Remembering “Cappy” Hurst

(Note:  When I was preparing my brief remarks for the informal memorial service being held on 24 July 2016 for George Cameron Hurst III in the Lawrence residence of his son Ian, I went on the internet to study the speeches of Melania Trump, to see if there’s anything I could borrow, but there’s nothing…

Remembering Jack Oruch

The initial news from Jim Carothers: Dear Colleagues:  I regret to inform you of the passing of Emeritus colleague Jack Oruch on June 6 in Ohio.  Jack came to the University in 1963 and retired in 1997.  He was Chair of the Majors Committee, a predecessor of the current Director of Undergraduate Studies position, and…

Remembering Mike Cherniss

Mike Cherniss had a wry sense of humor, and he probably had the last laugh when he died on April Fools’ Day (2013) after a long and difficult illness.  At the remembrance party held recently at the home he shared with spouse and partner Jane Garrett, many wonderful stories about Mike were shared by his…

Remembering Mykee

Mykee, a very special keeshond whom Dr. Tom Liebl had nicknamed “the miracle dog” because of everything she had been through, died in my arms, her eyes weary but wide open, at noon on Friday 9 March 2012. She was 14 years, 9 months and 2 days old. Mykee had survived extensive surgery (for cancer)…

Remembering Maura Piekalkiewicz

I thought I knew Maura Piekalkiewicz (1933-2011) fairly well, but at the service held at Lawrence Chapel Oaks on January 29 in her memory, I found out a great deal more about her activism for civil rights and social justice from personal stories shared by her son Andrew; her daughter Ellen; her friends Laura Gassen…

Remembering Ilse Steinhardt

I know Ilse Steinhardt (2 November 1914—3 December 2010) only through her good friends Anita Herzfeld and Grant Goodman, who for some reason always included me in their dinner parties and birthday celebrations for Ilse.  I was told that Ilse liked me, even though for many years she called me Jim instead of Paul.  Once,…

My Arthur Miller Story

Since Kansas isn’t exactly a beehive of playwriting activity, beginning playwrights in this neck of the woods are almost always told that, if they write about what they know, and if they choose to chronicle their small-town roots,  they could be “the next William Inge,” the playwright from Independence, KS who couldn’t leave his birthplace fast enough but…

My Kurt Vonnegut Story

Like many of my peers, when I was in college forty years ago, one of the writers whom we all admired was Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007).  I never thought I would actually meet the man but, during one of my trips to New York, meet him I did, sort of, and this is what happened.  It was a Saturday afternoon, sometime…