There are twenty-six of them, neatly dressed.
Hair shining, parted, combed.
Two are still sporting high collars, but the rest have the modern, turned look; a few have vests; one’s in a bow tie, but the others are knotted and pinned; almost all have French cuffs with links, laced shoes, sharply creased trousers.
Confident. Assured. Not smiling.
It’s serious business…
This is the Class Day Committee – the seniors responsible for the activities for the full-day celebration for the Class of 1907 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
My grandfather, Gardner S. Gould, is on the far left, front row.
He majored in Civil Engineering, was a member of the track team, captain of the hockey team (two of his brothers followed him to MIT; the Gould Forward Line was formidable, indeed!). His thesis? A Plan for the Abolition of Grade Crossings at Quincy Mass.
He disliked working for others, preferred to be his “own man;” he had a private practice with offices in Boston (which shut down every day from noon to one; he and a colleague from down the hall religiously played cutthroat cribbage during lunch).
One of his projects was the construction of the portico over Plymouth Rock—I have a postcard view of it and a framed citation from his construction crew!
But who are all the others? I’ve often wondered where they worked, wondered about the bridges and roads and structures they designed and built; who they married, the names of their children, where they lived and died.
And I’ve often wondered how they remembered my grandfather—fondly, I hope, as do I.