Introduction

I am alive but in recovery from the Celebration in Castel Di Casio. It’s now 23 days (it’s a few days later as I continue), a few hours, and a lifetime of memories from those three too brief days in Castel. Paul Jr., Dalia, Paul III, Merrell, Kevin, Emily, and I send our gratitude and affection for braving the distance, the economy, and the last five miles of highway to be with us. We collectively have had our share of vicarious experiences but none exceed the time we shared, the reminiscences, the reasons our paths crossed first crossed and remain connected. Friends from every aspect of my life were there—from my first day in school nearly 75 years ago, then high school, Ottawa, Champaign, Penn, Wichita, Des Moines, Denver, Bristol (U.K.) and Shanghai.

Upon reflection, the most frequent inquiry was “where did that person fit into your life”. For each of you, I know the instance, the very moment—and so many urged me to introduce each of you to each other. I’ll try and feel free to amend. With the professional assistance of Paula Davenport and Ellick Chan who nearly 10,000 pictures and/or videos, this is what I remember. I could write pages about each but I’ll spare you of some of the details.

Speaking of “remembering”, I recall a story from my days at Penn. The President, Gaylord Harnwell, the great physicist who invented sonar that enabled American submarines to go into the Sea of Japan in World War II, asked me one day, “If there was anyone in Philadelphia I would like to meet”. I replied, “Absolutely, Eugene Ormandy, the great conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra”. Later, he invited me to have lunch with him. We met at the Penn Faculty Club and it was fairly evident after about 15 minutes, that the Conductor was particularly thrilled. Dr. Harnwell too felt the silence and asked Mr. Ormandy if he wished to be excused. Ormandy quickly apologized and said he was still reeling from the bad review of the previous evening’s performance by a now deceased (but great) Russian pianist. Harnwell knowing that the pianist then was an octogenarian asked “Where you upset with the passages he forgot” and Ormandy snapped back, “No, I was upset with the passages he remembered”. We all laughed and had a memorable two hour lunch. Keep this in mind if you read on, “what I remember is what I remember”.

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