Month: September 2017 (page 1 of 2)

Happy Wanderers — Walkway Over the Hudson River – Rescheduled – 21 September, 2017

Happy Wanderers — Walkway Over the Hudson River – 21 September, 2017

This will be the first Wandering of our fall semester.

The Walkway, now a New York State Park, was opened by the New Haven Railroad in 1889 as a rail bridge from Poughkeepsie to Highland, NY, where it connected New England with other rail lines to the West and South. In 1974 a fire made the bridge unusable; and, until it was reconfigured in 2009 as the world’s longest pedestrian walkway, it went unused.


As you can see from the pictures, the views are spectacular.

We will carpool from the DCA to the Walkway parking area in Poughkeepsie, on Tuesday, September 19, departing at 8:45 a.m. Please gather in the back parking area, near the Greenhouse. We will set up the car pooling there, and the remaining cars will be parked there.

Driving directions will be provided for each car. For GPS users, the address of the parking area for the Walkway is 61 Parker Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY, 12601.

We expect that the driving time to the Parking Area in Poughkeepsie will be about an hour and a half. Our walk itself, including pit stops and a pause for a libation should take about two to three hours.

We then plan to go to lunch at the nearby Culinary Institute, at one of the dining places on its campus that does not require reservations. After lunch, we shall go directly home, and expect to be back at the DCA at about 4:30.

The weather is expected to be sunny, so bring a hat and some sun-block.

For questions, please call Joe Spain – 203-655-1264 or

Hiking in New Canaan
Friday, September 15, 2017
10:00 am  

We will be hiking two properties in New Canaan on Septembr 15. Both are easily accessible and are a short drive from Darien. Both are rated C+ on the level of difficulty scale used to grade hikes (for a fuller description of this rating click on the Hiking tab   on the DMA website). This means that the terrain is relatively flat, but the trails may occasionally be strewn with rocks and roots. So one  has to exercise some care in traversing these trails, but other than that, they are relatively easy and should appeal even to the novice hiker.

The first property we will be hiking is the Hicks Kelley Audubon property owned by the New Canaan Land Trust. This T-shaped property is approximately 40 acres with just under two miles of interesting trails.

Following this hike we will take a short drive to the second property,the 80 acre Waveney Park, which is owned by the Town of New Canaan. Here the trail loop is about 1.5 miles and serenely beautiful.




After completing both trails we will head downtown for lunch at Restaurant  Chef Luis (129 Elm St., New Canaan)

We meet at 10 am on Friday, Septemeber 15 at the Hicks Kelley property, the entrance to which is adjacent to mailbox of house no. 161 on  Cedar Lane.

Driving instructions: Off the north-bound Merritt Parkway take exit 38. At bottom of the exit ramp make a right turn and after 0.3 miles( that is, at the second light) turn right onto Carter Road. Proceed 1.3 miles on Carter, then make a right turn on to Dabney Road ( this turn is at 409 Carter Rd).  Bear left at the fork and Dabney becomes Cedar Lane . Park along the road near 161 Cedar. It shouldnt take more than 5-6 minutes once you get off the Merritt.

Direction from Hicks Kelley to Waveney Park (which is off Exit 37) will be handed out on site.

These two hikes are relatively easy and have have been selected to encourage maximum particpation and to provide a warm up to the more challenging hikes to come. In addition to our regulars, we are hoping to entice some newcomers to give hiking a try.

Contact: Sunil Saksena, 203-561-8601,

Golf Outing: Sterling Farms, Tuesday, September 26, 2017, 10 a.m.

The last outing this year is at Sterling Farms Golf Course in Stamford, Tuesday, September 26, 2017, 10 a.m.

To sign up, email Peter Carnes

Provide your handicap to facilitate pairings.

Fee is $46. Includes cart.

Confirmation and coordination will be via email during the week prior to play.

For directions to Sterling Farms, go here.

Book Discussion: Jan 10, 2018
A Gentleman in Moscow
by Amor Towles

A New York Times bestseller “The same gorgeous, layered richness that marked Towles’ debut, Rules of Civility, shapes [A Gentleman in Moscow]” – Entertainment Weekly   “Elegant… as lavishly filigreed as a Fabergé egg” – O, the Oprah Magazine   He can’t leave his hotel. You won’t want to.   From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility—a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel  In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery. Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose. “And the intrigue! … [A Gentleman in Moscow] is laced with sparkling threads (they will tie up) and tokens (they will matter): special keys, secret compartments, gold coins, vials of coveted liquid, old-fashioned pistols, duels and scars, hidden assignations (discreet and smoky), stolen passports, a ruby necklace, mysterious letters on elegant hotel stationery… a luscious stage set, backdrop for a downright Casablanca-like drama.” – The San Francisco Chronicle From the Hardcover edition

Book Discussion: December 13, 2017
Dereliction of Duty
by H.R. McMaster

From respected Lieutenant General and Trump Administration National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster, an authoritative, highly critical analysis of the arrogance, deception, and controversial decisions at the highest level of government that led to America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. “The war in Vietnam was not lost in the field, nor was it lost on the front pages of the New York Times or the college campuses. It was lost in Washington, D.C.” —H. R. McMaster (from the Conclusion) Dereliction Of Duty is a stunning analysis of how and why the United States became involved in an all-out and disastrous war in Southeast Asia. Fully and convincingly researched, based on transcripts and personal accounts of crucial meetings, confrontations and decisions, it is the only book that fully re-creates what happened and why. McMaster pinpoints the policies and decisions that got the United States into the morass and reveals who made these decisions and the motives behind them, disproving the published theories of other historians and excuses of the participants. A page-turning narrative, Dereliction Of Duty focuses on a fascinating cast of characters: President Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, General Maxwell Taylor, McGeorge Bundy and other top aides who deliberately deceived the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. Congress and the American public. McMaster’s only book, Dereliction of Duty is an explosive and authoritative new look at the controversy concerning the United States involvement in Vietnam

Book Discussion: Nov 8, 2017
Midnight in Broad Daylight
A Japanese American Family Caught Between Two Worlds

Pamela Rotner Sakamoto

midnightMeticulously researched and beautifully written, the true story of a Japanese American family that found itself on opposite sides during World War II—an epic tale of family, separation, divided loyalties, love, reconciliation, loss, and redemption—this is a riveting chronicle of U.S.–Japan relations and the Japanese experience in America.

After their father’s death, Harry, Frank, and Pierce Fukuhara—all born and raised in the Pacific Northwest—moved to Hiroshima, their mother’s ancestral home. Eager to go back to America, Harry returned in the late 1930s. Then came Pearl Harbor. Harry was sent to an internment camp until a call came for Japanese translators and he dutifully volunteered to serve his country. Back in Hiroshima, his brothers Frank and Pierce became soldiers in the Japanese Imperial Army.

As the war raged on, Harry, one of the finest bilingual interpreters in the United States Army, island-hopped across the Pacific, moving ever closer to the enemy—and to his younger brothers. But before the Fukuharas would have to face each other in battle, the U.S. detonated the atomic bomb over Hiroshima, gravely injuring tens of thousands of civilians, including members of their family.

Alternating between the American and Japanese perspectives, Midnight in Broad Daylightcaptures the uncertainty and intensity of those charged with the fighting as well as the deteriorating home front of Hiroshima—as never told before in English—and provides a fresh look at the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Intimate and evocative, it is an indelible portrait of a resilient family, a scathing examination of racism and xenophobia, an homage to the tremendous Japanese American contribution to the American war effort, and an invaluable addition to the historical record of this extraordinary time.

March 7, 2018
Richard E. Hyman
Journeys With Cousteau and the Crew of Calypso

Richard Hyman will be sharing stories and photographs about his time working for the famed Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
Richard was a professional diver and photographer for Cousteau. He worked his way up the ladder, first driving a supply truck from L.A. to the Canadian wilderness and there building a cabin with Cree Indians for the Cousteau team to winter in and film Beavers of the North Country. A year later, as a deck hand aboard Calypso, they filmed The Incredible Migration of the Spiny Lobsters in Mexico, before sailing south to Belize, where they filmed the spawning of thousands of grouper, The Fish that Swallowed Jonah. Singer songwriter John Denver paid a visit and performed a televised concert on Calypso’s foredeck. On Richard’s final expedition he graduated to diver and photographer, where en route to Venezuela, he experienced treacherous deep dives on the wreck of the USS Monitor off North Carolina, skeletons inside wrecks off Martinique, and the death of Jacques Cousteau’s son, Philippe.
Richard is a PADI-certified Aquanaut, a member of the Marine Biology Hall of Fame, and a Trustee of the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center.

Stories about life aboard Calypso and Cousteau, once one of the most recognized names in the world, should interest most everybody, particularly adventurers, Denver fans, divers, environmentalists, photographers, travel buffs, and videographers.
Mobile (203) 557-4794





As a kid, I spent as much time as possible under water. Cousteau was my hero.  Here is a video that is sure to be an earworm as you enjoy this talk. Gary

October 25, 2017
Ed Myers, former CEO TWA
The Pope & Me

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Ed Myers, former president and chief executive officer of Transworld Airlines Inc. (TWA), was described “… as a man who, above anything else, knows a thing or two about money and about running an airline” in an article published by The New York Times in 1985. Ed’s talk will focus on his years with TWA, from 1968 until his retirement in 1985. An event that left a significant impression on him was meeting Pope John Paul II when TWA provided air service to the Pope during his visit to the United States in 1979. The title of Ed’s talk is “The Pope and Me.” Ed began his career in 1953 with the hotel accounting firm of Harris, Kerr, Forster & Co. In 1968, he went to work for Eastern Airlines as assistant treasurer and in 1968 joined TWA in the same position, becoming senior vice president for finance in 1971. He then was named president and chief executive officer of the airline in 1975, retiring in 1985. From there, he went to Hilton International Hotels as president and chief executive officer until 1988. In addition to his business career, Ed served as a board member and trustee of a number of organizations, including the Air Transportation Association, National Public Radio, Rollins College and Bradley International Airport. He served on the Reagan Presidential Transportation Transition Team in 1981. In Darien, he served on the Library board and the Red Cross and was a member of the Literacy Volunteers. He is an avid golfer and is a member of the Union League Club and the Sky Club in New York City. He also enjoys playing bridge. During the Korean War, he was a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Field Artillery.

Arranged by Alex Garnett



October 18, 2017
David Levinson, Ph.D.
President: Norwalk Community

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

David L. Levinson, Ph.D., president, Norwalk Community College (NCC), will talk about activities at the school since 2004, when he was named to his present position. During his presidency, NCC completed a successful capital campaign for a new Science, Health and Wellness Center, became an Achieving the Dream Leader College, and was selected by MDC, Inc. as one of 15 community colleges nationwide to receive funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a developmental education project. NCC is a recipient of Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s 2010 Community Engagement Classification based on the college’s commitment to serving the community. Dr. Levinson serves as vice president for the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities at the Board of Regents for Higher Education and is general editor of “Education and Sociology: An Encyclopedia” and is author of “Community Colleges: A Reference Handbook.” He is an elected commissioner on the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. Commission on Institutions of Higher Education and co-chairs the American Sociological Association’s Task Force on Community College Faculty. He also is on the board of directors of the Connecticut Campus Compact; Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce; Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk; Norwalk Children’s Foundation; U Thant Institute; and the Workplace, Inc., southwestern Connecticut’s Workforce Investment Board. A recipient of a Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, he taught at Bergen Community College; Merrimack College; Norwalk Community College; Teachers College, Columbia University; and Tufts University. Dr. Levinson holds a B.A. in sociology from the State University of New York at New Paltz and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Arranged by Erik Rambusch


October 11, 2017
Greg Palmer
Noroton Heights: Past, Present,
and Future

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Greg Palmer, co-owner of his family’s business called Palmer’s Market, will talk about “Noroton Heights: Past, Present and Future.” He is president of the Noroton Heights Shopping Center, where he and his brother Jim are spearheading the redevelopment of the center. Greg is a true philanthropist who gives freely and generously of his time and resources. Personally and through his business, he supports local organizations, schools, sports teams and fundraisers. Greg’s commitment to serve others is evident in the many organizations to which he has dedicated his time. He is a past board member of the Darien Chamber of Commerce and served as sidewalk sales chair. He received its Volunteer of the Year award in 2002. He also served on the board of the Community Fund of Darien as Business Committee chairman. Greg has been a part of the Allocations Committee and the CARE campaign and received the Volunteer of the Year award in 2009. He represented Darien on the Coastal Fairfield County Tourism board in the early ‘90s. He has been a First County

Bank Incorporator since 2008 and a member on the Spring Grove Cemetery board since 2009. He is a member of the Kiwanis and the Darien Old Timers Athletic Association, where he was president. He also is a member of the Country Club of Darien and the Campfire Club of America. Greg graduated from Darien High School in 1979. He graduated cum laude from Southern New Hampshire University in 1983 and was a member of the National Honor Society. He is a father of three, a dedicated family man and a lifelong Darien resident. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoys fly fishing, boating, hiking, skiing, golf, and trap and skeet shooting.

Arranged by Tom Lom



October 4, 2017
Dominic Rocca, MD., Ph.D.
What You Should Know
About Sleep

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Dominic Rocca, M.D., Ph.D., will talk about “What You Should Know about Sleep” that will provide an overview of the basics of sleep, including the different stages of sleep and sleep requirements. Dr. Rocca will discuss insomnia and sleep apnea, the two most common sleep disorders. He also will talk about the dangers of sleep deprivation and how to use naps and caffeine to deal with it. Dr. Rocca is a member of the Pulmonary Associates of Stamford. Before that, he was director of the Connecticut Center for Sleep Medicine. He formerly was awarded a sleep fellowship with Boston University and Beth Israel Hospitals. He also had fellowships in Pulmonary & Critical Care and Allergy and Immunology at Boston University. He served a three-year residency in internal medicine at New York University. Dr. Rocca has received numerous honors and awards, including Top Connecticut Doctor Award and Specialist of the Year Award at Stamford Hospital. He is a member of a number of medical associations such as the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the American Medical Association. Dr. Rocca’s board certifications include internal medicine, pulmonary medicine and critical care.

Arranged by Jack Fitzgibbons

Wednesday, October


Septermber 27, 2017
Ute Wartenberg Kagan, JD
The Most Valuable Coin
in the World

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Ute Wartenberg Kagan, J.D., executive director, American Numismatic Society, will present a fascinating account of arguably the most valuable coin in the world – the 1933 $20 gold Double Eagle, which last sold in 2002 at a Sotheby’s auction for $7.6 million. This bizarre and mysterious saga begins in 1933 with the Gold Confiscation Act and ends in April 2017 at the U.S. Supreme Court. The intriguing tale includes alleged smuggling from the U.S. Mint, King Farouk of Egypt, shady coin dealers, government agents conducting a “sting operation” and, of course, a few lawyers. Dr. Wartenberg Kagan’s primary research focus is on ancient Greek coinage, and she has spent most of her academic career in the museum world. From 1991 through 1998, she worked as the curator of Greek coins in the British Museum in London. Since 1999, she has been the executive director of the American Numismatic Society in New York. Educated in Saarbrucken, Germany, Dr. Wartenberg Kagan was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where she received her doctorate in papyrology. She has published more than 50 books and articles on numismatics and papyrology, is a recognized public speaker, and is frequently interviewed for newspapers, radio and television. In connection with her active interest in current U.S. coinage, Dr. Wartenberg Kagan has testified about coin design before the Senate Banking Committee and has been appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury to various coin advisory committees.

Arranged by Tom Haack


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