Monday, August 31, 2015

Encounter: Peter Kelly

I met Peter Kelly through Ed Howell and for many years, we were close friends. At the time, in the early 80s, he was finance chair of the DNC. He served as senior political advisor to Al Gore, Bill Clinton, and John Kerry. As a lawyer, he was an active lobbyist, particularly interested in international relations. His home was in Hartford, CT, but he also had a second home at the mouth of the Connecticut River. Barbara and I were invited there for a meal, and he had forgotten to tell his wife, which caused some embarrassment when we arrived.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Encounter: Keith Murray

When I went back to Oxford in 1949, Keith Murray was the director of Lincoln College. He had an unusual career, in that he had begun his association with the college (at the time one of Oxford's poorest) as Bursar. It is most unusual for someone whose university career begins in looking after the finances, and ends up being elected as the Head of the college. Keith was an agronomist who received a Commonwealth Fund Fellowship to spend three years at Cornell, where he obtained his PhD. In 1953, after retiring from the Rectorship of England, Keith was appointed chairman of the university grants committee. He had a distinguished career in various fields until his death in 1993 at the age of ninety.

Monday, August 17, 2015


It was common knowledge years ago that those suffering from celiac disease needed to have gluten-free food. It seems that calling for gluten-free food has become fashionable, even for those whom have never suffered from celiac disease. I know of several people who insist on gluten-free food and say that they "feel much better" by eliminating gluten from their diet. Is this just a fad? Personally, I do not have a problem with gluten, or with eating gluten-free alternatives. I can't readily taste the difference.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Encounter: Sir Maurice Shock

Sir Maurice Shock became the Rector of Lincoln College in 1987, and we became good friends in the annual visits that Barbara and I were making to the UK in those years. Maurice had been knighted when he was Vice-Chancellor at the University of Leicester. (In the British system, the Chancellor is usually a figurehead, and the Vice-Chancellor is the effective academic head of the university.) On one occasion, Barbara and I stayed with Maurice and his wife at the Rector's lodgings, quite a privilege. Maurice visited us in Berkeley one year

Monday, August 3, 2015

Encounter: Lord Primrose

I knew the young man who has since seceded to the title of Earl of Rosebery when we were both at Oxford. At one point I lent him some money at his request (probably £5) and he was very reluctant to repay that sum. I knew he was the heir to the Earl of Rosebery, so I eventually wrote to the father, explaining that I needed the money, which he promptly repaid. At the time I did not realize that his grandfather had married a Rothschild, so there was plenty of money in the family.