20 days ago
In the last 18 months my two oldest and best friends have died, both of cancer. Barry Campbell ‘60 died in the fall of 2012, and now it is Sandy Weymouth ‘60, who died recently at his home in Maryland. All three of us were marked by Deerfield—scarred, we sometimes said—and we never stopped talking about our years there. I think we’ve been loyal in the deepest sense. We embraced our time at Deerfield, we talked endlessly about our classmates, the Scroll, the Glee Club, Mrs. Boyden and the Quid, the athletic teams and their coaches, and our teachers: Robert McGlynn, Al Schell, Bob Crow, Corning Chisolm, John Suitor, Robert Bliss, and Art Ruggles of the ski team. We have always been obsessed with our own adolescence, and Deerfield lies at the heart of those years.
Sandy leaves behind many friends from Deerfield and Harvard, and in recent years from his work promoting the cathartic expression of emotions. From his many writings on the topic: “The theory behind this work is that for thousands of years humans have been conditioned to suppress feelings, especially pain, fear, anger, and even joy. Indeed, feelings and the expression of emotion have come to be viewed pejoratively as animal and infantile…. Connecting with and processing feelings can be accomplished by what can be referred to as ‘jackhammer work’, i.e. crying, screaming, contorting, silent screaming, gagging, banging, kicking, etc. to the full extent of the human body’s ability,” all to identify, feel and release past emotional scars.
Sandy built his house in Rising Sun, MD, as a safe harbor for cathartic emotional work. Many groups have met there over the years, and I’ve howled myself in Sandy’s round, carpeted, nearly soundproof building, the Kiva. The Woods Place will pass into the hands of Sandy’s FeelingsCatharsis.com Foundation, and will continue to host events. Last fall I made a video of a fully vibrant Sandy Weymouth, which you can find on YouTube by searching for Sandy Weymouth Woods Place.