Friday, November 21, 2014

Van Shuler - 108 - Oldest Known Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Dies

Van & Gard Shuler - 1968 -
on a bullock cart in Maharashtra
Van at 100 - oldest
known returned Volunteer
Vasai Fort
Bassein fort and fishing boat
I had the good fortune to know Evangeline "Van" Shuler and her husband Gard. They were retired teachers who in 1967 at age 62 joined the Peace Corps.  We were in the same group of ten married couples - all but them young - who went to Maharashtra, India.  They lived in an unelectrified village on the Deccan plateau.  I couldn't handle that and the Peace Corps managers wisely sent us to Bassein - a fishing village and fringe commuter town 30 miles north of central Bombay.   Margo and I spent two years there.  I was assigned to a Catholic! fisherman's co-op and spent some days at sea with men who hauled nets hand over hand.  The shifts were determined by the tides and we slept on deck (crew of 7 + the boy cook).  Margo focused on elementary school children who got a share of the fish caught by the UNICEF funded Danish marine engines on my hosts boats.

Tragically Gard Shuler, a handsome and able man died of viral meningitis in 1968.  Van carried on in Maharashtra - completing her twenty seven month service (we left at 24 months for me to start grad school at Boston University under the historian Howard Zinn to whom I applied with a letter that was pretty silly looking back at it.  I took the LSAT in Bombay because I couldn't see myself writing a doctoral dissertation - unlike Margo who got her PhD at Rutgers and has long taught American history at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee,

It was a different world.  The fastest way to communicate with home was by aerogramme letter.  To call home (we did twice) we had to go to Bombay to the central post office.  We got our news by shortwave radio - VOA, All India Radio, Radio Moscow, and Radio Peking (which relentlessly denounced "the Soviet renegade revisionist clique" ten years before such a `clique' actually triumphed in China itself).

Van, who died August 17, 2014 at her Florida home, is remembered in this piece on the occasion of her 100th birthday.
- gwc

Oldest Known Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Turns 100 | Peace Corps
"WASHINGTON, D.C., June 2, 2006 When Evangeline Shuler, born in 1906 and who served as a volunteer in the 1960s, arrived at a recent 45th anniversary event for the Peace Corps, it seemed almost everyone in the room wanted to hear her stories.

Shuler, of Seattle, turns 100 on June 4, and while the Peace Corps does not uniformly collect statistics on volunteers once they leave service, she is the oldest known returned Peace Corps volunteer alive today."

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Seven feet of snow

Buffalo, November 18-19, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fordham Sailing Breaks Top 10 in Rankings

Fordham Notes: Fordham Sailing Breaks Top 10 in Rankings

"Just as the football team was taking the Patriot League Title and the women’s basketball is gearing up for what is sure to be yet another winning season, the Fordham Rams Sailing Team was ranked among the top 10 in a coaches' poll taken by Sailing World Magazine.

With little of the fanfare rightfully accorded to the University’s varsity teams, Fordham Sailing is a club team that has quietly been improving since it was reintroduced to the University after a 27-year hiatus. 

Breaking the Top 10 ranking of the Intercollegiate Sailing Association of North America (ICSA) is a first for the team. It's No. 7 position of the ICSA's 230 varsity and club coed teams is made all the sweeter in that it also makes Fordham the No. 1 ranking among the 194 club teams. In addition, the team bested several nautical colleges, including U.S. Naval Academy, SUNY Maritime, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy."

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Back River - Veterans Day weekend 2014

Jesus and the Modern Man - James Carroll -

Reading the Gospels with fresh eyes - to reject the anti-Jewish vision of Jesus who taught no such thing.  - gwc

Jesus and the Modern Man -

by James Carroll
[I]n addition to intellectual barriers, there are moral obstacles to faith in Jesus, too — not just the blatant sins of the church like sex abuse or misogyny, but also sacrosanct core traditions of Christianity that turn out to be grotesque distortions of who Jesus was.
Chief among these is the way in which the full and permanent Jewishness of Jesus was forgotten, so much so that his story is told in the Gospels themselves as a story of Jesus against the Jews, as if he were not one of them. Against the way Christians often remember it, Jesus did not proclaim a New Testament God of love against an Old Testament God of judgment (which girds the anti-Jewish bipolarity of grace versus law; generosity versus greed; mercy versus revenge). Rather, as a Shema-reciting son of Israel, he proclaimed the one God, whose judgment comes as love.
Imagined as a zealot who attacked the Temple, Jesus, on the contrary, surely revered the Temple, along with his fellow Jews. If, as scholars assume, he caused a disturbance there, it was almost certainly in defense of the place, not in opposition to it. The narrative denouement of this conflicted misremembering occurred in the 20th century, when the anti-Semitism of Nazism laid bare the ultimate meaning of the church’s religious anti-Judaism.
The horrified reckoning after the Holocaust was the beginning of the Christian reform that remains the church’s unfinished moral imperative to this day.
Most emphatically, that reform must be centered in a critical rereading of the Gospel texts, so that the misremembered anti-Jewish Jesus can give way to the man as he was, and to the God whom he makes present in the lives of all who cannot stop seeing more than is before their eyes.
Such retrieval of the centrality of Jesus can restore a long-lost simplicity of faith, which makes Catholic identity — or the faith of any other church — only a means to a larger communion not just with fellow Jesus people, but with humans everywhere. All dogmas, ordinances and accretions of tradition must be measured against the example of the man who, acting wholly as a son of Israel, eschewed power, exuded kindness, pointed to one whom he called Father, and invited those bent over in the shadowy back to come forward to his table.
It was the table, I suddenly recall, that brought me here in the first place. The lights come up, the people arrive, and I stand.

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Denver to Durango - Jim, Barbara, and Bono on the Denver Trail

Jim, Barbara, and Irish rocker Bono's 4-legged namesake hiked the Denver Trail - 485 miles from Denver to Durango this past summer.  Below are a few shots.  HERE is the album.
12,050 approaching the end of the high ground.
It was downhill from here
Because it's there I guess

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Best Of Colorado - James Cunningham - Picasa Web Albums

Our neighbors Jim and Barbara did a couple of months hiking in the Rockies.  Here's a taste of canyons and mountains. - gwc

Best Of CO - James Cunningham - Picasa Web Albums

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