I don’t recall exactly when my parents determined that I should go to boarding school (although I do remember my mother giving me a couple of articles to read on the subject, one in the old Holiday magazine and another in Town and Country), but I do remember trollish relatives of mine speaking ill of the decision. From today’s time and space distance, the episode seems like our family’s version of the movie Gentleman’s Agreement. I remember clearly discussions concerning traditional prep school anti-Semitism, and especially ones about “latent homosexuality,” which was said to core-infect these institutions. I’m certain overhearing these conversations taught me the word “rife.”
But I’ll always be glad we were assigned to retrieve him because while we were waiting in the Eastern terminal, the Lovin’ Spoonful arrived and in wild style began carooming around the baggage area in wheelchairs, à la A Hard Day’s Night. I recognized the band immediately (even new member Jerry Yester), and although we didn’t speak, I consider our brief encounter one of my “formative experiences.”
All school images, Washington D.C. and Virginia: Frances Benjamin Johnston, 1899.
Kevin Ayers: Derby Day (Link)