Lorraine Power Tharp (Clark House, class of 1970) died last October. It has taken me some time to write about Lorraine, especially since I had hoped that she and her sister, my dear friend Alison Power (Clark, ’78) could somehow make it to the Clark Reunion. Her death was not a surprise, since she had battled cancer for over a year, but it was a terrible shock.
When I first met Lorraine, she had already graduated from Smith and finished law school. I was awed by her energy, her razor-sharp mind, and the overwhelmingly positive force of her character. Later on, I was to know her as a funny and generous woman whose great accomplishments as a lawyer never compromised her clarity of insight, or her compassion. She was devoted to her family and her rowdy clan of rescued dogs. As 105th President of the New York State Bar Association (Lorraine was only the 3rd woman to hold that position) she formed, among other committees, the Special Committee on Animals and the Law.
Lorraine’s passing has truly left a gap in the lives of everyone who knew her, and many of us from Clark House especially miss her.
I had to post this very inspiring Ivy Day address from an Afghan alum, Shaharzad Akbar. Please read and share with friends!
Our fabulous reunion photo appears on page 62 of the Spring ’09 Alumnae Quarterly! If you haven’t already, check us out in living color.
Sue von Salis and Kathy Durning in the greenhouse, with Gately in the background.
These just in from Carolyn Jacobs, who is preparing to move from NYC to Hastings-on-Hudson with her son, Luc.
Documentary proof that Barb Martin eats cake for breakfast.
Gately and Brenda in the old living room.
Brenda, Durning, and Jocelyn in the front hall.
Anastasia Zimmerman never existed….or did she? Like many old New England houses, Clark was rumored to be haunted, but with a twist. Legend has it that a group of students in the late 1960s (when such things were still theoretically possible), fabricated a Smith application for “Anastasia Zimmerman.” Anastasia was admitted and assigned to Clark House, where she “lived” in the smallest garret room on the third floor (now part of a conference area). Although everyone knew the room was unoccupied, the bed would mysteriously look as though it had been slept in, and objects would be moved from time to time. Later on, there were those who claimed they saw a vaporous apparition in the second floor double at the top of the stairs. Anastasia, or….someone else?
Clark House was originally the homestead of Charles Clark and his sons, Charles H. and James D., who were friends of Emily Dickinson. Alfred Habegger, author of a definitive ED biography, “My Wars Are Laid Away in Books,” theorizes that a recently discovered photograph of Dickinson in middle age had been owned by James Clark, who may have served as a go-between for Emily and the unknown man she loved throughout most of her life. Could this rare photo have once been hidden in Clark House?
Eating with your hands at dinner (inspired by the 1963 film version of “Tom Jones”) when Clark still shared a small dining room with Dewey House, and wearing nightgowns to the library (to demonstrate willingness to study all night?) were two longstanding Clark traditions. If anyone has pictures of these events…we’d love to see them!