by Charles Moizeau, ‘50
Ever since its beginning Dublin School’s Work Gang was never an extra-curricular activity. It was simply an occasion, unexpectedly dictated by nature or other necessity, when everything in the School’s day or days suddenly stopped and everyone, students and faculty, abandoned their usual duties and pitched in to get the School back on an even keel. Work Gang in its social context was a massively leveling experience; all were in it, and with full equality. Hierarchical distinctions between students and faculty, older and younger students, were totally absent. Work Gangs were physically taxing moments of “all for one”, and the “one” was Dublin School. Work Gangs made us forget our daily complaints and gripes; instead they forced us to get a small community back on its feet and we all shared in the joy of what together we had accomplished.
A bit along the lines of Work Gang I’d like to relate a story about a very small, but quite lengthy, work project in which only three Dublin students participated.
This year’s major league baseball World Series will occur in October, and the Chicago Cubs with currently far and away the best record are a likely candidate. 71 years ago this happened for them in September. In 1945 the World Series’ contestants were the American League’s Detroit Tigers and the National League’s Chicago Cubs. For whatever reason, Don Kennedy ‘48, Ebby Dane, ‘51 and I, ’50, felt great sympathy for the generally acknowledged underdog, the Chicago Cubs.
However Paul W. Lehmann, Dublin School’s founder a decade earlier and headmaster, was emphatic in proclaiming the certainty of a Detroit victory. A sort of wager resulted. Oddly (though perhaps not, given PWL’s rather dictatorial style), it was a one-way bet in that there was nothing we three students would receive if Chicago won. To PWL that was a clear impossibility, and with the Cubs’ loss thus assured, our part of the “bargain” called for us to cut a new ski trail.
The series went the full seven games. The Cubs of course lost. Over the next six weeks or so, we three trudged a half mile or so northward along Harrisville Road with our tools to cut down second-growth trees and clear out brush. We put in at least a couple of hours every weekday afternoon before five o’clock study hall, plus more time on the weekends. We completed our task to PWL’s satisfaction. And beyond our own feeling of accomplishment, our one other joy was naming it Cubs Trail.
I should note that Don Kennedy ’48 is a former president of Stanford University. Ernest “Ebby” Dane ’51, who sadly died in 2011, was a senior US State Department Foreign Service officer.