My wife, Carole, passed away in 2008. Our life together had been a joyous adventure; traveling the world, skiing the west and several alpine slopes, summering a few weeks at my “camp” on Penobscot Bay, Maine and mostly in Darien, CT where we regularly played tennis and sailed our 34 ft sloop, cruising often to Nantucket Island and twice to Maine. We founded a non-fiction Book Group, which still meets five times each year. We also enjoyed being in New York a few winter days each week.
Only about a year after Carole’s passing, our mutual friend Barbara, became my companion in New York, where we occupy much of each week; volunteer-tutoring English at the English Speaking Union to well-educated foreigners needing help with pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary. We also sing in the Dalton Chorale and enjoy Manhattan’s cultural advantages. Last year we traveled to Tuscany with a SanFrancisco-based group of amateur and professional musicians; performing for each other and with the locals-finally performing at the Cortona Opera House, where about twenty of us sang in the chorus.
I am forever grateful to Ralph Oatley’s gleeclub guidance. Singing has become a vital part of my life with Barbara in Darien’s Congregational Church choir and New York’s Dalton Chorale. I was pleased our Deerfield classmates, Bob and Liz Rosenman and Bob Palmer attended our Dalton May 16th concert of Brahms Requiem in New York. Barbara and I had previously attended Bob Palmer’s exhilarating New Amsterdam Singers’ concert.
In Darien, CT I continue my volunteer work at Not-for-profit Darien Book Aid Plan, Inc, where I’ve volunteered the past fifteen years. Book Aid was founded in 1949 to replace the books destroyed in the war and to counter Soviet influence. We, at Book Aid, now send free books to Peace-Corps volunteers and school administrators in more than sixty countries; and now to an ever-growing list of needy schools, correctional institutions and community centers in our United States. We are funded by donations from the residents of Darien and surrounding communities. We operate with about forty volunteers and have no paid employees. I was kicked upstairs three years ago and find myself e-mailing with committee members an hour or two each day from wherever I happen to be.
A flood of grateful thank-you letters from grateful book-recipients around the world keep us volunteers ever-excited about the value of our work.
As you may deduce, I’m on a roll ! I’ve never been busier or happier!
Best wishes to all !
Rick Littlefield Class of 1949