For the "Amherst '49" 50 Year Class Book:
I can't procrastinate any longer. The difficulties of "memory retrieval" may result in a tendency to prevaricate, but I assure you I will not pontificate about anything! Rather than emphasizing family or career in the half century since undergraduate times, I'll try to describe some of my memories of the College in World War II years.
When I interviewed at Amherst in 1943, Valentine Hall, in its original configuration, was very much under construction. Stearns Chapel was still there at the eastern edge of the main quadrangle, with no sign yet of James and Stearns dormitories. The War Memorial circle between the old Pratt gymnasium and the Biology building, with the expanded playing fields at the bottom was designed, but not built until after the war.
I entered Amherst in June of 1944 in the class of 1948, completing the summer and fall terms before entering the Navy in early 1945. Total civilian enrollment was between 125 and 150, divided fairly equally between freshmen and upperclassmen. There were also several hundred Army ASTP personnel on campus in the USMAP (United States Military Academy Program), occupying North and south dorms, and I believe Pratt and Morrow as well.
In our small civilian group were a number of fellows who, like I did by reason of military service or personal circumstances, ended up in the Class of 1949. Memory comes up with the following names:
Pat Adams, George Bliss, Ez Bowen, Bill Burford, Dick Cochran, Fred Greene, Bob Hechler, Andy Heine, Jack Maxson, Gerry Reilly, Dick Sands, Bob Smith, Rennie Somers, Howie Sullivan, Dick Thacher, Glenn Werly, Jim Yarnall, and Bill Zinke, and probably others I've overlooked. --- After our freshman year, old "Scrapper" Thacher and I went into different Navy programs, ending up at the Stockton, CA ship facility in June of 1946. Imagine our mutual surprise when we showed up in the same morning assembly formation. (Dick got me some great dates after that). About three months later we both were civilians again and back at Amherst.
All civilian students were housed of the fraternity buildings near and around the town common--- Chi Psi, Psi U, A D, D U, Beta, and Chi Phi. I remember a number of required Freshman group sessions with the President Stanley King, and how he would hold our attention with the "almost lit but still unlit" pipe lighting stratagem. The tradition of a freshman-upperclassman rope pull was still part of Amherst life. We lost, and were dragged thru the muddy creek at the bottom of the playing field area. Vincent Morgan was Dean of Students, and we had Saturday morning classes. My family was vacationing in northern New York State and invited me to come for a long weekend. I "invented" a telegram to document a family emergency. Dean Morgan didn't believe me, but I got away with missing Saturday classes anyway. There were hot summer mornings in Philosophy I in the upper reaches of Walker Hall, when Prof Sterling Lamprecht would ceremoniously take out a handkerchief and polish the sweat from his shiny bald pate. In Phys Ed we were regularly put thru the Army obstacle course at the bottom of the playing fields, supervised and challenged by a young and muscular G. Armour Craig. And who can forget the challenge of negotiating with Gladys Kimball in the Recorder's Office. I had a walk-on part in the "Inspector General" that summer in Kirby Theatre. And somehow, in some way, I was selected for Student Council for the Fall term. And Sabrina, after her many escapades in prewar years, was welded to a pedestal in the Art building, patiently awaiting her rescuers-to-come from the Class of 1951. But that's another story!
We didn't neglect the girls that year--Smith, Mt. Holyoke as well as Mass State at the north end of town. I introduced myself to Phyllis Martin on the train from New York before she ever heard of Howie Sullivan, and I lost out. And I lost out again a couple of years later, dating Suzy Hemphill before Fred Gardner blew me away. So it goes with life and loves!!
Enough of wartime Amherst! My active working years involved 40 years in the printing and binding business. Ann and I have five children, all have found spouses, and we now have eight grandchildren. I've been retired for nine years, which has given us time to travel all over the place, including two oversea tours with Bill Maloney, class of '51.
Pete, Fred, and Dick Simon want a recent photo--here's one of us in Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco this past September, in late August we packed the van with tent, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, food, rain and foul weather gear, maps and guidebooks, and ourselves, and started west. We were in 21 states in the next eight weeks, traveling over 8600 miles. We tented until the nights turned cold, or hit rainy weather, from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota, to the Colorado River in the lower reaches of the Grand Canyon. We arrived home again on October 21, still "Best Friends" after all this close time together.
Has it really been 50 years? Although the calendar says so, it doesn't seem so to this class member. Time does fly when we're having fun! Ann and I are so lucky to enjoy continued good health and each other.
Dave & Ann Kunz, '49