[Letter] 1944 August [to] Prof

Dublin Core


[Letter] 1944 August [to] Prof


University of Cambridge


Writes of recently changing squadrons and hopes to be on a mission soon. Talks of having visited Cambridge, King's, Trinity, and St. Andrew's Colleges. Describes the chapels and the grounds at the colleges and in the towns. Relates a tale told to him by a caretaker at St. Andrew's involving two students and a murder. Also tells of visiting London.


Schipani, George Joseph


Wagner College Archive, Horrmann Library


Wagner College, Staten Island, NY

Is Part Of

A complete index to the letters in this collection can be found here: http://library.wagner.edu/wagnerarchive/StoughtonPDF/Correspondence index.pdf









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Dear Prof,
I got your letter earlier this week and was glad to hear from you. Things here are almost as they were back in the states. For awhile I was pretty busy then suddenly nothing happened. Just as I started to go good the bottom fell out of things. I haven't been on a mission in a month - at least -. Not since the day my first pilot talked himself into a mission I was to go on. He forgot to come home again. In that instant I was most fortunate but since then I've done nothing but - as we say here - spin my wheels. It means "getting nowhere, fast." Maybe things will change now that I've changed squadrons and will now try to add on to my score of a mission. Those six entitled me to the "Wilkie Button" - Air Medal.
Maybe I misinterpret the word "ironic," as you've used it but the fact that I went to Cambridge didn't surprise me. I've always been interested in such things. Maybe I didn't give a scholarly attitude while at Wagner but then I never give off the impression of my feelings. Also I thought, while I was at Wagner, I told you why I couldn't devote the time I should have to the subjects in which I was most interested. I know Dr. Dunham never believed it, even though he was given more than ample evidence. ---But all this is leading me astray. I meant to start to tell you that I'd been to Cambridge again and learned some things you might be interested in just in case you do come here some time.
This time I visited King's, Trinity and St. Andrew's Colleges. In peace time this town lives off the University. Everything here is the University. King's College is about the oldest - Peterhouse being the oldest. It dates back to 1480. King's was built during the reign of Herny VI. It's Chapel is very large and beautiful - being built before the Reformation it has the chantry chapels, common to chapels - large one's - of the time. In these chapels - built to the sides of the main chapels - the priests chanted the early morning mass. In Trinity's chapel lie the bodies and statues of Tennyson, Bacon, Walpole and may other notables who taught there. It is smaller but in no great sense less beautiful than King's. In St. Andrew's was something which pleased me to no end and I found it

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quite by accident. It is a swimming pool, complete with bathhouse dating back 300 years. There is a story abut the pool which is the college's "skeleton in the closet." I got it from the caretaker who appointed himself my guide and historian.
On the spot upon which we were standing a crime, which is as old as man and as new as the present, was committed. It seems there were 2 students of the college in love with the same girl - old story -. One night while both were swimming one bashed the other's head causing him to topple into the pool and drown. The next day at the inquest it was decided that the head injury was caused when the student dived into the pool and struck his head against the stone bottom - it was but 7 feet at the spot - . The culprit then married the fair damsel and - supposedly - , they lived a blissful married life. He confessed the crime on his dying bed 40 years later. This happened 200 years ago.
The pool itself is very beautiful, lined with shrubbery and busts of [Wordsworth], Milton, and others who taught and were master's there. There is a mulberry tree which Milton planted when he was a master and it has very tasty fruit. The next time I go to Cambridge I hope to go equipped with a camera and swimming trunks. All the Colleges are built in a system of courtyards and look very nice and beautiful.
There are other points of interest all over town. In one little street is a church which is the oldest building in town. It's tower dates back to the Saxon's - 1050 to be exact - 16 years before the Norman. Their workmanship was very crude but most effective and durable. Next door is a tea house - The Friar House -. It is the second oldest building in town dating to 1500. Incidentally the name of the church is St. Benet's. It is a small one but very pretty inside. There are so many places of interest in the town that one can't do it in 48 hours - time off for travelling - I shall go back. It is a nice looking town and one can relax despite the evacuees. I'd like to see it in normal

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I've been to London once but didn't stay too long. I went to Hyde Park and listened to a bunch of crackpots expound their theories of what post war conditions should be like. I travelled through the Parliamentary section and Trafalgar Square. It was interesting there but only had the time to go through Hurriedly. Maybe after I go to Cambridge once more I'll go to London for more sights although from what little I've seen I don't like it as well as Cambridge. Other than the Parliamentary section it's too much like any other large city. I also went down to hear the London variety of buzz bombs. I had seen and heard them before but was curious to see how they were in the "Big Town." It was - fortunately - a comparatively quiet night. They do a lot of damage in congested areas but are too inaccurate for effective military use.
I guess I've run off at the mouth too much already so I guess I'd better shut up. My ambitions are still the same although with the grace of God I'd like to have a 'plane of my own to fly as I wish. Give my regards to all.

Original Format


Date Digital



Schipani, George Joseph, “[Letter] 1944 August [to] Prof,” Wagner College Archives and Special Collections, accessed October 2, 2022, https://wagnercollections.omeka.net/items/show/16359.