Category Archives: tributes (written by Roger W. Smith)

Mr. Kidd

 

 

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A couple of memories about Mr. Russell E. Kidd, the former gym teacher and coach at Canton High School in Canton, Massachusetts, who died this month at the age of 86.

I actually remember Mr. Kidd best from junior high. He was a phys ed instructor in both the junior and senior high schools in the early year of his teaching career.

There was always a hortatory streak in Mr. Kidd. But first, a digression.

 
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In my senior year, a neighbor and fellow student, Dave Freiday, told me after school one day: You wouldn’t believe what Mr. Kidd said about you today. Dave had been in the locker room after school, probably as a member of the track team. Paraphrasing what Dave told me (I remember it very well), Mr. Kidd had said to him: Look at Roger Smith. It’s incredible. He was the most uncoordinated kid you could imagine and now he has developed into a good athlete and always goes out for sports.

He didn’t mean that I was an outstanding athlete, but that it was wonderful how I had gone from being hopelessly inept to a student-athlete.

What nice words! Would that all coaches have such interest in and appreciation for the development of the boys in their domain.

 
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To backtrack, my first experience of Mr. Kidd was in the eighth grade. After a workout, we boys were seated in a circle either on the ground outside or on the floor of the gymnasium.

Everyone looked up to Mr. Kidd. He was handsome, had a muscular physique. He spoke well and with sincerity. He chose his words well; was forceful, clear, and direct.

He delivered a de facto sermon.

We were about to enter high school. Mr. Kidd told us, “If you go out for football, it will make you a man.”

“I’m not saying you can’t become a man if you don’t play football, “he continued, “but if you do, I guarantee you will become a man.”

Wanting very much to become a man. I took this seriously and went out for football in my freshman year in high school,

Mr. Kidd talked about himself by way of example. This was the most memorable part of his talk. He told us boys, you can make something of yourself (as he had done) regardless of your circumstances. He told us that he had had a summer job as a moving man when he was in college. “I was in some of the worst slums in Boston.” he said. In some of the apartments, he said, everything was neat and orderly. “It was so clean you could eat off the floor.”

I never forgot these indelible words.

 

 

Roger W Smith

   February 23. 2020

My posts on Ralph Colp, Jr., Norman F. Cantor, and Eiji Mizutani have been updated.

 

 

 

The following posts of mine – each of them a tribute to a deceased person I admired — have been updated by me:

 

 
Roger W. Smith, ‘tribute to Ralph Colp, Jr., MD”

 

https://rogersgleanings.com/2016/02/16/tribute-to-ralph-colp-jr-md/

 

 

 

my history professor, Norman F. Cantor

 

https://rogersgleanings.com/2016/06/13/norman-f-cantor/

 

 

 

Roger W. Smith, “Reminiscence of Eiji Mizutani” (ロジャーW.スミス、「水谷栄二さんを偲んで」)

 

https://rogersgleanings.com/2017/08/18/xxxx-roger-w-smith-reminscence-of-eiji-mizutani-%E3%83%AD%E3%82%B8%E3%83%A3%E3%83%BCw-%E3%82%B9%E3%83%9F%E3%82%B9%E3%80%81%E3%80%8C%E6%B0%B4%E8%B0%B7%E6%A0%84%E4%BA%8C%E3%81%95/

 

 

To each post, I have added  communiqués I received from relatives of the deceased. It was an oversight on my part not to have done this before.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

    June 2019

Roger W. Smith, tribute to Pierre Coustillas (Gissing authority)

 

 

 

 

roger’s tribute to piere coustilas

 

 

Posted here as a PDF document (above) is:

 

Roger W. Smith, “Tribute to Pierre Coustillas,” Supplement to The Gissing Journal, Volume LIL, Number 4, October 2018
Pierre Coustillas (1930-2018) was a French literary scholar and emeritus professor of English at the University of Lille. He was the world’s foremost authority on the works of the late-Victorian novelist George Gissing.

William Sage Dalzell (1929-2018)

 

 

‘William Sage Dalzell (1929-2018)’

 

 

 

Bill Dalzell was one of the first people I got to know after moving to New York City. I will never forget his kindness to me. My friendship with Bill was a long and enduring one.

If you got to know Bill well, as I did — if you were privileged to know him — you will probably know the following things about him, and, if you do, will know that they are all true.

He never cared about externals. Dressed simply. Lived by intuition. He followed politics closely but was fundamentally an apolitical person.

He believed absolutely in the spiritual, in mysticism, and in bona fide psychics such as Edgar Cayce and the medium Grace Cooke, author of the White Eagle books. He was interested in the writings of mystics such as Meister Eckhart — in the case of Eckhart, in the concept of detachment or disinterestedness: renouncing self-interest to attain spiritual enlightenment.

He believed without any doubt that there was an afterlife on “the other side.”

He was skeptical of much of what is considered orthodoxy — he used to say, “Science marches backward.” A paradox with an element of truth in it.

He absolutely did not believe in medicine or doctors. He had no bank account, as far as I knew.

He had an interesting mind, in many respects totally unconventional. Was a nonconformist. Yet he was one of the kindest, politest, most civil persons you could hope to meet. He was a true gentleman. He had a warm, mellifluous voice with an inflection, which he never lost, that bespoke his Pennsylvania roots.

He thought for himself and by himself. He had an interesting way of expressing original concepts. For example, he told me that he liked to call cats “fur people.” He said it made it easier to conceptualize having a relationship with them. And, then there was his concept of the “foot philosophy,” which he explained by saying that when he couldn’t decide which bus or train to take, whether to go to a museum or the cinema, or whether to walk uptown or downtown, he would go wherever, instinctually, his feet took him, follow his feet.

He did not put on airs. Just the opposite. He used to say to me, when he was living on East 5th Street between Avenues A and B, “I live in a slum and I like it.” At that time (which was the time when I first met him), urban renewal and slum clearance were in the air.

He was a deeply religious person and, especially in his later years, a churchgoer. This despite the fact that he detested religious dogmatism.

He was a very earnest thinker. He dwelt all day long, every day, in the realm of ideas. He thought long and hard about things. Over and over again. Immortality and the afterlife. What is truth? The truth of art. The spiritual. Past lives. Places.

He did not have much use for formal education, although there was an English teacher at the prep school he attended, Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, whom he never forgot, who taught him to appreciate poetry. He wasn’t impressed by scholarship or academic credentials. He developed his own credo, but it was never set in stone. He would often say, quoting some philosopher: “Truth is like a butterfly. If you pin it down, it dies.”

He had acute tastes in art and loved the arts.

He was an earnest seeker after truth. In a conversation we had a few months ago, he told me something a philosophy professor in a college class he was enrolled in said many years ago: “The question is not whether a philosophy or belief system is true, it’s whether you like it nor not; does it appeal to you, say something to you? The same thing applies to art.” He sent me a postcard of Notre-Dame de Paris on a trip there in the summer of 1969. I remember in essence what he wrote. That he would continue seeking truth wherever he went. That he was in search of truth, repeating the word several times.

 

 

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Some biographical details about Bill.

He grew up in Wilkinsburg, a borough adjacent to Pittsburgh. He loved the hills. The trolley cars. The movie theatre. How he went to a film once and before the film heard music, which he later learned was Felix Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture. He wasn’t expecting it. The music overwhelmed him. It was a mystical experience. Bill’s grandfather had a 78 rpm record of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony. Bill played it over and over again and said to me in old age that he had never ever tired of it.

He moved to New York in the 1950’s. He loved his adopted city. He used to say, “Would you care to hear me sing the praises of New York?” He used to marvel at the fact that so many people of all races and nationalities lived cheek by jowl in harmony. At how much the City had to offer by way of culture and places to enjoy at modest prices.

He made friends with many spiritually inclined people and, also, readily made friends with artists such as his lifelong friend Edwin Treitler, an artist, writer, and spiritual healer; the “magic realist” painter Gregory Gillespie; and the Greek-American painter Bill Komodore. He had an affinity for people in the arts. Gillespie’s portrait of Bill Dalzell, “Bill (in Studio),” was painted in the mid-1980’s when Bill was living in Pittsfield and Gillespie was living nearby in Belchertown, Massachusetts. The painting is owned by the Forum Galley in New York City. Bill had befriended Gillespie when the latter was studying at Cooper Union in New York in the late 1950’s.

He would on occasion speak about his parents: his father, who would visit Bill from time to time at his apartment on East 5th Street; and his mother, who died tragically of cancer in middle age. He felt an unnecessary operation led to her death. He never mentioned that his great-grandfather John Dalzell was a congressman from Pennsylvania.

He used to go the Metropolitan Museum of Art every weekend. He said that going to the Met was his equivalent of attending church. He would always begin by sitting in the cafeteria for an hour or so nursing a cup of coffee, lost in thought.

He had his favorite haunts. Besides the Met: the Thalia theater, an art movie house on West 95th Street; the Staten Island Ferry; the automat. He loved being able to see two films for the price of one at the Thalia and discovered art films there (as well as at the Museum of Modern Art). He loved to take the Staten Island Ferry to Staten Island and back. We did it together several times. Bill would recommend getting off on the Staten Island side and having a cup of coffee or walking around for a while. In his early New York days, he would get off and see a movie in Staten Island, then take the ferry back.

He had a discerning eye for art. He was an admirer of the painter Edward Hopper. Bill introduced me to Hopper. During museum trips we made together, he would point out how Hopper made use of light. “The light is different in America,” Bill would say. By “different,” he meant brighter. More brilliant. An observation which was true.

Bill loved the painting “The Peaceable Kingdom” by the American folk artist Edward Hicks and how the painting depicted visually Quaker principles: the lion lying down with the lamb. He would often go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the painting.

He had his favorite paintings and rooms in the Met. In the Medieval Art section behind The Great Hall, there was a marble sculpture of Saint Hilarion (North Italian School XII century), which was a favorite of Bill’s. He said it reminded him of me. Maybe Bill saw a corresponding sincerity and earnestness in me, in my expression.

Bill singlehandedly made me into a discerning filmgoer. He got me to appreciate foreign films such as Ivan the Terrible, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, the director Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Ordet, and The Gospel According to St. Matthew, films that most people would be unlikely to know about.

He loved the D. W. Griffith film Intolerance, which he had seen I don’t know how many times. The film ends with an idealistic vision of a day “when prison bars wrought in the fires of intolerance will no longer prevail” and spectral prisoners in striped uniforms are seen moving through prison walls which disappear. A scene remarked upon by Bill.

He only recently called my attention to a film he loved from his early days in New York City: 3rd Ave. El, which was made in 1955. The music, as Bill pointed out, is a Haydn concerto played by harpsichordist Wanda Landowska. Bill thought the music was great and that it made the film. He made an observation to me once that I remember. He said that films work their magic by “sight and sound.”

His aesthetic senses were astute. Yet, it was all intuition, never tendentious. I learned much from him about how, while trusting my own intuitions, and being guided by them, to discriminate between the most profound works of art (chiefly films and paintings) and currently popular ones which (he could see) were of only passing interest at best or works that did not speak directly to him. He told me once that a good “measuring rod” for films was to ask oneself: do you still think it’s great, are you still thinking about it, the day after?

This kind of thinking — a sort of seat of the pants ratiocination — influenced me strongly. I feel that Bill never got credit for it and that it was overlooked. Another thought of his along these lines was a remark he made about traveling. When one arrives home after an overseas trip, he said to me, one is not quite home yet, mentally, and is still, mentally, a traveler. It takes a day or two to feel fully back home mentally, and, during that day or two, one is experiencing one’s own city as a traveler would experience it.

 

 

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I remember Bill at 218 East 18th Street like it was yesterday and wish I could bring those times back. The cubbyhole in the cellar where he had his printing press. The pay phone in the hall on the bottom floor on which he would get calls from clients. How Charlie Bloomstein, the executive director of the New York Friends Group, would haggle Bill about paying part of the monthly phone bill.

In the 1960’s, he was kept busy printing flyers for the War Resisters League and Women’s Strike for Peace. Handouts announcing a march or demonstration. They trusted him; he was their printer of choice. “The war is good for business,” he would say to me jokingly.

Bill and his printing press. How he seemed to keep it working with rubber bands and paper clips and would, in his own words, get down on his knees and pray to the press to not stop working. How he would read his New York Times as the press was humming with sheets coming out of it. He had bill pads he had made up with the words: “William Dalzell, Quality Multilith Printing.” He explained to me how a multilith printer worked. The key thing to keep in mind, he said, is that “oil and water don’t like each other.” He loved to observe how mechanical things worked, and he loved old inventions. In a Thanksgiving card Bill sent me in the 1980’s, he wrote about visiting the Science Museum in Boston with Ed Treitler and his daughter Anya. “My favorite thing was the steam engine,” he wrote. “I love steam engines.”

My job title at the New York Friends Group was Workroom Supervisor; my responsibilities included mimeographing. Bill would patiently try, repeatedly, to show me how to stack a ream of paper so that the ends lined up. I never quite got the hang of it.
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Bill’s mind interested me because, like mine, it ranged all over the place. Nothing was seemingly too mundane for him to notice and consider, think about, and nothing was too arcane or “airy.” He once got to talking about waiters. He didn’t like coffee shops because he preferred not to have to be waited upon. He preferred places such as a cafeteria or fast food place where you could place your order and take it to your table. “Americans don’t make good waiters,” he told me. “They don’t like to be in a subservient position.”

Bill said that he had once had an experience in a restaurant in Europe (he was no snob and was anything but an epicure) with the perfect waiter. “A good waiter,” he said, “is someone who is there when you want them and is not there when you don’t.”

 

 

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Bill was a great traveler. The places he went to (on a limited budget)! Europe. Mexico, where he lived for a while on a Friends Service Committee project. Alaska and Labrador. The Aran and Orkney Islands. The Findhorn spiritual community in Scotland. Russia. The Monastery of Trinity-St. Sergius, which is located near Moscow in what was then known as the town of Zagorsk. Bill had what he described as a mystical, or near mystical, experience there.

He had interesting observations to share — some of them “episodic,” but nonetheless fruitful. “The Scotch are in a class by themselves when it comes to love of books and reading,” he told me once. “You go into a bar and you’ll see a working man in working clothes with a worn [meaning its cover] book sticking out of his back pocket.”

His favorite place was Notre-Dame de Paris. He said that Notre-Dame was “the most holy place” he had ever visited.

He was in the United States Merchant Marine during his young adulthood. It must have been his first experience of travel. He told me that there is a lot of time on a ship where one is doing nothing and can presumably read and reflect. He said that as far as his duties on the ship were concerned, they almost always involved painting. Bill was not afraid or too snobby to do menial jobs.

He was not much of a writer, in terms of output, but he would write occasionally when he was away, always a very short communique — by design — usually a postcard. His writing was notable for its deliberate plainness and its sincerity. And his neat printing, which resembled calligraphy. He was a generous and thoughtful giver, on a limited budget, of gifts. If he wished to share a book with you, he would give you his own copy to keep, such as his ink stained copy of Aldous Huxley’s The Perennial Philosophy and a book by Edgar Cayce.

Bill’s favorite poem was Tennyson’s “Ulysses,” which ends with the following lines which Bill would recite:

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

   March 2018

 

 

 

Bill Dalzell's note to Roger

This note from Bill Dalzell to Roger Smith was inserted in a copy of a book, “Edgar Cayce’s Story of Jesus,” given to Roger by Bill.

 

 

 

can the sun “grin”?

 

I learned in yesterday’s New York Times about the passing of my former journalism professor Maurice (Mickey) Carroll, who died on December 6th.

 

“Maurice Carroll, Political Reporter and Pollster, Dies at 86”

By Sam Roberts

The New York Times, December 6, 2017

 

 

 

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Mickey Carroll was a tough, dapper Irish guy and an outstanding reporter on the Times’s city desk for many years. He taught me far more about writing than any of my other journalism profs; it wasn’t even close.

It’s a truism that the best way to learn any skill is to do it. Well, besides lecturing, Carroll meticulously critiqued our writing (stories we had to report and write as class assignments).

I would hand in a story to him. I remember one was when he let the class interview him press conference style and we were assigned to write a profile of him. “This is very good,” he said to me, handing back the paper a day or two later, “but it’s too long.”

I kept tightening up my work. I began to appreciate how important space limitations are in a newspaper. For a feature article, it’s usually six hundred words. Six hundred words meant just that: six hundred words. If you wrote, say, 615 words, your editor would be unhappy, having to do the work himself of excising a “graf” from your story.

I would hand in papers that I thought were as carefully and tightly constructed as I could make them, with no superfluous words. They would come back with red lines drawn though maybe ten or fifteen words or phrases that I had never realized were superfluous. A “that,” say, where it could be dispensed with.

 

 

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Professor (and seasoned reporter) Carroll told us a funny story in class one day which illustrates the frustrations he himself had experienced as a writer. He finally left the Times for another paper. He said the final straw was when he once assigned to cover the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Manhattan.

The lead sentence in the story he turned in was “The sun grinned on the Irish yesterday.”

“Grinned” was too colorful a word for the copy editor at the Times, which was known for bloodless prose. (It still is, but efforts have made over recent years to make the writing more lively.) For “grinned,” the copy editor substituted some more generic verb.

“That did it,” Mickey said.

I could identify with the frustrations he felt with pettifogging editors.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

  December 7, 2017

 

 

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Addendum: Sam Roberts, one of the Times’s best obituary writers, and an outstanding writer in general, wrote the obituary. He notes: “Known to be cranky but easily amused, Mr. Carroll would often pepper his reporting with wry and iconoclastic asides.” That’s how he was in class: the teacher/editor who applied principles of “tough love” to improving the writing of his students, while doing it with wit and grace. And, he showed us how, while adhering to strict standards of newspaper writing, you could also have fun and work in a quip or an amusing detail or two. Shoehorn it in, that is, word length permitting.

“He never lost his reporter’s perspective, though, advising would-be journalists never to take themselves too seriously, no matter how important the news they’re covering may be,” Sam Roberts writes.

I found this to be true. He was a complete professional, and, as such, he was never out of character in class, yet he himself was a character.

He stressed that his vocation was that of REPORTER, and he once told a story to illustrate what that meant.

Early in Carroll’s career, a reporter on the Times’s arts desk, a cultural critic, was somewhere in Manhattan at some event or performance one evening. As he was leaving, he observed that a big fire had broken out in a building across the street. He telephoned the Times from a pay phone, shouting, “Get a reporter here immediately! There’s a fire!”

He was a reporter,” observed Carroll, who happened to be at Dallas Police Headquarters on one of his first reporting assignments when Lee Harvey Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby. “He was there. He should have covered the fire.”

Roger W. Smith, “Reminiscence of Eiji Mizutani” (ロジャーW.スミス、「水谷栄二さんを偲んで」)

 

 

 

‘Reminiscence of Eiji Mizutani

 

 

 

Chizuko Mizutani

to Roger Smith

February 27, 2016

 

 

Dear Roger-san,

How nice of you to comment nicely about Eiji.

Ten years has past. And still you remember vividly.

I was so impressed.

If I succeed in printing out your Reminiscence of Eiji Mizutani, I will visit his grave yard and read for him.

Roger-san, Thank you so much.

Gomennasai means I am sorry.

Very fondly yours,

Chizuko

 
Chizuko Mizutani

to Roger Smith

March 3, 2016

 

Dear Roger-san,

I would like to report that I visited Eiji’s graveyard with bunch of flowers, and read your article “Reminiscence of Eiji Mizutani”.

He smiled and listened to my voice calmly.

He was a bit surprised to notice the date January 2016, the same as I was.

Anyway, he told me to convey his kindest regards to you.

These are my imagination.

Very fondly yours,

Chizuko

 

 

 

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下記の日本語訳をご覧ください

 

 

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Roger W. Smith, “Reminscence of Eiji Mizutani” (ロジャーW.スミス、「水谷栄二さんを偲んで」)

 

 

Eiji Mizutani (水谷 栄二), a former colleague of mine at Watson Wyatt Worldwide, passed away in Tokyo on January 30, 2006.

Mr. Mizutani was the manager of the Wyatt Company’s Tokyo office. During the 1990’s, he divided his time between Tokyo and New York and was involved in initiatives to establish new business for the Wyatt Company with Japanese clients both in Japan and the United States.

I was employed in Business Development and Mr. Mizutani was interested in recruiting me to work with potential Japanese client firms.

Unfortunately, not much ever came of this. But Mr. Mizutani arranged for me to go to Tokyo on a business trip and paid for the trip with a plane ticket purchased with his frequent flier miles. It was thanks to him that I got to see Japan. He was keenly interested in my trip and gave me advice on what to do and see and whom to meet with.

I spent a great deal of time in New York with Mr. Mizutani, both at the office and in causal encounters.

I had great respect and affection for Mr. Mizutani. He was a wonderful person. He was intelligent and well informed in so many areas: business, languages, and general knowledge. He was interested in many things. In fact, it seems he was interested in just about everything. We talked about many subjects, ranging from business to sports. He was an avid sports fan.

He told me about his childhood and his education in Vietnam and the United States. He was a modest man with an impressive background. Apparently, much of his early education was in Vietnam, and he attended college in the United States during the 1950’s, I believe in Indiana.

He knew three languages fluently: Japanese, English, and Vietnamese. His English was impeccable.

He once told me, which I found surprising and interesting, that Vietnamese was an even more difficult language to learn than Chinese.

Mr. Mizutani was a kind person. He seemed to enjoy life greatly.

He enjoyed sharing his experiences and wisdom with his colleagues. This was something he seemed to see as part of his role.

He took his work very seriously, yet he was a delightful companion whom one loved to spend time with. He had a very good sense of humor.

On one occasion, Mr. Mizutani; his secretary, Iseko Kano (叶 伊勢子); his wife, Chizuko Mizutani (水谷 千鶴子), who was visiting New York; and I had lunch together at an Italian restaurant in Manhattan. The waiter spoke to us in an affected Italian accent. Mr. Mizutani joked that with customers in restaurants like these, they “forget that they know English” (pretend that they don’t know it).

He was a very thoughtful and generous person, always doing little kindnesses, like leaving some Japanese pastries on my desk on a day when he left the New York office to return to Tokyo because he thought my sons would enjoy them.

We talked together about family and kids. He was modest about his family, but one could tell that he was very proud of them. I know he was delighted with his sons’ accomplishments, thrilled when his oldest son got married, and very pleased to become a grandfather, because he told me so. (As of the date of this writing, his widow, Chizuko Mizutani, has four grandchildren. See photo below.)

Mr. Mizutani loved to travel, and everything he saw seemed to interest him. One of the last conversations we had was about a trip he had made to Eastern Europe. He had taken a great interest in Bulgaria, a country I myself had once traveled to, and we were able to compare notes.

He liked to experience different cuisines, like a restaurant he introduced me to on Restaurant Row in Manhattan that featured Italian-Jewish cuisine. He was interested in sampling the food in Bulgaria.

He was very much a real, full, and accomplished person in the best sense.

I miss him very much.

 

 

— Roger W Smith

     January 2016

 

 

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ロジャーW.スミス、「水谷栄二さんを偲んで」

 

掲載日 2016年1月4  掲載者Roger’s Gleanings

 

 

水谷栄二さんは、私がワトソン・ワイアット・ワールドワイドに務めていたころの同僚で、2006年1月30日に東京で亡くなった。

水谷さんは、ワイアット・カンパニーの東京支社のマネージャーだった。1990年代、彼は東京とニューヨークとに時間を振り分け、日米で日本の企業を対象にワイアット・カンパニーの事業を推進していた。

私は事業開発部に所属しており、水谷さんは日本のお客様担当として私を採用してくれようとしていた。

不運にも、これは実現しなかった。しかし水谷さんのおかげで、私は彼が飛行機のマイレージサービスを使って購入してくれた航空券で東京に出張させてもらうことができた。日本に行かせていただいた事を彼に感謝している。彼は私の日本訪問に強い興味を示し、何をし、何を見、誰と会うべきか、いろいろと助言してくれた。

私はニューヨークで水谷さんと、仕事でも私生活でもかなりの時間を一緒に過ごさせていただいた。

私は水谷さんを大変尊敬しており、深い敬愛の念を抱いている。彼は素晴らしい人だった。彼は知的で、ビジネス、言語、および一般知識にいたるまで、幅広い知識を持っていた。彼は多くのことに興味を持っていた。事実、彼はすべてのことに関心があるように見えた。私たちは、ビジネスからスポーツまで、様々なテーマについて話した。彼は熱烈なスポーツファンだった。

彼は子供の頃のこと、ベトナムとアメリカで受けた教育のことについて話してくれた。彼は素晴らしい学歴を持ちながらも謙虚な人だった。彼は子供時代の教育のほとんどをベトナムで受け、1950年代にアメリカの(インディアナ州だったと思う)の大学に通った。

彼は、日本語、英語、およびベトナム語の3ヶ国語に精通していた。彼の英語には非の打ち所が無かった。

彼は一度、ベトナム語を学ぶのは、中国語を学ぶよりも難しいと話してくれたことがあり、驚いたのと同時に、興味深かったことを覚えている。

水谷さんは親切な人だった。彼は人生を存分に楽しんでいるようだった。

彼は、彼の経験と知識を同僚と共有できることに喜びを感じていた。彼はこれを彼の職務の一環と考えているようだった。

彼は仕事にとても真剣に取り組むまじめな人だったが、誰もが一緒に時間を過ごしたいと思うような楽しい友人でもあった。彼には素晴らしいユーモアセンスがあった。

水谷さん、秘書の叶伊勢子さん、ニューヨークを訪れていた妻の水谷千鶴子さんと私とでマンハッタンのイタリア料理のレストランで昼食をとっていたときのこと。 ウェイターが偽物のイタリアンなまりの英語で私たちに話しかけてくると、水谷さんはすかさず、こういうレストランに来るお客さんの影響で、「ウェイターさんは英語が話せることを忘れてしまうのかな[英語が話せないふりをしている]」とジョークを飛ばした。

彼はとても思いやり深く、寛容な人だった。常にさりげない優しさを忘れず、彼が東京に戻る前のニューヨークオフィス最後の日にも、私の息子が喜ぶだろうから、と私のデスクに日本の菓子パンを置いていってくれたことがある。

私たちは家族や子供たちのことについても話した。彼は家族の事を褒めちぎるようなことはなかったが、内心はとても誇りに思っていることはよく分かった。彼は息子さんの成功をとても喜んでいること、ご長男が結婚されたときはとても感激したこと、そしておじいさんになったときはとてもうれしかったことを話してくれた。(このブログを執筆時、彼の未亡人・水谷千鶴子さんには4人のお孫さんがいる。(下の写真を参照してください)

水谷さんは旅行が大好きで、見たものすべてに興味を持つようだった。最後に交わした会話では、東ヨーロッパの旅行についても話した。彼はブルガリアにとても興味を持っていた。ブルガリアは私も訪れた事があり、互いの旅行記を比較しあった。

彼は異文化の食べ物を体験するのが好きで、彼が紹介してくれたマンハッタンの「Restaurant Row」ではユダヤ系イタリア料理を楽しむことができた。彼はブルガリアでも新しい食べ物に関心を示していた。

彼は最高の意味で、地に足の着いた、中身のある、洗練された人だった。

私は彼が居なくなってとても悲しい。

 

 

ロジャーW. スミス

      2016年1

 

 

*****************************************************

 

 

Chizuko Mizutani email of 11-14-2007

 

 

mizutani-grandchildren

Mr. Mizutani’s grandchildren

Professor Joachim Gaehde

 

 

 

elevation-of-the-eucharist-ca-1483-90

 

 

 

Brandeis University Art History professor Joachim Gaehde passed away three years ago. I had not thought about him for years and learned about his death from an online obituary:

http://www.brandeis.edu/now/2013/November/joachim-gaehde.html

May I be permitted a few words about the professor and his course?

“Gem” is a good word for Prof. Gaehde. He was very dedicated and serious in class, but you could tell that he was a very warm person.

I learned things from his obituary that I never knew and about which, when taking his course years ago, I had no clue:

that he was a Jewish refugee from Germany;

that he had two children who survived him;

that his wife, Christa Gaehde (nee Christa Maria Schelcher), “was renowned in the field of conservation and restoration of art on paper, and worked for many of the top American museums.”

I took two courses with Professor Gaehde: one on early medieval art and one on the art of the high Middle Ages.

I loved the courses; they complemented the ones I was taking with Professor Norman F. Cantor on medieval history.

I barely passed. I got a C in one of the two semesters and a C- in the other semester.

Art history was never my strong point. I am especially bad at architecture (e.g., church architecture). I still can’t for the life of me tell what a flying buttress is.

But Professor Gaehde was a dedicated, enthusiastic teacher and a fine lecturer. He introduced us to much fine, rich, and beautiful art — particularly illuminated manuscripts, many of which are at the Morgan Library in New York City.

He would note that this or that illuminated book was at the Morgan Library, and I would be saying to myself, “that’s funny, wouldn’t they be in a MUSEUM rather than a LIBRARY?”

Professor Gaehde was not an easy grader, but I liked him and his course and got a lot from it, despite my subpar performance. It shows that grades can be a misleading indicator (sometimes) of the value of educational experience.

What I most enjoyed was the illuminated manuscripts that we learned about – mainly, the Carolingian, Gothic, and Romanesque manuscripts and the complex, fascinating Irish art, the former including the Lindisfarne Gospels and the latter the Book of Kells.

I rarely missed a lecture.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

      June 2016