How do we know each other?
Through NECON, through Wendy, through Kalamazoo Congress on Medieval Studies. . .
How would you describe yourself?
Happily and recently retired, starting “The Second Act,” but never retiring!
In what part of the world are you located?
In Southeastern Connecticut, and yes I’m happy–but about to leave for a month’s journey Southward.
Where can we find you on the web?
I have no website, but a google search finds me every time.
What don’t people know about you that they ought to know?
Not much–I’m pretty talkative about my past, and if I haven’t talked about it up till now, I’m not about to start.
What’s the most common mistake people make about you?
They think I’m younger than I am. “Too young to be retired” — a real compliment.
What are you most proud of having accomplished so far?
I guess I’d better stand by what I said at the retirement ceremony: I’m most proud to have been mentor and adviser to DeCarol Davis and helped her to be selected as a Truman Scholar.
What ambitions do you have ahead of you?
Oh, so many! I want to perform more music in more places; to visit the places I’ve dreamed about for so long–Israel, Italy, Vienna, Bruges, Iceland.
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
When someone at the Truman Library for the Scholarship ceremony asked if DeCarol was my daughter.
If something great happens to you, how do you celebrate?
Call up or email friends.
What’s your best method for coping with stress?
What makes you laugh?
Just about everything–I’m an easy laugher. Jokes, puns, the Three Stooges, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, watching little kids…
What makes you cry?
I’m an easy crier, too. Beth’s death in Little Women; Cordelia’s death in King Lear; “Forth Eorlingas”–the charge of the Rohirrim in Jackson’s film; compliments; songs like “The Last Leviathan.” The entire film “La Vie en Rose.”
What do you love?
Warm days. A certain kind of afternoon light. Reading. Seeing great movies in theaters. Most traditional music (with some exceptions). Ragtime piano; Bessie Smith; Billie Holiday; Edith Piaf.
What do you loathe?
Snow. Meat. Most electronically-amplified and distorted music, whether it’s billed as “Modern jazz,” “Serious” or “rock.”
A dangerous stranger; Aragorn AND Viggo Mortensen. Clint Eastwood.
What’s the best advice you were ever given?
To succeed in your job, don’t be lazy, work three times harder than anyone else and volunteer for everything.
How should people be spending their money?
I have no idea.
Which woman/women have inspired you?
Bessie Smith; Billie Holiday; Edith Piaf; Golda Meir; Henrietta Szold; Hannah Senesh; my mother.
If I gave you a million dollars, what would you do?
Thank you very much and return it. I have all the money I need right now, and I can’t be bothered wondering which worthy cause to give all that extra cash to–it’s not enough to change the world, and if divided up among all my favorite charities, it really wouldn’t make much of a difference.
Thank you so much for being part of this celebration: you show elne micel!