The College Pump
|"Your wooden arm you hold outstretched to shake with passers-by."|
"As a 24-year-old Unitarian minister in Salem, Adams was engaged for $5 a day by the Gove family, descendants of Lydia E. Pinkham, to accompany them two boys; a college-age daughter; mother; formidable maiden aunt, Miss Gove, 40; and grandmother on a train trip West. Ostensibly the trip was to visit national parks, but Adams suspected its real purpose was to separate the daughter from an unwanted suitor; then Adams became uneasy, sensing that he was the desired suitor.
|Image courtesy of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute. Photographed by Jim Harrison|
"The plane, with pilot and two passengers, was open cockpit. Adams wiped oil spray forced by the propeller from his face with his tie and wrung it out over the side, while Miss Gove did the same with her scarf. When the plane bounced in airpockets over Utah mountains, Adams wrote, 'It was all so distractingly exciting, that we did not have time to be fully terrified.' Unable to find the Chicago airport, and running out of gas, the pilot landed in a Wisconsin field among startled threshers. When they came running up, he shouted for directions to Chicago, stepping out of the plane, its propeller still whirling, to learn their landmarks.
"Word of the history-making, five-day flight preceded them, and on landing in Boston they were met by a clamor of news reporters. The next day, August 31, the Salem Evening News headlined: 'Ritzville Cleric and Girl Take Air Taxi from Los Angeles to Boston on "Impulse."' Ritzville, Washington, was Adams's birthplace. He died in Cambridge in 1994, full of honors, his works perpetuated, with Unitarian-Universalist support, by the James Luther Adams Foundation."
Speaking Harvard: Associate professor of linguistics Bert Vaux has put on-line "The Harvard Dialect Survey" (http://hcs.harvard.edu/~golder/harvard-dialect/; the call for a Harvard ID number may be ignored), inviting respondents to say whether they know the meaning of 388 words and phrases peculiar to Harvardese. They include place names: Big Wigg (the larger portion of Wigglesworth), PfoHo (Pforzheimer House), the projects (Canaday). People: gunner (kid who talks a lot in class), LBD (the type of girl who goes to final-club parties; short for Little Black Dress). Course names: Dots and Spots ("The Meanings of Abstraction in 20th-Century Art"), Jesus and Butthead ("The Bible and Its Interpreters"). Things: two-entryway rule (you should not have a relationship with someone who lives less than two entryways from you), dormcest (what happens when you violate the two-entryway rule). And miscellaneous terms: harvard, the adjective, as in, "He doesn't look harvard to me."