Month: June 2018

Current Affairs: Immigration Revisited, September 20, 2018

Discussion leader: Charlie Goodyear

Current Affairs: International Trade, October 18, 2018

Discussion leader: Harris Hester

June 19, 2018: Last Wandering until September

Taylor Strubinger reports that on Tuesday, June 19, the Happy Wanderers will visit the area west of Lincoln Center.

After a short refreshment, we will continue in our effort to walk the entire Hudson River Greenway one section at a time.

This Tuesday, we will walk the Greenway from W. 74th Street to W. 34th Street.

Previously, we walked the Highline portion of the Greenway that runs from W. 34th Street to W. 12th Street.

We will be on the 8:36 a.m. train out of Darien and the 8:39 a.m. from Noroton. We will gather at the Information Booth in Grand Central Station before starting off.

Come join us.

Moscow Nights : the Van Cliburn Story : How One Man and His Piano Transformed the Cold War by Nigel Cliff, July 11, 2018

Note we’ll meet on summer hours – 9:00 Mather Center.

Gripping narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic story of a remarkable young Texan pianist, Van Cliburn, who played his way through the wall of fear built by the Cold War, won the hearts of the American and Russian people, and eased tensions between two superpowers on the brink of nuclear war.

In 1958, an unheralded twenty-three-year-old piano prodigy from Texas named Van Cliburn traveled to Moscow to compete in the First International Tchaikovsky Competition. The Soviets had no intention of bestowing their coveted prize on an unknown American; a Russian pianist had already been chosen to win. Yet when the gangly Texan with the shy grin took the stage and began to play, he instantly captivated an entire nation.

The Soviet people were charmed by Van Cliburn’s extraordinary talent, passion, and fresh-faced innocence, but it was his palpable love for the music that earned their devotion; for many, he played more like a Russian than their own musicians. As enraptured crowds mobbed Cliburn’s performances, pressure mounted to award him the competition prize. “Is he the best?” Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev demanded of the judges. “In that case . . . give him the prize!”

Adored by millions in the USSR, Cliburn returned to a thunderous hero’s welcome in the USA and became, for a time, an ambassador of hope for two dangerously hostile superpowers. In this thrilling, impeccably researched account, Nigel Cliff recreates the drama and tension of the Cold War era, and brings into focus the gifted musician and deeply compelling figure whose music would temporarily bridge the divide between two dangerously hostile powers.

 

Recommended by Gary Banks

In Memoriam Bill Shepard, Jr., May 29, 2018

William “Bill” Brown Shepard, Jr., 71, of Darien, CT and Naples, FL passed away suddenly on Tuesday, May 29th surrounded by his loved ones after a brief battle with metastatic melanoma cancer.

Bill was born in Summit, New Jersey to William and Mary Shepard. He graduated from The Pingry School and Wesleyan University where he had a long high school and college swimming career. He passed on a deep love of competitive and recreational swimming to his children and grandchildren, and any Shepard family vacation always included being on the water.

It was during college where he met his loving wife of 49 years, Midge, who came back the night they met and said “this is the first man I could consider marrying.”

After college they were married before Bill served a year in Vietnam as an officer stationed at a riverboat base. He returned home safely as a decorated Navy Vietnam combat veteran.

He then received his MBA from Columbia Business School and went on to have a fascinating international banking career that brought him and his family around the world. During his 40 year career he was fluent and successful across many cultures throughout Asia and the Middle East. He started at Manufacturers Hanover in New York City and later transferred with his family to Tokyo, Japan. After three years they returned to the US where he worked at Irving T rust Bank before another international assignment inSaudi Arabia at National Commercial Bank. He returned four years later and worked at Gulf International Bank in New York City before he and Midge moved to Houston for eight years where he ultimately retired as the head of US operations for Riyad Bank.

Bill’s greatest pride and joy was his family and his life revolved around them. He was immensely proud of the adults his children have become. He adored his five grandchildren.

He led a life of great joy and enthusiasm and found so many pleasures in living his life fully. He enjoyed boating, gardening (and then frequently moving each plant in his garden to find its perfect spot, much to the amusement of his family), attending sporting events for his children and grandchildren, reading about history and countless other topics, being active in his church and volunteer communities, and observing shore life on the beach in Naples. He was very active up until his passing and cherished his almost daily swims, bike rides, and beach walks with Midge.

Bill was a shining light of love, positive attitude, gratitude and optimism that was contagious and will be sorely missed. He recognized every day the many blessings he had in his life, including being the friend of many wonderful people. His outgoing and uplifting personality gave him a unique ability to connect with and touch people from all walks of life. He loved meeting people and to him strangers were just friends he hadn’t met yet.

He also found deep personal satisfaction and enjoyment in helping others, especially sponsoring, mentoring, and supporting those with substance abuse addiction, and volunteering in countless other ways.

Bill was an active member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Darien, CT and Trinity-by-the-Cove Episcopal Church in Naples, FL. He was a member of the Country Club of Darien and the Darien Boat Club.

A proud husband, father, and grandfather who will be missed beyond belief, he is survived by his wife, Midge, and their three children, two daughters-in-law and five grandchildren: Trip and Tracy Shepard (Grace, Conor, Eric) of Darien, CT; Jay and Courtney Shepard (Jay and Blake) of Litchfield, CT; and Susan Shepard of New York, NY. He also leaves behind two brothers, Dick Shepard of Holland, MIand David Shepard of Kingston, MA.

A memorial service will be held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Darien, CT on Saturday, June 9th at 4:30pm.There will be another memorial service in Naples, FL in the fall.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests you consider donating in Bill’s name to St Luke’s Parish in Darien, CT or New Beginnings in Naples, Florida where he volunteered:

St. Luke’s Parish
1864 Post Rd
Darien, CT 06820

New Beginnings Naples (care of Captain Peltz)
3710 Estey Avenue
Naples, FL 34104

Officers, Directors & Committee Chairmen
2018 — 2019

Back row, left to right: Jan Selkowitz, Tony Yezzi, Jack Fitzgibbons, Bert von Stuelpnagel, Gehr Brown, Bob McGroarty, Chris Snyder

Front row, let to right: Tom Lom, Ray Meurer, Sunil Saksena, John Wolcott, Bryan Hooper, Bob Hughes, Gary Banks

 

OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS

PresidentJohn Wolcott
First Vice PresidentSunil SaksenaProgram Committee
Second Vice PresidentGary BanksProgram Committee
SecretaryBob Hughes
Asst. SecretaryJan Selkowitz
TreasurerBert von Stuelpnagel
Asst. TreasurerTony Yezzi

DIRECTORS AT LARGE

1 st TermBob McGroarty
2 nd TermGehr Brown

PAST PRESIDENT DIRECTORS

Tom Lom
Scott Hutchason

COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN AND DIRECTORS

Social EventsChairman/DirectorChris Snyder
Membership & HospitalityChairman/DirectorBryan Hooper
Chairman EmeritusChick Scribner
Directory & RosterFrank Kemp
New Member Bio'sTaylor Strubinger
New Member PhotosMichael Poler
New MembersJoe Kennedy
Community ServiceChairman/DirectorJack Fitzgibbons
CommunicationsChairman/Director
Newsletter
Ray Meurer
Editorial SupportTaylor Strubinger
PhotographerMichael Poler
WebsiteGary Banks
E-BlastsRay Meurer
A/V SupportBob Smith
Video recoding, meeting set upDorin Parmint
Nominating CommitteeChairmanTom Lom

DMA officers consist of President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Assistant Treasurer, and Assistant Secretary.  The officers, except for the Treasurer, serve one year terms.  The Treasurer typically serves for two years.  Terms begin on June 1 and end on May 31.

DMA officers also serve as directors on the DMA Board.  In addition there are the following members of the DMA Board:

  • There are two directors-at-large on the DMA Board and they serve for two years.  The terms are staggered such that one new one is elected each year.
  • When the term of the DMA President ends he remains on the DMA Board for two more years, which results in two past presidents being on the DMA Board.
  • The chairmen of the Membership & Hospitality, Social Events,  Community Service, and Communications Committees are directors on the DMA Board and serve as long as they remain chairmen of their committees.