The gray rental car arrived at Kirby Theater at noon on Sept. 28. Out stepped four members of the Dolbeare clan—a son, two grandchildren and the guest of honor himself, dressed in purple and holding a cane.
“This is my first day of being 99,” announced Lou Dolbeare ’40. It was his first full day. For his actual birthday, on the 27th, his family, after flfl ying from the West Coast, had thrown a party in Marshfifi eld, Mass., where he’d spent summers as a boy. That party had run late—until 4:30 p.m.
Now he was in Amherst to tour his alma mater with three of the partygoers: son Niles, grandson Emmanuel O’Kane and granddaughter Rose O’Kane. Kirby was their first stop. “I spent my entire allotment of nonacademic time working in this theater,” he said— on sets, props and lights.
After an impromptu tour of the scene shop with Professor Suzanne Dougan, the group headed by car to the War Memorial. As he gazed at the Holyoke Range, I asked what it was like to be back on campus. He paused. His grandson remarked, “Is this the one time he’s lost for words?”