Not too long ago I received a large white envelope from the Culver Academies, which isn’t all that unusual an event. As regular readers know, I had the privilege of going to Culver for four summers in my youth, specifically the Culver Summer Naval School. I was in the Class of 1962. More recently, I also had the privilege of serving as President of the Culver Summer School Alumni Association and as a Trustee of Culver for a couple of years.
My connection with the school goes much deeper than just my summers there, however. As close friends know, my father was Chairman of the Fine Arts Department at Culver during the 1930s and 1940s. He also directed the Glee Club and was coach of the Company C intramural football team. As a matter of fact, his untimely death occurred while he was coaching a game on Oct. 13, 1945, just eight days after I was born. My mother died at Culver just 17 months later, in March of 1947. They are both buried in the cemetery just south of the town of Culver.
My uncle, the late Bill Winship, was a Culver graduate, Class of 1939. My cousin, Bill Winship Jr., was also a Culver Summer School graduate, although he was a member of the Black Horse Troop, Class of 1964. All three of our sons are also Culver Summer School graduates. So, one way or another, my association with the school goes back a considerable distance.
Getting back to the envelope I received, when I opened it I was more than a little surprised and pleased to find a photo of the actor Hal Holbrook, with the inscription “In memory of your dad, Hal Holbrook.” Holbrook, for those who don’t recognize the name, has a long and distinguished career as an actor of both stage and screen. He was also a Culver graduate, Class of 1942, so he knew my dad!