce‑ ment for the pre-statehood Alaska Game Commission, and banding 15 thousand ducks to assess a possible cost of the proposed Rampart Canyon Dam on the Yukon River. This is a compelling narrative about Alaskan life, conserva‑ tion issues, wild bird habits, history, geography, and personal adventure.

This book traces the develop‑ ment of Laplace’s research program and his participation in the Academy of Science during the last decades of the Old Regime into the early years of the French Revolu‑ tion. Gillispie’s scientific bi‑ ography comprises the major portion of the book. Robert Fox contributes an account of Laplace’s attempt to form a school of young physicists who would extend the New‑ tonian model from astronomy to physics, and Ivor GrattanGuinness summarizes the sci‑ entist’s most important single mathematical contribution, the Laplace Transform.

The Words of the Papermaker Peter G. Morgan, ’49 Writing under the pen name Peter Angelin, Mr. Morgan has written an epic in the “young adult” style. On the planet Kazeltu, Roylant, prince‑regent of Ayana‑Lorto, impulsively allows Talsi, a young mason from a hostile mountain tribe, to be edu‑ cated by the city’s scholars. Under suspicion because of his allegiance to a spiritual guide, the Papermaker, Paer, Talsi flees the city, returning later under Paer’s guidance to join a council that replaces the Prince after the city is destroyed by a tsunami. Roylant rises to an elected position as ruler of a formerly hostile city. Talsi follows Paer, becoming an expert linguist, but his spirit is tainted when his betrothed meets an evil end. At the end, the two men cooperate in preventing an armed conflict.

Summer 2009 The Hillside • 23


Class Notes


Scott Brodie ’36 recently celebrated

his golden wedding anniversary, -- 50 years with his lovely wife Ann. Writes Scott’s daughter, “At 91 he does move a bit slower, but his mind is as sharp as a tack and his heart is huge!”


Clarkson B. Farnsworth ’41 was

pleased to reconnect with SKS once again at the recent Alumni Weekend. Clark continues to stay involved in the restoration of the USS Slater in Albany.

Class of 1949: Gordon Coughlin, Dick Martin and Noble Richards

nior centers, play chess and bridge, and read. I am also gathering a history of my family for the eventual benefit of my grandchildren.”

visit to campus for Geoffrey’s 50th reunion. He’d love to hear from any of his South Kent classmates at



Winslow C. Shoemaker ’44, the

father of two sons Mike and Larry, writes: “Mike holds a PhD in Pharmacology. He has shared the only gold medal award by the Environmental Protection Agency. Larry is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville, Kentucky. I am taking life one day at a time. I exercise regularly, frequent two seRight, Class of 1954: Bo Beal, Spencer Evans, Rusty Allan, Stephen Rule, Alan Greener, Jim Dimon, John Doughty, Bob Barry and Ken Tummel. Below, Clark Farnsworth, ‘41

Jim Dimon ’54 is happy to report that his son Jim ’92 is the proud

father of Addison Dimon, born in May 2009. Jim and his family live northeast of Jackson, MS. Roger Wheeler ’59 just attended

his 50th Reunion at SKS where he received his “Old Guard” diploma. Roger was joined for his 50th by fellow classmates. Geoffrey E. Moore ’59 and his

wife Genie enjoyed their recent 24 • The Hillside Summer 2009

Conrad Neufeld ’61: “Hi all, I am still

working, doing systems engineering at Goodrich where they no longer make tires. My family is spread out: Singapore, Punxatawney PA, Loyola College (MD), and local high school. My interests include hiking which we do locally (and in the western national parks), astrophotography, and “do it yourself” enhancements to the house. I can be contacted at Drop me a line, I would like to hear from the old gang.”

Left, Class of 1959: Bob Gardner, Dave Butting, Stephen Merrill, Bill Riker, Cal Frost, Roger Wheeler and Geoffrey Moore. Below, Class of 1964: Sam Coes, Peter Raymond, Peter Keck, Michael Corrigan, Warren Bicknell, Sam Trufant, Ed Corey (‘65), Andy Hinds and Ned Williams


Eric E. Stoll ’70: “It’s been a busy

year for the Stoll family. In August Deb retired after thirty years at IBM, 1 year after I retired as director of the Indianapolis Rowing Center, where I continue to coach. Shortly after that we ended retirement and purchased Fitness Concepts (www.255-fitt. com), a neighborhood gym three blocks from our house. We have introduced Rowbics, an exercise program built around Concept 2 Indoor Rowers. Fitness Concepts has also become the winter training home of the Indianapolis Rowing Center. Son Adam graduated from St. Joe’s and is in Tampa, FL where he coaches crew at the Berkeley School and pursues a teaching career. Daughter Rachel is at Marquette and travelled to South Africa for junior semester

abroad this spring. This fall I was inducted into the Washington College Hall of Fame.” Godfrey A. Gregg ’70: “I success-

fully defended my dissertation at the Silver School of Social Work at NYU and was awarded my PhD on May 13, 2009. I continue to teach at Adelphi University and maintain my private practice in NYC. Godfrey Gregg, PhD, LCSW”. Alix Stanley ’70: “My wife Janie and

I are celebrating our 35th anniversary by building a new house in North Stonington, CT.” Scott C. Mitchell ’72: “We continue to spend the school year in Kent and summers in Maine and Vermont. We enjoy many visits to SKS!!”

Reed C. Martin ’76 is now in his

22nd year of “tutoring” 6th graders in mathematics at Saint Andrew’s School. He writes that he is “loving life, my new job, and my new life – all good!”.


John M. Cass ’82 is a computer

architect/consultant with the New York-based law firm of Sherman and Sterling. Brian P. Crystal ’83: “I am sched-

uled beginning next week on three different local TV stations (NH & VT) featuring comedy skits, singing/dancing and more...Wow !! Actually doing what I have wanted to do for years... God is good ! Wishing everyone the very best !!!” David Berghold ’83 and Sam Reid ’80 ran into each other at a Fourth

of July parade in Livingston, MT this summer. David, his wife Amy and their children Connor and Brenna, live in nearby Bozeman where David is the owner of “The Last Wind-Up” ( Sam works in Yellowstone National Park as a National Resource Vegetation Specialist. Class of 1969: Bruce Severance, Duane Stone, Peter Winder, Barry Kuehl and Sam Hoagland

Summer 2009 The Hillside • 25


Class Notes

to come play in the alumni game – a man can dream....” Alexander J. Miller ’88: “I am living

in Charlottesville, VA. I am happily married, and we have a 5 year old son. I am a Network and Systems Administrator for a small company that does hardware and software for the magazine distribution industry. Would love to hear from any of you, and if you find yourself in Central Virginia, drop a line. ”

Class of 1979: John Baker, Doug Green, Geoff Lewis, Andy Mauck, Sarge Pickman, Chet Meyer Mayfield, Mike Molnar

David Berghold ‘83 with Sandy, and Sam Reid, ‘80 in Livingston , MT. Class of 1984: Peter Davis, Chris Farr, Chuck Clothier and Ruth Abbott Greenberg

26 • The Hillside Summer 2009

Michael B. Cowan ’87: “Just about

six months shy of my 40th birthday, I graduated with honors from the Rackham School of EducationDearborn, earning my Master of Arts in Teaching. It was a long haul, five years, but it was well worth it. I would go for my doctorate, but I am pretty sure my wife would divorce me. Life is great outside Detroit. My terrific wife, Amy, and I have an awesome, intellectually gifted, and athletically talented three-and-a-half year old, Dougie. What’s more, she is due to have our second child in late October. This summer will see us sailing and boating on Lake St. Clair. I’ll also be playing goalie in a summer hockey league, still in the net. I might retire from hockey if I can ever work it out


Christopher P. Spaeth ’90: “My wife

and I, along with her parents Liz and Dennis, have gone into business together. We have purchased a Bed and Breakfast in Philadelphia called the Cornerstone. If anyone is ever in Philadelphia, please come and stay with us.” Jeremy D. Marks ’91: “Yes, this

proud alumnus of SKS, this summer received his second Master’s Degree, this time in Educational Administration at Baruch in New York City. I am currently associated with Midwood High School in Brooklyn, NY as a counselor and a teacher and was just promoted to Quarterback Coach. Go Midwood; go South Kent.”

Brendan R. Majewski ’92: “Am

living in Brooklyn, NY with a ‘day job’ as a sculptural fabricator, mold making/casting, in metal and epoxy polymers. My un-job is music: twopiece doom/sludge/noise metal band called Orphan. Check it out at www. Write me at: Anyone know what’s up with Pete Goldberg, Sean Collins or Wayne Shen? All the best, SKS.” Benjie Gold ’93: “I am in Los Ange-

les managing rock and rap bands. It is a lot of fun, and I have been able to see the world (five times) because of it! I have great memories of South Kent. The lifelong friendships! What I actually learned! I miss 40 Bull’s Bridge Road and I promise to come back and visit soon!” Leslie Ricky Ford ’94 is living in

Poughkeepsie, NY. “I am married and have two beautiful daughters, McKensi and Peyton. I work at the Bank Street School for Children in Manhattan as a phys ed teacher. I also facilitate a “Kids of Color” group within the school. Look me up on Facebook or email strickly3@” Mike Merrick ’94 is pleased to

announce the birth of his daughter Margaret (Maggie) Elise Merrick. Weighing in at 6 lbs. 8 oz., Maggie

joined the family on May 31. The Merricks continue to live in Newton, MA. John Christian Skorupski ’94 is liv-

ing in Sterling Heights, Michigan. He is single and remains active with CB radio, and tropical fish. He still loves playing sports.

David J. Watson ’94: “Hi everyone- I

recently moved back from Hawaii after receiving my Masters Degree in Educational Administration at Chaminade of Honolulu. Just purchased a house outside of NYC on five acres with a guest cottage and a hockey pond. I have already pulled the jersey over a few people’s heads.” Ben “Scoops” Miller ’95 is living

in Lansing, MI and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Michigan Coalition for Progress. The Coalition for Progress is the largest Political Action Committee (PAC) in Michigan and in 2008 successfully assisted in electing 7 new State Representatives, while also supporting one returning incumbent. Previously, Ben was a lobbyist for Butzel Long Government Affairs and from 2001-2006 served as the 3rd District Calhoun County Commissioner, including in his final term as Chairman of the Board. In two years as Chairman, Ben led a re-write of the Calhoun County Purchasing

Policy, the establishment and hiring of a County Corporation Counsel and the construction of the new wing of the Calhoun County Medical Care Facility. After not seeking re-election in 2006, Ben opened Cardinal Black Political Consulting and consulted on several statewide and local campaigns, including the Cure Michigan Campaign, the statewide ballot initiative to legalize embryonic stem cell research. Ben can be reached at or ben@ Philip Tickner ’96: “Just enjoying

the summer working at an amazing new restaurant in Reston Town Center outside of Washington DC called PassionFish. We specialize in self-

sustained fish, amazing sushi, and we buy from local farmers’ markets to help stimulate the local economy in northern Virginia. Besides the everyday grind, I’m just enjoying my 30s, enjoying the summer nights and lazy Sundays. (” Brian F. Glynn ’98: “I recently mar-

ried and am living in Toyama, Japan, where I have opened up my own English School. I am also working for a Japanese international trading company as an English Consultant. Loving life and this beautiful country!” In the years after South Kent, Enrique Echeverria ’99 earned his degree in Business Management

Clockwise: Class of 1989: Graham Duncan and Peter Browne; Class of 1964: Peter Keck, Sam Trufant and Winslow Shoemaker (‘44); Margaret Elise Merrick, John Rose ‘99, Rev. Steve Klots and Sarah Oneto; Cardinal and Black teams square off during Alumni Weekend.

Summer 2009 The Hillside • 27


Class Notes


Chris Greene: “After 5 years Out

West with Wells Fargo, I have recently relocated to Durham, NC where I will be pursuing an MBA at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. If anyone would like to catch up, my e-mail is or I’m easy to find on Facebook”


Jonathan W. Gardner is in the Class of 2004: Dillon Duncan, Jay Campbell, E.J. Hildebrandt, Steven Bruen, Jermaine Middleton, Andrew House, David Ladner, Franck Traore and Ross Grubin

from the Guadalajara campus of the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM). He now works for the family business in Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico. He and his wife, Diana Hernandez, have a daughter, Valentina, who was born on August 13, 2007. John Rose ’99 and Sara Oneto were

married in St. Michael’s Chapel on June 7, 2009. The Rev. Steve Klots, School Chaplain, officiated.

masters program in painting and drawing at the School of Art Institute in Chicago. He plans to graduate in May 2010.


Charlie Speight graduated in

December 2008 from Sacred Heart University with a degree in Financial Management. He plans on remaining in the Fairfield County area.

Jonathan J. Guss, having just

completed community service with Americorps as the education coordinator of Coosbay Maritime & History Museum in N. Bend, OR is off to Kosice, Slovakia, to begin his 10-month Fulbright Teaching Assistantship. “I will be teaching classes in British and American Studies and English language classes. My Fulbright ETA is one of two that were available for the Slovak Republic this year. I feel very fortunate and excited to receive the opportunity to live and teach in the Slovak Republic. I look forward to engaging with my assignment, in which I am hoping to find unique challenges and rewards. I see this as another in a long line of challenges and opportunities that was initiated when I first stepped onto the Hillside nearly a decade ago. In my years at South Kent I learned the value of facing difficult tasks with resolve and in the spirit of self-reliance. In this sense, I feel humbled to represent South Kent in every challenge, opportunity, and adventure that I pursue.”


Steve J. Bruen, Jr. received his B.S. in Business Administration from University of Mary Washington and is completing his B.S. in Psychology in the fall of 2009. He recently represented University of Mary Washington at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships held in Rancho Cordova, CA. Jay Campbell is finishing up his BA

in Philosophy from Cabrini College in Radnor, PA. Jay is now an avid runner, and he is looking to join the Navy after graduation. Ross Grubin: “I am still living in Class of 1956: Terry Moody and Tom Allan

28 • The Hillside Summer 2009

Newington, CT. I am working for Travelers in the Construction Services department at the Hartford Field Of-

Colorado and is majoring in Economics. He is also working for the family business which specializes in metal fabrication; in his remaining spare time, he has started a t-shirt printing company. He is living in Denver, where his roommate for the summer was SKS classmate Danny Jackson, who, when he is not spending his vacations in Colorado, is finishing up his studies at the University of Central Florida.

Steven Bruen ‘04 rowing at the IRA’s in California this June

fice. I miss the views from Woodward in the fall, the incessant yelling from Woodward in the winter, and tanning on the roof of Woodward in the spring. I had a lot of fun getting back to South Kent for the five-year reunion and seeing some of the guys and the faculty that I hadn’t seen in years, and I look forward to getting back there again as soon as possible.” EJ Hildebrandt recently graduated

with a BS in Civil Engineering from Alfred State in Alfred, NY. He is applying for positions in his field in a number of locations on the East Coast.

Andrew House graduated in 2008

with a BS in Criminal Justice from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA. He has since earned an ABA paralegal certificate from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. Currently he is working for the family business in Dover Plains, NY, and promoting numerous Republican causes in New York State politics. Jermaine Middleton is slated to

graduate from Northwood University in West Palm Beach, FL with a degree in Business Management. He continues to play basketball and is


Joe Pereira has just finished his

looking to play overseas after graduation, perhaps in Turkey.

sophomore year at Boston University. Joe played as a winger as the Terrier’s captured the 2008-09 NCAA Division One championship.



Alex Hager: “Not much has changed since South Kent. Still playing puck. MAHL, SPHL, CHL, EPHL, hopefully be back in the Central this year. I take classes in the summer and online courses during the year. We won the EPHL this year with the Jersey rochhoppers. All my stats are on www.”

Above: Joe Pereira ‘07 with the NCAA Division One trophy. Below: Gonzalo Garcia ‘95 with former faculty Jay Beebe, and A.J. Garcia

Chris Lockwood: “I’ve lived in

Sweden this past summer where I worked at a hotel. I will be starting my sophomore year this year. I have been playing club hockey at school and golfing a lot.”

Fitz G. Robertson: “I am now in

my fourth year at Hampden-Sydney College and will be graduating in May of 2009. I am currently Student Body President. This summer I did an Investment Banking internship with Citigroup in New York. I recently accepted a job offer to do Investment Banking for PNC Financial Services in New York.”


Nate Seader has just finished

his junior year at the University of Summer 2009 The Hillside • 29


Class Notes

In Memoriam 1935 Lawrence Johnston Newhall, Sr. died of heart failure on Friday, the

12th of June, 2009. He was 92 years old. Born in Philadelphia, Larry was the youngest of six children. He attended Germantown Academy, was a 1935 graduate of SKS and received his B.A. in History and English from Trinity College in 1939. A master’s degree in education followed from the University of Pennsylvania. Larry was a decorated war veteran, having served with distinction as an infantry commander in the U.S. Army during the Second World War, in both Italy and North Africa. Returning stateside, he continued his teaching career at the Grief, Perkiomen and Westtown Schools. In 1956, Larry became headmaster of the Watkinson School in Hartford, where he remained until 1969. As his daughter Anne shared, “My father was deeply proud of and influenced by his years at South Kent. He taught at several preparatory schools early in his career, and later, when he became headmaster of Watkinson School, evidence of his love and respect for SKS was obvious in every thought and decision involving both the school and the life he made for himself and his family.” Larry is survived by Gertrud, his wife of sixty-two years, his son Lawrence Newhall Jr. (SKS ’67), his daughter Anne and six grandchildren. Larry will be buried with military honors in the cemetery of St. Thomas’ Church, Whitemarsh, Pennsylvania, on the first anniversary of his passing. In lieu of flowers, donations earmarked for “Research” may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association. 1936 William Albert Miller, passed

away on Sunday, June 28, 2009 after a short illness. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 12, 1918, Mr. Miller graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He was a captain in the United States 30 • The Hillside Summer 2009

Air Force, having served as a B-24 pilot in the European Theater during World War II and being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, seven Bronze Stars for Campaigns and the Air Medal of the 15th Air Force. Mr. Miller spent most of his working career as an executive in South America with The Singer Company, Westinghouse Air Brake Company and Booz Allen Hamilton, among others. Mr. Miller retired to Anderson, SC in 1992. Survivors include his wife, Ann Hamacheck Miller; a son, Peter M. Miller of New York, NY; a daughter, Susan G. Miller of Dover, DE; and three grandchildren. It is requested the memorials be made to Roberts Presbyterian Church, 2716 South Highway 187, Anderson, SC 29626. 1939 Russell E. Collins, Jr., died

Tuesday, April 15 at the Gino Merli Veterans Center. Born in Toledo, OH. on September 11, 1921, he moved to Glenburn at the age of two, where he spent most of his life. After graduating from South Kent, he served in the Army Air Corps as a pilot and flight instructor. After his discharge, he studied accounting at the University of Scranton. Russell founded Collins and Company Accountants in 1951. He was a certified public accountant and member of the PA Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He was a member of Our Lady of the Snows Church. A survivor of both colon and liver cancer, he volunteered in the Mercy Hospital Oncology Department. His positive outlook and “Don’t ever give up” slogan inspired thousands of patients over the years. Russell enjoyed spending summer in Canada with his children and grandchildren. He loved to sing, enjoyed tennis, fly fishing, and boating. Surviving are a son, Russell E. Collins III, Scranton; five daughters, Dorothy Nally, Tunkhannock, Marcie Ewasko, Casselberry, FL, Lucille Ims, Glenburn; Laurie Klein, Clarks Summit, and Mary Louise Baxley, Winter Springs, FL; 13 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Gino Merli Recreation

Fund, 401 Penn Ave. Scranton, PA 18503.

Audubon Society, 613 Riversville, Rd. Greenwich, CT 06831.

1948 Howard “Rusty” Hansell of

1956 Peter K. Dyke, 71, of East Northport, NY died on August 8, 2009 at Huntington Hospital after a lengthy illness. Mr. Dyke, the son of Kingsbury and Alison Bennett Dyke, was born on February 18, 1938 in Hartford, CT. He graduated from South Kent and attended Trinity College, Hartford. Until his retirement in 2003, he worked in the consumer electronics industry. He is survived by his brother, Bennett Dyke of San Antonio, TX and former wife, Barbara Helfferich of Belgium, with whom he maintained a close relationship.

Yonder Way died at Sharon Hospital June 16, 2009, after a brief illness. He was born in Sharon in 1931 and lived there until moving to Lakeville in 1996. Rusty graduated from South Kent and the University of Hartford, and worked in Waterbury for many years at Scovill, Century Brass and Rostra. In addition to his wife, Jean, he is survived by five daughters, Carol Lyman of Millerton, Diane of Lakeville, Patrice of Hornell, NY, Holly of Fairbanks, AK, and Heidi of Millerton; six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild; his sisters, Pattye Kearney and Sarah Rudd of California; and a brother, Stuart of Washington. Memorial donations may be sent to the Salisbury Visiting Nurse Association. 1950 Paul Douglass (Doug) Martin

of Newton, died of lung cancer, Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at his home. He was born January 23, 1933 in Roanoke, VA. Doug graduated from South Kent in 1950 and Princeton University in 1954 where he was a member of Dial Lodge. He worked for 20 years for Bridgeport City Trust and then managed the Southbury Branch of Newtown Savings Bank for 20 years. He was active in the area United Way and was a trustee of the Riley Foundation in New York City. Doug was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church and Newtown Congregational Church. A talented poet and extensive reader, an avid birdwatcher, a gardener and tennis player, he loved to dance the Charleston, listen to all kinds of music and would sing at the drop of a hat. Doug was pre-deceased by his wife of 49 years Joy (Lindholm) Martin. Survivors are daughter, Kathryn “Kate” Martin of Danbury, siblings, Dr. Richard Wilson Martin of Salisbury, NC., John Rogers Martin of Honolulu, HI, and Sarah Jean Martin Cole of Sunset Beach, HI. Memorial donations may be made to the

Robert Wilson Bates, 85, longtime

employee of South Kent School, died March 28, 2009 at The Kent. He was born April 15, 1924 in St. Paul, MN. He came to South Kent in the early 1960s where he worked in the kitchen until his retirement in 1991. Bobby, as he was called, was chief pot washer for generations of South Kent boys. He was well known on campus for telling it like it is when the boys needed a touch of truth. On alumni weekend, he inevitably could be found sitting on the wall by the back door of the dining hall, baseball cap perched on his head. It was at South Kent that Bobby and William “Big Bill” Crouch formed a friendship that lasted until Big Bill’s death in 2007. The two lived at Templeton Farms apartments for many years after their retirement. They were well known around Kent for their friendly ways, with Big Bill forging ahead and Bobby a few steps behind, but always part of the action. Bobby anticipated all year their annual vacation in Maine with Business Manager Chick Willing. He was remembered during alumni weekend June 14 in St. Michael’s Chapel on the South Kent campus, followed by a graveside service in the School’s cemetery. Memorials may be made to South Kent School and will be put to the cost of his memorial stone in the cemetery.


ere I am with my wife at a memorial for my outside the military. dear friend and colleague, Jim Bellows, at the “Jim, this is how I see you: the brave young Westwood Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles. man flying in the Pacific sky, barely out of school, Jim died about a week ago of Alzheimer’s at 86. barely out of the South Kent School you loved so He was a sprightly, lively, imaginative, courageous much, and then bravely flying in the bright blue fellow, and I knew he was ill, but I did not know sky of freedom of speech and of the press and of how close to the end he was. Naturally, I am sitno laws restricting the free exercise of same. ting here crying my eyes out, racked with sobs, “Jim, again, I am sorry I did not return your and I mean uncontrollable shivering sobs. calls as soon as you called me in your later years. Jim was a friend. Not just a good friend, but a I travel a lot and that’s a BS excuse and I am just great friend. The world knows him as the last ediplain sorry. Our mutual friend, Larry Dietz, a far by Ben Stein tor of the New York Herald Tribune, the Washbetter friend to you than I was, kept me posted ington Star (well, not quite the last, but close to the last), the Los but I should have been a better friend. Angeles Herald Examiner, also not quite the last, the man who put “Jim, thank you for sharing talk of our dogs. How well I recall Entertainment Tonight on the map and kept it there for decades, your dear Brindle and your love of animals. Your wife, the always big power at Prodigy, author and raconteur, ace golfer and wit. radiant Keven, tells me, told everyone, your last words were, Again, to me, Jim was primarily a friend. He hired me to write a ‘Where is my dog?’ These are the words of a man who knows guest column at the Herald Examiner for four weeks, and I stayed what’s important. Dogs are our best friends and I am certain yours for nine years. will be with you in eternity. Towards the end of his life, when his disease was eating him up “God bless you for never needling me about Nixon even though little by little and in fits and starts, I was nowhere near as good a I know you did not like him (maybe that’s putting it mildly). God friend to him as I should have been. It was hard for me to deal with bless you for not being afraid to tease Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn having conversations with him and then having the same conversa- back in the Washington Star days. God bless you for taking on the tion a few hours later or days later and then getting a call asking to Klan in Columbus, Georgia, in the late 1940s when that meant have the same conversation again. That was stupid and unfeeling something. of me. My day will come, too. “As far as I recall, you never said a discouraging word to me. And as I thought, in between sobs, of Jim and his 32 years of Not ever. Encouragement and merriment were your watchwords. kindness to me, I thought that I would mentally compose a letter Now, you are gone, cruising the skies, looking for Zeroes, looking to him of what I so much wish I had said to him when he was alive. for Ben Bradlee, looking for the Whale of what used to be the Los “Jim, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Angeles Times, coming to rest occasionally with your dogs. We “Thank you for keeping me on at the Herald for all of those here on earth will not see your like again. years. Thank you for backing me up when big names in LA were “I know you didn’t like my hero, Richard Nixon, but some words angry at me and wanted my hide. Thank you for letting me publish he said when he left office in 1974 still ring in my ears and they appieces that we both knew were likely to get picked up for movie ply to you and all of us who loved you so much, who still love you deals and then for letting me keep all of the option money and not so much. ‘This isn’t good-bye. The French have a word for it. “Au making me split it with the Hearst Corporation. Thank you for revoir.” We’ll see you again.’ letting me write the best thing I ever wrote – with the wind of the “Au revoir, Jim.” gods at my back – ‘Ludes, about a young couple in Los Angeles The service was the best prayer service I have ever been to, addicted to life in the fast lane, based on my life and the life of a including an electrifying speech by Jim’s dear friend and successor, couple I knew well. Mary Anne Dolan, a really smart and eloquent woman. My wife “Thank you for letting me have lunch with you all of those times and I stood outside talking about Jim with our pal, John Mankieat that restaurant near the Herald, where I would have a ginger ale wicz, a brilliant writer, whom I got a job at the Herald as a rock and you would have three, yes, three martinis, smoke cigarettes critic long, long ago. Then we went to a small reception at the and then get much more done in the afternoon than I did. Bel-Air Country Club, a club Jim was always trying to get me to “Thank you for coming to lunch with me on my 41st birthday join. Keven Bellows sat at the table with us, still beautiful despite at a dive in Westwood not far from where we are today, and giving her torment and torture and grief. My head ached so much from me straight talk. I asked you what I should do with my life now crying that I asked Alex if we could leave. that I was 41. You answered, with perfect brilliance, ‘Live to be I kissed Keven good-bye and headed out into the Los Angeles forty-two.’ traffic. Good-bye, Jim. You remind me so very much of my pal, Pe“Thank you for being so brave as to fly in Navy carrier fighter ter Flanigan, another fearless, fiercely loyal Navy carrier pilot from planes in World War II in the Pacific. Thank you for your unbeWorld War II. What will we do when your generation is gone? lievable modesty about it when I praised you for it. You simply What will we do now? Where is my dog? said, ‘I just saw a few Zeroes way far in the distance. It was nothing.’ I don’t believe you, Jim, and you are a big time war hero to Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American me now and forever, like my wife’s amazing relatives and my faSpectator. Reprinted with permission from The American Spectator. ther’s father. Brave and modest, a combination generally unknown

Jim Bellows, RIP

Summer 2009 The Hillside • 31


50 & 75 Years Ago

The Pigtail, June 6, 1959

The South Kent Record, February 15, 1934

32 • The Hillside Summer 2009

Robert B. Waldner ’58


Member of the St. Michael’s Society

grew up in Queens in one of those typical city middle class neighborhoods of brick, cement, and asphalt. The seeds of SKS began when I was sent off to Long Island City High School to engage in a series of those stupid physical and mental contests that adolescent boys will seek out. I had a good friend, Kit Mullener, who got in just as much trouble but he had a single mom who had heard of South Kent, and she was desperate. She convinced my parents that SKS was just the medicine for their sons. So one spring day, I arrived at SKS with my parents and had an interview with Mr. Cuyler. I arrived the next fall by train from Grand Central Station with two large duffel bags of worldly possessions. I believe Kit lasted a month or so before being kicked out, but SKS was just the place I needed. Simplicity of Life, Self-Reliance, and Directness of Purpose really found their mark and were drilled into me without mercy by Sam Bartlett, Wynne Wister and Dick Cuyler. I thrived on the academic competition and, while not too coordinated, loved the three season sports intensity. My job beginning in the Fourth Form was to haul the School’s mail up and down the hill from the post office/store; I soon got Father Chase to donate his bicycle to the cause, and I had a blast. I suppose it was during that era

I developed a passion for railroads by observing the two passenger trains each way that served the New Haven Railroad line and which, travelling at speed, collected the mail from the “hook” at the store. I was mesmerized by all the freight trains that detoured over the line during the hurricane of 1954. Upon graduation I went on to earn a Civil Engineering degree at Princeton and a masters in Transportation Engineering at Cornell, and then worked for two railroads in the Midwest. Now for 40 years I have been a management consultant for the transportation industry, and it is so much fun I will never retire. Several years ago I was even enticed by a colleague into owning several railroad inspection vehicles that are no longer used by the industry but have been purchased by hobby groups for permitted runs around the country. I am so grateful to SKS for pointing me in the right direction and enabling me to see how to live a fruitful life. My passion now is to give back what I can to SKS and to the preservation of nature by supporting land and wildlife conservation. To this end, I have joined the St. Michael’s Society and invite others to join as well. This special society is for the members of the SKS family who have made arrangements for a planned gift to South Kent School. Our gifts will have a direct and lasting impact on the School.

For more information regarding planned giving options available at South Kent School, please contact Tim von Jess, Director of Development, at (860) 927-3539 x205, email him at, or visit the planned giving section of the School’s website at

South Kent School

40 Bull’s Bridge Road South Kent, CT 06785-1199 860-927-3539

Parents of Alumni

If this publication is addressed to your child who no longer maintains a permanent address at your home, please notify the alumni office of a preferred mailing address by calling 860/927-3539 x299 or emailing us at Thank you!


The Hillside - Summer 2009  

South Kent School Alumni Magazine