The recent splendid magazine from Deerfield showed a school so different from the one that I remembered so I thought I should share some memories from eighty years ago.
I entered Deerfield in the fall of 1931 to join the class of ’34. I was sheltered in the Howe House and shared quarters with Charles Evan Hughes III ’33, his brother Stuart ’33, and Ben Ames Williams Jr. ’34, fine fellows I thought, not realizing until much later that I was in elite company. Bull sessions were frequent and highly intellectual. Mr. Howe made us feel very much at home. It was only much later that I realized we were to be checked eleven times a day by table masters, teachers, coaches, and the indefatigable Mr. Boyden.
Chemistry and mathematics were splendidly taught by Mrs. Boyden, as was history by Mr. Averett. Languages were not well taught in those days. It was all reading rather than hearing and speaking. Later when I was bicycling through Germany, taking a break on a Rhine steamer, where I was in conversation with a Catholic priest who noted my poor German and finally asked, “Sprechen sie latinisch?”
Fond memories: climbing Pocumtuck Rock, hiking cross-country to the Connecticut River, attempting to ski with no lifts and no knowledge of how to make a turn, and the long spring vacation due to mud season and the flooding of the athletic fields.
With the aid of Mr. Averett I and about 30 of my classmates were passed on to Amherst without college boards and some with pre-selected fraternity admission. This meant that class politics at college were heavily influenced by smokers from Deerfield, because that group outnumbered any of the fraternity delegations when it came to electing class officers, editors of this or that, captains of teams etc.
With fond memories,
Henry S. Harvey ’34