WellesleyWeston Magazine

SPRING 2014

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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when Merle and Marshall Goldman celebrate a birthday or anniversary, their four children like to put on skits and songs. In one skit, they depict their five-foot-three mother looming over the future leader of the world's most populous country. Sound fanciful? Not in this Wellesley home. That's just what happened when Merle Goldman met the man who set the stage for China's economic explosion. "I towered over Deng Xiaoping. He was a little guy about four-foot- nine," said Goldman. "He would sit there and his feet would dangle, not even hitting the floor." Goldman, as a China expert, accompanied a delegation of US uni- versity professors who had traveled to Beijing at the invitation of the Chinese government in November 1974 – less than two years after President Richard Nixon's historic trip. Deng, then deputy premier of China, had only recently returned from purgatory under Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution. But still, as Goldman wrote in a column for the New York Times, Deng "exuded confidence, displayed an ironic sense of humor, and appeared very much in control of events." She sized him up as a leader who would put butter before guns. And after Deng took power four years later, he proved her right. "I see Deng Xiaoping is a real hero here," Goldman said in a recent interview. "When he came to power, he opened up China to the Western world." Goldman and her husband, Marshall, make up one of the nation's most formidable academic couples. Both are now retired from teaching careers – hers at Boston University and his at Wellesley College – but 57 s p r i n g 2 0 1 4 | W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e an interview with merle goldman When the skies are gray above We ask our mother what does she see? Will it be stormy? Will there be rain? Here's what she says to me, Say Hurrah, Hurrah, There's always blue skies tootsie I see what I choose to see. Say Hurrah, Hurrah. – F a m i l y t r i b u t e t o M e r l e G o l d m a n o n h e r 7 5 t h b i r t h d a y, t o t h e t u n e o f " Q u e S e r a S e r a " Meet Merle Goldman A U T H O R A N D C H I N A E X P E R T S T E V E M A A S writer B R I A N S M I T H photographer 056-065_WWMa14_face2face_v3_WWM_interview 2/1/14 3:44 PM Page 57

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