S: ASW | JRW 50 YEARS
FC: ANNE STURGIS WATT JOHN ROBERTSON WATT CELEBRATING FIFTY YEARS OF MARRIAGE 1960 - 2010
1: THE CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 10:28 AM Subject: 50th wedding anniversary thoughts Dear FOJA and ROJA: In case you don’t recognize these acronyms, I am writing to you because you are a part of the inner circle of Friends and Relatives Of John and Anne Watt (surname omitted above so as to avoid it sounding like a very unpleasant dental procedure). This December 17th marks their 50th wedding anniversary. Some of you may have even been there to celebrate with them 50 years ago. In honor of this milestone we are compiling a book that will contain well-wishes from important people from all stages of their lives. These well-wishes might be in the form of a short email note, a poem, a memory, a photograph or other image, really anything that you care to share with us. We hope you will consider sending us a contribution. Do not feel pressure to compose something weighty or brilliant! We are really just looking to represent you in this document, so as they flip through its pages they can be reminded of a lifetime of wonderful connections with friends all over the world. We would very much appreciate if you could try to get us something in the next few weeks, by the week of December 6th if at all possible. Thank you so much for considering this. It will mean so much to our parents! Many thanks, Alison, Fiona and Jennifer
2: December 17, 1960
4: Appleton Chapel In Celebration of the 50th Wedding Anniversary of John & Anne Watt It’s difficult to grapple With the presence of the apple In Appleton Chapel. Such a domestic pomme Quite ruins the ensemble In a location so grand. Fresh cheeks and the dairy Are out of place, very, At solemnity’s hand. And the sense of the barn- yard does serious harm To the ceremonial scene. It’s really quite ludicrous To be speaking of fruitiness Behind the reredos screen. But if it might also be said here That if you’ve been wed here The apple is right: Whether in August or December A marriage to remember Is nature’s delight.
5: And Newton’s cranial cavity Was shocked out of its gravity (Or so we are taught) By the fall of an apple - Which gave Eden’s first couple Their first food for thought. To take a bite from the apple Is to anticipate Chapel (I’m sure that our couple did not.) But it’s all part of the reason For the wedding season And the love that binds John and Anne Watt. So let us celebrate the apple In Appleton Chapel And the miracles That John and Anne have wrought. — Sebastian and Janette Knowles (married in Memorial Church, August 29, 1992)
6: John and Anne as always warming the hearts of Jeremy and Janey July 30, 2007
7: A Sonnet for Anne and John by Julius Knowles Let’s share a toast to John and Anne’s great day To celebrate their marriage by this pen All fifty years, a tribute sent their way, And thanks for Alison, Fiona, Jen. Combining John’s fine wit and Chinese snacks With Anne’s pure strength, her primary source, Forgiving barking neighbors, even Max. With willingness to back the other’s horse Their marriage grew as did their Vermont paths Despite landgrabbers, snowmobilers, wrongs Perhaps enriched through brackish, brookish baths They stayed triumphant through shared wine and songs. So to your fiftieth we raise a glass Congrats to the Watt brood – top of the class! --With love from the Knowles brood
8: Dear John and Anne, Happy 50th. Have a stupendous day, and we are very sorry not to be with you, singing our hearts out with you all, and joining in with the 'frivolities' thereafter. We have 50 years of memories, bumping into you in Hampstead, with your firstborn; in Hastings on Hudson, and visiting Washington Irving's House; in London; in your Cambridge, especially when you had first made your 15R, and so admired it all (inspired our tiling here); at Longhouses; in Vermont, pouring vermiculite beads into the stud walls to 'winterrise' the old place, and all our family putting on a play in the wonderful Playhouse; you hot from Scotland, on the D Y Cameron trail - it could go on, and on, all the ups and downs of fifty years, and today now celebrating your togetherness, your children and grandchildren, that you have made it. Congratulations. All our love - Tim & Jean | From: tim sturgis [mailto:email@example.com]
9: From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Saturday, December 04, 2010 5:06 AM Dear Fiona, First of all we are very sorry to miss the great day-in particular in my case because I was actually there on December 17th 1960,wearing a kilt and acting as pageboy. That day remains one of my earlier memories-it was very cold and snowy and we (my parents and I) just made it to Boston from New York by air-my first flight-before Logan was closed by snow. On the day itself I had severe instructions not to drop the cushion with the ring.The ring itself I think was attached to the cushion by a small stitch inserted by my mother who knew her son pretty well. I have many memories of your parents. Happy ones-for instance a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner in Cambridge in 1982: sad ones around Duncan: funny ones which include sitting in the back seat in a car in Arran in 1972 whilst your parents conducted a blazing row about how to drive a car with almost no petrol in the tank: loving ones including the care and attention they showed me during the difficult years after my mother passed away: loyal ones including the effort and care put into helping my father and Robin in their periods of difficult health: and caring ones including the way that they welcomed Penny on the first meeting in December 1980 . Altogether it has been and continues to be a wonderful partnership made so by the two people involved and their clear love for each other and their family and friends. We will all raise a glass in the direction of Cambridge, Mass on December 17th from Oxford and wish them many more years of happiness. love from Ewen,Penny,Heather,Flora and Fergus
10: (right) Crane's Beach, 1951. Debbie, Anne and Anne Toop | (below) Shady Hill graduation, 1952 | Dear John and Anne, Here are some photos of Anne from the distant past to lengthen the scope of your amazing 50 years together. Heartiest congratulations on this 50th Wedding Anniversary (a rare achievement!!) and much love from Anne (Elvins) and John (Grace), fellow voyagers from those early days at Shady Hill. | At a house party at Jerry Churchill's in VT in 1951. Bob Ludwig, Alan Morse, Jerry, Anne Debbie Smith and Edie Churchill | (left) The Tempest-April, 1952. Debbie as Adrian, Sally Bender as Caliban, Happy as Ariel, Anne as Sebastian
11: Shady Hill School chums, 1951 Anne, Edie Churchill, Debbie Smith | May Day 1952 | Anne, Happy, and Edie 8th grade, 1951
12: Hi Anne and John: Anne, after almost 50 years of marriage for both of us and very different career paths, our lives seem to have converged mysteriously. In my case clearly the long term marriage phenomenon can be principally attributed to Cecily’s patience and instruction. I’ll leave it for you to explain your success at the upcoming festivities. The fact that we have both ended up focused on education is quite remarkable, more on my side than yours. I doubt that many would have predicted that of me even well after we both graduated from Shady Hill. Shady Hill is also something that also binds us. The more I keep in contact with our classmates there, the more I am impressed with the culture that the school somehow seems to have ingrained in virtually all of us. I suppose that some of this has to do with our parents, but I am convinced that Shady Hill added special value to all of us so that we left with at least some view of what citizenship responsibilities meant, whether we knew it or not then. You and John have been way out in the forefront of building an incredible organization which has added so much value to many teachers and therefore students. How many of your friends have had the bird’s eye view I have had beginning especially with my colleagues in Boson who came running back from one of your PD programs to haze me about the fact that they had met one of my girl friends, to Brookline where I have seen firsthand how a decent school system values your programs so highly and where two teachers are in the final throes of developing a four year high school curriculum around Cambodia’s history and culture as a direct result of the fire Primary Source ignited in them, to the fact that my School Committee colleague Barbara Scotto, one of the most brilliant teachers Brookline has ever had the good fortune to hire, has been able to share with me how much your organization has meant to her, including but not limited to the work she continues to there?
13: Both Cecily and I are enormously grateful to be included in your golden anniversary event, but even more grateful for having been able to get to know you both more fully. The friendship of both of you invaluable for us both, and is a prime example of how living in the same community for so long, has enormous returns on the investment for us which overshadow the downsides of some inevitable parochialism. Fiona has permitted me to write a few words which probably I would never have said out loud, and for that I am very appreciative as well. With all love and congratulations, Alan (and Cecily) Morse (617) 731-2302 Brookline (617) 697-3101 Cell (401) 782-8659 Rhode Island SKYPE: alan.morse59
14: From: Colin and Shirley Imray Our family has very happy memories of visiting your splendid Vermont house in 1971, and exploring the garden theatre. Sadly we cannot find photos of that holiday, and we don't have any of John and Anne together. But here is one of John and Geoff Bolton at Balliol holding up a sloping wall. John and I joined the Gordon Highlanders in Aberdeen on 2 October 1952, and he and Geoff kindly became godfathers to our son Christopher in 1958. Geoff will be visiting us from Australia in early December, and we shall certainly raise a toast to the happy couple. Shirley and I send our warmest greetings. Colin
15: From: Roger Berthoud [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Thursday, November 18, 2010 6:28 AM To: email@example.com Subject: Re: 50th wedding anniversary thoughts Dear Fiona, John and I were at school (Rugby) together, though in different 'houses'. We really got to know each other when we were in the Upper Sixth form, a select little group of half a dozen who met up in the headmaster's study for English and Scripture lessons. We were more interested in 'culture' than most, perhaps, and the HM (Sir Arthur fforde, yes, two small fs, a very civilised man) once gave us permission to go to London to see an exhibition of drawings by Leonardo (or was it Michelangelo?!). I played the clarinet, inadequately, and much envied John his huge musical talent and ability to knock off any tune on the piano, with full chords. Above all, we found much the same things funny. We began a lengthy correspondence when we were both suffering in the army, doing our national service. John's letters were a source of comfort to me in (post-armistice, but far from comfortable) Korea. Unless I'm mistaken, he was in Malaya, as it then was. Our subsequent encounters were intermittent, since John made the mistake of going to Oxford rather than Cambridge. But he did pass on a very good Oxford friend, Jeremy Leigh-Pemberton, a very amusing Old Etonian, with whom I later shared a house in London. But whenever John and I met, the years fell away. I much admired his devotion to his Chinese studies and to promoting a better understanding of Chinese culture, and his Christmas cards chronicling the family's activities always made me feel that my life was insufficiently involved with good causes. I rather think we met when I came to Boston on some journalistic mission. Yes, it's been a long and enriching friendship. Thank you so much, John, and again, warmest wishes and congradjulations, as the Americans say, to you both. Roger
16: From: Peter Jones [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Sunday, November 21, 2010 4:34 AM To: email@example.com Subject: Emailing: WATTS Dartmouth 73001 Dear Fiona What a splendid idea. I am afraid I am only in Edinburgh for 48 hours and cannot get at photos stored in the loft etc, so I attach the only one to hand. It was taken when we were at Dartmouth College for the second time, in 1983.
17: As for comment: 'Jean and I have enjoyed the most wonderful times with John and Anne, in both Scotland and the States, and it is only sad that Jean is no longer with us to join me in the greetings. I particularly remember hilarious summer nights in Dover, with bats in the bedroom; or picking blueberries outside the house; or lively dinner discussions, with Jean telling me [once again] to shut up so that she can get a word in. The brilliance of the parents has manifested itself, for all to see, in their wonderful family: an achievement for us all to celebrate. With much love, Peter' I am myself not in Scotland very much these days, but if you are ever over here do let me know in case we can once again get together. Well done, everyone! Peter
18: From:Laura Nurse [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Monday, February 07, 2011 2:29 PM To: email@example.com It is hard for me to remember a time in my adult life when Annie and John were not my friends. In fact, I was in my early thirties when I met Annie in graduate school. We had one challenging conversation and I fell in love with Annie: with her frankness, with her energy; with her curiosity and her compassion; and with her eternal 'can-do' spirit. She has never failed to be there when I needed her, I hope I have been there for her, as well. As we worked and lived together as students (older and with children) we forged a life-long friendship which does not depend on frequency of visits, but rather is sustained by the depth of feeling between us.
19: Then I met John. It was sort of like when you have one child, find yourself 'preggers', and wonder if you'll have enough love in your heart to do justice to this second child. I fell in love with John for all the reasons so apparent to those who know him well; he is kind yet witty; open-minded with a scholar's inquisitiveness. A compassionate listener, too, who happens to have a great sense of humor. Here, for myself, I had found the perfect couple! I can be with them together or apart and want for nothing more. Thank you both so much for taking me in and giving me the eternal comfort of knowing that I always have you there, on my side. I wish you many, many more years of happiness together! Laura
20: From: Lechaim Naggan [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Friday, November 26, 2010 11:19 AM Subject: Re: 50th wedding anniversary thoughts Dear Andy and John, It has been a lifetime friendship despite the geographical distance. A few milestones as we remember: 1955—Nancy meets Andy in college, where they share a room. Nancy gratefully remembers the Sturgis's hospitality to her during these four years' period where she spent several vacations at their/your home. 1965-67—we came to Boston and renewed our friendship and love plus wonderful music. 1974-76—we were in Baltimore but visited you almost every vacation. This time the children became good friends and cherish to this day the good time we all had (plus music, of course). For the past 34 years we managed to keep in touch, play some music and nurture our friendship. We wish you many more years together and hope to continue to see you from time to time. We hope to have a family reunion at VMAC this summer and would love to include you in it too. Love from Nancy and Lechaim
21: I have known Anne for over 50 years as we were classmates in college and I am pretty sure I met John around the time they were married, although I don't believe I attended the wedding. Our lives have met over various interests, music, China. But one memory stands out, and it was probably close to 20 years ago. A friend, Mort Glass, and I were invited to the Watt farm in Vermont for the weekend. The other guests were two Tibetan monks, whom John and Anne had befriended. A lot of cooking went on, and Mort and I soon found ourselves being instructed in how to make Chinese dumplings, or Peking ravioli, as they are often called. We learned how to shape the dough, place the filling in the middle and press the edges closed. There was something peaceful and useful about the entire exercise, and I recall thinking, this is the way life should be, sharing, cooking, being part of a community that made sense. Anne and John, together, created that atmosphere, and I think they have done it in many aspects of their lives for the last half century. Daphne Abeel
22: Sept ’55, Caroline and Anne start Radcliffe as freshman year roommates, and discover that they are cousins. Anne invites friends (including Freddie Hoppin) for ski weekend in Vermont, fun indoors and out, in the barely-heated little red farmhouse. Caroline and Freddie marry, Caroline transfers to Sarah Lawrence, graduating just before Polly was born. Anne pursues John across the Atlantic, while teaching for a year. For the next decade, these two burgeoning little families keep up with one another with occasional visits and Christmas letters. We enjoy together an unforgettable summer weekend in Manchester. Hoppins go to California, then New Haven, then Bucks County (where the Watts visit), and the Watts journey to New York, to Vermont, and thence to Los Angeles, picking up Anne’s education degrees and both of their administrative experience en route. And then, a decade later, Anne runs into Caroline at a conference: “Guess what! We’re moving to Boston and I’m starting a non-profit!” Primary Source was on its way! We watched the Sargent Street house being built, and shared the excitement as the garden was taking shape (too much shade!) Many fun evenings of good conversation and music, with John at the keyboard, often around New Years, or whenever someone interesting was visiting. We Hoppins began to learn a bit about China. Busy and enjoyable weekends at the Vermont house, looking for beavers in the pond, working on the woodland trails. Caroline remembers one afternoon walking back to the house in a total downpour, laughing | A quick review of 55 years of fun together, between the Hoppins and the Watts!
23: 1992: the Watts join the Hoppins for a few days sailing in Maine. John composes “An Epic Rhyme, Recounting the Adventures of Hoppins and Watts, August 1992” Sept. 2005: Anne and John lead another trip to China, this time for their friends. The Hoppins get to go! We meet the famous Richard. We visit his village with its school and library, and also the Dandelion School. And the fun is not over! Next June, we’ll join Anne and John and several others in a rented cottage in Normandy. Just one other of Anne’s good ideas! | Thanks, dear Watts, for adding spice to our lives! Congratulations on achieving the big 50! We love you both! Freddie and Caroline
24: From: MOLLIE YOUNG [mailto:email@example.com] On the 25th October, 1967 I arrived at Logan Airport to start a one year stay as a Mother’s Helper for Kit Dreier – Kit was in hospital that day giving birth to Lisa so Anne had volunteered to come to the airport to meet me and ‘look after’ me. She was accompanied by Frances and Fiona aged 23 months. Anne took me back to the Watt family home in Cambridge to meet Alison and John who made me very welcome – perhaps too welcome. From this day, 43 years ago started a very warm and special friendship with John, Anne, Alison, Fiona and Jennifer—who arrived during the year I spent in Cambridge. We have spent happy, happy times in Cambridge, Vermont, California, Cumbria, China and Edinburgh and shared some ups and downs in all our lives over these many years. Whenever I meet up with Anne and John it is as if we had only seen each other ‘yesterday’ – THANK YOU for your wonderful friendship over all these years, I WISH I could be with you to celebrate your special anniversary, so from across the miles that separate us, I send Congratulations and MUCH love to you both, Mollie "You are two of the kindest people and the easiest to be around, happy and the greatest of friends, congratulations on your very special Anniversary" – Love Henry
25: Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove: O no! it is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wandering bark, Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle's compass come: Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved. | SONNET 116 (and a discursive footnote to the 50 year green glow of high Wattage) | Anne and John, Funny how those familiar old words of the Bard surprise us with fresh dimensions of meaning when we view them from a particular context. FIFTY YEARS of marriage! Now that’s CONTEXT. Who can not admire your two true minds: “true” as in honest and genuine, “true” as real, “true“ as a straight and steady bearing, true as a precondition of endurance? If fifty years of marriage was a question the answer could not be “false.” Yes, Impediments happen, we may as well admit it – but , even when those impediments turn tempestuous, they have never altered that ever-fixéd, never-shaken-when-stirred, bent but never broken BOND. Fifty years of barking at the stars, and wandering across states and continents and worlds. Okay, so we are all turned foolish by Time, that old common arbitrator, but folly releases joy, doe it not, as we gain mature appreciation of the brevity of hours. “Edge of doom!?” “Forget about it,” as that gangster counseled. “Rosy lips and cheeks?” --“Forget about it.” Carry on. And that sickle metaphor just doesn’t cut it when it comes to celebration. There’s no error in our esteem and affection for you; nor proof of the constancy of friends required. We love you today and everyday. Fifty! As Shakespeare never said, “Wow!” We yet can count higher. Paul and Lou | From: Paul Nelsen [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
27: From: Kit Dreier [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Sunday, December 05, 2010 5:40 PM Dear Anne and John, In celebration of 70-plus years and two generations of “Cousinly Affection”. With love and admiration from Kit and Ted and family | The second generation of cousins (left to right): Kate, Rich and Alison in 1961; Lisa, Jen, Ruth, and Fiona in the early 1990s.
28: From: Tenzing Chhodak [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Saturday, November 27, 2010 11:14 AM Alison, Fiona and Jennifer informed me that Anne and John have been together for 50 years and asked a few close family friends to share their memories. First and foremost, I want them to stay together 50 more years! Here are some initial memories as below: More than 40 years ago, when Alison, Fiona and Jennifer were babies and some were in diapers, I met the Watt family. Even since, I remained a Member, a friend and a student and followed them wherever they went. In the summer of 1968, a Tibetan student from Prescott College in Arizona told us that a new school was about to open and he knew a staff in that project. We called the lady and she asked us to visit her in Redlands. A year earlier, eight Tibetan students came to the USA to study in a small college in Southern California. At that time, very few Tibetans had been here to study. We were the largest group. Except for one, seven are still alive today and we keep in contact with each other. I and another Tibetan student came to visit Redlands and our contact introduced us to John Watt. John called almost everybody in Southern California asking for help. I remember very clearly he was going through the telephone directory. I did not know who the John was, but I did feel that he was right and an important person for us. Next, I and my Tibetan friend came to the Johnston College – a new and experimental school in the very conservative University of Redlands, where John was a professor. We were organized in “T-Groups” and we went for a retreat right away. I thought the “T” stood for my name, Tenzing. Each group had about 12 to 15 professors, staff members, students and trainers. Each member of the group was asked to share their feelings. Since I did not understand much, I did not also have any particular things to share. Our sponsor also came to visit the retreat. He was visibly emotional (did not record here what said to each other). My friend went back with him and I remained with the T-Group. Although I did not fit well into the T-group, it did not bother me. We also needed to do Independent Studies which I think was a very good idea. One can study in accord with one’s wish and speed. Johnston turned many of those hippies into doctors, lawyers and Nixon haters. From both my traditional and academic backgrounds as well, I was not up to that challenge and freedom. John worked very hard on my studies for me. I worked hard in the Commons (cafeteria) and in the library. I even graduated from the Johnston College. One year, a heavy Mexican student and I served as Mr. Johnston and rode in the back of a lorry in the parade and smiled and waved to all our admirers. More Tibetans joined me at Johnston. We were always talking and eating at the Watt’s house. We jokingly said that more than half of the Tibetan students in the USA at that time were at Johnston. I might have learned more from the Watt’s house than the college. One summer Anne and John took me from West Coast to East Coast to Vermont. I drank a lot, ate well, and sometimes I also worked for a few hours like painting their Playhouse and gardening with Anne. I have the best memories of gardening with Anne and eating the fresh vegetables. I repeated the summers in West Dover, Vermont many times. I met in Vermont Anne’s parents, aunts and uncles, sisters and John’s father. One summer paid for my thesis research in India. In Vermont their huge house was open to all Johnstonians who regularly visited them as if it was continuation of the T-Group.
29: One year, John sent me to Drew University in New Jersey to study about the United Nations. That was the most exciting year, one China joined the United Nations and another China was kicked out of the United Nations. A group of our UN students went to see the new Chinese delegation. We met New Yorker and interpreter Nancy Deng and Mr. Zhang Chunqiao, the head of delegation (1971). He was a member of the Gang of Four and sentenced to death by the other Deng (Xiaoping). There was the Pakistan and India war in Bangladesh where Tibetan guerrillas took part and 47 perished and some 300 were injured. The war changed the status of Tibetan refugees in India. Up to this point, we were generally known as Chini. After Johnston finished with me, I applied to one graduate program and I did not hear anything from that school. In the middle of the summer, when I was not ready to go back to India, Anne told me that she was applying to a school and she has an extra set of application forms if I wanted to apply to that school. As always, a group of students were eating and drinking at the Watt’s house. We jointly filled the application forms. I received the acceptance letter within a month. Again, I followed the Watts and came to the East Coast and joined the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts (UMass). I stayed in UMass for some six years until John and Anne moved to New York. In the process, I even got a higher degree. Of course, as I have always been doing, I had to follow them to New York. Since then, I had been working for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Representative’s Office of Tibet and the Tibet Fund for some 27 years and just recently gave up my work. My work at the Tibet Fund required me to visit Tibet frequently to inspect our humanitarian projects. One time, I met a Tibetan who was a minister in traditional Tibet who told me the story that he was conceived in Scotland. His mother did not want to have a child in Scotland who was not blond and blue eyed, so his parents departed early from Scotland and he was born in Darjeeling in 1914. He is still alive in Lhasa. He went to a Chinese prison for some 20 years. He now serves on the Chinese Political Consultative Conference. The 13th Dalai Lama sent four Tibetan students to England to study at the Rugby School in the early 1910s. John’s father was a Master at Rugby and those Tibetan students were under his supervision and training. One summer, both Anne and John joined me to go to India to participate in the selection of our Tibetan Fulbright students in New Delhi. We drove from Delhi to Dharamsala in Northern India for some 14 hours. We stopped at a very clean Sikh Temple on our way. The Watts met the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. I felt very proud for this service to my teachers. Tenzing
30: PURE GRASS A dramatic interpretation of Walt Whitman's Leaves produced and performed by BRUCE A. NOLL with BETSY KELLAR but not without Klaus Boettcher (sex line and the stage crew) and Jon and Regina Bellstrom with genuine gratitude to John and Anne Watt, the groovy people who own the land you are on. Summer 1970
31: 1970 saw the alignment of planets for so many of us. Most significant from our perspective, Walt Whitman brought Bruce and Betsy together in the Playhouse! Of course you, John and Anne, gave it a subtle nudging. (Bruce needed little encouragement!) PURE GRASS was a transformative experience that’s continued for 41 years, as has the magical experience of that summer. And the people that summer--Klaus, Lucia, Tom Jones, visiting Johnston College students . . .Being part of delicious meals, visits from John's parents, afternoon tea and late night conversations in the "parlor," charades in the Playhouse, frigid dips in Coldbrook.... | The precious times Betsy had being a nanny to Alison, Fiona, and Jennifer for 3 summers, Such generosity and love you have given to us over the years . . . including support for our wedding in 1974, staying at Coldbrook and having John play the organ at the Congregational Church in West Dover. Our kinship with you both over the past four decades has always been strong, as have the marvelous memories that shall always be part of us. We love you both! --Bruce and Betsy
32: From: Jayn Rosenfeld [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Friday, December 03, 2010 6:17 PM Dear Fiona, thank you so much for asking. I Was there 50 years ago! I remember John so well in a Scottish green suit, singing I believe in the Memorial Church Choir, which I also did with much pleasure . He was of course the skinniest man there . I wonder if that's where Ann and John met? I have played so many sonatas with John, flute and piano, that was a great bond. With Andy, I think we just jumped around, and played games and laughed a lot. She was fun! And still is. We visited the Vermont house before we had one of our own, saw the senior Watts in Cambridge and New York, drifted apart, but it's never too late to drift the other way. (The 50th college reunion helped.) We hope you have a wonderful celebration, and very much love to all. Jayn (Rosenfeld) and Jerry Seigel
33: Anne with Edie Hartshorne in China, 2005 | Dear Andy and John, WOW! Congratulations! What an amazing and inspiring life you two have crafted together, and how blessed I am to have been part of it for almost 70 years! Much much love to you both: I'm right here with you, in spirit if not in person, celebrating this special moment, and remembering so many many others. " Love, Edie
36: Dear Anne and John, What a joy it has been being your friends over the years and basking in the light of your love for each other, and for life itself. Happy Anniversary, dear ones. The world’s a far better place for your being here. With love, Sue and David Lawrence | Dear John and Anne, Here's to 50 years of YOU TOGETHER: Delightful, Articulate, Musical, Nurturing, Erudite, and Divine; Focussed, International, Newsworthy, and Exhilarating ! CONGRATULATIONS AND LOVE!! Margaret Lawrence
38: (John: founding faculty member and Faculty Chairman for Life, Johnston College 1968-1974) “From the first it was always the Voice. Americans of all ages swooned in its presence: deep, slow-paced, thoughtful, Oxbridge, w/just a trace of Edinburgh. It went before the Speaker like a herald before a king: it announced seriousness, deep tradition, cosmopolitanism. It helped form alliances with the worthies on the UofR faculty, fellow European émigrés like Henry Ditmar, and it certainly played a major role in recruiting the international members of that first Johnston College faculty. Redlands couldn’t be all that bad if someone like John was on board and in authority. It also helped to keep our Dreamer, Press McCoy, grounded, and to legitimize his plans with skeptical audiences. Perhaps the most telling tribute to the Voice was this: in a community that prided itself on making fun, deflating pretentions, celebrating direct emotional encounter, the Voice (in my hearing, anyway) was never parodied, never a target of teasing. It simply Was. So the Voice wove its magic on faculty and students, but in the early days its most important enchantment fell on our Board of Overseers and those members of the arch-conservative Board of Trustees who had been assigned to manage this new program of “International Business.” They heard only integrity, confidence and educational authority in its resonances. Only the Voice could have blinded them to the obvious chasm between their original plans for “IB” and Press McCoy’s revolution. Only the Voice could have presented the famous flow-chart to this suspicious audience, a labyrinth of educational design that has baffled interpreters ever since, but which the enthralled pillars of industry and church applauded eagerly. And when this was combined with exotic knowledge—Chinese!—and aesthetic gifts—the piano! Bobby Burns!—its position was unchallenged, unchallengeable.
39: In and through the Voice came many other things, things that Americans (and perhaps Europeans) didn’t associate with its class markers and presumed ideology. It united qualities that “didn’t belong”: a committed left-wing politic; a committed social action agenda; a penchant for sudden bawdy outbursts and clowning (“Vice” was just a letter away). Above all, however, the Voice was one of intimacy: John was, and is, the artist of the one-on-one conversation, instantly creating a protective shell around his conversant and drawing him or her into nearly-whispered, serious talk. “You know, Bill” he would begin, leaning a bony shoulder toward his companion and raising his head slowly. Bill probably didn’t know a damn thing, but he suddenly felt as though he did, felt privileged just to be listening. One-on-one was John’s true métier. It’s probably for this reason that he never enjoyed teaching wholeheartedly; that sort of performance he could mount on occasion, but it wasn’t natural to him day in and day out. Like his fellow Dimension-directors, Roger Baty and Glenn Whitlock, he had been hired principally to organize a new academic/cultural program, not spend twenty hours a week enticing 19 year olds into learning. Like his fellow Directors, he was more of an introvert, more suited to hand-and-glove dialogue than to managing a roomful of young, mixed-motive strangers. The classic tutorial?—well and good. The large seminar or lecture hall: not so much. With Anne came a second Voice, in full complement with John’s: enthusiastic, upbeat, fully American and fully committed to bringing change into a rigid, racist society. Anne’s voice radiated organization; she knew how to get things done and, more important, how to inspire other people to do the same. “Let’s do it” was one of her mantras. The world mattered, change mattered. John’s voice was considering, but Anne’s was inspirational, motivating: a perfect duet.
40: John and Anne made, without effort, seamless connections between high culture and low, between international and local politics, and in doing so embodied Johnston’s diverse aims in a way that no one else on the faculty could achieve. They were truly a couple for all seasons in 1969, bringing together everything the College needed, and dreamed of. No one else could have launched the College the way they did.” --by Bill Macdonald, also an original faculty member of Johnston College and one who stayed ‘for life’. Bill co-authored “A History of Johnston College” and “Hard Travelin’ and Still Havin’ a Good Time” two books documenting this amazing Experiment in higher education, whose philosophy and teaching methods are still in place today, after more than 40 years!
41: Dear Anne and John, To have stayed linked so long Through love and song You can’t go wrong. We do LOUDly declare, WATT a pair! With affection and congratulations from Rob and Gwyn (Loud!)
42: Our Karma with Dear John and Anne Nan Ye & Ryan Bradeen April 5, 2011 For Ryan and me as a couple, our karma with John and Anne started on Friday, May 11, 2001 in Cambridge. Ryan came down from Maine for an orientation to his Primary Source China Study Tour and had accepted the first of many gracious invitations to stay overnight at Sargent Street. As a BU grad student interning at Primary Source at the time, I was to help at the orientation and needed a ride in to work in the morning. So I too was staying overnight. Anne had a dinner date that evening with her sister so it was decided that I, the “great Chinese cook” (or the only Chinese cook available for this occasion) would fix dinner for John and this teacher-friend from Maine. Frankly, we both were expecting someone a bit older in the way of John’s dinner companion. It was a sparkling dinner. Ryan and John, or Dr. Watt as Ryan always made a point of addressing him, share a lot of commonalities. Both are Scottish, more (John) or less (Ryan). Ryan grew up on Sargent Hill and was enchanted by the Watt’s home on Sargent St. They both speak Chinese: John as a trained China scholar; Ryan as a semester abroad student. So, if one had happened into the Watts’ dining room on the evening of May 11, 2001, before noticing the Tibetan rugs or the piano, one would have caught the scent of Chinese stir-frying and a back and forth of Chinese phrases between two tall white men and one short Chinese woman. Anne came home pleased with both her time with her sister and that her arrangements for entertaining her Maine guest had worked out. Little did any of us know how this night would mark the beginning of a romance and a friendship that would last the next decade until today.
43: Fast forward a year later to the Elephant Wok restaurant in Porter Square, where Ryan and I, newly engaged, broke the news to John and Anne, the first to know outside the Bradeen clan. John and Anne’s faces lit up. The ever observant Anne darted a glance at my left hand, “Where is the ring? Is there a ring?” “Yes, there is. Starting tomorrow, I’ll wear it at work.” Anne asked, “Have you set the date for your wedding? And where?” Ryan replied, somewhat hesitantly, “We remember you mentioned that your house in Vermont is rented for weddings” “Ha, I was hoping you would ask! That would be our wedding gift for you two!” Did we foresee this? Probably, knowing how generous and selfless the Watts are toward prospective youth. Would we not ask because of it? Of course not. From the very budding of our romance, we had realized that it was going to parallel a great friendship with John and Anne. Strangely enough, we had never found out whether the Watts had set us up to begin with, but maybe we didn’t want to find out. Outside of Ryan’s family, John and Anne are the only people who have visited each of our U.S. homes in the last decade: a rundown fix-upper in Brewer, Maine followed by a lovely gingerbread house in Bangor, and then a corporate apartment in Rosslyn, Virginia before we headed out to Bangladesh with the U.S. Foreign Service. In the meantime, we’ve kept up with the going-ons at Sargent St. - the study, the kitchen, the basement, and the garden. As in any friendship, we have formed a few traditions. Anne and I love cooking together. Initially I thought I could “teach” Anne a few Asian tips in chopping, seasoning, or flavoring. I ate my humble pie after only a glance at Anne’s condiment shelf – Chinese rice wine, Japanese soy sauce, red chili oil, sesame oil - more varieties than my own! On the other hand, I learnt some tricks from Anne just by hanging out together in the kitchen:
44: how to make a delicious and healthy salad dressing, how to cook (and eat!) artichokes, just to name a few. John’s dining habits have made a deep imprint on me too. From John I gained an addiction to good chocolate (how does anyone survive a long and dreary afternoon without a piece or two of dark chocolate?). John also taught me to appreciate butter, which I had previously grouped with sugar as an “axis of culinary evil.” After watching John eating apples so many times, I can’t eat an apple without pondering first whether to peel and slice it or just bite into it, skin and all. And, of course, I learned that P-O-R-K should not be uttered at any table shared with John. As for John’s marmalade, I’m still waiting for Ryan to pick that one up. Then there were movies at Kendall Square. We have watched so many movies with John and Anne that I only manage to remember the first one – “The Widow of St. Pierre” with the fabulously gloomy Juliet Binoche. Ryan and I were bookended by John and Anne (one wonders again whether it was a set up). Half way through the movie both John and Anne nodded off, leaving Ryan and I to our first private conversation together, protected by the snores of our dear friends and mentors. Another tradition that is, hopefully, just developing its roots is meeting up in a third country. In 2009 we had a reunion with the Watts in Nanjing, China where we visited the Purple Mountain, visited a school run by a memorable character and made a detour to Yangzhou. In August 2011 we hope to have a reunion in London. Looking forward to hearing John’s accent sound absolutely normal in London streets!
46: Ann and John, Louise and I have been so happy to have met you through SANS. You both exhibit those wonderful qualities of concern for those less fortunate, taking action on big projects you care about, joy and laughter, singing, and the desire to travel and experience all of life's adventure. We celebrate two exemplary human beings whom we are privileged to know. Dave and Louise | From: Dave Hagerty [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 11:12 AM Cc: Louise Cadigan Subject: John and Ann's celebration
47: Dear Fiona, Thank you very much for this thoughtful idea. And I am so honored to be in this circle. It is already 20 years since I first met Anne and John in Beijing, when I was a graduate student at Peking University. With their help, I went to Smith college, UCSD, and got my job representing an American consulting firm to work in Beijing. All these can't be obtained without them. I am also grateful for the happy hours I spent with your big family during holidays at that time. I didn't have to be alone on campus. No words can express my gratitude at this moment. Just a small note for Anne and John: "Thank you for making my dream come true! I am looking forward to climbing Great Wall with Anne and John!" Lots of love Ling | From: ling huang [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 3:33 AM
48: Dear Anne and John, 15R Sargent Street is a haven for many Chinese and Tibetans. I am very fortunate to be one of them whom you took under your wings. I cannot imagine my work and life here in the U.S. without you! My parents feel very grateful that you "adopted" me and my daughter, and they were very happy that they had the chance to meet you and give their thanks to you in person! Happy Anniversary! Much love, Peihui and Dai Xue
50: From: Chelsea Lei [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2010 9:55 PM
51: Dear Anne and John, It is with a deep feeling of awe, gratitude and love that I want to congratulate you on your 50th wedding anniversary. Anne, when we first met, I was sitting next you at HRC rehearsals. You turned to me at break one day and asked me where I was from and what I was doing at Harvard. When I told you that I was a freshman from Kunming, you looked so excited and began to tell me about your travels and work in China. I remember going home that day thinking that something amazing had just happened: I met someone perhaps I was meant to meet! Indeed, meeting you and then John was the best thing that happened to me in the last five years. You gave me advice and guidance when I most needed them; you got me medicine and an electric pad when I felt sick and cold; you offered me comfort and moral support when I went through difficult periods; you let me live with you and help me figure out what I shall do with my life. These are examples of the direct ways in which you have helped me. But I believe one of your greatest gifts to me and to many others is actually the love, generosity, civility, care, and sense of comraderie you have shown towards each other over all the years you have lived together. For me at least, you set a great example of a deeply loving and admirably empowering marriage. You take care of and help each other, and work together in fulfilling shared values and goals. It's always such a lovely sight to see you two sit in front of the computer reading, drafting, or solving something together. There are, of course, moments in which even I could see that you feel irritated about something the other has said or done (or not done). But you always find very artful things to say to each other and resolve matters peacefully. When I am just beginning my adulthood, seeing how you treat and get along with each other is a huge learning experience that I know will benefit me for the rest of my life. As I've told you many times before, I feel enormously lucky to have met you and become so close to you. Of all the people I have gotten to know during my five years in Cambridge so far, I am most indebted to you for not only the help, support, guidance and love that you have generously give me but also for helping me understand the kind of love and life together with someone that is possible. So, thank you for including me in your lives and showing me how love can grow to 50 years old! I cannot be happier and more proud of you! Much love, Chels
52: Dear Grammy and Bapa, Congratulations on the milestone! I hope there are many more happy years to come. Thanks for mum! Love, Alec | Dear Grammy and Bapa, Have a happy anniversary. I'm so glad you're my grandparents.! Love, Nicholas
53: Dear Grammy and Bapa, Hope you stay young forever! Love, Arden | Dear Grammy and Bapa, Fifty years is a long time! Love, Eleanor
55: Mary Burgess McKinney a dear friend going back to our days on Carlotta Court, Redlands!
56: From: Chris Farrow-Noble [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Friday, December 10, 2010 10:00 AM Dear Fiona, Jennifer, and Alison, In August 2010, Anne and John were finally lured to our home inn Brooksville, Maine via the watercolor workshop with Marjorie Glick. Anne and I drove to Stonington each day, never running out of past, present, and future to talk about. She was such an inspiration and encouragement as I was a newcomer to watercolor. She knew what she wanted to paint, knew where she wanted to sit, and just let the paint flow onto the paper. In the meantime, John was diligently writing at our home by the Bagaduce River. He was pleased with his progress that day and celebrated by weeding Chris's raised vegetable garden, including some errant tarragon. I can still see him, silhouetted against the open field, pulling a last weed out before driving to Stockton Springs. I look forward to many more adventures together through music, travel, writing, and, above all, our blossoming friendships. I hope to go to China with you someday. With love always, Anne and John, from us both -- Chris (Farrow-Noble) and Chris (Noble)
57: Dear Fiona, Here is a photo of your dad playing trios with us. Unfortunatly I do not have any photos with your mom as she is the one who lets your dad use the car so that he can come and play chamber music at my home! We love playing with him--he is always in perfect rhythm, even though he often "fudges" on the many notes that he has to play. Judy Chasin and Charlie Kessler
58: For Anne and John on the occasion of their 50th Wedding Anniversary Watt Comes to Light As if it were, the hands of ancients Lifted, shook us, pointed in the right direction, Winding our roads circuitous toward each other, Completing us each in the knowing. Remembering the moment Anne arrived on my doorstep, Familiar like family, with a smile, a big hug, and a brilliant mind, Just like the others I love: deep, open, generous. The unseen forces of good were at work. John brought pieces of the family puzzle, Falling from the sky: manna from heaven, Ancestors came to life, their Chinese adventures illuminated, The world took another dimension, flooded with light. Twins up above smiled upon us, While identical photo albums, maps, portraits came from the dark, Pieces swapped, mysteries sparked, twinned families at work, Historic mysteries unraveled quickly to all delight. The pair of Watts, bookended by their love, Envelope so many of us, holding their torches to the road, Guiding, nudging, leading, loving, Who wouldn’t shine in their midst? My mother, Josephine Putnam Sturgis Crocker, Grandpa Edward Sturgis Jr, and Great Grandpa Edward Sturgis, Twin of Anne’s Grandpa, Sullivan Warren Sturgis, Stand behind me in wishing endless peace and happiness to Anne and John: you embody all that is our family tradition with your love. — Heather Crocker Faris | From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Sunday, December 12, 2010 12:09 PM Hi there cousins, Hope this isn't too late for your collection (attached). What a cool family you all are! Looking forward to Friday. much love, heather and rob
59: Dear Friends – We want to use this occasion to celebrate you individually - and as a team - and to thank you for the many ways in which your ideas, talents, hard work, and diligence have enriched our lives. As we think about your work with Primary Source particularly, some thoughts from Confucius seem appropriate: “Those who are born with the possession of knowledge are the highest class of men. Those who learn, and so readily get possession of knowledge, are the next.” “Study the past if you would define the future.” “To be able under all circumstances to practice five things constitutes perfect virtue; these five things are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness and kindness.” “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” Finally, since we so look forward to singing at your celebration, we could not resist including this quote: "How to play music may be known. At the commencement of the piece, all the parts should sound together. As it proceeds, they should be in harmony, severally distinct and flowing without a break, and thus on to the conclusion.” Here’s to the singing – and to our friendship! Warm wishes and congratulations. Anna and Dick | From: Anna Roelofs [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
60: Mom and Dad, we love you. Congratulations!