A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Women Who Row

Tonight, as I was pouring wine at the Alumnae House for the Smith class of '51, I got to listen to some interesting information abot the state of the College. Someone wanted to know a bit about the makeup of the Board of Trustees, so the speaker profiled several members. Here is one of them, as described on the College web site:

"In 1999, on her second attempt (Hurricane Danielle destroyed her boat and injured her on the first try) Victoria Murden McClure (Smith '85) became the first woman and first American to row the Atlantic Ocean alone in her 23-foot boat American Pearl, a self-righting craft that she designed. Her journey began at Tenerife in the Canary Islands on September 13 and ended on December 3 in Guadeloupe. Despite the threat of Hurricane Lenny and a wave that washed her overboard, she rowed 12 hours a day, averaging 50 miles per day for 85 days and covering 3,333 miles.

"Murden is also the first woman and first American to ski to the geographic South Pole and the first woman to climb Mount Lewis Nunatuk in the Antarctic. She has been profiled in numerous publications and uses her explorations to inspire people of all ages.

"She is a Smith trustee (2002-)."

OK, Rowing Hall of Famer Jonathan Moss and the 93-year-old sculler from the YMCA were impressive. But I think the gold cup for rowing has got to go to Tori Murden. 3,333 miles....in a rowboat. I wonder what she eats for breakfast?


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