PART 1: I arrive at the Museum
Living in Fall River, aged 31, in the late 1950s, and with four children, I was a bit bored. I was disinterested in bridge, mah-jongg and social activities. I had left N.Y.U. at 19 to get married and I felt my mind beginning to rust. And so, I saw a list of evening adult courses being offered at Brown University, a half-hour drive from my home. I chose a course in South American Cultures with Professor Dwight Heath. I found it absorbing and felt that it raised interesting questions. Professor Heath wrote me a note after the class ended inviting me to attend another of his courses, which I did. I also worked on classifying a set of slides developed by Professor Heath based on his work in Bolivia. Having enjoyed that project, I asked him if there were other “hands on” things I might do. He mentioned that Brown had a museum, the Haffenreffer Museum, in Bristol, Rhode Island – quite close to my home. He suggested I call and ask if the museum would accept me as a volunteer, which I did. The year was 1959 or ’60 and the call set me on a path that transformed me from a young mother to a career that ended at an “international think tank” in California. It also created a friendship that has lasted 50 years.