Posts Tagged "Bowdoin China"

Sailor who Never Went to Sea

Posted by on Feb 1, 2015 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Bowdoin College, Mail and The U.S. Post Office, Media, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

Today is February 1st, 2015. I pull a WW2 love letter, the first one that matches the date, but 1943. Today lends itself to the fine the art of avoiding writing by reading sentimental old love letters.  This is how one writer spent her Super Bowl Sunday. Morris would be at the T.V. if he were here. But he’s now seventy-two years ago, the Morris who is at Bowdoin College in winter. His good friend has just been drafted, got a notice and is leaving. Morris is returning from the movie Casablanca and finds a sailor lying out in cold Maine snow:

Excerpt WW2 Love Letter

Sailor who Never Went to Sea. Image of WW2 Letter

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Christian Science at Bowdoin College

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Bowdoin College, Christian Science, Holiday, Media, Portland Maine, WW2, WW2 Love Letter | 0 comments

Young people impress me. I hope if I ever visit Bowdoin College that it will be the best the trip of my life.

Bowdoin College Tea Cup

Chai Brew in Bowdoin China Teacup

I spent two years traversing history to meet my parents in the 40s. It started with 300 love letters from my dad to my mother. Arline had a fall soon after she gave me the letters. I nursed her  for two months over the 2012 winter holidays. Two years later I’m back on extended visit. My chai tea multi-cultural brew is delicious in old Bowdoin teacups.

Family history research dropped me at the door of Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910), founder of Christian Science. It started when my eye caught a first edition of her CONCORDANCE to MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS at a thrift store.

Concordance to Miscellaneous Writings


In Miscellaneous Writings (1883-1896), in Easter Services, there’s a sermon by a “former member of the Congregational Church”, a Bowdoin Graduate named Rev. D.A.Easton. “He left his old church…because he was not satisfied with a man-like God, but wanted to become a God-like man.” What Easton found in Christian Science surprised him.

Google is like a concordance. I googled Bowdoin and Christian Science. I got: “Student Lecture Series Debuts with Talks on Christian Science and Squirrel Diabetes”.   The 2013 article highlights “Food for Thought” lectures. The twice a month talks are presented as a fun study break “for students to talk about anything they want to”. The speaker on Christian Science, Alioto, refers to her faith as being in the category of Bowdoin “topics such as religion — ones that students tend to view as taboo or uncomfortable”. Her talk was titled “Go Away…I’m Healing”.

In other old news Bowdoin made headlines last year when it ousted a Christian Bible study group’s leaders, despite student protest. Chapel was mandatory at Bowdoin in Morris Densmore’s day, the 1940s. Important and serious talks were held there. The September Commencement of 1942 graduated sixteen “Accelerated Seniors” at Bowdoin. Three degrees were conferred in absentia for the men already in the service. That left only thirteen graduates in attendance. It was a small Commencement, first time in Bowdoin’s history the ceremony was moved to the chapel.

Critical thinking requires intelligence plus an open-mind. In an earlier blog I jotted about how WW2 was an attack on liberal arts and critical thinking. To understand Christian Science takes an open-mind.  In Christian Science the Bible is explained in mystical intelligent context.  C.S. is a good fit for Bowdoin.

At the Food for Talk debut students “flooded in”. No short thirst for knowledge there. The squirrel diabetes lecture was presented as comedy. But when Alioto shared about being a Christian Scientist, finally in her senior year, apparently sort of outing herself as a Christian to the community at large “Her anecdotes and reflections on life as a Christian Scientist on a college campus inspired a stream of questions from the audience, as well as a discussion about the presence of religion in the Bowdoin community.” Yea, a mid-course correction. She welcomed the “gifts” of intellectual curiosity.

Christian Science was no squirrel in 18th century New England. Here’s a link to a film about Mary Baker. I dismiss commentator views that C.S. was more applicable before modern medicine. In light of modern physics and my own experience as an RN and acupuncturist, C.S. Divine Mind fits better than ever our modern days. I ponder God. I sure am thankful for great minds like Mary’s, for her teachings, for my Bowdoin heritage and beautiful Bowdoin china.

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Tales of Bowdoin China

Posted by on Dec 6, 2012 in All Blog Posts, Bowdoin College, Holiday, Vintage Style, WW2 Love Letter | 2 comments

Tales of Bowdoin China

Bowdoin College Book This little green book “Tales of Bowdoin” c. 1901 was in mom’s attic. We have an extensive  collection of Bowdoin memorabilia.

As a kid in the 60s, and even up to recent years, I wondered about Bowdoin College. I had no sense of it. Bowdoin was mentioned often in our home especially regarding old family friends. But I never visited Bowdoin, except for a brief stop in front of the college once. Nothing about Bowdoin had anything to do with me until I got the letters.

For decades my mom used Bowdoin china for entertaining friends and dined off it for family holidays. As a child I carefully set the dining-room table with it on special occasions.

Densmore’s Bowdoin China in the Newspaper

Bowdoin china bored me as a child. It seemed odd, unusual, neither festive or elegant. I wasn’t a party to my parent’s Bowdoin scene and had no connection to Dad’s history there. The china is black and white line drawings with prints of college buildings. This is it, Mom’s Wedgwood year after year every Thanksgiving and Christmas. My mother liked it and their friends had it also.

Our Formal China, Bowdoin

This Christmas 2012 was informal. I wonder if I’ll again ever be at the table with this china. I plucked a Bowdoin teacup from mom’s cupboard to use for my daily tea. Simply gorgeous.

The Love Letters have changed me and I’m only at the beginning here. I’ve getting a new perspective, fresh insights that are helping me better relate to my mother and parent, through Morris has passed. I see something different in Mom now, she’s the woman of the letters, a young girl back in time. There still a lot of that young girl in her. And I see the stylish lady she became in the 40s, 50s and 60s. The china is charming. Bowdoin is a timeless place. I want to visit there on my next trip to Maine. Anything can happen in Maine. Bowdoin, you are my Paris!

A scholarship fund was established at Bowdoin College, a gift from a foundation, in my father’s name after he died.

Morris Densmore Bowdoin Scholarship

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