Personal and Institutional News

Column Editor: Richard Hacken

WESS Newsletter

Spring 2000, Vol. 23, no. 2

Association of College & Research Libraries
© American Library Association

What a dilemma (or given the following four entries, what a quadrilemma) it is when the "Tuscan Tales" of the Chair Of The WESS Section are due to be outlined in this column. Does the column editor (c'est moi) put those tales right up front out of political prudence and safe servitude? Does he put them at the very end to manifest some Marxian maxim? Or does he slip them into the middle somewhere in observance of the Meaningful Golden Mean? Forge on, dear reader, and ye shall espy the solution:

The retirement of Eva Sartori's husband from the physics department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln prompted Eva to consider a similar career move. She not only considered this, quite considerably, but in fact decided to be shy and retiring with her husband. They had always hoped to move back to the east coast, and several years ago they had the opportunity to spend a summer in the Amherst area. The proximity of five colleges in the immediate area and the beauty of the countryside persuaded them that this would be a good place to settle down. Ignoring the famous dictum "WESSward Ho the Wagons" they left Nebraska in the rearview mirror last July and have, since then, been supervising the building of a house in Granby, just south of Amherst (for full details of finishing the kitchen, read A Year In Provence.) Eva looks forward to having some time for research, volunteer work, and gardening, and to seeing more of family and friends in the Boston area. Quite coincidentally, their two daughters have moved closer to them, one to Hartford from Atlanta, and the other to Princeton from Madison, making it possible for them to get together more often than has been possible in many years. They are looking forward to the wedding of their younger daughter in Hartford this June. The Nouvelle Belle of Amherst and her Physicist (not to be confused with Anna and the King) hope to move into their house before 2001 or so. Eva invites WESSniks in the area or those passing through to stop by. Her new telephone number is 413-467-3626, and she can still be reached at her old email address ( By the way, those among us who haven't yet ordered the Feminist Encyclopedia of French Literature, edited by Eva last year, need to get with it. Or just get it.

Ann Snoeyenbos of NYU tells us that endurance sports are totally Euro. Especially triathlon. To try the Double Tri is something she knows about: very late in the 1900s (1999 to be precise), she completed the Double Ironman. This consisted of swimming 4.8 miles, biking 224 miles, and running -- yes, by foot -- a double marathon of yet another 52.4 miles. We're talking consecutively, folks, not divided up over seventeen weekends. Ann with her feet finished this feat -- matching approximately the distance from Paris to Amsterdam via a mini Tour de France and more than a cursory dip in the North Sea -- in 37 hours and 28 minutes (which included a 20-minute nap just before dawn the second day). No American woman had finished a Double Ironman (which needs renaming) since 1994, and then four of them did it at the same race. Ann and her training partner Patty were featured in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Houston Chronicle, Discovery Channel News, and a full passel of sports publications. Why these two and not the others? It's time to quote Ann herself: "Well, she's a nurse and I'm a librarian... two female-dominated professions not known for producing athletes. She's 38 and I'm 35. Through lots of expensive testing by many different experts it has been determined that we are both physically unremarkable. Isn't that cool!? Absolutely unremarkable. We are Everywoman!" The only warning to WESSies is: "Don't try this at home." First of all, it's hard to find a 224-mile driveway, but also Ann prepared herself for it by participating in triathlons and in tough tune-ups for almost six years before doing the double dose. You know: pre-dawn cycling around Central Park, an hour-and-a-half of yoga before work and a couple of hours running and swimming to top off the evening after the five o'clock whistle. To start the new millennium right, she says, she may go for the Triple. Or do the Double even faster. Now that Ann has been granted tenure at the NYU library, she has the cash for a lifetime supply of moleskin, blister pads and Epsom salt.

Candace Miller, now at James Madison University (an institution of higher learning named after a building at LC or the capital city of Wisconsin, I forget which), was born and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She earned her B.A. in Russian language and literature with a government minor at Dartmouth College in 1981. By combining these particular fields of study, no doubt, she learned what to do when literary Pushkin comes to political Shove- kin. After earning her M.A. in library and information science at the University of Missouri in 1988, Candace began her career at the University of Michigan (one of the US states closest to Russia, as a glance at the globe will attest). She was in the Library Resident Program and a reference librarian/Slavic Language Bibliographer at Michigan's Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library from 1988-1990. Currently she is a reference librarian at James Madison University's Carrier Library, where her liaison responsibilities include the Modern Foreign Language Department, the School of Education and the Kinesiology Department. (For those of you unaware of the origins of the word "kinesiology," it came from Greek and probably had something to do with movement of the "kinees.") She has been a somewhat silent member of WESS since 1991, but she promises to do less lurking and more perking in the future.

Late September to Early October last year, John Cullars, our Section Chair (not identical with "Sectional Sofa"), belatedly celebratedly honored his fiftieth trip around the sun by sunning himself in Tuscany. The weather was unseasonably warm, even hot, until October. He visited Florence with an old college friend from IU days; and another college friend, who now lives in Paris, joined the entourage for 5 days. One day was spent in San Gimignano and Siena, which none of them had visited previously. Those of you who saw the film Tea with Mussolini, as well as those of you who didn't, will recognize San Gimignano as the city of many towers (Renaissance skyscrapers that trumped the Trump Tower by centuries; Kate Smith and Judy Dench had already saved one of the towers from the explosives of the retreating Wehrmacht by the time John and his friends arrived). Another rainy day -- punctuated by hail -- took them to Fiesole, where Barbara Casalini treated them to a guided tour of the Casalini's villa and tower as well as the new business structure nearby. John also had the delightful experience of meeting Mrs. Casalini for the first time. Michele and his bride Susanna invited the triumvirate to a chamber music concert at Teatro della Pergola, where they heard a work by an excellent composer new to John named Cassado (those of us with a little knowledge of French roots and of Spanish participles may suppose the name means "broken," but it does not). John and his friends ate in many wonderful restaurants-- Barbara took them to a place where "real Florentines" eat! John saw the Uffizi (twice, one uffizial and one non-uffizial visit), Accademia, the Galleria Palatina, Boboli Gardens, the Belvedere, San Miniato and its cemetery, Santa Croce, the Pazzi Chapel (now who was that named after?), the Duomo and its Campanile (he climbed to the top and is still here to tell the tale), the Baptistry, Santissima Annunciata and its square, Santo Spirito, San Marco and the cloisters with Fra Angelico's frescoes, San Lorenzo, Santa Maria del Carmine with the Brancacci Chapel, Orsanmichele, Ognisanti where Botticelli is buried (does Botticelli mean "bottled cells?"), the Palazzo Vecchio and Loggia dei Lanzi (no longer cordoned off, but the Perseo has been spirited elsewhere). If you, like me, don't know a Miniato from a Marco, ask John for details. Santa Maria Novella was closed for repairs--except for the faithful. Since John did not make it inside Santa Maria Novella, we can logically assume that he came back repaired but not necessarily faithful.

P.S.: Reinhart Sonnenburg has become so weary of the sun, so tired of the predictable paradise that is San Diego, that he will now take his chances on New Hampshire winters. Casting aside his surfboard for snowshoes, Reinhart started his reign as German Reference Bibliographer at Dartmouth College on April 10, just as the snow piles began to thin. Perhaps he'll have the second and third laughs when the colors of Fall arrive.

Richard Hacken
European Studies Bibliographer
Brigham Young University

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