Rob Michel

After GDA, I went to University of Pennsylvania for 2 years, joined a fraternity, had too much fun and bounced out of Penn for poor grades. Next transferred to Acadia University in Nova Scotia, in Fundy Bay coastal country a little like GDA's, and graduated in history. Went on, in time for Montreal's Expo 67, to do my M.A. and later my Ph.D in history at McGill University. My Ph.D research on 17th century English theory on marriage took me to London and Oxford in the early 1970s. Back in Boston, looking for a job, I heard there was one going as an archivist at McGill. I looked up "archivist" in the dictionary for my job interview and for the next 20 years helped look after McGill's historical records. They began with a lawsuit, ca. 1814, by the founder's heirs against his legacy to establish McGill University - fortunately unsuccessful, as I would have had to find a different job. More recently, I have been able to downsize to part-time work, still in the archives field. Have published a few historical articles and plan to do more writing once I'm fully retired - soon.

We live in Montreal in an old row house with high ceilings and high heating bills and have a vacation camp in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Wife Carol heads the library at the Montreal Neurological Institute; my nephew Christopher Kelley is finishing junior year at GDA. My hobbies: reading, research, and writing; more sporadically, painting, and hiking - the latter is my last trace of going out for winter and spring track at GDA. Someone, maybe Coach Sperry, Denis or Tarbs, told us that distance running would pay off in middle age healthiness, even if we smoked, drank and never exercised in the years to come. So far they seem to have been right. Photo here is from a vacation a few years back in Newfoundland, which is a great place to go to cool off in July and the people are as good as the landscape.

After 40 years, my memories of GDA trickle back rather than flood -- walking to campus from Ambrose, big breakfasts early in the morning (have since started the day with only a cup of coffee and still hate getting up early); the dances with girdled girls from all those schools; the marshland we ran by for sports practices; the films on Saturday nights; free days (!); the 3 hours in Newburyport Sunday mornings for the Catholics; the dorm cleanups and latrine queen assignments; relaxed As and Bs in Bill Sperry and Murph's history and English, tense Cs, if I was lucky, in Latin and French from Buster and Rayo; and senior year looking forward to college freedom, never dreaming of coming back 40 years on. Looking forward to the then-and-now time warp of reunion. Thanks to Tarbs, Tom, Tay and everyone else helping with the planning & electronic preliminaries!

Date: Sat, 4 May 2002 11:13:16 -0400 (EDT)
From: Robert Michel,
Subject: Re: autobio and photo for GDA reunion
To: Tay Vaughan,

Hi Tay,

I assume you're the guru for the autobios and photos! I am attaching an autobio and separately a photo with my wife Carol. Latter I assume can be reproduced smaller than the huge jpg a colleague at McGill made me. I'll leave the layout to you. Heard from Nils Bjork. I've emailed Barkin, no reply yet. Carol and I will stay at the dorms - that should be trip and a half! hope they're slightly less primitive than Ambrose and Perkins were!

Thanks! See you soon.