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The Ghost of Christmas Past

December 21, 2010

An invitation to A Christmas Carol furnished by Jo Pitkin K'78. Click on the image for a larger view.

At some point in Kirkland’s history, a new holiday tradition arose. To the delight of her students, some members of the faculty and administration gathered to recite A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. This dramatic reading was variously held in the Red Pit, in the Kirner-Johnson auditorium, and in a candlelit lounge in McEwen (near where Cafe Opus is currently located). Read President Sam Babbitt’s recollections of this annual celebratory event and add your own:

“The reading of A Christmas Carol was great fun – all faculty, reading from a version that I edited so that I read most of the descriptions, and they did all the dialogue. What sticks in my mind was the terrifying moans that emanated from Gene Putala as Marley’s ghost!

I think our (my?) original thought was to read the whole Christmas Carol, but then that would have taken too long, so I began to edit, and we thought it would be great to have faculty/staff do the dialogue. I don’t remember doing it four times, but at least twice. . . .the details fade, except for Gene’s moans, and I wore a top hat with holly in the band. I still have it.”

Sam's Christmas topper, worn by him during the recitations and photographed by him in January 2011

by Jo Pitkin K’78 and Judy Silverstein Gray K’78

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Sam permalink
    December 21, 2010 3:49 pm

    I have to admit that the picture in my mind is in the Red Pit. Jammed with Kirkland students, but many Hamiltonians as well.

    • Connie Halporn permalink
      December 21, 2010 4:26 pm

      It was also done in the KJ auditorium one year…

  2. Penny Watras Dana permalink
    December 21, 2010 10:59 pm

    Very very cool – thanks for sharing this!

  3. Billie Jean Stratton permalink
    January 6, 2011 8:51 am

    There is so much about Kirkland I do not know. I couldn’t read well. I was constantly working to earn money and I was very isolated because of my background with an alcoholic family. I had no idea this happened. How lovely! I am still very committed to bringing Kirkland back as a self governing circle of women within Hamilton. We need to know what only Kirkland gave us.

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