The photo above shows my father walking his golden retriever Tanya back in 1974 when he was President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Today would have been my parents’ 57th wedding anniversary and I’ve been thinking of them, particularly as they were both admirers of Senator Edward Kennedy. My father died on Easter Sunday in 2000 and my mother passed away only a few months later.
My father was a junior professor of government at the University of New Hampshire and fresh out of Harvard with his newly minted Ph.D. in U.S.-Russian relations when he married my mother. My mom, Evelyn Marsh, who was a beautiful and eccentric Boston Irish girl (and who, according to many, resembled the young Elizabeth Taylor) was an undergraduate at the university of New Hampshire when she met my father. Together they skulked through the bushes as they liked to say. They broke the rules. A professor dating a student! And in the fifties! Lordy! Lordy!
Their marriage lasted through thick and thin. My mother had difficulties with alcohol and with prescription medications. My dad was a college president during the late 60’s and on into the 80’s and he was often nearly overwhelmed with the stress of his job. Its safe to say that their domestic life together was hard at times. And yet, and yet–they endured. They genuinely loved one another. They held a shared and sweet eccentricity about them. They could laugh in secret. Together they had fooled the old college Dean by daring to see each other in the age of Joseph McCarthy and House Mothers.
I miss you Ev and Al.