|CONFESSION FROM A BOARDING SCHOOL RUNAWAY by Martha Fouts (A’65-’69)*
I ran away with the Les Roches ski coach in 1969. Yes, it’s true, and I’ve kept it a secret for 26 years! ! Okay. Well, maybe, I told some of you… But that doesn’t mean that I’m no longer afraid of Madame Clivaz or what my mother will do to me, even at this late date, if she ever hears about this….It was during Easter vacation 1969. I was seventeen. Not exactly at my sexual peak yet (how could I have been? I had already been cloistered for the previous seven years in one institution or another) but I thought I was, and that’s what was important. Attitude is everything.
I was madly in love with Biffl. I wrote tomes of atrocious poetry dedicated to him. Stuff along the genre of “I’m so lonely, I’m so blue, I’d give up my shitty life for you”. So when he told me he was going to Wengen to work as a ski instructor and also to do some stunt work for Robert Redford’s “Downhill Racer”, and that I could come with him if I got Madame Clivaz’s permission, I nearly cried for joy. Surely this was a sign that he loved me too.
Of course, getting Madame Clivaz’s permission was going to be impossible even for a suck-up like me, so a few days later, without speaking to anyone, I told Biffl that it was all arranged, Madame Clivaz had given her blessing I jumped over the balcony on the arranged day with my skis and suitcase and I was off without giving it another minute’s thought. I left a big crater in the snow, but no note or any other indicator of where I was off to.
Much to my disappointment, Biffl apparently was not beside himself waiting for the moment to rip my clothes off_ He found me a place to stay in Wengen and then ignored me completely during the entire two weeks. I came back to Pres Fleuris just as innocent as I had left. I slipped back into the dorm, dropped my bags in my room and went straight to my seat in the dining room as if I had never been away.
I kind of knew that I was probably in deep caca when I was paged by Madame Clivaz over the intercom. She wanted me in her office “immediatement”. She worked me over. She said that I was going to be expelled “immediatement”. She knew all about my little escapade. My “boyfriend” was going to be fired “immediatement”. Everything seemed like it was going to take place “toute suite”. Then she dug in with the guilt routine.
“And you! Of all the girls here, I trusted you the most You were like a daughter to me. You were the last one that I thought would behave like this! Do you have no shame.?” (Why do they always say this? My mother still says shit like this. I say shit like this to my daughter). “And, I suppose you are pregnant”. (Sounds really good with a French accent).
Madame Clivaz! ! How could you think that?”
“How could I not? You tell me that! Or are you going to tell me you just went to ski?” That was, of course, what I did and what I was going to tell her, but since she wasn’t going to believe me if I did, there didn’t seem to be much point in doing so.
Cornered, I tried a new tack “You can’t call my mother, Madame Clivaz! She’s on vacation in Marakesh. (Sure, she was….) and she won’t be back for a fortnight and even when she does get back you won’t be able to get her on the phone because she lives in Ethiopia and the phone only works when it feels like it but never when you need it to. And if you write her you won’t remember to tell her everything and she’ll only get hysterical about the parts that you’ve left out and she won’t be able to call you because the phone hardly ever works so she’ll jump a plane for Switzerland and prostrate herself on your doorstep begging you to take me back because she doesn’t know what to do with me either and you’ll end up having to keep me anyway having gone through all of this emotional upset for nothing and besides — look at the bright side, at least you’re getting paid to look after me.”
Amazingly, the argument seemed to work. She said she’d have to think about it and talk it over with Roger. She sent me back to the dining room “immediatement” but made me promise not to tell a living soul or she WOULD tell my mother even if she had to fly to Marakesh to do so.
When I sat back down at my place my face was still all blotchy from crying or from pretending to. Everyone wanted to know whet had happened I was afraid to say. It drove them mad with curiosity. The more I refused to talk the more they speculated. They came up with all kinds of theories, most of them quite a bit more outlandish than the truth — my dad had been attacked and killed by a lion in the Serengeti – my mother had been abducted by pygmies — my sister had been sold into slavery and my parents had flown to Marakesh to try to buy her beck — but the one they chose to settle on and eventually convinced themselves was true was that I had been diagnosed with leukemia and if a perfect donor couldn’t be found that I’d die. Everybody got so they hated Madame Clivaz. She was such a heartless witch that she would actually laugh at them when they would go to the office to offer to be tested as potential donors.
And the best part of all was that everybody was really nice to me from that day on.
* A= Anglo/American Section; F= French Section; C= Commercial; L- Languages
Diego Asencio -(A’71 -72) is living in North Palm Beach, Florida where he has been working as an attorney for the past 13 years. Diego started his own law firm a year ago specializing in litigation against insurance companies who will not process valid claims. He currently has 160 cases going! Twice “happily” divorce, he has a nine-year old son. Diego has promised to send news of his brother, Manny, and sister, Ann, for the next issue of the newsletter.
|The Spring Floods of Emotions!
I am overwhelmed by the flood of memories that hit me this morning upon opening the FOB Newsletter. Where does one begin when you realize that 25 years have gone by? I am married with two beautiful children, a son and a daughter, Emmanuel and Iliana, aged 2 and 9 respectively. I have been working for the past 15 years as a producer/director for films and television in Greece. (Anybody else in the same line of work?). I would he more then happy to donate my part so that FOB will continue to bring wonderful surprises to former students of the incredible EDR. I send everyone my warmest regards. — Aristidis Nicoloudis (A’67-74).I am so overcome with feelings of all kinds it is hard for me to say what I really feel. After receiving the February newsletter, I spoke with both Ross (Povenmire) and Pradeep (Kapadia) on the same evening. Pradeep filled me in on a lot of the happenings, but I will catch up as I go along now that we have this incredible group!!! After Bluche, I traveled a lot and ended up in Malawi, where I worked as a translator for the French Embassy. Over there, I met my wife Anne, who was the music and youth director for the Baptist Church I attended. We moved to Sumter, South Carolina 11 years ago and have a 6-year old son, Jivan.
There have been a lot of times when I have wondered what happened to all the people from Bluche. I never imagined that there would be such a group as FOB! I am excited and I really appreciate Ross and Pradeep making me feel welcome!! As a matter of fact, after talking to Pradeep for almost 2 hours, I didn’t go to bed till 3:00 am as I tossed and turned with a million thoughts going through my head and all the memories that I had of that marvelous era! I’d love to hear from anyone who remembers me and I’ll do the same! — Jitendra Dave, (A’68-73).
VACATION SWAP: House situated in Cape Town suburb is available for a two-week period in early
DM – FF – SF – HK$ – CDN$ – SICR – SF – NICR – UIC_ – YEN – US$
Thanks to a foreign exchange company who will process international checks for us for a nominal fee ($2 per check), we can now accept non-US personal checks for dues! We can accept checks in 21 currencies: Australian Dollars; Austrian Schillings; Belgian Francs; Canadian Dollars, Danish Kroner; English Pounds; Finnish Markka; French Francs; German Marks; Hong Kong Dollars; Irish Pounds; Japanese Yen; Malaysian Ringgits; New Zealand Dollars; Norwegian Kroner; Singapore Dollars; South African Rand (must be convertible commercial Rand); Spanish pesetas (must be marked “convertible”); Swedish Kronor; Swiss Francs and US Dollars of course!
To receive an updated alumni directory. send in your annual dues today! We need your financial support!
Many thanks to those who have sent in their dues since the May newsletter: Carlos Abadi, Andi Alexander, Vallie Bishop, Craig Boone, Kim Campbell, Rory Campbell, Jitendra Dave, Martha Fouts, Jerry Gillum Packer, Jan Graff, Ruth Harms, Kathi Hood Stanton, Karl Hoerler, Debra Minogue Duke, Laura Muret Peterson, Joy Oberholtzer, Tracy Oberholtzer, Laurie Pinkos, Kathy Postle Hayes, Bob Price, Eric Rhein, Elaine Sayers Buck, Susan Seipel Sturgis, Lisa Simpson, Melinda Smale, Tom Solitario, Gray Tappan, Anne Troxler Hoover, Elizabeth van den Berg Toperzer, David Watson, Paul Wirth, Cornelia Zeschke Wenig.
*** 10 alumni have sent in contributions of USD$100 or more – thank you for your kind generosity!***
LOST – MISSING – SKIPPED TOWN – IN SEARCH OF:
Every issue, we will publish a short list of missing alumni in the hopes that you may know where they are. If you have any background information such as hometown, colleges attended, parents’ address, parents’ company, etc., on these or other missing alumni please forward that information to Margaret Mallon so that we can investigate it further. We have located alumni through universities, relatives, high schools prior to EDR, professional associations, etc. It is worth a try!
Help us find: Jeanine Allalouf, Dolly & Trip Allemann, Thierry Coche, Juan de la Guardia, Jaime Gurdian, Dale Majors, Barbara Murphy, Debbie Schmidt, Cathy Shippee Cox, Susanne von der Esche, Renata Wiznat. FOUND – LOCATED – HAS REAPPEARED – BACK ON TRACK: Anne Briere Rogers, Nicolas Giaimo, Marco Boot, Laurie Wood Damercll.
Many thanks to the 45 people who sent in their reunion questionnaire! Besides getting an idea of where and when we want to reunite next, we have many wonderful ideas and suggestions, along with a handful of volunteers that I’m sure will make the next reunion the biggest and best one yet!
Before I summarize the responses, here are some general notes. Of those of us who have kids, we were generally split between wanting to bring them and not For some destinations, namely Disneyworld, it was obvious that we would want to bring them; in fact, it appears that those who selected Disneyworld did so to fulfill two objectives — attend a reunion andsatisfy the kids. The French and Commercial sections were generally more worldly, choosing the more exotic destinations like the Kenya Safari and the Caribbean Cruise, while the US and Canadian alumni generally chose either North American destinations or Hawaii. The most popular write-in candidate was Santa Fe, New Mexico followed by Abu Dhabi and – for two sentimental alumni who missed last June – Montana/Crans. Other write-in suggestions include Whistler, British Columbia; New England; Rio and Costa Rica – all great choices, and possible future reunion considerations.
Using complicated statistical methods that I made up as I went along, I rated the selections by the number of I st place votes (6 points Bach), 2nd place votes (5 points each), etc. Using these calculations, the Colorado/Lake Tahoe ski vacation placed first with 150 points, followed by the French Riviera (113), Disneyworld (110), Caribbean Cruise (75), Hawaii (73), Kenyan Safari ( 66), Aruba (46), Santa Fe (16). As to dates, it seems the preferred time of year is 3rd quarter ’96 (138 points), followed by 1st qtr ’97 (107 points), 4th qtr ’96 (76), 1 st qtr ’96 (75). The average time that we would like to spend at a reunion was 7 days, depending on the destination (Kenya and Hawaii averaged 10 days, while Disneyworld averaged 4 days).
So much for the scientific component of the survey. For practical purposes, and based on our experience with the past two reunions in the Bahamas and in Montana/Crans, we found it to be particularly useful to have a “host”, someone familiar with the area who can facilitate our stay and plan events for us. Keeping this m mind, we have had 4 firm offers from potential hosts: Rory Campbell for Lake Tahoe, Ruth Harms for Aruba, Tom Solitario for Santa Fe/Taos, and Sharon Taylor Baumann for Kenya. (Please note that Sharon has checked into hotels for us in Kenya and the costs will be around $200 per night per person! Many of us thought that it would be too far, too expensive, and would take too many days, but we have left it on this next questionnaire anyway so you can express your views). The French Riviera was a strong second choice, but without a volunteer host, this may have to wait for another reunion. As for Disneyworld, many thought the theme park would take something away from the reunion by being too much of a distraction. Because it is a resort, it may be the one destination that may not require a volunteer host, but for that reason, it may not be the best place to reunite. Disneyworld is also very crowded during US school vacation periods.
So where do we go from here? I suggest that in order to keep it even on both sides of the Atlantic, we alternate sites, if at all possible, between the Americas and the rest of the world. In other words, for this reunion, if we choose a site in the Americas – Lake Tahoe, Santa Fe or Aruba – then the following reunion would be anywhere except the Americas, provided we have a volunteer host for that destination. If that is acceptable ( and in order to make final plans as soon as possible for this reunion), I suggest that we select a final destination and time from the three sites that we have volunteers for – Lake Tahoe, Santa Fe and Aruba. Attached is the final questionnaire. PLEASE fill it out and send it to me immediatement! Toute Suite, S’il vous plait! In the December newsletter, we hope to publish the date and location of the next reunion.
Again, thank you all for your suggestions. I can’t wait to see everyone again!
The Friends of Bluche organization:_Any questions contact:
Coordinator for the Americas (North, Central & South): Ross Povenmire, 127 York Street, Apt.
Tel: 1-207-772-2417; e-mail: (compuserve) 75121.3514.
Tel: 47-37 01 29 05; Fax: 47-37 04 06 25.
For Dues, send your checks in 20 possible currencies payable to “Friends of Bluche” to our Treasurer: Katy
Address Changes/ Contributions to the Newsletter/ Any other volunteer work, contact: