Manny Marritt

Wythe Holt
March 16, 2018

Manny Marritt and I were neighbors our freshman year at Amherst, as he had a single next to the rooms of Gordon Carpenter and myself on 4th floor Stearns. Amherst was a pleasant revelation to me, full of hard work, but an opportunity to meet many folks from different parts of the country, intelligent, interesting, from different backgrounds, with different viewpoints and hopes. Manny and I got along very well, and it was fascinating to get to know a northern Jewish urbanite, from Brooklyn no less. I accepted his invitation to go home with him for Thanksgiving, though my parents in Virginia were fit to be tied, wanting me at home for the first holiday of my college life. I tried to convince them that I needed to grow and expand, that this was one of the reasons they had sent me so far away from home for my education, and they reluctantly acquiesced. Manny and his family inhabited the two upper floors of a large city bungalow on a crowded street with no vacant lots as I recall, renting out the bottom floor to another family -- a somewhat surprising arrangement I had never previously encountered. His folks were so hospitable and pleasant to me, glad to entertain a friend of Manny, a goy from The South (though they called me no names). Manny energetically took me under his wing and we saw lots of New York City and some of Long Island over that long weekend, all of which I enjoyed and ate up, but my fondest memory is of the Thanksgiving dinner Mrs. Marritt served -- she made a Brooklyn version of southern fried chicken! Though it was "different," it tasted great, and that Mr. and Mrs. Marritt tried so hard to please her son's friend and their guest made it even better. During my two stints as Class Secretary Manny and I corresponded a bit, bringing back these warm and happy times when the future was all before us, and life was full of new things and experiences.