Tuesday, April 19, 2011

* Yale / New Haven: The Aorta of my Youth

Grace-New Haven Hospital, my birthplace.

Elm and State Streets, my grandmother's ghetto apartment building, two blocks from Old Campus.
My Childhood home in Mt. Carmel.

I was born at Grace-New Haven Hospital, later renamed Yale-New Haven Hospital, more years ago than I care to remember, December 28, 1944. I grew up in Mt. Carmel but my grandmother lived in a ghetto apartment two blocks from the New Haven Green and the Old Campus.
In other words, Yale and New Haven  are,  figuratively,  the aorta of my childhood.

Thus my reactions to Yale's triumphs and tragedies may be a trifle too personal. This is apparently the case, I gather, from the posting reactions to my letter to the Yale Daily News (link below).

(link) Inadvertent Offense

No offense was intended to anyone, certainly not by singling out certain deaths as more important than others.

I believe I said "Death seems antithetical to youth" and I certainly include as "youth" all of those mentioned in these posts.

I live 200 miles away. I am reacting to my impression of the University from that vantage point..

Perhaps vicariously I was recalling a similar sudden aggregation of student deaths on a university campus I attended 40 years ago and was projecting my own long lingering feelings on to Yale's current sadness..

Both aggregations of youths lost, separated by four decades, seemed equally inconsolable losses to me, theology or no theology.

It is not that one life is less important than seven lives or vice versa, but that Yale, like my campus four decades ago, seemed reeling from the shock of so many losses so puiblicly recorded in the media,a recording which deepens that very shock.

I am trying, even four decades later, to make sense of my world, as are perhaps all of you trying to make sense of your worlds.

I beg pardon for my inadvertent insensitivity.

Paul Keane

Posted by The Anti-Yale on April 19, 2011 at 12:41 p.m

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