Book Club Discussion – February 11, 2015
“Americanah” is a novel by the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that tells the story of a young Nigerian woman who emigrates to the United States for a university education and stays for work.

 

09peedSUB-articleInlineWhat’s the difference between an African-American and an American-African? From such a distinction springs a deep-seated discussion of race in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s third novel, “Americanah.” Adichie, born in Nigeria but now living both in her homeland and in the United States, is an extraordinarily self-aware thinker and writer, possessing the ability to lambaste society without sneering or patronizing or polemicizing. For her, it seems no great feat to balance high-literary intentions with broad social critique. “Americanah” examines blackness in America, Nigeria and Britain, but it’s also a steady-handed dissection of the universal human experience — a platitude made fresh by the accuracy of Adichie’s observations.

So an African-American is a black person with long generational lines in the United States, most likely with slave ancestors. She might write poetry about “Mother Africa,” but she’s pleased to be from a country that gives international aid rather than from one that receives it. An American-African is an African newly emigrated to the United States. In her native country, she didn’t realize she was black — she fit that description only after she landed in America. In college, the African-American joins the Black Student Union, while the American-African signs up with the African Students Association.

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December 17, 2014
Blockbuster Christmas Season Cocktail Party

We had a blockbuster event with more than 160 attendees at our Cocktail Party. The event featured an open bar and delicious food provided by Palmer’s Market. The Blue Notes entertained us with a medley of Christmas and Holiday songs. A great time was had by all.

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Speaker – January 28, 2015
Mark Luschini, Chief Investment Strategist of Investment Strategy Group at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, will speak about his 2015 Outlook

MarkLuschini_2012Mark currently serves as the Chief Investment Strategist for Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. In this capacity he is responsible for establishing the firm’s broad outlook relating to conditions in the capital markets and the economy and to develop investment strategies best suited to satisfy the goals and objectives of individual and institutional clients. He also establishes the firm’s asset allocation models used for portfolio construction and financial planning. Additionally, he directs Parker/Hunter Asset Management, the firm’s discretionary investment management division.

Under his leadership, Janney Capital Management has delivered competitive investment results across multiple strategies. The total assets under management has grown to more than $3 billion, with approximately $2 billion in traditional equity and fixed income assets, and over $1 billion in various strategic and tactical asset allocation strategies utilizing exchange-traded products and mutual funds.

He is a member of the Janney Wealth Management Department’s Mutual Fund and Alternative Investment Committees. In Janney Capital Management, Mark chairs the Investment Committee which sets asset class and sector policy and directly participates in managing the equity, fixed income and asset allocation strategies under its advisory.

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Speaker – January 21, 2015
Les de Villiers will speak about his recent visit with the gorillas on both the Rwandan and Ugandan side of the Virunga Mountains

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Two Silverbacks ignoring each other in Rwanda

Having seen most everything Africa has to offer by way of wildlife during numerous safaris, De Villiers undertook this trip see why other seasoned safarists are so smitten with these endangered primates.

After visiting with chimpanzees several times in Tanzania before, he was hardly prepared for what turned out to be a life-changing experience. De Villiers will share his experiences and will show a selection of pictures as well as a short video of his encounters.

Safari consultant Les de Villiers grew up in a farming district in the Great Karoo region of South Africa where he learned to appreciate nature. Horse riding, hunting and playing rugby were rites of passage. His hunting days came to an abrupt end in the seventies when he found his trigger finger trembling with a huge kudu bull in the sight. He fired a shot in the air, sold his rifles and bought a good camera. He has been shooting many meters of film before the advent of digital photography and now enjoys the luxury of picking through gigabytes of material gathered during safari trips.

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Speaker – January 14, 2015
Steve Roach, author of “Unbalanced: the Codependency of the U.S. and China”, will speak about the economic dynamics of the relationship between these two superpowers.

roach_stephenStephen Roach is a Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute of Global Affairs and a senior lecturer at Yale School of Management.

He was formerly chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia and the firm’s chief economist for the bulk of his 30-year career at Morgan Stanley, heading up a highly regarded team of economists around the world.

His current teaching and research program focuses on the impacts of Asia on the broader global economy. At Yale, he has introduced new courses for undergraduates and graduate students on the “The Next China” and “The Lessons of Japan.” His writing and research also addresses globalization, trade policy, the post-crisis policy architecture, and the capital markets implications of global imbalances.

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Speaker – January 7, 2015
Jack Cavanaugh, acclaimed author, will speak about his new book, “Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside: World War II, Army’s Undefeated Teams, and College Football’s Greatest Backfield Duo”.

Mr. Inside & Mr. OusideHeisman Trophy winners Glenn Davis and Felix Blanchard—renowned during their playing days at West Point as “Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside”—were the best-known college football players in the country between 1944 and 1946, and Army was the nation’s top-ranked team under legendary coach Red Blaik.

Cavanaugh takes readers through the Black Knights’ three consecutive National Championship seasons, including the 1946 “Game of the Century” between Army and Notre Dame, the only college game to date to have included four Heisman Trophy winners.

Cavanaugh also examines the impact the war had on Army’s success—because its players were already considered to be in the military and thus deferred from active duty while students at West Point, Army featured many outstanding high school and prep school players in those years. A unique look at the changes that took place in sports and almost every aspect of American life in the wake of World War II, this book a must-read for fans of college football and military buffs in addition to Army fans.

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September 18, 2014
Bus Trip to Locust Grove and Storm King

The trip to visit Locust Grove, the home of Samuel F. B. Morse, and the Storm King Art Center with a gourmet lunch at the Canterbury Brook Inn was an outstanding success. Thanks to Mel Klugman for his effort in organizing the trip and special thanks to Mel for treating the group to their first glass of wine.

 Locust Grove

Overlooking the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie New York, the 200-acre Locust Grove Estate includes an Italianate villa designed in 1851 for artist and inventor Samuel F. B. Morse by architect A. J. Davis.

Begining in 1895 new owners William and Martha Young redecorated the mansion with their vast collection of art and antiques, and added new gardens.  Mr. and Mrs. Young’s daughter, Annette, lived at Locust Grove until 1975, preserving the estate essentially as her parents had used it.  Today Locust Grove, with miles of carriage roads, landscaped grounds, historic gardens and Hudson River views, is an independent not-for-profit museum and nature preserve established by Annette Innis Young.

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Speaker – December 3
Bob Mazzone will speak about the CT Challenge and the CT Challenge charity Bike Ride

 

The CT Challenge mission is to empower cancer survivors to live healthier, happier and longer lives. In 2012, programs funded by the CT Challenge impacted the lives of over 54,000 cancer survivors.

Bob_MazzoneBob Mazzone,  Chief Operating Officer, leads operations for the CT Challenge and the CT Challenge charity Bike Ride that finances the bulk of all programming.

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November 13, 2014
DMA Volunteers Repair the Town’s Christmas Wreaths

The Darien Men’s Association (DMA) gathered once again  at 9 a.m. on a cold November morning to help the Darien Chamber of Commerce take the wreaths out of storage and check all the lights. They replaced over 190 lights on our town wreaths. Now the wreaths are ready to be put up on the town lamp posts to decorate our town for the Holidays. The trees on Tokeneke Road will also be lit with lights to decorate the road. The Darien Chamber of Commerce raises the annual cost to pay for the wreaths and lights in town to be placed and removed through contributions from our town merchants and residents.

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From Left to Right —Lou DeAngelis,, Taylor Strubinger, Tom Williams,Tom Taylor, Jack Fitzgibbons, Alex Garnett, Joe Spain, Bob Smith, Buck Margold , Tom Brayton, , Tony Kwedar

Coffee was available

Coffee and doughnuts were available for the volunteers

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Report on the 2014 Silvermine Challenge
by Denny Devere the DMA Team Captain

For those who missed my recap at a recent DMA meeting, the DMA – SMCNC (Senior Men’s Club of New Canaan) Golf Tournament was held at the Silvermine Golf Club on June 18, 2014. This is the third year in a row that this golf tournament between the two men’s organizations has been held. After losing the inaugural match in 2012, DMA has won the last two matches and the Silvermine Challenge trophy by identical 18.5 to 11.5 scores. Our own Terry Brewer won the Long Drive Contest for the second year in a row.

I am particularly grateful to the following players who willingly made themselves available to play on the DMA team:

  • Tom Haack
  • Jim Kelly
  • David Mace
  • Bob Baker
  • Peter Carnes
  • Alex Garnett
  • George Gilliam
  • Austin Schraff
  • Tom Hayne
  • Ron Kahan
  • Mike Brennan
  • Tom Reifenheiser
  • Kevin Monahan
  • Doug Campbell
  • Joe Holmes
  • Terry Brewer
  • Jim Crane
  • Fred Conze
  • Chris Filmer.

DMA has a strong golf team when our best players are able to participate. Last-minute cancellations were kept at a minimum which made my job as Captain much easier.

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