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Spring 2004

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Who, What, When

Centennial spotlight

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who, what, when

Airship Skidmore? What was this inflatable monstrosity? When did it land on campus, and what was the role of the two professors shown with it?

If you have an answer, tell us about it: Leave a message at 518-580-5747, e-mail srosenbe@skidmore.edu, or write Scope c/o Skidmore College. We'll report answers, and run a new quiz in the upcoming Scope.

From Last Time

Saratoga station? Train travel home for the winter holidays (the photo is dated December 15, 1944) is still a vivid memory for many alumni. Gloria Peterson Wyatt ’51 recalled “riding the Delaware and Hudson Railroad to Albany, where we caught trains to New York City or Boston, or buses to smaller cities. It was a great way to travel; service was quite good and reliable.” (Perhaps better than in the days of Lucy Jacoby Tarbox ’34: upon boarding the Saratoga-bound local, “being a city girl, I was flabbergasted to see that the railcar was heated by a potbellied stove!”)

Kay Christie Shaw ’49 wrote, “The war was over, but in its aftermath men in uniform were in transit and the trains full to capacity. We found it jolly to find temporary seating on our suitcases in the aisle. The trip was just grand, especially on return to Grand Central Station, when a beau was there to meet me under the clock—a most famous rendezvous of the time.”

Chris Wentholt de Monchy ’53 (who usually met her parents under the clock, in the Biltmore Hotel lobby) recounted a departure during “a spectacular snowstorm just before Christmas break in my junior year at Skidmore. We struggled down to the station by foot with our heavy suitcases as an eerie purplish light filtered through the big snowflakes and thunder rumbled over our heads. We were very relieved when the Laurentian arrived (late and crowded) to take us to Albany.”

Marvin Brown ’49 remembered that students also used trains for their weekend trips “to New Haven, Han-over, and other college towns where there were eligible male students.”

And Joan Laskey Sussman ’65 recalled a return from vacation when bad weather precluded driving, so she joined classmates Kathy Feingold Hotchner and Betsy Schwartz Weiss on a train from Westchester to Albany, “with no idea how we would get to campus.” At the station “Betsy spotted someone she recognized from Skidmore and called out, ‘Dean Slocum!’ A male voice in response answered, ‘Moseley, my dear.’ ‘Oh,’ said Betsy. ‘I knew it began with Dean.’ Despite the gaffe, Dean Moseley offered us a ride to campus.”

A few alums recognized students in the photo. Rita Smart Mayo ’47 said she’s the traveler nearest the train, at the left; next to her, Patricia Williams DeBlasio ’48 saw herself, holding the suitcase with the dark stripe. At right, in the light-colored coat, may be Josephine Savoca Jablons ’45, according to her niece Kathy Burke Ford ’75, who added, “Aunt Josy became a writer for the Herald Tribune and traveled extensively. The train rides from home to campus were just the start.”


© 2004 Skidmore College