WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2016-2017

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.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/745407

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Page 95 of 211

plain-spoken "Vera dear" shook her head and said, "Why don't we just adjourn this thing and take him over to Lake Waban and let him walk across the water." Twenty-nine years later, at the 2012 cere- mony when the library in the new high school was also dedicated to him, people ranging in age from teens to 80s crowded in for standing-room only. Many were fiercely devoted former colleagues, hired, mentored, and loved by him—his second family. "Family members" like his protégés Jeanie Eaton and Brooks Goddard (the rumor was he'd hired them playing matchmaker), who met and mar- ried and spent their entire careers in the English department. Brooks succeeded him as chair, then was succeeded himself by Ronna Frick, another "Crocketteer." So Mr. Crockett's direct influence on the department continued for 30 more years. In the weeks before his 1980 retirement, The Townsman published a passionate outpouring of more than 50 letters of tribute from former students in 16 states, representing almost all 36 years of his career. They were from former students who had become headmasters and princi- pals, authors, professors and heads of college English departments, and Pulitzer Prize winners— or who ended up in unrelated fields but traced the shaping of their lives back to Room 206. Louise Giesey White, '50, wrote from Virginia that her 16-year-old son overheard her remi- niscing about her years with Mr. Crockett and told her it was "pretty weird" for someone out of high school for 30 years to still be thinking about her English teacher. Not weird at all, she told him. "It's a tribute to the enormous contribution he has made to my life." Sylvia Plath spoke for those whose lives were touched by Mr. Crockett when, in a tribute published before her 1963 death, she wrote words that now stand on a plaque at the door of the Wellesley High School library: "Many of us can trace back our choice of college or career, our search after 'the best that has been thought and said,' and even the very principles of integrity that guide us, to our experience in Mr. Crockett's class. An experience of inquiry and discovery not confined within classroom walls but reaching deeply into our minds and hearts. An experience outlasting any school year and lighting the rest of our lives. … Mr. Crockett is the teacher of a lifetime." 94 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 6 / 2 0 1 7 C O U R T E S Y O F W E L L E S L E Y A N Y E A R B O O K Wilbury Crockett top: The new Wellesley High School library was dedicated as the Wilbury A. Crockett Library when the building opened in 2012; bottom: Mr. Crockett with student Linda Barnes, 1970 C O U R T E S Y O F B E T H H I N C H L I F F E

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