Beverly Graham Bates ’54
An interview with Beverly Graham Bates from the Class of 1954
Interviewer: Nancy Pike
Marlboro College: This is Nancy Pike, and I am here interviewing Beverly Bates, who I believe was here in—1951, am I guessing right?
Beverly: Nope, January 1950 to June 1950.
MC: To June 1950. And today is November 16, 17? (17th). And we’re here to have a conversation. Beverly, can you tell me a little bit about where you were and what you were doing before you came to Marlboro in 1950.
Beverly: I graduated from high school in 1949. My father was in the Marine Corps, and I wanted to go to college but he decided I should go to secretarial school. So I went to secretarial school from the time I graduated until January. (Where?) In Portsmouth Virginia; we lived in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia.
I failed everything at secretarial school because I hated it so much. And they came to Vermont and bought what is now our place as an inn, he decided that he would retire and run an inn. And he announced to me that he had just enrolled me in what was primarily an all-boys’ school but that he’d talked to this man called Walter Hendricks and together they’d decided that they would make it co-ed. With me.
MC: Uh huh. So you were the first female to be …
Beverly: First female I guess who lived on campus, which happened to be in the Whetstone Inn. And I got a roommate, Sarah Moore, and it was the two of us that lived on campus, that was our dorm.
MC: So you had the Whetstone as your dorm.
Beverly: That was our dorm.
MC: So was Sarah there the same time you were?
Beverly: She came—she might have come right at the right time or she came within a couple of weeks.
MC: So what was that like for you to have your father just say, “you’re going to a male school”?
Beverly: It was—I think it was probably—I would call it abuse. Back then I was certainly not a feminist breaking down barriers; I was very shy, I was very protected. I had gone to a terrible high school, so my background was missing, and at Marlboro because I came in January, everything was either the second half of the freshman year or the second half of the sophomore year, in whatever course I took. (So you skipped your freshman intro classes.) My favorite course was under Roy Shelton, which was art.
MC: What kind of art did Roy have you do?
Beverly: It was painting.
MC: And which of the buildings were you in?
Beverly: It was Eams House, which is the building before you get into Marlboro. It’s called another—I can’t think what it’s called now. (The Colonel Williams Inn.) The Colonel Williams. Yes, that—he was dorm father. (Oh, so that was a dorm as well?) That was a dorm. And a group of students lived there, and a little bus picked them up, then picked us up, and took us to college, then the little bus would come take us back to the inn, and take them back to Eams House.
MC: That’s funny, cause we’re doing the same thing today.
Beverly: You have students at Eams House?
MC: No, we have—(It used to be called the Silver Skates, I think?) It used to be called the Silver Skates, and we now have a dorm that’s called Marlboro North. And we have a van that goes out and picks people up at certain times and brings them in …
Beverly: I knew the – we used to eat at the Silver Skates, so I know that, but I didn’t realize it had even closed, that’s how long it’s been since I’ve been here …
MC: So he had you doing painting and that was your favorite subject?
Beverly: Well, I didn’t like him, but I guess many of the students didn’t. I learned from our Pioneers group—he was not exactly what you want as a dorm father. He was a Left Bank—he’d spent years in Paris, and he wanted a place to paint, so I think he became dorm father in order to paint.
And your assignment was like 12 pages. That’s with—that’s your assignment, so I didn’t really learn anything. So I rebelled. However, later we became—he liked what I did, and I got my only A. I got all C’s. Because, I think I got my C’s because I was a warm body. Not because I contributed anything.
MC: So what else did you take besides the art with him?
Beverly: I took analytic geometry, which I did like—I got A’s in that until the final, and I sat there for three hours and I couldn’t remember a formula. So I got a nice C in that course.
MC: Who taught that one, do you remember?
Beverly: I can’t remember. I really can’t remember. I took the second half of sophomore Spanish, after taking high school Spanish. A disaster course. So I never knew—it was all conversation, so I never knew what was going on in Spanish. I just said “Si” or “No.” And then we had assignments, and I couldn’t read Spanish, so I would just come back to class and say “Si” or “No.”
And I took Roland Boyden—would it have been Russia—there was a book called Russia In Flux. Would that—I don’t know whether Russian would have been something he would’ve—the history of Russia. I know he was very popular.
MC: Well it would have made sense at that time, because so many folks here were coming out of World War II, and Russia certainly was a ….
Beverly: Well, I remember the book. I’d barely even heard of Russia at that point in my life. But I remember the book, and discussions. But I wasn’t a great contributor to these discussions.
MC: So when—so it was you and—I’m blanking out the name—(Sarah.) Was the Whetstone—was it a private home, were there other people living there, or …?
Beverly: No, the Moores lived there with their children. They had four or five children. And it was—they really kept to themselves. I mean we had our room and we would go in our room, but we weren’t brought into their family. So it was very lonely.
And we would go to the post office and that’s—we would—drink hot chocolate and have long conversations with Inge Vance, who was the postmaster, who was later accused of being a communist, I guess, all sorts of things.
MC: And where was the post office back then, was it—where it is now, or …?
Beverly: I think so—a little building, just by the Whetstone Inn?
MC: Yeah. Cause before then, it used to be in the little red house on Town Hill Road, but that was probably before that time.
Beverly: It was within walking distance, cause we didn’t have a car. So it was close, because in the middle of winter, you know, we wouldn’t have wanted to walk in the dark too far.
MC: Do you remember – which were the classrooms on campus here? I mean, when you got back here, does it look familiar—do any of the buildings …?
Beverly: No. Well, I’ve been back here. When I came back to the reunion, I was trying to figure out … there weren’t very many buildings here, there were three. And the one we were—was it this one that was the dorm? I was never in this building. (Yeah, this was the males’ dorm.) Yes, this was the dorm. I was never in this. And where we ate lunch, was that—(That’s the Dining Hall). Where they used to have classes? (They may have, yes.)
There just weren’t very many buildings. And I remember a little tiny building (I think that may be the admissions building, is one of the original buildings.) Little teeny one, where we would go and—it was sort of like a—it might have been like a little library. We’d sort of hang out—that was the only place, quote, “on campus,” that I would hang out.
MC: That was probably the OP, the former blacksmith’s shop. Would that make sense?
Beverly: Yeah, it was tiny.
MC: Yeah, the admissions building, I think, was the administrative offices.
MC: Oh, so yeah, it would be our OP building then, that our outdoor program’s in. It’s very small. So was there still farming going on, on campus, while you were here? I mean was it an active farm?
Beverly: Farming. I don’t remember a farm, I remember we had to build. You were required to work, and build the campus.
MC: So you were on the construction crew?
Beverly: Well, yes. They put me at hammering nails and I practically fell off the building. So then they didn’t know what to do with me, so they gave—there were pegs, and a bucket, and told me to peg, you know the maple trees, for maple syrup, cause they were making maple syrup. But since I was brought up in Kansas, I hadn’t been aware of too many trees, so I pegged all the trees. The elm trees, the oak trees, the maple trees. And Roland Boyden came behind me and pulled all the pegs out.
So then they decided that I was not good at any of those things, so then they had me wash buckets. That was my contribution. Washing the buckets. I couldn’t do any damage that way.
MC: When you got here and saw where it was you were going to be, what was that like for you? I mean, you’re coming from Virginia, you’re being told you’ve got to come to school here, and then you get dropped off—I mean, how’d you arrive on campus?
Beverly: Well first of all, it was winter, which there wasn’t a lot of in Virginia. And I believe my parents came up, spent the night, drove me—because my father was still in the Marine Corps—and I just did what I was told, I was a private. And he said, you’re going here, and I was like “okay.” That was sort of it. I just …
MC: There you were.
Beverly: There I was.
MC: Do you remember when you first met the men that were here? The guys that were here? Your classmates?
Beverly: I remember—I heard—I was very shy. And I had been in theater— I was the ingénue lead in Portsmouth, Virginia. But it was an escapism for me. Because we lived in a naval yard, so I didn’t belong in the high school. So I was used to not belonging. And I would escape, into theater.
And I remember I was terrified when this bus—I don’t think Sarah was here then, and that’s why I remember this. Maybe she was. But this bus was going to come from Eams House to pick us up. And I knew all these— quote “boys”—were going to be on the bus, and it was going to be me (getting on).
And I remember priming myself, instead of walking with my head down and sort of creeping onto my seat, I thought, “You’re gonna throw your head up and you’re gonna act like you’re really friendly.” So I remember walking on the bus and I said, “Hi!” which was so out of context for me. And they said, “Hi!” and that was it. I don’t remember anything else.
MC: So then the bus brought you on campus, and—
Beverly: So the bus brought us on campus, and whenever classes were over the bus would—drop us off and take the rest of them back to Eams House. Maybe they had two or three trips a day. They probably did because we had—people had different courses. I don’t remember that. I just remember the bus taking us, the bus bringing us back.
MC: So one of the questions I think that’s on the thing is how the campus changed while you were here. I mean you were here a relatively short period of time, but there was building going on, so do you remember what kinds of change …?
Beverly: I think I blocked that out. I was too busy washing buckets.
MC: Too busy washing buckets. What about the teachers? You talked about Roland Boyden …
Beverly: Yeah, I remember him. I liked him. You know, I blocked all the teachers. I was like in another world.
MC: It sounds like you were shell-shocked.
Beverly: It was like shell-shock. And the guys were older than me, they had been in World War II, I mean to them I must have been just like a baby.
MC: How old were you?
Beverly: Well I was 17 when I graduated so I’d just had my 18th birthday. (Wow, so you really were younger.) I had my 18th birthday in December. And I came here in January.
And, I mean from—you know to just arrive and have my parents leave and here I was in this Inn. And the guys—it was interesting hearing them talk, cause they had bonded and they had their beer, and they had, you know, they’d roll their car down to Brattleboro, and they’d go to bars or whatever they did in Brattleboro.
And then the girls came in from Bennington, (But they didn’t include you.) I don’t think they knew I was alive. And I think I was just to them a baby. And I was shy, so I’d keep to myself, and go in my room, and … it was very lonely.
MC: Yeah. It sounds it. I mean it’s also a sign of the times, that the two of you were isolated over there, and so—
Beverly: Well yeah. And I’m sure they were thrilled – I mean, they may not have been thrilled that they were making this, at that stage – I mean, it was ’50. 1950.
MC: Yeah. So that was really four or five years into the college running.
Beverly: ’46, I think it started. Four years. So it was—there was no place, really, for us. And it was really with the Pioneers group that I realized that they’re—I think I blocked it for years, but I enjoyed the Pioneers meeting. Because I think it brought back some very positive things that I don’t think existed.
MC: Did you study with John MacArthur while you were here?
Beverly: I don’t think John—I meant to ask him. I don’t think John was—I think his brother was going, cause we would ride over; I don’t think his brother was teaching here. I think John might have been getting his doctorate.
They lived in South Newfane, because when we moved in March—we moved back when my parents came and Sarah and I lived at our place … (So she went back with you?) Oh yeah, cause she would have been alone here. So she moved back and then we commuted with the MacArthurs.
And that’s when they would—we would come over in an open Jeep, in March and April, which was freezing cold. And because they’re great nature lovers, and their father became one of the leading ornithologists, I believe. And they’d hear a bird tweet, and they’d all leap out of the car and disappear for forty-five minutes. And we would sit in the car for forty-five minutes.
So it got so I dreaded hearing a bird tweet. For quite a long time in my life. Now I like birds, but it took me a long time.
MC: How about Walter Hendricks? What was …?
Beverly: I didn’t see that much of Walter, he was just sort of there in the background. I didn’t—I didn’t see much of him. But I remember him.
MC: So he wasn’t an active part of your experience. How about Town Meeting? Was Town Meeting something that happened at that point here?
Beverly: Mm-mm. No, I never went.
MC: How come?
Beverly: I just wasn’t part of it. My love was theater and dance, and art.
MC: And that wasn’t—well you had the art, but was there any theater here at all?
Beverly: Nothing. NOTHING. I mean, there was nothing. And so I was taken from three years in a theater group, put in—and academics, I wasn’t —I didn’t know what I wanted to do.
And as we said at the Pioneers group, really, I think what opened the door for my real interest in academics, was really driving back— never realized that, until the Pioneers group, our talk. It was the MacArthurs.
It was just a fascinating family. I mean, and this was mommy and daddy – this was John’s mother and father. Who I believe were teaching here at that time. And they were—you know, obviously they would have very intellectual discussions, coming and going, which I wasn’t aware of at the time. But I think that was the motivating force for what happened to me later, I think that’s what turned me on to academics.
MC: So they planted the seed.
Beverly: They planted the seed. I hate to say, it wasn’t the courses that planted the seed.
MC: Well, you know—I’m going to send you off here for a minute—but I think what’s fascinating for me as dean of students is, we even now talk a great deal about Marlboro as a college that changes people’s lives. And there are people that come here and spend a semester or two years, and leave, and go someplace else.
But Marlboro stays with them as a place that was significant because of that experience—that somehow they learn something about themselves, here, that took them other places, but that Marlboro was kind of the place that the seed was planted.
Beverly: Yes, I didn’t—really the only thing I could do was type, because I’d failed everything else. So I had to get a job—I went to Boston, and I had to get a job, as part-time.
I was going to—I went to Emerson College afterwards. And I decided, well if I have to type—that’s pretty boring, I want to type around smart people. So the job I interviewed and got was at Harvard Medical School, with a colonel in the army, who dictated one letter a month and I met two Ph.D.’s who were then running all the experiments and I got to know them, and they lived in a co-op house in Cambridge.
Now this was back in ’52 and they had seven men and five women, and then I ended up being admitted. I had to go to dinner two and three times and they’d decide whether they liked me—and then I lived in this co-op house, and they were all getting their doctorates or their law degrees at Harvard.
And that was my next huge leap and we’d all have dinner together, but Marlboro, I think—I’m not sure that I might not have done that if it hadn’t been for Marlboro, and I never realized that until the other day.
MC: I’m curious—do you know what happened to the other woman? Did she stay at Marlboro?
Beverly: No. I have no idea. In fact, I couldn’t remember her last name, until—it was the man who wrote the letter—who said, “Oh, that was Sarah Moore.” I’d be interested to know if there’d be any way to track …
MC: How—I mean, I guess one of the other—how was Marlboro different, as a college, from other colleges at that time period?
Beverly: Well, it wasn’t accredited … I lost my credits. It was totally different. Because the other—it was new, so it wasn’t even really built. And Emerson College, which is where I went, was established.
And I went to the Boston Conservatory of Music, that was established. I went to Boston University, which is what I finally got my degrees from, and that was certainly established. And even Boston University has grown, taken over half of Boston, so … Marlboro was teeny. And teeny-weeny classes. Emerson was—
MC: So how many classes—for instance, go back to thinking about your art class. Like, how many people would be in the art class?
Beverly: Well, Sarah was in the art class. But it wasn’t really like a class, because he just gave us an assignment and never taught us anything.
MC: Uh huh. So you’d just be over there in like a studio, just painting.
Beverly: And he’d—I was rebelling against him too, I rebelled against everyone. And he wanted us to paint with a palette knife, and because he told us to do that I thought, you know, I was painting my masterpiece. And anyway, to make a long story short—at the end, I failed midterm because I was supposed to turn in eight paintings. And my father, in military language, was not exactly thrilled with the fact that I came home with an F in midterm, so I decided I would turn in a masterpiece at the end of the year and I’d get an A.
And I had one painting left so I cut up oilcloth in teeny little pieces and threw paint on it, and brought it in sopping wet, and we had to hang it up, but my masterpiece I brought in also. But I did go out and paint a covered bridge behind our house with a palette knife, cause I ran out of ideas.
But we had to come in and hang up—that’s the only instruction we had, was go paint twelve, I think, and hang them up. And what he did was that he’d go down and say “Yugh,” “Ick,” and I’m sitting there with my masterpiece, that was sort of two or three in from the end, and I thought, “Just wait till he gets to my masterpiece,” and he came to my masterpiece and then he ripped it down with all the rest of them.
And I was in total shock, and then he came to my painting with the palette knife and he said, “You have talent, you get an A.” And then we became friends. And I apprenticed for him in the summer and I made bowls, and sanded tables, and cleaned the shop, and then when my husband and I moved back—in the sixties, the early sixties, he became a good friend—and he came over with his new wife, and I kept in very good touch with him. He had about five wives, and he lived on the left bank in Paris, and …
MC: So how long did he stay at Marlboro?
Beverly: I don’t know.
MC: So he went back, over? To Paris? After?
Beverly: No no no, he stayed in Marlboro for a long time but I don’t think he was connected with the college.
He got logs, and cut them and made tables, and put legs on them. I have two still. I have a couple bowls. And he taught me how to use the lathe, and how to make the bowls, and we just became good friends! Because he gave me an A!
MC: Well it sounds like he was actually quite the teacher, because through apprenticing you …
Beverly: He was, you know, he was a very good influence too. Well he lived in Paris, and he talked another life, when I got to know him. He was just—well, it was just a very artistic life that was very intriguing to me.
MC: So when you got back here in the sixties, you came here and—it was a different life, but have you been aware of the college since then, and … what role has the college played for you in terms of …?
Beverly: Oh, very aware. It’s very interesting, but I have stayed away from Marlboro. With all that’s going on.
Our next door neighbor in Newfane was a big contributor—or, you know, very involved with the music, you know the festival. And as her guest, she brought me, and I sat in the front row, as close as I am to you with Pablo Casals was, conducting. And that was a fabulous experience.
But for some reason I’ve stayed away—I’m sort of sorry that I have, but it’s been a block. I think it’s been a block. I didn’t realize that.
MC: Well, I’m glad we broke through it, because I’m sitting here and, again, I listened to you when you were with the pioneers, and what strikes me in listening to you is, you’d make a great student today. I mean, you’re rebellious—our students are rebellious. I think you’d love the college today, with the art, and the dance, and the performing (Oh I would. I absolutely would.) So you—you’re pleased with the change you see in the college?
Beverly: Oh! I’ve thought many times … because I’m very heavily affiliated with the Vermont Center for Photography, and I’ve known John Willis, I’ve known a lot of the photography students, in particular.
And I hear about the college all the time—knew John had started the photography department, and am a very good friend of Gillian Burns, who has taken over for this year of John’s sabbatical. And I’ve known what’s been going on and I’ve thought, “If they’d only had the theatre and the dance when I was there.” You know, I would have loved it. That’s what I wanted. But it was not there for me at that time.
It was very empty for me then. But I think it was a jumping point. Which you know, just fascinates me, that it came—I’ve been thinking about it since the dinner, you know the other night.
MC: So are there other people that you’re curious besides your roommate, that you were curious about seeing what happened to them, who were here the other night?
Beverly: No—I didn’t know anybody. I don’t have any—a couple of the guys I remember took me down and taught me how to ski.
MC: Cross-country ski or downhill?
Beverly: No, no, downhill. They taught at Dutch Hill. I didn’t know what Dutch Hill is. There wasn’t Mt. Snow, there wasn’t—you know, I went to Mt. Snow when it was one building. It was called Dutch Hill. I’d be interested to know where that was. In fact I think a couple of them were ski instructors at Dutch Hill. And back in those days, you had—I mean they told me what boots, I went out and bought these boots, they had to be imported, some kind of boots, and they were wooden skis, that you had to learn all the different waxes to put on the little skis, and they took—you know, the hills around here, I think, is where I first—that’s one thing I did learn here. (You learned skiing.) I learned how to ski.
MC: There you go. (Forgotten that.) And it sounds like you learned how to wash buckets pretty well too.
Beverly: I gave that up. That’s not one of my loves.
MC: Now did they have the tow rope set up here? I’ve seen pictures of …
MC: Could you describe what that was, and …
Beverly: The tow rope was set up here, on campus?
MC: I’ve seen pictures, I thought it was on campus.
Beverly: Well it could have been. They had a tow rope at Hogback, I think. Was Hogback operating? I’ve gotten so mixed up as to what was operating. But I remember the tow rope. I mean, you didn’t take a chair up. You came up—you hung onto the rope wherever we went. But I don’t remember one being on campus, but maybe there was.
MC: I saw a picture and it—was out of context of the campus, so it could’ve been here, it could’ve been … It could’ve been Dutch Hill, I don’t … (Yeah. Yeah.) Or maybe it was one of those ones where somebody’d taken the tire of a truck and hooked it up …
Beverly: Oh yeah. Very rustic. Very very rustic. And the clothes you wore to ski in were so different. So that was the beginning. But I really—learned to love to ski, until my kids got big enough, and we’d—they all went downhill skiing and we’d go cross-country. I couldn’t stand the tourists. So we would go cross-country.
MC: So basically, I mean, I feel we’ve covered a lot of it. So do you want to apply to come back to Marlboro?
Beverly: Well, I was thinking, do you give a senior discount?
MC: Well I could talk to financial aid. Is there—are there any questions you have about Marlboro today?
Beverly: Well the question that I asked Ellen, what’s the ratio, which I thought was fascinating, girls, you know, females to males? And she said 60/40 and that’s nationwide, and I wasn’t aware of that at all, and I found that very interesting. You know, what’s happening that’s caused that?
And it’s also very interesting, with your theatre, and your dance, that’s probably—though I’m sure there are men—I’m sure that’s probably more female-oriented, I don’t know.
MC: I think the dance program tends to be heavily weighted towards more women. But I think the theatre program’s pretty evenly mixed.
Beverly: Now, I don’t know whether painting—do you have arts?
MC: Yeah, yeah we have the visual arts, which include painting and sculpture; and then of course John’s got the photography. And what I love about—what I think is still very much a part of Marlboro—is that you have students—I just think about a year ago—you have students that are very, very interested in the sciences—that are taking hardcore science—that will go from the science building down to the ceramics studio and be working with Michael Boylen on pottery. And that kind of easy flow—from the science to the arts, is just seamless here, where at other schools …
Beverly: I see that that’s very different—they have a science department … yeah that would be very different.
MC: Yeah. And the other thing too here, that’s very different in terms of the theatre department—cause I know that Emerson’s—they’re heavily theatre programmed—is, students in the theatre department that are producing their own productions will have to have students who are not part of theatre be involved in the production, so a lot of students that really are not going to be going on in theatre or interested in it really do get some interesting parts and learn some acting techniques and so this ….
Beverly: Well, I think that’s one—I’ve been over to the Marlboro technological center. And I went to Michel Moyse’s, when he had some students show their own films? And I just think the ability for these students to turn out films, and produce …
One of the things I’ve enjoyed about John’s students, John Willis’s—who’ve had exhibited—we’ve had quite a few Marlboro graduates exhibit —and they’re, as Joan—who’s now taking John’s place—I think Joan is able to get out of the box. I’ve always felt I hit the wall, in the box – I’m an amateur photographer, and I said, “Help me get out of the box!” (And she got you out of the box.)
Well, she hasn’t gotten me out yet. But I’ve seen the work of students who are able to let go and, to me, that’s sort of where I am right now. I’ve pushed the walls, but I haven’t busted the box. And I said, “You’ve got to get me out of the box.” But I’ve noticed that the Marlboro students are not afraid to take chances, they don’t have to have the perfect photograph, that’s—you know, they have the training; it’s like a dancer, you’ve got to do all the technique before you can jump over and become creative. But their work is—they’re creative!
And I think the films that I saw—and now I understand, that young independent films are now becoming pretty big-time, even in Hollywood, they’re opening the doors to young independent filmmakers who’re very creative, they’re not afraid, and they’re not squashed if they don’t follow the rules. And I think Marlboro is probably—that’s your real expertise here now, probably, is encouraging this …
MC: Well, you know, I think in some ways, that’s part of the legacy. Because it, it encouraged—I mean, I just think about you, I mean basically what you’re describing in your story is the story of Marlboro students today, which is, somebody comes here, and they’re put in a context where we ask them to try things that are totally outside the realm of their experience, whether it’s tapping trees, or … washing buckets.
And I think that just how that happens, in the context that happens today is just more sophisticated than it could be back then. But I’m not kidding, I mean I think that if we were to profile our students today, you are the profile. Still.
And what I would also say to you, and all the pioneers, is that when I shared with some of the students that you had been on campus that day, they were really upset that they didn’t have the opportunity to really sit down and ask questions of all of you, because they’re just so curious about who went before.
Beverly: I wouldn’t mind doing that sometime, if you wanted to do that; I mean, I’m nearby, it’s easy. I think one—it was interesting when Audrey read the letter, which she’d gotten from one of the pioneers.
And, you know, I meant the retirement, quotes—and I did read, quotes— “stopped my profession.” But we’ve been talking about this a lot lately, and I—I mean to me, life is just a bunch of a hundred paths, and I think it’s very sad in our society that, quote, “you work to retire,” and what do a lot of people do, and we know a lot of these people. They retire, and they go to Florida, and they sit on a beach, and they … I don’t ever want to retire, that makes me really—I don’t want to be thought of as old.
I watched a thing on television last night—a book that’s just been written about a man who’s gone to different countries—Okinawa was one—to find the oldest people, who were living in the world? And these were hundred-year-olds, they showed one of them, she was running and riding a bicycle, and I think our society makes you old. Because you’ve got to go have facelifts when you are thirty, and you’ve got to be gorgeous, and to fight that, in the professions, or anything—it’s very very difficult.
Even when you’re forty, it’s difficult. And when you get—and then you talk about the young old, the middle old, the old old, and oh my god, what old am I now? And I just think it’s so crucial to not be old, and it’s no— you can’t—I mean your body—things do break down …
MC: Well—tell me what you’re getting at. I think this is what was wonderful about having all of you on campus for a couple days. And this is what I love about Marlboro—is that our students, who are 18 to 20 something, can look and hear that you’re on campus, and instead of hearing ‘old,’ hey hear, “Oh, there’s something we can hear from these people, there’s something you can provide, there’s a way of continuing to participate,” that’s different than you were when you were, you know, plopped down here when you were seventeen. But there’s a place, and there’s a role, and there’s a way of contributing, and still, to the development of these young people.
Beverly: Yeah, because life just goes on, you should always—you should always love—find something you really love, and keep busy. You know, keep—that’s all I know, you keep your mind busy, your body busy, you have to; things break down.
But it’s—and I know so many people who just give up. And our society does that, if you’re willing to fall for it—and it’s so important not to.
MC: Well, and I think you know, that’s a good place to end, because I think that’s exactly another one of Marlboro’s lessons to people.
And Ellen loves, at times, to quote people that she’s met, and alum that she’s met, and one of the questions I think that was asked, this past parents’ weekend, was one father said, “Well what about jobs, do Marlboro graduates get jobs?” and Ellen’s response, which I thought was wonderful, was she said, “You know, I talked to one of our alum about that, and the best answer that I heard was, ‘We don’t get jobs. We create jobs.’”
And I think that’s it, is what you’re saying, is it’s important to continue to create one’s life, no matter how old you get, is you just keep on running.
Beverly: Right, and there’s always something new. There’s always something new.
MC: Right, so it’s that passion, I think, that’s I think the same as the pioneers that I see in the students we get today, that I think is about Marlboro.
Beverly: Well, and I think your young—I think Ellen was saying the very young students, often just like I was, raw. You know they don’t, they have to go someplace to be able to find themselves, and really have a desire. You have to have a desire, and I had a drive ….
MC: Good. Well, thank you Nancy, thank you Bev.