‘There are no Caucasians present, though it would be difficult to distinguish them from many of those mingling in the mix of multi-hued wedding guests. Without exception, the guests are dressed fashionably, with stylish attire and stunning jewelry. The men are doctors, lawyers and undertakers; the women are school teachers and social workers … (The) waitstaff make their way through the crowd, bearing silver trays laden with chicken and crab croquettes, creamed sweetbreads on toast points, and slices of Virginia ham rolled with water cress – to accompany the Champagne punch served in crystal cups. Such is the life of many accomplished upper-middle-class Negroes along the Eastern Seaboard in the 1920s and 1930s.”
DOLORES WHARTON, from “A Multicultured Life”
The quote, above, is Dolores Wharton’s earliest memory, recounted in “A Multicultured Life,” an engaging, irresistible memoir of not quite a century of American life, as she – in tandem with husband Clifton R. Wharton, Jr., the former SUNY chancellor (and much more) – moved from the nation’s black aristocracy to the heights of the American mainstream – in academe, industry and government.
Theirs is a soaring life story, of hard work, discipline, determination – and achievement.
Her husband was son of the first black U.S. ambassador (to Norway, 1961-64). He was a Harvard grad with a University of Chicago Ph.D., a Rockefeller envoy to South America and Malaysia, Michigan State president, then SUNY chancellor, TIAA-CREF CEO and reinventor, deputy secretary of State, and retiree to Cooperstown (summers and weekends year ’round), where he’s served on Bassett’s and other key community boards.
He recounted his astonishing career in a 2015 memoir, “Privilege & Prejudice,” a title that encompasses all the opportunities and obstacles to overcome.
By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
FROM TANZANIA – For Barbara Jean Morris, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was the fulfillment of a promise made to a friend.
“A high school dear friend had decided to summit on his birthday three years ago,” the SUNY Oneonta president said over email. “But he unexpectedly passed away, so the trip was canceled. I decided that it would be special to summit on my 60th birthday.”
On Friday, July 26, Morris, now finishing her first year as SUNY Oneonta’s president, made it to Kilimanjaro’s summit, Uhuru Peak, 19,340 feet. A photo on SUNY Oneonta’s Twitter account showed her in front of the peak sign, holding a cardboard figure of Red, the college’s Red Dragon mascot.
HARTWICK – Frederick S. Vesely, Sr., 92, former buildings and grounds superintendent at The Fenimore House and The Farmers’ Museum, passed away early this morning, June 28, 2019, at Fox Nursing Home. He lived in the Town of Burlington.
He was born Feb. 24, 1927, in New Windsor, one of 10 children of Andrew and Matilda (Gaydos) Vesely. In his youth, Fred attended a one-room schoolhouse in Little Britain. At the age of 16, he left school and went to work for Crowley’s Dairy Company.