Staff Recommendations
This page is for links to articles that might speak to some of us. Of course, '49ers are encouraged to submit further items for inclusion by clicking here.


The Rector of Justin: A Novel

Story of Frank Prescott, rector, headmaster and founder of Justin Martyr, an Episcopal boys' school in New England from his own boyhood to age 85. Narrator is Brian, a student who also becomes a master at the school. It's about the boys, the masters and the trustees - the ramification of both power and finance. Prescott is seen as a God to many school generations including Brian. Prescott has retired but stays around. At the school's Diamond Jubilee, there are conversations about the school's future and Prescott questions himself as to what he has really done -- who he really is.

Summary by Kathy Discenna 




The Ainslie Street Project

The story of how a fifty-nine year love affair based upon a common feeling for literature and people sustained a lifetime of creation. Bill and Gloria Broder wrote and edited each other's work while bringing up a family together in Sausalito, California.  When the publishing industry changed in the 21st century, Bill launched "The Ainslie Street Project," a self-publishing venture for his most recent works.

The Ainslie Street Project - YouTube video - December 29, 2014


Taking Care of Cleo

I enjoyed Taking Care of Cleo by Bill Broder so much that I read it twice. The second time I read it aloud to my bed ridden wife. Not many novels can be read aloud. 'Cleo' would make a good audio book.
It would also be a great book club selection. 'Cleo' prompts discussions on all sorts of topics, including family relationships, care giving, religious prejudice and prohibitions.
'Cleo' is just good, clean entertainment for adult readers of all persuasions. I plan to give copies as Christmas gifts this year.

An book review


Skimpy Dies
Review of the well-regarded tragicomic novel about 14-year-olds and their teachers in a prep school

The New York Times


Dancing in the Rain

'Life isn't about how to survive the storm,

But how to dance in the rain.'

source unknown


An Anthropologist Sorts Out What Alumni Meet-ups Do for Some: *
A Room Full of Mirrors - High School Reunions in Middle America
– Stanford University Press


The Older Crowd *

A collection of senior jokes.

from a still-kicking member of our crowd


An Encapsuation of the Different Ages We've Experienced *

Anonymous differentiates different forms of success for our demographic's lifespan (forwarded by Walt Denison)

– The Circle of Life (keep clicking)



What to Do Now to Feel Better at 100 *

In a newly published book, Treat Me, Not My Age (Viking), Dr. Mark Lachs, director of geriatrics at the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System, discusses two major influences (among others) on how well older people are able to function.  

  New York Times



Cherish or Perish *

A strong compendium of past and present opportunities, somewhat understating the good technologies of today. 

  New York Times


Mindset List for the Class of 2014 *

A lesson on the cultural differences between us elders and young adults in our midst. Any reader up to rendering what we '49ers had as a mindset for the summer after Cranbrook?

  Beloit College Mindset List

Geezer web master

America: Land of Loners? by Daniel Akst pdf

Americans, plugged in and on the move, are confiding in their pets, their computers, and their spouses. What they need is to rediscover the value of friendship.

  The Wilson Quarterly

Geezer web master
Happiness May Come with Age, Study Says *
The New York Times
Geezer web master 
The Journey Home *
A father and son’s ride back from college, recalled in the author’s recent book, becomes immersed in meaning of life.
University of Chicago Magazine
Geezer web master
The Symphony of a Lifetime *
Notre Dame Magazine
Geezer web master
   – The last third of chapter 106 of Of Human Bondage

Reflection from John Holdsworth on that text in Somerset Maugham's Bondage: 

     I was in Art Palmer's class. Back in the day I'm sure that this passage fueled my youthful notions of being a rather smug cynic. Now, at the end of the trail I think that Phillip was dead wrong. Instead of having no meaning, I now think that life can and probably should have many meanings and that we each have a responsibility of finding our unique meaning. I would be most interested in the take, if any, of Tom Peterson, our class Jungian, on Phillip's soliloquy.  Victor Frankel, the father of a psychotherapeutic discipline called logotherapy wrote a book called "Man's Search for Meaning". He had been medically trained in both abdominal and neurosurgery and the book was motivated by his experience as a prisoner for five years in a Nazi concentration camp during which he lost his wife at a very early period. He would take serious issue with Philip's point of view. By the way, I've often wondered if MaughamPhillip was really articulating Maugham's own ideas about the lack of any meaning in life and its "liberating" effect on the human spirit. I've noticed that many authors like to create straw men as characters through whom they can speak to express their own ideas or even perhaps multiple characters each of whom can debate a particular philosophy. Thanks so much for sending this - fascinating to think about - provokes more questions than it provides answers which is probably good.

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