Author: GaryB (page 1 of 19)

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



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


1 st TermBob McGroarty
2 nd TermGehr Brown


Tom Lom
Scott Hutchason


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
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.

Hike the Mianus River Gorge, May 29, 2018

Hiking Mianus River Gorg​e
167 Mianus River Road,
Bedford, NY 10506
Tuesday May 29, 2018
10.30 am


We will be hiking Mianus River Gorge in Bedford on Tuesday. May 29, 2018 at 10.30
am​ ( Note this 30 min later than our usual 10.00 am start).

The Gorge is a 750 acre preserve of old-growth forest that was established more than sixty years ago as the first
land project of the Nature Conservancy.  While the main trail is 4 miles long, part of it has been rendered inaccessible since a short stretch runs through private property over which the owners have recently denied access to the public. Thus our hike will be a relatively short one: a 2.5 mile loop. The outbound portion of the loop consists of a couple of sustained climbs along a gradual slope. The return is largely downward. The trail is well kept, well marked and rugged in
places. Visitors have the sense of a remote wilderness in the midst of an urban area. The gorge area is quite beautiful at this time of the year with the leaves providing plenty of shade. This promises to be a particularly enjoyable hike. Spouse are welcome.

Starting at 10.30, we should be done hiking by 12 noon. Lunch for the hungry will follow at the Long Ridge Tavern, 2635 Long Ridge Road, Stamford.

Directions: ( Google maps;Mianus River Gorge, Bedford)
Proceed South on the Merritt and take Exit 34 ( Long Ridge Road).
At the bottom of the exit ramp make a right and proceed north on Long Ridge approx
7.3 miles.
Make a left on Millers Mill Road and then after crossing the bridge, make another left on Mianus River Road (a dirt road).
About a half mile down this dirt road on the left is the entrance to the Mianus River Gorge. Plenty of parking is available.
Be alert​: its easy to miss Miller’s Mill Road. Check your odometer when you enter LongRidge Road from the Merritt so you know when you have traveled 7.3 miles. Two helpfullandmarks to watch for: Twin Lakes Drive on the right come just before you turn left onMiller’s Run. Also house number 116 on the right is just across the road from Miller’s Run.

Contact for this hike: Sunil Saksena,, 203-561-8601 Cell

Book Discussion: A Force So Swift by Kevin Peraino, Sep 12, 2018

A compelling year-long narrative of America’s response to the fall of Chiang Kai-shek and Nationalist China in 1949, and Mao Zedong and the Communist Party’s rise to power, forever altering the world’s geopolitical map.”

In Memoriam Larry Story, May 15, 2018

Lawrence Paul Story of Darien passed away on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. He had recently turned 81 years old.

Lawrence, known as Larry, was born on April 19th, 1937 in Queens, New York to Henry and Mary Story. He attended Drew University before serving as a Lieutenant in the Navy from 1959-1964 in the Pacific on USS Arnold J Isbell.

Larry and Lucille married in June 1964 and moved to Darien in 1966. Their most favorite times were sailing on Anjinsan II, their Tartan 3500, on Long Island Sound up to Edgartown or bareboating in the BVI’s. They were members of Noroton Yacht Club and Darien Boat Club.

For 40 years Larry was a Realtor in New Canaan where he was President of the board 6 times and President of CAR in 1996.

Larry had a wonderful sense of humor, always ready with a joke or a song, and was loved by his friends and family.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Lucille Story, sister Julie Tloczkowski, brother Thomas Story. His beloved children Kimberly, Lawrence, Elizabeth and grandchildren, Lawrence III, Liam, Colin, Maggie, Keegan and Kayleigh.

There will be a wake Thursday, May 31, 2018, 5:00-8:00 pm at the Edward Lawrence Funeral Home in Darien. Mass will be June 1st at 11:00 AM at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church, 1864 Post Rd, Darien, followed by a military burial at Spring Grove Cemetery, Darien.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the American Cancer Society, 38 Richards Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06854.

In Memoriam Buck Margold, May 7, 2018

Davis “Buck” Margold, a resident of Rowayton, CT, formerly of Darien, CT and Stratton, VT died on May 7, 2018. He was 78-years-old.

Mr. Margold spent most of his business career on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange as a member. He bought his seat in 1967 and joined the firm of Carlisle-Jacqueline, later working for Wertheim & Company and the specialist firm of MJ Meehan. He was on the board of the NYSE Luncheon Club, later serving as its president. He was an avid skier and former Stratton Mountain School trustee. Buck was a founding member of the NYSE Interbourse Ski Team, competing against stock exchanges all over the world.

An accomplished sailor and lifelong boater, he was a member of the Corinthians, the Noroton Yacht Club and the New York Yacht Club, where he served on the Executive Committee, as Chairman of the House Committee, and as a trustee of the NYYC Foundation. He attended St. Luke’s School in New Canaan and Duke University.

Mr. Margold is survived by his wife of 46 years Linda Smith Margold, his children Dina Cummings and Doren Dolan, two stepchildren Darcy Ahl and Leonard Chappel and grandchildren, Braeden Cummings, Griffin Cummings, Jack Dolan, Henry Dolan, Grace Dolan, Cort Ahl, Kemper Ahl, Signe Ahl and Marley Chappel, as well as a sister, Lys Marigold.

A Jimmy Buffett fan, Buck enjoyed life to the fullest whether it was captaining his beloved “Salubrious” off the New England coast, enjoying mussels in Normandy or skiing (and après skiing) with his buddies in Vermont and the Alps. He will be missed by friends and family far and wide for being a true gentleman.

A memorial celebration is planned for Tuesday, May 29th at 1:30 pm at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 1864 Post Road in Darien, CT. Pastel attire encouraged.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests you consider donations to:

Hackers for Hope

Yale New Haven Smilow Cancer Center

Golf Outing, Wee Burn, Thursday, Sep 13, 2018

Thursday, September 13: 8:00 Shotgun at the Wee Burn Country Club. $160 fee includes cart and forecaddie. Lunch to follow. Denny Devere is coordinating.

Golf Outing, Country Club of Darien, Aug, 9th, 2018

Thursday, August 9: 9:00 golf outing at the Country Club of Darien. $115 fee includes cart. Lunch to follow. Denny Devere is coordinating.

Older posts