My senior year, Professor Frederica de Laguna guided me through an Honors topic about which I cared deeply. After Bryn Mawr, I expected to be treated as a serious professional because she had inspired and treated me as a junior colleague. My annual donation to the department of anthropology honors her.
However, the person who has most affected my life was a fellow student.
My first freshman class at Bryn Mawr, 9 a.m. Monday morning, was Geology. A junior Haverford student attending was just my type: a tall, broad-shouldered blond. Staying after class, the grad students were listening to him. Despite innate shyness, Larry (HC '60) knew practical geology: he’d worked for years in the shop of his family’s company, had driven the rigs they manufactured to drill for water in Canada and oil in Oklahoma, and was back, muscular and tanned, from a summer laboring in an oil refinery.
I flirted with Larry on geology field trips; he was pleasant, but, as I later learned, was dating a junior in my dorm. In May, during our extended field trip, Larry rescued me from a slippery slope and gave me his trilobite, a unique treasure. Despite a long, good conversation over ice cream, I didn’t hear from him after returning to campus. (In those days, it would have been improper for me to initiate dating.)
The next fall, that now-former girl friend told me her roommate (conveniently in Europe) had destroyed the paper messages of Larry’s phone calls to me. She saw to it that I escorted our hall’s new students to his Haverford entry for a party. We spent the evening talking, and afterwards spent part of delete footnote together, getting to know each other’s histories, values, and ambitions, and falling in love.
We married each other in a Quaker ceremony in the “Deanery Garden” the day after my final exam, sophomore year. I was only 19, but already knew I could count on him because Larry examines what he believes and always acts accordingly. His family’s joke was that both their straight-arrow, pacifist, Haverford sons married, and stayed married to, smart, aggressive, Bryn Mawr women.
I brought to our relationship verbal and written agility, sociability, spontaneity, and the willingness to act fearlessly in matters of conscience. He brought planning, honest and clear communication, active listening, and constant, thoughtful kindness. Together, we have done research, written papers and grant proposals, learned new skills, supported each other’s professional advancement and community service, supported our colleges, built friendships, raised an admirable son, and took his admirable wife into our hearts. At times, we each actually put our life into the other’s hands. We are living happily ever after: 59 years and counting.