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Brothers Emanuel

A Conversation with Author Zeke Emanuel '79 and his classmate and long-time friend Andy Oram '79

"Someone was really surprised that I was talking to my brother in the middle of the day. And I was like, yeah, I talk to him all the time in the middle of the day, or at night, or three or four times a week and it’s pretty unusual if I don’t speak to my brothers three or four times a day…..the person was shocked that they talk to their sibling or see their sibling a couple of times a year and talk maybe three or four more times a year. I wouldn’t know how to live because I get a lot of meaning out of them, and I share a lot of with them and they are incredibly both critical and supportive."

 

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Andy Oram '79
Curiosity about people and ideas have been the continuing threads of my life and career. Raised in Western New York by a family that valued discourse, responsibility, and learning,  I came to Amherst in 1975 to pursue a degree in American Studies. Amherst made a great impression on me best summed up by John William Ward's description of the purpose of a Liberal Arts education: to create people "critically engaged with life".  This idea has been the standard I've strived to meet.  I graduated in 1980 after taking a year's "adventure" after junior year in which I rode a bicycle from New York to Texas. The discomforts and discoveries of that bicycle trip lead to a Watson Fellowship in Europe studying bicycle design and then building a custom frame which I then used for a 6000-mile tour of Western Europe.   Returning from Europe, I ran America 's oldest incense company and cooked nights in a restaurant to pay the bills until two Amherst classmates approached me about starting a chain of upscale convenience stores.  I brought my cooking experience to the Neighbor's Great Meals and Groceries venture, with two stores producing fresh baked goods and take-out meals.  Our concept was before its time and we closed after a few years and sold the Neighbors Logo to a gasoline distributor for their stores. For the next decade I managed a busy family restaurant serving more than 150,000 meals a year in Brattleboro, Vermont.. Tired of the grind of the restaurant life, I started working for PC Connection in 1996.  I'm still there currently as a Sales Manager in the Corporate Sales Division. Happily married, I reside in Keene NH with my wife Leatrice and our lively verbal daughter Louisa, who may be applying to the class of 2029.

 
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