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Thursday, September 29, 2016

WW2 | Dutch-Paris Escape Route Mini-Symposium, Nov. 10

My cousin and friend Charles Boissevain, nicknamed "Charles Leidschendam" to distinguish him from other Charles Boissevains, wrote to me recently about a mini-symposium in Amsterdam on Nov. 10.

It will be conducted in English and will discuss the Dutch-Paris escape route during the Nazi Occupation of Holland, which started with the invasion on May 10, 1940 and lasted until 1945. Charles says:
The past few years I have spent quite a lot of time trying to convince the Yad Vashem authority in Jerusalem to award the Yad Vashem honor to Jean Michel Caubo, a Dutchman living in the war in Paris. The Dutch-Paris Line helped some 800 Jewish persons, some 200 Dutch "Engeland-vaarders" [Dutchmen trying to escape by sea, including two of my cousins Gi and Janka Boissevain] and some 200 allied airplane soldiers to escape. Via Paris to Switzerland, Spain, the UK. Caubo received them at the train in Paris and helped them escape. He did so until he was arrested in 1944 and evenrtually killed. His activities are recognised and honored by France, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA. Time and again my friend Maarten Eliasar, the organiser of the symposium Nov. 10, and I have sent requests to the Yad Vashem Authority to give Caubo the Yad Vashem award. They have so far refused to do so. Of course I will go to this mini-symposium.
I have written about Caubo before–here and here. The symposium – which will be (reminder) conducted in English – will launch the publication of the Dutch translation of the book "Ordinary Heroes: The Dutch-Paris Escape Line 1942-1945" under the title Gewone Helden – De Dutch-Paris ontsnappingslijn 1942-1945 by Megan Koreman PhD, published by Uitgeverij Boom. Here is the program and other details:

ORDINARY HEROES: THE MAKING OF DUTCH-PARIS ("Gewone Helden")

Program, Nov. 10, 14.00 (doors open 13.30) Mini-symposium with the participation of Megan Koreman, historian and author of the book; Hans Blom, former director of NIOD; Ad van Liempt, author, journalist and tv-producer; Onno Sinke, historian and advisor at Arq Psychotrauma Expert Groep; and Max van Weezel, political scientist, journalist and radio anchor. The symposium will be followed by the presentation of the first copies of Gewone Helden and a reception.
Venue: Hilton Amsterdam, Apollolaan 138, 1077 BG Amsterdam.
Registration: Because places are limited, the symposium organizers ask you to register as soon as possible but definitely before October 20, 2016, by clicking on the following link: http://dutchparisblog.com/symposium-registration/. You will be led to a web page on the Dutch-Paris Blog where you can register. If you know anyone else who might be interested, please forward this email with the request to register as soon as possible.
Other Publicity:TV-broadcast ‘Andere Tijden’, Nov. 5, Dutch public network NPO2, approx. 21.10 hours: Dutch public broadcaster VPRO-NTR will feature Dutch-Paris in the episode ‘Ontsnappingsroute in de oorlog (Escape route during the war)’ in their renowned history series ‘Andere Tijden (Different Times)’.
Lodging: The Hilton Amsterdam offers a room rate for the symposium of €219 based on single occupancy (€239 double occupancy). This price includes breakfast and Wi-Fi but does not include 5% city tax and is based on availability. Reservations can be made through the booking link . If you intend to come and want to stay at the Amsterdam Hilton, make reservations a.s.a.p.
Sponsors: The invitation comes on behalf of Megan Koreman, the Weidner Foundation and Uitgeverij Boom from Maarten Eliasar, Van Eeghenstraat 137, 1071 GA Amsterdam, The Netherlands. symposium@dutchparis.com. The symposium is made possible by the support of Hilton Amsterdam and other sponsors.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

WOODIN | The Tennis Gold Cup (Postscript Mar 26, 2017)

Treasury Secretary William H. Woodin presents
Maidstone's Tennis Gold Cup to Ladies Singles
winner Betty Nuthall of UK in 1933. This was the 
last time he presented the Woodin Cup; he 
died in May 1934.
October 28, 2016–The Woodin Gold Cup Invitational Tournament for women tennis players was initiated 90 years ago at the Maidstone Club. Its story, from 1926 to 1955, provides insights into the history of the sport.

William H. Woodin was himself not a tennis player. He was approached to put his name on and finance the cup because he was a renowned U.S. business leader and a philanthropist who served on the Board of Franklin Roosevelt's Warm Springs Foundation.

Woodin headed ACF, the country's largest supplier of railway cars and one of the 20 companies in the contemporary Dow Jones Industrial Average. (He also chaired another of the 20 companies in the Dow–American Locomotive Co., or Alco.)

Woodin was asked by his friend and fellow Maidstone Club member Julian S. Myrick to contribute the cups for the proposed invitational. 

Woodin’s generous response was to donate three cups made of solid gold, one for the singles winner and the other two for the doubles winners.  The value of each of the three cups was estimated at $2,000, equal to $30,000 today, adjusted for inflation. The winner took the cup home for a year and after three wins was allowed to keep it.

The Woodin cups were unique in tennis because they were for women and there were fewer tournaments for female players. For nearly 30 years, the greatest names in women’s tennis came to play on Maidstone’s courts to compete for the cups. The tournament played an important role in providing a platform for competition among a generation of women tennis players frozen out of professional tennis during the 1930s.

Woodin's generosity (begun by his contributing $1,800 to refurbish the tennis building) may have prompted his election as President of the Maidstone Club, even though he also headed, as Commodore, the other main social club in East Hampton, the Devon Yacht Club and had done so since 1922.

After Will Woodin died in 1934, his widow Nan Woodin continued to host the Gold Cup. In 1939 the competition ran from July 31 to Aug. 6. Nan Woodin hosted a dinner for the contestants on Aug. 2. The East Hampton Star had a small story on p. 1 of its issue of July 27, 1939 noting that the contestants would include Helen Jacobs, Alice Marble, Susan Palfrey Fabian and Dorothy Bundy. That year Alice Marble won the singles cup and she and Susan Palfrey Fabyan won the doubles cup. Nan Woodin died in 1941, and her daughter Mary Miner took over presenting the cups at first, and later the Woodin grandchildren Charlie Miner Jr. and Anne Harvey Gerli.

The Grand Slam Tennis Tournaments 


The Woodin Cups supported female players in the runup to one of the four major world Grand Slam ("Major") open tennis tournaments, i.e.,
the U.S. National Championships that began on grass in 1881 at Newport, R.I. 

Woodin Cup winners who went on to become Grand Slam champions included Alice Marble, Helen [Hull] Jacobs, Molla Mallory and Helen Wills [Moody].  Helen Jacobs and Helen Wills were fierce opponents whose games were called "the battle of the Helens".

The U.S. National Championships event was supported by the U.S. National Lawn Tennis Association (USNLTA, founded in 1881, shortened to USLTA in 1920), which codified the rules of tennis such as the regulation size of the court. The USNLTA encouraged the spread of grass-court tennis in the late 19th century and early 20th to estates and clubs all over Long Island. The USNLTA Players' Committee, which included Davis Cup founder Dwight Davis,   lobbied to bring the nationals from Newport to Long Island. The Players' Committee noted in 1915 that 58 of the 100 top-ranked American players, half of the 260 USNLTA member clubs and 25,000 tennis players were located in the NYC metro area. They persuaded the USLTA to move America's Grand Slam event from Newport to 12 acres at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills.

The U.S. Championships were renamed the U.S. Open in 1968, and in 1975  switched from grass to green clay;; that year the USLTA was shortened to USTA. The Open moved to hard courts in 1978 at Flushing Meadows in a model agreement with the City of New York, requiring minimal public support, that was one of Mayor David Dinkins' great achievements. The other three Grand Slam tournaments are:

  • The Wimbledon tournament, the grandfather of tennis tournaments, which started in 1877 on grass courts and today is the only one of the Grand Slam sites where tennis is still played on grass.
  • The French Open, which began as a French-only tournament and was first opened to all nationalities in 1925. It was begun on red clay courts in Paris, and after some years of experimentation has stayed with it.
  • The Australian Open, which rotated in 1905-1988 among several grass sites and then settled on hard courts in Melbourne Park, after which it gained equal status with the other three Grand Slam tournaments.
L to R: Nan Woodin, center, awards the
Gold Cup to Sarah Palfrey, as Alice
Marble looks on. 
The Woodin Cup's Contribution to  the Eastern Grass Circuit

Originally a leisure sport played informally on weekends at grass courts on East End "cottages," tennis was changed by the emergence of 
professional tennis players starting in 1926.

Families with tennis courts started to take the game more seriously and invited tennis pros to provide lessons. 

John Nogrady was one of the early famous pro players who came to prominence in the 1940s. He was the resident pro at the homes of the Phipps and Martin families in Old Westbury and at the Fairchild home in Lloyd Neck. He worked with leading tennis women players like Louise Brough, Margaret Osborne, Gussie Moran, and Grace Kelly, many of who played in the Maidstone tournament (see list below). Nogrady died in 2007 at 93.

Maidstone hosted practice sessions and invitational warm-ups for the season-ending U.S. Championships at West Side, along with Piping Rock in Locust Valley and the Rockaway Hunting Club.

Invitationals for men started at the Meadow Club of Southampton and the Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove. They became part of the famous eastern grass circuit, which started in Baltimore, traveled north to Philadelphia, New Jersey, up to Boston and back to West Side. 

Will Woodin's Gold Cup Invitational offered a trophy for women of equivalent status to that of the men, at a time when women were being eased out of the pro circuit. The Woodin Cup nurtured the emergence of several important women players, including at the four previously mentioned Grand Slam winners. 

Two female tennis players got a big boost from the Woodin Cup–Carolin Babcock and Sarah Palfrey. One woman, noted at the end of this story, did not win or even play for the Woodin Cup, but the controversy around her play may have helped her career as well as contributing to the end of the Woodin Cup... but I am getting ahead of my story. 

Carolin Babcock Stark (Woodin Winner, 1934)

A women's amateur tennis star in the 1930’s who died March 25, 1987 at Southampton Hospital, Carolin Babcock Stark won the Woodin Gold Cup in 1934. She went on to win the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association national doubles championship with Marjorie (Midge) Van Ryan in 1936. In 1932 she had been the runner-up in women's singles to Helen Jacobs at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills.  The same year she won the the singles championship, and the following year the doubles at the Seabright (N.J.) Lawn and Cricket Club.  She was married for 10 years to Richard S. Stark and she lived in Malibu, Calif. from the mid-1940's to 1980, when she moved to North Haven, Southampton Town, until her death.

Sarah Palfrey (Woodin Winner, 1932, 1935, 1939...)


The Woodin Cup gave a similar boost to Sarah Palfrey. She twice won the singles title at the U.S. Championships, the second time in 1945 at 32. She was the second mother to have won the title, Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman being the first. Palfrey won 16 Grand Slam championships in women's doubles and mixed doubles. She teamed with Betty Nuthall Shoemaker to win the 1930 U.S. Championships and with Helen Jacobs to win the 1932, 1934, and 1935 championships. Palfrey and Alice Marble won the U.S. Championships 1937–40. At Wimbledon, Palfrey and Marble won the 1938 and 1939 women's doubles championship. Palfrey's final U.S. women's doubles championship was in 1941 with Margaret Osborne duPont.  Palfrey and Marble were undefeated in doubles for four years (1937-40). In 1947, Palfrey turned professional and went on a tour of one-night stands with Betz Addie, who lost her amateur status because the USLTA charged her with inquiring about the possibility of creating a tour for professionals. 

Nan Woodin (with feathered hat) presents the Woodin Gold
Cups in 1939 to Alice Marble (Doubles and Singles Winner).
Sarah Palfrey Fabyan (Doubles Winner) is not in photo.
Helen Jacobs, in photo, won in 1932. Marble and Jacobs were
both Grand Slam winners. EH Star photo, published 1944.
Palfrey reached a career high of World No. 4 in 1934 and  was included in the year-end Top Ten rankings issued by the USLTA, in 1929-31, 1933-41, and 1945. She was the top-ranked U.S. player in 1941 and 1945. Palfrey was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1963. In mixed doubles, Palfrey teamed with four different partners to win the U.S. Championships. Palfrey also won the mixed doubles title at the 1939 French Championships, teaming with her future husband Elwood Cooke.

She was married three times–to Marshal Fabyan, Elwood Cooke (one daughter) and Jerome Alan Danzig (one son). She died of lung cancer in 1996. 

Her brother, atomic-energy expert and skilled tennis player John Palfrey,  married Belle "Clochette" Roosevelt, one of five granddaughters of Teddy Roosevelt, all of whom excelled at tennis.

Winners of the Woodin Gold Cup, 1926-1955

The Gold Cup could be kept if a player won it three times. According to Will Woodin's descendants, at least one early winner refused to accept the Cup, in order to allow the competition to continue. Winners of the Woodin Gold Cups invitational were as follows:

Ladies Singles:
1926 Helen Wills (Grand Slam winner)
1927 Molla Mallory (Grand Slam winner)
1928 Helen Wills
1929 D.C. Shepherd-Barron
1930 Marjorie Morrill
1931 Madge Gladman Van Run
1932 Helen Jacobs (Grand Slam winner)
1933 Betty Nuthall
1934 Dorothy Andrus
1935 Ethel B. Arnold
1936 Gracyn Wheeler
1937 J. Jedrzejoyski
1938 Barbara Winslow
1939 Alice Marble (Grand Slam winner)
1940 Dorothy Bundy
1941 Pauline Betz
1942 A. Louise Brough
1943-44 No Tournament
1945 Sarah P. Cooke
1946 Shirley Fry
1947 Shirley Fry
1948 A. Louise Brough
1949 A. Louise Brough (third time)
1950 Beverly Baker
1951 Patricia Todd
1952 Shirley Fry (third time)
1953 Angela Mortimer
1954 A. Louise Brough
1955 Darlene Hard (Barbara Breit was runner-up)

Ladies Doubles
1926 Molla Mallory and Mary Brown
1927 Helen Wills and Eleanor Goss
1928 Helen Wills and Penelope Anderson
1929 Helen Wills (third time) and Edith Cross
1930 Madge Gladman and Josephine Cruikshank
1931 Betty Nuthall and Phylis Mudford
1932 Helen Jacobs and Sarah Palfrey 
1933 Elizabeth Ryan and Peggy Scriven
1934 Carolin Babcock and Dorothy B. Andrus
1935 Marjorie Van Ryn and Sarah Palfrey Fabyan 
1936 Dorothy B. Andrus and Sylvie Henrotin
1937 Dorothy B. Andrus (third time) and Sylvie Henrotin
1938 Dorothy Bundy and Dorothy Workman  
1939 Alice Marble and Sarah Palfrey Fabyan (third time) 
1940 Dorothy Bundy and Marjorie Van Ryn
1941 Sarah Cooke and Margaret Osborne
1942 A. Louise Brough and Margaret Osborne 
1943-44 No Tournament
1945 Barbara Krase and Patricia C. Todd
1946 Shirley Fry and Barbara Krase
1947 Shirley Fry and Barbara Krase (third time)
1948 A. Louise Brough and Margaret D. duPont
1949 A. Louise Brough and Margaret D. duPont
1950 Shirley Fry (third time) and Patricia Todd
1951 Patricia Todd (third time) and Betty Rosenquest
1952 Doris Hart and Shirley Fry
1953 Maureen Connolly and Julia Sampson
1954 Helen Fletcher and Ann Shilcock
1955 Patricia Ward and Shirley Bloomer

Last Two Years of the Cup–The Althea Gibson Story

Tennis champ Althea Gibson of Harlem got a boost from the Woodin Cup, but not by winning it or even playing in the tournament. She was not invited to compete for the Woodin Cup in 1954 because she was black, which may seem astonishing in 2016 when the United States has a black president and the Williams sisters have been winning tournaments for years. On the other hand, it has been noted that:
  • Several Maidstone members publicly supported her participation,
  • She was invited to stay at the homes of several members and 
  • Prior Woodin Cup winners Palfrey and Marble and others lobbied the USLTA to remove the color bar and allow Gibson to play at heretofore whites-only tournaments beginning in 1950.  "She [Palfrey] … got Althea into the U.S. Championships in 1950," said Gladys Heldman, founder of the Women's Professional Tennis Tour. 
  • Gibson went on to play in the Philadelphia portion of the tennis circuit and won at Wimbledon and in the U.S. Championships in 1957 and 1958. 
Woodin Gold Cup, 1954 (EH Star), with Mary Woodin
Miner presiding in what was the second-to-last
year of the event.
Edward T. (“Ned”) Chase, a long-time Tennis Week senior contributing writer, wrote about this episode. (A 1941 Princeton graduate, Chase served as a Naval lieutenant during World War II. At Tennis Week he was expert at comparing the game's greatest players. He also played tennis well, winning in three straight sets against then-Wimbledon champion Maureen Connolly on Maidstone's grass courts. Chase was survived by his wife of 56 years, Ethelyn Atha Chase, two daughters and two sons, one of them being famed Cornelius Crane “Chevy” Chase. Ned Chase passed away at 86 in New York on June 9, 2005 after a long illness.) 

Chase's conclusion was that the Althea Gibson controversy helped spell the end of the Woodin Gold Cup event. But there were other factors.

Last Two Years of the Woodin Cup–The Rising Cost

The tournament was discontinued during the war years of 1943 and 1944, but resumed in 1945.  Permanent possession of the gold cups was retired in 1949, after 22 years of competition, to Sarah Palfrey and Louise Brough. 

The invitational tournament was continued from 1950 to 1955 by Mary Woodin Miner and other members of the Woodin family who presented new cups of silver to the Club. 

However, the Maidstone Club Tennis Committee informed the Board of Governors that the Invitational had lost some of its purpose and had become too expensive:
  • Originally the tournament had been one of the most important in the country, counting in the national ranking of leading players, but this was no longer the case.
  • It had become difficult to attract top-ranking players to the tournament since the only open date left too little time before the national championship at Forest Hills.  
  • Ranking players felt constrained to play only in ranking tournaments, which had become too expensive an undertaking for Maidstone. 
This version of the story of the end of the cup is not inconsistent with Ned Chase's version.

Postscript: When Anne Harvey Gerli, Will Woodin's sole surviving granddaughter, died in 2016, her family donated a new tennis cup in her name.

Sources: Fifty Years of the Maidstone Club, East Hampton Star (multiple dates), Colleen Kennedy, Tennis Week.  Related Posts:  Maidstone Woodin Cups 1955 . Life of Will Woodin

Monday, September 5, 2016

STARS AND STRIPES | Sept. 3–Flown First Time in Battle (Comment)

"Betsy Ross" flag with a circle of five-
pointed stars in the canton.
In 1877 the Stars and Stripes are flown in battle for the first time, during a skirmish at Cooch’s Bridge, Maryland. They were in the form attributed to Betsy Ross – a circle of 13 five-pointed stars on a blue canton, on a field of 13 red-and-white stripes.

The Continental Army's General William Maxwell ordered the stars and stripes raised as a detachment of his infantry and cavalry met an advance guard of British and Hessian troops. Maxwell's troops were forced to retreat to General George Washington’s main force near Brandywine Creek in Pennsylvania.

Three months before, on June 14, General Washington brought to the Continental Congress a resolution:
[T]he flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white [and]... the Union [canton] be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.
This national flag became known as the “Stars and Stripes". The stripes were based on the Grand Union flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 alternating red and white stripes with a Union Jack in the canton.

Hopkinson Flag, with six-
pointed stars in the canton.
Francis Hopkinson is credited with having designed a stars-and-stripes flag before Betsy Ross. His flag, however, had six-pointed stars, based on a surviving sketch of his flag using asopetrisks with six points. This followed his designs for the Great Seal of the United States and his design for the Admiralty Board Seal, which used six-pointed stars.

The five-pointed stars are credited by legend to Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross, who argued for the five-pointed star as easier to cut. She is also credited with designing the canton as a circle of 13 stars on a blue background, at the request of General Washington. The legend of Betsy Ross as the designer of the first flag appeared at the time of the 1876 centennial celebrations through the work of her grandson, William Canby.  Historians have been unable to prove or disprove the legend, so it persists.

On June 14, 1877, the first Flag Day was held on the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes.

Comment

My suspicion is that the Betsy Ross legend, which pivots around the idea that it is easier to cut a five-pointed star than a six-pointed star, was used as misdirection to avoid focus on the real reason for using five-pointed stars on the American flag rather than six-pointed ones. The details of folding fabric in such a way as to cut a star with a single cut make it hard to believe that this was a determining factor. My educated guess is that the fans of George Washington wanted to reflect his family arms (three red five-pointed stars above three red-and-white stripes, as in the flag of the District of Columbia) in the national flag, and the Betsy Ross story was useful in explaining why five-pointed stars were used instead of the more usual six-pointed stars. Washington himself made a great effort to avoid the cult of personality, but at the same time he took huge pride in his family's ancestry and its coat of arms dating back to the Battle of Crécy (1346), in Normandy.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

EAST HAMPTON | Award to Herb Field, Sage of Springs

Councilman Fred Overton presents Proclamation to
Herb Field at Ashawagh Hall. Photo by JT Marlin.
Sep 4, 2016—Herbert Edwards (Herb) Field, the Sage of Springs, has received another well-earned award.

At the recent meeting of the Springs Community Advisory Council in Ashawagh Hall, Councilman Fred Overton presented him with a Proclamation testifying to his contributions to the Springs community.  

The Proclamation.
Overton's presentation was by the authority and on behalf of the East Hampton Town's Supervisor, Larry Cantwell.

At the presentation, the crowd attending the meeting gave Herb a standing ovation for his contributions to his country and his community. 

The citation, signed August 22 by Supervisor Cantwell, proclaims that Herbert Edwards (Herb) Field was born at Franklin Farm on August 3, 1924 to Herbert Stone Field and his wife Abigail Rebecca, née Edwards. 

Herb Field with Tina Piette (L) and yours
truly. Photo by Dr Carter Dodge.
Herb enlisted in the U.S. Navy in April 1943 and was honorably discharged on December 18, 1945. He was sent on tours in the Pacific, Europe and the Americas. 

After his military service he managed Sylvester Prime’s farm on Shelter Island and then in 1949 moved to Morrisville, N.Y., where he purchased and managed wo dairy farms covering 316 acres.

After 15 years upstate, he purchased the Baker and Baker dairy farm in Amagansett and lives there today.

Comment

Herb regularly attends the Springs Community Presbyterian Church and sits consistently in the second row behind the organ donated by Robert Mulford.

Herb (L) with Dr Carter Dodge.
Photo by JT Marlin.
When I first came to Springs in 1981 as a seasonal visitor, I was invited to join the Men of Springs, a church-related activity. My wife Alice Tepper Marlin was dubious about whether I should get involved in something macho like that until she found out that what the Men of Springs did was cook and serve  community dinners.

Eventually the men of the Men of Springs one by one died or left town, and the annual chicken dinner had to depend primarily, like so much else, on the hard-working women of the church. Herb may be the last of the men of the Men of Springs who were there when I arrived in 1981.

Herb has earned the title of Sage of Springs because he knows more about the history of Springs than anyone else.

For example, he remembers when Supervisor Larry Cantwell "was in short pants." Over the years Herb has told me more truly funny stories than I can count. He has a keen understanding of farming, milling and human nature. Long may he live!

The Springs Community Advisory Committee members are:

1. Loring Bolger, Chair 2. Ira Barocas 3. Pamela Bicket 4. David Buda
5. Carole Campolo 6. Zachary Cohen 7. Katherine Reid
8. Reg Cornelia 9. Amos Goodman 10. Phyllis Italiano 11. Howard Lebwith 
12. Brad Loewen 13.Tina Piette 14. Ginny Rizzardi 15.Betsy Ruth  16. Pat Brabant
17. Judy Freeman 18. Connie Kenny 19. Tina Plesset
20. Jurdy Grodin 21. Cile Downs 22. Michael Antonelle
23. Mary Beth LaPenna 24. Debra Foster 25. Rita Wassermann 26. Susan Harder