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IN THIS ISSUE Designing Zoo Exhibits Band on a Break Silver Medal in Sydney Two Great Golfers


Bulletin Staff Editor Julie Reiff Director of Development Jerry Romano Alumni Notes Karen Dost Design Good Design www.goodgraphics.com Proofreaders Nina Maynard Karen Taylor Mail letters to: Julie Reiff, Editor Taft Bulletin The Taft School Watertown, CT 06795-2100 ReiffJ@TaftSchool.org Send alumni news to: Karen Dost Alumni Office The Taft School Watertown, CT 06795-2100 TaftBulletin@TaftSchool.org Deadlines for Alumni Notes: Spring–February 15, 2001 Summer–May 30, 2001 Fall–August 30, 2001 Winter–November 15, 2001 Send address corrections to: Sally Membrino Alumni Records The Taft School Watertown, CT 06795-2100 TaftRhino@TaftSchool.org

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BU L L E T I N WINTER•2001 Volume 71 Number 2

SPOTLIGHT MacMullen Named Fifth Headmaster ....................... 13 Zoo Stories ............................................................... 14 John Gwynne ’67 finds compelling ways to promote wildlife conservation

By Julie Reiff Phish Insist It’s a Break, Not a Breakup ..................... 20 Trey Anastasio ’83 takes time to enjoy his success

By Steve Morse, Boston Globe Amateurs: Two Golfers Fifty Years Apart ................... 24 Jim Driscoll ’96 and Frank Stranahan ’41 share an unusual distinction

By Jim McCabe Ten Tips for the International Traveler ........................ 7 By Al Reiff ’80

DEPARTMENTS From the Editor .......................................................... 4 Letters ......................................................................... 4 Alumni in the News .................................................... 5 Around the Pond ........................................................ 8 Sport by Steve Palmer ................................................. 26 On the Cover: Sixteen-year-old Tunko is one of the stars of Congo Gorilla Forest, the latest exhibit designed by John Gwynne ’67 at the Bronx Zoo, where he is chief creative officer. A landscape architect by training, John hopes to use the visitor’s experience at the zoo to inspire people to care about wildlife conservation. The Taft Bulletin is published quarterly, in February, May, August, and November, by The Taft School, 110 Woodbury Road, Watertown, CT 06795-2100 and is distributed free of charge to alumni, parents, grandparents, and friends of the school.

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E-Mail Us! Now you can send your latest news, address change, birth announcement, or letter to the editor to us via e-mail. Our address is Taft Bulletin@TaftSchool.org. Of course we’ll continue to accept your communiqués by such “low -tech” methods as the fax machine (860-945-7756), telephone (860-945-7777), or U.S. Mail (110 Woodbury Road, Watertown, CT 06795-2100). So let’s hear from you! Visit Taft on the Web to find the latest news, sports schedules, or to locate a classmate’s e-mail address: www.TaftSchool.org or www.TaftSports.com. The password to access alumni or faculty e-mail addresses—or to add your own—is dutton.

The Taft Rhino and a student pep squad cheer on home teams on Fathers’ Day. For fall season results, please turn to page 24.


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From the Editor This winter has certainly been a time of transition for our nation as well as our school. As George W. Bush was inaugurated, a search committee of Taft’s board of trustees worked diligently to find talented candidates to succeed Lance Odden at the helm of our school. Among the six impressive candidates invited to campus for a more thorough vetting was Willy MacMullen ’78, who was announced as the school’s fifth headmaster at the end of January (see page 11). Free from the partisan politics of Washington, the transition in Watertown is going smoothly. The dedication of the Odden Arena and the Alumni Games in January brought back record numbers of alumni and parents, more than Alumni Day in May! (More on that in the spring issue—along with a special tribute to the Oddens.) In the meantime, we continue our tradition of highlighting interesting alumni stories, starting with John Gwynne ’67 and his remarkable work with the Wildlife Conservation Society (page 12), with photographs by Jessica Wynne ’90. For younger music “phans” it may have been a long winter since Trey Anastasio ’83 and his band Phish are no longer on tour, but we are comforted by knowing they are only on a break (page 18). Golfers among you may remember Jim Driscoll ’96 and his near win at the U.S Amateur in August. His heart-wrenching defeat after 39 holes reminded Lance Odden of another Taft golfer, and we unearthed the details of a similar match fifty years earlier (page 22). No less impressive was the silver-medal finish of Pease Herndon Glaser ’79 at the Sydney Olympics (page 3). Well done! Please keep those letters and stories coming. —Julie Reiff, editor

We welcome Letters to the Editor relating to the content of the magazine. Letters may be edited for length, clarity, and content, and are published at the editor’s discretion. Send correspondence to: Julie Reiff, Editor • Taft Bulletin 110 Woodbury Road Watertown, CT 06795-2100 or to ReiffJ@TaftSchool.org

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Letters

Making It Stick

Bob Poole I have been in touch with the rest of the family and we would like to set the record straight. Robert Poole ’50 was an extraordinary man— a man of remarkable courage and dedication, and of unfailing kindness and good humor. He is dearly missed by his family, friends, and colleagues around the world. As a family we have been deeply honored by the establishment of a fellowship program in his name and by the good works this program has enabled Taft students to carry out. We would like, however, to correct an erroneous statement that appeared in the summer issue. Bob was not murdered by poachers. He died in Kenya in a car accident as a result of an unlit, unmarked diversion on a road under construction. His memory is carried in our hearts. —Lee Jordan, Joyce Poole ’74, Bob Poole (son), Ginny Poole ’80

Tall Paul Taking sharp issue with Barclay Johnson’s characterization of the school during his student days, Standish Meacham ’50 [Letters, fall 2000] makes a spirited defense of Taft as a gentler, livelier, and more sociable community. Yet I fear that the history of Taft may not be well served by efforts to gloss over the darker aspects of the Cruikshank years. Refuting Mr. Johnson’s assertion that teachers hardly talked to students, Mr. Meacham asks how else one could explain the friendships he formed with many masters and their wives. I suspect that the answer may lie in personal qualities that enabled him to establish relationships with particularly human teachers in spite of an environment that did not foster them. Many of us—perhaps the majority—did not have so fortunate a social endowment. For us, the powerful feeling of being disliked and disapproved of by the headmaster tended to extinguish some of the more leavening and endearing influences that were also present. Mr. Meacham accurately remembers and aptly characterizes the lively and often silly conversations at mealtime. Let me remind him, however, that their tone was distinctly muted at the headmaster’s table. Could one dare say, with reasonable accuracy, that a “pall” was cast over them? —Victor A. Altshul ’52

The fall issue has letters headed “Faculty Friend or Foe” and “Revisionist History.” I’ve thought long and hard about them, but until today I really hadn’t come to grips with my own thoughts on my being at Taft from 1945–49. I must say that never did I have a negative experience with any of my Taft masters. But what really got to me today was how clearly do the voices of the Messrs. Cruikshank, Cunningham, Douglas, Sullivan, LaGrange, Fenton, and others stick in my mind to this very day. How they said it and what they said will be with me always. —Walter Rosenberry ’49

Whispers from the Past When I read Barclay Johnson’s morning meeting talk in the summer 2000 Bulletin I heard whispers from the past. I remembered the day that Paul Cruikshank sent me a request on his personal notepaper: “Ray, Please, a haircut. PFC.” I remembered the afternoon that Larry Stone temporarily removed me as football captain. I remembered the evening that John Esty asked that I not publish my editorial in the Pap revealing the “secret” merger negotiations with Westover. I remembered the morning that Bill Sullivan said “not to worry” in the face of my rejection from Williams. I remembered the emotional embrace with Ferdie Wandelt ’66 and Lance Odden when we defeated Kingswood to cap an undefeated lacrosse season. I remembered the personal interest Joe Cunningham took in me and why I chose Taft over other schools. And I remembered an English teacher, Barclay Johnson, who once questioned the authenticity of my phrase “the wine dark sea,” but never questioned my honor. —Ray DuBois ’66


ALUMNI IN THE NEWS

Alumni IN THE NEWS

Sailing for Silver

The world converged in Sydney, Australia, last August for the 2000 Olympic Games. Among the athletes assembled was Pease Herndon Glaser ’79 with the U.S. Sailing Team. Skippering with her in the women’s 470 event was J.J. Isler, a 13-year veteran of the team. The duo brought home a silver medal, coming from astern in the last race to beat the Ukrainian team by one

point. “There were amazing scenes at the finish,” reported the Olympic News Service, “with the women sailors having a corridor between spectator boats less than 25 meters wide to sail as they surfed across the line under spinnakers.” Harry Walker ’44, a sailing enthusiast and Olympic volunteer who witnessed the Sydney event, said, “All our athletes were top

Pease Herndon Glaser ’79 and J. J. Isler celebrate their silver medal on the finish line at the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney. Photo by Daniel Forster

drawer—and none more so than Pease!” Glaser was a silver medalist in the 470 event at the 1986 Goodwill Games in Estonia and has three national Doublehanded titles to her credit (1984, 1985, 1993). She is also a three-time North American Champion in the Tornado class (1990, 1991, 1994). Her crew in the Tornado was 1984 Tornado Olympic Silver Medalist and husband Jay Glaser, whom she met in Estonia. Along with sailing together, the couple both work for Ullman Sails (Newport Beach, Calif.), the sail loft where Jay is also part owner. Pease’s trip to Sydney’s Games provided another fitting tribute to their union, wrote the U.S. Sailing Website. Jay vowed, since he already has an Olympic medal, to do all he could to help Pease get hers. Part of the appeal of sailing, Pease told us, is that it is one of the few sports where men and women can compete together at the same level. The couple own a few boats of their own—sporting the names Pease’s Diamond, Starter Home, and Beach House—and were off to race in Scotland lasst fall Although Pease had sailed before coming to Taft, she had never competed before then and credits sailing coach Toby Baker as among the most important influences on her professional life. After Taft, Pease graduated from Brown University in 1983 with a degree in mechanical engineering.

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ALUMNI IN THE NEWS

Diplomatic Advance Victor Manuel Rocha ’69 is the new U.S. ambassador to Bolivia. He was chosen for the post after three years of service as the U.S. chargé d’affaires in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He previously served as the deputy principal officer at the U.S. Interest Section in Havana, Cuba; as director for inter-American affairs at the National Security Council in the White House; and as deputy chief of mission in the Dominican Republic. His other previous assignments included tours in Mexico, Italy, and Honduras, and in the State Department in various capacities. Ambassador Rocha graduated from Yale University and earned a master’s in public administration from Harvard University as well as a master’s in international relations from Georgetown University. He moved to La Paz last summer with his wife, Karla, his son, Emilio, and his daughter, Camila.

Historically Wright The controversy may have other aviation enthusiasts dubious, but former Learjet CEO James B. Taylor ’40 has never doubted the accuracy of the Wright Brothers’ claim to the famous first flight. As a longtime resident of Connecticut, Taylor calls the “relentless efforts to establish my state as the birthplace of powered human flight not only preposterous, but downright deceitful as well.” Taylor refutes the “historical revisionists” in his article “Wright Brothers Clearly the First to Fly,” published in the October issue of Professional Pilot. In his article, Taylor examines the controversial assertions that inventor Gustave Whitehead and other early experimenters achieved the requirements necessary for a “fully sustained, controlled flight.” Taylor cites numerous studies and recreations that failed to prove Whitehead’s 1901 design structurally or mechanically capable of such an endeavor. Still, Taylor doubts this and other contenders for the “first flight”

Former Learjet CEO Jim Taylor ’40

distinction will ever entirely disappear. In 2003, “aviation enthusiasts in the U.S. and other industrialized nations will observe the 100th anniversary of flying in a motorized, heavier than air machine,” he writes, giving the Wright Brothers and Kitty Hawk their rightful places in history.

Taking a Byte out of TIME If you follow technology, you may have seen the byline of Josh Quittner ’75, who joined TIME six years ago. Now managing editor of TIME Digital, with a circulation of over one million, Quittner hopes it will be the biggest mass market magazine in the world that’s consumeroriented and mainly about technology. “The mission of the magazine is to explain where to go online, what to do, and how to do it. Happily, I’m working shoulder to shoulder with Phil Roosevelt ’75, who’s also an editor at TIME Digital.”

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Between trips to Hong Kong, Japan, and other places to promote the magazine, Quittner occasionally finds time to write the weekly column “Personal Time: Your Technology” that “combines practical advice with personal stories.” According to TIME, the column has become one of its most popular features and has made an impact on the technology industry. A 1998 column on the Diamond Multimedia Rio Internet music device that predicted “the death of the music industry” prompted a law-

suit by the industry against Diamond. Quittner’s praise of products at trade shows has led, in at least one instance, to a run on the company’s stock. Quittner has written a number of books with his wife, Michelle Slatalla (a weekly computer columnist for the New York Times), including Speeding the Net: The Inside Story of Netscape and How It Challenged Microsoft (“Alumni in Print,” spring 1999). They live in Huntington, N.Y., and have three daughters.


Ten Tips for the International Traveler By Al Reiff ’80 Passport: If you think a bad driver’s license photo can haunt you, just think about the passport shot. It lasts for 10 years. If it’s time to renew, think long and hard about your hair. If you’re wearing the latest fashion, will it still look good a decade from now? Portable Pharmacy: Load up with everything imaginable before you go. Make sure you have plenty of aspirin, cough syrup, throat lozenges, and Kaopectate. If you get sick, you’re on your own. My advice is simple: Self-medicate. “But wait,” you cry out, “what about socialized medicine? Can’t I walk into any doctor’s office and get treated for free?” You can try, but socialized medicine is the perfect example of that old adage, “You get what you pay for.” Fanny Pack: An absolute must; don’t travel without it. You can store your passport, wallet, traveler’s checks, and camera in here with ease. It is incorrectly named—don’t wear it above your fanny—you’re asking for trouble. Wear it in front where you can see that it’s safe and sound. Besides, at the end of the day, it’s the easiest tummy bulge you’ll ever remove. Foreign Airports: Most of these are foul-smelling, smoke-filled hallways of a bygone era. Book your flights with the absolute minimum of layover time. Even if it means coughing up an extra two hundred bucks, it beats coughing up a lung. Changing Money: Since you won’t know how much foreign money you really want, take U.S. dollars. Once you arrive at your destination, you’ll have some choices. Banks may seem the most respectable, but their rates are the worst. Exchange booths offer a competitive rate, but that bullet-proof Plexiglas is a bit of a turnoff. If you are looking for that local flavor, walk two blocks from your hotel. You’ll find a smelly, bearded guy with an eyepatch. Nothing says “native culture” more than having a financial transaction with a black-market currency peddler. Rental Cars: The countries that speak English drive on the wrong side of the road. The countries that drive correctly don’t speak English. When you are on the highway, none of the signs make sense. By the time you have deciphered which letter is the vowel, you’ll have missed your exit. Take a taxi or a bus tour. Leave the driving to the locals.

Directions: Men, listen carefully, it’s perfectly okay to ask for directions in a foreign country. When you’re in a foreign country, you’re no longer a “guy,” you’re a tourist, and it’s okay for tourists to ask directions. Besides, you’re not asking for yourself, you’re asking for your wife. Of course 132 cathedrals are not enough; she really needs to see the 133rd. Language: It is always stressful to enter a strange culture where you don’t speak the language. Fortunately, almost anyone you meet will speak English. French may be the language of love, but English is the language of avarice. Every foreign shopkeeper, guide, and hotel manager speaks it. A Spanish-English dictionary is absolutely essential, however, so don’t leave home without it. How else will you communicate with the lady behind the counter at JFK? Duty Free: Don’t waste your time. You’re on your way home and you’re tired. Besides, your bags are already bursting at the seams; the last thing you need is to cart around a few impulse purchases made at the airport. You already have plenty of the requisite souvenirs for your friends and family. What more could you possibly buy or want? Camera or Camcorder: It’s a tough call. With the camcorder, you have that incessant need to narrate and bore your viewers. With the camera, you only get that momentary glimpse of comings and goings. My choice is the camera. It’s lighter, easier, and if I wait just a few weeks after the trip before looking at the photos, I can’t remember which building is which, so I don’t waste time labeling them. Yes, the author is the editor’s husband and despite two trips to Europe last year we visited only four cathedrals and a basilica. By contrast, we’ve done at least that many roller coasters since then. And, no, he’s never labeled a photo in his life. —Editor

Alumni are invited to submit humorous or lighthearted essays on any topic for this column. All should be structured in a list of ten items and contain no more than 750 words. Writers will receive $50 if their essays are published in the Taft Bulletin. We regret that manuscripts cannot be returned, so please do not send originals. Taft Bulletin

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AROUND THE POND

pond Honors for Top Students To be the best of the best, top of their class, fourteen seniors excelled academically during their middle and upper middle years. Recognizing that achievement, Headmaster Lance Odden and Dean of Studies Bill Morris ’69 inducted eleven top students into the Cum Laude Society on November 14. Essential to the Cum Laude Society, Odden explained, is the belief that high scholarship reflects basic values on the part of the recognized students, values that shape their actions and enable them to become successful in their academic work. The values espoused by the Cum Laude Society—Arete, Dike, Time—are moral excellence, the search for justice, and personal honor and integrity. “Note these ethical standards take precedence over intellect and hard work alone,” Odden said. “For intellectual achievement without character, principles, or the drive to help others is meaningless. The Society makes it very clear that matters of the heart are central to fulfilling its values.” 8

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Seniors Victoria Choi, Aimee Palladino, Karen Kwok, Brett Clair, (second row) Andrew Karas, Vanessa Wood, Stephanie Giannetto, Margot Schou, Abigail King, Bancha Dhammarungruang, and David Schroeder (in absentia) were inducted into the Cum Laude Society in November. Other members of the class will be inducted at graduation.


AROUND THE POND

Monastic Creation Ten Tibetan monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastic University visited campus for five days in the fall. From October 30 to November 3, they worked daily on the construction of a sand mandala in the Mark W. Potter ’48 Gallery. The creation of a mandala (Sanskrit for circle), the traditional art form of Tibetan Buddhism, is said to effect purification and healing. The painting they chose to create at Taft is called the mandala of compassion, the most sacred of all mandalas. “The response to their visit was overwhelming,” said Chaplain Michael Spencer. “Through their powerful presence they transformed this school in five short days. They shared their culture, their religion, their art, their music, and most importantly their lives with us in a completely open and honest manner. The kids respected and responded to this honesty.” While on campus, the monks visited classes to talk about their personal histories and the history of Buddhism, and held

Their creation complete, the monks sweep up the mandala and pour the sand into Potter’s Pond, symbolizing the impermanence of all existence.

Monks spend six to eight hours a day working on the mandala, using only narrow metal funnels called chakpurs to layer millions of grains of colored sand in these traditional patterns.

special prayer sessions. Many visitors came to the gallery to observe the mandala construction as well as the prayers. “Every day I walked into the gallery,” Spencer said, “to find students sitting and watching the monks construct the mandala, and every morning they attended morning chanting with the monks.” At the end of the week, the monks assembled to dismantle their work of art. Nearly 300 people packed the new art gallery to witness the ceremony, many spilling out into the halls.

“This was truly a magnificent event,” Spencer said. “The monks taught us a powerful lesson about life and death through the art of the mandala: that all things are impermanent, that what remains is the memory of the beautiful, and that beauty is meant to be shared.” The monks are on a year-long tour of the U.S. to raise money to support their monastery in India, where many Tibetans, including the Dalai Lama, have lived in exile since 1959.

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AROUND THE POND

Listening to Lee Dr. Henry C. Lee, a world renowned expert in the field of forensic evidence and criminal investigation, spoke at Morning Meeting on November 13. Dr. Lee has assisted law enforcement agencies and investigated 6,000 major cases around the world. A consultant for over 300 police and law enforcement agencies, he has served

Forensics expert Dr. Henry Lee explains the interesting twists in some of his high-profile cases to very live subject, head monitor Tarik Asmerom ’01. Photo by Peter Frew ’75

as an expert witness in many high profile investigations and nationally and internationally known cases for both the prosecution and the defense. He spoke with students and faculty about his many experiences, including the O.J. Simpson trial Born in China in 1938, Lee is an author and editor, as well as an adjunct professor at eleven medical schools and universities. He graduated from the Taiwan Central Police College before working in the Taipei Police Department as a police captain. He came to the United States and received his BS degree in Forensic Science in 1972 from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. Continuing his studies at New York University, Lee earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1975. Source: Laurie Lambert, Taft Press Club

Blind Athlete Inspires Students Erik Weihenmayer, a skydiver, skier, long-distance biker, marathoner, wrestler, scuba diver, and mountain climber internationally known for his achievements as a blind athlete, spoke at Morning Meeting on October 5. Weihenmayer, who was totally blind by age 13, first achieved prominence as a championship high-school wrestler when Barbara Walters interviewed him on ABC’s 20/20. Since that time, he has run, walked, and bicycled across several countries in support of various causes. His most noted accomplishments, however, are in rock, ice, and mountain climbing, which he calls his “bliss.” This versatile 31-year-old athlete has scaled Mt. McKinley, Yosemite’s El Capitan, Mt. Kilimanjaro, and 10

Winter 2001

Aconcagua (the tallest peak in South America). In fact, Weihenmayer is slated to become the youngest person—blind or sighted—ever to scale all “Seven Summits,” the highest mountains of all seven continents. In his talk, Weihenmayer emphasized the ability to shatter expectations, telling students, “Someone once told me I needed to recognize my limitations, but I find it much more fun to try to realize my potential.” We can elevate ourselves and those around us by acting with both passion and dedication, he said. “Imagine everyone connected by a giant rope, helping each other, compensating for individual weaknesses, using everyone’s abilities to the fullest. We’d be an unstoppable force.”

Serving The school’s annual Community Service Day has grown since its inception five years ago. Now encompassing on-campus workshops for 120 area schoolchildren as well as off-campus programs, the day provides all Taft students with an opportunity to reach out into the greater community. The logistics for such an event are nothing short of those for a full-scale invasion. Buses, cars, vans, and footpower propelled students to Woodbury, Waterbury, Danbury, Bethlehem, and other area towns. Students and faculty pitched in at theaters, cemeteries, nature centers, hiking trails, abandoned city lots, schools, convalescent homes, museums, libraries, senior centers, child care centers, churches, shelters, and helped such groups as the Nature Conservancy, YMCA, and the Red Cross. Whether it was spent painting, raking, cleaning, or just visiting with people, Community Service Day continues to be one day when students can step out of their everyday lives and make a difference. “While Community Service Day is the most visible time during the year,” said Chaplain Michael Spencer, who orchestrated the day, “it is important to remember that we strive to translate the words of our motto—not to be served but to serve—into action every day through the Volunteer Program.”

Peter Granquist ’03 helps landscape an abandoned lot in Waterbury.


AROUND THE POND

the Community

Nadia Zahran ’03, right, helps a middle school student in the printmaking studio during one of the on-campus workshops. Students clear brush and help with landscaping at a local veterans’ cemetery.

Senior Art students brighten up a hallway at Heminway Park School.

Wan Ling Yih ’04, Patsy Odden, and Katie Stratton ’01, plant spring bulbs between the town hall and local library. Taft Bulletin

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AROUND THE POND

Paduano Speakers Dr. Christina Sommers spoke on “moral education and misinformation” at Morning Meeting on October 19. She is the author of The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men and Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women. An outspoken critic and keen philosopher, Sommers has appeared on Nightline, ABC Evening News, CBS Evening News, Crossfire, 20/20, Inside Politics, the Oprah

Winfrey Show, and Eye to Eye to discuss such issues as the future of feminism and gender bias in schools. Sommers is the W. H. Brady Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and professor of philosophy at Clark University since 1980. Her talk provided an interesting foil to the opening faculty address by Eli Newberger, author of Boys and the Men They Will Become, in September. Sommers is the first speaker to come to Taft through the generosity of the newly en-

Private Screening

Praising the Benefits of a Liberal Education

Alan Klingenstein ’72, producer of the Sundance Audience Award winning film, Two Family House (Alumni in the News, fall 2000), arranged a private screening of his newest release in Taft’s Bingham Auditorium. Director Raymond DeFelitta and Klingenstein introduced the film and stayed afterward to talk with faculty and students.

Brendan Fitzgerald ’82, vice president for international production at Columbia Tristar Pictures, has traveled extensively and offered his insights on the television industry worldwide. In his November 7 visit, Fitzgerald stressed the importance of a liberal education and spoke about the many ways he has used not only his knowledge of foreign languages but of

history and science as well. Fitzgerald spoke eloquently about the challenges in producing a television show in one country that has its roots in an entirely different culture. He visited acting and film classes, and spoke with students at sit-down dinner, he also hosted an open forum discussion in the ISP Living Room immediately after dinner.

Louise Gallagher P’02,’03 and Headmaster Lance Odden P’86,’89

Nancy and Woody Ladd P’99,’01 with Anne Adler P’97,’99,’01, center

Jim Little P’03, Lisa Ireland P’02, and Will Browne P’98,’01

Barbara and Henry Gooss P’02 with Patsy Odden P’86,’89, center

dowed Paduano Lecture Series in Philosophy and Ethics. Created by the parents of John Paduano ’99, the series is co-sponsored by the Philosophy, Religion, and Ethics Department and the Spiritual Life Committee. Professor Peter Kreeft, a philosophy professor from Boston College, was scheduled to speak in January about “the dangers of moral relativism.” The Paduano series also helped fund the visit of the Tibetan monks in November (page 7).

Current Parents’ Committee Meet in New York City More than 50 current parents joined Patsy and Lance Odden at The Sky Club on Wednesday, September 20, for a dinner hosted by new Parents’ Fund chairmen Carol and Will Browne P’98,’01.

Joe and Peggy Toce P’98,’01, Julie and Mike Freeman P’03, Rosemarie and Scott Reardon P’98,’01,’03, and Gail Berardino P’01 12

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HEADMASTER

MacMullen Named First Alumni Headmaster Over the years Taft has produced many fine of college counseling. He earned his headmasters from its alumni and faculty master’s degree at Middlebury College in bodies, but for the first time in the school’s 1989 and was named the Edwin C. Douhistory a Taft alumnus has been named to glas Chair in 1998. lead his alma mater: William R. “Willy is uniquely qualified, “said MacMullen ’78. Holly McNeill, a member of the faculty At a special meeting of students and advisory committee, “because of his comfaculty, Board Chairman John L. mitment, energy, devotion, and Vogelstein ’52 announced Willy’s unanienthusiasm—he is truly passionate about mous selection by the board of trustees. the opportunity to take Taft to the next “Willy MacMullen brings remarkable level. He has a real vision for what this Headmaster-designate Willy MacMullen ’78 with experience, energy and vision, and a deep his wife, Pam, and sons Tom and John place can be and loves this school the way commitment to the school’s belief in eduLance has.” cating the whole person,” John said. “He is incredibly well qualified “Students who know Mr. Mac see an intensity about him,” to lead Taft as the school enters a new era, and he will surely do so in said Papyrus editor Andrew Karas ’01, “and even those who a distinctively creative and inspirational fashion.” don’t have direct contact with him respect him for his clear, Soon to be the school’s fifth headmaster, Willy emerged distinct presence here, and so we welcome the trustees’ decias the board’s unanimous choice following an extensive search sion. Beyond intelligence and eloquence,” he added, “Mr. Mac launched in September. Search Committee Chairman John W. has a kind of grace and vision that will allow him to sustain Dayton ’64 characterized the process as wide-ranging and in- what has made Taft wonderful during my time here.” volving a multitude of voices. Clearly moved by his appointment, Willy briefly addressed “Our committee was impressed by the exceptional depth the assembled school community after John Vogelstein’s anand breadth of the pool of candidates,” John said. “While we nouncement, saying, “I learned from my own parents’ example found the task of narrowing the field difficult, we were able to that there is no more noble vocation than teaching. I am gratedraw on the tremendous involvement of students and faculty in ful that I have been able to teach at a school for 18 years under a the process and the broad participation and counsel of countless leader who has been an inspiration and more than a headmaster. alumni and parents. Without this strong base of support and “I am grateful that I get to teach with my best friend—I get to the guidance of an advisory committee consisting of students, go to school everyday with my wife,” Willy said. “Not many people faculty, alumni, and parents, our task would have been even get to do that. I am deeply grateful for the scores of students—past more difficult. Again and again, I found myself marveling at and present—who fill me like a cup overflowing, and for my colhow truly fortunate the school is to have such diverse and leagues who inspire me everyday. It is the students and the teachers, thoughtful support and interest.” finally, who make this school what it is.” “Willy has always been someone the school could turn to Headmaster Lance Odden, who retires in June after leading the for leadership,” said fellow English teacher Steve Palmer. “He school for 29 years, has welcomed his successor by saying, “I am is incredibly dedicated and highly versatile.” thrilled by the selection of Willy MacMullen. He has a wonderful A member of the faculty for 18 years, Willy returned to way with people, knows secondary schools well, and is deeply deTaft in the fall of 1983, having graduated from Yale University voted to young people. His energy, intellect, and vision assure that and having spent a year teaching “disadvantaged” boys at the Taft will continue its historic role as one of the nation’s leading schools.” Pike School in New Hampshire. While at Taft he has distinWilly’s wife Pam, who also earned a master’s degree at guished himself as a class dean, English teacher, co-founder Middlebury College, teaches English at Taft and serves as diand director of the Senior Seminar program, and varsity soc- rector of public relations. They have two sons, John, 5, and cer coach. He has served as dean of academic affairs, dean of Tom, 3. An interview with the MacMullens will run in the faculty, director of teaching fellowships, and assistant director summer issue of the Bulletin. Taft Bulletin

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Involving Visitors in Wildlife Conservation By Julie Reiff

Zoos have come a long way since I was a child. I can still remember the first tiger I ever saw—a big, beautiful, and angry animal pacing along the bars of his cage, his enormous paws landing silently on the flat concrete floor. The prison-like setting with its foul odor did nothing to diminish the regal bearing of this giant cat; it only highlighted the injustice. Contrast this with the Bronx Zoo, one of the world’s most renowned resources for animal conservation, where animals are the ambassadors of their species, educating us, moving us, and forcing us to rethink our priorities. And the premier exhibit at this zoo is Congo Gorilla Forest, created by John Gwynne ’67, vice president and chief creative officer with the Wildlife Conservation Society, the group that operates the Wildlife Centers of Central Park and Prospect Park in Queens, the New York Aquarium, the Bronx Zoo, and now the Wildlife Survival Center on St. Catherine’s Island, Ga. Congo is the largest exhibit ever undertaken by WCS, so far. “Congo” is designed to “provide a new model for integrating a zoo exhibit of living creatures with a call to conservation action.” “We [WCS] have the largest team of field scientists in the world out there study-

ing those animals, counting them, trying to get a sense of how much land they need to survive,” John says. “Roughly four and a half million people visit our five institutions in New York; that’s about 2 percent of all Americans, or really 1.5 percent since many people come more than once. How

do we take these great parks—with their great animals and important breeding programs,” John asks, “and use the visitor’s experience to inspire other people to care about conservation?” The answer spawned a series of new kinds of exhibits, of which Congo is

(LEFT) John’s responsibilities include designing exhibits at the Bronx Zoo and four other Wildlife Conservation Society centers. (RIGHT) Like actors in a play, the gorillas need a good stage, so John and his staff found ways to design the exhibit to lure the animals where visitors can best see them. Photographs by Jessica Wynne ‘90 Taft Bulletin

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probably the most important, and in many ways the first of its kind. “It’s a big exhibit,” Johns says. “We’ve added thousands and thousands of plants; many of them we had to custom grow ourselves to give a feeling of being in a tropical forest. “We’re trying to immerse you in a rain forest, to get you right up close and see the most wonderful creatures on our planet. This is very much a reaching out to help save wild places. We think of every one of these animals suddenly, not just as ambassadors, but as development directors trying to seduce millions of people.” Already over a million visitors have been to the Congo, and what WCS has learned in exit polls is that people who had no interest in conservation previously, suddenly have about a 55 percent jump in interest level, which, John adds, “is a very, very exciting thing. “We want to inspire people to care about nature, by seducing them with how beautiful a rain forest is. The best way to do that would be to take that million people to central Africa.” But, since that’s impractical, there’s Congo.

Set Design “We’re trying to tell stories,” John explains, “trying to make it a nature walk. We want people to think of it as different from a zoo exhibit. Most traditional zoos put animals in a space designed primarily for the viewer, a man-made space. We’re trying to flip that around and have you visit an animal’s natural space.” “And so we try to make it natural and soft, but we also have to accommodate thousands of visitors.” John points to the path and says, “If this were real mud it would be soupy and it would run off into the moats and would screw up our recirculating system and all sorts of things. So we have designer mud. We copy it in concrete; otherwise we wouldn’t be able to keep 16

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“We’re trying to tell stories,” John explains, “trying to make it a nature walk. We want people to think of it as different from a zoo exhibit. Most traditional zoos put animals in a space designed primarily for the viewer, a manmade space. We’re trying to flip that around and have you visit an animal’s natural space.” these impressions of okapi and other animals in the walkway. All these rocks are sculpted. We don’t want you to know that there can be as many as 1,000 people at a time on this thirdof-a-mile-long trail. We want people to feel a personal experience in the forest, minimizing views of the people.” In fact, it’s hard to believe that New York City is just on the other side of the hill. “One of the reasons we’re here,” John says, “is so we can reach large numbers of people.”

Cast Members John points to an artistically recreated weaverbird’s nest and a green mamba snake, put nearby to teach visitors that green mambas tend to raid those nests. “They wait just like that,

motionless. And Goliath frogs (he points to one in the shoulderhigh stream that trickles down the rocks on the side of the trail) will sit in one spot week after week waiting for goodies—the world’s largest frog. We made replicas of certain animals to tell those stories, but we’re trying to make it subtle.” But how can one tell a jungle story in the northeast corner of the U.S.? “We had to plant and maintain a certain kind of garden. Our horticulture crews are carefully trained to prune gently so that it doesn’t look like chicken croquettes but like a jungle. Ninety-four percent of our visitors to this part of the exhibit come in warm weather. We looked at the problem and decided if we tried to do the whole six and a half acres indoors, a) we’d never be able to afford the heat bills and b) we couldn’t afford to build the building. So we said we’re going to do it primarily as a summer exhibit.” We pass the red river hogs when John says, “Oh look, there’s a DeBrazza monkey; we’ve got two family groups here.” He stops to point out Wolf ’s monkeys, “Isn’t that a beautiful animal,” he says. “They’re closely related to DeBrazzas; both are very poorly known in nature. “In the past, zoos were consumers of wildlife, and right now as you can see (he points out a new baby) we’re producers. One of the challenges is to maintain healthy, genetically sound


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populations, in which everybody is not related to everyone else. It means we cooperate with other zoos around the world in communal breeding programs. Ninety-nine percent of mammals in American zoos were born in American zoos. We don’t want to take animals from the wild, and we don’t need to.”

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sor came up to him last year at the national Zoo and Aquarium Convention and told him that Jungle World changed his life. “I thought it was a little much,” John shrugs, “but he said he was so uplifted by it.”

We look for ways to get people involved, to combine a cognitive and an affective message in some logical way. The affective—the visceral, how you feel—is one of the key elements of decision making, it’s how people decide what clothes to buy or who they vote for in elections and so on. “The experience has to be beefed up by cognitive information as well; it isn’t often the primary decision-making factor, but it’s important for justifying or supporting that affective decision. That’s how advertising works. Madison Avenue is built on those principles, selling sizzle, not the steak. “We’re trying to figure out how to get people hooked: How to make conservation important to them, how to make it relevant, how to make it something that they understand on many levels, viscerally as well as intellectually.”

Comedy or Tragedy That’s one of the questions conservationists, as educators, are asking as they prepare to tell their stories: Is it better to inspire visitors or worry them about conservation needs? “If we have a huge audience that we’re inspiring about animals,” John asks, “how do we turn them into conservationists? What do we give them? Upbeat information—everything is hunky-dory, the world is wonderful? Or problem stories about great need? “We do believe that going to a zoo should be inspiring, but we think it’s unrealistic to totally whitewash the picture. So we carefully design exhibits in much the way you would read a novel or see an opera or a play. There is a carefully choreographed storyline. “We’re trying to grab people’s hearts. Jessica Wynne ’90

Although John trained as a landscape architect and first worked as the head of EGAD (exhibition and graphic arts department), he clearly has extensive knowledge about each of the animals in the exhibit. “We’re sort of a catalyst,” he explains. “We work with the field scientists; we work with curators. And we ask them, ‘Where would you find a DeBrazza monkey?’ And they tell us that they’re always found along small, meandering watercourses. They have tiny home ranges and totally memorize every square inch. We ask what red river hogs want and what mandrills need. We have to become specialists as well. We have to show these stories. “Personally I’ve always been interested in the marriage of aesthetics and science,” John explains. “One of the things about nature is that every bit of it is so beautiful. That’s why I became a landscape architect.” John has also always had an interest in zoos. He grew up in Rhode Island and saw some preliminary plans for the Roger Williams Zoo in the local paper. “They were done by a well-intentioned local planner,” he says, “but I thought they could do something much better.” When John told the director his ideas, he wound up with a job. In 1982 the Bronx Zoo sought him out. John’s first job at WCS was to design the Jungle World exhibit in “Asia,” and he’s been there ever since. John tells how a psychology profes-

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The exhibit was designed as a tunnel of insloping glass so the gorillas are always in the superior position.... “You are literally looking up to a gorilla in every sense of the word,” John says.

The Plot “In the first act, we set out to let you explore a rain forest first hand. You start to see the animals in context: colobus monkeys and beautiful okapis (forest relatives of giraffes) sort of gliding through the trees. You come around a corner and start to analyze what you just saw, using educational consoles, in an interactive way—learning what mandrills eat, how they use the forest. “Increasingly we’re making it more interactive, getting you involved in thinking about what you’re seeing, probing further. What is it? How does it fit into ecosystems, where does it nest?” Taft Bulletin

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There are telescopes and things to touch—tactile objects like clipboards to flip through, small bronze sculptures of lizards or frogs, African art on the door handles—and a cross section of a hollow tree to see what’s happening inside. John and his team create all of these props to help tell this conservation story. “This is all trying to get you to explore a little further,” says John. “So then—after you start to explore the forest—we present you with a threat. Suddenly what you just started to love is in trouble and one of the reasons it’s in trouble is because loggers are creating roads for inner-forest access. Commercial hunters, followed by waves of new populations, take those roads deeper and deeper into the forest, cutting and turning it into agricultural land. And that population is growing. It’s very, very real.” Next, the exhibit leads you into a small theater. On the screen is a movie about gorillas and their neighbors in the African rain forest to show you it’s not too late to save important forests. “I’ve seen people in tears,” John says “even those who don’t speak any English.” When the movie ends, the curtains part and visitors are introduced to the stars: the whole gorilla gang, in their recreated jungle habitat.

Backstage Like actors in a play, the gorillas need a good stage, so John and his staff found ways to design the exhibit to lure the animals where visitors can best see them. “There are heat coils built into this tree,” John points out. “We looked into cooling systems using ambient water, but wound up using a simple secondhand air conditioner so that on a hot day in the summer, inside this tree is just a little bit cooler than elsewhere.” He points out the special technology glass that shows no reflection. “Why 18

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“So when we began to design Congo, we said, let’s figure out if there’s something we can do to empower the visitor to actually effect the real African rain forest. That’s why we think of the exhibit’s gorillas, monitors, fishes, and mice and all these wonders of the forest really as ambassadors.” Madison Avenue doesn’t have it I don’t know, but maybe they’ll ask us about it.” The exhibit was designed as a tunnel of in-sloping glass, he explains, so the gorillas are always in the superior position and we’re in the inferior. “You are literally looking up to a gorilla in every sense of the word,” he says. “Because we’re in the inferior, the gorillas feel very comfortable.” So relaxed in fact, that a large silverback male is leaning against the glass in front of me, snoozing. He scratches himself in some indelicate places and shifts a little to get more comfortable. A female named Julia sees a keeper about to call them for dinner and comes down too. She looks right at me with beautiful dark eyes, and I am profoundly moved.

Audience Participation At the end of the exhibit we arrive at the Conservation Choices pavilion. “One of the innovations of this exhibit is that visitors pay $3 before they go in, and every cent of that goes directly to central African conservation. It isn’t going into someone like Mobutu’s pocket because WCS is at that end, too, making sure that it’s being spent properly. We let every visitor get involved. Do they want to help save gorillas, mandrills, okapis, or forest elephants? They decide at these touch screens. “Then we put another layer on top of that,” he adds. “Conservation has three arms. One is discovering what an animal needs, how many are there, what kind of space do they need, topography and so on. Second is involving local people. It can’t be done without local initiatives at every level. The third is setting up protected areas and working with the local legislature. And if you want to help save mandrills you get to choose which of these three to fund.” John waits to see which I choose? But how does one pick? Having just fallen in love with the gorillas, but not wanting the other cast members to be upstaged by the stars, I agonize over the decision. “That’s one of the things we found in our testing, that people do anguish over it,” he says. “But we want them to, because that’s part of the story; there never are enough funds. We want the process to be real. Visitors are very excited by this because they see that they as individuals make a difference. We want people to feel empowered and effective.” I make my choice and then hear the synthesized sound of a flipping coin: ka-ching. I ask John what the biggest difference is between Congo and Jungle World, his first project here. “The real change was involving people,” he says. “We realized that we


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got people all excited about Asian rain forests, but we didn’t really involve them. In 1995, we had a forest countdown clock and we showed how forests decline as the human population climbs, to more than six billion now. It’s a thoughtful statement, but then people get on the monorail and they leave. “We are helping save rain forests, but we didn’t make that connection for visitors. So when we began to design Congo, we said, let’s figure out if there’s something we can do to empower the visitor to actually effect the real African rain forest. That’s why we think of the exhibit’s gorillas, monitors, fishes, and mice and all these wonders of the forest really as ambassadors.”

Stage Crew “We have the greatest crews in the world— fabricators, curators, keepers, and so on. This is a fantastic organization and everyone cares tremendously, and we all feel very missiondriven to try and inspire our visitors to give a damn. I have a particularly fantastic staff,” John admits. “I’ve tried to find graphic designers, landscape architects, industrial designers, or programmers—people who know how to seduce people with field science, how to tell stories. “Increasingly our job has to be how to show a story. If what visitors see and what they read are not in perfect sync, then people who are coming through who are busy and don’t have a lot of time don’t get the message. Almost everything we write or say in a film or video has to almost be a caption of what they’re looking at.”

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Coming Attractions So what is the sequel to the Congo Gorilla story, I ask? And what will they do differently this time? The answer is Tigers. “Tigers are very different from gorillas,” John explains. “Gorillas are extroverts. They live in big family groups. Tigers tend to be solitary, sort of like the difference between dogs and cats. Dogs probably never have enough patting and playing, but a cat is aloof. They want you to know that they are calling the shots. Tigers are like that. “One of the things we’re exploring now is a way to showcase tigers in action. We’re looking at some giant catnip mice, something that may look like a wild boar, something soft and grabbable and tear-up-able. This is a way to stretch their legs and provide stimulus for them. It also provides a way to show the spectacle of a huge tiger roaring across a meadow to pounce on something. “There are only 300 Siberian tigers left in nature,” John says. “Bengals are in the best shape, Bali tigers are extinct, Sumatran tigers teeter now, and the Caspian tiger was wiped out in the 20th century. One of the things that this organization does is help save them. It’s not too late, but we all need to help.” We don’t yet know if tigers will live happily ever after, but at the Bronx Zoo, John is preparing to tell their story. For more information about the Wildlife Conservation Society or the Congo Gorilla Forest, visit www.congogorillaforest.com or www.wcs.org.

Bessie The rhino may seem new to many alumni, but it has been the school mascot since the late 1980s when I began work at Taft, so understandably I notice them everywhere. In addition to the live ones at the zoo, I asked John about a pair of statues I observed near the center of the park—both named Bessie. Bessie was a great Indian rhino who lived at the Bronx Zoo for nearly 40 years. In the late ’30s Harvard University asked if the renowned sculptor Katherine Weems could use Bessie as the model for two statues to grace the entrance to their new biology building. She went to the zoo and sculpted Bessie, twice—left and right. “I always admired those sculptures in Cambridge when I was in graduate school there,” John says. “When we were about to renovate the Zoo Center—one of the original buildings in the park—we learned of the story in our research. We said, ‘We’ve got to see if we could get some rhinos, too.’” They contacted the artist, by then in her 90s, who loved the zoo and gave them the molds to make a second casting, provided they used a reputable foundry. The price they received was fairly daunting, said John, but they decided to approach Mrs. Astor, another generous supporter of the zoo, who said, “Okay, let’s do it. Let’s bring Bessie back from college.” —JSR

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Trey Anastasio ’83, shown performing with Phish last fall in Las Vegas, is using his time off tour to compose and arrange music for the Vermont Youth Orchestra. ŠReuters NewMedia Inc./CORBIS


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PHISH Insist It’s a Break, Not a Breakup Trey Anastasio ’83 and fellow band members take time to reassess priorities By Steve Morse, Boston Globe The sun goes up in the morning and goes down at night. The rock ’n’ roll equivalent has been the Vermontbased Phish, touring with almost the same regularity. So that’s why it was such a shock when the group announced it was “taking a break” now that its latest tour has ended. The media went into spasms trying to figure out what was going on. Was there friction in the band, as happened to the Grateful Dead after Jerry Garcia died? What forces could be at work? Relax. Phish is not going away for good. The upshot is that there’s a crucial difference between “taking a break” and “breaking up,” as some outlets perceived it. To clarify matters: Phish is on hiatus for the next year, but please don’t talk about any “re-

union” tours after that, because that’s not how the band views it. “It’s been astonishing to me how

many press outlets have turned this into a case of ‘The band is breaking up and who knows if they will ever play again.’

Trey, guitarist and singer with the rock band Phish, at home in Vermont with his daughter Eliza Jean in 1995. ©Nubar Alexanian/CORBIS Taft Bulletin

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They’re just taking a break,” manager John Paluska says from the group’s Burlington, Vt., office. “We just simply don’t know how long the break is going to be. That’s what has everybody all up in arms. “But really, this is much ado about nothing. OK, it’s a story in that it’s been so long that [Phish] has been on a track, and to take an open-ended break represents a significant juncture in their career. And also to do it at such a peak of popularity when they could so clearly continue to capitalize on the momentum that’s happening now. A lot of people consider it to be a risky move, but it seems to me to be

the right move if you want to have a long career. You don’t want to wear out your welcome and then step aside and hope to restart it later. “We’re just going to disappear for a while and not tour for probably at least a year,” Paluska says of the group, which started in the mid-’80s in Vermont. “We’ve been pounding away for a long time. One of the nice things about this is that the [band members] can hopefully cycle down enough to reassess their priorities as musicians and figure out what the most healthy approach to the next phase of Phish is. “And that’s the approach that everyone has—to take a few months apart, then hopefully they’ll be inspired to get

back together and spend a bunch of time without any tour or album looming overhead. Just take time to write music, sort of the way they did 15 years ago when they were just college students and had occasional gigs, but didn’t have anyone paying attention to them. They just sat around and wrote music all the time. That’s a dynamic they’re interested in rediscovering and seeing where that takes them creatively.” The band members—Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon, Jon Fishman, and Page McConnell—will spend time with their families. Anastasio, with two daughters, and McConnell, with one, are the only ones with children at this point.

Reelin’ in the Years

By Rob Brunner

12/31/99

11/2/96

10/31/94

5/7/94

Phish fans flock to the swampy Florida Everglades for a marathon midnight-to-dawn set to mark the new millennium.

The mainstream beckons: Billy Breathes debuts in Billboard’s top 10, smack-dab between No Doubt and LeAnn Rimes.

7/21/99

8/17/96

At a Dallas club, the band unleashes a nearly 70-minute version of “Tweezer,” somehow touching on Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion,” the Breeders’ “Cannonball,” and Prince’s

When worlds collide: The band covers Pavement’s “Gold Soundz” at a concert outside Pittsburgh. Who says hippies don’t have good taste?

In the wee hours, the four guys in Phish climb aboard a flatbed truck and ride around serenading a tent city of more than 70,000 sleepy phans in upstate New York at the Clifford Ball, the first summer camp-out show.

A Halloween tradition is born when the band performs its first “musical costume”—the Beatles’ entire White Album. Since then, Phish have also dressed up as The Who’s Quadrophenia, Talking Heads’ Remain in the Light, and the Velvet Underground’s Loaded.

3/18/97 At a benefit for Lake Champlain, Ben and Jerry— yep, the ice-cream dudes—join Phish on stage at Burlington’s Flynn Theater to celebrate the debut of Phish Food, a chocolate marshmallow concoction stocked with little fudge fish.

12/30/94 We’ll take Manhattan: Phish play their first concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden. It sells out four hours after tickets go on sale.

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And Anastasio is the only member with concrete musical plans: He is composing and arranging music for the Vermont Youth Orchestra, and performed with them at the Troy (N.Y.) Savings Bank Music Hall and the Flynn Theatre in Burlington earlier this month. “Trey is actually melding a couple of pieces into one bigger, orchestral piece,” said Paluska. “He’s doing all the orchestral arrangements, which is a huge challenge for him, and he’s very excited about it.” Gordon is finalizing details to release

“Purple Rain.” The quartet at its improvisational peak.

12/28/92 The band gets an early nod in the mainstream press when People names A Picture of Nectar one of the year’s 10 worst albums.

11/22/92 Phish sign to Elektra, home of The Doors, AC/DC, and Better than Ezra.

a DVD of his film, “Outside Out,” an experimental work about a high school student whose strict father wants him to go to military school rather than be a musician. The student is played by the eccentric Bruce Hampton, bandleader of the Aquarium Rescue Unit. None of the Phish members was available to talk (“they’re in hibernation,” Paluska said) and it’s not known what Fishman and McConnell will do with their time off. But Phish fans need not worry in the meantime. The band mem-

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Republished with permission of Boston Globe ©2000; permission conveyed through Copyright Clearance Center, Inc.

12/1/84

Decked out in tuxedos, Phish pop the cork with a New Year’s Eve gig at Boston’s World Trade Center, thereby establishing a tradition. New Year’s shows would grow increasingly extravagant, integrating overthe-top props like scuba gear and a giant hot dog.

The band braves its first professional show at Burlington’s Main Street club Nectar’s. The set—still widely circulated on tape—is heavy on Grateful Dead covers, but does include longtime Phish fave “Fluffhead.”

Goddard College student and Love Goat keyboardist Page McConnell sits in with Phish at a UVM barbecue. He soon leaves Love Goat. (Wouldn’t you?)

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bers are still getting along well, so this is far from a permanent move. “I don’t want people to think that the band has broken up, and then a year from now they come back and everyone is like, ‘Oh, we thought you guys broke up.’ That’s not it at all,” says Paluska. “The band is just doing this to spend time with their families and recharge their batteries.”

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10/30/83 University of Vermont freshmen Anastasio, Fishman, and Gordon play their first gig, a ROTC party. The set includes Big Chill-style chestnuts like “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and

“Proud Mary.” The band is eventually shut down to make way for a spinning of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” © 2000 Entertainment Weekly Inc. Reprinted by permission. Sources: The Phish Book, by Richard Gehr & Phish; The Pharmer’s Almanac, by Andy Bernstein, Lockhart Steele, Larry Chasnoff & Brian Celentano; Phish.com and Phish.net

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Amateurs Two Golfers Fifty Years Apart By Jim McCabe

Frank Stranahan ’41 at the U.S. Amateur in 1954. He was the runner-up in 1950, but won the British Amateur earlier that year. © Corbis/Bettman Archives

What he didn’t know right then was how unlucky the 39th hole of a US Amateur final is for guys from Taft.

The emotions had shifted turbulently for the better part of ten hours, but the past 45 minutes had been the most chaotic. He had been all but beaten, only to get recharged by a momentum that had inexplicably come his way, and now James Driscoll had his hand on a 5-iron at the par-3 third tee when his focus was crushed. Not now, Driscoll said to himself as the sickening sound of an air horn echoed off the trees at Baltusrol Golf Club’s Upper Course in Springfield, N.J. A cool blanket of twilight had been lowered upon the final match of the 100th U.S. Amateur Championship when Driscoll, who had been 3 down with three holes remaining, sought out an official. “Just one more hole,” he pleaded, but the official shook his head. There was lightning in the area, spectators and players had to be ushered to safety, and besides, Jeff Quinney, Driscoll’s opponent, had already headed for the clubhouse. The match would be continued the next morning at that third tee, the 39th hole of a riveting competition. He had had the momentum, but now his spirits were deflated. Driscoll stared at a pin 200 yards away and wonJim McCabe is a sportswriter for the Boston Globe .

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dered how many times he would swing that 5-iron in his dreams that night. What he didn’t know right then was how unlucky the 39th hole of a U.S. Amateur final is for guys from Taft. The Amateur is the oldest of the tournaments conducted by the U.S. Golf Association and only twice since 1895 has a final stretched to 39 holes (36 in regulation, three more in a playoff ). Strange as it sounds, in each instance the runner-up has been a former Taft student—Driscoll ’96 this past August and Frank Stranahan ’41 50 years earlier at Minneapolis Golf Club. They are golfers from different generations and family backgrounds and more than likely Driscoll, who hails from Brookline, Mass., and Stranahan, who grew up in Toledo, Ohio, but lives a reclusive life in southern Florida, will never meet, but they are forever linked in USGA folklore. Their heartbreaking 39-hole losses, amazingly, were in many ways similar.


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The Background

Never an Edge

Neither Stranahan nor Driscoll were strangers to U.S. Amateur success. Stranahan, in fact, could have been considered a strong favorite in 1950, having just won the British Amateur a month earlier. He had also won national amateur titles in Canada, Brazil, and Mexico, and at age 28 he was living the distinguished life of a gentleman golfer. As the wealthy son of a man who had secured a fortune making spark plugs, Stranahan’s life revolved around lifting weights, keeping in shape, and playing only against the best golf competition he could find. Driscoll, 22, also pointed to the U.S. Amateur; so much, in fact, that he did not play in his home state’s amateur championship five weeks earlier, despite the fact he had won it twice. A quarterfinalist at the 1999 U.S. Amateur, Driscoll had graduated from the University of Virginia a few months earlier and figured to use the tournament at Baltusrol as a springboard into pro golf.

Stranahan and Driscoll not only lost their final matches, they never had a lead. Stranahan lost the fourth hole against Urzetta—a former caddie from Rochester, N.Y., who had recently graduated from St. Bonaventure—and spent the day on the chase. Stranahan did square the match through nine holes in the afternoon, but Urzetta went 1 up when he won the 11th. Not to be denied, Stranahan won the 15th with a birdie-4, then halved Nos. 16 and 17 to bring it to the 36th. Driscoll three-putted the first hole to fall behind to Quinney, and was 2 down after the morning 18. Starting the afternoon bogey-bogey, Driscoll went 4 down and as his large, supportive gallery suffered in silent pain, the situation turned dormie: Quinney was 3 up with three to play. Then, dramatic back-to-back birdies at the par-4 16th and par-5 17th plugged life into Driscoll, who had somehow forced the match to a 36th hole.

On the Road to the The 36th Finals Stranahan reached the par-4 18

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It perhaps didn’t raise eyebrows at the time, but Stranahan’s first victory in 1950 came against the Western Pennsylvania Amateur champion, a hard-swinging kid from Wake Forest named Arnold Palmer. Out in even par, Stranahan closed out Palmer with a chip-in birdie at the 15th. His march to the championship went through Jimmy McHale, William Mawhinney, NCAA Champion Fred Wampler, Willie Barber, Richard Kinchla, and John P. Ward. Stranahan had earned a final date with Sam Urzetta. Only time will tell, but perhaps Driscoll’s shining moment came in the semifinals when he upset the tournament favorite, Luke Donald of England, a student at Northwestern University. He had started by ousting B.J. Staten, then got past David Bennett, Richard Smith, and longtime Amateur standout Jerry Courville of Milford, Conn.

in regulation and was in position to win when Urzetta flew the green, fluffed his third shot, then chipped to 5 feet. Needing two putts from some 5 feet above the hole, Stranahan flinched and stroked his birdie bid at least 10 feet by, then missed the comebacker for par. Urzetta converted his bogey putt to send the match into extra holes. Down 1, Driscoll appeared sunk when he drove right into the woods at the 420yard 18th, but he made a miraculous punch-out and drilled a 140-yard wedge to 5 feet. Quinney, having driven left into trees, could do no better than bogey, so when Driscoll snuck his par putt in, he had won his third straight hole and squared the match.

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James Driscoll ’96 at the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur Championship last summer. AP/Wide World Photo/Mike Derer

The Playoff Amazingly, it ended virtually the same way on August 26, 1950, as it did on August 28, 2000—that is, with one errant tee shot on the third hole, the 39th of the match. For Stranahan it was a drive out-ofbounds at a par-4. It enabled Urzetta to play cautiously and even though he made bogey, it was good enough to win because Stranahan made a double after re-teeing. For Driscoll, the wayward shot wasn’t quite as bad. When he returned the next morning, he steered the 5-iron right, hoping for a draw that would land against a slope in the green and funnel to a pin that was cut deep left Only it never turned. Instead, the ball got caught in thick rough to the back of the green, giving Quinney the option to play a 4-iron safe. After Driscoll negotiated a pitch shot that ran nearly 15 feet past the Continued on page 51

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sport Fall Highlights By Steve Palmer Field Hockey: 13–2 (NE Tournament) As defending New England champs, the field hockey team had a tough road to follow, and an early loss to Greenwich Academy revealed that this was not going to be a perfect season. Yet, the team powered through the middle of the season with 5 one-goal victories

including an inspiring 2–1 win over rival Deerfield. Their final record of 13–2 earned Taft a 6th place ranking in New England and a berth in the postseason tournament for the fifth straight year. Uppermid co-captain Brooke Townsend was designated as a Founders’ League and WNEPSA AllStar as one of the finest midfielders in

South African standout Paul Kelly ’01 provided the offensive spark for a talented varsity squad this fall. Photo by Vaughn Winchell 26

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New England. Also a league and WNEPSA All-Star, senior co-captain Chrissie Murphy led the team with 15 goals and 13 assists. Both girls were also nominated as All-Americans.

Football: 4–4 What this year’s squad lacked in size they more than made up for with relentless conditioning, solid team speed, and tremendous senior leadership. Taft proved to be one of the best defensive teams in the Erickson Conference, but they manifested their strength in different ways each Saturday. On November 4, they exploded offensively in downing Loomis 41–21, led by senior Aaron Stepka’s 216 yards on the ground. On October 11, with very little offense and key injuries, Taft clinched an improbable 7–0 victory over rival Avon Old Farms; Colby Griffith’s 62-yard interception return for a touchdown, one of six Avon turnovers on the day, stood up as the only points of the game. And, on the final day in probably the best game of the year, the team’s spirit and toughness were evident to all who watched as Taft gave an undefeated Hotchkiss team all they could handle, holding them to just 6 points for three quarters before drop-


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ping a 28–14 decision in the end. Seniors Dan Welsh and Colby Griffith were named All-League. Griffith was also named to the Erickson Conference First Team as a defensive back, and Welsh was voted as the Most Valuable Defensive Player in the league.

Girls’ Soccer: 9–2–4 (NE Tournament) Taft girls’ soccer, the dominant force in New England in the late ’80s, has made a steady climb back up to the top competitive arena, just missing the post-season tournament last year. This year’s squad earned an 8th place seeding for the tournament on the strength of their 9–2–4 record before bowing out to eventual champ Loomis-Chaffee in the first round. Driven by powerful All-New England fullback Jenn Feffer, Taft was stingy on defense all season and exploded at just the right times in a crucial 1–0 win over Westminster and an inspiring comeback tie 2–2, versus Choate. Seniors Rachel Ridgeway and Annie Owen were also named as WWNEPSSA All-Stars, and Meghan Stone was a Founders’ League All-Star.

Boys’ Soccer: 9–7 The boys’ varsity has not had a losing season since 1988, but an 0–3 start left this year’s talented team feeling uncertain at best. However, led by WNEPSA All-Stars Paul Kelly and Luke LaBella, Taft went on to win 7 of their next 8 games. The defense was anchored by Founders’ League All-Star Taylor Leahy, but Kelly, a senior from South Africa, provided the offensive spark and ball control for this year’s team which scored a school record: 53 goals in 17 games. The junior varsity enjoyed their most successful season ever, posting a 15–0–1 record and scoring a staggering 91 goals in just 16 games.

Sarah Bromley ’02 helped bring the girls’ varsity squad to a 9–2–4 record and a place at the New England Tournament. Photo by Vaughn Winchell

Girls’ Cross Country: 7–4 The team’s effort to win a third consecutive Founders’ League Title fell just short as Taft placed 2nd in the league meet on November 4. Yet, middler Marisa Ryan won the individual title as she just missed the course record at Hotchkiss, and senior Vanessa Wood and uppermid Meredith Deschenes earned All-League status in finishing 5th and 9th respectively. On the final weekend, the girls bounced back to have their finest race of the season in placing 4th at the New England Championship meet, defeating all their Founders’ League foes in the process.

Captains-Elect 2001 Boys’ Cross Country Charles Erdman ’02, Scott McGoohan ’02

Girls’ Cross Country Meredith Deschenes ’02

Field Hockey Grace Morris ’02, Brooke Townsend ’02

Football Edward Allen ’02, Bailey Stark ’02, Rodman Tilt ’02

Other Records

Boys’ Soccer

Boy’s Cross Country 3–10 Volleyball 5–11

Girls’ Soccer

Matthew Aleksinas ’02, Luke LaBella ’02

Sarah Bromley ’02, Kara McCabe ’02, Lucy O’Connell ’02

Volleyball Katherine Blunt ’02, Maiko Nakarai ’02

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Winter 2001 Taft Bulletin  
Winter 2001 Taft Bulletin