The Spring 2016 issue of the alumni magazine brought a flood of memories. First was the 1962 College Bowl. Having scored fifth on the test, I was made alternate member of the 1962 College Bowl team. Of course, I didn’t get a chance to exercise my “right,” but somehow I was there for the fifth and final round against University of California at Berkeley.
I don’t remember how I got there or any of the give and take of the team. I do remember that one of the questions was a quote from a modern philosopher, and I was jumping up and down in my seat yelling, “Ludwig Wittgenstein”—as if anyone could hear me. President Bergethon was right behind me, and he put a hand on my shoulder and said, “Calm down, Jeff, calm down.”
To my everlasting pride, I had the correct answer and both teams drew a blank.
I don’t remember how I got back to campus; I do remember the welcoming celebration was already getting organized, and I was there when the four team members arrived for the full show. Quite an experience even though I only remember bits and pieces.
Second was the article on Tiffany. I sort of remember the windows in Van Wickle Library along with the large portraits of Francis March (professor of English) on the one side and his son, General Peyton March, Lafayette 1884 and Army Chief of Staff during WW I, on the other. Not until the 1970s did I find out how important both men were. Reading the article I sort of wondered what happened to those paintings.
What jogged my memory most of all was how the original windows were “lost.”
I was an antique browser in the ’60s and ’70s and clearly remember how cheap Tiffany was. I had a chance in 1972 to buy a 6-foot-high Tiffany window memorial to the Grand Army of the Republic for
$650 and passed it up.
All during the 1970s and early 1980s Tiffany was out of favor and, in retrospect, dirt cheap. A girlfriend of mine bought a Tiffany lamp in 1968 for $75, and I thought she got ripped off. Now, of course, if she still had it, she could enhance her retirement portfolio quite a bit.
—Jeff Fiddler ’63
Thanks for sharing those memories. Students all over the College banded together and used the democratic process to create an incredibly dominant team that rolled over competition in 1962. Congratulations on being part of it, and thanks for enriching our coverage with your story. As for those paintings you asked about— the Francis March rendering is hanging on a wall on the second floor of Pardee Hall. The portrait of Peyton March by George Luks is in storage.
My wife and I would like to know something about the cover painting on the Spring 2016 magazine.
Can you give us any information about it? It, and the entire magazine, are beautiful.
I was on the Lafayette faculty 1958-1995, and I was involved in some research on creativity near the end of my career. In fact, I was invited to give a talk on that topic shortly before the end of my last year.
Thanks for any help you can give me about the cover picture.
It’s called The Reader, and it was crafted in 1897 by the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company. The window was based on La Liseuse, a painting by Jules-Joseph Lefebvre, and it was on loan to the College from the Neustadt Collection. It’s stained glass, believe it or not. The rich and varied glass palette, sensitive color selection, and intricacy of design were characteristic of Tiffany’s leaded-glass art and of all the stained-glass pieces in the exhibits. I chose to feature this window because it illustrates Tiffany’s masterful use of opalescent glass to achieve painterly results. Photographer Chuck Zovko captured it beautifully.