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.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mr. Caswell Comes Calling

Today Philip Caswell, President of the Beveridge Foundation, paid a visit to the Polish Center for Discovery and Learning. The PCDL had asked the BF for money, and the grant application had been approved. Step two of the application process was this site visit.

Stas Radosh, Executive Director of the Center, and Joe Topor, President of the Board, invited me to be present for the visit since I had written the grant. We gave Mr. Caswell a tour of all three floors of the new Center. Stas explained what had been done to the building since the Center acquired it, and what remained to be done. Joe had all the figures for work completed, and careful estimates for future phases.

Polish people are nothing if not fiscally conservative. Every repair and improvement in the building has been paid for in full, and nothing future will be done until the money has been raised to do it. Several banks, Joe explained, had offered low-interest loans, but they had been politely refused. Philip Caswell, who's Scottish by ancestry and a former banker, seemed impressed by our financial health, and also by the contrast between the before and after (as evidenced in these photos). A good deal of the labor was donated.

Mr. Caswell had had no inkling of the existence of our organization, although he's originally from this area (living in Boca Raton now). He was full of helpful advice and encouragement, suggesting names of other foundations from which we should also solicit funds.

The Beveridge Foundation Board meets on April 25 to pick this year's grantees. I'm not counting my chickens, but I did get very good vibes from this visit. So we'll see.

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