Mount Holyoke by Day

Commuting to College
1973 – 1975

My experience at Mount Holyoke College was not typical. I had left Wheaton College during the 1969 – 70 moratorium over the Vietnam War, soon got married, went to night school in the inner city of Springfield, Massachusetts.

A couple of years later, I decided I’d try a long shot. So I persuaded Dean Joan Ciruti, then Mount Holyoke College Dean of Admissions, who was also a professor of Spanish, to grant me an interview. She decided to take a chance on an unlikely candidate and I got accepted as a late sophomore. There were no “day students” at prestigious Seven Sisters Colleges then. 

I felt like an outsider and detached as I commuted from home, working at the Campus Post Office between classes to fulfill a tuition pledge while also maintaining full-time jobs in Springfield as a legal assistant, life insurance policy administrator, and bookkeeper at my Dad’s men’s clothing store. 

I’d study after classes when I could fit it in at my carrel in the Williston library. A home away from home. Since I didn’t live on Campus, I hardly knew any students well, except a couple in my classes. But. Since their lives revolved around the college’s residential houses we had little in common.

Eugenio Suárez-Galbán was head of the Spanish Dept. His Cervantes course was incredible. Also took psych & ed courses with John Osgood, a wonderful mentor and teacher.  I completed my B.A. degree and graduated at the outdoor Amphitheater in May of 1975.

Although my time at Mount Holyoke wasn’t the usual, it gave me a foundation to go on to teach Spanish at Longmeadow High School, and then my career took a sharp turn when I became an international banking executive after leaving marriage #1 and moving to New York. But that’s another whole story.

Memory Lanes

The Side Trek was the name I gave to my quarterly column in Valley Living Magazine in 2006, using my dread for driving on highways to take readers to the byways of Western Massachusetts.

It morphed into a blog in 2010 which included more side treks on the back roads of the Pioneer Valley, but also became a bricolage of pithy posts about current culture, politics, sports and other quirky musings.

This blog compiles some of those past posts and photos.


Pioneer Valley Tales & Trails
travels along the back roads of Western Massachusetts

Holiday Letters
oversharing letters from a typical if fictional Valley family the Bidrights

Old Post Road
posts and pix from the original blog 2010 – 2016