nature of the Haverford community was evident in the weeks after September 11,
when people met to console each other, share stories and memories, and to memorialize
those lost. Nine months later, Haverfordians turned out in record numbers on
Alumni Weekend for on-campus memorials-and to reconnect with the College.
We Pay tribute to the four men in these pages and, in doing so, we acknowledge those lost in the extended Haverford family: Andy Kates, brother of Seth kates '83 and husband to Emily Terry '85; Howard Kestenbaum, father of Lauren Kaustenbaum '99; Ted Moy, father of Jessica Moy '04; and Bonnie Smithwick; daughter of David Shihadeh '39.
B. Gardner '83
Doug was born on October 5, 1961 in New York City. He attended PS 6, Riverdale Country Day School and Haverford College. Doug was the Executive Managing Director of Cantor Fitzgerald, L.P. and Vice Chairman of eSpeed. He also was a partner with me at P&J Realty, his family’s real estate development business.
Doug’s love of his cherished family was what truly defined him. Doug adored his wife, Jennifer, and their two beautiful young children, Michael (5) and Julia (3). His kids were the source of his laughter and the loving recipients of his gentleness and patience. Doug and Jennifer made family life their first priority. Doug was almost a perfect son to Charlotte and me. He maintained a close and very special relationship with his sister, Danielle.
Doug was raised in Manhattan with summers in Fire Island. Every year he would return to Fire Island for the traditional end of the summer basketball tournament. In the summer of 2000, he won one of his many trophies, the Tournament MVP. That trophy sits proudly in our home in Fire Island.
Doug loved his years at Riverdale. Clearly, one of the highlights of his high school career was playing basketball for the Riverdale team. He also played baseball and soccer, a three letter man.
Doug went to Haverford College in 1979 on the recommendation of the son of our close friend who also had a fabulous experience there. He immediately became entranced by Haverford, the beauty of its campus, the tradition and mostly the people. His mother and I really enjoyed seeing Doug in this setting.
Although he came on campus to play soccer in August of 1979, his real love, of course, was basketball, a game he played his whole life. Doug played varsity basketball at Haverford. Being a part of that team was the high point of his college career, especially playing with Calvin Gooding and Chris Lanser. During his junior year, Doug attended the London School of Economics with his friend, Richard Glaser. At LSE Doug helped organize a basketball team that won the championship of the league. LSE was not big on sports trophies so it gave Doug and his teammates ties.
Douglas truly enjoyed his years at Haverford. He participated in every part of the college, made many lifetime friends and was a very active alumnus. Doug worked to ensure Haverford’s continuing success. Over the years he participated in capital campaigns, recruitment initiatives and always kept his eye out for highly motivated prospective students.
Sports continued to dominate Doug’s interests even after college. A true athlete, Doug applied his skills to many sports. Doug won the Real Estate Board of New York’s tennis tournament. He also played in the annual Real Estate Board Pro-Am, and one year he won. It was his growing passion for playing golf, however, that nearly matched his love of basketball. He adored the game because it challenged him and pushed him to be better. He liked to play with his friends and colleagues.
Douglas’s business career started with two years at Lehman Brothers in Investment Banking. He was involved in health care and was part of the team that did the road show and brought Telerate public. Telerate was a significant user of Cantor Fitzgerald data, and years later Doug continued his good relationships with some of the executives of Telerate while a partner at Cantor Fitzgerald.
After Lehman, he came to work for me at P&J Realty, and we formed a new company, DG Equities. Douglas had worked for my company as a laborer on construction jobs most summers since high school. In fact, he worked with Chris Lanser and later helped with sales of condominiums we were developing. In the eight years that he was with me, Doug became my true partner. We built two apartment houses together, 108 Fifth Avenue and 311 Greenwich Street, in New York City. During part of this period, the real estate industry had some severe problems to which we were not immune. Douglas, with his engaging personality, quick wit and his ability to make friends, took over working out these problems with both our lenders and tenants. He was a tremendous help in solving our problems and keeping our business in good shape.
In January of 1994, Howard Lutnick ’83 recruited Douglas to join Cantor Fitzgerald as a principal. At that time our business was very slow, we were not developing any property, Douglas had cured our problems with our lenders, and we had rented the vacant commercial space. After much thought, Douglas accepted Howard’s offer. He spent nearly eight years at Cantor Fitzgerald and eSpeed using his strong leadership skills and business acumen to help build the companies and maintain their unparalleled positions in the industry.
During his years at Cantor, Douglas continued to be my partner. He made himself available whenever I needed any help. I never made any major decision without his input and consulted with him on a regular basis. When I traveled I always felt comfortable because I knew Douglas was watching things in New York.
Last year, Douglas took Jennifer to tour Riverdale Country Day School. He wanted their children to have the same wonderful experiences he had at the school. Happily, their son, Michael, will enter kindergarten in September at Riverdale. We completely expect Julia to follow in two years. I know Doug would be thrilled if his children followed him to Haverford. At the end of last summer, Doug had the thrill of teaching Michael to ride a two-wheel bicycle. I know Doug would have loved to watch how his son rides so expertly. Michael takes after his father. He loves to play and watch basketball. Julia has inherited Doug’s electric smile and sunny personality. Douglas doted on her and would be very proud of her early achievements.
One of my friends from the real estate business said to me “To know Douglas is to like him,” which I think is accurate. Douglas had a world of friends from all walks of life; high school, Fire Island, basketball, business, golf, charity work, etc. He was very philanthropic, both financially and with his time, no matter how busy his schedule was. He wanted to help young people who did not have many opportunities reach as high a level as their ability could take them.
Doug was a big guy, over 6'4", with a stunning smile and a hearty laugh. Nothing was more important to him than the people with whom he surrounded
himself. Doug was always humble, always a gentleman. He maintained deep and lifelong friendships because he was himself a true friend – loyal, kind and generous, but also because he was fun, always prepared to compete, to play, to have a good time and share it with others. He was a listener, a keeper of secrets, a big brother figure, a man who radiated confidence and made people feel good about themselves and aspire to more. His noble and compassionate spirit will live on forever through his family and friends.
Douglas had a good life, a great family, a lot of wonderful friends and tremendous business success. Unfortunately, it was all too short.
In the 14th Street Union Square subway station there is a list of all people who were lost on September 11th. Next to Douglas’s name someone wrote “You’re the MVP, we love you, we miss you pal!” We all miss Douglas. He was a terrific young man.
Gillette! The best a man can get!”
I’m sinking in my seat. Who else would stand up and belt out a razor blade commercial? Nobody but Tom.
Or walk across a trading floor singing “Someone made a store just for me!” at the top of his lungs. Tom would sing the Food Emporium theme song and who cares who didn’t like it.
Tom would say “six of one, a dozen of the other” when the more orthodox formulation is called for. You might catch him at work with his jacket off and a crisp shirt ballooning out from behind. Late in the day his shirttails would hang untucked. That was Tom.
Or the phone would ring on the trading desk and Tom would pick it up. Let’s say the call was for a new employee, a trainee. More often than not, Tom would stand up and holler for the whole floor to hear that the new guy has a PERSONAL CALL!
The thing you need to know about Tom Glasser is that he could read the Manhattan phone directory out loud and make people laugh. He had an uncle who was a writer for Mad magazine, which made him very proud. It had to have been genetic.
But Tom was more than funny. He was charisma itself. People just wanted to be around him and if you were lucky enough to be his friend you knew you were one of the luckiest people alive. If Tom was there everything was light, everything was life, people were coming over to your table, strangers were laughing, folks were shaking you hand, guys in the row behind you were buying beers. I’m not kidding, he was really that unusual. If Tom was there the night was young and life lasted forever.
Tom’s sister Margie says he was larger than life. He was William Powell, the Thin Man, with a cast of characters always in tow. Wall Street big shots, a guy imitating Homer Simpson, local cops from his hometown, stand-up comics, dogs, schoolmates, anybody’s kids, Broadway stars – you would always find a collection around Tom. With names like The Doctor of Love, Sir Loin of Beef. Chances are he would introduce two people like that and they’d have to ask each others’ real names.
Reporters loved to call Tom. In the bond business he was great copy.
“What does Tom Glasser, who buys and sells millions of dollars of mortgage securities for a living as head of fixed-income trading at Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP, purchase for his own portfolio?” asked Bloomberg News in 1999. “I’ve picked up muni bonds,” said Glasser. “when you look at what you’re keeping on an after-tax basis, it’s almost a no-brainer.”
“I love this damn job,” he told the Daily News as a Lehman Brothers trader in 1984, claiming he would be a bond trader for free if he had to be. As it turned out he didn’t have to be.
People loved Tom. Bond brokers who he might yell at by day loved him anyway. Policemen would watch his house at night. People who were funny loved him, and people who weren’t. His customers loved him. They were lucky enough to hang on the phone with Tom all day and get paid for it. Former students from Haverford loved him. All the waiters at Sparks, his only restaurant, loved him. They would each come over for a handshake and a laugh during the course of the evening. His beloved Palestinian friend Rami, the maitre d’ who selected Tom’s wines for 15 years and wouldn’t let anyone else do it. Ever.
Not that Tom was a hard partier. People may have thought so, but the truth was he always slipped away from any event by 9:30. He had to be a bond trader in the morning. He always got his sleep.
Even at a party, Tom was different. He always found the dogs and the children. I recall one party, at who knows where, I found him alone in the kitchen feeding someone’s dog. They were nuzzling each other and Tom was barking “Uncle Tommy! Uncle Tommy!” (Actually the dog threw up after that and
the hosts were displeased.)
Children followed him everywhere too. They must have smelled him when he arrived, or he smelled them. While the adults were talking in the house he would be out in the backyard getting himself chased by 5-year-olds.
Did I mention Tom taught a class at Haverford on “Ethics and Wall Street?” Actually he was a serious person, something he didn’t show most people. He majored in philosophy at Haverford, and was particularly affected by Ashok Gangadean and Aryeh Kosman, his senior thesis advisor. Tom won a prize at his 1982 graduation for that thesis, titled “The Metaphysics of Track.” Gangadean meets Donnelly.
Look it up. He also was awarded the Varsity Cup as the best male athlete in his graduating class. Actually Tom was perhaps the best pure athlete I ever knew. The guy carried Haverford on his back through four years of dual meets, especially the four times we faced Swarthmore. He could run any race from the 100 up, he was always one of the top 400-meter runners in the conference, and was perennial conference champion in the high jump, indoors and out. And in his senior year he took up the 800 meters and qualified for nationals! He won a gold medal for the USA in the 4x400 relay at the Maccabiah Games in Israel. He ran on a winning 2-mile relay team for the New York Athletic Club at the 1985 Millrose Games in Madison Square Garden.
Tom Donnelly can give you the details. I think I speak for all of 25 years of Donnelly athletes when I say that we always knew what a privilege it was to be under his tutelage. Tom Glasser felt it most keenly and like so many of us would do anything to prove Donnelly’s faith in us was not misplaced. Tom Donnelly meant a great deal to Tom Glasser, and he stayed close to Donnelly and to Haverford’s track teams for the rest of his life. On Tom Glasser’s last day at Haverford he went up to Donnelly’s office and said, “I love you Mr. Donnelly.”
Tom Glasser was a pretty competitive guy. He wasn’t the kind of guy who would ordinarily be happy for you if beat him at something. Once during indoor track season Tom missed a weekly meet held over at Widener University in Chester. He was competing in a more prestigious invitational at Princeton, if memory serves. He came back to campus that evening to find teammate Ed Wilmer ’83 had broken his school indoor high jump record at Widener. Ed Wilmer! Who had never beaten him! Tom was crushed.
Still you had to respect Ed’s accomplishment until the following week at Widener, when a jumper from another school said to Tom “you should’ve been here last week. The bar was bent. We all set personal records.” The bar was bent! The bar was BENT! And Donnelly must have known! Such a betrayal!
Was the bar really bent? Let’s be fair to Ed Wilmer here. Would Tom Donnelly really let the record stand if it had been? Besides, neither Ed nor Tom holds the record anymore. Noel Watson ’97 does. But it feels like a betrayal of Tom to suggest that bar wasn’t bent. You never know, Donnelly might have pulled this out of his psychology bag to motivate Tom. Most of us thought it was a good laugh, but Tom never really let it go, not even 20 years later when I swear he would still moan about that bent bar if you mentioned it.
For the record, Tom was instrumental in bringing me together with my wife, Donna Silbert ’84. It happened in the spring semester of 1982, when Tom was Donna’s philosophy advisor and at my urging abused academic authority and talked about me instead of Wittgenstein.
Not long after that Tom, Mike Sheely ’83, and I were in an auto accident together and Tom’s mom took us all in the next day and even invited my new girlfriend to come down from New York to nurse my wounds. A weekend that brought us all together for life. I’ll never forget listening to Dr. Ruth’s radio program for the first time, on Mrs. Glasser’s kitchen radio. We all screamed with laughter at Mrs. Glasser’s running commentary. I held my bandaged head in my hands and tried not to laugh.
Tom was the only person who could say the f-word in front of your mother and get away with it. Tom made mothers blush and laugh, it was his stock-in-trade. My mother, Donna’s mother, his mother, anybody’s mother. I think it came from his mother, whose warm, whimsical, easy personality all those years disguised a strength of character none of us ever hope to have to find in ourselves.
And Tom’s dad, tall, quiet, firm, intense, analytical, expressing his love in a very different way from Tom’s mom but just as strong. He was an NYU professor and an incredibly successful businessman on the side. Boy, was Tom proud of his dad. Some people display characteristics of one parent more than the other, some people are more of a mixture. Tom was more than a mix, he was an explosion of his parents’ qualities.
Let me describe the first time I saw Tom. August 1979, freshman year, start of cross-country camp. Feverish humid August day at Haverford. Grass sizzling with those end-of-summer Main Line bees. First time in the Old Gym and we’re stretching before going out for a run. I see a skinny kid, very quiet, short haircut, wearing blue shorts and a blue t-shirt. He’s kind of nervous, and he’s shooting shadow baskets.
Who wouldn’t be nervous before a famous Donnelly’s Main Line death march? But Tom wasn’t nervous, he was shy and quiet. Tom! It took him a few months at Haverford before he found his groove. I think maybe he was intimidated by national high school stars like his new teammates Sheely and
Dane Rutstein ’82. Maybe he just needed time to fit in.
I saw him go through the same transition in New York four years later. Grew up in the New Jersey suburbs but had hardly seen the big city. Just a shy guy, the Tom Glasser few people saw. He took a walk around his new neighborhood one night and passed Danceteria, a pretty hip place in its day. He asked the guy behind the velvet rope if this was a gay club or a straight club. “Just boys and girls having fun” came the reply. A story Tom repeated for years.
With all the comedy clubs in New York, it was just inevitable that Tom would one day try his hand at standup comedy. He did it quite successfully for a while in the early ’90s. I recall one glorious evening with the room packed, friends and admirers and more bond traders than the place had ever seen, Tom brought down the house. His humor could veer toward the scatological: “When I was a kid my mom used to whip out the rectal thermometer at the first sign I had a cold. That’s right – the rectal thermometer! Tasted terrible.”
Believe it or not, some people didn’t like Tom, which sometimes bothered me but never seemed to bother him. Tom was out there, he was all Tom all the
time. He had a sacrilegious streak, and he didn’t tolerate hypocrisy. If you sensed you were judging him on appearances, he played the appearance up, and the joke was on you. If in the process he discovered you didn’t have a sense of humor he could be merciless.
Once, a long time ago, he came to dinner at our place. We had a mix of different people like you try for at a dinner party, including a woman with whom Donna and I had become friendly. She made some disparaging remark about yuppies and Tom gradually transformed himself into her worst nightmare. He talked of how much he loved money, how he calculated his net worth every day, how money really did buy happiness and therefore how happy he was. She gaped in horror. After that evening Donna and I never heard from the woman again.
But the Tom she didn’t get to know was generous, warm, strong, loving, and supportive of his friends, his family, the community where he lived, and above all his beloved Haverford College. Those of us who knew him well knew his devotion to his sisters and his niece.
What was Tom like at the end of his life? A great friend, a responsible one. Someone who actually had urged colleagues at work to purchase more insurance for their families. Someone who counseled his friends to be proud of their accomplishments and not lose themselves in the struggle for more. Someone who didn’t miss the opportunity to tell his friends he loved them.
Tom was a great mentor of young people. Here’s a story: Tom’s brother-in-law Sam Ticknor and I last year attended a memorial service for family, friends, and colleagues of Tom and the 65 Sandler O’Neill colleagues with whom he died. The service filled Carnegie Hall. We found ourselves sitting with a gentleman who had lost his young son. He told us how Tom had hazed his son for wearing suspenders on his first day on Wall Street.
Apparently Tom the big-shot partner pulled the red suspenders from behind and allowed them to snap back, saying, “Son, we don’t wear suspenders here at Sandler O’Neill until we’ve made our first million!”
The young man returned home that night crestfallen but soon all he was talking about at home was “Mr. Glasser said this today” and “Mr. Glasser taught me that.” The father said that Tom had had a profound influence on his son’s brief career. He opened his suit jacket to reveal his son’s bright red suspenders. We all cried.
I’m telling you, Tom was different. How many funerals have you attended with a 25-strong police honor guard? Has anyone ever written a play about you? Tom had one written by a former colleague and it was performed Off-Broadway. The place was packed with bond traders and well-wishers, just as in Tom’s standup days. The play set a character based on Tom’s trading floor humor against a dark background and was not an entirely sympathetic portrayal. Tom recognized that but he loved the play just the same, he was so good-natured, and he was just really proud of it.
What kind of a man was he? A Knick worshipper, a devoted Elvis Costello fan, a friend, a great friend. A golfer, a cigar-smoker, a guy who drove around and called you up at work to leave ridiculous musical voicemails. The last one he left me said, “Shoot that poison arrow to my heart!”
A friend. When you think of Tom think of friendship. Someone who was always there, someone who gave advice people depended on. Someone who actually told his friends he loved them, just like he told Tom Donnelly that day. Someone who left nothing unsaid and who really knew he was loved.
Above all, Tom was a husband and a father. In his last few years he married and had two sons and wasn’t seen around town much after the dinner hour. His wife Meg saved his life, he said, and there’s no doubt that was so. He was quietly happy and terribly in love. He said he had finally found the person who understood him and they both said they knew almost immediately. She was Myrna Loy to his William Powell. In the last months of his life he talked about retiring from Wall Street and spending his days closer to home, perhaps managing money for friends.
At Tom’s memorial service the most extraordinary stories were told by Tom and Meg’s neighbors of their love for each other and for their sons, Dylan and Luke. The woman who passed them on the freeway on a weekday morning. She saw them laughing uproariously on the way to school. The policeman who laughed about how early the lights went out at the Glasser house. The Summit, N.J., police department kept a special watch over the house of this especially generous friend. They still do. Neighbors marveled at Tom’s involvement in the school and community, his balance of work and family, his love.
Tom sent me a very special e-mail to tell me he and Meg were getting married. “Hush hush,” the message began. There was a hush over Tom and Meg from the moment you first saw them together. Over Tom and Meg and Dylan and Luke. There still is.
Jimmy Dunne, Tom’s boss at Sandler O’Neill, said that Tom would have relished the opportunity to rebuild his firm after the devastation of Sept. 11. Tom would have relished it, he was a born leader. He loved the values he learned at Haverford, but I believe he would have been passionate about the importance of pursuing and eradicating terrorism.
It’s really painful to so many of us that Tom is gone. But the truth is that it was a miracle that Tom Glasser ever existed. A unique individual, an original snowflake. A miracle for all of us.
I don’t think Tom would have minded me closing with Bruce Springsteen, a lyric dedicated to the men and women who died trying to save Tom’s life, but just as applicable to him:
May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love bring us love.
-Kevin Foley '83
Calvin Gooding '84
was one of the happiest, most joyful people you could ever hope to know, and
he brought that joy to every friendship in which he took part. And few people
had more friends, real friends, than Calvin.
When we were maybe sophomores at Haverford, Cal took a few of his friends to the Gooding’s house in Queens for dinner—a home cooked meal, that rarest thing for a college student. I still remember his mom made lasagna and salad. Another thing that really made an impression on us that night was that she slipped up once, and called him Callie Boy. Of course, his father is Calvin, too, so it was a perfectly natural pet name for her oldest son, but we were highly amused, and Callie Boy immediately made the list of irreverent nicknames by which Cal was known to his friends.
And in the days after the Trade Centers came down, I found myself wandering around my house in North Carolina, calling out loud, Callie Boy, because I just felt that he was lost to me, lost to us all, forever. And I guess that shows I was losing it a little, and I know a lot of us were, because of course it wasn’t like he could have heard me if he’d been alive, at work at Cantor Fitzgerald or home with La Chanze and Celia, but there I was, calling it out, Callie Boy.
And then, little by little, he began to come back to me, to come into focus. I guess the first step in that was the recognition that he was really gone. I went to the bookshelf and pulled down the poem by A.E. Houseman, the poem called “To an Athlete Dying Young,” and reread those famous opening verses:
The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.
To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.
That helped a little. In my first memories of Calvin, from first semester of our freshman year, 21 years ago now, he is a young athlete, and we are here today to set him down at that final threshold. But after that the poem just falls apart for me. The athlete in the poem is almost lucky to have died early, before his records were broken, avoiding the fate that Houseman called the name dying before the man. That wasn’t going to do it for Cal—he had done so much yet was still building his name, he had done so much else in his life, moving from success to success, making it on Wall Street, becoming a husband and a father, fulfilling the promise shown by the young athlete he had been.
It was my wife, Lisa, who helped start the process of putting Calvin into some perspective. She picked up a picture of Cal and a group of guys at our wedding – Cal has on sunglasses and a Hollywood smile – it’s a picture that has been in our family room for years, and she said, simply, “Beautiful Calvin.”
And in my grief and loss, I looked at her, and at the picture, and I said, “Beautiful? Calvin?” Because no matter how much you love a guy, you have one breakfast too many together after a tough night of, uh, college, one too many breakfasts where he’s got a do-rag on his head, and beautiful is just not the first word that comes to mind.
But Lisa was right. Calvin was beautiful. Suddenly I could see that. He was so many fine things, things that we sum up with the weighty words that are used in memorial service or an obituary, or in describing him to complete strangers, as I’ve done so often in these past weeks – things that we know about our friends but that are too close to focus on, because we are absorbed with the actions and interactions that give those words their meaning – in Calvin’s case, we were usually having too much fun, laughing too hard, debating sports trivia or music or politics, to get that external view.
Let me give you an example: Character. Calvin Gooding was a man of character, strength, and dignity. We, his friends, may not have used those words as we watched Calvin onstage in our senior class show, made up and fully padded to impersonate a female dean, singing falsetto to the tune of “If I Only Had a Brain” from “The Wizard of Oz.” (And La Chanze thought she was the only actress in the family…)
Character, strength, dignity…Ok, so he falls asleep on the couch watching football, and it’s just one time too many that he’s sitting there with his head back, snoring lightly, so his friends just had to pour a little Kool-Aid mix into his open mouth…but you can’t get lost in that kind of detail. You step back a bit and you see, for example, that Calvin was under enormous pressure in college, although you might never have known it. He was, for one thing, a star ballplayer, although he was always humble, never got a bigger head about it. He was the guy other teams keyed on and tried to stop. When Haverford went on the road, at Swarthmore, our archrival, the fans would chant his name when he stepped to the foul line or, worse, if he made a mistake. Cal-vin, Cal-vin, they would shout. But he didn’t blink.
And obviously, as a young black man in an overwhelmingly white college scene, there were all sorts of extra pressures on him, but he handled them with grace and poise. He knew who he was, and he was ready to share that with anyone, without compromising it in any way. He was who he was – a guy from Springfield Gardens who was a big man on campus at an elite college – and he wore it all well. He didn’t ignore the issues – we talked about it all, I mean, it was college, we talked everything into the ground, but he never showed stress, never sweated it. He went to practice, he went to class, and he made it to every party and every road trip.
You’re friends with someone long enough, it’s not all smiles, no matter how happy that person is. Cal was with me, he was a source of comfort to me, on the day my father died – he was learning to swim in the Kibel’s pool at West Hampton that day, in fact – learning to swim and learning to drive as an adult were two things he did that both impressed and terrified Cal’s friends. And years later, at a time of terrible crisis in his own family, Lisa and I saw Calvin step up for his parents, his brothers and sisters – he was a leader, and he was a rock. Character, strength, dignity, grace and poise – these were the big words that Calvin embodied.
Calvin Gooding. If you read that name in one of those nineteenth-century novels we were supposed to read in college, you would roll your eyes at the obviousness of it. Calvin, the strong-willed, strong-minded man of God. Gooding, well, that one kind of hits you over the head, doesn’t it. And make no mistake, Calvin loved God. His faith was strong, and I learned something from him on the subject. Once, we were riding in the back of Charles Kibel’s car, on spring break in Florida, and we were having another one of those deep conversations you have when you are 20 about God and truth and science, and Cal just said, I know the science is true, but I know God is true, too. Simple as that. His grandfather had taught him that, he said, and I never knew him to forget it. Another big word. Faith.
And I know this is making him sound so bland, and too good, but again, it was all the underpinning, the stuff that was obscured by day-to-day life. Calvin was no plaster saint – he was so alive. On the very same trip where we were talking about God we were played a basketball game with our best friends that got so intense that fisticuffs almost broke out, and guys were driving up to Fort Lauderdale and we were watching the NCAA tourney on TV and we were water-skiing and goofing around in boats – and that was before Cal had learned to swim.
Yet another big word: friendship. Calvin was a true friend. One of the guys on that memorable spring break trip, one of Calvin’s closest friends, was Doug Gardner, his Haverford teammate and colleague at Cantor Fitzgerald. Doug died with Calvin, leaving behind his own loving family. And I mention Doug not because he was my friend, although he was, and I bring up all of Cantor’s fallen at this service for Calvin, because I cannot imagine for a moment that Calvin would not have wanted us to remember them now as well.
Because Calvin was kind. He went out of his way for people. He listened to people. When Calvin hugged his female friends he didn’t just hug them, he said, “Hello, gorgeous,” and he didn’t just give compliments, I think he believed them to be true. His college friends were mostly amateur insult comics, but he rarely spoke ill of anyone. In fact, we liked to say outrageous things just to hear Calvin say “Stop.” And I never knew him to have an enemy. That’s even more amazing considering that Calvin had more friends than most of us have casual acquaintances—it was a standing joke among his housemates in college—we were a very tight-knit group, we ate together and went out together, and Haverford and Bryn Mawr make up a very small community—it was just a truism that if you saw Cal talking to someone that you had never seen before and asked who this stranger was, Calvin would say, that was my good friend so and so—and he would mean it.
Just over three years ago, Calvin called me and asked if I would give the groom’s-side toast at his wedding to La Chanze. He really knew I loved him, I guess, to trust me like that with an open bar and an open mike---and I still owed him for the warm and funny toast he had given at our rehearsal dinner in 1989. And I told this story then at their wedding, so sorry if you’ve heard it before, but one night when I lived up on 99th Street, Cal and I went out and had a lot of fun, and he ended up sleeping over, and it was pretty late, and Calvin was stretched out on my bed, and he was talking in this dreamy voice about meeting the woman who would be the mother of Calvin Gooding Jr., and it was such a nice moment that I hated to remind him that he was Calvin Gooding Jr….and he said, Right, I mean Calvin Gooding Jr., Jr….but the point was that Calvin knew he was looking, even before he was close to settling down, he was looking for a special person to build a family with, and if you know his family, as Lisa and I have been so privileged to do in these past years, know his mom and dad, his twin sister Allison, his brothers Steve and Michael, his darling Jocelyn, you could see where that desire was shaped.
And then he found La Chanze, and his dream had come true. Women, I guess, didn’t have trouble seeing that he was beautiful—women loved Calvin—but he loved one woman. La Chanze meant everything to him, and then his daughter Celia arrived, and he found room in his heart for another true love, and when we last spoke on the phone a few weeks ago, with the new baby due so soon, he was so happy—there’s that word again—and excited, so settled into the rightness of what he was doing with his life. Big, big word with Calvin Gooding: Love.
And then his life ended, suddenly and shockingly. His daughters and La Chanze were robbed of him, but they will never be alone. Our love for Calvin will not die, and we will continue to share it with his family for generations. The name Calvin Gooding will outlive the man, and our love for him will endure. I love you, Cal.
-Ed Cone '84
Calvin made me laugh. He was gallant and debonair in his way and what I took for granted until this tragedy, and what I see in retrospect was that he made me feel good about myself. I wanted to write because I wanted to share that what Calvin gave of himself in friendship is alive in my memory now. Since hearing that he was missing, I have felt at times like I was living in two periods of my life simultaneously (now and when I knew him); which is another way of saying that what is genuine in the heart lives forever. Calvin was such a gift and will always be. —Lucy
I got to know Calvin while at Packer. I always knew he was special. He always treated everyone with whom he came in contact with high regard. He filled my days at Packer with his humor, passion, and positive outlook. He was an easy friend and his warm smile will not be forgotten. “He was one of the good guys.” —Lisa
Words cannot express
our sadness. Calvin was one of the kindest, most decent men we have ever known,
and we count him among our closest of Haverford friends. We adored Calvin.
—Ann ’84 & Vincent Figuredo ’83
Calvin was a friend
of my son Danny. I also knew him, and always liked him very much. No one can
ever replace a son.
May peace come soon to this world.
I will always cherish my play years with Calvin. Always a gentleman even before age made him the wonderful man, husband, and father I know he was. I will miss him but his memory will live on in my heart and prayers. —Beverly
Calvin was a true
friend. One of the many things we shared was our love of family. From our first
meeting, through so many happy and sad moments since, our families have adopted
each other, and that closeness will not end now.
How odd to see Cal for a moment in worldly terms, the words in an obituary or tribute – ambition, success, generosity – because these words, however true, do not capture the warmth of his presence or the readiness of his smile. We will always honor his memory and we will always regard Calvin’s family as our own. —Edward Cone ’84
met Calvin for the first time in February when he returned to Packer to talk
with our students on career day. I remember him as a bright, energetic, articulate
young man with a gorgeous smile. He is so loved by his former teachers and so
many Packer alums.
He remains in the heart and prayers of many. —Jane Otto
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I was Phil Haentzler’s
roommate during our freshman and sophomore years. I vividly remember the first
time I met him, which was shortly after the room assignments for freshmen had
been mailed out. Phil invited me to have dinner at his home in Queens, and then
to take in a Mets game at Shea Stadium. Phil’s father was a French chef,
and for some reason the broccoli Hollandaise still makes my mouth water. I can’t
remember whether the Mets won or lost that day, but I do remember learning something
about the meaning of “friendship” and “hospitality”
that day. Phil was a quiet person, with a keen but understated wit. I remember
once writing a skit together for Class Night. It was a spoof on the Christian
doctrine of the Blessed Trinity, with the main idea being the resentment felt
by the Holy Spirit for never getting equal “air time” in Christian
devotion. We never submitted the script, blasphemous as it was, for consideration.
But it may bear mention that the “charismatic” movement in the churches
was just then getting under way, though surely neither of us knew that at the
time. But perhaps we were, in our own irreverent way, on to something. I recall
being pie-eyed at Phil’s gift for languages and sophistication as a writer
and literary critic. He was the first of many of my classmates to intimidate
me intellectually...not that he ever TRIED to be intimidating or boastful about
his attainments. In Phil’s obituary, mention was made of his morning “coffee
ritual.” He would rise early each day, make coffee, and then lay out the
mug, the cream, the spoon, and the morning newspaper...and await his longtime
companion Patricia Thompson’s emergence from the bedroom. This simple
but heartbreakingly beautiful scenario speaks volumes about the kind of person
he was. It teaches us something about the virtue of courtesy.
—Rick Steele ’74
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