Schoolmaster of Kings by abstraks

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       Schoolmaster of Kings

         Donald MacJanet:
65 Years as an International Educator

           Herbert Jacobs

    Berkeley, California    1982

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements                                    00
1.      Young American in Paris                     00
2.      A Rugged, Partly Happy Childhood            00
3.      Forced into Maturity                        00
4.      The Buoyant Young Collegian                 00
5.      Teacher into Aviator                        00
6.      Two Live on $10 a Month                     00
7.      How to Teach the Elite                      00
8.      A Camp to Remember— for Learning            00
9.      War Slams the Door                          00
10.     “He Changed My Life”                        00
11.     Inner Circle                                00
12.     The Camps Turn French                       00
13.     The Prieure Venture                         00
14.     “A Precious Tool Put in Our Hands”          00
15.     “First Citizen of Talloires”                00

llustrations: Following pages                00, 00, 00
Chronology                                          00
Index                                               00


I am greatly indebted to Donald, Charlotte and Malcolm MacJannet and to Jean MacJannet Foster
for making their files available to me and for answering my many questions; to Anita Woodworth
for much material and for originating the idea of my writing this book; to Julia Halsey for
enthusiastically supporting that idea; and to my wife Catherine, for many valued suggestions, and
for her skill and persistence in tracking down and eliminating many of my inadvertent errors.
The errors of fact and interpretation that remain in the text are all mine.
        I wish to thank also the many persons who responded with letters, tapes or phone calls to
an appeal for anecdotes and comments on the MacJannets. My records list them as Mrs. George
Bakeman, Henry I. Baldwin, Mrs. Cordelia Job Bary, Philip Bassett, Christopher Bird, David
Bird, Jean-Louis Bouët, (“Swissy”), Amos Booth, Robert G. Bushnell, Prof. and Mrs. William S.
Dougall, Binda Douglas, Dr. Alice Ettinger, Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred T. Grenfell, Mrs. Helen Mears
Gibson, Anthony Farrell, Dr. Richmond Holder, Mrs. Naisby Herring, Robert Huffman, Emi
Kamiya, Sam Legg, Judith Litante, Mr. and Mrs. George N. McVicar, Mrs. Frank Malley, Col.
Frank Mosher, Carl Norcross, Rev. Gerald O’Grady, Jr., Alixa MaKinnan Payan, Mrs. Donald C.
Perry, Dr. Samuel Proger, Cynthia Harts Raymond, Prof. Reginald Ray, John Oliver Rich, Lieut.
David Richardson, Dan Rottenberg, Mr. and Mrs. William H. Rough, Dr. Paul R. Schratz, Mrs.
Phyllis Chamberlain Sias, Mrs. Kenneth Spinning, Rev. Robert Swenson, Mrs. Ruth Breidenthal
Snyder (“Breidy”), Alexander Thackars, Dr. Grant Taylor, Mrs. Rachel Thibault, Mrs. Peter
Watts, and Mrs. Kenneth B. Webb.
        (Note: Donald MacJannet made a minor change in early 1921 from McJannet to
MacJannet to avoid French postal workers’confusion, and Jean and Malcolm conformed to the
new version. I have made all their spellings uniform, including that of Donald’ father, the Rev.
Robert MacJannet.)

H. J.

Young American in Paris

The furious white-bearded owner, locked outside of his very own castle by the raised drawbridge,
pounded his walking stick on the paving stones, poured out an outraged torrent of French
expletives, and stirred his dog to fierce barking.

        In the gateway of the castle Donald MacJannet, tall, thin and suave, kept cool and thought
fast. With his covey of a dozen American teenage students behind him, he had simply walked
into the castle when his shouts went unanswered. After all, you don’ run into a medieval castle,
several centuries old but still in full working order, just any old day. This one had a moat filled
with real water, and crenellated battlements and towers frowning down on a drawbridge
conveniently spanning the moat.
        MacJannet, who had come to France five years before to learn more French, and had
stayed to open the first American country day prep school and the first summer camp in Europe,
couldn’ pass up that castle as a welcome teaching example. Once across the drawbridge it was
no trick to point out the counterweights that made it possible by turning a crank to life the
drawbridge easily— and he did. It worked smoothly and beautifully. The boys were thrilled.
What a delightful way to learn the laws of fulcrums, gear ratios and balances!
        The enthusiastic MacJannet led his troop to the castle entry to explain more of the
mysteries of stonework, and demonstrate the castle as a self-sustaining defensive and living unit.
The boys’rapt attention was shattered by the barking dog, the pounding cane, the high-pitched
streams of French.
        MacJannet hastily lowered the drawbridge and sallied forth to pacify the chateau’s
owner. “Ah, monsieur, ten thousand pardons for our intrusion,” he spoke swiftly in fluent
French. “I and these eager young American students were just passing by, and we were struck by
the magnificence of this castle and its superb setting at the foot of the Pyrenees. How beautifully
maintained it is! And this drawbridge— I have never seen a finer. I could not resist showing
these bright young students how smoothly it worked . . .” On and on MacJannet went, explaining
that the group was in the midst of an educational tour, that the boys were avidly learning French
at his school near Paris, and this tour was to make them better acquainted with the real people and
the interesting regions of France.

        Monsieur had ceased pounding his cane and waving his arms. The students were already
patting the dog. MacJannet’ soothing voice had caused stern French features to relax; the boys
bowed politely as MacJannet introduced them with a wave of the hand and a comment on their
eagerness for knowledge of France. And the mollified owner, now all smiles, led the way for a
tour of the castle, and insisted that they all stay for tea.
        Carl Norcross, who had spent the year 1925–26 at the MacJannet Country Day School at
St. Cloud, on the edge of Paris, remembered the incident at Amelie-les-Bains more than 50 years
later as a brilliant example of diplomacy in action. And the boys, piling into the school’ bus and
prepared to head for Banyuls-sur-Mer, the tiny Mediterranean seaport near the Spanish border,
appreciated the finesse. They reveled in the chance to see a real drawbridge obeying the laws of
physics, and to wander the halls of a veritable castle. And they could understand and talk French
themselves with the owner, for the MacJannet school not only taught French but reinforced the
teaching by requiring the boys to speak French at meal times, just as they got acquainted with
France itself and its people by visiting street fairs, factories, village fêtes and the like, instead of
just museums.
        Donald Ross MacJannet was keen, intelligent, and idealistic, but also full of Scotch
practicality and the habit of thrift when he came to Paris in 1920, aged 26, to enroll at the
Sorbonne to prepare himself as an instructor in French in some American college. He had no
intention of establishing a school or a camp in a country slowly recovering from four bitter years
of war that had left a million and a half of its young men dead. And he was unaware that he
would stay in Europe nearly continuously for more than 60 years. Why did he do it? “I saw a
need,” he said in simple explanation, many years later.
        And he kept on seeing needs and filling them, rather than trying to live out some fixed
life plan. When the American Depression cut into school and camp attendance, he welcomed the
refugees fleeing eastern Europe because of the menace of Hitler. At the outset of World War II
MacJannet turned his camp over to the Quakers to house French war orphans— and raised the
money to pay for their care by appeals to former campers and students. After the war, in which
the Nazis had thoroughly pillaged his Paris school, he continued the camp, using American and
French volunteer counselors for the French orphans. He financed it with widespread appeals to
American camps, organizations and individuals. Accepting American children later, he added an
equal number of French, paid for by American fees.
        Although he turned frequently from one need to the next most pressing one, he stuck to
his belief and practice of promoting better understanding among nations by creating closer ties
between individuals through the mingling of nationalities in his schools and camps. And when he

retired at 70 from camp direction, he and his wife Charlotte continued that theme with adults.
They organized and played host to a variety of international groups at an ancient Benedictine
priory in the French Alps near his former camp, which he had bought and restored, in large part
with his own labor.
        Some observers have called MacJannet “Teacher of Kings” because his influence
touched the royal families of England and of several other countries. “Trainer for leadership”
would be equally fitting, because he dealt with the sons and daughters of industrial and financial
“royalty,” and of notables in diplomacy and the professions, whose descendants went on to top
positions themselves. Had he chosen to conduct his more than 60 years of teaching in America
instead of becoming an international educator he would doubtless have been more widely known.
MacJannet operated on the simple premise that character, taught by precept and example, was
basic, and that emphasizing some talent of a boy or girl and using it as the key to developing
other latent talents led to success, when accompanied by proper discipline and application.
Educators, parents and officialdom in this country, often plagued by difficulties and lack of
results, can find answers here in MacJannet’ own words and the comments of his aides and
        Was his successful career mostly the result of luck, as he modestly claimed? Scarcely.
Luck played some part, but his skill and wisdom created opportunities, and turned them to his
advantage. Buoyant optimism helped him overcome setbacks. His belief that children can learn
rapidly in a welcoming and secure environment was borne out by their later school successes. A
whole parade of former students and campers rise up to say with pride “he changed my life.”
One golden thread ran through all MacJannet’ activities. The well-intentioned, who are content
to sign petitions and pass resolutions for peace, could profit by adopting his more practical
approach: create situations where the young, and not so young, of different nationalities can
meet, work and play in close association, rather than just a handshake and smile before a game,
and thus spread the leaven of understanding and companionship more widely.
        A substantial part of this story deals with MacJannet’ youth because, as Gerald Brenan,
author of “A Life of One’ Own,” declares, “By the time a man is twenty all the main features of
his character and temperament will have appeared, and the rest of his life will merely be spent in
making what adjustments he can among them.”
        One problem, what novelist and critic Rebecca West called how to make a “dynamically
good man” seem credible, did not prove formidable, thanks to what MacJannet playfully referred
to as his “flexible conscience,” and a few small incidents that showed him indeed quite human.
Indeed, MacJannet’ wife exemplifies what critic John Canaday wrote of the painter Wyeth:

“great sentiments, which say that life is not a meaningless joke, that people can be good, that
nature is still there, that human relationships are important.”
        Although MacJannet had hoped to come to France as an army aviator at Uncle Sam’s
expense, World War I ended before that could happen. When he did make it to France two years
later as assistant conductor of a student tour group, he found himself unceremoniously dumped by
the tour director, who vanished with all the money. MacJannet at 26 was slightly under six feet
tall, thin but well-muscled, with clear blue eyes and a widow’ peak already developing in his
brown hair. Self-supporting since the age of 15, he already knew how to land on his feet. In spite
of earning enough for himself and a younger sister to live on, he found time to study, ending his
high school career as valedictorian, his four-year college career as Phi Beta Kappa member, top
student and class orator, and his army air service ground course again at the top.
        MacJannet prided himself on the fact that only once in his life did he have to borrow
money— to buy furniture when he started his own country day school just outside of Paris in
1924— and it was very soon paid back. Yet despite the traditional Scotch thrift, he was so
indifferent to his own investments that he did not even know how great was his loss in the Wall
Street crash of 1929 until his American broker told him a year later— and tried (in vain) to collect
a whopping bill for losses.
        So busy that “I never took a vacation until I was 38,” MacJannet says, he did take a few
days off then to marry a young German woman, a gifted musician and head of her own school of
eurythmics, who promptly began enriching both school and camp activities with her own gifts as
musician and teacher. Although they had no children of their own, the MacJannets could claim
some 4,000 “children,” students and campers scattered throughout the world, though most are
concentrated in America. The MacJannets’own warmth and sympathy was reflected in the
mountainous stacks of tributes and “progress report” letters sent to them by hordes of their
“children.” The stacks would have been even higher (MacJannet apparently never threw away
any scrap of paper, however small, that referred to his school, camp or other activities) but he felt
obliged to burn all the school’ records and correspondence when the Germans threatened Paris
after the start of World War II.
        The bonfire of papers was necessary because there were too many of them for MacJannet
to carry away in his car, and the names of those involved were too important to let fall into the
vengeful hands of the German Gestapo. Indeed, the roster of those attending school or camp or
both was in many ways a list of the elite in government, industry and international affairs. From
their very beginnings both school and camp had attracted children of ambassadors and their top
aides, both from the United States and from other countries, such as China, Japan and Holland.

Others were children of bankers and industrialists with longtime duties in Europe. Parents
welcomed the opportunity to keep their families together, instead of having to send the children
back to an American prep school to prepare for college entrance examinations. Since like tends
to beget like, wealth— and sometimes position— are frequently inherited, a great many of the
MacJannet scholars and campers later assumed leadership roles themselves, and often told the
MacJannets that the school or camp experience marked a turning point in their lives.
        One such, for instance, was Philip, a lad from Greece who spent three years at the school,
learning about baseball and George Washington before he knew much about cricket or English
kings. He was noted at the school and in newspaper stories as “the boy who had no last name.”
(He was a child of a member of the Danish royal family, which does not have a last name.) Later,
as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II, he invited the
MacJannets to an affair at the Louvre put on with the glitter and flourish that the French do so
well and love so much. Spotting MacJannet, the prince stepped out of the royal procession to
shake hands and said with a smile, “You started me off, Mr. MacJannet, and now look what has
become of me.” (Ever the schoolmaster, MacJannet in his 80s addressed his former pupil in
letters as “Dear Philip.”)
Another notable was Indira Gandhi, who came for a summer at the MacJannet camp in 1929,
when she was Indira Nehru, daughter of Jawarhalal Nehru, at that time in a British jail because of
his activities on behalf of Indian freedom, and later leader of an independent India. Indira, then
aged about 11, was so impressed with the educational value of a summer camp that she
established many similar summer camps for girls in Bengal, after she became prime minister.
Because of his work as an educator, and particularly for his promotion of closer international ties
between individuals, various awards, including two honorary doctorates, began pouring in on
MacJannet before his 40th year. The French government made him a chevalier of the Legion of
Honor in 1938, but the canny Scot dissuaded friends from presenting him for a higher ranking;
local French officials with whom he frequently dealt had not been so honored. But he especially
prized the action of the village of Talloires, where his camp had been in continuous operation for
40 years, in voting unanimously to make him its first honorary citizen. The honor came only
after mature consideration, in his 80th year, and he had been a resident of the community for more
than 50 years.
        Just how hard MacJannet worked, and persuaded others to do likewise, is evident in a
remark treasured by Amos Booth, English born and Oxford educated, who was head counselor at
the camp from 1961 through 1963. On one particularly fast-paced day MacJannet told him in
early afternoon, “Now you go and take a nice long rest. We’ meet again here in ten minutes.”

Chapter 2:

Born May 8, 1894 in Sterling, Massachusetts, then a sleepy village of some 500, Donald Ross
MacJannet came of Scotch and old New England Ancestry. He was the third child and second
son of the Rev. Robert MacJannet, who had arrived in Canada et the age of nine with his parents,
coming from Ayr, Scotland, in a steam and sailing ship that took 31 days to make the voyage.
His mother, Irene Waters MacJannet, was from an old and distinguished Boston family which
traced its ancestry to Peregrine White, “the first white child born in American waters,” whose
mother gave birth while the Mayflower was anchored in Provincetown harbor waiting the return
of scouting parties out looking for a suitable site for the Pilgrim colony.
         Robert MacJannet worked his way through Megill University in Montreal and became a
Baptist minister. A stern and pious man, with a thatch of reddish hair rapidly turning gray, and
beard, he soon became convinced that no person should be paid for preaching the gospel, and
joined a fundamentalist group known as the Pilgrim Brethren. They met each Sunday, sitting in a
circle, somewhat as the Quakers do, and had no ordained minister. Robert MacJannet became an
eloquent evangelist, preaching without regular pay in various eastern and central Massachusetts
towns, his growing family caught in a constant struggle for survival because of the evangelist’s
firm and frequently announced belief that "The Lord will provide."
Irene Waters, a beautiful and romantic young woman who had been engaged to a prominent
merchant, had married the evangelist because she was captivated by his eloquent preaching. The
jilted fiancé later married Irene's sister.
         During his many long years abroad Donald MacJannet could not discover any person in
Europe named MacJannet (or McJannet, the original spelling). The name MacJannet, he pointed
out, is a diminutive of the common French name Jan or Jean, and thus Jannet would be "Little
Jan," son of Jan. The French king Louis IX had a bodyguard of Scotch archers, and MacJannet
surmises that a friend named Jannet may have accompanied the archers back to Scotland. Such a
man's son could have taken the prefix Mac, meaning “son of.” Research indicates that a
MacJannet baby was saved by a maid during the Glencoe massacre, and thus the name may have
become established in Scotland, though it is still very rare both there and in the United States.
Donald MacJannet saw little of his father, the minister. "It was my mother that I knew
and admired greatly," he said. "She was an accomplished musician: pianist, organist and
singer." MacJannet and his wife Charlotte established a winter residence in the Old Town

section of Geneva, Switzerland, in 195*. Their apartment at 12, Rue de 1'Hôtel de Ville,
looks out on the University Gardens at the foot of the ramparts, where stands the
imposing monument to the Reformers. On it, among other scenes carved in stone, is a
bas relief depicting the signing of the Mayflower Compact. A woman standing in the
background holds a small baby, and MacJannet believes it was his ancestor, Peregrine
(Meaning pilgrim) White. The father died during that first terrible winter in which so
many colonists perished. The mother later married William Bradford, elected governor
of the colony and re-elected thirty times.
        MacJannet's mother was born Irene Flint Waters, in Waterville, Maine, and was herself
an example of MacJannet's view that cultured people tend to produce cultured and well-educated
descendants. Her mother, MacJannet's grandmother, was a medical doctor, extremely unusual in
those days during and after the Civil War when medical schools would not even admit women.
She became an apprentice to a physician, passed the required examinations, and opened a practice
in Waterville. She was one of the first to introduce smallpox vaccinations, and pushed for more
general use of them at a time when many persons still felt that God alone should determine what
diseases one had, and thus one should make no effort to avoid a disease. Two generations and
nearly a century later, MacJannet encountered the same attitude when he and his wife met
Jawarhalal Nehru. Nehru told him that millions of Indians believed that not only was it sinful to
struggle against poverty or diseases, but that "suffering is a punishment for improper behavior in
this life, and if you try to get rid of it you have worse in the next life."
        MacJannet's maternal grandmother was not only a physician, but she married Dr. George
Frank Waters, a man who was both physician and dentist, and later president for many years of
the Massachusetts Dental Society, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the Agassiz Society.
The Waters family lived on Beacon Hill in Boston, where Dr. George Waters had his office and a
small orchard and vineyard behind the house. He was also an inventor, developing, among other
things, the long-handled pruning knife.
        MacJannet remembers him as "a stern sort of man with a long white beard." Perhaps the
severe aspect reflected equally stern forbears: his own father, Dr. George T. Waters, and
grandfather, Cornelius Waters, were both ministers— and equally domineering. "In fact, my
grandfather felt himself treated so harshly by his own father that he ran away to sea as a youth,
and traveled in the Far Fast before he settled down to learn medicine and dentistry,” MacJannet
recalls. "Nevertheless, his father's example was so strong that he determined his own son should

not lead such vagrant life, and should also learn medicine and dentistry so that he could take over
the office when my grandfather retired."
        But the son, MacJannet's Uncle Ernest, brother of Irene Waters, did no such thing,
especially anything having to do with science. Talented both as artist and poet (he wrote and
illustrated verses to his sister Irene), he contributed articles to the Harvard Advocate, the
university's literary magazine, but died before graduation.
        Dr. George F. Waters, MacJannet's grandfather, even carried his dentistry skill into
family discipline. When he noticed that a reddening peach in his small orchard bore toothmarks,
he gathered his three daughters under the tree. "Who is the culprit?" Silence. "Very well! I will
make a plaster cast of the marks.” Before he could do that, the eldest daughter, Josephine,
confessed that she had done the biting.
        In spite of his severity, Dr. Waters had his mischievous side. His daughter Irene
frequently told the MacJannet children about the botanical mystery he presented to the neighbors
in his vineyard. She had asked her father: "Why is it that the neighbors and visitors seem so
surprised that the grape bunches in our garden are always double clusters? How does that
happen?" “Irene” said her father, “I pinch off the ones that are not double."
        Before her marriage to the evangelist Irene Waters was a student at Bradford Academy,
now a Massachusetts junior college, and went on to teach at the Framingham normal school. But
as the bride of the Rev. Robert MacJannet, she became the de facto head of a household that in
ten years included five children; and as her husband continued his restless, free-of-charge quest to
save Schools, she faced the almost impossible task of keeping growing young bodies fed and
healthy. Piano and organ playing brought in some money, but Irene MacJannet also had to take a
job for a year selling what were popularly known as “stiffened petticoats," which made skirts
stand fashionably away from the body. The children were boarded out among friends for that
year. Later the older children pitched in, doing wretchedly paid fruit and vegetable picking and
cultivating. They were, of course, not unique. Many another small-town family was doing the
same thing, but few had to move so often.
        Amazingly, Irene MacJannet managed to read, and inspire her children to read good
literature, and to memorize classics in poetry. The stories she told her children ranged from
recital of Greek myths to the Brer Rabbit tales of Uncle Remus. "Watching mother read aloud to
us, the idea that reading was fun, so we learned early, in order to enjoy it too,” MacJannet
recalled. "By the time I was eight years old I had read most of Sir Walter Scott's novels, skipping
the love scenes but reveling in the adventures.”

        When Donald was a baby, his sister Josephine accidentally hit him in the abdomen,
which produced a hernia (called a rupture in those days) that sidelined him from the usual
boyhood activities and sports. "All healing should come from God," the Rev. Robert MacJannet
intoned, refusing for ten years to authorize an operation. It was his wife who frequently had to
massage the hernia back into place, and Donald had to wear a cumbersome truss. Not until he
was nearly ten did an operation correct the hernia.
        The young Donald went repeatedly to the library in whatever town the family happened
to be living in, using a sled in winter, or a little wagon in summer, and bringing home fresh stacks
of books to feast on. Because he was cut off from all sports or vigorous activities, reading was
almost his only entertainment.
        Irene MacJannet was sorely tried by the family's frequent moves, from Sterling to
Holyoke, Williamsburg; Northampton, Westfield and finally to Hyannis on Cape Cod. She felt
happiest when she could keep the whole family together under one roof, but it was not always
possible. Nevertheless, she always seemed to present blithe and happy presence to her children,
without whining or complaint, though with little help from her husband. In spite of difficulties,
her religious faith even seemed to match his own, but without his fanatical zeal.
        In November, 1898, the entire MacJannet family escaped annihilation, thanks to the
accident of some misplaced baggage. They were all going to Maine on the steamship City of
Portland, the cheapest way to travel from Boston to Portland at that time. All the children were
excited at the prospect of the ocean voyage. They walked up the gangplank and had begun
exploring the vessel when the Reverend MacJannet abruptly ordered them off the ship. He always
traveled with a suitcase full of religious books and sermons, but for some reason that suitcase was
not among the MacJannet baggage.
        The dejected youngsters walked back down the gangplank and watched the ship sail
without them. The City of Portland sank during a storm on Nov. a6, 1898, and the 157 persons
aboard went down with it. Newspapers of those days, before photographs came into general use,
employed artists who sketched pictures of disasters like shipwrecks in graphic detail.
Undoubtedly some of these pictures became fixed in Donald's mind, and in his eighties he
declared that every time he boarded a ship he thought he detected the rank smell of bilge water,
and was filled with melancholy forebodings.
        Another memory, a bit later, was of Donald's sixth birthday, when he was taken to nearby
Mt. Tom park, and rode the electric cable car up the 1,000 foot height. "What if the car starts
slipping back on the tracks?" he asked anxiously. The kindly conductor got down on hands and
knees with Donald, lifted up the floor boards, and carefully explained to the lad the two separate

braking systems. Donald was already showing the interest in mechanical matters which would
lead him later to build and repair his own buildings in France, including the plumbing end electric
          By the time he was eight years old young Donald recognized the acute financial hardship
his mother endured, with an improvident husband and five growing children to feed. He was
already helping around the house, filling and tending the kerosene lamps and washing the lamp
chimneys, which always seemed to smoke up. He began to learn a bit of cooking, and operated
his pregnant mother's treadle-powered sewing machine, sewing diaper hems basted by his
mother. One day a neighbor took the children kite-flying. They returned to find a new baby
sister, Jean, who soon become Donald’ special care, and remained closely associated with him
the rest of his life.
          He started to sell subscriptions to the Youth's Companion, already his favorite magazine,
and to sell the products of Larkin Soap Company house to house. In spring and summer he and
the older children, Josephine and Malcolm, who was two years older, Donald, "helped out" at
neighboring farms, cultivating and harvesting vegetables and fruits. They picked strawberries at
two cents a quart and string beans at five cents a peck— and weeded onions."All I can think of
now, when I look back, is rows and rows of onions," MacJannet said late in his life.
          When Donald discovered that dandelion greens could be sold to housewives in the spring
at ten cents a peck, he got busy with a knife and soon filled one peck after another, until he had
dumped four into a bushel basket, which should have filled it. But it didn't. The wilting greens
sank far below the rim of the basket. Donald's mother came to his rescue, suggesting that he put
the dandelions into a tub and fill it up with water. This perked up the greens again, and Donald
could sell his "watered stock" with a clear conscience.
          When the family moved to Northampton, still in the lush Connecticut river valley, a
neighboring farmer hired him to scoop up the rich soil in a flooded field, mix it with crumbled
chicken manure by hand ("a messy job," he said), and put it in small boxes, each with a rooted
lettuce or tomato plant, that the farmer would sell to housewives.
          In 1905 the family moved to Westfield, 10 miles west of Springfield, where Donald
enjoyed a wider range of opportunities and pleasures. He was now 11 years old, and his father
had finally permitted the hernia operation. Westfield was still "the buggy-whip capital of the
country," with several factories employing girls to braid whip lashes. Wagons rumbled through
the streets carrying loads of rattan canes, which formed the cores of the whips, though the finest
whips were still made with whalebone as the core.

        With the hernia repaired, Donald soon earned enough money to buy a bicycle, moving
into a mobile world of errands and pleasure. But his bicycle also got him into serious trouble.
When the circus came to town he followed the traditional path of watering the elephants to gain
admittance, and set for a couple of hours enthralled by the music of a lively band and the skilled
performances of animals and humans. His conscience may have pricked him a bit, because he
was well aware that his father disapproved of spending any time on personal gratification that
could be so much better spent on the noble task of saving souls from the everlasting flames of
hell. (The flames of hell were the evangelist's favorite topics, pictured with graphic eloquence.)
Biking home in the dark that night, the boy collided head-on with another cyclist. Donald was
picked up unconscious and badly hurt. After a while he gasped out "9a King Street" as his
address. He had forgotten that the family had moved,' but the people there remembered the new
MacJannet address. He did not recover full consciousness until the next day. The left side of his
face carried the scars of that encounter the rest of his life. The stern preacher-father interpreted
the physical damage as punishment from on high. It was not the only time Donald suffered
punishment for such transgressions against the Lord's wishes. Sunday Activities at his home had
always been restricted to reading the Bible end going to church— no games or sports, of course,
and no reading just for pleasure. One Sunday Donald a friend went skating, and were soaked to
the waist when the ice on the cranberry bog gave way. Hastening home, Donald discovered that
his father, instead of being away preaching, as he had supposed, had unexpectedly returned. The
erring son was promptly sentenced to two days without any food. Luck was with him, however.
His Mother was ill, and Donald had taken her place in the kitchen. He decided that his duty as
cook required that he make absolutely sure the food tasted good, so he tasted, liberally and often,
during the cooking process, and so survived rather well.
        In fact he was already an old hand at this method of reasoning. Years earlier he and his
older brother Malcolm had wandered along a springtime stream, under their mother's very strict
orders not to get into the water. But it was Donald, rather than Malcolm, who had pointed out that
they had been walking south, and "everybody knows" that the farther south you get, the warmer it
is. He even asserted to Malcolm that the sun was higher in the sky— so in they went.
His bicycle did help Donald earn extra money. Before and after school he worked for the
Western Union Telegraph Company for a dollar a week, sweeping out the office in the morning
and delivering an occasional telegram. Afternoons, especially in the early darkness of winter, he
hated to go to "the other side of town," where foreigners, mostly Catholics, lived. But he found,
when a door was opened on a warm interior, full of children, and with rich odors coming from the

kitchen, that here a coin was often slipped into his hand— something that never happened in the
familiar WASP neighborhoods. The contrast in cultures stuck in his mind.
        In school a pert, curly haired girl whose hair always tied with a fresh ribbon sat in the
first seat of the first row, because she was the best student. Donald sat in the seat behind her, as
the next best student— and took care not to excel her, because he enjoyed looking at her profile.
One of his teachers, Clara Fitzpatrick, noted for her fiery red hair and forbidding manner,
remembered his Westfield days nearly 30 years later and wrote to him "in a beautiful copperplate
bond" when Tufts college awarded him an honorary Master of arts degree in 1933.
        A bicycle was not the only mechanical marvel in the boy's life. Donald was now old
enough to take the trolley alone to Springfield, 10 miles away, where the cases of stuffed birds
and animals, and the array of minerals fascinated him. These helped enlarge his outlook, but the
real shocker was the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906. Newspapers printed graphic
accounts and displayed vivid pictures of the smoke end flames that were devastating the city. But
Donald could see nobody running out into the streets of Westfield to shout and point to the distant
holocaust. The world must be a vastly larger place than he had imagined, and San Francisco must
indeed be far away, if it provoked no local disturbance. Another eye-opener came when a school
friend showed him the magic of developing pictures from negatives.
        Chances for learning seemed to be everywhere. He stared amazed at a store window
exhibit that said plainly, "These are frauds." He saw a jar labeled “strawberry jam,” and it looked
real. He could see the red color, and the seeds of the strawberries. But a card in front of the jar
said, "This is a fraud." The card explained that the jar contained a mixture of sugar, gelatin, water,
and hardy rye seeds, which simulated the strawberry seeds. Several other food concoctions,
masquerading as genuine foodstuffs, were in the display prepared by a local teacher illustrating
the need for pure food laws. Books a decade earlier had described how to concoct every kind of
port, sherry, other wines, using grain alcohol, water and coloring— examples immediately put to
use by unscrupulous manufacturers. Donald absorbed a lesson he used in later teaching: show the
object itself, and then drive home the point by explaining.
        During the family's two years in Westfield, Malcolm And Josephine, the two oldest
children, reached the ninth grade and left school. Malcolm started in the H. B. Smith Iron Works
tool room, but he already dreamed of becoming a missionary later— and did. Josephine held
various jobs, and later married, but both always kept in close touch with the rest of the family.
Not many youngsters went on to high school, and fewer still to college. For the children of the
poor, low-paid small jobs filled the hours after school, and at 14 these children could expect to go
into fulltime jobs at up to a dollar a day, but often less. Advertisers in the Boston Transcript in

1906 offered room and board for five dollars a week, stores had women's shoes at $2.50 to $3.50,
and a man's suit for $10. One loaf of bread, or half a dozen large buns, cost five cents. The
housewife could get a gas range for $8.5O, her daughter, working in the mill, a gas ring to cook
her supper in an attic room for 50 cents, and the head of the house a topcoat for $5.
         For the well-to-do, dozens of ads offered 50-day European tours, all expenses paid, for
$285, and if you just wanted to appear well-dressed, promenading Beacon Hill, a double-breasted
frock coat was $20, a silk hat $6, send a dozen long-stemmed roses for your hostess cost 62
         When the MacJannet family moved to Hyannis at the southern edge of Cape Cod,
Donald, now 13, found himself digging clams, shelling scallops (he did not attempt oysters) and
caddying at the local golf club. He discovered that it took a lot of scallops to produce a quart for
his two-cent reward, but it still beat those "long rows of onions.”
One of the golfers for whom he caddied was a young man named Joseph Kennedy, father of the
late president, and Donald marveled that a young man quite able to carry a golf bag would hire a
         He was at the age when sports engrossed him. The lone years with the unrepaired hernia
had kept him from developing skills in active games, but he desperately wanted to excel, to be as
perfect in sports as he had been in studies. Repeatedly he tried baseball, but swinging a bat did
not come naturally; he tended to catch balls on his fingertips rather than in the palms of his hands,
and when he missed, he caught them in the face. It was painful to be the last one chosen, with the
chilling comment, "Do we have to take Donald?" Although he loved skating and swimming, he
soon avoided sports where he stood no chance of excelling and so, almost by default, took up
long-distance running, where manual dexterity was not a factor.
The need to earn money left little time for sports anyway. Donald worked for a while in O'Neal's
candy store, and had even more pleasure when a Hyannis druggist named Guyer offered him a
part-time job at the drugstore’ soda fountain. He made the ice cream, of course, as well as the
root beer. Just as in the candy store, the proprietor told him "eat all you want, any time," well
knowing that this gift of the gods would promptly be followed by
a surfeit and revulsion.
         Guyer the druggist also owned, and was linemen for, a small telephone company, one of
the hundreds that dotted New England in the first decade of the century. He employed Donald
three nights a week as a telephone operator. When an infrequent call came in, the boy connected
the switchboard plugs to the party being called, end then turned the crank activating a magneto
furnishing current to ring the bell of the answering party— one long ring and two short ones, or

whatever combination was called for on the party line. He had to keep awake until the call was
completed and each party had hung up, but calls were so rare that he had plenty of time to sleep.
Donald had assumed that as soon as he completed the ninth grade he would quit school end start
full-time work, as Josephine and Malcolm had already done, but Guyer, noting his dependability,
suggested that if he went to high school he could have the job of tending the drug counter, where
someone who could read prescriptions was essential.
        Donald decided that he would try high school— at least for a year. This seems a casual
approach, but all the rest of his life he followed the same pattern, turning from one project to the
next that came along, without any long-term planning. Meanwhile, he had found yet another way
of earning money. Using the crafts room of the nearby normal school, Donald found he could
quickly make and sell loom heddles for home weaving. The sandy roads of Barnstable township
around Hyannis were not easy for bicycling, but Cape Cod in those days was not crowded by
hordes of writers and artists. A cyclist did not have to go far to find the blues and grays of the
ocean, seen past tawny sand dunes, and the beaches, grayish boards of beach houses, and other
relaxing sights. During the winter he often saved precious minutes by cutting across the ice of
Lewis Bay. And sometimes the tide crossed him up by moving the ice from the opposite shore
and he had to go back, and a long way around.
        High school was new and exciting, with students moving from one classroom to another,
or gathering in the study hall presided over by William Boody, the principal. Boody had a
custom of calling up students to sit beside him while he questioned them about their plans. With
Donald he knew he was dealing with an exceptional and hardworking student. "What college do
you plan to attend?" he asked. "Why, I haven’ planned to go to college," Donald replied. "Here
in high school it's all free— tuition end books and everything. I can’ afford to go to college. I'd
have to pay for tuition and books and so on.”
        Boody would have none of this talk. "You can do it," he said firmly. The seed he planted
took immediate root. Donald switched to college preparatory courses.
It was in Hyannis that Donald last saw his father alive. I remember it was at Sunday morning
prayers,” he said. "My father was on his knees— we were all of us on our knees— and where I
was placed, all I could see were the worn soles on his shoes and the seat of his pants. I remember
thinking how very shiny they were. And at that moment my mind began wandering, as it always
did during prayers, to other things: friends, fantasies, travels in imagination."
Donald reflected later that memories of his father were vague. Malcolm had closer contact with
him and a better understanding of his sincere and selfless devotion to his calling. Only many
years later did Donald truly realize how much privation and illness his father had endured without

complaint and how much he owed to the evangelist for his insistence on high standards of
behavior in every situation.


In the midst of a happy summer at Cape Cod, a double blow struck the MacJannet family. The
Reverend Robert MacJannet died unexpectedly, on August 6, 1909. Soon afterward, Irene
MacJannet, laboring under the grief of her husband's death, and worn down by the long years of
fighting to keep the family housed and fed, suffered a severe nervous breakdown, almost
completely isolating her from her children. They became, in effect, doubly orphaned. In her last
years she lived as an invalid in the care of her daughter Josephine.
        Fortunately, although Robert MacJannet's carefree attitude of "God will provide” had not
produced much money, he had developed friends who rallied to give the broken family some
stability. They banked the Medford home of the Andrew Bairds, where the funeral was held, with
so many flowers that Jean, who had just turned seven, remembered many years later that she
could not abide the smell of carnations until after she had become a mature woman. She also
recalled that it took much urging to overcome her childish reluctance to kiss her father goodbye.
Jean was taken in charge by a Scottish family named Baird. Donald went to live at the home of
Mrs. Marian Mitchell, a Canadian friend of the family who had been left a widow With a small
son. Malcolm also stayed at the Mitchell home for a time, but soon he became apprenticed to
carpenter friends of his father’ and left. He still cherished the goal of becoming a missionary,
and he found his carpentry skills useful later during more than 30 years in Africa. The oldest
daughter, Josephine, was already at work in nearby Melrose.
        The bereft MacJannet children slipped easily into the small college town atmosphere of
Medford— after all, change of location was no novelty to them. The city, then with a Population
of about 22,000, was spread out along both sides of the tidewater Mystic river, extending up into
the hills where Tufts college buildings served some 1,200 students. Nearby were the heavily-
wooded Middlesex Fells, a favorite hiking and recreation area. Elm-shaded streets, bordered by
sturdy middle class homes, covered most of the town. A carriage and wagon works, and factories
for woolen goods and machinery furnished plenty of jobs. A network of streetcar lines connected
Medford to centers like Cambridge and Boston.
        When Donald entered Medford high school he made a new circle of friends, who
welcomed him into their families both in Medford and on Congemonde Lake near Westfield
where the same group formed a closely-knit summer community, with the teenagers working
part-time in the tobacco fields or shipping ice to the city. Donald also had to find well-paying

jobs. Mrs. Mitchell had no income other than the money Donald paid her, so he was soon
supporting himself, Mrs. Mitchell, and her small son. At age 15 he was in effect head of a
household and its sole support. Within a year Jean's position in the Bairds' household became
unhappy, and Donald was forced to move her to a boarding house, and assume full cost for her
           Donald had taken on several jobs, one of them being that of night telephone operator, this
time for the Bell system. He had a cot in the office, but now his sleep was interrupted at least
once each hour by a routine check from the supervisor in Cambridge, making sure he was still on
the job. And sometimes the supervisor would remark icily, "You were slow in answering." There
was no sleep at all the night of the Jeffries-Johnson world championship fight. He also earned
money tending furnaces— and sifting ashes for bits of coal. And yet another occupation not only
brought money but improved his memory and his long distance running stamina; reading meters
all day Saturday for the nearby Charleston Light Company at one penny per meter. Most of the
meters were in dark corners of basements, and he had to juggle a flashlight, a large record book
and a pencil. His solution was to memorize the meter figures, and write them down when he got
back to daylight. In tenement buildings he sometimes found a dozen meters in one basement, and
could soon memorize and record them all, with only an occasional mistake.
To make money at a penny a meter he had to move fast, and soon he took to running or jogging
between basements. This greatly increased the number of meters he could cover in the same
length of time, and improved his lungs and leg muscles for the long distance running which
remained almost his sole sports activity. Eventually he did so well that he broke the high school's
mile record. "It wasn’ much of a record," he conceded, "and another student broke my record the
next year. The only reason I did well in running was that I was willing to run even when it was so
painful that I felt it would be preferable just to lie down and die— but I didn't." Because of a lack
of coaching in proper breathing he never was able to develop real bursts of speed in all his high
school and college running. And years later, when he headed a notable summer camp where more
than half the time was devoted to athletics, he found It ironic that he himself should have been so
poor at sports.
           Of course his life wasn’ all work end no play. Donald and three friends formed a singing
quartet to entertain various groups. He still read extensively, and his studies, though he had to
skip many classes, did not suffer. He ended at the head of his class, as valedictorian. Rufus
Harrington, one of the quartet members, urged him to specialize in chemistry and physics, telling
him “That's where the good jobs are," and Donald began specializing in those fields. Obviously
he was popular with his classmates; he became an officer in both the glee club one the debating

society, and was elected secretary of his class. He even became editor of the high school's
monthly literary magazine— and wrote many of its articles and stories. Jules Verne's story of an
imaginary voyage to the moon fired Donald's imagination to the point that after college he
became an aviator. But he could use his own imagination while earning a living. Working in
1910 at Boston's famous Faneuil Hall market instead of going to the school's football game, he
plotted out a story while wrapping orders at the meat counter, picturing himself descending from
an airplane at a crucial point in the game and rushing in to save it. With thrifty skill, he used the
story thus planned for the literary magazine he edited.
        Even while he was plotting his story Donald was hearing the cries of the merchants
around him, surprised that they were offering prices far below those at the corner store— grapes at
10 cents a pound, steaks at 20 cents. Sometimes they were "loss leaders"; at other times a stall
keeper might just report that he was sold out if a customer asked for such bargains. But "flexible"
prices were also common. In spite of war clouds threatening Europe, prices in the summer of
1914 were still low. Most of the “situations wanted" ads offered the services of coachman (all of
whom insisted that they abhorred alcohol, and were neat and industrious). A new breed calling
themselves chauffeur-gardeners was appearing, demanding pay that soared to $16 a week for
their esoteric knowledge of the topless and horseless carriages being sold for around $1,000.
But men's socks, an ad in the Boston Transcript reported, could be had for 25 cents a pair, shoes
for men were $2.50. (thanks to the enormous shoe industry springing up in Massachusetts),
"basement sale" suits went for as low as $10 and a ladies' white petticoat sold for $1. \
        Supermarkets did not yet exist, and the Transcript advised housewives to consult a short
column printed on Fridays for marketing news. One such column reported that hamburger had
jumped from 15 to 18 cents a pound, and prime steaks had gone up from 33 to 38 cents. Donald
remembered wrapping countless packages of hamburger at “three for a quarter, come and get it!"
Not long after he entered Medford high school Donald awakened the interest of Rosewell B.
Lawrence, member of the prominent Lawrence family of Medford, whose ancestral holdings once
included the area out of which the popular Middlesex Fells hiking and recreation area had been
carved. Lawrence, a member of the school Committee of the high school district, had no children
of his own, and liked to encourage youths who seemed to have the drive and intelligence needed
for success. He began to urge Donald, who was in his Sunday School class, to go on to college,
especially to Tufts college, at hand in Medford, of which Lawrence was also a trustee. (Donald
was unaware until later that Lawrence was a classmate and close friend of Donald's Uncle Ernest
at Harvard.)

        During Donald's last two years at high school Lawrence vastly enlarged the youth's
horizons by getting him a job as a waiter for a month each summer at the Appalachian Mountain
Club's sumptuous lodge at Mile Island, one of the 365 islands in Lake Winnipesaukee, which
stretches for 25 miles at the foot of the White mountains in New Hampshire near the Maine
border. For a youth of 16 or 17, the work of waiter was easy, and he had plenty of time for
swimming, mountain climbing and sailing. And he could scarcely believe the enormous meals
wolfed down by club members, in those days when heavy meals were standard. "It was all in
copious family style," Donald recalled. "For breakfast, big helpings of hot cereals, then hot rolls
and doughnuts, and then great platters of steaks and chops, German fried Potatoes, and coffee.”
Besides the mountain climbing, boating and swimming gave everybody extra appetites.
Substantial girth was fashionable, and meals accommodated the fashion for the club members,
mostly teachers, professors, Writers, with a few bankers, from the Boston area.
        After high school graduation Donald spent part of the summer peddling The Standard
Dictionary of Facts in the area of his old Westfield haunts, figuring that the rural inhabitants
ought to be willing buyers for such a product. They were-not. For 10 consecutive days the doors
were politely closed in his face. On the 11th day the Westfield superintendent of schools bought
a copy. "I went behind a lilac bush and wept," Donald recalled.
        From then on it was easy sailing. When the housewife asked whether anyone else had
bought the book, Donald mentioned the superintendent's purchase, and sales were brisk. During
the canvassing process Donald had stayed weekends at the familiar lake near Westfield where he
greatly admired an attractive girl named Lillian Murphy, a Methodist church organist. Donald
invited her to join him an a horse and buggy ride when be delivered the volumes already ordered.
This Was a delightful task, for he got half the
retail price as his commission.
        But in that day-long drive, with a stop for a noon picnic, he could have used another
good-sized lilac bush. He explained: "The young lady who accompanied me was in my opinion of
such angelic non-worldly heights that I was completely inhibited from using the expression that
we employed at home, ‘ want to go to the bathroom.’ Besides, that would be ridiculous in the
countryside near Westfield where we were driving. Nowadays I would say, 'I am going to take a
little walk behind the trees over there; when I come back you can do the same if you went to.' But
that day I suffered in silence, and I presume she did too."

The Buoyant Young Collegian

Donald MacJannet entered Tufts College in the fall of 1912 at the age of 18 already a self-
confident, mature, and thoroughly capable individual. He had abundantly proved that he could
more than earn his own way, be a top student, provide for a sister and two other persons, and still
enjoy life.
          One thing he had lost along the way, and gladly, was the sense of helplessness, of being
without any protector such as other children enjoyed through their parents. Late in his life he still
remembered his terror as a small boy on hearing the cry, “Here comes the minister’ son! Get
your icy snowballs ready!” He was the frequent prey of bullies, older and stronger than he was,
who would seize him by coat collar and seat of the trousers, sneer “Let’ take a little run,” dash
him against a tree or wall, and then jeer at him for “not looking where you are going.”
Schoolground teachers were no help. They shared the general feeling that “Boys will be boys,”
who had to learn gradually to be civilized. He resolved at an early age that if he ever had young
children under his care, he would make sure that they always felt safe and protected. This
principle became the cornerstone of his later activity as head of his own school and camps in
          Though he did not get a scholarship at Tufts, despite his top high school ranking,
MacJannet was able to pay the half-yearly tuition fee of $62.50. And thanks to Rosewell
Lawrence, he had assurance of a steady income. Besides being head of the high school trustees,
Lawrence was the president of the board which governed the Universalist church across the street
from the schoolhouse. When MacJannet decided to go to Tufts—he may have yearned for
Harvard instead, but he could not meet Harvard’ requirement of four years of high school Latin—
Lawrence promised him the job of janitor at the church for the full four years at Tufts. Because
he still needed money for his sister Jean’ boarding school, and household expenses for Mrs.
Mitchell and her small son, MacJannet also took on other jobs but the janitor guarantee was a
major assurance.
          His work at the church included cleaning the building, tending the two furnaces, getting
things ready for occasional suppers in the parish hall, and being present for weddings and
funerals; he got the same extra pay for either service. As a member of the college glee club he
found it a bit awkward sometimes, dressed in tails and stiff white shirt, when he had to stoke the

ravenous furnaces, and then dash to take a trolley for a Saturday night concert that helped pay the
club’ travel expenses. Sometimes there was also a midweek concert.
        College friends occasionally helped him with the church cleaning, prancing down the
isles with vacuum cleaners to organ tunes generated by Elliott Hayes, a talented musician who
was MacJannet’ best friend in college. MacJannet had received permission from the church to
hold small private dances now and then in the parish hall; he was thus able to offer them as
gratitude for help in cleaning. “Eli” Hayes, playing the organ brilliantly, would pump out tangos
and foxtrots. Hayes invented several names for the dances, calling them the MacJannet or
           s                         s
MacJanitor’ Jamborees, or the Sexton’ Shuffles. During his four years at Tufts MacJannet
continued to live at the home of Mrs. Mitchell, but he spent a lot of pleasant time in the college
room of Hayes, who had composed a popular song for the college.
        Still convinced that he should aim for a future career in chemistry, MacJannet specialized
in his first two years at Tufts in chemistry, physics and mathematics. He liked chemistry, but
soon discovered some health difficulties, because the chemistry laboratory, housed in an old
building down near the railroad tracks, was poorly ventilated, and the fumes gave him many a
cold and sore throat.
        By the end of his second year MacJannet was beginning to wonder about chemistry as a
life occupation, and he was also beset by jeers from his high school friend Albert Swenson, now
also at Tufts. “Look at me,” Swenson would say. “I’ been out every afternoon watching the
baseball team, or walking in Middlesex Fells, while you have been stuck in that smelly lab. Why
don’ you change to modern languages?”
        Those pressures led MacJannet to change his major from chemistry to modern languages,
taking French, German and Spanish, as well a number of other subjects, such as economics,
psychology and American history, English and ornithology. When he told the gentle and likeable
Prof. Frank Durkee, head of the chemistry department, that he had decided to drop that study, the
teacher said rather wistfully, “I am sorry. You were my best student.”
        Although he delighted in the variety of the many courses, MacJannet soon discovered
some academic catches. He learned that if he aimed for a teaching career in modern languages,
he should get a bachelor of arts, rather than a bachelor of science degree. And for that he would
need four years of Latin. He promptly crowded four years of Latin into his senior year, and still
ended as head of his class.
        In the last weeks of his senior year he hit a further snag. The authorities told him that
because he had “spread himself so thin” and had not concentrated enough courses in his language
field, but instead had tasted a variety of other subjects, he would not be eligible for the summa

cum laude top academic honor, even though he had been elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the honor
society, in his junior year. Though he missed the top award, the variety of courses proved an
advantage in later years, when he operated his own school, and could judge the qualifications of
prospective teachers in almost every field, because he had taken so many different courses.
        The luxury of that smorgasbord of studies did not obviate the necessity of cash.
MacJannet earned some money tutoring, but he needed at least a thousand dollars a year more, to
support his sister Jean, and Mrs. Mitchell and her son. And he knew that he needed at least half
the summer for rest and recreation. His profitable solution was to spend the first part of his
summers in selling aluminum cooking ware, still something of a novelty, to Medford housewives,
and then have at least a month’ vacation as waiter at the Appalachian Mountain club resort.
        With his usual thoroughness, he mapped out his aluminum campaign in advance, telling
officers of various church and other women’ clubs that he wanted to help them raise money. He
would give the club official a packet of tickets to sell for 25 cents each, with the money going to
the club. Each ticket would entitle the buyer to attend a free cooking demonstration plus the gift
of one aluminum saucepan.
        MacJannet always delighted in describing how he had staged his dramatic cooking
performances, pointing out that the prospect of a free saucepan made a good attendance certain.
As he explained it:
        At that time aluminum was practically unknown; just coming into use in the home. This
company was called Wearever Aluminum Co. from Pittsburgh. They put out a line of coffee
percolators, a special omelette pan, greaseless griddles, triplicate saucepans and steam cookers,
and I never tried to sell one thing separately; the whole set. I would demonstrate first of all that
aluminum was very strong by leaping up and down on the top of an aluminum teakettle. Then I
would set the teakettle on the gas stove with no water in it, to get it pretty hot, throw a piece of
paper on it, which would immediately catch fire and send up smoke and flame, and tended to
prove how strong and durable aluminum was. Then I would put nitric acid in a glass and add an
                           t                               d
aluminum spoon; acid doesn’ have any effect on aluminum. I’ put a copper coin in, a penny,
and a nickel, and that would start dissolving and sending up noxious fumes, but the aluminum
was untouched. . . .
        Then I had a long rod of aluminum and a long rod of steel. I would put one end of each
in the same flame and I’ ask one of the ladies, to hold the other end. The aluminum would very
soon be too hot to handle, whereas the steel one never got hot at the other end because aluminum
conducts heat very much faster. And that’ why, I explained, because it conducts heat, it doesn’t
burn easily, the heat is conducted over all the surface of the bottom of a fry pan or a griddle.

And then I would cook, using the aluminum utensils. I made coffee in the percolator, and cooked
pancakes on the aluminum griddle, without using any grease. Much more healthful that way, I
told them. However, I used plenty of butter in the batter, so they wouldn’ stick to the griddle, as
they otherwise would have done. I also showed how to steam blueberry pudding in the aluminum
steamer. The women got pancakes and maple syrup, and coffee, but I didn’ serve any blueberry
pudding—I just described the creamy yellow color of the pudding with the glistening blue of the
berries dotting it, and the delicious odor given off by the steaming, and let them use their
        At that time, local ordinances forbade unlicensed salesmen like myself from making
immediate deliveries, but I could take orders and deliver later. While the ladies were enjoying
their coffee and pancakes I would pass around a calendar with dates I would be available marked
off, an hour for each person, when I would deliver the free saucepan. If I had gone door to door
selling aluminum ware I would not have gotten anywhere, but this way I was invited right in.
I had made a study of the psychology of selling, so the first thing I would do would be to put
down a black velvet cloth, and spread out the whole $20 set of utensils. And as I spread them
out, the housewife would say now and then ‘ how much is that one? I think I would like that
one.’ But I would say that it is part of a set, and ask her to let me get it all in place first. And
then I would try to sell the whole set. Very rarely would I be able to sell the whole $20 set. But
then I would take away some of the utensils, to make a $10 set, and I sold quite a few of those.
And if that didn’ work, I would take still more away, and try to sell a $5 set. I did sell a lot of
those. The thing that most of them wanted was a set of three triangular pans, with one
interchangeable handle, that fitted together over one gas burner. In one month’ work I made
$1,000 to $1,500, which was very good money indeed in those days.
        When the company sent the ordered utensils, MacJannet would hire a horse and wagon to
deliver them. One year nearly ended in tragedy, when the horse, going down a hill, took fright,
got the bit between his teeth and raced down the hill toward the busy street at the bottom, filled
with cars, pedestrians, and wagons. A policeman directing traffic at the intersection saw the
runaway coming, rushed up to grab the horse’ bridle, but missed. MacJannet, with the precious
pots and pans making a horrendous din behind him, yanked on the reins in vain, but horse and
wagon somehow managed to dodge through all the traffic unscathed, and the driver finally got the
beast under control.
        After that experience MacJannet found the comparative peacefulness of the Appalachian
Mountain Club lodge at Three Mile Island especially welcome. During the first two years at
college he had gone there at the invitation of Rosewell Lawrence, for a different kind of outing.

With only an open fireplace in the main room, the lodge was bitterly cold. Water froze in the
bedroom pitchers, and occasionally broke them. The vacationers went out onto the lake and
chopped holes in the thick ice for fishing, or went snow shoeing on the nearby slopes. Skiing had
not yet become popular, because proper bindings were developed later to control the ski
        MacJannet discovered that showshoes furnished plenty of fun. “With snowshoes you
could go anywhere,” he pointed out. “It was harder work than skis, and you didn’ travel as far,
but you had a lot of fun. You could go up a hill easily, and to go downhill, you just put one
snowshoe in front of the other, and if it was steep enough you could slide down in the fluffy
powder snow.”
        Those rugged winters excursions also gave MacJannet a chance to size up some of the
other young men whom Lawrence was helping through his quiet influence to aim higher and
work harder on the road to success. Most of them, he concluded later, did indeed turn out to be
real achievers. MacJannet’ own sights did not go higher than a language instructorship in some
prep school or small college, but Lawrence was a keener judge of potentials.
        The Tufts experience helped MacJannet develop his own potentials for judging future
performance. He learned that professors are not infallible when his friend Elliott Hayes wrote a
theme based on a strike at a shirtwaist factory. The professor marked it “barely satisfactory.”
Hayes sent it off to a magazine, and proudly showed a check for $50 for the article. He admired
the way Prof. Bowles, the blind history teacher, made compulsory chapel attendance almost a
pleasure by telling short, amusing parables like this:
        Two pilgrims setting out on a walk to Mecca were required to wear dried peas in their
shoes, for penance. One stumbled, mumbled and groaned, and finally turned to his comrade and
said, “You don’ show any effect from those dried peas. Did you put them in your shoes?”
“Yes indeed,” said the other, “but before doing so I took the precaution of boiling them.”
        MacJannet was to recall this many times later, when he put into practice the French
phrase il y a toujours un moyen—“There’ always a way”—to get around the myriad regulations
which French bureaucrats have devised to delay, obstruct or forbid whatever you want to do.
        MacJannet applied himself so well to his studies that he was elected in his junior year to
Phi Beta Kappa, the honorary society for academic achievement. He had avoided the social
fraternities, considering them undemocratic, and had joined the Student Commons, which was
open to everybody.
        At graduation, MacJannet stood at the head of his class as valedictorian, and was also so
popular that his classmates elected him class orator, a prospect which somewhat dismayed him

because he had to speak in a large tent, and was expected to be humorous. In spite of being a
member of the debating society, and the glee club, he still had not mastered proper breathing
techniques for public speaking, but a crash course from a professional produced an acceptable
delivery of his orations.
        When he went to say goodbye to Prof. Charles Fay, the French teacher who had guided
him into French literature and had made MacJannet feel that at least he would be able to teach
French, he said “you have made it possible to earn my daily bread.” And Faye replied, with his
customary gentleness, “I hope that bread will be sweet.”

Teacher into Aviator

Donald MacJannet, just turned 22, a handsome, blue-eyed persuasive young Lochinvar with
jangling Phi Beta Kappa Key instead of sword and lance, was ready to sally out of the East in
1916 to conquer the academic world, but found it yawningly indifferent. Teacher recruiters from
private schools, who came to Tufts just before graduation to interview likely candidates were
impressed by his academic record, but all said, in effect, “We like your record and your
personality. We are much interested. Please get in touch after you have some teaching
        Luck was with him, though, with the head of St. Albans, then a top Washington, D.C.
college preparatory school. It had been launched originally by the National Cathedral, then under
construction, as an Episcopal boys choir school. Still persistent in spite of many turn downs,
MacJannet talked at some length with the Rev. William H. Church, headmaster. To his surprise
Church said at last, “Would you sign a contract to come to St. Albans in September, teaching
lower school subjects—everything?”
        “I would be very happy to come,” MacJannet replied, but could not resist asking, “Would
you mind telling me why you hired me at once, when all the other schools where I have applied
demanded that I get some teaching experience first?”
        “When I came to St. Albans last year,” Church answered, “it had an experienced staff,
but that staff was under the thumb of the athletic director. St. Albans was famous for its football
team, basketball team, baseball team, and the athletic director ran the school. He told me what I
should do and what I should not do, just as he told the other staff members. And I said to myself
that I would have my own staff, men that I can train myself, and who will do what I think is the
right thing to do.”
        Thus, thanks to the over-dominance of athletics, in which he himself had been so poor,
MacJannet started teaching in the city’ top preparatory school, most of whose students were the
sons of high-ranking government officials. Two were Eliot and James Roosevelt, sons of
Franklin D. Roosevelt, then serving as Undersecretary of the Navy under President Wilson.
(MacJannet did not have James Roosevelt in his classes.) Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt often drove to
the school in her Model T Ford to pick up her sons. MacJannet frequently helped Mrs. Roosevelt
by cranking the car, carefully avoiding a kickback that could break an arm. (Fords did not

acquire self-starters until later.) Jonathan Daniels, son of Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the
Navy, was also at the school. Neither Eliot nor Jonathan did very well as students, MacJannet
found, though Daniels later performed ably when he became editor of his father’ newspaper, the
Raleigh (North Carolina) News and Observer. Mrs. Roosevelt amply repaid all that Ford
cranking 25 years later, helping MacJannet to obtain financing when he turned over his camps in
France to house French war orphans during World War II.
        MacJannet got a sharp reminder of the value of experience when he soon found that he
had difficulty maintaining order in the classroom. There was then no profusion of teacher guides
or how-to books on teaching or on the psychology of teaching. MacJannet’ boys would throw
things and yell, to the point where the next door teacher, a man named Lake (who was so mild
that students had nicknamed him “The Lady of the Lake”), protested, and headmaster Church
came forward with a suggestion that worked very well.
        Usually just one boy was the bad actor, and Church said: “Take him up to the classroom
with you when it is empty, and you are preparing lessons or reading. Have him sit in a corner,
facing the corner, and go ahead with your work. Don’ speak to him. Let him just meditate there.
If you do that for a few days he’ be quite different.” MacJannet tried this remedy, and found it
worked. Feeling as he did that physical punishment, or toleration of bullying and violence had no
place in education, he was delighted with Church’ solution, and made it one of his principles
when he opened his own school.
        MacJannet’ salary the first year was $800 ($900 the second) paid in equal monthly
installments, plus room and board and free laundry service—up to 21 pieces of laundry each week,
with each sock and handkerchief counting as a piece. “The upper school boys, some 18 to 20
years old, were always hungry, almost my own age,” MacJannet recalled. I was soon on many
guest lists for dances, where I always wore tails, which had big pockets. I would sidle up to the
refreshment stands at the end, and fill those pockets with cookies—avoiding those with frosting—
and they were always appreciated by the boys.”
        When his contract was renewed for the second year as head of the school’ French
department, MacJannet went at St. Albans’expense to the Harvard summer school to brush up on
French. For the rest of the summer he became hut master for the Appalachian Mountain club at
the organization’ hut on Mt. Madison, in the Presidential range of the White Mountains. He
became skilled at cooking simple meals for the climbers scaling the rugged slopes.
        Along with learning to prepare the meals, MacJannet also got two separate lessons that
helped to change the course of his life, one in the summer at the hut, the second after he returned
to school. The first came from Dr. A. A. Crane, a guest at the hut who had just returned from the

battlefronts of what was then called the World War. American industry was busy turning out
armaments for the Allies, and had formally entered the war in April, 1917, but MacJannet had
absorbed the views of his fellow teachers at St. Albans that this was “Wall Street’ war.” What
Crane said about the fighting, and the menace of a German victory, led MacJannet to entertain
some doubts. He began to think that every able-bodied American had a duty to get into the war
effort. Besides, it would mean a free trip to France!
        The second lesson was based on fear—not of guns and battle, but plain old stage fright.
St. Albans decided to put on a variety show, to be performed by the students, to raise money for
one of the war charities. Despite his protests, MacJannet was virtually ordered to become
director of this enterprise. During rehearsals and other preparations he became increasingly
worried, afraid that the whole venture would turn into a gigantic failure. He found it more and
more difficult to go through with the project. When the variety show succeeded, MacJannet
could vision the chilling probability of more of them in the future.
        The desire to be free of such responsibilities may have merely been the final push that
caused MacJannet to go to Headmaster Church late that fall and tell him that he planned to
volunteer for the U.S. Air Service, then a branch of the Army Signal Corps, for America had no
separate air force.
        Church protested that MacJannet had a duty to the students. “You can’ leave the
students in the lurch,” he said. “At least you must stay with the school until you are actually
called into service.” MacJannet said that of course he would do just that, so every week he told
his classes, “This is perhaps my last week, so let’ make it a good one.” But as the weeks wore
on, the plea to the students became so thin that MacJannet had to discard it, and he did not
actually receive his call to active duty until mid-June, 1918.
        But before MacJannet could enter the air service his older brother Malcolm was already
in uniform—and not liking it. He had been drafted out of the missionary school he was attending,
and classified as an infantryman, despite his plea to be put into the medical corps when the Army
rejected his claim of conscientious objection. Ordered to fire at dummy figures, he threw down
his rifle, was court-martialed and sentenced to Leavenworth for life. Here he joined Quakers,
Seventh Day Adventists and other objectors to war, for the Army had a quick way with dissenters
        Malcolm had gone along with Army salutes, officers and man looking other in the eye,
raising their arms in the same gesture. In Leavenworth he refused orders to “salute” the warden
by crossing his arms on his chest and bowing his head, saying he only bowed his head to God.

That got him into solitary confinement. He and the other objectors took a certain wry pleasure in
deviling the prison authorities by demands and refusals.
          After the war ended, the Quakers and other organizations were able to exert enough
pressure to get a general release for virtually all conscientious objectors, including Malcolm. He
returned to the missionary school, and then served in Africa for more than 30 years among
Angolans, creating a grammar and translating the Bible into their previously unwritten language.
With typical MacJannet thoroughness, he tested pronunciation of each translated word with at
least seven natives. Trained as a medical missionary, he treated natives mauled by lions or
pierced by spears, and had close calls himself from lions and stampeding elephants.
          He married a fellow missionary in Africa, and after some 35 years spent in Africa they
retired to Texas. After his wife died of cancer, Malcolm remarried, and eventually moved to a
retirement home in Hayward, south of Oakland, California. At 89 he was still riding buses to
attend Bible discussion meetings, and handing out biblical tracts.
          The dishonorable discharge still rankled, and when Eisenhower became president,
Donald MacJannet wrote the White House, reminding him that his son John had been a pupil at
the MacJannet school, and that the president, then a major with the War Monuments
Commission, had called to thank MacJannet, and had carried back to Washington the portable
typewriter of a teacher’ wife. The dishonorable discharge was promptly expunged from the
          When Donald MacJannet received the Army’ telegram to report the middle of June,
1918, for aviation ground school training at Princeton, N.J., he stepped into a new and at first
shocking world. Accustomed to morning and evening chapel, and the refined atmosphere of
Washington’ St. Albans school, he was horrified to find himself assailed by the barracks room
profanities and vulgarities typical of the speech of military trainees. “They were all college men,
but they had a vocabulary that shocked me,” MacJannet confessed. “At first I was quite turned
off from them, but I soon found out that they were wonderful fellows, and I forgot their
language.” Although he never adopted their language himself, he was flexible enough to accept
the language of a different world, and to recognize the basic honesty and kindliness of his new
          Music became an instant bond for all of them, and MacJannet was always in the
forefront. With so many colleges represented they could choose from a vast assortment of
football and other campus songs, roaring out into the hot summer nights from the open windows
of the college dormitories housing the cadets. That war period, and the years immediately
following it, probably represented the greatest outpouring of group and community singing in a

century. “Tipperary,” “Pack Up Your Troubles,” and “Over There” competed with still-popular
Civil War songs and the sentimental ballads of Stephen Foster and more recent composers.
        Only 54 of the 200 who entered the class with MacJannet survived the cuts. True to
form, MacJannet ended as head of the class in all divisions of the ground training course. They
were transferred to Dallas, Texas, in what the Army then called a concentration camp. His group
found themselves quartered at the agricultural fairgrounds, in the section reserved for prize hogs.
All found the constant drilling boring, and began to worry that the war would be over before they
could ever get to France. The German drive on Paris had been stopped, and since then fresh
American troops had been pouring into the front lines, beginning to turn the tide.
        The word passed down from the higher-ups was that any airman could get to France in a
hurry if he volunteered to go as an observer. MacJannet and some of his group promptly
volunteered—and found themselves on a sort of military shuttle train. First they went to Fortress
Monroe to train in handling heavy artillery. They swabbed out guns, spent hours calculating how
to aim them, allowing for wind, powder and gun variations, and even the rotation of the earth.
        The November 11 Armistice caught them at Monroe, ending any hope of getting to
France, to their disgust, so the group went on to Post Field, Oklahoma, for light artillery work.
The unpaved streets were so muddy that pedestrians crossed them on stoneboats hauled by oxen—
at a dollar a crossing. MacJannet received one silver wing, certifying him as a trained observer.
        Then the flying enthusiasts decided to take training as aviators, at a pleasant stretch in
Memphis, calling on “lovely southern girls” on Sundays, and roving the countryside on
weekdays, piling crashed planes on trucks to be hauled away. Ralph Damon, later president of
TransWorld Airways, was one of the fledgling pilots with MacJannet, and remained a friend.
        Shuttled to Carlston Field, Arcadia, Florida, “where the natives hated us,” MacJannet
found himself badgered by a savage instructor who repeatedly assured him that he would kill
himself because he was so terrible. Coached by a friend, MacJannet improved, and at last the
grudging instructor asked him for a handkerchief, and tied it to the plane’ tail, signifying, “pilot
starting first solo flight. Give him a wide berth.” Soon he completed work for his second wing,
but with no war, and no academic job so late in the session, he was forced to stay in the service
for a few months. Like hundreds of thousands of other Americans, he was stricken with the
influenza epidemic which swept the country in 1918, and nearly died, in a roomful of 40 other
victims, where the chief remedy seemed to be Epsom salts and whiskey.
        Back at Post Field, Oklahoma at Christmas, with his sister Jean getting half of his
monthly $31 pay, he was offered a holiday furlough, but had no money to pay even the reduced
military fare to visit her in New England. He and two companions decided they could afford a

trip to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and the economical Army provided them with plenty of
hardtack and corned beef for the excursion. MacJannet remembered a doleful Christmas eve,
munching hardtack, corned beef and prunes in their cheap room, while across the way they could
see wealthy tourists gorging at candle-lit tables in the swank El Tovar Hotel. However, Henry
Baldwin, his companion, recalls that the obliging cashier of the cafeteria rang up only 35 cents for
the dollar breakfasts they were consuming, and that they had enough energy to walk to the bottom
of the mile-deep canyon, back up, and climb a peak. The third member of the trio had gone back
to the military post early, having sprained his ankle the first day. Baldwin and MacJannet
ceremoniously delivered a letter to him from two elderly women who had mistaken him for a
wounded soldier. It proved to be an invitation to Christmas dinner—if the men had been back at
the canyon.
        In March, 1919, MacJannet, now a reserve second lieutenant, and a comrade with the
same rating set off, resplendent in their uniforms and glistening aviator’ wings insignia, to tour
the west. When their money ran out, MacJannet got a job working in the wheat harvest of the
plains, and found it a lot more rugged than piloting a plane, though the $10 a day was fabulously
good pay, he thought. He resigned as a harvest hand, and went to Colorado, to Pike’ Peak, as a
chef. On Saturday nights, when he received his pay, he smiled as he reflected that he was “the
highest paid chef in the world”—the height of the restaurant was 14,109 feet. A dozen other chefs
had already come and gone that summer, unwilling to cope with the altitude difficulties which
made movement, lifting, and even breathing painful. All foods had to be either fried or baked
because water boiled at so low a temperature that even coffee was scarcely hot enough. Later in
the summer MacJannet went to Yellowstone Park, where he had a team to haul wood and ice—and
got hot water from Old Faithful. Threatened once by a grizzly, he reflected “I was very happy to
remember that grizzlies do not climb trees.”
        Returning to St. Albans in September, 1919, MacJannet experienced both the good and
bad aspects of post-war inflation. He pay went up to $1,200 for the year, but to replace the
civilian clothing he had auctioned off when going into the air force would be very expensive. A
new suit would cost $100, he discovered. To pay for it, and other expenses, he obtained the
football schedules of colleges in and near Washington, and arranged to print them on 2,000 desk
blotters. He sold the blank squares next to the football schedules to Washington department
stores for advertising, rented a motorcycle and sidecar, and delivered the free blotters to the
college campuses.
        MacJannet had agreed with St. Albans authorities that he would leave at the end of the
academic year to get further training in French at the Sorbonne in Paris. His last year at St.

Albans passed smoothly and rapidly in teaching French, German and English, cheered at the end,
when all his students did well on their college board exams.
        In the spring of 1920 an advertisement by a teacher in an eastern seaboard private school
caught his eye. The man wanted assistants to help guide a group of college students through
Europe, but he demanded $1,750. When MacJannet wrote that he had only $400, the promoter
agreed to take him for that amount, which should have made MacJannet suspicious. At the New
York rendezvous in July, MacJannet and the students found that the promoter had switched boats
and signed up with a tour agency, to save money. This involved a four-day delay, and MacJannet
promptly took a job as waiter at a Long Island hotel—startling a Washington debutante who
spotted him in his tuxedo and cried “What are you doing here?”
        The tour agency provided three aged taxis at Southampton for the English segment of the
tour, but near the end, two of the cars broke down, and MacJannet and the 13 youths, some of
them on the roof, rode into London at midnight in the remaining cab. The promoter kept
disappearing, and finally vanished in Rome, paying back MacJannet’ $400, but in depressed
Italian Lira, which brought him less than $300. Fortunately, MacJannet had the return boat
tickets of the 13 students in his own possession. He found a ship in Genoa for them to return on,
and then went on a sightseeing tour himself, in Italy, Germany, Belgium and Holland before
ending in Paris in time to register at the Sorbonne for the two-year course given to potential
instructors in French, which he expected would lead to a teaching post in some American college.
Instead, it led to an educational leadership life in France that lasted, with a World War II
interruption, for more than 60 years.

Two Live on $10 a Month

“Dearest Sister: There are three ‘ girls here and they all live together, spending their time
making the sailor boys feel at home. Great big fine-looking boys in snowy white—it’ a pity they
turn to lower pleasures, when such fine girls are ready to talk and play checkers and sympathize.”
        Thus MacJannet wrote from Venice to his 18-year-old sister Jean, back in Massachusetts,
describing his roundabout journey to Paris and the Sorbonne, in the summer of 1920. Europe was
crawling with an American invasion, civil and military. MacJannet met penniless youths who
had shoveled coal on a liner to get across and then jumped ship, and rich Americans, shielding
daughters from germs, natives and gold-diggers. A lover of dancing and song, MacJannet found
in every city “Y” girls full of song, cooking ability and wholesomeness. One night in Venice he
and four others hired a gondola and “moved out from the Piazza where the great band was
playing, to where the brightly lighted gondolas contained the serenading groups . . . . In the
background the lighted palaces and towers. Heavenly!”
        “You can’ buy any dessert in a Venetian restaurant,” he complained in another of his
scores of letters. (She saved them all.) “If you were here, Jean, we’ start a little restaurant and
satisfy the American sailors’demand for apple pie and real coffee.”
        In Milan MacJannet was startled by comments of two soldiers on passes from the
American occupation army in Germany. “These boys said that there are a tremendous number of
criminals in the army of occupation. When slightly intoxicated the American soldier knocks
down all Germans who don’ take to their heels in a hurry. These men said they consider the
Germans a hard-working, sober, honest, peaceable fold and they said they knew that there wasn’t
a crime or atrocity committed in Belgium that the bunch of American soldiers now in Germany
wouldn’ do to the Germans if they had a chance.”
        The Italian lake district dazed him with 60 cents a night for a suite of two rooms, three
beds and bath. Pushing on to Germany, he found travel even cheaper, the Mark having fallen to
70 for a dollar. In the French occupied zone he found the French admitting that Americans were
better like, “because they sent their best men,” but the French also pointed to the lavish provisions
in food and entertainment for the envied Yankees.
        By the end of October MacJannet had toured the Rhine, discovered that indeed the
Germans were hard-working and somber, and so were the Belgians, when he visited Brussels,

Antwerp and Bruges. “Narrow streets, plaster and stone houses, manure-filled courtyards remind
one of Italy, but the bent laborer dragging his cart while the women push, the stolid trouping
home in the gathering darkness—how different from the song and laughter and rapid chatter of the
        MacJannet did not get to Paris until the start of the Sorbonne in November, but within
days, thanks to his persistence and job-finding ability, had arranged for spare time afternoon
tutoring of an American youth for $150 a month. The American Student Union kept his name on
file for tutoring jobs, and he found that at times he even had to employ assistants, because there
were so many parents who wanted to keep their families together and still have their children
prepare for American college entrance examinations.
        He got a cheap room near the Pantheon (45 people using one bathroom!) and fell into the
student pattern of hot chocolate as a bedside morning waker-up. He usually walked across the
hall to the room of a Yale man, already sitting up in bed in his bathrobe, sipping chocolate and
occasionally dipping a broom-like stick of bread into the cup, while he kept a mug of hot water
for shaving warm with a turkish towel wrapped around it. MacJannet and the Yale man named
Morris, usually shaved together, while discussing French politics and customs.
        Then he would dash down the long flights of stairs, pick up a couple of croissants for 50
centimes at the bakery, and head for his Sorbonne classes, warming his hands on the fresh
croissants until the last morsels disappeared into his mouth. He usually walked down the
Pantheon hill along the Rue St. Jacques, historic route of the pilgrims from Flanders and England
on their way to Rome or the Holy Land. “The class is mostly composed of girls, but the dowdiest
bunch you ever saw,” he wrote disgustedly to Jean. “The Spanish, Serbs, Swiss, Romanians,
Australians and Canadians seem to vie with each other in unattractiveness. Only the American
girls know how to fix their hair. This course, you know, is intended for those who plan to teach
French in other countries. It’ a review of French history, geography, literature, composition,
phonetics, etc. Of course the work they pile on is impossible, but I’ doing my best. At 12 I
sprint down to the Students Club where I join the wild clamor for food. Etienne of the sweeping
moustaches brings the clutching hands great armfuls of ‘tournedow,’boeuf sautée, mutton
choppe, etc. The food is good, but the table oilcloth covered and cluttered with dirty plates and
huge piles of bread. We eat lots of bread.”
        MacJannet wrote that his meals cost only 18 cents a piece, and that he was economizing
                                                    s                          ve
wherever he could, in order to send Jean money. “It’ more than a month since I’ tasted butter;
not a stitch of clothing have I bought myself, not once have I sampled the famous French
cooking, which is not found in student hash houses,” he wrote.

His Sorbonne classes were all in the morning. After lunch he sprinted across the Ile-de-la-Cité,
the island in the Seine that is like the command bridge of a ship, holding both the police and
religious centers of the town. He could take either a bus or the subway, but preferred a bus up the
Rue de Rivoli, and then the Champs Elysées, where he could watch the passing scene. “There is
a gala parade of fashion, and the charming sight of countless prettily dressed youngsters,” he
wrote Jean. “The gingerbread women sell their spiced cakes, the Guignol gives them thrilling
Punch and Judy. And all the while the trim Parisian nursemaids or the plump, bonneted red-
cheeked Breton maids sit on the benches and watch.”
        MacJannet confided that his pupil, whom he tutored all afternoon, was “not stupid, but
pretty lazy mentally.” He had a luxurious room and private bath in the centrally heated apartment
of his parents, but MacJannet said he wouldn’ change places with the youth, even if he could.
“He doesn’ get one-tenth of the joy out of life as I do,” said he. MacJannet repeatedly pressed
Jean in his letters to save as much as she could, hoping that she could come to France for the
summer. He also urged her to apply for a French scholarship, and told her where to write for
application forms. Jean had two more years to complete at Northfield Seminary, and did not join
him until the summer of 1922.
        Three circumstances at the beginning of the new year started MacJannet thing along lines
of greater independence, toward the establishment of the first American summer camp in Europe,
and eventually the first American country day and boarding school in Europe. The independence
got a sharp jog forward when he and a friend yielded to the pleas of two mothers to take their
daughters to the New Year Ball at the Plush Hôtel Continental. “Never, never more,” quoth this
black-tuxedoed raven with the white shirtfront, “shall I let anyone pay my way to anything. We
had a miserable time. Splendid girls from Washington whom I knew, but we were tied down to
our stupid ‘cavalieres’until 3:30 a.m.” The ladies were obviously determined to get their
       s      s
mother’ money’ worth—and the wearied young men walked home, having no funds for
rapacious taxi drivers.
        The second push toward a new direction came from the parents of laggard Freddie, who
wanted MacJannet to think up something to do with their son for the summer which would “get
him out” and also be somewhat educational. The lamp bulb of idea above his head began to glow
with the thought of some kind of camp. The third element was a growing sense of
disappointment in the kind of teacher training he was getting at the Sorbonne. This institution
had became the great entry port for careers in the French civil service, and was now mired deep in
traditional, and often obsolete, methods of teaching, satisfying the French passion for bureaucrats
quick to demand proper stamped documents, and the issuance of an infinity of regulations. After

Christmas he switched from the course training to teach French abroad to one on French
civilization and literature, which he found more useful. The Student Union calls asking that
MacJannet, or some he could recommend, be available for college preparatory tutoring were
beginning to steer him toward the idea of his own school to fill that need, which would occupy
him most of the next 40 years.
        In an effort to stir pupil Freddy’ imagination, he took him for a tour of the battlefields
still bearing the raw scars of war. It was the kind of trip he would be repeating in later years,
when he took groups of his students to street fairs, historic sites in North Africa or the old Roman
ruins of southern France, where the textbook stories could come to life. He began also to
replenish his own wardrobe. The vast stocks of American army surplus goods offered real
bargains with a seemingly endless assortment of canned soups, typewriters, and clothing. He
even laid out 80 cents for a pair of galoshes, though Paris was without snow. And he discovered
that he could sit most of an evening, toying with one cup of coffee in a warm café, to study or
write letters, without being disturbed by the waiter.
        During the holiday break after Christmas MacJannet shepherded an American family into
Italy and the French Riviera, enjoying the luxury of larger rooms and excellent dining, but having
to listen to their constant complaints about heatless quarters. “No matter how many hundred lire
a day we pay, we can’ get any heat in the hotels,” he wrote Jean. Used himself to the wooden
seats of third class railroad cars, he was amazed when his hosts thought nothing of laying out a
thousand lire a day for traveling by private car. They got another shock in a Genoa hotel, after a
train trip which blackened their faces with coal smoke from a succession of tunnels. They had
been promised hot baths at the hotel. There were no hot baths. There wasn’ even any water.
Guests were given a cup of cold water, for as much bathing as they cared to do. Because of
several months of drought, the hotel water was turned on each morning for just one hour.
        Thrifty MacJannet’ French visa had expired months before. Since he would also need a
new U.S. passport soon, he did not want to pay $10 for the new French visa, and then pay another
$10 for a new visa for the new passport. He decided that if he could not get past the French
border on the train to Nice, he would hire a car and try some less attentive guard on a mountain
road. Perhaps he was disappointed when his derring-do plot proved needless. The border guard
on the train stamped his passport without even examining it.
        Occasionally MacJannet varied the pattern of his letters to Jean by writing one in
French—not always to his own satisfaction. Describing his attendance at a lavish reception on
Memorial Day, he broke off into English, writing “Oh, botheration, I can’ to justice to this in

        And he stuck to English when Jean shocked him by reporting that she was interested in a
young man, even to the point of thinking of marriage. “These are the years when you’ enjoy life
the most,” MacJannet wrote pleadingly. “But you’ cut it all off short by marrying. No more
new interesting faces, no more new stimulating friends: all your duty will would send you toward
one person. Do you think at your age you are capable of choosing a life companion? Even at my
age I realize more and more the difficulty of deciding with what sort of a person one would be
happy. Now try getting to work hard on the studies, and you’ forget about being in love. I
        s             s
know it’ hard, but it’ the best thing to do.
        Listen, I’ just had the same experience myself. A few weeks ago I met a girl here from
Wyoming. She was all the energy and vivacity and attractiveness of the Westerner plus the
charm of her talents. For she comes from a year of successful singing in New York and several
months of opera singing in Rome.” MacJannet described a delightful visit with “Irene” to
Fountainbleau, said she was the best dancer he had ever known, and that they liked the same
songs, books and studies. She was considerate enough to go to his crowded, cheap dining place.
“But when I found I couldn’ study or pay attention to my lectures on account of thinking of her, I
decided to see only very rarely, and to force myself to get to work and forget Irene,” he
continued. “I have succeeded now in restoring my mind to a condition of equanimity. It is hard,
but necessary.”
        Jean had told him that she had decided to postpone coming to Paris until after graduation
from Northfield Seminary, still a year away. MacJannet already was pondering what to do about
the request of an American banker to tutor his son for the summer. He still had a year to go to
complete the Sorbonne course, but he had so many requests to tutor American youngsters for
college board exams that the idea of opening a school for that purpose was beginning to form in
the back of his mind. He told the banker:
    s                                                                ll
“It’ impossible for me to spend the whole summer on just two boys. I’ arrange to open a
                    ll                                           ll
summer camp, if you’ take the risk.” The banker replied: “Yes, I’ be glad to pay you a salary
for directing a Franco-American summer camp. I’ pay the salary and all expenses.”
“So on July, 1921, the very first American summer camp and perhaps the first camp of any sort in
Europe in any nationality was opened at Belle-Ile-en-Mer off the4 coast of Brittany,” MacJannet
recalled with pride, years later. “I was the director and the head counselor and the cook, and the
program director—everything. We had bicycles, and took excursions round the island. One day
we called on and had tea with the famous French actress Sarah Bernhardt, who had a summer
home on Belle Ile.” It was a small beginning—just five boys in that first camp, but nevertheless
historic. Many similar camps were established later, but MacJannet took enormous pride in

having established the first one. A fishing boat fleet crowded the harbor of Belle Ile. Tourists
and summer visitors sat at tables in front of the small hotel, watching the boats and harbor
activity, but especially amused by the delivery of sails for the fishing fleet, mace by prisoners in
the old fortress on the heights above the harbor, and delivered by the prisoners.
        Eight or ten men, in striped prison uniforms, would deliver the rolled-up sail. They were
barefoot, and under command of a trim-uniformed prison guard. From 1848 to 1852 the fortress
had housed political prisoners in transit to Devil’ Island, but now the old cells contained run-of-
the-mill malefactors. On their occasional visits to the port, the MacJannet campers could see the
long roll of canvas descending the slope on the shoulders of the prisoners, but as the sail
approached the harbor it turned into something resembling a snake. The bare-footed prisoners
had become expert at picking up with their toes the cigarette butts scattered over the hotel terrace.
The canvas roll was pulled this way and that as various feet reached out to snatch a butt, quickly
transferred to the prisoner’ hand. The guard uttered the usual curses and orders, but it never
stopped the tidying up of the terrace.
        One drawback of the Belle Ile camp was the ocean surf. MacJannet strongly believed in
teaching swimming, and he found it extremely difficult to contend with the surf. He determined
to look for some quiet lake the next time he set up a camp.
        One of the Belle Ile campers was Phillip Hills, son of the editor of the New York Herald-
Tribune, Paris edition. Another, Jacques de Felice, 15, first French camper, later married the
sister of Wilfrid Baumgartner, president of Banque de France, and established year-round
residence at Talloires, where he became a member of Friends of the Prieuré, bought and restored
but MacJannet in the 1950s.
        At the end of that camping summer of 1921 MacJannet refused to take any more boys to
tutor—he had his hands full with a difficult case. The youth in question had managed to be kicked
out of every preparatory school in which he had been entered. Furthermore, he disliked his
parents, and they reciprocated. MacJannet’ task was to prepare him in all subjects to pass the
entrance exams for Harvard college. MacJannet labored mightily, fall, winter, and spring, and the
youth did, in fact, manage to get through the exams, and was duly enrolled at Harvard. After all
that effort, the story still did not have a happy ending. He was thrown out of Harvard in just
seven weeks, having failed to attend a single class. But he went on to become a happy and
successful California rancher. “He never should have gone to college,” MacJannet sighed.
During the long Paris winter MacJannet kept up his usual stream of letters to his sister Jean,
helping her make plans to join him the next summer in Paris, letters full of endearment and
exhortation, and accounts of dances, excursions, preparation of meals for his fellow students of

several different nationalities. All delighted with his choice of menus and his own cooking. For
example, tomato bisque soup, veal cutlets, cauliflower au gratin, hot cream of tartar biscuits, fruit
salad, and brown betty pudding with rum sauce. The Breton maid who helped him serve the meal
had never tasted biscuits before, and loved them.
        The correspondence with Jean was only part of a vast series of letters, notes, and diary
jottings that MacJannet carried on all his life, with classmates, former students, their parents and
their own children or grandchildren, and hundreds of friends. Their letters in return even led to a
change in his own name. Early in his first year in Europe he had trouble with the post office and
French officialdom, which frequently mistook the Scotch prefix Mc or Mac for initials. “Look
under J for Jannet,” he would say despairingly when told their was no mail. Early in 1921 he
decided to make a small change in his own name by inserting an a to make it MacJannet. And he
persuaded Jean and his brother Malcolm to do the same. The family name had originally been
McJannet. He still looked in the telephone book in every city he visited throughout the world for
other McJannets, and either called or wrote them. He thus discovered distant relatives in Canada,
South Africa, and other places, visited many, and even had some of them at his camp. Living
most of his life in Europe, the spelling change also solved the post office problem.
        During the Easter vacation from the Sorbonne, MacJannet supervised construction of a
camp on Lake Bourget, which borders the French watering spot of Aix-les-Bains. He would be
chief assistant that summer to Maurice C. Blake, a morose, neurotic man who left almost all the
direction of the camp to MacJannet, who had to set up all the necessary buildings, skirmish
around for 10-gallon cans and tanks for water and other necessities. Moreover, he had to find
time to sign up French campers and Americans who spoke French fluently, because this was a
Franco-American camp for older boys. As he returned from Lake Bourget to the final round of
classes at the Sorbonne, where he admired his professors, he nevertheless came to the conclusion
that he was being adequately prepared to teach college French.
        The arrival in Paris of his young sister Jean, freshly graduated from Northfield Seminary,
gave an enormous lift to his spirits. A gentle, sensitive 20-year-old who had never been out of
Massachusetts except for one trip to Washington and another to New York, both to meet her
brother, she was an attractive and eager companion to show around Paris. Her auburn hair fell
below her waist, but MacJannet liked to see it all piled on top of her head, and she obliged him.
He provided a big box of very large strawberries to feast on during a cruise on the Seine one
night. “I had been taught not to eat in public, and we rarely left the school without wearing hat
and gloves, but Donald could do no wrong in my eyes, so I enjoyed those strawberries,” Jean
recalled. As they rode under the stone bridge from Notre Dame to the Left Bank he told her that

some 700 years before the structure was not of stone, but an ungainly mass of wood frequently
washed away in spring floods, and had two-story buildings lining each side of it, convenient for
the money changers who could make sharp deals with the pilgrims passing their front doors on
the way to the Rue St. Jacques and Rome. And from the back windows they could toss out
counterfeit coins into the river, whenever the King’ officers made unexpected forays.
Jean giggled at the sight of some Paris policemen, in pillbox hats and long blue capes, still
cruising gravely on bicycles, but at the Invalides, the vast military hospital clustered near
Napoleon’ tomb, the sight of legless veterans maneuvering around the streets in wheelchairs
powered by hand cranks attached to chains brought home the toll of the million and a half
Frenchmen killed during the four years of slaughter. This loss lay behind the fierce demand for
German reparations, and the debt load that kept the franc stumbling.
         After the Paris interlude, the two MacJannets went to Lake Bourget, Donald to be chief
assistant at Blake’ camp for young Americans and their French comrades, and Jean to stay with
a nearby family where she could improve her French. Popular at Dartmouth and as a Rhodes
scholar, Blake had become moody and sometimes difficult after World War I. Donald soon
found that he had to present decisions backward to get anything done. For instance, when the
beach proved too shallow for diving from the pier, and the campers, most in their middle teens,
wanted a raft, MacJannet told Blake, “The boys want to go across the lake and build a raft at the
lumber yard there, and float it over here, but I think it’ wrong. It would take them too long, and
                                                      s                    ll
take them away from camp.” Blake snorted, “I think it’ a good idea, and we’ do it.” When the
group, on a mountain hike, was forced by a sudden snowstorm to shelter in a hut, two elderly
Frenchmen entered while MacJannet was cooking a big pot of stew. Blake looked disturbed, and
beckoned MacJannet to come over to him. He did so quickly, fearing that Blake would order him
to put the men out of the cabin. He thought to himself, “probably these Frenchmen, unlike us, are
actually members of the Club Alpin.” MacJannet suggested that they were spies and insisted that
they should be put out of the cabin. Immediately Blake replied, “You think they are spies? I
          re            m
know they’ spies, and I’ determined to keep them inside here where we can keep an eye on
         One of the counselors recruited by MacJannet was Yves Biraud, a medical student, who
returned to the Blake camp for the second year. He learned so much English at the camp that
under the influence of MacJannet and the other counselors he applied for a scholarship at Johns
Hopkins, was accepted, and afterward joined an international health organization separate from
the League of Nations, that was later taken over by the United Nations, as the World Health
Organization, of which Biraud became the first president. MacJannet was proud, some 40 years

later, when the Prieuré at Talloires, which he had bought and reconstructed largely with his own
hands, became the host for a series of yearly seminars honoring the memory of Yves Biraud. The
two somewhat unpleasant summers with Blake did not discourage MacJannet from eventually
starting his own summer camp, but he did think there must be better lakes than Bourget for a site.
During his second winter in Paris, MacJannet had suffered a bit when the franc achieved a
temporary rise in value, climbing from 17 to the dollar to 13 for a dollar. He reflected that this
decrease in the number of francs that he could get for his tutoring, paid in dollars, just about
equalled what he had been paying for room and board. That situation was reversed in the fall of
1922, when he and Jean spent a year in Germany, where the mark had declined so rapidly that he
and Jean were able to live much of the time at an average cost of $10 a month for both of them.
Toward the end of the mark’ fall, a pack of cigarettes would even buy a piano, and a whole villa
went for a little more.
         The highly favorable exchange rate was only part of the reason why MacJannet wanted a
year in Germany. He thought Jean was be more comfortable, and safer, in a small town than in
Paris, and he wanted to explore German teaching methods. On his first visit to Germany he had
spent an hour in the high school classroom of Prof. Karl Rick, and then, in two hours over lunch,
heard expound his theory that more attention needed to be paid to a nation’ idiomatic
constructions and ways of thinking, when teaching a foreign language. MacJannet thought it
might be better than the Sorbonne’ methods.
         MacJannet registered for classes at the University of Bonn, which bore the official title of
Friederich Wilhelm Universitat, because it had been under the patronage in the early 1800s of
King Frederick Wilhelm III of Prussia. The main building of the institution was the former
residence of the Elector of Cologne, in a splendid parklike setting running down to the Rhine
river. Bonn was then a town of nearly 100,000, with several good museums, including one in the
birthplace of Beethoven.
         Donald found a room near the university with Frau Ridi de Yonge, whose husband had
been killed in the war, leaving her with a boy aged six and a girl, five. Jean was across the street,
in a house where a former German officer also lived. “He clicked his heels, bowed from the
waist and kissed my hand at every meal,” she smiled happily. Frau de Yonge spoke several
languages, “and knew English literature better than Mitchell Carroll or I did,” Jean said. Carroll,
later an authority on double taxation, also boarded at Frau de Yonge’ and joined their walking
         Jean did not attend the university. Instead she took piano and voice, and harmonious
body movement lessons. “When Donald noticed that my voice was weak, and seemed to think

that I had been frequently ill, which was contrary to the fact, he made me get out into the garden
in Bonn, where I had to throw a medicine ball, and recite poetry and sing to develop my lungs,”
Jean said.
        Often accompanied by Frau de Yonge and Mitchell, Donald and Jean, with rucksacks on
their backs, explored the Rhine valley and many of the small tributary valleys with their quaint
little towns. Frau de Yonge knew all the legends and stories of the area, and described them as
they walked. “In one place in the Bavarian Alps we lost our way, and had to climb up a sheer
cliff,” said Jean. “I was surprised that I could make it to the top, but Frau de Yonge had to be
helped up by the two men.”
        The vineyards, terraced by steep slopes, presented a constant marvel in gymnastics as
their caretakers teetered up and down with heavy loads. “It was hard to put our Rhineland friends
difficulties with money out of our minds, even when we were dancing along a Rhineland valley
in full moonlight, singing as we went,” Jean recalled. “Donald was always the life of the party.
We went often to the opera in Cologne, and sometimes took a professor who knew all the operas
by heart, but had never had enough money to go and see one. “We knew that Frau de Yonge had
lost all the money she had put aside for the education of the children.”
        As a special treat the two MacJannets cooked a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner
with all the accessories for Frau de Yonge and their professors and other friends.
Donald received a certificate from the university before their return to Paris. Jean had planned to
go back to Smith College in the fall, “but I realized that the education I was getting was much
more valuable,” she concluded, and so she stayed.
        Paris, “the City of Light,” was attracting the foreign moths to its beacon by the thousands
when the MacJannets returned in late spring of 1923. Thousands of Americans were beginning to
crowd the cheap tourist-class boats offering a seven- or eight-day passage for $100 or less.
Besides restless and curious college students, many writers and artists had discovered that even a
small amount of American hard currency, wheedled from parents or in loans from friends,
enabled them to live gloriously in France. Any young idealist who could persuade an indulgent
parent that he needed a few months abroad to “develop himself” and acquire the proper patina of
culture could arrange for this delightful life. By the mid-twenties, some 40,000 “artists” were
said to be in Paris, applying paint to canvas or sitting in cafés, drawing up manifestos, or telling
boon companions what they intended to do—some day.
        But MacJannet had his eye on a different target. He knew from his two years at the
Sorbonne, and the many tutoring jobs available, that Paris was also full of American families
whose heads were in the diplomatic or consular service, or with the multitude of government

agencies and companies active in France. They were middle-aged, with children nearing college
age. So that they could keep their families with them, they wanted an American school for the
younger ones, and college preparatory work for the older ones.
By this time MacJannet was thoroughly at home in the continental way of life, and had shifted his
goal from returning to the United States and a job in some college, teaching French and German,
and instead decided to carry out his dream of opening his own school in Paris. But he did not feel
that he could swing it himself.
        He took his problem to Horatio Kranz, head of the American Student Union. “I have just
the man for you,” Kranz said, and put him in touch with Paul DeRosay, a 1917 Harvard graduate,
who had somewhat the same idea of starting a school. Together the two men decided that the
Passy and Auteuil quarters of Paris, adjoining the Bois de Boulogne, contained the heaviest
concentration of prospective pupils, and started looking for suitable quarters. Plans for the new
school were well under way and notices went out for the “Auteuil Day School” to prospective
parents. MacJannet returned for a second, partly painful summer at Maurice Blake’ summer
camp on Lake Bourget, while Jean stayed again with the nearby Franco-American family.
At the end of the camping season, having told Blake that he would not be there for a third year,
the two MacJannets returned to Paris to help open the new school in quarters rented on the Rue
Boileau, not far from the Auteuil racetrack and Gate. It was the first American day school in
France. DeRosay and his French wife, and Donald Jean MacJannet lived at the school, which had
opened with about a score of pupils.
        Although the Auteuil school was “very successful,” MacJannet reported to American
friends in his annual Christmas letter, the partnership was not. “DeRosay managed to appropriate
to himself the lion’ share of the profits and endeavored to subordinate as much as possible my
action and control in school matters. Life under the petty meanness of Madame DeRosay became
unendurable. Mme. DeRosay was a Frenchwoman, but she was just too Scotch for me.”
Life was quieter in Auteuil than in his old student quarters, MacJannet wrote a friend at the time:
For my sister and me there is toast and even oatmeal, but my colleague has been entirely
converted by his wife to the French ways of doing things and sops his bread into the café au lait.
The table talk is of the plumber who has left tools with us over a month ago and shows no signs
of answering our summons to take them away; of the notice from the Paris water bureau that on
account of the neglect of some tenants who lived here a year ago to pay the water bill the water
would be shut off on the following day. This in spite of vain repeated entreaties from us
requesting the water bill.

        We also discuss the huge rats in the cellar, the effect of the Japanese earthquake on the
price of rice, and the rather mean joke of a Rhineland Republic now being encouraged by the
French. As a matter of fact I was breaking rules in bringing up a political discussion at the table,
but I feel very strongly about this underhanded attempt on the part of the French. But my
colleague’ wife is French and so France can do no wrong.
        I usually fasten on the bulletin board the illustrations of the front page of Excelsior, the
morning French paper. While I am doing this, the first boys usually arrive with a handful of
pictures to paste into the geography or the science or the current events scrapbooks. The classes
are only a half hour long and they go very quickly. Recess comes and the Lower School gets its
croissants and chocolate and starts off for a short hike. The bigger boys gather about the stove in
the atelier and either swap yards about their autos and athletic exploits or engage in heated
political discussions backed up by appalling ignorance.
        Nevertheless, the partners preserved enough surface civility to make plans for the next
year. They would add a boarding division, to accommodate children of parents who expected to
be away from Paris for some time, but wanted their children to remain in school. Jean was
scheduled to become the hostess and manager of the boarding division. It was the first American
school, but it wasn’ the MacJannet school, and that was what Donald MacJannet had set his heart
        While MacJannet and DeRosay were discussing details of their separation, Jean had been
scouting around for a site for the MacJannet Country Day and Boarding school. She found it in
St. Cloud, the 20-room, two-story former home of the famous French pioneer science fiction
writer Jules Verne, whose “Voyage to the Center of the Earth” and “20,000 Leagues Under the
Sea” had delighted MacJannet as a boy. The house, set on a slope running down to the Seine,
was at 7 Avenue Eugenie, across the river from the western end of the Bois de Boulogne. Several
large elms shaded the park-like site of the Jules Verne house.
        St. Cloud itself was a quiet town of about 11,000 residents, and its chateau, destroyed by
artillery fire during the Franco-Prussian war, had been a royal seat, once owned by Marie
Antoinette. The long avenues of trees, and the fountains, balustrades and promenades of the
destroyed palace were still favorite Sunday strolling places of Parisians. A cluster of restaurants
near the Seine bridge used to draw bourgeois families in rented fiâcres for wedding feasts. St.
Cloud itself had been founded by a grandson of King Clovis, a monastic sainted as St. Cloutiens.
Jean had not only discovered the school site, but she suddenly found herself in charge of putting it
in shape for the fall opening. “Jean and I had lots of fun in June frequenting auctions and

pawnshop sales, and managed to pick up some rare furniture bargains,” he wrote in his Christmas
          MacJannet had agreed the year before with Matthew Baird III, a counselor at the Blake
camp, to go with Baird on a camping trip in Norway and the English Lake Country with a group
of youths who were to be brought over from American by Baird. MacJannet also signed up some
young Americans in Paris at $490 each for the two-month tour, which started with Normandy and
Paris. They cruised the Norwegian fjords for two weeks in a vessel converted from the kaiser’s
former yacht, hiking daily on shore, and experiencing the 24-hour daylight of the northern area.
With a hired truck and camping equipment the group toured the lochs, mountains and cities of
Scotland, including Edinburgh and Glasgow, and the Ayrshire country of MacJannet’ ancestors.
Getting off the ferry at the Isle of Skye on a Sunday morning, he tried to buy food at a little store,
but the woman at first refused to sell anything on Sunday. MacJannet quoted Scripture to her:
“If I ask for bread will you give me a stone?” The woman let him in, but made him hide behind
the counter till the villagers had all entered the church, then sold him food for the start of their
five-day climbing tour in the island.
          Becoming more friendly during the wait, she asked MacJannet to explain something that
had puzzled her for years: How did the Scot Andrew Carnegie become so successful in America,
in spite of having to speak a foreign language? MacJannet explained that Americans spoke
English. “Ah, that explains it,” the woman said. “But it’ a very poor English you speak.” After
Scotland the group moved on to the English Lake Country, and then on to a brief stay in London,
where MacJannet had discovered very economical lodgings.
          “We put up at the Imperial Turkish Baths where we had a private room for the 15 of us
and could cool off in the swimming pool three times a day,” he reported in his annual letter to
friends in America. “And of course we ate pigeon pie in the age-old Cheshire Cheese, where
Samuel Johnson used to wipe his greasy hands on the back of a Newfoundland dog.”
While they were rollicking through Norway and England, Jean coped with paperhangers,
plumbers, furnace men installing central heating, and other temperamental and sometimes
dilatory French craftsmen transforming the old residence. It was a grueling introduction to
French labor problems, but Jean dealt with it handily. The MacJannets decided to call the school
the Elms, because of a very large tree which shaded the building. In a couple of years, using his
own name, the headmaster would call it the MacJannet Country Day and Boarding School, but he
and others continued to refer to it familiarly as “The Elms.”

How to Teach the Elite

“At the young age of seven or thereabouts I remember standing near the baseball field at the
bottom of the hill that led up to the schoolhouse. I was with another American girl and we were
teasing a Chinese girl, being mean, as children that age can be, because she ‘looked different’to
us. Mr. MacJannet was at the top of the hill, and obviously saw what was going on. He came
bounding down that steep hill in record time. We were impressed by the dressing down we got
for being rude to a person from a different culture and ethnic background.”
        The scene was the MacJannet American Country Day School at St. Cloud, near Paris, and
MacJannet was acting with his typical promptness in support of his two most basic principles:
that children in a school—or anywhere else—should feel secure and welcome, safe from teasing or
bullying, and should learn to respect and try to understand persons of different cultures. The girl,
Patricia Spinning, now Mrs. Robert Wrenn of Dedham, Mass. Became president of the
International Institute of Boston, a social service agency dedicated to assisting the foreign born in
the greater Boston area.
        The school had a rough beginning when MacJannet and his sister Jean opened its doors in
the fall of 1924 as the first American country day and boarding school in France, and possibly in
Europe. While MacJannet and Matthew Baird led a group of boys on a camping tour of Norway,
Scotland and England, Paul DeRosay, partner of MacJannet in a day school in Paris the previous
year, had sent a letter to parents giving them the choice of sending their children to MacJannet’s
St. Cloud school, or to the Auteuil school, continued by DeRosay. Parents of all but two pupils
chose the St. Cloud school. The catch came when DeRosay insisted, with bizarre logic that as
treasurer he was entitled to keep the first semester fees, because MacJannet would have nearly all
the students.
        Faced with the certainty of legal delays, and the uncertainties of French courts,
MacJannet decided not to sue. The two Princeton men, and an American already in Paris whom
he had engaged as masters, agreed to teach without pay the first semester in return for free board
and room and the chance to explore Paris in their free time. MacJannet could also count on fees
from some new students.
        Having had to battle his way through the red tape and maze of regulations posed by four
French ministries to get his school established, attacked the job of running it with super-human

energy. He got up before six, stoked the furnace, piloted his Model T Ford school bus around
Paris, picking up students and bringing them to St. Cloud in time for him to deliver the nine
o’clock exhortation, often in the form of a parable, to the school assembly. Then he taught
classes and performed administrative duties, sometimes introduced a distinguished guest speaker
at the noon lunch, taught more classes in the afternoon, and at five o’clock drove the day pupils
back to their Paris homes. “I don’ know what he did in the evenings, but I am sure it was more
work,” said Howard Cook, who came to the school as an 11-year-old day pupil in 1926,
beginning a lifetime involvement with the MacJannets which included his sisters, his parents and
his own children. “How Mr. Mac ever found time to be travel agent, organizer of interesting
tours and holiday vacations for large numbers of children and parents, plus planning and
executing the expansion of two schools and the camps, with all the attendant correspondence and
administrative work, is a mystery to me. And in all his activities his enthusiasm and zest for life
and work were contagious.”
        Cook could speak as an expert. Inspired by MacJannet’ passion for promoting
international understanding, Cook gave up his profession of accounting after artillery officer
service in World War II, trained for a new field, and served for 25 years as president of
International House, New York, which housed and helped to educate some 500 foreign and
American graduate students each year. And Howard Cook was merely one of the more articulate
of the hundreds of persons whose lives MacJannet’ influence and example changed.
        The boarding pupils rose at 7:30 for a shower before a “substantial” meal, rather than the
traditional coffee-and-rolls French breakfast. They had a daily room inspection, and then, with
the day students arriving by bus, classes began at nine, interrupted by a 25-minute “gouter,” a
snack of buttered bread and jam, and calesthenics. After a hot lunch at 12:15, classes resumed
from 1:15 to 2:45, and then athletics and supervised study until the bus left with the day students
at 5. Boarding students sang around the piano after supper, and had another study period until
bedtime. Weekends, students “whose conduct and work had been satisfactory” were allowed
special privileges. Some went to their own or friends’houses. Although the Elms school started
exclusively for boys, girls were soon added. The old Jules Verne mansion’ rooms could
accommodate a score of boarders, but usually only a dozen were in residence, leading a
pleasantly informal life in a family setting. The daily routine for both boarding and day pupils
was so well ordered and academically that alumni of the school usually had no difficulty
transferring to an equivalent ranking when they returned to an American school, or in passing the
college entrance exams for which so many of them were preparing. By good luck, a master

qualified in Greek was on the staff the year poet Archibald MacLeish wanted it taught to his son
        All the students had an hour a day of French grammar and conversation in class, but
French was also required as the language at meals, so they learned fast. They could also talk to
Mme. Sourdois, the housekeeper, a French colonel’ widow, and her four children, who lived at
the school for eight years, though the children, being French, went to a public school. The Elms
students put on two or more plays in French yearly, for an audience of parents and friends.
        By the end of the first year the school was so successful and well known that MacJannet
confidently invited Myron T. Herrick, the U.S. ambassador, to give the address at the school’s
closing exercises. That summer of 1925 he opened the camp on Lake Annecy, which enabled
him to offer a year-round school and boarding facility, and in the fall started a branch school for
younger pupils in quarters facing the Trocadero gardens in Paris, with Agnes Rollit Wood in
charge for the first two years. Later he opened a school on the Riviera, intended for pupils who
could not stand the Paris winter climate, thus enabling them to fit right into the Elms classes when
they returned in the spring.
        Rival schools also became established in and around Paris, and football, basketball,
baseball and soccer teams from the Elms school competed with them—and usually they won,
thanks to the expert coaching furnished for a year by Lynn F. Woodworth, a marine in World
War I who was on sabbatical from his job as athletic director and history teacher at Central High
School in Washington, D.C. Woodworth returned each summer after that to be executive director
of the summer camp.
        One of MacJannet’ most cherished hopes was to establish close personal ties between
American and French children, as a means of promoting better international understanding.
Some expatriate children even sneered at the French as “frogs,” and MacJannet wanted young
Americans to learn through sports and studies that their companions in class and field were just as
good and likeable as themselves.
        The MacJannet schools could and did admit British, German, Dutch and other
nationalities, but French authorities very firmly required French children to attend only schools
run by a French headmaster. This prohibition did not apply to summer camps or holiday
excursions, a loophole that MacJannet took full advantage of. If he could not bring French
children into his schools, MacJannet did the next best thing available—took his pupils into contact
with the French wherever possible. With his Ford Model T. bus he hed frequent excursions to
street fairs and markets, where students could wander among the stalls and talk to merchants and
customers. Historic districts in Paris, and the multitude of museums and monuments were all

occasions for instructive visits. Longer excursions went to places like the battlefields, nearby
chateaux, or to the Loire valley or Mont. St. Michel.
        MacJannet had to be ready for emergency action at any time on these excursions. Carl
Norcross recalled that on a bus trip through the Bois de Boulogne, one boy leaned out and pointed
a water pistol at a Frenchman passing the bus in a sports car with the top down. The outraged
driver hastened in front of the bus and forced MacJannet to stop. Pouring out a torrent of abuse,
the Frenchman, badly wounded in his dignity, threatened law suits, police, and jail. MacJannet,
an old hand at pacifying, let the Frenchman blow off steam, apologized for the thoughtless act of
the boy, and then suggested, in his fluent French, that the car driver “might look rather silly” in
the papers, if he went to court over a toy water pistol. With reason thus prevailing, and honor
satisfied, the sports car owner got back behind the wheel and whizzed off.
        MacJannet, in fact, had his own secret weapon for dealing with police encounters: a
magnificent card, crossed diagonally by a gaudy tricolor, testifying “Monsieur MacJannet” was a
“Membre d’Honneur de l’Association Amicale du Personnel du Police de St. Cloud.” In a note
on the back of this card he wrote, “This card, which I kept with auto papers helped with all police
difficulties, especially in Paris, where I would say with a laugh, “I’ just a hick from the back
        Christmas and Easter holidays provided opportunity for longer trips—to Chamonix, where
the Olympic winter sports were being held in 1924, and to southern France and the Riviera, Spain
or North Africa at Easter. These were optional excursions, where the school added whole
families, including French and other nationalities sometimes taking over an entire hotel for 80 to
100 “paying guests” for two weeks.
        Skiing had come into its own as a major winter sport, but skating and tobaganning
remained popular. MacJannet produced a special insignia for members of the group, entitling
them to admission anytime to the various skating rinks and other activities. There was ski-joring,
imported from Norway, or a variant, hitching a dozen or more sleds of tobaggans behind a horse
or tractor. MacJannet’ sister Jean still remembered more than 50 years later the thrill of standing
at the head of the valley at Chamonix and watching as the pink light of the sunset faded from the
peaks, and the lights began twinkling far below in the village.
        Eleanor Thackara, now Mrs. Ralph Campagna of Canterbury, Conn., whose three
brothers went to the Elms school, loved the Chamonix excursion, but her first skating adventure
was at the Palais de Glace in Paris, where, as a frightened six-year-old, she clung to the red velvet
railing circling the ice—and agonized crossing each gap. Then MacJannet swooped up, twined his

arms with hers, and they sailed grandly around, until some awkward oaf crashed into the two of
them, and she took refuge with her mother.
        The winter and Easter jaunts ranked high, but MacJannet also broke the school schedule
with almost weekly visits to some nearby factory or industry. Monsieur Citroen himself
conducted the pupils through his automobile factory, and a Ford executive was on hand for the
visit to the French Ford assembly line. Of course, MacJannet turned every such trip into a
learning experience: how pulleys and belts transmitted power to cutting or shaping tools, how
skilled hands at the potter’ wheels of the nearby Sêvres factory could turn a lump of clay into a
vase, how neighborhood markets brought producer and customer together, taking the place of a
store. And MacJannet was smart enough to make his museum tours to sections that would
especially interest young boys. At the Louvre he started them among the ship models—and what a
chance there to talk about the power of sail and oar, or how a keel functions to enable a ship to
sail against the wind, as well as with it, from which comes the expression “by and large,” whose
sailing origin is unknown to most users.
        In excursions both at school and camp MacJannet stuck to his philosophy that children
are not mature enough to be subjected to frequent choices. “If you give them four or five choices
of where to go, they immediately divide into little groups, only one of which, the one that got the
most votes, will be happy with the result,” he said. “What we did instead was to pick the place
that we felt was desirable, and then describe it in such glowing terms that everybody wanted to go
there. That way we also told them something about what they would see, and what it meant, and
everybody wanted to go.”
        “Many boys have a fierce hatred for their schools and their headmasters,” comments Carl
Norcross, the teacher who observed MacJannet in action, explaining the operation of a
drawbridge at the chateau near the Pyrenees. “I don’ think any of the boys I knew hated the
school or Donald MacJannet. They enjoyed school. Learning was fun, and there were so many
outside activities that life was never dull. We made trips to stores in Paris that sold stamps for
our stamp collectors, bike rides Saturday through the Park in St. Cloud, even trips to the horse
races. It was a school of learning with fun.
        “I wonder if the school was a happy, friendly place because the teachers were happy?
When I was there all the teachers living at the school were taking trips weekends and having a
good time. I was officer of the day, or whatever it was called, three days out of nine, but the
other six days I was free after school and I was busy.”
        Groups of teachers (in the British-American prep school tradition they were called
“masters”) would go to Rouen or Brussels, or bicycle to Chartres. Norcross had such a good time

at the two-week winter sports trip to Chamonix in 1925–26 that the next year he came back from
the London School of Economics, where he was studying, with six companions, for more of the
same. Looking back in his seventies, Norcross concluded that his year at the school “provided
the happiest memories of any single year. A great deal of the pleasure came from Donald’ very
liberal attitude about letting his teachers take trips away from the school. I can imagine a
headmaster who was so penny-pinching and nose-to-the-grindstone and school-is-so-important
that teachers always had to be on hand.”
        On the other side of the coin, MacJannet sometimes complained in his later years that one
of his major difficulties included a revolving staff. Young men or women would come for a year,
or at the most two, and then hurried back to a permanent job in America. He made frequent trips
to America to recruit new teachers and counselors for the very successful camp that was
established in 1925. He liked to do his own evaluating of teachers by talking to them, on brief
trips to America, but occasionally he used teacher placement agencies.
        MacJannet kept fees for the schools and camp low, but made special efforts to economize
on excursions. On overnight and extended stays, he bargained for group prices on meals and
beds. Instead of expensive lunches in restaurants, he devised his own outdoor treats. “I would
get chickens, already roasted, and whipped cream and crushed strawberries on bread, and those
were the meals the children wrote home about and praised,” he recalled.
        At both school and camp he mainstay for success was Maria Petrik, the cook, a Czech
native trained in Austria but familiar with American cooking requirements. For over 15 years,
until the turmoil of World War II closed the school and transformed the camp into a refugee
home for French war orphans, she presided with efficient skill over a small staff. Plump as befits
a cook who likes to taste, even tempered and usually smiling, her only fault was generosity. She
fed so many goodies to policemen that some of them seemed to make a habit of dropping by to
“make sure everything was all right.” Jean MacJannet had received the gift of a dog named
Muffin from a Paris friend, but had to give it back because Maria persisted in lavishing so many
snacks on the animal that it was developing a heart ailment. No pupil, or teacher, was ever turned
away from the kitchen door if he could assume even a moderately pleading look.
        From its earliest days, the MacJannet school also served as something of a social center
for young Americans living in Paris. Some came out to take a hot shower on a weekend—the only
hot water they could get, Carl Norcross recalled, and many came to the Sunday teas, where Jean
MacJannet presided as hostess. She was also the one at the railroad stations who checked the lists
to make sure everyone was accounted for, on the holiday excursions or going to and from camp.
MacJannet had joined the Chamber of Commerce, the Aero Club de France, American Legion,

and other groups that could provide valuable contacts and possible speakers. Jean did the same,
joining the Legion auxiliary, the American Women’ Club, and similar organizations.
        Jean was serene and competent as hostess and assistant in running the school, but she also
led something of a life of her own. She took painting lessons, and eventually exhibited, with
other American women, at the Paris Salon d’Automne. School and camp were running smoothly
at or near capacity. The enterprise was so successful that MacJannet, thrifty but no penny-
pincher, promised Jean a small Fiat car for her own use.
        But then she cut her luxurious auburn hair, more than waist length, which she usually
wore piled high on her head. Donald was horrified. “He scarcely spoke to me for a week after
that,” she said. And the offer of the Fiat was immediately withdrawn. Eventually, though, he got
used to the change, as men do, and in due time Jean got the Fiat.
        The many contacts that Donald and Jean had established in Paris and elsewhere brought
many unusual or distinguished visitors to the school. Perhaps the most dramatic in educational
impact was the daughter of the inventor Samuel F. B. Morse. Inventor of the telegraph, and of
the Morse code for transmitting messages, Morse was born in 1791. At the time of her visit, his
daughter was 85. “Think of it!” MacJannet told his awed students, “We are sitting here with the
daughter of a man who, when he was a boy, actually saw George Washington, and remembered it
all his life. Just two generations of the same family, coving almost the entire history of the
United States.”
        MacJannet brought many visitors, usually for lunchtime talks and informal question
sessions. Dr. Wilfred Grenfell, the famous “Labrador doctor,” told of his experiences treating
fishermen on that icy outpost. His son, Wilfred T. Grenfell, was later a teacher at the school for a
year and a counselor for three summers. “Babe Ruth, the New York Yankees’home run king,
gave the boys a lesson on what a bat could do in the right hands. General Henri Gouraud,
military governor of Paris, spoke at the school, and donated his library of books in English
inscribed to him by American authors. The Nazis later burned all the Elms books. The famous
and witty French scholar André Maurois spoke twice, in English.
        Two famous fliers appeared. Though Charles Lindbergh signed a photo but did not
come, Amelia Earhart, first woman to fly the Atlantic solo, came to the school. She was brought
by Col. Frank Lahm, then military attaché at the U.S. embassy in Paris. He was notable as the
first of the military men to be trained as fliers by Orville Wright, the pioneer aviator. Lucy
Challis, a cousin of Amelia Earhart’ was a teacher at the Elms. Lahm had a son and daughter at
the MacJannet school, and they also attended the Lake Annecy camp. He frequently flew down
from Paris to visit with his children, and gladly answered questions from the delighted campers.

Lahm set a notable example to the boys: in more than 20 years of flying he never had an
accident. Inspired by Lahm’ visits, the campers built a full-size plane (minus engine), with
workable controls.
          When Abe Ernest Dimnet, the noted French writer-philosopher, whose “Art of Thinking”
was a popular book of the 1920s, visited the Elms, he smilingly advised the young students to
“read a lot of good books.” Other U.S. ambassadors besides Herrick who spoke here were
William Bullitt, Walter Edge and Robert Murphy.
          One of the most unusual visitors was Raymond Duncan, brother of the dancer Isadora
Duncan. Dressed in a long white robe of his own weaving, and with sandals on his bare feet, plus
long hair and a staff, he might have drawn hoots from less mannerly boys when he stepped out of
his car, but instead charmed them with his gentle speech, unusual philosophy, and Irish wit.
“Why do you wear those funny clothes?” a student asked him. “I am a poet,” Duncan replied,
“and so I am acting a part. During the war between the Turks and the Greeks I walked right
between their battle lines, and no shots were fired at me, because they recognized me as an
unusual person.”
          “If you’ an actor, what role are you playing now?” a boy asked.
          “The role of honored guest, now thanking you and hoping he will be invited again,”
Duncan said, rising, and heading for his Model T. Duncan had his own version of a Greek
academy in Paris, where students attended his “Socratic Sunday afternoon gatherings” and asked
him questions. When the Germans surrendered Paris, he was the one who raised the flag over the
U.S. Embassy when the Nazis left.
          Many of the speakers were also parents who had sent their own children to the school or
camp. Obviously, men in important government and industrial positions wanted their sons and
daughters to have a good education, and chose David MacJannet to give it to them. Among them
were the two sons of Henry Latrobe Roosevelt, of Radio Corporation of America, who, like his
cousin Franklin D. Roosevelt under Wilson, later became an assistant secretary of the navy; a boy
named Aldrich Durant, whose father ran International Telephone and Telegraph Company in
Spain; one named Ray Powers, whose father had the Coca-Cola concession for all of Europe; and
two Palmer boys, whose father had been head of International Harvester in Russia. The smallest
and youngest boy in school was Peter Thompkins, who grew up to join the World War II Office
of Strategic Services (OSS), and wrote a book called A Spy in Rome—a very brave young man.
With Christopher Byrd, Boston, a post-war camp counselor, he co-authored The Secret Life of

        The three daughters of Robert Murphy, including later stage and screen star Rosemary
Murphy, attended the school and camp for four years while Murphy was with the U.S. Embassy
in the 1930s, as counsel general. John Eisenhower, in his autobiography, Strictly Personal,
wrote: “The first day, when my mother dropped me off (at the Trocadero School) I howled and
screamed, but when she came by to pick me up that evening, I refused for a while to go home.”
His father, the World War II commander in chief and later president, was in France as the head of
the U.S. War Monuments Commission, formerly directed by General John J. Pershing to inspect
U.S. military cemeteries.
        The pupil who got the most newspaper attention, however was Philip—blue-eyed, flaxen-
haired, “the boy with no last name.” Subjected to much kidding by his classmates because of that
lack, he was sometimes called Philip of Greece, though he had no Greek blood. His mother, the
great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, had married into the Danish royal family, which had no
surname. Her husband, Prince Andrew, brother of King Constantine of Greece, was ousted by a
revolution. Andrew’ sentence to death was later commuted to banishment. A British navy
vessel rescued all of them, including Philip, a year and a half old. After Philip’ 1947 marriage to
Princess Elizabeth of Great Britain, and when she became queen, he followed three steps behind
her in royal processions as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
        Philip had been raised with four older sisters, so much the center of their attention that his
parents felt he needed association with boys of his own age. “Mother, do you think I can get into
this?” he asked his mother wistfully when she brought him to the school and he saw a group of
boys playing football. “I should think you can,” she replied. By the time she and MacJannet had
concluded details of Philip’ admission the active Philip was already mingling with his future
        Princess Alice, Philip’ mother, told MacJannet that while the boy had plenty of
originality and spontaneity, “instead of being constantly hushed up he should be working off his
boundless energy by practicing games and learning Anglo-Saxon ideas of courage, fair play, and
resistance. Philip should develop English characteristics, because his future will be in English-
speaking lands, perhaps American, and I want him to learn English well.” The princess was
looking out the window, watching Philip, when MacJannet made some comment, but she did not
respond. Later he learned that she had been born deaf, but had learned to read lips in English,
German and Greek. Living farther up the St. Cloud slope and walking to school each morning
with his governess, Philip usually arrived half an hour early. He cleaned blackboards,
straightened furniture, and was always helpful and eager, though he frequently quoted his sisters’
statement that “you shouldn’ slam doors or shout loud,” MacJannet recalled. He always got

chairs for visitors, would not let women serve him, carried food from the kitchen but never broke
a platter. Besides loving football, he did well enough in his studies to get a silver star and even a
gold one, “making great progress in his three years,” MacJannet said. He begged to be allowed to
be a boarder and live at the school, but “we can’ afford it,” his mother said. The royal refugee
family, in fact, had very little money. Princess Alice had opened a shop in Paris where she sold
the artifacts brought with them by other Greek refugees. A rich American aunt was believed to
be paying most of Philip’ tuition cost at the Elms.
         Waiting one afternoon at school because it was raining and he had no raincoat, Philip
explained that he was saving up to get one. He got a pound a year from his uncle, the King of
Sweden, and another pound from his uncle, King George V of England. Philip’ real goal,
however, was a bicycle, and as soon as enough pounds came in from royal uncles and other
sources, he bought one and rode it to and from school. He was also then in love with everything
American, especially “anything from Macy’ like the other boys. He even traded a gold bibelot
of his mother’ for a three-color pencil displayed by another pupil—and had to give it back when
his family discovered the barter.
         At the age of six, when he entered the school in 1927, he soon learned more about
American sports and presidents than he knew about King George III and cricket. Gregarious and
popular, he was a member of the school’ baseball team, and lower school football captain. Since
MacJannet believed that physical labor, in moderation, was also good for children, he took part in
the gardening, leaf raking and other duties that accompanied the academic life. MacJannet
remembers him in charge of the garden hose at watering time, telling each boy firmly just when
to take his turn. MacJannet got a turn too, of a different kind, when he approached to take a
picture and he and the camera accidentally got a minor soaking. Prince Philip later said of those
three years at the MacJannet school that “they were three of the happiest years of my life”
(presumably up to the age of nine, when he left). They may, in fact, have been part of the reason
why he later sent Prince Charles to school rather than having him tutored, like previous Princes of
         “Philip was keen, intelligent and responsive,” Mrs. Dorothy Huckle, a teacher at the Elms
school, wrote in a letter. Sometimes he was so boisterous that he had to be “sat on,” she
continued. “One day in class something came up to make us all laugh. When I felt that we had
laughed enough, I said, ‘          s            s
                         Now, that’ enough! Let’ get on with our work.’ Philip continued to
laugh, not out of bravado, but for the sheer joy of life. ‘       s
                                                           Enough’ enough, Philip,’I said. ‘Stop it
and let’ get on with class.’ My tone of severity astonished another child, who said to me in an
awe-struck voice, ‘ uncle and aunt are a king and queen!’”

        “There was a dead silence, and I was faced by a pack ready to defend their idol. Blue,
black, gray, green and brown eyes looked at me with varied expressions—all questioning. Among
them was a pair of blue eyes (Philip’ looking straight into mine with the wisdom of ages behind
them, waiting for my answer.
        “‘Yes, but you are Americans,’I said. ‘        t
                                               You don’ believe in Kings and Queens. You
honor a man for what he does. Any of you may be president of the United States. Philip must
prove himself worthy of being the nephew of a king and queen. He must prove himself to be a
prince before we take notice of that.’”
        “The little fellow took his reprimand like a man. He knew that he had not been sent to
school to be pampered, to be singled out for favors. He was there as Philip, or Philip of Greece, if
a last name was demanded—a little boy whose mother had impressed upon him the necessity of
working hard, harder even than the other children.”
        Mrs. Huckle knew about the hard work because Princess Alice had sent her a note saying
“I hope you don’ mind if Prince Philip only writes half a page on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday
evenings, as he has quite a lot of Greek preparation to do those evenings.”
        “When the summer holidays came,” Mrs. Huckle recalled, “I was asked to set him a
holiday task to do every day while he was spending his holiday with his little cousin King
Michael of Romania. The other children groaned at the idea of a holiday task, but Philip took it
for granted.” (Philip never attended the MacJannet summer camp at Talloires, but his summers
near the Black Sea with King Michael were just as energetic. He was always the organizer of
pony races on the sands, or recruiting other boys for the building of mammoth sand castles.)
        Philip showed the same burst of energy when he went with the MacJannet group at the
1927 Christmas holidays for two weeks of winter sports at Chamonix. Gustav Kalkun, the
Estonian native who was a counselor at the MacJannet camp and ski instructor, watched Philip
tumbling into the snow repeatedly, but getting up each time to try again. The next day Kalkun
and his American-born wife Hally took a stiff but eager Philip between them, and with a hand and
ski pole from each, the lad soon learned fast on steep slopes. Once, when Philip accidentally let
go, and disappeared under the snow, they had to move fast do dig him out. Kalkun, who had
moved with his wife to Canada after World War II, met Philip briefly when the Prince, with
Queen Elizabeth, toured Ontario in 1957.
        Besides skiing at Chamonix, Philip in his usual role as leader, persuaded three other boys
that it would be fun to appear at a costume party as chimney sweeps, and that burnt cork was the
very best material for blackening faces, ears and hands. And it fell to the lot of Jean MacJannet,

after the party, to help in the slower and more laborious task of removing the cork from the royal
face and ears.
        Philip was widely pictured in the French, British and American press, in a Robin Hood
production at the school, laughing as he drew an arrow. Others in the picture are classmates Jack
and Anne de Bourbon, son and daughter of Prince René de Bourbon. Philip’ best friends at the
school were Wellington and Freeman Koo, sons of V. K. Wellington Koo, then Chinese
ambassador to France, and later a judge at the International Court at the Hague.
        Young Wellington Koo, then about eight, astonished MacJannet in his early days at the
school by asking if he could borrow the third volume of the encyclopedia to read at home in his
spare time. He had already read the first two volumes, he declared, but perhaps he just looked at
the pictures. Philip often spent weekends at the Koos’ambassadorial residence in Paris, where
the three boys, spurred by Philip’ enthusiasm, ran steeplechases and other violent games among
the precious vases and art objects. The young Koos, who had learned jiu-jitsu, also fearlessly
attacked and bested boys twice their size in defending Philip when he was outnumbered in
schoolground conflicts. Philip had shown his adroitness in his first day at the school, when the
other boys demanded that he and Theodore Culbert, another newcomer, “fight it out.” After a
few moments of scuffling, he whispered to the other boy, “are you having fun?” When Culbert
             t,                s
said he wasn’ Philip said “let’ quit,” and they did.
        Fifty years later, at a Buckingham Palace garden party held as part of the Queen’s
Jubilee, July 19, 1977, Prince Philip told MacJannet “Ms. Koo told my mother, ‘ love your
son, and we love to have him come, but we’ relieved when he goes, and nothing has been
broken.’” The prince, who had written several letters to MacJannet over the years, had invited
the MacJannets to a private audience 15 minutes before the garden party, but the MacJannets had
left their Geneva home before receiving an equerry’ letter setting up the meeting.
        MacJannet, an old hand at arranging to be in the front row, found the route that Philip
would take in circulating among the guests, and Philip stopped to talk. “Am I the only one of my
classmates of so long ago that you keep in touch with, or do you just keep in touch with those
who get into the newspapers?” Philip asked. “Try me out,” MacJannet replied. “Name someone
you remember.” The prince then asked about Wellington Koo, saying “he was kind of like me. I
was known as the boy who had no last name. He had been pointed out to me as ‘Ching Ching
        Mrs. MacJannet then told of their ’round-the-world trip and of a visit with Koo in Manila,
                      s                                        s
giving the prince Koo’ address. Philip then related his mother’ comment about the relief that
no precious art objects had been broken during the princely obstacle races at the Paris embassy.

The irrepressible Philip, in a parting shot at his old teacher as they shook hands was: “Mrs.
MacJannet, I’ glad that you caught and tamed him.”
        The MacJannets had sent an album of school pictures of Philip to the Queen at the time
of her marriage to Philip in 1947. Later, when Charles, Prince of Wales, had reached the
MacJannet school age of Philip, the MacJannets sent him a story entitled “When Daddy was a
Little Boy,” in which Charlotte MacJannet told of Philip’ school days. For the same occasion,
                           s                                 s”)
the Woodworths sent a Macy’ raincoat (“just like your father’ to Charles, and a similar one to
David Eisenhower, whose father John had been at the Trocadero school at nearly the same time
that Philip was at the Elms.
        A major addition to the MacJannet enterprise came when Emory Foster joined the
teaching staff in 1926. A former teacher of English literature and singer in Pasadena, California,
Foster had been studying to be an opera singer with a two-year scholarship at La Scala in Milan.
Passing through Paris, an ad for the MacJannet school caught his eye, and he applied. Jean
MacJannet, observing the interview from an upstairs window, confessed later “It wasn’ exactly
love at first sight, but I was impressed” as she observed the broad-shouldered, handsome man. A
year later, when MacJannet, driving her from the train station on her return from an American
trip, wondered aloud why Foster, “such a nice man,” never married. “‘Because he’ going to
marry me!’ I blurted out,” Jean recalled. But “I waited modestly,” she added, and the event did
not occur until the fall of 1929.
        After a year of teaching at the Elms, Foster was put in charge of MacJannet’ Trocadero
school for younger pupils, continuing there until the school closed in 1934, a casualty of the
Depression. Here he was involved in a kidnapping and wounding which nearly cost him his life.
At noon on January 22, 1929, Foster, in his office at the school, heard screams of children and
saw two men leap from a black limousine, seize the two children leaving his school, and force
them into the car. Foster rushed out and tried to stop the car, just as it was pulling away from the
curb. He was thrown against the side the car, and his hand smashed through a window. The
broken glass severed an artery and Foster lot a lot of blood before a passing butcher’ boy applied
a makeshift tourniquet and a taxi took Foster to the American hospital. Here he lost more blood
before a nurse, recognizing him, got him emergency attention before he bled to death. The same
surgeon who had earlier performed an appendectomy on Jean worked several hours repairing
Foster’ left wrist, but he never regained complete use of the hand. The Paris Figaro and other
French newspapers protested “Gangster Methods Imported into France.”
        The New York Times, reporting the incident the next day in a column-long story, said the
children, Ruth, 12, and Frank, 9, had been taken away by their father, Frank Woodward, 44, “a

wealthy industrialist” of New York. The paper said the children had been “gently forced” into
the car. Ruth stopped screaming when she entered the car, saw the man seated inside, and said,
“Hello, Father.” Woodward had told Paris police of his plan the night before, and had obtained
the services of two police detectives, who were the ones who seized the children, the Times said.
The MacJannets knew Woodward as “the Jell-O King.”
        Woodward’ wife, Mrs. Persis Earle Woodward, 40, made no complaint, but the
Trocadero school authorities did make a complaint. Police replied that since the Woodwards
were still legally married, though they had been separated for two years, no French law had been
violated. At all events, the children had already been spirited out of France by Woodward, who
took them from England to New York on a liner.
        Some alarmed mothers telephoned the Trocadero school after the kidnapping, asking
whether their own children were in similar danger. The school’ operator gave the same reply to
each caller: “Madame, that depends on what terms you are with your husband.”
        The Times later reported that Mrs. Woodward received an uncontested divorce and an
out-of-court settlement of a million dollars. Mrs. Woodward had placed the children in the
Trocadero school more than a year before they were taken away by their father. Foster sued Mrs.
Woodward for personal damages and hospital costs, and accepted a satisfactory settlement four
years later during a trip to New York.
        One evening at the Elms Mrs. Dorothy Malley, of Clearwater, Florida, recalled, “most of
the boys and the masters at the school were away for the weekend, and I was playing the violin in
the salon when a shot rang out. Since all the windows were open to any Peeping Tom or other
intruder, when the second shot rang out I rushed for the light switch and went out into the hall,
where two of the maids were almost hysterical. The had seen ‘ face of a madman’at the
kitchen window, his nose squashed across his face as he pressed it against the glass.
        “In a moment my brother Fred and my mother (who was substituting for one of the
French teachers) appeared from the second floor. A certainly guilty look on Fred’ face led to
questioning, and he finally confessed that his roommate had found a gun in the closet of their
absent third roommate, and had fired two shots out the window. And the face at the window had
been that of the mystified husband of the French teacher, living in the nearby gardener’ cottage.”
(Guns were always forbidden at the Elms. MacJannet believed the shots actually came from a toy
cap pistol.)
        Mrs. Malley was also present at the visit of the tax collector: two gendarmes, revolvers at
the ready, came to inquire into all the equipment that the school might possibly possess, trying to

make the amount as large as possible. They left at last, but returned in ten minutes. “Does
Monsieur possess a piano?” He did, and they cheerfully added more to the toll.
        Since MacJannet held firm to his principle that pupils should feel welcome and safe, he
did not permit any corporal punishment, such as the caning so often celebrated in British school
memoirs, but, short of dismissal from the school, there were restrictions like sitting in a corner for
hours and meditating on one’ misdeeds, or the imposition of extra chores. The boys raked
millions of leaves trying to achieve points toward a weekly prize—but he used the same activity to
punish misdemeanors. Once a ninth grader was found erasing a “good” mark from one student’s
leaf-raking record, and chalking it up to his own account. The boy was later found to be a
kleptomaniac, and dismissed.
        “No caning” did not prevent an occasional spanking of the younger pupils to remind them
of who was boss. Jean Foster remembers her husband Emory being so pestered by a boy at the
Trocadero school that he turned the boy over his knee for a spanking which produced not only
respect but affection. “The boy followed Emory around like a dog after that,” Jean said.
        When girls started attending the Elms school, they reacted in ways which MacJannet had
not encountered with boys. Catherine Pegg, the highly competent Britisher who was one of the
Elms school’ best teachers, told Mrs. Kenneth Spinning of Clinton, Connecticut about a time
when Mrs. Spinning’ daughter Barbara and her best friend, Rosemary Murphy, both about 13,
decided that the spring weather was too inviting to stay inside studying. Discovered hiding in
some bushes, they were sent to MacJannet for discipline. His strong words were so effective that
both girls burst into tears, which in turn upset MacJannet, to the amusement of Miss Pegg.
        Besides leaf raking, the students sometimes helped MacJannet on construction projects.
Unhappy with the dilatory ways of French artisans, who were long on promises but poor at
showing up for work, MacJannet learned to do his own repairs, such as plumbing, wiring and
carpentry. A contractor built two classrooms, a gymnasium, and a garage for the bus at the Elms.
With Scottish thrift he invited builders in St. Cloud to use part of his land as a dump for
foundation excavation material, and leveled it off for a football and baseball field.
        He also used his hobby of photography as a means of publicizing school and camp,
saying “Each year I took movies of the school and camp activities, such as the plays and
pageants, the excursions to Chamonix and North Africa, and so on. And I made sure that every
child was pictured in some event at least once. Then I would show these films at gatherings of
parents and their friends who might wish to send children.” He printed brochures using the same
appealing pictures, and setting forth the rates and facilities offered by the schools and camps.

        Some MacJannet alumni in the Boston area got a shock of recognition when they saw
pictures of Prince Philip at the Elms on a Boston television station, shown at the time of Philip’s
marriage to Princess Elizabeth. MacJannet had lent the film to the station. The film showed a
cracker race among about ten pupils at the school, and there was Philip, in his usual mischievous
manner, his cheeks bulging with crackers, making faces at the camera. The commentary
furnished by the studio was: “Today, when the attention of the entire world is on the bride-to-be,
we thought Philip deserved a little publicity, too.”
        The American Depression of the 1930s, which was soon worldwide, began to cut into
attendance at school and camp, but was more than offset soon by natives of Germany, Austria,
and other Central European countries who realized the dark cloud of fear that Hitler was inspiring
and decided to flee to America or Canada. They wanted their children to enter American schools
and colleges, and sought to prepare them for the transition by attending the MacJannet schools
and camps. Another kind of surprise, less pleasant, came when MacJannet was visited in 1927 by
a man named Prynce Hopkins, a Californian who had inherited a sewing machine fortune. He
questioned MacJannet for hours about the operation of the school, and then blandly announced
that he was going to set up a whole series of schools, to be called “New Schools for the Old
World,” in all the capitals of Europe, starting his first one at the Château de Bures, near St.
Germain-en-Laye. The school was a dozen miles from MacJannet’ school.
        “I was very discouraged,” MacJannet commented. “I thought ‘how on earth can I
compete with a man who has all that money to spend?’ One of my friends said, ‘    d
                                                                              you’ better sell
your school to him, because he’ put you out of business,’but I wanted to go on teaching. I went
out and looked at his school—he had a magnificent gymnasium, cork floors, and he had laid the
campus out as a map of the world, in concrete, with the Mediterranean as the swimming pool.
But you had to set up in a balloon to take it all in. Part of it looked like the war trenches. Later
his headmaster, Eric Steele, deserted, and came to me.” Hopkins planned to build four other
schools but none were actually constructed, and he went off to India to absorb wisdom at the feet
of a guru.
        MacJannet had plenty of economic and political news to discuss with his classes during
those early years of the school. France was in the midst of an economic crisis, brought about by
failure of the Germans to come forward with significant war reparations payments, compounded
by unwillingness of French politicians to make up the difference by increasing taxes. The franc,
which was at roughly five cents in American currency when he opened the school in 1924,
declined month by month until it hit bottom in late summer of 1926, with a low of two cents.

Frantic politicians replaced a succession of dilatory governments with Rayment Poincare, a
tough-minded financier, as premier. Under his regime the franc slowly recovered.
        The more trivial aspects of finance and politics could be even more interesting in the
classroom. For years, Paris had been plagued by the octroi, the customs circle, relic of feudal
days, which surrounded the city, with customs officials at each gate, levying a tax in hit-or-miss
fashion on incoming meat, poultry, eggs and gasoline. Cars coming in had to stop and pay a tax
on the gas in their tanks. Going out, they stopped for a voucher indicating how much they were
taking out, in order to reduce the tax when they returned. Often the guards would take the word
of the driver, but at others they would insist on measuring. In fits of zeal they sometimes invaded
tramcars, taxing a luckless farmer’ wife who had a chicken or two to sell in the city. Once
MacJannet, carrying a turkey, was outraged when he was taxed at the rate for a 10-kilo (22-
pound) turkey, although the bird only weighed five pounds. The douanier solemnly explained
that the lightest classification on his tax chart for turkeys was for a ten-pound bird, and he “had to
obey the law.” The whole system was ridiculous, because the amounts collected were hardly
enough to cover even a tenth of the cost of the small army needed to man the gates. The
Automobile Club of France finally brought an end to the whole business by jamming the gates
with its members, insisting on a measurement for each car. At all the gates, lines were miles long
in each direction for two days, until the government surrendered and abolished the octroi system.
        Fiery orators of the far right, such as Charles Marras and Leon Daudet, stirred up a strong
royalist movement among the volatile university students, who raced cars through the streets of
Paris, and created a lot of excitement in the papers when they kidnapped a member of the
outlawed royal family and held him incommunicado for several days.
        MacJannet deliberately kept his schools and camps small, believing that this was the best
road to education. James Halsey, one of his most capable masters, who came to the school in
1927, wanted him to expand into a chain of schools, but MacJannet would have none of it,
believing that the best teaching was done through capable leadership handling small groups of
pupils, rather than through larger units. Halsey stayed at the school seven years, and had a
distinguished career in America later, ending as president of Bridgeport University, but he and his
wife Julia, together with the Woodworths, remained the most active and loyal supporters of
MacJannet projects.
        Halsey’ application came through a teachers’agency, and Catherine Pegg, the demure
but outspoken Britisher who had been Philip’ teacher, looked at his picture, sniffed, and told
                t             s
MacJannet, “Don’ like him. He’ much too handsome, and so he is undoubtedly spoiled.” For
once, she was wrong. She stayed with the MacJannets many years, married a white Russian

photographer named Nicolai Levitsky and, after a period as a British alien in a French
concentration camp, directed on of the MacJannet postwar camps for war orphans.

A Camp to Remember— for Learning

“Obscenity? You mean me?” Donald MacJannet’ eyebrows shot up, and his blue eyes stared in
disbelief as the two French gendarmes, complete with sidearms and troncheons, confronted him
in his newly-established summer camp on Lake Annecy.
        “Monsieur le Capitaine des Gendarmes has ordered to confirm you that if the young
demoiselles of your camp appear again on the public highway in the kind of costumes they were
wearing, you will be arrested and charged with permitting obscenity,” the taller gendarme,
unsmiling, informed him.
        “But, but— why that’ ridiculous. Those little girls were wearing great big shapeless
bloomers, the kind women wear in gymnasiums,” MacJannet protested.
        “No matter what they were wearing,” the gendarme interrupted coldly. “The fact is that
they were not wearing skirts. Remember, you have been warned. Good day, Monsieur,” and
they turned and left.
        And that is why, for the first years at camp, girls who were going to climb the mountain
behind the camp out on a skirt over their bloomers to walk the 100 yards down the public
highway to the point where they turned off onto the footpath up the mountain. As soon as they
were on the footpath they put the skirts in their backpacks, ready to be donned again for that 100-
yard stretch of the return journey. Thus was preserved the immaculate image of the nation which
had no difficulty at that time in accepting dark-skinned Josephine Baker’ appearance, wearing
nothing but a smile and a string of bananas around her waist, on the stage of the Folies Bergeres,
surrounded by a bevy of young ladies, all equally lightly-clad. Of course, times change, and so
did the attitude of M. le Prefect. In a very few years the MacJannet camp girls were in
lightweight shorts for that 100 yards of highway.
        In the first year of the Elms school MacJannet had taken a group of students and friends
to Chamonix for two weeks of winter sports. Leaving the group in charge of Jean and some of
the teachers for the return to Paris, MacJannet went to Annecy lake in mid-January, 1925 to
consider it for a camp site, since he had found the Bourget lake unsatisfactory during his two
years as assistant at Maurice Blake’ camp. The snow-capped mountains plunging almost to the
water’ edge at the upper end of the Lake of Annecy delighted him, and so did the clear water,

deep and blue. He made arrangements for space to pitch tents near Veyrier, not far from the city
of Annecy at the lower end of the lake.
        That summer of 1925 MacJannet had both men and women counselors from America,
and a boys’and girls’camp, side by side. He was in charge of the boys’camp, and Jean and Mrs.
Marion H. Porter ran the girls’camp. Both were called jointly the Annecy Junior Camps,
l’Aiglon (Eaglet) for the boys, and Le Cygne (Cignet) for the girls. In his usual canny manner,
MacJannet shared the risk, going into partnership with Mrs. Porter for the girls’camp, sharing
costs for the tents and other articles purchased from French army stores. MacJannet also had tent
platforms made of wood for the camp. Mrs. Porter had had two sons at the school, and insisted
        When Donald and Jean MacJannet arrived in the spring of 1925 at Annecy to start the
new camp, they had a better chance to look at the lake and its surroundings. Donald took a taxi
and Jean rented a bicycle to circle the lake, and both discovered a much better campsite at Angon,
a comparatively flat peninsula jutting out into the lake about a mile north of the village of
Talloires, near the upper end of the lake, surrounded by high mountains. In Roman times a
mountain stream cascaded directly into the lake, and the Romans put a bridge, still there, across
the stream some distance up the mountain. During the centuries the stream had gradually built up
the peninsula.
        MacJannet wanted the flatlands for an athletic field, having had enough of rain-gullied
slopes at the St. Cloud school. He discovered that nearly a third of a mile of lakefront was owned
by a Dr. Murgier, Annecy dentist, anxious to sell because he wanted to retire. His asking price
was 25,000 francs (about $1,250 at the then-rate of exchange), but MacJannet had only $250 to
spare at that time. Fortunately Dr. Murgier was willing to wait for the rest, without even
demanding interest. Originally the property had only a footpath connection to the main road, but
MacJannet was soon able to arrange for a narrow access road.
        At the end of a successful camping season at Veyrier, MacJannet bought out Mrs. Porter,
stored the tent platforms, and began plans for the first season at his splendid new campsite at
Angon. In 1926 he started what became his usual practice of taking a group of older pupils from
the Elms school and having them help him set up the camp a week before the formal opening.
The children loved it, because it gave them the sense of “being in on the ground floor” before the
others arrived. An accident which just missed being tragic marred the ride down in the school
bus from Paris. MacJannet had lashed some mattresses on top of the Ford Model T bus, amid
comments that it looked a bit shaky. Instead, it proved all too firm. Near Dijon MacJannet,
driving with his usual care, came to a railroad underpass, and the loaded top hit the trestle.

        “The impact turned the body of the truck vertical, whipping it into the cab and sending
me and Oscar Cox, a counselor, flying through the windshield, along with the gas tank,” said
MacJannet. “The children riding in the bus were set on their heads, but not injured. I was
appalled by the total silence. Cox and I were bleeding, but we got up and walked a few steps.
Charley German, another counselor who had been following in the gray Ford, camp up to us, and
helped get the children out of the bus, and by that time they were making quite a bit of noise.
Cox took us to a physician, who exclaimed ‘What? Beginning again so early?’ He had just
finished caring for victims of a previous accident. All he had to do for Oscar Cox and me was a
few stitches on the cheeks.” One of the passengers in the gray Ford, MacJannet recalls, was
Howard Cook, who continued to remain a faithful friend for the next 50-plus years. He later
headed International House, the student center in New York, for 24 years, and for a time was
president of the World Federation of International houses.
        The young campers hugely enjoyed their first job, which was to paddle the heavy tent
platforms down to the new site from their storage spot at Veyrier. They set iron posts in concrete
for cables to anchor the tents and tent flies, and during all the years the tents were used there was
never a blowdown.
        The most spectacular aspect of the construction came in getting the posts for the pier and
diving platform driven deep into the lake bed. They were too long to fit under theweight of the
pile driver, which was to drive them down. Lynn F. Woodworth, athletic director at a
Washington, D.C. high school, who had just signed on to be a camp counselor and teacher for the
next year at the Elms school, came to the rescue. A marine who rose from private to captain in
World War I, he was a superb athlete, nimble and powerful, with the compact frame of a man of
average size. Woody, as he was called by counselors and campers, climbed to the top of the tall
poles, stood on tiptoe, and then suddenly crouched, the descending weight of his body driving the
post more than a foot at a time into the lake bed. It needed only a few feet to bring each post
within the range of the pile driver.
        Campers and counselors set up a row of tents about 15 feet back of the lake shore for
Camp l’Aignon for the boys, and, on the other side of a hedge, camp l’Allouette (Lark) for the
girls. Each tent sheltered four campers and a counselor. Maria, the thoroughly competent cook,
presided in a cookhouse, and two large circus tents served one as dining hall and the other as a
sports and exercise place in bad weather. Later MacJannet added a stone and wood lodge, with
open-sided porches for dining and exercise, and smaller buildings for crafts.

           Camp began each day with brisk setting up exercises conducted by Woody, followed by a
bare dip, often with an appreciative audience of boaters 100 yards from shore. The girls had their
own exercises in a small field near their camp.
           A flag salute, with the French and American flags equally displayed on a separate
flagpole, preceded breakfast. As at the Elms, French was required at all meals, and the campers
had an additional French lesson in the morning. The children sang a simple grace before each
meal, but the camp seemed to resound most of the time to the sound of music. Counselors, from
various campuses, brought their own college songs, so on hikes, bus rides, up the mountain trails,
or almost any other time, tunes like “Lord Jeffery Amherst,” “Anchors Aweigh,” “Minnesota,
Hail to Thee,” “Donderbeck and his Sausage Machine,” and “Indiana” were favorites. For years
Woody turned cartwheels to punctuate “Indiana,” his alma mater. Gifted Phyllis Chamberlain
composed “encouraging” songs: “Give Yourself a Pat on the Back” and “Outzide It’ Raining.”
           They got a lot of rain that first summer. MacJannet had to furnish large umbrellas to
shelter the food from cook tent to dining hall. With paving and gravel paths not yet laid down,
campers and counselors wore wooden sabots, and switched to slippers (each person had his name
on a pair) at the dining hall. In spite of the rain, the campers remained remarkably cheerful and
           For the first time, also, French children joined the camp. Before the advent of American-
style camps like MacJannet’ French children had always gone for the summer to an aged aunt or
grandparents in the country, where they mostly ran free. The camps offered discipline and
instruction, games and exercises to stimulate growth— and plenty of companionship and fun.
           At least, with the camp at Angon, MacJannet could begin the mingling of French and
American children. The French government had forbidden French children to go to the
MacJannet school, but did not forbid them at the camps. First to come were from Paris, attracted
by the enthusiasm of their young American friends, and in succeeding years from many other
French children, as well as other nationalities, were represented. At one camp, children of 18
nationalities were in the flag salute morning lineup. Later MacJannet formed a committee,
headed by the rector of the Sorbonne, to spread the word among outstanding French families and
also to select annually two candidates for scholarships.
           MacJannet explained the goal of mingling nationalities in this way: “Of course our
greatest hope for getting friendships formed between Americans and Europeans was at camp. In
           re                                    t                   t
school you’ asked not to help your neighbor, don’ copy from him, don’ let him see your paper.
You’ kept away from the neighbor except in sports. But at camp almost everything was done as
team work. To get your cot and your tent to win a prize for greatest neatness there’ got to be

teamwork or you’ never get it. They make their beds two by two, all the beds. They sweep and
clean but in cooperating, each one feeling the whole team would suffer if I fall down on my job.
        “So at camp you can do vastly more, not only in developing the characteristics which will
make them worthwhile men, but you also give opportunity for them to appreciate each other.
When you have a French boy on your baseball team and he can knock out home runs although he
wasn’ born with a bat in his hand, like most Americans, when you can find a French boy who
can play tennis better than any of your American comrades, when they can swim faster, then you
appreciate them, you forget that they are of a different nationality; they’ just good people to
have on your team.
        “Woody was one of the most important influences in bringing about this understanding,
this cooperation, this teamwork. He had the extraordinary gift of putting himself in the place of
every boy. And every boy understood him, whether he understood his language or not. One little
boy said, ‘ ne sais pas ce que M. Woddy dit, maid j’aime beaucoup l’entend parler.’(I don’t
know what Mr. Woody says, but I love to hear him talk.) He realized that he was deeply
interested in each one of those youngsters, especially those who were slow in learning. And he
would go over and over, and say, ‘think it all through before you take this dive. Think one
movement after another, how you’ going to move muscles. Then try your dive.’ He would
help them to understand intellectually as well as physically the problems of the games, the sports,
the skills that they were trying to master.”
        Besides the rain and the mud, that first Angon camp season had rough nights as well as
days. “Mr. MacJannet had used some hay from nearby farmers to fill our mattresses,” Robert
Bushnell, of Lyme, Conn., recalls. “Everybody had a severe case of skin irritation until this was
corrected.” The franc was at a low point that summer, and Americans were resented, he points
out. “Even the people in the village of Angon, just above the camp, were far from cordial,”
Bushnell said. “Then, early one morning about 4 a.m., we were awakened by a fire in Angon. It
looked as though the entire town was in flames. All the counselors and boys got dressed and ran
up to the village. The townspeople had a hand pumper for apparatus, four men to a side, to
provide the power. They were running from a brook to the machine with buckets but it was not
well organized. MacJannet and Woody soon had a bucket brigade going with the boys from the
camp, and the women of the village. The counselors took a turn at the pump. Soon the fire was
under control. Most of the farm was gone, but the village was saved. After that incident we
always got a cheery ‘bonjour’from the people of the village.”
        Helping to put out the Angon fire improved the reputation of the camps. MacJannet
remembers that at first the French were wary of the camp because they thought it was “a nudist

outfit.” (This may have been because of the morning dips, help separately for the boys and girls,
out of view of each other.) The farmers also feared— needlessly— that the planting of trees would
shade their gardens.
          Education— including table manners— went on all the time, but in a friendly manner.
Cordelia Job, now Mrs. Robert Bary of Concord, Calif., remembers one noon when MacJannet,
walking through the camp dining porch, “looked at me and said, ‘Miss Job, did you get your
elbows sunburned?’ I never put my elbows on the table now without remembering his gentle
correction. In fact, I now rarely put my elbows on the table.”
          One of the places the campers visited was a Trappist monastery, where the monks do not
speak to each other, even at the table. At times when the camp dining porch became especially
noisy, MacJannet or someone else in authority would say, “Let us all now be Trappist monks for
15 minutes,” and they would all fall silent, Mrs. Bary recalls. And perhaps some of them were
glad to be relieved briefly of speaking French, required at all meals.
          A different kind of table lessons came to Dorothy Mears, a camper, now Mrs. Dorothy
Allen of Mountain View, Calif. MacJannet delivered many a lecture on the New England virtue
of “clean your plate! Don’ waste food!” For one lunch she got a bowl of cottage cheese, which
she hated. “My counselor told me I had to finish it before I could leave the table,” she recalled.
“One girl told me to put apricot jam on it to improve the flavor— but then I had twice as much to
eat. I sat there long after everyone had left the table. But I still don’ eat cottage cheese.”
Counselors were told to serve small portions, and campers were urged to at least try everything
          Mrs. Allen had a serious brush with danger when she dreamed one night that it was time
to get up. She took off her pajamas, walked to the end of the small pier to jump in, decided that it
seemed darker and colder than usual, and decided to go to bed. “The next thing I knew we were
awakened for the morning dip, and I found I was naked and my pajamas were on the floor of the
tent, so I realized I had sleepwalked. I never told anybody, for fear that they would tie me to the
bed or something at night.”
          Friends and former teachers or counselors scattered throughout America helped screen
applicants for MacJannet, partly to eliminate “problem cases” or children with physical handicaps
who would find communal camp life too difficult. Ordinarily, children were taken up to age 14,
though before World War II some as old as age 18 were accepted. Each counselor had his or her
own group, with photographs of each child, and he knew their names when they arrived by boat
or train or car. The children would immediately join their own group, get acquainted, and thus
get an immediate sense of belonging, which MacJannet felt was very important. Each would tell

something about his life, where he came from, what he was interested in. In general, emphasis in
the sports was on “beating your own record,” rather than beating the other person, but the camp
had a great variety of contests so that practically every child could manage to be good at
something. A contest to produce the best whistler, for instance, would give the winner a sense of
accomplishment, and the counselors would build on that small victory to promote gains in other
fields. For the occasional “bad boy,” who prided himself on being obnoxious, teasing or tripping
others, for instance, MacJannet used the remedy he had developed at St. Alban’ school. He
would point out that the boy was a guest, and should act like a guest, with politeness and
consideration, just as guests in his parents’home did.
        “I would get him placed in a corner outside my office, facing the wall, and have him
think about how much more fun it would be to be a happy, pleasant guest under my roof,”
MacJannet said. “He’ sit there in a corner, hearing the shouts of those out sailing or canoeing,
                                         d                                        d
fishing, activities in the workshops. He’ hear this go on part of the day, and he’ sit there in the
corner, and his meals would be brought to him, so that he could sit there and think how much
more pleasant it would be to be part of the group. That almost always worked. If it didn’ we
could and did ask his parents to take him away.”
        Crafts rooms, for weaving, painting, sculpture and other activities, under the skilled
guidance of Fernando Valero, the Spanish- and French-speaking artist who also taught at the
MacJannet school, aided the development of skills. “A great many of the children made their
own flutes out of a piece of bamboo, very inexpensive, and a lot of fun,” MacJannet pointed out.
“They made it, tuned it, learned to play on it. They decorated the flute, made a sock for it out of
inexpensive material, and sewed it. A lot of times men who were heads of big companies would
come back to us and say proudly, ‘ ve still got my flute!’”
        Making the pipes had been suggested by Charlotte MacJannet in efforts to add more
depth to the musical activities of camp and school. While on a visit to England before her
marriage, she had seen such pipes in action, when a group of English pipers used them for a
performance of Swedish folk dancers on a lawn. Later she helped to orgnaize the French Pipers
Guild, which bore the title La Guilde des Faisseurs et Joueurs du Pipeau (guild of makers and
players of the pipe), which still exists, and includes Swiss and German members, as well as
French, Belgian and Italian.
        The thrill of making a useful object, small and sturdy, and also still able to give pleasure
when the child becomes an adult, seemed to have a special appeal to the campers.
        One such was peter Sawada, who came back to a Talloires birthday anniversary of
MacJannet, and proudly showed his flute, and played “The Lord Jeffery Amherst” and other

college tunes. In the intervening years he had become head of an American firm’ sale of animal
health products in Japan and Korea (“Thanks to MacJannet’ training,” he insisted), and then
head of Asian sales for Eastman Kodak. Sawada was one of the three sons of the second in
command at the Japanese Embassy in Paris, brought to the camp in 1932 by their mother, Mrs.
Kiki Sawada. When Mrs. Sawada and the three boys, all under ten, stepped out of the embassy
limousine at the camp, MacJannet was astonished at their diminutive stature, but he was not an
easily-ruffled man. While the boys explored the camp, Mrs. Sawada questioned MacJannet
closely. “How much time during the day is devoted to reading the Scriptures?” Mme. Sawada
asked. “Well,” MacJannet replied, “We don’ devote any time to the reading of the Scriptures,
but we are very firm believers in much of the teaching of the Scriptures. The Catholic children
go to a mass in Talloires Sunday morning, and then they come back to what they call the
Protestant mass, which all the children attend. It is a simple service, in which I stress that we are
put on this earth with certain talents to use for the benefit of our fellow men as far as we are able.
And I say we should beautify, should do our our share to make the world a better place to live in.
Very simple, but something that you can put into practice every day. We started the day with a
song, particularly the Tufts song, but some of other cultures, too, and I give them a little talk on
something special we would do that day.” This seemed to satisfy Mme. Sawada, and she enrolled
the three boys. They later went to the MacJannet school at St. Cloud. When World War II broke
out, and the MacJannet camps were turned over to the Quakers to care for hundreds of French
war orphans, MacJannet received a letter from Joseph Grew, U.S. Ambassador to Tokyo before
Pearl Harbor, saying that the three Sawada boys had come to him with their pocket money, asking
him to send it to aid the Quakers at the camp. During the American occupation of Japan after the
war, Mrs. Kiki Sawada took the lead in caring for children fathered in Japan by American
soldiers, helping to care for more than 2,000. The Japanese had tended to shun these children,
particularly those with black fathers. She became so revered for this and other activities that
when the MacJannets visited Japan on their world tour in the 1960s they had only to say that they
were friends of “Miki Sawada” to open doors as if by magic. MacJannet wrote an introduction to
a biography of her.
        Some 49 years after his camp experience one thing still troubled him, Peter Sawada told
the MacJannets. He had fallen into the lake one night, he said, and Woody had been so provoked
that he spanked both Peter and his tentmate, Dino Morgan, without waiting to learn that Morgan
was innocent in the matter. “If I could only locate Dino Morgan I’ like to buy him a couple of
martinis to compensate him for that undeserved spanking,” Peter Sawada said.

        Another camper, who later rose very high in the political world, was Indira Nehru
Gandhi, who spent the summer of 1929 at the camp, when she was 11 or 12 years old. “She came
to us through another Hindu, Dhan M. Mukerji, a writer and philosopher who had married an
American and became an American citizen,” MacJannet said. “Their son was at our camp. The
father asked me one day, ‘would you take into the camp the daughter of a jailbird?’ I said that
depends on who the jailbird is. And he said, ‘ s Jawaharlal Nehru, in jail in England because of
                                       ”              d
his agitation for Indian independence.’ And I said we’ be very glad to have her. That year, as
the main pageant feature of the camp, we reproduced the court of Queen Catherine de Medici in
Paris, with the ambassadors from other countries surrounding her. Indira was in that group, in the
role of turbaned ambassador from India. Howard Cook, later president of International House,
New York, for more than 20 years, was in that group of campers too, jousting with a long spear
before Catherine de Medici.
        “Later, Indira Gandhi received us in the prime minister’ house in New Delhi when we
took a trip around the world. She had invited us to visit her, and she told us that, based on her
memories of the camp, she had founded camps in India with the same idea of tolerance, of
training in teamwork, respect for others, and trying to develop their talents in a positive way so
that they could be helpful to others.” In a letter to the MacJannets on Feb. 21, 1977, Mrs. Gandhi
wrote “I also remember your camp vividly, even such inconsequential details as keeping the tent
floor clean and embroadering a chain stitch elephant on a cushion for the common room.”
        Mukerji’ son, Dhan, the camper, had his own experience of revelation through the camp.
Years later, lunching with the MacJannets, he told Charlotte: “It was at camp that I discovered
who I was. I had been very worried before. Was I white? Was I dark? Was I Indian?
American? What was I? And then I came to the camp. I loved everything Mr. Mac said, and the
way he ran the camp, and all the bunch of boys and girls. The people called it the American
camp. And I said this is the American spirit, and this is what I want to be. Why shouldn’ I be?
I’ an American. And I lost this questing, questioning apprehension of ‘What was I?’” The
younger Mukerji is now a resident of Dayton, Ohio, and head of a large American company. The
father was a writer and philosopher.
        The Court of Catherine de Medici’ pageant was like several put on, one each year, near
the close of the camp season. The children made their own costumes, and aided Valero, the crafts
expert, and counselors in producing stage sets, and parents and friends were invited to watch.
One year the younger campers staged an elaborate betrothal ceremony between Bernard of
Menthon, born in 823 at the Château de Menthon, scarcely five miles from the camp, to Margaret
de Mollans, the 15-year-old daughter of a noble Savoy family, who lived across the lake from the

camp in Château de Duingt. The gaily-clad bridal procession, complete with flowers and
wreaths, walked through the campgrounds, with MacJannet alongside filming with his movie
camera, to thecamp lodge, which served for this occasion as the Château de Menthon.
        The actual ceremony was held several centuries earlier, 10 days before the scheduled
marriage of Bernard and Margaret, but the wedding never took place. Bernard decided that he
didn’ want to be baron of Menthon, and slipped out of his room in the château the night before
and fled to Italy, where he joined the Benedictine order, becoming eventually St. Bernard, and
founding the Alpine group which set up hospices in the Alps passes, and developed the rescue
dogs which became known as the St. Bernard breed.
        MacJannet delighted in telling the camera the legend of Bernard’ flight, asserting, with a
smile, that when the 22-year-old Bernard cast himself from his window, angels were ready at
hand, caught him, and lowered him to the pavement 20 feet below. This was obviously a more
appealing tale than the prosaic fact of Bernard knotting blankets together to lower himself to the
ground. Margaret, not too dispirited, entered a convent, but she and Bernard corresponded for
years, and their letters are preserved at the Château de Menthon. A descendant of the Menthon
counts married Blair Lee III, who became governor of Maryland after the resignation of Marvin
Mandel. Mrs. Lee, known to friends as Mimi, was christened Mathilde, daughter of Jeanne de
Menthon, and was known to the Woodies in Washington.
        I myself had a small part in the Lake Dwellers pageant put on in Late August, 1930 when
I became “a counselor by accident.” On a return visit to Paris, where I had spent a year with a
French family in 1926–27, I ran out of money. To get cash for a boat ticket I applied for a
counselor job. Emory Foster told me at the Elms school that there was virtually no chance, but
took my name and address. Then he learned MacJannet did want one more counselor, but Foster
had mislaid my address and phone number. He put a small note in the Paris edition of the
Herald-Tribune, bearing the headline “Mr. Jacobs, where are you?” The accompanying story so
perplexed the American sculptor and his wife, with whom I had been traveling that he doubted I
was meant, but he mailed it to me. I would not have seen the notice, because I read only French
papers, and he was reading it only because the Tribune was about to publish a feature story on his
sculptural works. I phoned, and rode down to Talloires the next day with Jean and Emory Foster,
sharing the rumble seat of the Ford roadster with a late camper.
        As a reward— or punishment— for late arrival, I got the two tents with the smallest
children, eight in all, ranging from seven to 10 in age and including two mild and self-effacing
brothers who were French counts.

        One of the youngsters in my two tents was Ernest Upton, then only seven years old, a
friendly towhead, often questioned by MacJannet at the end of his brief daily talks, to see how
much information had been conveyed. Much later I learned that Ernest and his older brother John
were among the five children of MacJannet’ older sister Josephine. MacJannet decided that they
did not fit into the academic mold. They returned to America and MacJannet saw to it that they
were placed in vocational schools, where both did well.
        I had been raised in a social settlement house, and spent every summer at the lake camp
for working people and their families, run by my parents. In fact, I had run the camp the summer
before, following the death of my mother and long illness of my father. People came for a meal
or a summer, all work was shared, there was no formal program, and no hired help. At Annecy,
by contrast, I found nearly half as many paid helpers as campers, a full schedule with little free
time— and everybody learning, healthy and happy, including me.
        MacJannet, friendly but reserved, kept an eye on everything, but Woody, titled executive
director, saw to the day-to-day operation. Since I was fairly handy with tools, I did quite a bit of
construction, particularly on the sewer system, troublesome in that low-lying area. The eight
little boys in my two tents were docile, except for a roly-poly named George. “Scorch his tail,
sir,” the other boys would advise, and I would occasionally administer a few mild whacks. No
one had told me that corporal punishment was frowned upon. To the amusement of Woody and
his lovely wife Anita, who had the tent next to mine, I instituted a race each night to get
undressed and into bed, with the winner rewarded by getting to blow out the candle, in contrast to
the bickering and arguments that I heard in some of the other tents. “Sir,” by the way, was the
generic name for all male counselors. “I told Sir I was going to my tent,” a lad would say. Each
morning I would shed my pajamas, walk the dozen feet to the sea wall, wave toward the tawny
forms of some girl counselors doing the same thing at the girls’camp some hundreds of feet
away, and plunge in for a quick dip. I loved the clear water, and on boating excursions to the site
of the ancient Lake Dwellers colony we could still see, 20 feet or so below, the posts of their
dwellings, put down many hundreds of years earlier. At one summer’ camp a youth named
David Gammon, with the aid of a counselor, developed an amateur diving helmet, made out of a
pail, with air supplied by a tube and pump. He used the helmet to retrieve a whole collection of
stone implements from the lake dwellers site.
        As the end of my summer at the camp we put on the Lake Dwellers pageant, with the pier
and diving tower transformed with palm fronds and branches to resemble lake village huts.
Campers and counselors wore old canvas garments, tunics for the ladies, loin clothes for the
males, painted to look something like the skins of wild beasts, and wild wigs made by artist

Valero of horsehair. The talented villager “medicine man,” leader of many a skit, created an
unexpected diversion when his elaborate costume caught fire, extinguished by a quick jump into
the lake. I led a small band of barbarian invaders, approaching in kayaks, and driven off, after
whoops and skirmishes, to watery graves in the lake. The climax was a titanic battle with straw-
filled axes between Gustav Kalkun and me, as the two largest individuals in the camp. A mild,
muscular Estonian, Kalkun worked winters at the Geneva YMCA. He was 1930 European
shotput champion, and led the camps’ field sports. The battle was staged close to the 50 or so
parents and other spectators, so that they could witness our tremendous roars and savage blows,
ending, of course, in my being driven off the diving board. One summer the pageant depicted
Jason and the Golden Fleece.
        At another time Kalkun and I took eight boys on a climb up Le Tournette, the mile-high
mountain behind the camp. We spent the night in a chalet above the tree line, climbed the last
few hundred feet in darkness to see the sun rise behind Mt. Blanc, the only camp climbers that
summer, I understand, to see Mt. Blanc unmasked by clouds. Younger campers made short
excursions, toiling up to the Dents de Lanfon (a corruption of Dents de l’Enfant— “baby teeth”), a
jagged outcropping of rocks several hundred feet above the camp.
        Counselors had free time during rest hour, and after taps at night, the only times at which
they could also smoke. The only counselor I felt close to was Eric de Vismes, a sandy-haired,
angular and taciturn fellow who shared my enthusiasm for beer, wine, ribald balladry, and lots to
eat. We often met in the kitchen where the jolly cook Maria would be having coffee with one or
two of her French helpers. Maria could be depended on for huge slices of buttered bread, and
mugs of clabbered milk. We discovered, after a few such visits, that Maria also had in the
storeroom plenty of red wine. French law at that time required establishments such as the camp
to buy at least a minimum quantity of wine for the employees. MacJannet, not a man to waste a
sou, bought the cheapest red wine, Maria said, which proved to be unpalatable to the kitchen help.
DeVismes and I, both impoverished (I was rolling my own cigarettes, with cheap French
tobacco), were delighted with any handout. Soon Maria tired of getting the wine for us, and
invited us to help ourselves— and we did.
        Often we ranged farther afield, walking the mile to a Talloires café to drink strong
Alsatian beer. We were joined on these excursions by James H. Halsey and his vivacious and
lovely bride Julia. Halsey had taught for two years at the MacJannet school at St. Cloud, where
MacJannet considered him one of his most outstanding teachers. He had returned to America for
a year, and came back to the camp in 1930 with his bride. Remaining a lifelong friend and

devoted supporter of MacJannet’ international friendship goals, Halsey had a distinguished
academic career, ending as president of Bridgeport University, Connecticut.
        Woody and MacJannet never mentioned these excursions, though MacJannet told me 60
years later that he was thoroughly aware of them. Perhaps his very high regard for the Halseys
sheltered the obviously unregenerate DeVismes and Jacobs from censure. I did suspect, however,
that either MacJannet or Woody scheduled a “fête champêtre” the day after such drinking bouts,
when DeVismes and I were invariably chosen to lug heavy pianos out to the playing fields, and
back. Always, at the athletic events, DeVismes, Kalkun and I performed a “moving pyramid”
act, with two big boys behind us, their hands on our hips, and a third boy standing on their
shoulders as a kind of charioteer. Woody would perform a series of comic dives, and he and I
had a special stunt in which he made a running leap at me, landing in my cupped hands as I
heaved him up into a backward somersault.
        MacJannet was enormously proud that during 40 years the camp never suffered a serious
accident— only two broken collarbones in all that time— probably due to constant watchfulness,
and avoidance of situations that could lead to trouble. Swimming and boating came under special
guard. Virtually all the counselors had passed the Red Cross water safety and live-saving test.
When Woody administered the life-saving test to MacJannet, they had to break off because the
water had turned so cold, and they continued the test at the Lido in Venice. While they were
struggling in the water, MacJannet received a sharp thump on the head, which nearly laid him
out. An Italian lifeguard, seeing the two men wrestling, thought a real drowning was in progress,
and had thrown a life preserver, far too accurately.
        In the year 1930 MacJannet began to feel the pinch of the American Depression. He got
a sharp reminder when his broker came to him and reported that not only was the $70,000 in
savings which MacJannet had entrusted to him for prudent investment all gone in the Wall Street
stock market crash, but MacJannet owed the firm $18,220. “You mean you let all that $70,000
slip away, and in addition I owe you $18,220? How is that possible?” MacJannet asked.
        “You shared in the gains, so you should share in the losses, too,” the man replied.
        “I didn’ see any gains,” said MacJannet, and refused to pay.
        A born optimist, MacJannet took the loss in stride. Later, when the Nazis pillaged his
school at St. Cloud, and World War II closed down his camp activities, he commented: “Life to
me has always been a joyous adventure. If at some moment you suffer a misfortune and don’t
succeed, you pick yourself up and start anew. I won more times than I lost. I have a good batting
average. There’ always the joy of accomplishment.”

         Though he had to pull in his horns a bit, MacJannet went right on improving the camp.
To reduce fire hazards, he began replacing the tents with chalets holding five campers and a
         At the end of 1930 camp season MacJannet, the Woodies and five counselors climbed
into the eight-passenger Peugot touring car and took off to see the Passion Play at
Oberammergau. For some reason MacJannet picked me to take the train back to Paris with the 50
or so children who were not being collected at the camp by their parents. I saw a chance to drive
a bargain, and received a small increase in pay, and a day off, my second of the camp season, to
visit a girl friend in Geneva. I took an early morning passenger boat from Talloires to Annecy,
took the train to Geneva, and coming back late at night, had the conductor stop the train near the
castle of Duingt, across the lake from the camp, where Eric DeVismes was waiting with a boat.
         The train trip to Paris, with a change at Aix-les-Bains, was uneventful, except that the
second-class carriage ordered by MacJannet was not on the Annecy train. The chef de gare told
us to get into the first class car as far as Aix. The conductor, however, demanded that I pay the
supplement between second and first class for all the children. I needed all the money, so I
refused. One world led to another, in high-decibel French, and finally he threatened to arrest me.
“Go ahead,” said I, “and then you can take care of the children.” With that he stormed away and
left me alone. The two counselors assigned to help me also vanished, but we had no trouble on
the 12-hour trip. I had hampers of sandwiches, prepared by Maria, bottles of spring water, and
pockets stuffed with toilet paper, not furnished on French trains. In Paris I turned all children
over to Emory Foster at the station.
         The Oberammergau voyagers had a more exciting trip— the only major accident of his
career besides the one with the bus at the railroad pass near Dijon, MacJannet asserted. He had
had the brakes realigned, but the job was apparently improperly done, because the brakes got hot
and smoked on a trial run. He loosened them, but to no avail, so he took them off entirely. “Our
schedule was tight, with no time to have the job done over, and anyway the motor had such good
compression that we didn’ really need any brakes,” he contended.
         Because they had hard-to-get reservations for the Passion Play the next day, the group
had to get to Oberammergau thatnight, so MacJannet, driving the Woodies and several
counselors, was hurrying down a straight stretch of highway in the open car when the hood
loosened, and then flew up into the air. “Duck!” Woody shouted, and he and all the other
passengers crouched down. But MacJannet cooly watched the road, and saw the hood veer to the
side of the car as it fell.

        After retrieving the hood— and making sure that it was securely fastened— MacJannet
soon faced another challenge. The car was going down a steep hill, with a rail crossing at the
bottom, whose signals were flashing the approach of a train. Without brakes, the motor merely
slowed the car on the steep hill. With no way to stop the car or turn out, MacJannet blew the
horn, but the stolid guard merely pushed the barrier into place. The car “gently pushed” the
barrier to one side, MacJannet declared, though Cynthia Harts, a counselor, no Mrs. Leonard
Raymond of York Harbor, Maine, thought it a more forceful encounter, and the guard was
furious. A 10-france note pacified him, and the journey continued.
        MacJannet endured many jibes from friends that “he was once an aviator and still drives
like one,” but he could point to only one accident, with minor injuries, and not even a dented
fender at any other time.
        Neither Woody nor Anita mentioned the incident to me when we sipped a beer in front of
the Gare St. Lazare as they were about to depart on the boat train. Instead, with typical Woody
zest, he said, “Jake! We’ still got 10 minutes. Come with me and interpret. I want to buy a
watch.” We dashed diagonally across the street, dodging or straight-arming a maze of taxis in the
best football broken-field style, got the watch, returned the same way, and they sped to the train,
leaving me to pay for the beers— for which I collected every time I saw them again in
        Of all the counselors Charles Sutherland probably brought the greatest variety of skills to
his task, and his wife Beth equalled him in her own special fields. Both were from the Lawrence
School, New York, and both were at the Elms school and the Talloires camps in the late 1920s.
        Besides being excellent with the children in hiw role as counselor, Charles could play the
piano, and wrote and directed the pageants which were a feature of Parents’Day near the end of
each camp season. “He selected the pictures for our school and camp brochures, and he had the
rare gift of choosing pictures that told a story,” MacJannet said. While at the camp Charles and
Beth lived with their toddler son Peter, in nearby Angon.
        Charles designed and built a double row of connected workshops for the arts and crafts
classes, including sculpturing and woodworking. He also set up the looms for Beth’ weaving
projects. She was also a sculptor, and son Peter Sutherland posed for her with a lily pad for the
pedestal of the first drinking fountain for the Allouette girls’camp.
        Roman shields, made from the molds created by Charles Sutherland, were used in several
of the pageants at camp in the 1930s, and the molds themselves ended on the walls of the crafts
room at the Prieure.

        MacJannet knew the value of keeping parents informed and interested, as he evidenced
with the movies he took each year at school and camp. In addition he had the campers write
weekly letters home. One child horrified him by writing to her parents, after a week of rain, “half
the children are sick, and the camp is flooded.” The anxious parent dashed down to rescue the
child, and of course found all the camp healthy and happy, eating and singing their heads off.
Henceforth, at the weekly letter-writing sessions around the dining tables, MacJannet set up big
blackboards with model letters written on them, stressing good health and happy days.
        Any emergency brought MacJannet into almost instant action. One night, just at bedtime,
someone reported seeing a prowler lurking in the area of the playing fields. MacJannet promptly
marshalled the male counselors into a long line which advanced across the marshy area beyond
the athletic fields. Silhouetted as we were by the headlights of three cars drawn up at the edge of
the field, the uneasy thought crossed my mind that we made splendid targets for anyone with
knife or gun, but there was no turning back. Finally, near the main highway, we routed out a man
from the bushes and brought him up to the road. MacJannet was there at once, questioned the
shifty-looking individual, and then warned him in staccato French “if we catch you anywhere
near here again, you will suffer the severest penalties of law.” The man walked sullenly away,
and never returned.
        Virtually all the alumni of school and camp had nothing but high praise for the
MacJannets, the Woodworths, and the other counselors and teachers. I heard only one discordant
note, from a man who spent three years as a pupil at the school, but refused to go back to the
camp after one summer’ experience. “I considered Woody a tyrant then. I still do,” he told me.
Although I had only one summer’ experience at the camp, I would disagree. Firm, yes, but
gentle and considerate. He bawled me out once for failing to respond to calls when I was
canoeing in the dark— a clear breach of water safety, and I deserved the censure.
        One a much lighter note, a woman wrote me of her pure joy when she discovered a way
to avoid the glass of prune juice which Mrs. Woody brought each morning to the girls’camp.
        Another aspect of MacJannet’ constant effort to promote a sense of belonging among the
campers was the weekly mimeographed newspaper, called at first the Tent Town Tattler, and
then, when chalets began replacing the tents, the Chalet Camp Chatterer. The campers drew
illustrations, told of excursions, recounted feats of prowess in the “Olympic Games” which were
a feature of the camp’ sports program. An occasional editorial exhorted teamwork or fair play or
a similar goal. Interviews with Maria the cook were a favorite annual topic. Campers tried their
hands at stories or bits of verse. The papers also helped to promote publicity about the camp
among parents. Possibly as a result of being last person to arrive, I found editorship conferred

upon me almost as soon as I got to the camp— possibly the low point in the annual output of
camp papers.
        With its spectacular setting and variety of activities like scenic hiking excursions,
pageants and water sports, the camp also presented great “photo opportunities” that furnished
excellent pictures for MacJannet and others.
        MacJannet’ life made a dramatic and permanent turn in the summer of 1932 when he
took a busman’ holiday and attended a world conference of the New Education Fellowship in
Nice, where he met and promptly fell in love with a 31-year-old German woman, Charlotte
Blensdorf, native of the Rhineland. MacJannet had just turned 38. Although it was practically
love at first sight for him, his future bride was so indifferent that she refused a date to go dancing
with him, and Macjannet, upset and disappointed, jumped into his car and drove back to Lake
Annecy without stopping.
        MacJannet had gone to the conference at the urging of his sister Jean and her husband,
Emory Foster, who had pointed out that the camp had capable assistants to run it, and that he
needed a vacation, having never taken any since he arrived in France eleven years earlier.
Though much interested in the program, MacJannet promptly forgot it when he found himself
seated next to Charlotte at a luncheon, and was attracted to her large brown eyes, masses of dark
hair, and grace of movement. He learned that she had graduated from the Institut Eurhythmique
Dalcroze in Geneva, founded by Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, pioneer in the art of interpreting in
bodily movements the rhythm of musical compositions, aiming to develop the sense of rhythm
and symmetry. Miss Blensdorf had established her own school in Sweden for the teaching of
        After the luncheon, MacJannet and Charlotte strolled along the Promenade des Anglais
and he invited her to dinner and to the dance pavilion on the pier. However, she begged off,
saying she “simply had too much work to do.” Before she left him MacJannet urged her to visit
the camp at Talloires, then hastened to his car.
        Charlotte had been in charge of a seminar in music, rhythm and dance as an integral part
of education. Those who attended the seminar asked her for further instruction at the close of the
five-day conference. “Why don’ you have it at my château, where I have a school?” said a
woman at the seminar, and Charlotte accepted. The woman was Mrs. Dorothy Huckle, head of
MacJannet’ Riviera branch school, put in charge when the French government ruled that he
could officially run it unless he was in residence at the school. MacJannet had established the
school for pupils who could not stand the winter climate of Paris, so that they could easily rejoin
their St. Cloud classes in the spring.

        “What are you going to do now?” Mrs. Huckle asked Charlotte, at the end of the week’s
course. “Well, I don’ know,” Charlotte replied. “I had a very enthusiastic invitation from an
                          t                           t
American gentleman. I don’ know many Americans; I don’ know whether he meant the
invitation, but he said ‘come and stay with us a few days and see how an American camp is run.’
It’ at Lake Annecy at Talloires.”
        “You must go,” said Mrs. Huckle. “You must go by all means. I know that camp, and it
will be very interesting to you, very worthwhile.”
        Charlotte sent a telegram to MacJannet, sahying she would like to accept his invitation, if
it was still valid. It certainly was. Cautious MacJannet took some of the campers, and a woman
counselor, “to be properly chaperoned,” and met Charlotte at Aix-les-Bains. Charlotte stayed a
week at the camp, and liked what she saw. And MacJannet liked what he saw even more.
        The women counselors, quick to sense what was going on before their eyes, were equally
quick to speculate. “We wondered how long it would last,” one of them wrote me. Well, so far,
50 years.
        Donald and Charlotte were married on November 5, 1932, in the City Hall of
Marleybone, London, the same place that Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett were wed.
MacJannet paid a pound to British authorities to shorten the waiting period. Jean and Emory
Foster came over from Paris for the ceremonyl, and Mary Cappiani, a music teacher, and Dorothy
Gray, a friend, were the witnesses. After a weekend in a Kent hotel, the MacJannets used the
return tickets of Jean and Emory Foster to return to Paris, an economy which pleased Donald, and
Jean and Emory went off on the honeymoon. Donald and Charlotte had decided to delay theirs
until the following spring. They had planned on a wedding in England because both Swiss and
French regulations were too complicated. Charlotte had become a “stateless person,” because she
was unwilling to have any passport that carried Hitler’ name on it.
        Charlotte had seen the St. Cloud school for only two hours, a couple of weeks before the
wedding. When she and MacJannet returned, a romantically-inclined teacher urged Donald to
“carry her into the house,” rather than have her walk in, but this was not done. Charlotte admitted
later that it was “quite a shock to encounter teachers and pupils, speaking an American English,
and a staff speaking French. I had to learn ways of American hospitality and way of life.”
Charlotte’ presence did not, of course, “revolutionize” the already smooth-running MacJannet
Country School, but she greatly enriched it by bringing in more and better music, acting as a
gracious hostess for Sunday afternoon teas and the welcome of distinguished visitors, and paying
a bit closer attention to the needs of younger boarders, who gathered joyfully each night in her
room for a bedtime story. For special occasions, at camp and later, when the MacJannets gave

many talks in America, to raise money to support war orphans in the camp, she would dress in a
Savoyard costume to tell stories and legends of Talloires and Savoy. Throughout her life she
constantly amazed friends with the enormous energy, skill and love she brought to whatever task
confronted her. (The story of her ancestry, Rhineland upbringing, and activities before marriage
will be found in Chapter 11.)
        On at least one occasion MacJannet’ careful attention to travel economy and “making
every moment count” turned out badly for him. On a train trip to Switzerland, he remembered at
the stop at Dijon that that gourmet center was famous for its spicy gingerbread. Assured by a
station attendant that the train would not depart for 20 minutes, MacJannet hastened inside and
bought enough gingerbread for all his companions.
        When he got back, there was his train, disappearing down the tracks. MacJannet rushed
to the chef de gare for help. “Here’ a direct train to the Swiss border at Pontarlier,” said the chef
de gare. “Jump on it, and I’ telephone ahead and have them hold your train before it turns off to
Switzerland. The two trains get there at almost the same time.” Once again MacJannet was
foiled. By the time he negotiated the passage under the tracks to the right platform, the train he
sought was heading down the rails toward the tunnel under the mountain to Switzerland.
        MacJannet dashed outside, and caught a taxi which raced him over the mountain in time
to catch up with the train at a station in Switzerland. Smiling but a bit breathless, he joined his
fellow travelers, but preserved a bit of mystery by refusing to tell how he managed to do it. “That
taxi ride cost me $45,” he confessed later. MacJannet had been able to catch up with the train, in
spite of the detour over the mountain, because both customs and passport officials on the Swiss
side had engaged in a thorough and leisurely search, thus holding up the train.


The pervading economic depression of the 1930s and the rise of Hitler affected both camp and
school, as they did the world, but in different ways. The flood of Americans began drying up, but
enrollment in both camp and school kept increasing as eastern Europeans took flight from Hitler.
Their goal was America, but they wanted to prepare their children to enter American schools and
colleges, so that toward the end of the decade enrollment increased. Many had language
difficulties that they wanted to correct before crossing the Atlantic.
        Looking back on the records of the eastern European pupils and campers, MacJannet
commented, “Nearly all of them succeeded very well” in their new home.
        Nevertheless, for the MacJannets the 1930s were also a relaxed and pleasant period.
Married Nov. 5, 1932 in England, Donald and Charlotte took a delayed honeymoon in the spring
of 1933, going by car along the Mediterranean coast through Spain to Gibraltar. When Charlotte
became desperately ill in Sorbas, a small town along the way, Donald consulted a local
apothecary who diagnosed the trouble sight unseen, and compounded a medicine which reduced
her fever immediately, and she and Donald were guests the next night at a gala dinner put on for
notables of the town by the apothecary and the local judge, who seemed to run the town.
        The MacJannets wandered among the fabled Moorish palaces and fountains of the
Alhambra, and at Gibraltar bought quantities of ailken fabrics— and a collection of amusing toys.
When they got back to the French border, customs officers asked whether they had bought
anything on their trip. “We bought these,” MacJannet said, pulling out the toys from Gibraltar.
        “They didn’ ask me whether we had bought anything else, so I did not mention the
silks,” MacJannet explained blandly. When friends who knew the high moral principles of the
MacJannets raised eyebrows at occurrences like the one at the border, MacJannet would explain
that he had “a flexible conscience,” and would declare solemnly that it was more flexible than
that of his brother Malcolm, the African missionary.
        In June Donald and Charlotte took a short trip to America on a fast ship which took only
four and a half days for the crossing. They were guests of the captain at tea one day, and they
were on their way to Tufts College, where Donald was awarded an honorary master of arts degree
because of his work at the school and camp. A. Lawrence Lowell, then president of Harvard,
who also received a degree at the Tufts ceremony, gave the principal address. Tufts gave seven

honorary degrees, and Lowell’ title, “Who Among Us Should Not Be Here?” made Donald feel
“a bit of self-conscious,” Charlotte reported later, with a smile.
         The trip lasted only six days in New England, but the MacJannets returned in December,
1935, for a leisurely four-month journey along the eastern seaboard, as far as the Florida
Everglades, where Charlotte saw her first American Indians. She reported later that she found
herself more at home among the southern Americans than among those farther north. MacJannet,
who had declared that he had never taken a vacation until the brief visit to Nice in the summer of
1932, where he met Charlotte, now kept right on traveling with her during breaks in the school
year. They went to Greece in 1934 with the Fosters and to Egypt in the spring of 1938.
         On March 4, 1938, at impressive ceremonies in Paris, Donald MacJannet was made a
knight of the Legion of Honor, an award coveted by many a Frenchman. The red ribbon for his
coat lapel was in recognition of his services to France through the school and camp and the
promotion of better Franco-American relations. MacJannet was immensely proud of the award,
made at the instigation of of the French Ministry of Education and highly placed Americans
situated in France, though he liked to joke that he was “a horseman without a horse.” More than
400 attended a reception for him.
         Then, a little more than a month later, tragedy struck the MacJannets when Emory Foster,
Jean’ husband, died unexpectedly of a heart attack on April 24 at Chenonceau while on an Easter
vacation among Loire Valley châteaux with Jean.
         Born at Redlands, California, April 6, 1893, he had received bachelor’ and master’s
degrees at the University of Southern California, and an honorary doctorate from USC in 1934.
A former teacher in secondary schools in Pasadena, he had joined the MacJannet schools as a
master in the fall of 1926, and had rapidly become MacJannet’ chief assistant, heading the
Trocadero school from 1929 until it closed in 1934, when he returned to teach at the Elms school.
Besides teaching, he was an accomplished musician and singer, who studied opera singing two
years on a scholarship at La Scala in Milan and had been a soloist with the American Church in
         Foster was only 45 at the time of his death, and Jean was so prostrated by the shock that
Donald and Charlotte began to fear for her life. Unable to renew her interest in any activity, they
thought her love of animals might be one road to recovery. They went to the big Paris
department store, La Samaritaine, which had a pet department, and bought a lively terrier, which
they named Sam, as a diminutive of Samaritaine. The dog proved indeed to be the key to
recovery, and Jean soon returned to a normal schedule of activities, with Sam as her constant

        The fall session of the MacJannet school in 1938 began just a week after the Munich
conference with Hitler which sealed the fate of Czechoslovakia, and from which Prime Minister
Neville Chamberlain returned with nothing but his umbrella to prove his boast that he had
achieved “peace in our time.” U.S. Ambassador William C. Bullitt gave a warning to Hitler and
the world in his commencement speech at the school the following spring when he stated that if
war broke out, the United States would be found on the side of France.
        It was to be the final year for the school, but of course no one was aware of that when
classes resumed in September, 1938. One of the new teachers was John Oliver Rich,
affectionately known thereafter to the MacJannets and everyone else as Jack Rich. He had started
that summer fresh from college graduation as a green counselor at the camp, with a vague
promise from MacJannet of a possible teaching job in the fall. Looking back, 44 years later, he
commented “I began to learn from Mr. Mao and Woody all I have every known about summer
camps for young people.” When the teaching position opened up, putting fifth to twelfth grade
pupils under his care in history and English, he kept right on learning, “almost as much, but not
quite, from students as I did from Mr. Mao,” he said. During the next 44 years as teacher and
educational consultant, Jack Rich said, “I do not believe I have ever written a student comment
without recalling Mr. Mao’ counseling in the faculty meeting just before the end of the first
marking period. He stated that a good comment about a student’ performance is written in such
a way that the parents who receive it can read it only as positive and constructive. ‘ example,’
he said, ‘ comment statement stating that ‘       s
                                           Johnny’ grade would be better if he had been
required to do his homework more consistently’is a very poor comment, which could readily be
converted into a good statement, such as this: ‘Johnny improved his grade for this marking period
by giving special attention to his assignment regarding last week’ topic, which obviously
interested him. Congratulations, Johnny!’”
        “‘Even if this latter comment accompanied a grade of C or C–, or worse,’Mr. Mao
pointed out, ‘ would be a constructive statement as helpful to the boy as it would be pleasing to
his parents.’”
        Jack Rich got another “indelible lesson” the second summer, when MacJannet appointed
him head counselor in the junior boys section of the camp. Fearing that the other counselors
would be critical of his efforts to keep them on their toes, he went to MacJannet’ office “to
prepare his mind to the decision to relieve me of the unwanted responsibility.” MacJannet,
sensing what was coming, beat him to the punch. “He stood up and said ‘Jack, you must learn
that the bricks are always thrown at the men who have the courage to raise their heads above the
crowd. Have you the courage to keep your head above the crowd, or haven’ you?’ His always

rapid step then had him out of the office in a flash, on to other and more important matters. Many
bricks have been hurled at me since that day, 43 years ago, but with each brick I relive that scene
as vividly as though it took place only yesterday!”
        The Hitler-Stalin pact of August, 1939, resulted in one disruption of the camp, when
Estonia recalled Gustav Kalkun, head counselor. He had worked at the camp beginning in 1929,
returning each fall to his job as a YMCA instructor in Geneva until, in the mid-thirties, he joined
the Estonian Ministry of Health and Sports, rising to be deputy minister at the time of his recall.
Kalkun and his American-born wife Hally “caught the last train back” into Estonia before the war
broke out.

The outbreak of World War II, just as the camp closed, was a brick that not even MacJannet
could dodge, but he did his best to cope with it. The French government promptly forbade
women and children to return to Paris, which effectively closed the MacJannet school. He
determined to transfer the school activities to the Talloires camp, and resumed classes, though
with a greatly-reduced enrollment. He described that fall and winter later as one of the most
relaxed and enjoyable years of his teaching career, with an ample staff to handle the work, and
delightful surroundings. When the approach of winter made use of the unheated buildings
difficult, MacJannet moved the school to a large house in the village of Talloires, with room for
everyone. In spite of the war, it was a merry holiday season. The few pupils and their instructors
helped to decorate the house, Christmas carols and music rang out most of the time, and the
children even put on a special program for the French children in the Talloires public school.
        Among the guests at the Christmas part were Mr. and Mrs. M. M. Boissert. He was born
of German parents, but was educated in England. When he grew to maturity he went to Lyons in
France to learn the silk business, married a Parisian, and became a French citizen. Charlotte
called him “a perfect example of the finest of three cultures: an English gentleman with a sense of
honor and reliability, coupled with French quick wit and ingenuity, and German sentiment, which
the Germans call gemüt.”
        A long-time friend of the MacJannets and of the camp, Boissert kept a close eye on the
camp during the length of the war, acting to conserve and protect the property. (Perhaps because
of its exposed position, the immediate area around Talloires escaped the Nazi depredations when
the Germans overran the rest of France.)
        The Christmas jollity was at a high level because everyone was sure that the war would
be over by summer. They were calling it “the phony war.” The French, confident of their
Maginot line, also pointed to the far-flung British empire, which covered so much of the map in

red, compared to the rather tiny brown spot which represented Germany, and were convinced that
the Germans didn’ have a chance.
        Many of the students were removed by their parents by mid-year, but in the spring
Donald and Charlotte traveled along the Riviera and as far as Biarritz, where Jean was visiting
her friends, the Venezuelan ambassador to Spain and France, C. Parra-Perez, and his wife. A
major purpose of the trip was to sign up students for another camp session, and for school to
continue at the camp the next fall. Then came the German blitz in Norway, followed by the
attacks on Belgium and Holland, and the invasion of France.
        All the cars and trucks of the camp and school had been requisitioned by the French
government except one, and Donald obtained permission to drive it to Paris to close up the
school. German planes were already over France, terrorizing the refugees fleeing south by
dropping bombs or machine-gunning them. Several time he was stopped by teenage youths in
uniform and ordered to take shelter until the planes had passed. At St. Cloud he told neighbors to
store the school furniture in their homes until the war was over, and tried to cheer up the handful
of teachers and employees who were still at the school. With the Germans already threatening
Paris, they had a farewell dinner. Unable to take his stacks of records with him, MacJannet
burned them, fearing danger to former pupils and their relatives if the documents fell into the
hands of the Nazis.
        Having seen the hordes of families streaming south while he was almost the only person
moving toward Paris, and the slaughter of parents by the strafing Nazi planes, MacJannet was
more than ever determined to turn his camp over to some agency that could use it as an
orphanage. The French government was at first opposed, fearing that the camp was too close to
the Italian border, where Mussolini was already making warlike noises. The French were trying
to direct the refugee streams toward the Bordeaux area in the southwest quarter of France, to
which the government itself was preparing to move. MacJannet phoned Charlotte, asking her to
appeal to the French prefect at Annecy for permission to use the camp for an orphan shelter, and
he granted it.
        Paris was in turmoil, but conditions like that merely seemed to stimulate MacJannet’s
problem-solving skill. He turned to the Quakers, and to Le Secours Suisse, a Swiss relief
organization, asking them to take over operation of the camp. They agreed to staff and operate
the camp, on condition that someone provide the money.
        MacJannet then appealed to the American Red Cross agent, Chatfield-Taylor, then in
                        m wholesaler’of money. I can’ finance small enterprises like yours. I
Paris, who said, “But I’ a ‘                         t
could give you a couple of million, but you would have to agree to spend it all within two

months.” Unable to meet such a condition, MacJannet decided that he could and would raise the
money himself in America.
        But meanwhile, back at the MacJannet house in Talloires, the world was falling apart. A
day or two after Donald left for Paris, the police came for Maria the cook, saying that she was
German and must go to a concentration camp. Although a Czech native, Maria held an Austrian
passport. After the German anschluss uniting Germany and Austria, Maria had caused to be put
into her passport a statement that under no circumstances was she to be considered a German.
        Two days later it was Charlotte’ turn. She received a notice to present herself at 6 A.M.
on a certain date at the prefecture in Annecy, and to bring with her a suitcase of clothing, and
enough food for three days. Her German passport had expired several years before, but she had
refused to renew it because the document would have carried Hitler’ name.
        “Because I had not lived in America the required three years to obtain citizenship, I had
only a piece of paper from the American consul saying that I was Charlotte MacJannet, wife of an
American citizen, and would the authorities please be kind to me. That doesn’ carry you very far
in wartime,” Charlotte said. “The night before going to the prefecture I stayed with the Boisserts
and they, dear people, took me in their car very early in the morning to Annecy.”
        “Soldiers with bayonets and helmets herded me, with others who had been summoned,
into a big hall to wait our turn before a committee which would decide our fate. It was tragic to
see young Jewish mothers who had already fled Germany to bring their children to safety, waiting
here to see what would happen to them. At first everybody waited their turns, but near midday,
the crowd became more nervous, and every time the committee door opened, pepole rushed
toward it.
        “A French soldier stood by my seat, and when he was the people rushing toward the door
         It’                                                             d
he said ‘ s exactly like when I went around with my vegetable wagon. You’ think people
would stay in line? Oh no! They would all rush at once.’ I felt like hugging and kissing him,
and I said to myself, ‘You are bound to win the war, and you are human.’
        “I had enough time to think what I would do if I were really going to be sent to a
concentration camp, and I had already decided that all these little children would need to be
looked after and guided, so I might be useful.
        “When my turn came to be called before the committee, to my astonishment I saw among
the officers the very prefect to whom I had talked a few days before, and who had given
permission to have the camp used for orphans. He got up very politely and explained to the
others that mine was a very special case. He told them that my husband and I would go to

America after leaving the camp to the Quakers for the orphans, and also find the means to support
        “To my delight, on my ‘permit de sejour’(residence permit), they put down not only that
I could leave without difficulties but I could come back to France as well.
        “I had telephoned to Donald what was happening, and he, intelligent man, did not rush
back to Annecy but to see Robert Murphy, who was in Paris at the embassy. It was Ambassador
Murphy who had telephoned to the prefect as well, saying that we would leave as soon as
possible for America. But he also had said to Donald ‘ can do this once, but you must get your
wife out as quickly as possible.’ Donald went at once to the American Express and bought two
tickets on a ship sailing from Genoa, and then headed back to Talloires.”
        “The Boisserts had waited all that time, until three in the afternoon, and drove me home.
At that moment Mme. Boissert, former Parisian, gave a fine example of French quick-witted
                       t     I’
intelligence. She didn’ say ‘ m going to give you a nice cup of tea when you get home.’ What
she said was:
        “‘Take these letters, or anything else you want to read, and go right to the center of the
village at this time, and sit on the bench in front of the post office in the middle of town, and stay
there long enough so that everybody can see that you are back, and free. And after that you can
come for the tea.’
        “Of course, she knew that all kinds of rumors had spread at once when I had been ordered
to the prefecture, and this was the best way to stop them at once.
        “Donald drove back from Paris that very night, and the next morning we started packing
and closing up the camp. Maria left to get a job in Lyons with Mrs. Vail (the novelist Kay Boyle)
taking Jean’ little terrier Sam with her.”
        Having lost nearly all of their possessions at St. Cloud to the Nazis, the MacJannets, with
their last car requisitioned by the French, filled two suitcases, locked the door of the house, and
headed for the train which would take them to Genoa.
        With his world apparently in ruins, and the prospect now for a long and undertain war,
was MacJannet downhearted?
        “Strangely enough, what I felt mostly was a great sense of relief,” he said later. “For
nearly 20 years more and more burndens had been piling on me, people dependent on me for
jobs, for planning, for making things go. Now all those burdens were lifted off my back.”
        On another occasion, looking back on more than 20 years of teaching, he had
commented, “Being with children is a deforming experience, because they look up to you as an
authority, and do as they are told.

        Trains carrying ammunition to France passed them on the way to Genoa, where the
freighter Exochorda, of the American Export Line, was waiting in the harbor. The next
afternoon, as they came out of a Genoa movie, they discovered that Italy had just declared war on
France. Loudspeakers broadcast Mussolini’ declaration of “Questa guerra gloriosa” (this
glorious war), but only the blackshirt followers of Il Duce, and children applauded: adult Italians
seemed glum at the news, Charlotte reported.
        The red ribbon of the Legion of Honor in Donald’ coat lapel proclaimed him French, but
he refused to remove it. An Italian came across the street to them and told MacJannet, “What can
I do for you? How can I help you? We don’ want this war with France. They are our cousins.
We would like to have the Germans get out of here. They run around as if they owned us.”
        When Charlotte stopped to get a shoe she had left for repair, the proprietor showed her,
behind the curtain which closed off his living quarters from the shop, a madonna on the wall, and
said “I put her there so that France will win this war.” The British promptly bombed the harbor
and a nearby military base, and some missiles fell on the unprepared populace, many of whom
fled to the tunnels which honeycomb the Genoese hills. The MacJannets watched the aerial
pyrotechnics of anti-aircraft fire, and went to sleep with the rattle of metal fragments falling on
their top-floor pensione.
        One bomb hit the Exochorda, penetrating three decks and landing, unexploded, in a cargo
of Swiss cheese. Patching the hole in the decks delayed sailing for two days. Built to carry 80
passengers, the Exochorda had 220 aboard, and Donald was dismayed to discover that Charlotte
would be quartered with several women in a small cabin, while he was to use a mattress in the
smoking room. He appealed to the captain, declaring that his wife always became violently
seasick on ocean voyages, and that this would make things uncomfortable for the other women.
A junior ship officer then surrendered his small cabin near the bow to the MacJannets.
        The crowding produced only part of the tensions that pervaded the ship. The vessel had
picked up many Jewish families with small children from the eastern Mediterranean, plus many
Americans— scientists, doctors, and other professionals— from Egypt and other ports, and several
oil company engineers. The MacJannets and the professionals gathered to tell their stories of
activities, until one of the oil engineers, “whose answer to the situation was to get dead drunk,”
Charlotte said, rolled out of his cabin and denounced them all as spies. The captain intervened,
telling the group not to meet, because of the tense atmosphere.
        The Jewish families, all of them frightened and anxious, became especially anxious when
the boat approached Gibraltar at night, and a searchlight from the rock picked out the vessel. The
worried families clustered on the deck, many of them carrying holy books or especially precious

objects. “Every time that finger of light went over, they huddled as if they were being cut by a
knife,” Charlotte recalled. Finally, three short flashes signalled that the boat could proceed into
the Atlantic, and people relaxed, though there were rumors that a German U-boat waited there for
        With all those children aboard, Donald and Charlotte had of course immediately found
work to do. They organized games, an hour in the morning and another each afternoon, with
many of the passengers watching games like pushing a peanut with your nose, relay races,
contests to see who could lick an ice cream cone the fastest, and the like. Everybody laughed and
enjoyed the pleasure of the children, which did a lot to relieve tensions. And the MacJannets
managed a wry smile themselves when they went to the radio shack to get news of the war, and
found the Italian radio operator fuming at the “lies” put out by the Americans and the British.
The truth only came from Rome, he insisted. “Where do you keep your family?” Donald asked.
“In New York, of course,” he replied.
        Another surprise came when the ship stopped at Boston, and papers came aboard with
banner headlines, “Survivors Arrive on Shell-Riddled Liner.” It was a freighter, not a liner, there
was only one bomb, a dud, and the MacJannets were not even aboard when it pierced the deck,
MacJannet said. No man to put up with “unreasonable” restrictions, MacJannet debarked in spite
of orders against it, signed a petition for aid to England presented on the dock by Harvard
students— and was astonished when a burly Irishman standing near him refused to sign, saying
“The English are getting just what they deserve.”
        When the ship reached New York, the MacJannets at once went to summer camps in
New England, and to meetings in cities, to raise money for the Quakers who were running the
camp now for orphans. Donald showed the film of camp activities, and Charlotte, dressed in
Savoyard costume, told legends of Lake Annecy. The children and counselors contributed their
pocket money, but in the city meetings the rule was “no coins, only folding money.” They got
the help of Malcolm Peabody, who had had his children at the camp, to come from his summer
home in Maine to help them. The son of the famous Endicott Peabody, head of the Groton prep
school, Malcolm Peabody stood at the door handing out blank checks, on which donors could
write the name of their own bank. The checks, along with the cash raised from the New England
camps, all went to the Quakers’Philadelphia office, which had agreed to forward the money,
going through Portugal and Switzerland before reaching the Talloires camp. Years later, at a
formal dinner in Geneva, the man sitting next to him, who was custodian of the city seal of
Geneva, saw MacJannet’ name and said, “Oh, I remember that name. Every two weeks, during
the war, when I was a young man, we used to get money from the Quakers in Philadelphia to be

transmitted. I would put on my boot which had a hollowed out place in the double soles, and
with my wife with me we would drive in my car to Talloires to deliver the money.”
        Remembering his days at St. Albans school in Washington, when he had occasionally
helped Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt get her Model T Ford started when she stopped to pick up her
sons Elliot and James there, MacJannet got in touch with her again, and visited the Roosevelt
home in Hyde Park. Over lunch the MacJannets told about turning the camp over to the Quakers
to run for the benefit of the French orphans. Mrs. Roosevelt later arranged a gathering at the
White House where the MacJannets were able to make an appeal for the camp.
        In late fall, 1940, with financing of the camp assured, the MacJannets returned to New
York, but the only quarters they could find were in an apartment on Riverside Drive already
occupied by four other families. The MacJannets made it five families, sharing one kitchen and
one bathroom. With a dwindling bank account, MacJannet decided it was time to begin looking
for a job. Charlotte also noted that the shock of losing all he had built up over the years at the
school and camp was beginning to affect her husband. He complained of occasional dizzy spells,
and of feeling over-tired.
        Then one day, walking up Fifth Avenue, he was in a travel agency window a poster
advertising Sun Valley, Idaho, as a skiing and winter sports resort. Perhaps he could get a job as
a ski instructor! He remembered seeing a picture spread on Sun Valley some years before, in Life
magazine, and had been attracted. He went into the office and mentioned his name to the clerk.
        “Why, I have a good friend who was a teacher at your school near Paris, and he has often
spoken enthusiastically about you,” the clerk exclaimed. He declared that W. Averell Harriman,
head of the Union Pacific Railroad, which owned the Sun Valley resort, was actively interested in
promoting it, and was thinking of opening a school there. He arranged to put MacJannet in touch
with Harriman.
        Harriman, future governor of New York and big wheel in the Democratic Party, was
enthusiastic about the possibility of a school. “We’ never get anywhere with skiing if we wait
for the elderly gentlemen who have made their pile and can afford to come out,” he said. “They
are retired and they are not skiers. I’ got to start with the children. And how am I going to get
                d                                   ll
the children? I’ like to have a school for them. We’ commission an architect right away to
consult with you and build a fine school.”
        “Mr. Harriman,” MacJannet countered, “the war is going to catch up with American very
soon, and some day Sun Valley will be needed as quarters for a hundred men.”
               t            ll
        “I don’ think there’ be any result like that,” Harriman sniffed. “We are going to stay
out of this war, just not going to get into European quarrels this time.” He invited the MacJannets

to go to Sun Valley as his guests, and look over the possibilities. MacJannet said he wanted to
start small, and would prefer to begin with one or two very small buildings that were not used in
the winter. Harriman, the railroad tycoon, was only three years older than MacJannet, but Donald
had already seen the effects of the war firsthand, and did not view the future with any such
        With their two suitcases in the back of the aging Studebaker that MacJannet had bought
for their tour of cities and summer camps to raise money, the MacJannets started in December for
Sun Valley. Charlotte was impressed by the many farms dotting the Midwest countryside, and
even more by the giant clusters of grain elevators in the isolated villages they went through in the
great prairies. At Salt Lake City they stopped to buy Christmas presents for each other.
Although they still had a fair amount of money in the bank, they had no intention of splurging, so
they headed for a dime store. Donald bought Charlotte a Santa Claus made out of pipe cleaners,
and she bought him a cowboy and toy Christmas tree.
        From Salt Lake City the MacJannets drove rapidly to the mile-high Sun Valley resort,
near Ketchum, Idaho, encountering their first snow of the trip on the way, and arrived Christmas
Eve. To Charlotte’ surprise and delight, the resort turned out to be a replica of an Austrian
mountain village, with the falling snow, lights in windows, and German carols in the air to give it
a picture postcard look. Soon afterwards Santa Claus arrived, Eskimo style, in a sleigh, with
straining dogs urged on by a cracking whip. It was a fashionable crowd, including movie stars
like Norma Shearer (Donald danced with her), Lana Turner, Clark Gable, and many others. The
women wore dirndl skirts and the men rough Alpine clothing. The MacJannets were invited at
once to join the celebration, starting with hot spiced wine.
        Harriman had told them, “You are my guests. If you open a school I know it will be
difficult to start, and I know you have lost everything, so I will charge you a dollar a day for
board and room, and laundry will be extra.”
        They could eat in any of the restaurants, and enjoyed maid service. As part of the
Harriman enterprise they traveled, staying free at hotels, and recruiting children to fill the two
small buildings in which they opened “The MacJannet Alpine School” with about a dozen pupils
on January 31, 1941. They held classes in the morning, and when the day warmed, everybody
went skiing, and swimming in the heated and sheltered outside pool, with the mountains looking
down on them. They had scarcely a dozen pupils, all fifth grade or younger, but it was a start.
        MacJannet was immediately busy with his movie camera, taking dramatic shots of the
young skiers and swimmers, and later of horseback riding and hiking along mountain trails. He
used the film, along with the film of the Talloires camp activities, in forays around the country to

recruit children for the summer school. His Alpine school film was so successful, in fact, that the
railroad used it for its own publicity about Sun Valley.
        The summer schools were called the MacJannet Alpine Chalets, and drew between 24
and 28 boys and girls, a few of them as old as 14. The MacJannets called Jack Rich, who had
been a counselor at Talloires for the last two years of the camp, to assist them in the 1941 and
1942 summer schools. Charlotte went with Donald on some of the promotional swings, getting
acquainted with a variety of midwestern and eastern cities. One extensive tour ended in Rapid
City, South Dakota, at the home of Mrs. Gutzon Borglum, widow of the sculptor who had carved
the massive heads of Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Lincoln on Mount
        The tours were mostly to raise money for the Quakers at Talloires, but the MacJannets
also put on benefits at Sun Valley. The manager of the resort wanted to add a circus, and insisted
that the money ought to go to the Red Cross. When MacJannet said he wanted it for the Quakers,
the manager said, “You mean those men in the funny hats?”, obviously thinking of the picture on
the Quaker Oats cereal boxes. MacJannet reached Eleanor Roosevelt, and she wrote the manager
that she herself used the money from her lectures and daily column almost entirely for the
                      s                                        s
Quakers. “Well, if it’ good enough for Eleanor Roosevelt, that’ good enough for me,” the
vanquished manager declared.
        The Sun Valley experience was idyllic in some ways, strenuous in others. If the schedule
called for an all-day hike or ride, a telephone call to the hotel kitchen assured big hampers of
lunch, and a car to deliver them at some rendezvous along the route. MacJannet had plenty of
opportunity to exercise his teaching skill with examples drawn from beasts and plants along the
trails. He had time for individual attention and semi-tutorial sessions.
        For one so naturally gregarious and friendly, the trips to bring recruits to the school, and
to raise money for the Society of Friends (Quakers) probably brought as much pleasure as the
travel produced weariness. In the spring of 1941 he went back to Tufts University for his 25th
class anniversary, renewing acquaintance with his wide circle of friends. One of his first acts on
arriving in America in 1940 was to write out a check for $100 to Tufts, in advance of the 25th
reunion, “because I had the money at that time, and might not have it later.” He handed the check
to Leonard Carmichael, the president of Tufts. Both men were unaware that in a few years they
would be so closely associated.
        The day-to-day burden of running the school fell largely to Charlotte, but she managed
time to be concerned about certain “foreigners” working in the neighborhood of Sun Valley.
They were Basque sheepherders, who came down at payday from the valleys where they led a

lonely life caring for flocks. Their passion was gambling, laced with plenty to drink, and usually
within three glorious days the herders had gambled away their entire pay. None of them seemed
to regret the fling, and Charlotte felt she could do nothing.
        The MacJannet Alpine School came to an end in less than two years, just when it seemed
about to take off and flourish. The fall session of the school was a portent, when jittery parents
began withdrawing their children as America’ commitment to the war deepened. And the Navy
announced that it was taking over Sun Valley as a rest and recreation area for wounded Navy
fliers. At Jean Foster’ suggestion, MacJannet flew to Caracas, Venezuela, as a possible school
location, and found it unsuitable.
        By Christmas the MacJannet School’ enrollment was down to half a dozen. Regretfully,
Donald and Charlotte scrounged for gasoline ration coupons, piled their possessions into the old
Studebaker, and headed for Washington, where Donald hoped to find a niche in the government.
They headed south, stopped with friends in Texas, and approached Washington at a slow pace by
the southern route.
        The enormous war effort, both civil and military, had packed Washington to nearly the
bursting point by early 1943, and the MacJannets, like many other couples, had difficulty finding
living quarters. Donald had hoped for some administrative job in North Africa, where British and
American forces were battling German and Italian troops, but this was ruled out because of
Charlotte’ parents, still in Germany. Because of his World War I flight training, he ended up in
the Pan-American section of the Civil Aeronautics Administration’ war training service. Later
he caled the division “a jerry-built organization with a lot of men hiding out (what the French call
“embusques”) from going into actual war service.” The object was to train men from several
Latin American countries to replace the airport mechanics and other personnel of German and
Italian aircraft countries in South America.
        The actual training of the Latinos was farmed out to private contractors, and MacJannet
found that in some cases no actual training was being given. A New Jersey contractor, for
instance, put half the men in the hospital, where another government agency paid the “board and
room” costs, and the contractor thus saved no costs and gave the men no training. One a week
the “patients” signed statements that they received training, enabling the contractor to collect.
        MacJannet was able to stop some of the worst abuses, but he discovered that the agency
was quite willing to “let sleeping dogs lie.” The red tape of Washington bureaucracy also
infuriated him. To get approval on any matter required signatures or initials of several
individuals, each in a different division or department, and it seemed to take forever. He

discovered that he could greatly speed things up by taking the paper around himself and
collecting the endorsements— but that took a lot of time, too.
        Charlotte, on the other hand, found much more congenial work. She soon discovered that
Washington contained a great many wives of foreign government officials stationed in
Washington, who expected after the war to go back to their own countries, where they would be
helping civilian populations struggle back to a normal life. She and Mrs. S. Lowry organized the
“International Women’ Service Group in the United States” to prepare these women for
reconstruction service abroad. They had an advisory committee with such distinguished names as
that of Dorothy Canfield Fisher and Lois Kellogg Jessup, and worked in cooperation with the
District of Columbia unit of American Women’ Voluntary Services and the Red Cross. The
prospectus of the organization declared: “Many citizens of foreign countries are wondering how
best to prepare themselves to be of use to their homelands on their return,” and offered courses on
child and adult care, as well as general health care. A whole generation of European youngsters
had been brought up in an era of food shortages and malnutrition. Other courses dealt with how
to set up a relief office, with practical lessons on filing and bookkeeping, as well as case work and
organization plans. Charlotte and Mrs. Lowry actively recruited the wives of foreign officials in
Washington, giving them a goal and training, while they were awaiting the end of the war.
        One sad aspect of the Washington stay was the absence of the MacJannet’ closest
friends, Lynn and Anita Woodworth, who had been mainstays of the Annecy camp from 1926
until the war closed it. The Woodies had served as a clearinghouse about the MacJannets to
former campers and students. When the MacJannet Alpine School started at Sun Valley, the
Woodies put out a newsletter telling about it, and about the financial campaign to raise money for
the camp now run by the Quakers. Now the Woodies were swept up in the war effort. Woody
had been a marine in World War I, rising to the rank of captain. In World War II, with the rank
of colonel, he now served with the intelligence branch of the 12th Air Force, stationed in Europe.
His wife Anita was a nurse with the American military forces in Australia.
        The Woodies were gone, but a new friend, Leonard Carmichael, a Tufts graduate who
had become president of the institution in 1938, was in Washington, compiling a roster of people
with scientific skills. If the government wanted someone who spoke and understood Portugese,
and was also a chemist, for instance, Carmichael could locate him. A native of Philadelphia and
trained in a Quaker school, Carmichael had graduated from Tufts and received a doctorate in
philosophy from Harvard. He taught psychology at Princeton, Brown and Rochester, and wrote a
text on psychology considered a classic at the time. MacJannet had made the point of renewing
his acquaintance with Carmichael at the 25th reunion of his Tufts class in 1941. He saw

considerably more of him in Washington, and soon was pouring out the tale of his frustrations in
the civil aeronautics position.
        “Look, I know how it is,” Carmichael told him. “But you can’ say this one organization
is like the U.S. government. A lot of agencies have sprung up as part of the war effort, some of
them not what they should be, and you have many abuses. My work here will be finished soon.
        t                                          t
Why don’ you come back to Tufts with me? There won’ be any of the kind of abuses you have
been fighting. And more than that! You can sign your own name to letters.” (The fact that most
of his letters had had to be written in the name of his superior in the division was a great
annoyance to MacJannet.)
        Already a veteran at raising money for the French orphans at the Talloires camp,
MacJannet did not quail when Carmichael said that the job would consist of raising funds to
move the antiquated Tufts medical and dental training buildings to a new “New England Medical
Center” close to the hospitals. But he was quick to raise one condition. If he took the job,
MacJannet said, he would have to be assured that when the war was over, he would have three
months each summer to continue the Annecy camp under his own direction. That three-month
yearly leave of absence was a great concession for an administrator to obtain, but MacJannet
stood firm. And despite his disgust for the agency, he was still diplomatic, slyly discriminating in
a letter signaling his departure from Washington, set for February 9, 1944. He wrote that he was
much impressed with the high caliber of the men in divisions “which are still directly under your
        “Getting a house here is as bad as in Washington,” MacJannet complained, when they
arrived at Tufts in early 1944 to begin a vastly different life. Unable to buy a small house, they
“settled” for a large one, a 20-room, three-story house at 206 Pleasant Street, Arlington,
Massachusetts, built in the 18th century, complete with carriage house or barn, and a gardener’s
cottage. Many trees surrounded the house, and the land at the back ran down to a small lake
called Spy pond, which MacJannet, with only moderate success, tried to rename Arlington lake.
Swapping his bureaucratic hat for a workman’ cloth cap, MacJannet promptly set to work
transforming house and barn into small apartments and rooms.
        Soon the MacJannets were able to send out a brochure advertising the Tufts College
Vacation School of French, to be quartered in their Arlington house, offering training in spoken
and written French, and study of French history and culture, and problems facing France in the
post-war world. The brochure stated: “The problems confronting France must be thoroughly
grasped by those who hope one day to contribute personally to her relief and rehabilitation.”

Besides attending classes and lectures, those enrolled would be required to speak French all the
time, and would receive academic credit.
        While Charlotte was turning the house into a sort of international center for foreign
students and visitors to Tufts, Donald began to lead what could be considered a double, or even a
triple, life. By day he served as President Carmichael’ assistant, making appointments for him,
and carrying on the extensive correspondence and speech making that are a part of fund raising.
Sometimes he called on Carmichael to help with an especially tough potential contributor. He
remembered one such, a self-made man with a huge contempt for graduate study. “Do you know
the college yell of the School of Hard Knocks?” Carmichael asked, referring to the self-made
man’ boasts. When the man said no, Carmichael shouted at the top of his lungs, “Ouch!”
Laughing his appreciation, the man seized his checkbook and wrote a check for $5,000.
        By night MacJannet led his other life— fund-raiser for the Annecy camp, though by now
the money went to Le Secours Suisse, the Swiss relief organization which took over operation
when the Quakers were interned after the American invasion of North Africa in 1942. MacJannet
dictated letters at night to a woman graduate student who lived in the top floor of the Arlington
house and went to school by day. Part of the secretary’ work also involved letters regarding the
Pan American Society of Massachusetts and Northern New England. MacJannet had joined the
society, an organization instigated by Nelson Rockefeller when the federal government began
phasing out an inter-American affairs agency which Rockefeller had headed. In effect, the efforts
for the Pan American group were the same sort of thing he was doing for Tufts— speeches, letter-
writing and fund raising. In 1945 he was named one of the members of the board of governors of
the unit.
        Charlotte was equally busy, as hostess for many Pan American events, such as a garden
party in May, 1945 at their Arlington house, for Latin-American students of all universities in the
Boston area. She also became deeply involved in Tufts dramatic and musical activities, directing
pageants and plays. In December, 1944, she staged, with the French club, a “Christmas Pastoral,”
with a cast of 32, with special costumes and dances, and music, vocal and instrumental, based on
medieval Christmas music. On another occasion she coached the William Saroyan play, “Jim
Dandy,” put on by the Pen, Pencil and Pretzel, the Tufts dramatic organization.
        Beginning early in the spring of 1946, when the MacJannets resumed operation of the
Annecy camps, she went to France to select French counselors and children for the camps. Later
Jean Foster returned to France and helped in the selection process.
        MacJannet’ efforts to raise money to move the Tufts medical and dental facilities to the
New England Medical Center were successful, but he became more and more impatient to get

back to France full time, rather than the three-month break each summer. Carmichael kept
pressing him to accept the position of vice-president for development, with the main task of
organizing a centennial fund for the Tufts 100th anniversary in 1951. In May, 1949, for instance,
the thoroughly capable and efficient MacJannet dictated a formal letter to the equally competent
President Carmichael in his adjoining office, saying “On several occasions I have told you of my
very strong feeling that I am not at all the person to direct the Centennial Fund. It becomes more
and more my firm conviction that I am not qualified to establish and carry through successfully
plans for raising $3,750,000.” Carmichael merely smiled a warm executive smile, and kept up
the pressure. But in April, 1951, MacJannet took a six-month leave of absence without pay, and
from the safe distance of France, far from the Carmichael persuasive charm, announced that
because of the serious illness of his sister, Jean Foster, he would need a full year off. (Jean had,
indeed, been quite ill and unable to aid in the process of selecting counselors and campers.)
Carmichael, in reply, pulled out all the emotional stops, citing the “urgent emergency,” “I feel
more than a little hurt” at the request of additional leave, but MacJannet stood firm, and quit.
           Leonard Carmichael, under whose regime Tufts had risen from college status to that of
university, left himself by 1953 to become secretary of the giant Smithsonian Institution in
Washington. The two men, so full of mutual respect for each other’ abilities, kept up their
friendship. MacJannet proudly took the Carmichaels on a tour of France later, and sent Mrs.
Carmichael and their daughter Martha to Buckingham Palace to deliver a film to Prince Philip
and Queen Elizabeth. In 1969 Carmichael, citing “the golden stream” which had poured into the
Tufts coffers, wrote MacJannet: “During these years you and your wonderful and charming
Charlotte did much for the total Boston community. You made your spacious Arlington home
and its lovely lakeside grounds a real and functional cultural center . . .
           “Some lives are useful, some lives are pleasant, some lives are constructively novel. I
cannot help thinking that your life has combined all of these characteristics. You have made your
generation better than it could possibly have been without the fine schools and the unique camps
that you established. You and Charlotte do not just talk about international culture and
international goodwill, but you create the climate that makes such positive and pleasant
international understanding inevitable.
           “To sum it all up: What a wonderful man you are.”
           The letter, written to congratulate MacJannet on his 75th birthday, came when Carmichael
had become vice president in charge of research and development for the National Geographic


Many hundreds of persons have written MacJannet their appreciation of how he planted higher
goals in them and stimulated them to achieve. His files bulge with such testimonials. Many other
alumni of the schools and camps have told him in person how his example, short talks to groups,
or direct admonitions to individuals, in an environment stressing character and development of
potential, have stirred and changed them.
        A few wrote longer pieces, especially for this volume. Many more would have done so,
given opportunity, but the reader will probably prefer sampling to satiety. The reports given here
stress variety. A physician got a new perception of MacJannet as an adroit maneuverer in causing
a noxious nuisance to remove itself, and of an athlete, demonstrating that sometimes a boy needs
literally sharp discipline to avoid certain failure and disgrace. A girl learned that she had courage,
and that a delicate flower could teach strength. An uncertain college student found himself
stimulated to take a world trip and to make a life study of an ancient religion. These are just three
of several accounts of changes wrought in life attitudes, all given in their own words.

Eleanor McGowan Byrne (Mrs. Horace F. Byrne) first met the MacJannets when she joined their
winter sports group in 1931. After a summer at the Talloires camp, she also taught horseback
riding at the MacJannets’Sun Valley school in Idaho. She kept in touch with them, with visits at
Talloires in 1973 and Tufts in 1974. After her husband retired as a Foreign Service officer she
began work for a master’ degree in painting at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.

Two Sermons on Survival
By Eleanor McGowan Byrne
In the summer of 1932 I was 11 years old. I learned a lot at the MacJannet camps. I learned to
duckwalk around the baseball field without stopping— a form of discipline for infraction of rules;
how to avoid drinking the cup of compulsory hot water before the daily pre-breakfast skiny dip in
the freezing lake; how to lace hiking boots over three pairs of socks in such a way as to avoid
blisters; how to slide into home plate; three verses of “We’ loyal to you, Illinois”; all the verses
of “Le Haut sur le Montagne,” and the Marine Hymn; how to get a second helping of dessert;
how to make and play a bamboo recorder; something about patriotism, loyalty, and team spirit.
In addition, I had two lessons in survival that I have never forgotten.
         The first was from Lynn Woodworth, director of the camps, who taught Red Cross
lifesaving. I was under age, but I had worked on my strokes, breaking holds, carries, and
artificial respiration every day for weeks. I was swaggering with confidence and determined to
have that Red Cross badge sewn to my bathing suit. I approached this important event with a
happy exhilaration and in a spirit of fun far removed from any feeling for the shipwreck, surf
drowning and other disasters that had given rise to the lifesaving program.
         After giving me brief instructions, Woody swam out into the lake and began to flail
frantically, calling for help and then going under the cold black waters. I laughed in anticipation
of my triumphant rescue of this ludicrous victim and took off in a racing dive, arms doing a fast
Australian crawl and feet flutter-kicking long before I hit the water in a resounding bellyflop. As
I approached the spot where Woody had disappeared, I saw him surface far away. He began
calling and waving his arms again.
         I swam to him and he put his arms around my waist and tried to pull me under. As I had
been taught, I slid down through this grasp, held one of his arms at wrist and elbow, and tried to
hold him with a cross-chest carry. I found I could not get my arm across that great, smooth
muscular expanse of chest, however, and Woody twisted loose and caught my neck in a vise-like
grip. This time he pulled me under and held me harder than he had the first time, letting me break
the hold just before I ran out of breath. I tried the cross-chest again. He slipped away and sank to
the bottom of the lake, pulling me down by the ankle. I struggled to free myself, and kicked him
as hard as I could. He let me go and as I rose to the surface just in time to catch a deep breath of
air I felt a surge of panic.
         What happened at that moment was that my victim had become my adversary. He was
trying to drown me! I was determined not to let him do it. More important, however, was my
determination not to leave him there. How could he hold his breath that long? Maybe he was

really drowning. He had carried the game too far. I knew now that I could not— would not—
leave him there. He came a drowning man in my imagination. I took one more deep breath and
dove down to him. This time he let me pull him up. He became a meek, limp, 170-pound
bundle. All his strength left him.
        I was able to tow him to the dock with one hand cupped under his chin. Somehow I got
him up on the dock. I turned him over on his stomach, sat astride his buttocks and administered
the strong shoves on his lower rib cage that were meant to expel water and air from the lungs of a
drowning man. I did this rhythmic movement for what seemed forever, until he told me to stop,
sat up, gave me a bear hug, and told me I had passed the test.
        We both knew that he was not talking about the Red Cross Junior Livesaving Test. He
had just given me a test of courage. For the rest of my life I would know that I could face danger
and do what had to be done, for myself and for others. My exhaustion gradually gave way to a
warm surge of pride and a gratitude as profound as anything I have ever known. I seldom swim
today without thinking of those few minutes spent in a life and death pantomime with one of the
finest teachers I have ever known.
        The second lesson was from Mr. Mac. Donald MacJannet was a born teacher. I used to
call him an ad hoc teacher because he could find an informal lesson in the simplest everyday
occurrence. But just let him at a group of campers who had just returned from their first
overnight hike and he could gather enough material for a semester’ syllabus.
        I had the honor of being the only girl on a hike to watch the sun rise over Mont Blanc
from the mile-high summit of La Tournette. Preparation for the hike began with a trip to the boot
room where the Kalkuns helped us to outfit our feet and checked our hats and clothing for
warmth and safety. Our heavy boots crunched along the stony winding path up the mountain
slopes as we left the grassy areas behind and ascended La Tournette. The sun burned hot on our
backs but the air was clear and fresh with the scents of grass and flowers. Even cows smell good
in the Alps.
        We reached the chalet where we were to spend the night, a short distance below the
summit, and had time to play before supper and bedding down on blankets on the floor. We
awoke in the dark around 4 a.m., ate hunks of sourdough bread and drank cups of steaming dark
chocolate before resuming our hike with flashlights to the summit. There we sat huddled in
excitement and watched the sun rise from behind Mont Blanc. A glorious array of snow-covered
mountain peaks materialized. We could see forever. We could have stayed forever, but at last we
rose and started down, running, jumping scattering loose stones and never minding an occasional
spill in our excitement. The summit was bare except for the hidden clumps of vegetation that

could occasionally be glimpsed on a ridge or nearly inaccessible pile of rocks. It was in one of
these, at our first rest, that I thought I saw sprigs of the much-coveted edelweiss. I crawled to the
edge of nowhere, staring down the steep slopes and wondering whether I would survive a fall. As
I drew closer I saw the little blossom I wanted so much— white velvet with pale yellow center. I
was just able to reach out and pluck it without falling off the edge. I beat a careful retreat and
flew back to the other campers with my prize.
        On our return I was one of three who had edelweiss to show Mr. Mac when we gathered
to tell him about the hike. He wanted to know exactly where we had found them. Mine was from
the southeast slope of La Tournette, about 400 yards from the summit, and I described the
precarious little promontory. The path had been very tough footing for us, with all those loose
stones, and I told him how hard it was to reach. “Tough for you, was it? Think what it must have
been for the edelweiss!” said Mr. Mac. He proceeded to take off on life in difficult circumstances
and before we knew it we were hearing not about botany but about difficulties in general and the
sort of animal and human being that survives them. He talked about the edelweiss and its
inability to survive in comfortable hothouse environment, and how it flourishes in lofty wild
places where few forms of life are found, where they are out of reach of grazing animals, and so
on. Mr. Mac speculated about whether they were more beautiful, more velvety for this reason,
just as humans might be stronger, more beautiful, more brave, if they grew up among mountains
in cold climates rather than in lush, hot climates where plenty of food grew around them all the
year. He made an association between the flower’ survival and our mastering the art of
mountain climbing, and there was more than a suggestion that if we survived the hard climb we
would all do well on the rocky road of life. I pressed my edelweiss and often thought of that talk
of Mr. Mac’ when I looked at it: we were breaking trail, so to speak, and toughness,
perseverance, adaptability, and those sterling virtues were somehow tied to the survival of this
flower. It became an important symbol for me.
        Since then I have seen edelweiss grown successfully in captivity but I can’ help feeling
that they must somehow be inferior to my wilderness specimen, just out of normal reach of the
plucking human hand: weaker, softer, thinner, poorer for their hothouse homes.

Tony Farrell attended the Talloires camp in 1963 at age 13. He regards the camp experience as
“a major influence in my personal development.” He is currently in apparel merchandising
executive in San Francisco.

“A Critical Time of My Life”
By Tony Farrell

When I attended the camp I was living in Bremerhaven, Germany, where my father headed the
European office of a major American merchant shipping company. All four kids attended the
military dependents’schools in Bremerhaven by the good graces of the Army, since we were
civilian folks.
        I finished 8th, 9th, and 10th grades in B’haven: we moved to Washington, D.C. and I
finished high school at Sidwell Friends. I graduated from Harvard; served as a Navy Supply
Corps officer for four years; attended the Harvard Business School, and was recruited by the Gap
Stores, where I still work, being current director of strategic planning. I’ been lucky to be able
to continue traveling the world in my two careers: many times back to Europe with the Navy, and
many times to Asia, as a merchant. But all this is just by way of background, an introduction.
What I really want to say follows:
        It was my age, my “time of life,” that was important in this tale— a thirteen-and-a-half-
year-old kid who had spent a recent four years in Brooklyn garnering admiration for heroes such
as the better dancers from South Philly on American Bandstand, Kelly Freas, the artiste
extraordinaire of MAD magazine covers, guys who knew how to roll Lucky Strike cigarette
packs in their undershirt sleeves, and other urban folk heroes.
        After Brooklyn, on to Toledo, Ohio, where I discovered I had an “accent.” We lived on
bikes, shot hoops, enjoyed the trees and big houses that made up our neighborhood surrounding
the university. Throughout the four Brooklyn years and the two in Toledo I was always the
“gentleman” in school, always the No. 1 or No. 2 guy academically (and best friends with my
rival for the top spot), sometimes the best athlete, sometimes class president. I guess some things
came easy for me. I worked hard at school, very hard. My totally internally-generated attitude
was that I could do it, it was expected, and in general I found the work interesting. I was a good
        We moved off the Bremerhaven the summer of 1962, the whole family, very close: the
folks and two brothers, two sisters— very excited and keen on this adventure-some thing.
        I was at a point then, just turning 13, where the better influences of home and school
were losing some ground to less admirable influences of peers, friends and upper-classmen in this
tiny little military school, devoid of books or learning or gentility, filled with punks and illiterates
and street fighters and twice-fold tales of rumbles with archrivals in Berlin and Frankfurt.

              s                                      s
        There’ a time in a young life when the world’ kindness seems diminished, when the
magic of religion glows less bright, when “Boy’ Life” magazine is set aside forever, when the
images of things from television and books, the nice stuff, fails to “match” experience. A
roughness sets in, the first expressions of a new kind of independence, an insulation from
disappointment brought about by changing one’ view of the world and how one fits into it.
There is much less goodness out there! The achievements of the people around me are meager!
        But I began to try to fit in to all of this, to look longingly through Sears’catalogue for
banded white socks and black loafers and jeans, to get “the look”; wore my undershirts
backwards to make sure the white showed and was “cool.” Not really knowing how the world
was, I was beginning to slide into what surrounded me.
        Then, that first summer, I was brought to Talloires. I knew it was beautiful, but somehow
the very young cannot really see real beauty that early in life. At least in retrospect, I can’t
remember being struck by it all.
        I was struck by Mr. MacJannet. “A big, wonderful, homely man,” was my first
impression, but I really didn’ know what to think. In time, by the strength of his belief in us as
young people, by his unwavering commitment to civility, decorum, modesty, gentleness,
discipline, appreciation for beauty, for community— in all these things and more he showed me
that the world truly was peopled with men of achievement and utter good will. I had known it
within my own family, but when I ventured “outside” at that critical time of life I hadn’ really
seen it. Here was a true kind of boyhood hero come to life— so old Colonel So and So who
founded the Boy Scouts in England was a person, not some dim and rejected childhood fantasy
like Santa Claus. Through Mr. MacJannet I truly began to appreciate the link between
“institutions” of good— schools, organizations, hospitals, governments— and the very simple
notion that individuals of vision, leadership, goodness, perseverance, were, in fact, responsible for
their creation.
        This recognition— I guess it is the essential notion of the Judeo-Christian ethic— was the
basis for a renewed self-confidence in things that I had noce truly regarded as important to me but
which lately had been losing favor as I grew into teenage years— gentleness, kindness,
consideration for others; plus unpretentiousness, modesty, conviction, a sense of self-worth and
self importance (in the best sense).
        This image of Mr. MacJannet represented to me the other world (that is, non-family) that
I chose to grow into, and I really left the other— the rough, tawdry one, behind forever; never
missed, really.

        What specific instances occurred? Well, no single dramatic thing. Singing “give
yourself a pat on the back . . .” in the dining hall after supper, foolish but so enthusiastic! Mr.
Mac telling tales of the early days of flying (“Now son, don’ go too fast, and stay close to the
ground!”) Feeling wonder as he told of an early visitor at his school near Paris whose father had
told her of seeing George Washington in a parade in the last year of that great American’ life—
connected, connected to great things past! Mr. Mac’ undimmed enthusiasm for little details of
culture, of history, of the country around us, even of young campers past— people like us, sitting
there listening to him.
        You know, not all campers seemed to share my feelings. Maybe they did, and didn’t
express their sentiments. Maybe they didn’ realize what possible influence or meaning the
summer’ experience might have. But I remember sensing something, of seeing clearly a “tight
path” through life.
        I have been lucky enough to stay pretty close to the MacJannets over the years. I did not
correspond initially, but gradually developed a good Christmas correspondence. When the
MacJannets came to Boston in 1975 I joined them at lunch, and there they were, so wonderfully
unchanged, still curious, working, seeing beauty everywhere, in music, in the community of
international students and scholars they had brought together.
        We spoke of a very good friend of mine, a classmate at Harvard Business School. She
was from Israel, her father a founding figure in that country, a general. She had been a young
student at a MacJannet gathering in Europe. She had embraced an Arab girl who was also
there— a memory that my friend, and the MacJannets, still carried with them vividly. The
experience was still quite central to my Israeli friend’ outlook on life and the struggle in the
Middle East. My Israeli friend and I discovered our common ground— the MacJannets— as I was
running off to have lunch with them that day in 1975. It was so heartening to see that my belief,
formed at 13, was so right. They were making a difference, they were an important part of the
world, as was I, as was Orit, my Israeli friend.
        Am I satisfied with my own achievements? No, not yet. Is my life as purposeful as it
should be, as the MacJannets would expect it to be? Not at all, but it shall be. It is not easy. I
feel that Donald MacJannet is a great man who has led a great and inspiring life, who leads such a
life now. I am not a great man, but I think I now know what it means to be one. And however I
can get there, however close I can get there, I will try. I don’ know how, but I will try.

Howard A. Cook entered the Elms as a day pupil at age 11 in 1926, but became a boarder soon
for the rest of his three years there, and was known as “Hooky.” He was at Chamonix for two
Christmas holidays, alone at the Talloires camp for the first year, and joined there by his three
sisters the second year. His father, mother and two sisters joined him on the MacJannet North
African spring trip. A brother-in-law, Arthur Forester, taught English and piano at the Elms two
years. Cook’ son Tony was at the camp in 1954 and his two other sons helped two weeks with
the Prieure tower roof in 1980.
        Cook was a field artillery major in the Pacific in World War II. After some years as an
accountant, he got an M.A. from Stanford in international relations, headed the Northern
California World Affairs Council for two years, and after three years with the U.S. State
Department became president of International House, New York, directing the education of
thousands of foreign students from 90 nations until his retirement 25 years later in 1980.

“He Made Life Interesting”
By Howard A. Cook

I can say, without hesitation, that my career and outlook on life have been strongly influenced by
Donald MacJannet’ example. I am very much a do-it-yourself person, having built my own
house, always inspired by what Donald did with the Prieuré. He taught me self-reliance and hard
        One Characteristic which has always impressed and inspired me is his never-ending
effort to make life interesting and exciting for those around him— students, campers, or his
friends. He was always dreaming up fun things to do, trips to castles like Pierre-fonde, or the
Mer de Glace at Chamonix. At Christmas he hired a tractor-like car to pull a string of 20 sleds,
tied together— dangerous, but fun.
        And he was ingenious. His old Ford Model T school bus overheated, so he ran it without
the hood. The problem persisted. He installed a 10-gallon water tank on the roof over the driver
and ran an enema bag rubber hose down the side of the cab near the driver, to the radiator, so the
driver could release water by means of a clamp when the motor overheated.
        I am positive that my early years in the MacJannet school and camp had a profound
influence on my life. After World War II I gave up my previous profession of accounting, got an
M.A. from Stanford and spent six years as director of the Northern California World Affairs
Council. Then three years in the U.S. State Department.
        I had often thought of running a school, and the opportunity came in October 1995 when
I was offered the post of director (called president in New York) of International House. I tried to
do for my 500 students each year what Donald had done for me back in the ’ to help students
struggling in preparation for their careers, and bringing many nationalities together in the hope
that they would learn to understand and respect one another, and thus to contribute, in a small
way, to world peace.
        I see Donald and Charlotte repeatedly on trips abroad for International House, and as a
member of the MacJannet Foundation board of trustees.

Reginald Ray was a counselor at the MacJannet camps in 1960 and 1961. With encouragement
from the MacJannets, he broke off his studies at Williams College, took a round-the-world trip
which included several months’work in Japan with American-Japanese orphans, and visits in
Burma, India, and Nepal. He switched his studies at Williams to religion, returned to India to
work with Tibetans, and now is chairman of the Buddhist Studies Department at Naropa Institute,
a college in Boulder, Colorado specializing in Asian studies.

Recollections of Donald and Charlotte MacJannet
By Reginald Ray

The MacJannets were educators in the most profound sense. They took as their task the fullest
development of their students, and this included all of us who worked with them, whether
‘students,’campers, teachers or staff. In one sense Donald and Charlotte belonged to the “old
school” of education, for whom manners, rigorous discipline, regard for tradition, and respect for
one’ elders were all important.
        But in their hands, these values were not all matters of superficial conventionality.
Instead— and in the early sixties when I met the MacJannets, this came as something of a shock—
these values were somehow inspiring and uplifting. In fact, for the MacJannets, they became
tools to awaken the intelligence of their students, and encourage them in their own life journeys.
              s                                                                s
One found one’ horizons broadened, and found oneself encouraged to take as one’ own the
highest humanistic and spiritual aspirations. At the same time, when the need arose, it should be
noted that the MacJannets could be extremely unconventional. As my own experience shows,
when someone needed to explore new territory, to leave behind the tried and tested ways, Donald
and Charlotte had no hesitation whatever in encouraging him in that direction.
        I first met the MacJannets during the summer after I graduated from high school, in 1960,
when I came to Talloires to work in their camp as a counselor. Previous to that summer, I had
never been more than 100 miles from my home town in Connecticut, an Anglo-Saxon sururb of
New York City. High school students in those days were much more naïve and inexperienced
than they are now, and even among my peers I was particularly so. Although I had been accepted
to a fine New England college (Williams) for the fall, this had not yet really had any effect on my
limited world.
        That first summer in Talloires with the MacJannets was eye-opening, to say the least.
That summer was a doorway to a new world, and things were never the same again. There was,
of course, the newness of Europe and also the interesting and challenging environment of the
camp. But, above all, I recall Donald and Charlotte. My chief memory of that period is sitting,
so to speak, at their feet, observing and listening to them, trying to take in and absorb the humane
and intensely interesting world that was theirs.
        Both Mr. and Mrs. Mac, as we called them, were teachers before anything else, and they
taught us, their students, through virtually every activity that went on at camp. I remember so
well the talks that Mr. Mac gave on aspects of camp life. Many of the most interesting and
enlightening of these were on the most unlikely topics. I still recall a talk he gave on brushing

one’ teeth and another on cabin neatness. With Mr. Mac, one began to see how the details and
disciplines of daily life could provide genuine inspiration for everything else. The possibility of
taking delight in such things changed one’ whole perspective.
        The standards the MacJannets set at camp for the counselors and everyone else were
demanding, and everyone was expected to live up to them. The rigor of the environment wasn’t
always easy for the counselors, particularly in those days when young people often took such
pride in their freedom from restrictions and convention. But on the other hand, one found the
camp such a wholesome and healthy place, and the MacJannets were so genuine and
straightforward. One instinctively respected and trusted them.
        I was particularly impressed by the extent to which the MacJannets taught through
example and taught us counselors to do the same. One day, I went to Mr. Mac about a problem I
was having getting my young campers (Cabin 1, the youngest boys) to get up at the bell, go
posthaste to the sinks, and wash up properly. Mr. MacJannet said “You know, the best way to get
your campers to do something is to set the example. You lead the way and show them how it can
be done, and how much fun it can be.” I followed his advice— as one generally found oneself
doing— and from then on that period of the day became one the happiest times for my small
campers and myself.
        After that first summer, I returned to the United States and entered college, studying
through the year, and returned to the camp in 1961 for a second summer. At the time, these two
summers in Talloires seemed like stimulating and enjoyable interludes in the real business at hand
of getting my proper education from my college professors. Without discounting the value of that
initial college education, I would say now in retrospect and as events showed, that a much more
far-reaching education was going on for me during those summers in Talloires.
        One could not be around the MacJannets very long without being exposed to their
international perspective. I remember several rainy evenings at camp when campers and staff
would gather in the Assembly Hall to hear Mrs. MacJannet talk about a larger world that few of
us knew firsthand, particularly that of the Far East and greater Asia. She spoke with such
knowledge, warmth, and appreciation of those people and cultures. Somehow that part of the
world seemed for the first time very important, and one longed to know more.
        During the summer— and I don’ remember just how this happened— the idea arose of
my actually making a trip to Asia. Many things made this idea somewhat outrageous: I had just
finished my first year in a good school; my parents’limited means would not enable them to
finance such a trip, even had they been totally in favor of it; and in those days, there was no such
phenomenon as the ‘drop out,’which came only with the later ’60s. But the idea did come up,

and the MacJannets talked it over with me from many viewpoints. Never once did I think— nor
am I even sure now— that the idea was not entirely my own. By the end of the summer, such a
trip had taken firm root in my mind, and the MacJannets told me, in the understated manner they
often used which never took the autonomy away from the other person, that they would help in
any way they could. As I later found out, that was saying a lot.
        During my sophomore year at Williams I saved money and planned my forthcoming trip,
with the MacJannets’help. Although parents, friends and college teachers generally took a dim
view of my project, the MacJannets’encouragement and help was enough. In the early summer
of 1962, having purchased an airline ticket around the world, I set off for Asia, heading first to
Japan. There the MacJannets had arranged for me to work for their friend, Mrs. Miki Sawada, at
her Elizabeth Sanders home for war orphans. This position enabled me to spend month-long
periods in several parts of Japan, to see much of its artistic and religious culture, and to develop a
special interest in Japanese religions and particularly in Buddhism. At the time, I took my stay in
Japan for granted. But later I wondered why Mrs. Sawada had been so incredibly generous to me,
a young college student she did not know at all. I suspect that the MacJannets had a great deal to
do with this.
        After nearly four months in Japan, I continued my journey, traveling further east to
Burma, India, and Nepal. I traveled from place to place, sightseeing, visiting people I had
contacted through the MacJannets and others, and generally tried to absorb what I saw. In my
knapsack were always a few books on the religions of the area I was visiting, for I felt
instinctively that that was the way in which ultimately I would understand what was before me.
Particularly after leaving Japan, what was before one was shocking in its rawness and frequent
tragedy. Those who have been to those parts under similar circumstances will know the thorough
‘culture shock’that such experiences entail.
        By the new year, I was quite sick and also had had enough experiences to last, I thought,
a lifetime. I needed to recuperate and make sense out of what I had seen. There was no doubt
about where I should go, and I boarded a plane in Calcutta for Geneva, where the MacJannets

Having experienced Asia so directly and particularly at such an impressionable age, one has a
great deal to sort out. Old assumptions had been thoroughly challenged and for me it was a
question of putting things back together on a new foundation. Somehow, when I paid my first
visit to the MacJannets after arriving in Geneva, all this was understood. They never expressed
the least doubt or reservation about what I was experiencing. They simply encouraged me

forward, making timely suggestions, introducing me to ideas, books and people they thought
might be helpful. The books the MacJannets gave me to read were invariably by authors to
whom my experiences were not unfamiliar. But there was more direct work to do, and Mrs.
MacJannet introduced me to some people whose work was tremendously helpful then and later:
to Prof. Edmund Rochdieu, a scholar and specialist in Jungian psychology, and to a teacher who
taught the contemplative techniques of Gerda Alexander. The disciplines taught by these two
enabled one to take the raw material of life, let it speak for itself, and find one’ direction from
there, certain medicine at life’ transitions.
         The MacJannets provided one with great encouragement, but they never hesitated to let
one know where they stood. I remember many times dropping by 12 rue de l’hôtel-de-ville with
some new idea or discovery. Mrs. MacJannet would say, “Well, that’ wonderful, but you know,
you could look a little further; there is also this.” In a certain way, I always found this quality of
hers so frustrating— with her, one could never come to the end, to the final conclusion about
anything. I was becoming more and more interested in Asian religions, and we would frequently
talk about this interest. Mrs. Mac said to me more than once, “Well, that is very good, but you
             t                                                                        t
know you can’ just reject your own Western heritage. You are a Westerner, and you can’ forget
         The MacJannets also had another quality that one came to appreciate later; they never let
                    s                     s
one forget that one’ life was finally one’ own project to work out. I remember vividly one day
when I had dropped by the MacJannets’in hope of some counsel and advice. After a while, I got
up to leave, and Mrs. Mac and I were standing by the door. Addressing herself to a thought of
mine that hadn’ quite reached consciousness, but was definitely lurking in the background, she
said: “Look here, young man, there is one thing you need to understand. I am not going to take
your life into my hands. That is up to you alone.” She said this with a twinkle in her eye and a
laugh that, at the time, I couldn’ understand. In retrospect, the kindness of that remark has
impressed me more and more, and it is often a helpful reminder for me as I work with my own
         Sometime that spring, Mrs. MacJannet showed me a book on Tibet, and said, “doesn’t
this look interesting.” I borrowed it and read it, and something became clear in my own mind.
This book, more than any I had seen, was talking about a world worth exploring, a world that I
had already begun to touch in my own life. Here was definitely something I should look into
much further. Perhaps I could study about these things at college. This first genuine glimpse of
inspiration to return to school later blossomed into a career of study of Indian and Tibetan
Buddhism. Ironically, I later found that book on Tibet not to be a very good book at all. But to

me, this only serves to underscore in retrospect the magic that so often seemed to pass through
Mrs. Mac’ hands at such moments.
        I returned to the United States that summer, and returned to Williams College in the fall,
changing my major to religion and pursuing my interest in Asian religions. Subsequently, I went
on to the University of Chicago for a doctorate under the great historian of religions, Prof. Mircea
Eliade, learning Sanskrit and Tibetan and specializing in the Buddhism of India and Tibet.
Essential to my studies were further work with Jungian psychology, a return to India as a
Fulbright-Hays scholar, where I worked with Tibetans, and training in Buddhist contemplative
practice with Tibetan teachers, especially the Ven. Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche.
        Currently, I am Chairman of the Buddhist Studies Department at Naropa Institute, a
college in Boulder, Colorado, specializing in Asian studies, psychology and the arts. The basic
pedagogy of the school is to encourage students to integrate their collegiate study with their
personal life, and we place a great deal of emphasis on what might be called “old school” values,
on manners and discipline, high regard for tradition, and respect for one’ teachers. So the wheel
comes full circle, and I find myself encouraging my students to broaden their horizons, to search
out in their lives what is meaningful and valuable, and to find their own ways, whatever the costs
and whatever anyone else may think. As I wrote to the MacJannets a year or so ago, after many
years of silence, one can never repay one’ teachers, but one can at least appreciate what they did.

Dr. Grant Taylor is with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Division of
Continuing Education. He visited the MacJannet camps at Talloires briefly in 1932, gave Donald
MacJannet some unusual advice on a camp health problem, and himself learned a significant
lesson in a climb of La Tournette with Gustav Kalkun and some campers.

An Enduring Lesson
By Grant Taylor, M.D.

Following the International Education Conference in Nice, France in 1932, Donald R. MacJannet
invited me to visit his summer camp and school on Lake Annecy. (It was this meeting in Nice
that “Mr. Mac” met the future Mrs. MacJannet.) My stop at the camp was short but sufficient to
become enchanted with the scenery, the rich history of the region, and particularly with the
educational philosophy of Mr. Mac. Hence, when he proposed that I return the following summer
to teach science, I was delighted.
        I arrived by bus from Annecy the following summer and while I was eating a snack, Mr.
Mac said he faced a grave crisis. There was a group of French Boy Scouts camping in an area
adjacent to his camp whose mission, he said, was to make life impossible for his campers. The
situation was so critical he might have to close his camp. He said he had tried the Public Health
Office in Annecy but their deputy was unable to find any infractions of the Health Code. “Of
course they couldn’ Mr. Mac exclaimed. “The scouts, both boys and girls, use the lake, and
the current carries the excrement our way!” Mr. Mac asked me what chemical would bleach and
kill the grass quickly and what chemical would smell and look like human excrement. I made
two suggestions and off he went.
        This being my first day in camp, I was late getting settled in my lakefront tent. It seemed
that I had barely closed my eyes when I was awakened, shortly before dawn, by a voice saying
“Come!” Mr. Mac and I made our way through the pum vine hedge, which marked the boundary
between the camp and the area occupied by the French Boy Scouts. We could hear their heavy
breathing as we moved among the silk tents, but this did not deter Mr. Mac. At appropriate sites
Mr. Mac made mounds of chemical powder and I doused the mounds and a nearby area with a
strong acid. Mr. Mac departed immediately for Annecy to get a Public Health Officer. The
officer came, was convinced and that afternoon the Boy Scouts moved their camp to another site.
        The excitement and interest of my first twenty-four hours in camp set the pace for the
remainder of the summer. However, the story of “An Enduring Lesson” actually began with my
assignment to a hiking group in addition to my teaching duties. This hike was an annual affair,
the objective of which was to climb LaTournette, a mountain near the boundary of France and
Switzerland, camp out on the peak, watch the sunrise on Mont Blanc, and return to Mr. Mac’s
camp by the lake in time to attend a banquet to which the mothers and the fathers of the campers
were invited. A member of the hiking group, chosen by peers, would make the address at the

banquet, which was the most highly prized honor of Mr. Mac’ summer camp. The banquet was
the concluding event of the summer session.
        In order to qualify for the hike, a succession of lesser conditioning hikes had to be
successfully performed. Great care was accorded the hikers’feet. An early foot blister could
preclude participation in the final event. Two pairs of socks were worn— one silk and one wool.
A canteen of water was carried by each hiker. The water was not for drinking— it was to be used
for washing the feet.
        The first conditioning hike was to climb Dent de l’Enfant. Although this was not a
difficult climb, all the routines that would be used on the hike to LaTournette were practiced.
This included, in addition to the routines for foot care, connecting the hikers in a long line by the
use of ropes and snaps.
        Thus connected, it was not only necessary to learn to walk as a unit, but to practice a set
of signals which were transmitted by jerks on the connecting ropes. Each jerk was transmitted by
the hiker in front or to the rear, depending on which way the signal was being sent. The terrain
was such that those at the front of the line frequently could not be seen by the hikers in the rear.
        One of the camp counselors in Mr. Mac’ camp was an Estonian, Gustav Kalkun, who
looked and talked like a Cossack. Like so many physically big men, he was one of the gentlest
and kindest I have ever known. He was an experienced mountain climber and, just prior to our
departure on the big climb, he was chosen to lead the group of climbers, and I was designated to
bring up the rear.
        It was a fascinating and enjoyable experience. Not only were the mountains magnificent
and beautiful but the hikers were gay, well-trained, behaved, and obviously enjoyed the hike.
Although there were chamois and edelweiss to be seen, when we got above the timber line, the
terrain was largely shale; hence the footing became difficult and the bright sun and clear
atmosphere made everyone physically uncomfortable. Finally a signal to halt was received and
the long line of children sat in the shale, took off their shoes and stockings, washed their feet with
the water in their canteens, wiggled their toes, and let the sun dry their feet. Kalkun walked the
line of hikers, giving each a half of an orange. The sun-dried socks were exchanged; the one that
had been on theleft foot was put on the right foot— the one on the right foot was put on the left,
and the shoes were replaced. Everyone eagerly awaited the signal to “stand” and, finally, to
        Snapped in front of me was a girl and in front of her was a boy. His mannerisms and
conversation during the last breather had attracted my attention. In contrast to the gay mood of
the other hikers, he sounded a bit irrascible. As we continued to climb his comments became

truculent. Obviously he was not enjoying the experience, as were the other hikers. A patch of
edelweiss was heralded by the hikers as they passed, but the young man, much to the dismay and
chagrin of the girl in front of me, jabbed the plants with his walking staff. Fortunately, the signal
for another rest break was received.
        Just as we were awaiting the signal to resume the hike, the boy said he wanted to talk to
me. He said when the signal came, he would not hike, that I could not make him hike, and that if
I kept after him he’ tell his father, who was in the diplomatic corps stationed in Geneva. He
claimed he was exhausted and it was cruel to make him walk. My initial thought was that he may
have had too much sun or that he was ill but, when it became clear that his major problem was
                                                            d               d
simple fatigue and irrasibility, I asked if he knew what we’ have to do? We’ have to cancel
this trip; we could not camp on the mountain side; we’ have to go down to the timber line and
try to find water and a place to camp in the dark. I pointed out how selfish his actions were, as all
the other hikers had been counting on making the trip and had been preparing for weeks. I
appealed to his manhood, to his sense of fairness and asked him to consider how he might feel
about himself in the future when he looked back. All was to no avail. He kept repeating, “you
    t                  t
can’ make me and I won’ hike up that mountain any further!”
        I had received the ready signal several times, to which I had not replied. Finally I sent
the signal for help. Mr. Kalkun came stumbling and sliding down the shale quickly, appraised the
situation quickly, and said, “You take the front; I’ take your place. Send me a signal as soon as
you are ready to climb!” As soon as I got to the head of the line I sent a ready signal and, to my
amazement, back came a ready signal.
        When we arrived at the top, it was late. The hikers had to be fed and bedded down for
the night, so I did not have a chance to as the Estonian what had transpired on the mountainside
until after all had become quiet.
        “Well,” he replied, “I had him exchange places with the girl you had in front of you.
Then I placed the spike on my walking stick against his buttocks, looked him in the eye and said,
“When the signal comes to march, I’ going to march! He jumped up and hiked to the top
without comment. . . . Now, I have some news for you,” he added. “Who do you think the hikers
picked to be their representative at the banquet tomorrow night? Yes . . . your boy!”
        The next morning the sunrise on Mont Blanc was beautiful; everything went well at
breakfast, as it did all the way back to the lake. “My boy” was ebullient. The banquet was a
great success. Mr. Mac was at his best. “My boy” spoke fluently and well. He did not allude to
the incident in the shale above the timberline. He mentioned a variety of incidents— the sighting
of the chamois, the beauty of the edelweiss. He was complimentary to all— he even

complimented me. Subsequently, I learned “my boy” is currently a world figure in international
diplomatic circles.

Of course, this is the lesson that I learned that has been so helpful to me throughout my life; that
youth is dependent upon the adult to prevent failure— that youth is changing from day to day and
the adult has the responsibility to help youth perform a step above the present level of
performance. The rationalization that youth will profit from mistakes, come what may, is too
heavily weighted on the fail side. Sometimes the adult not only has to intervene and enforce the
level of performance, but also has to set the scene for the reinforcing social approbation. I have
often wondered what might have been the future of “my boy” if the Estonian had not been
available to replace me at the rest break in the shale on the mountainside.

David Richardson, Air Force lieutenant based in Hawaii, worked as a handyman at the Prieure in
the summer of 1979. Knowing that MacJannet was a chevalier of the Legion of Honor, he
pictures himself in this light-hearted article as a young squire serving a knight, and learning from
him. Richardson had returned from a tour of duty in Korea when he wrote the article.

A State of Service
By Lt. David Richardson

I worked at the Prieure as a handyman in the summer of 1979, at which time I came to know the
MacJannets and learn a great deal from them. I like to think of myself as a squire at that time. It
isn’ far-fetched, really, since Mr. Mac is a knight of the Legion of Honor; as his servant, I
reasoned at the time, wouldn’ that make me his squire?
         This concept appealed to me. As a squire, I was striving to attain Knighthood; to arrive
at a state of service and nobility which my patrons and ideals, the Macs, had practiced for many
years. Thus, it was that I spent a summer at the Prieure gleaning as much as I could from the sage
minds of Sir Donald and Lady Charlotte MacJannet.
         I recollect standing in the workroom with Mr. Mac. We were going over what needed to
be done in the upcoming week and assessing what had been done so far. We wore white
overcoats at Mr. Mac’ insistence. It added to a conspiratorial atmosphere. I felt like on of the
Wright brothers. It was so dignified; but then, Mr. Mac was dignified in everything that he did.
Our work was no exception. I loved these sessions because invariably Mr. Mac would tell me
about the past, or philosophies of life in general. On this occasion, he was talking about Ernest
Hemingway. After a time, Mr. Mac said, “Yes, Dave . . . he killed himself. Said he didn’ want
to get old.” He paused, and said, “I don’ want to get old, either.” He smiled and tottered
slightly. He was eighty-five. But Mr. Mac was definitely not “old.”
         The youth of the MacJannets appears eternal. They had a sense of mission. Perhaps that
is their fountain of youth. At the Prieure I always felt that we were in league together as a team,
in search of the Holy Grail. There was always a purposeful atmosphere at the Prieure.
         The high energy of Mrs. Mac’ warmth and awareness blended splendidly with Mr.
Mac’ good-natured humor. I carry the memory of the love they live wherever I go. They make
peace on earth seem like a genuine possibility; sometimes that’ the only thing that keeps me
         My pilgrimage brought me to a monastery in France, where I met some of the kindest
people on earth. They tolerated my mistakes and taught by example. The MacJannets are truly
an asset to the human race.

By Jean-Louis Bouet
Thanks to the generosity of my maternal grandmother, Sarah Fossler of Lancaster County,
Pennsylvania, I was sent the MacJannet camps, in 1929 or 1930, at the age of 10. Most people
knew me as Swissy, a nickname I got early on in camp, my father being Swiss and my mother
American. I must have been one of the first so-called foreigners. That so many of us keep in
touch with the MacJannets is a reflection of the camp influence in our formative years. I certainly
would not have missed those six seasons for anything. They profoundly affected me, and I made
many friends, chiefly American, with whom I am still in touch.
        What first struck me was the really smooth way the whole place ticked over. It was
efficient, and yet one didn’ really get a feeling of too much discipline. One of the first things we
learned was the camp code and rules. With about 70 campers, many of them not able to swim, it
is really a tribute to the way the camp was run that no one suffered any accident during the many
years of camping there. But we did not feel that we were members of a chain gang— far from it.
I think the code and rules contributed to the keenness, the competitiveness, too, which was a very
important part of the whole process, pitting teams and tents, one against the other, to get the most
out of them.
        The honor trips are an example. The beds had to be made just so, the floors swept, the
whole place absolutely tidy. Points were awarded, and at intervals members of a winning tent
were eligible to go on one of the famous honor trips. They would pile into Mr. MacJannet’ old
car, and we would be off to some big town. I remember we once went to Geneva, wandering the
streets and looking at all the shops and then, treat of treats, an ice cream or two. I think this was
on the house, but we also took some of our pocket money to buy souvenirs. Another trip was to
Chamonix, and one to the famous St. Bernard monastery on the pass. When we got back the
tradition was that someone from the group would be asked to stand on the ledge of the dining
porch and recount all the marvelous things that had happened. Out of sheer devilment some of us
used to embellish the story, to make the rest of the camp feel jealous.
        The tents faced the lake, and it was idyllic sleeping with the gentle noise of the waves
lapping the shore. The other lovely thing was the sound of the rain on them, and sometimes
tremendous mountain storms coming sweeping down.
        I’ sure Mr. MacJannet was never without his trusty movie camera, which he used with
great effect, but which caused a certain amount of sighing, “Oh, there goes Mr. MacJannet with
his camera again.” We laughed at it, but now we can look back, grateful for those moments spent
trying to create a scene or to record the event. It was the enthusiasm and professionalism of Mr.
MacJannet that carried them along. We used reflecting screens and all sorts of things, with

extremely good results. I came to feel that photography was worth taking care— another spinoff
of camp.
        Certainly Mr. MacJannet never lacked enthusiasm and great imagination, and the power
to project these gifts to his audience. I think of the campfires and the wonderful stories (perhaps
invented) that he recounted, like the story of the mountain ridge— the “submerged dragon”—
running across the lake and ending in the promontory with the castle of Duingt standing on it. He
had a marvelous sense of the occasion, and could feel when his audience was right with him,
helped by his little touches of humor. Most campfires were to me simply magical, particularly
when the night was clear, the stars out, and for city-bred people like me, it was another world.
        I remember the outboard motorboat, bought to give the campers a ride around the lake,
and even tow water skiers. However, the engine often proved remarkably reluctant to start. On
one really hot afternoon during our siesta Mr. MacJannet was trying to start this wretched thing,
under a boiling sun. He pulled and pulled on the cord, and the story went around the camp that
Mr. MacJannet was heard to utter a dreadful swear word. I think it was “damn.” There’ a
wonderful picture of Gustav Kalkun in the boat, down to the gunwhales with campers. Kalkun
had a tremendous physique and an aura of having been an Olympic discus thrower.
        Another favorite trip, almost a pilgrimage, for campers, was to the Abbaye atelier, a
Trappist monastery, a silent quarter. The monk who showed us around was allowed to talk to us
except in one or two rooms. The rest of the monks were busy at various tasks. One old man, I
remember, with a gray beard, was quite high up on a ladder, mending a gutter, and younger
fellows were in the fields, driving horse carts, and making hay.
        The wonderful thing about our camp was the variety of activities; sports or art, drama,
weaving— guided by adept counselors. Mr. MacJannet obviously had a superb gift for choosing
his staff, from the Woodies, Halseys, and Kalkuns down to that splendid person Maria, in then
kitchen. Everyone seemed to fit; they were as much part of the camp as the tents and the lake and
the lodge. And those I have mentioned formed that wonderful continuity year after year which
made it so good to go back to. It was a familiar place and familiar people, and the years seemed
to go by, and it was just super.
        Though I was brought up in Paris, I was half American, through my mother, and I was
adaptable, very flexible, so I fitted in quite easily into camp life, though obviously it was a great
change from a Paris lycée and life in a small flat. The two flagpoles, with the American and
French flags; the ceremony of hoisting the flag, the bugle calls and taps in the evening, the
counselors wandering about with huge sweaters on which there were big letters. Woody had an
“I” for Indiana, and even a sweater with “Business” (for his Washington high school) in big

letters on his back. All these things were strange, but I took them in quickly and wasn’t
shocked— perhaps amused slightly, but basically impressed.
        Of course camp couldn’ have been cheap, and it obviously attracted boys and girls from
families of certain means, some of them rather blasé, or careless of property. Certainly,
sometimes Mr. MacJannet had to admonish boys damaging a building. Of course it was his
money that had built the place, and it was very right that he should not wish it vandalized. But
his was no worse than my Swiss grandmother, who was very strict about waste, and would make
me finish every scrap of food on my plate, at every meal.
        The camp was notable because at that time no other place like it existed in Europe. It
flourished during the years that militant youth for evil purposes were emerging in Germany and
Italy. I can never understand why the French or English didn’ take up the camping idea earlier.
Possibly such a camp was more suited to the Anglo-Saxon rather than the Latin temperament. I
know we’ had Boy Scouts and Boys’Brigade and Outward Bound organizations. Indeed,
another camp spinoff for me was the Boy Scouts, for after the war, as scoutmaster of a British
troop, I wore a shirt carrying my old Boy Scouts of America badge. I just did it to be different, I
suppose, but it was part of the internationalism that I felt existed in the Boy Scout movement.
        The uniform of the American Boy Scout troop in Paris, to which I belonged, attracted
attention in the Metro because the sleeve carried the Name Paris, and under it the word France.
A lot of Frenchmen would come and say “I don’ see why you go to the trouble of putting France
on. Everybody knows that Paris is in France.” Of course, what they didn’ realize was that there
were dozens of towns named Paris in the United States.
        I owe so much to the MacJannets: the training and interest in such a variety of sports and
activities that the camp forced upon me. More important, I suppose, were the friendships made.
I’ godfather to the firstborn of one of the girls at the camp in 1930 or ’31.
        A couple of years ago she shower me in America a letter she had written to her mother
proposing that on a Sunday when her mother was to take her out to tea in Talloires, that she invite
“a boy named Swissy.” Extraordinary! My children were welcomed at the Prieure several years
ago, and we have seen the MacJannets, the Woodies and the Halseys on more than one occasion
on their way through England. This was part of the marvelous sense of continuity, the result of
the tremendous influence of camp and the MacJannet way life and their teaching had on me.
        I must also mention Charlotte MacJannet, always there behind the scenes, obviously a
great support to him, lending a hand here, giving a word of advice there, and probably more
actively engaged with the affairs of the girls’camp. Always a smile on her face, very attentive to
anyone wishing to consult her. One can understand how wise he was in his choice of a wife.

And then, of course, there was Donald’ sister Jean Foster, and I was privileged to be at camp
when her husband Emory was there. With his marvelous voice, the mountains would almost echo
to its fullness when he sang “put on the skillet, put on the lead, Mammy’ little baby likes

By Priscilla Barclay
It has been a great experience and joy for me to spend several weeks with Charlotte and Donald
MacJannet every summer since 1948 working with them at the Annecy camp and later at the
Prieuré. I also spent some months at their Arlington home near Boston. I first met Charlotte at
the 1947 holiday course of the Institute Jacques-Dalcroze in Geneva, both of us being teachers of
the Dalcroze method of music education. Next summer found me at the Talloires camp, directing
the workshops, attended by French war orphans.
        I learned quickly to work with the two whirlwind MacJannets, whose ever-changing and
new ideas stretched one to the uttermost, but the practical idealism of the rehabilitation of all
those children in the postwar years was thrilling and moving. Also in the picture was Jean Foster,
who organized all the travel of the children to camp, and her cat, which once had to be rescued
from a tree.
        Many pictures come back to me: Mr. Mac moving like a tornado around the camp, his
movie camera slung around his neck, taking pictures of camp life. And there were visitors to be
greeted, and if they were from America, “would you like a swim?” It seemed that Americans
couldn’ keep out of the water and anyway swimming was one of the most important camp
activities. And then the old Ford car, with Mr. Mac at the wheel, full of expectant and happy
children, baskets of provisions stowed away. And hikes— orderly files of children and counselors
winding to upper camp for overnight.
        Many unforgettable pictures of Mrs. Mac in Savoyard costume, holding everyone
spellbound as she told the local folklore story of “The Lady of Angon” at campfires. And she
would play, and with her beautiful voice lead the singing at the Sunday assemblies. Her ability in
several languages smoothed out difficulties of people from different countries. Her firm belief
was that the children must be able to feel and think through their hands as well as their heads, so
the workshops were a very important part of the daily program.
        From her I learned to make and play a bamboo pipe, and at one fête day 73 children and
counselors played the instruments each one had made. Mrs. Mac had brought the making of
bamboo pipes from England, and through her father, Otto Blensdorf, a noted musician and music
        When the Macs gave up the camp in 1963 and took up residence in the Prieuré, they
opened new ways for their idea of international living, but first they had to make the dilapidated
building itself usable. Mr. Mac himself became the rebuilder, with the help of old workmen and
friends, making rooms in a ruined tower, laying marble floors in the ancient cellars. Soon Mrs.
Mac had it liveable again with groups meeting, thinking and discussing social problems.

        Another vivid impression of Mr. Mac is his artistry with his camera. He has hundreds of
the lovely pictures of his travels all over the world, many taken in places most people are not
allowed to photograph, but nothing stops Mr. Mac! One of the most memorable is the one he did
just after the war, “France Rebuilds.”
        One indelible scene: Mr. and Mrs. Mac receiving honorary doctorates for their great
work in international understanding among young people, a moving and dignified tribute in the
Prieuré to these two indomitable people.

By Mrs. Ruth B. Snyder
I first met Donald MacJannet in late June, 1931, when, at age 22, with a degree in French form
the University of Kansas, I arrived at the Elms school on the way to be a canoeing counselor at
the Annecy camp. . . . Eight or ten of us drove down with him in the big Peugeot touring car to
Annecy. In the mountains he was rhapsodic, gesturing with both hands as we maneuvered
hairpin curves and sailed at the edge of precipices, and I realized it would be an exhilirating
summer. Though I was at the camp only one summer, it has been an exhilirating 51 years,
knowing both the MacJannets.
        The two months at camp were enchanted— all sorts of people from all sorts of places
doing things together; many tangled threads which somehow were woven into a fine piece of
cloth. There was a spontaneity, a sense of the unexpected about to happen. After lunch, Mr. Mac
then read or recited poetry to the children, or performed an experiment for them, like blowing the
top off a tin can. When it rained, he showed movies of trips, or former camp years. His own zest
for life was contagious. One night, after the children were in bed, he suddenly said, “It’ such a
beautiful night, let’ have a marshmallow roast.” We all piled in the bus, drove down to the lake
to a spot he knew, and toasted bread and cheese over a fire.
        I had had much experience before at camps, but one thing I was sure of after that
summer: a co-educational camp is preferable to a boys’or girls’camp, but it is definitely more
difficult to run, and he was one of the few people who could do it successfully. We became a
homogenized group, having so much fun together that there was no temptation to go off two by
two. I knew that this was continuous, for my son was a junior counselor in 1957.
        Since 1966, when my husband died, I have seen the MacJannets once or twice a year. I
watched him unveil new rooms at the Prieuré, doing much of the work himself. The wonderful
thing about both the MacJannets is the aura of good humor and affection which pervades the
atmosphere around them, which infects everyone. My own life has been so enriched, so
broadened, made so much happier just by being with them, that I consider they have contributed
more to me than anyone else I’ ever known. He is the original “unforgettable character”— a
man who had a hard and difficult childhood and youth, but who had the brains and determination
to do something worthwhile and found somehow a joie de vivre which will endure as long as he
        A dear man, a simple man, impractical in many ways, an idealist— yet who, with his
wife’ help and support, has accomplished more than most. His ideals have influenced his friends
and former counselors and their children and grandchildren, and he has changed their lives for the
better, as he certainly did mine.


Donald MacJannet seemed to treat every individual he met with the same attentive kindness and
understanding, whether the friendship was brief or lifelong, so in a sense it is pointless to write of
an inner circle when the man himself recognized no limit. Nevertheless, at least seven persons,
all of them close to him for nearly fifty years or more, and on whom he especially relied for
advice and help, deserve special mention.
        All shared MacJannet’ active involvement in promoting better international
understanding and peace through close personal ties to individuals of other nations (he was not
satisfied to leave it a dream; he put it to work). Their backgrounds are set forth here, rather than
interrupting the text of the MacJannet narrative with flashbacks or looks ahead. These histories
are given in the order in which the persons entered MacJannet’ life (except for Jean), rather than
any order of importance. They did, after all, share a common loyalty and set of ideals, but
brought different abilities to the enterprise.
        In addition to the inner seven, some other persons are also listed here who made special
contributions, and may be said to have had at least a foot inside the circle.
        Aside from family members, the Woodworths were probably the most continuously
active of the close MacJannet associates. Beginning in 1935, the first year the MacJannet camps
were established in their permanent location on the Angon peninsula near Talloires, Woody
served as executive director, with Mrs. Woodworth in charge of the girls’camp.
        MacJannet, looking for someone to help run the camp, had called in the spring of 1926 at
the American Embassy in Paris to task to First Secretary Miller, who had been a supporter of the
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MacJannet school. “Here’ your guy,” Miller said, pulling out a folder. “but he isn’ coming
over until September.” Born in Cedar Springs, Michigan on September 29, 1895, Woodworth
had been an outstanding athlete at Indiana University, decathlon winner, organizer of inter-
fraternity sports, YMCA camp counselor, and captain with the Marine Corps expeditionary force
in World War I.
        Woody had returned to the university and graduated magna cum laude in 1922, Miller
explained. Woody worked a year on the Washington Daily News tabloid as a feature writer and
roommate of Ernie Pyle, a famous war correspondent. He joined the Washington educational
system as a teacher in 1924. On New Year’ Eve 1923 he married his college sweetheart, Anite
Belle Hanna, in Baltimore.

        MacJannet, making one of his usual quick decisions, asked Skinner to send a cable asking
Woody to come immediately. Thus, the “Woodies” stepped off a motor coach onto a makeshift
pier at the camp on July 4, but found nearly everyone was off on a hike. With the help of a Swiss
counselor, the Woodies set off to work, and were nailing boards onto a second tent platform when
the hikers returned.
        “That first summer was a hand-in-glove coopereative workload for the three of us,” Mrs.
Woody— ’Nita to her close friends— recalled. “We were getting the physical features moving the
American way— today, not tomorrow or next week, as was the French custom. We huddled late
at night over organization, programming, setting up basic schedules for each group’ daily and
weekly special activities.” They placed special emphasis on water sports and water safety, with
swimming as the only required physical activity. Here, Woody’ experience proved valuable,
since he had worked with Commodore Longfellow of the American Red Cross on water safety
and life saving. No camper even went in wading without permission and the presence of a
        On sabbatical from Washington in the 1926–27 academic year, Woody taught history at
the MacJannet school at St. Cloud, and coached in all sports, developing the winning teams which
continued year after year. During his 35 years with the Washington school system, Woody
continued his coaching, as well as teaching English and history, during his rise in administrative
ranks. He received a master of arts degree from George Washington University in 1930,
marching hand in hand to the platform with ’Nita, who received a similar degree in psychology.
        Starting at the old Business High School before it became Roosevelt High School,
Woody became assistant principal. The school had 2,000 white students and 17 blacks, but by
the time he left, the numbers had changed to 2,000 blacks and 13 whites. While Woody was
principal of Eastern High School, President Eisenhower chose him to establish a pilot program
for the integration of the Washington school system.
        In World War II Woody was a colonel in the Air Force, with combat intelligence in the
12 Air Force, serving in the African and Italian theaters. While still in the Air Force, Woody
managed to visit the Talloires camp, and report to MacJannet on its condition. He was awarded
the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and Army Commendation medals, and the French Croix de
Guerre with Palmes. ’Nita served on the other side of the world during the war, as a Red Cross
field worker with the American forces in Australia.
        From the beginning of their association with the MacJannets, the Woodworths’home in
Washington became a center of information and entertainment for school and camp alumni. They
arranged meetings in Washington and other places to show the camp and school movies taken by

MacJannet, published periodically a newsletter giving details of the activities of former campers,
and screened applicants for campers and counselor jobs.
        When the MacJannets turned their camp over to the Quakers and Swiss Relief Society for
the benefit of French war orphans, the Woodies acted as assistant directors of the MacJannet
Colonies for French War Orphans and Refugees, an official organization set up to handle transfer
of funds and other matters relating to the camps. During their long association, the Woodies
produced “a whole trunkful” of letters to the MacJannets, Donald reported. Woody died May 9,
1978 in Washington, at the age of 82.

Jean MacJannet and her husband Emory Foster each brought special abilities to the MacJannet
educational enterprise. Born July 1, 1902, she was the youngest of the five MacJannet siblings,
and immediately became the center of Donald’ loving attention. When he was 15 and they were,
in effect, orphaned, he assumed full financial support, and also guided her development into
womanhood with advice and the emotional support of a constant stream of letters and visits. A
psychologist might say that, in her developmental years, she supplied the object for the male need
to feel protective and supportive of someone.
        Soon after she joined Donald in Paris in 1922, Jean began functioning as a valuable
assistant. She helped in establishing the first American preparatory school, and in the summer of
1924, while MacJannet was leading a youth excursion group on a camping tour in Norway,
Scotland, and England, Jean pitched in to supervise installation of heating and refurbishing the
Jules Verne mansion in St. Cloud for the first country day and boarding school. She was at the
train stations to count noses and check lists for as many as 70 youngsters arriving or departing on
the multitude of MacJannet excursions. She kept an eye on the youngest boarders, dug the cork-
black out of Prince Philip’ ears after a costume party at Chamonix, and presided gracefully as
hostess at the extensive Sunday afternoon teas at St. Cloud.
        Jean also had a life of her own. She studied painting and, with other friends, exhibited in
the American women artists’section of the Salon d’Automne in Paris. She joined the American
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Women’ Club and the American Legion Women’ Auxiliary, both for sociability and to help in
recruiting students for school and camp.
        Following a civil ceremony in Talloires, Jean and Emory Foster were married on
September 10, 1929, in St. Peter’ Cathedral in Geneva. Foster, son of theRev. George Foster,
pastor of a large Baptist church in Pasadena, California, described as a “man with a big frame to
match his big heart,” taught English in Pasadena schools after receiving bachelor’ and master’s
degrees from the University of Southern California. The University also awarded him an

honorary doctorate in 1934. The Fosters traced their ancestry back to a distinguished line in
England, which included a lord mayor of London, and one of the translators of the King James
version of the Bible.
        Besides teaching, Emory Foster developed his singing ability. He conducted the choir of
a large Baptist church in Los Angeles, and sang in operas and concerts. On a scholarship, he
studied opera two years at La Scala in Italy. Then in Paris, he saw a MacJannet school ad and
applied for a job as teacher in 1926. When asked why he did not continue his operatic training,
Foster would reply with a smile, “Then I would not have married Jean.” He was soloist at the
American Cathedral in Paris, and occasionally sang with the Paris Opera.
        After Foster had been teaching a year at the Elms, MacJannet put him in charge of the
Trocadero junior school in Paris, which he ran until the school closed in 1934 when the
Depression had diminished attendance. Then he and Jean returned to the Elms, where he was a
mainstay of the operations.
                                                         Officiel d’
        The French government awarded Foster the Palmes d’          Academie, a decoration
dating back to 1808, given to writers, scholars, and teachers for distinguished service in their
professions. Friends had sought to obtain for him the red ribbon of chevalier of the Legion of
Honor, but Foster would not hear of it, because he thought Donald himself had shown a similar
generosity of spirit, refusing efforts of friends to get him the higher honor of officer of the Legion
of Honor, because the mayor of Talloires and others who he thought deserved it more had not yet
obtained the coveted red ribbon. Donald received the ribbon of the Legion of Honor on March 4,
1938, little more than a month before Emory died of a heart attack, April 24, at Chenonceau,
while on a Loire Valley vacation with Jean.
        When the war disrupted camp and school, Jean went with her long-time friends,
Ambassador and Mme. Parra-Perez of Venezuela, to Spain, and then to Venezuela. They were in
Boston near the MacJannets for a few months in 1945, and Jean returned with them to the
Venezuelan Embassy in Paris in 1946. Jean moved permanently to Geneva in 1961.

“Jim Halsey was a very good headmaster, and he was absolutely dependable,” MacJannet
declared many times. “When he said a thing, he’ do it. That was a characteristic I always found
extremely valuable. The people gathered ’round me, both at camp and at school, were all talented
and reliable, but Halsey was especially so. If you have really good person, with all the talent in
                       t                 s
the world, but you can’ count on him, he’ no use.”

        Halsey taught at the Elms for only two years, in 1927 and ’ but he was at the Annecy
camp every summer until 1937. With his curly brown hair, good-humored smile and compelling
manner, plus deep educational commitment, honors and responsibility camp naturally to him.
The enriching European experience also gave him a strong international view, and much of his
later life was devoted to promoting better international understanding.
        Julia Walker met James Halsey when she attended the Hammond, Indiana high school at
age 15, having moved there from Butte, Montana, with her father and five brothers and sisters.
Her mother had died when she was ten. “I had my eye on Jim Halsey very early that first year,”
Julia said later. Halsey, who excelled in high school swimming, basketball, and football, went on
to Wabash College, and Julia to the University of Illinois, but they continued to see each other.
Julia received a degree in speech and drama, applied for a teaching position in the Philippines, but
learned that married couples had priority, then single men, and last, single women, so she began
teaching in Harvey, Illinois.
        Halsey had been accepted at the MacJannet schools in 1927, and went to the Annecy
camp the next summer, but continued to correspond with Julia. In August 1929, Julia learned that
she had been accepted to teach in the Philippines. By this time, both were counselors at Indiana
summer camps. Halsey rushed over to Julia’ camp when he heard the news about the
Philippines, and persuaded her to marry him instead of going. After another year of teaching,
they were married in June 1930, and spent their honeymoon at the MacJannet camp.
        Already an Eagle Boy Scout when he entered Wabash College, Halsey was president of
his fraternity, president of the junior class, and on the student council. He added an M.A. at
Columbia to his B.A. from Wabash and, finally, a doctorate from Yale in education. He acquired
some business experience as export manager of the Sterling Reflector and Illuminating Co., in
Chicago, but his life’ work was in education, as a teacher and administrator.
        After various administrative posts in public and private schools, Halsey, by 1946, headed
Bridgeport (Conn.) Junior College. He was thoroughly aware of the large number of war
veterans who would be flooding colleges and universities under the spur of the G.I. Bill of Rights,
and pushed hard for expansion of the Bridgeport Junior College into a four-year institution. He
could point to an enrollmement of 1,100, compared to 200 the year before, and a 100 percent
increase in night school enrollment. The staff had already doubled. The college expanded
eventually to university level, enrolling more than 6,000 students yearly in the 1970s.
        Strongly influenced by MacJannet’ example of pushing for individual friendships among
nationalities, Halsey persuaded ethnic groups in Bridgeport to provide scholarship money for

persons from their native lands to attend the Bridgeport institution, thus bringing new points of
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view to the student body, and drawing the city’ ethnic groups closer into the university’ orbit.
        MacJannet saw Halsey block a university trustee’ move to bar a Communist speaker
during the McCarthy era with these words: “All of us believe in the principles of the U.S.
Constitution, and one is freedom of speech. I believe in this, and I shall certainly see that every
speaker with a different viewpoint has the chance to express it. Let the students judge what is
        When the MacJannets established the MacJannet Foundation in 1968, giving grants and
scholarships to foreign students to study in the United States, Halsey became a member of the
Foundation’ Board of Trustees and, after his death in 1979, his wife Julia continued as a trustee
and secretary— almost a full-time occupation. Bridgeport also awarded an honorary doctorate to
MacJannet in 1968.
        The Halseys were hosts at various New England and other gatherings of MacJannet
alumni, and also spent time with the MacJannets after the annual meetings of the MacJannet
Foundation trustees at Talloires each June. Sometimes those informal session of reminiscence
were taped for the benefit of the folks back home.
        On one occasion, Julia Halsey recalled, the MacJannets and Halseys, all of them no
longer young, and MacJannet in his 80s, were debating, at trainside, on how to move all the
luggage. “And then we looked up,” Julia said, “and there was Donald, far ahead of us down the
platform, almost running, and carrying the two heaviest suitcases.”
        On another trip, where they had scant minutes for the group to make a train, “And there
was Donald, busily opening the doors of the compartments, to prevent the train from starting,
followed, one car behind, by a highly indignant conductor slamming them shut again. And still
further down the train, there was Jim, opening the doors the conductor had just closed.” Thanks
to this teamwork, the laggard members of the group managed to board the train. The maneuver
had its symbolic aspects. All their lives, the two men had been opening the doors of education to
get people to move into a richer and more useful life.
        Early in their acquaintance Halsey urged MacJannet to expand his educational
operations— make the Elms a bigger school, or add branches in other parts of Europe, but
MacJannet shied away from any such empire building. “I don’ think you can do as good a job
when you increase the size beyond a certain point,” MacJannet commented. “With 100 percent
or less you can know every pupil well, and give the best sort of education.”

Gustav Kalkun, the muscular, fair-haired Estonian and his petite American-born wife, Hally, were
fixtures at the Talloires camp from 1929 until the war closed the camp in 1939. Kalkun, whose
French was more vigorous and fluent, acted as head counselor during the later years of the camp,
and his specialties were field sports and mountain climbing. He put real enthusiasm into what the
camp designated as its “Olympic games,” striding down the field at the head of a group of
contestants, and holding aloft a flag. On mountain climbs he paid close attention to the safety of
the climbers, especially on some of the cliffside trails, and also to their feet, at rest stops, to avoid
            A quiet man, not given to much conversation, though he smiled readily, he was a YMCA
instructor winters in Geneva. In the 1930 camping season he slipped away on Sunday to Geneva,
and returned with the European shotput championship. He also found time to return to Estonia,
and rose to the post of deputy in the Ministry of Health and Sports.
            The Kalkuns were called back to Estonia just as World War II broke out, and when
Estonia was swallowed up by Russia, along with the other Baltic states, the Kalkuns were swept
into Germany and became separated for many months, neither one knowing whether the other
was alive. When Donald MacJannet managed to get into occupied Germany in August, 1945,
shortly after the European war had ended, he and Hally Kalkun met by accident in a military
cafeteria. Because of her language skills she had found a job as interpreter for the occupying
forces. To her great joy, MacJannet was able to tell her that Gustav was at a camp in Denmark.
            MacJannet was able, by pulling various strings, to get Kalkun and his wife into France,
and set Kalkun to work helping the French government restore the Talloires camp, which had
deteriorated greatly during the German occupation. They remained as counselors for the first
postwar camp session in 1946, which was devoted entirely to French orphans, selected for their
leadership potential.
            With the help of the Woodworths and others, the Kalkuns emigrated to Canada, unable to
get into the United States because of immigration restrictions. They lived first in Midland,
Ontario, on Georgian Bay, but later set up a fishing resort on the north shore of Lake Superior,
which continued until Hally’ death in the 1950s. In 1948, newly arrived in Canada, Hally wrote
this to Jean MacJannet:
            It is all like a dream that we are free at last! We are living in a little fairy story town on
Georgian Bay which is not much bigger than in Annecy. Gustav has a beautiful gymnasium in a
modern U building and is over his head in physical activities. He still barely believes that he is
living in the country where the Indians lived and all his childhood stories originated. When we

saw Niagara Falls all he could exclaim was “How wonderful it must have been for the Indians!”
He seems to still see them in every forest or waterfront.
                My loom is all set up but I have very little time left from my housekeeping and
all the talks that the Midland people expect me to give. Every week I must give one or more talks
to church groups or the YMCA or YWCA clubs. They all want to know what it is like behind the
Iron Curtain. Well, we can tell them, and it is our duty to speak for all those who can no longer
tell the world how millions are in misery, slavery, and despair.

        Coming from a family steeped for generations in music, Charlotte Blensdorf had already
carved out an important career in a music-related field before she became Charlotte MacJannet.
Descended from a family that could trace its central European ancestry back to 1304, her great-
grandfather, “a jolly man,” played the flute, and her grandfather moved on to the organ, piano,
violin, and chamber music. Somewhere along the line, the ancestors changed from blue-eyed
blondes to darker complexions and somewhat heavy-lidded, very large brown eyes that Charlotte
inherited. On her mother’ side, an ancestor was a Polish aristocrat who later lived in Berlin.
        Charlotte’ father, Otto, played the cello, violin, organ, and piano. A man full of humor
and joie de vivre, he composed children’ dance and song music that is still widely played,
translated into many languages, even Catalan. She herself was the youngest of eight children,
four boys and four girls, and was born November 21, 1901, on such a dreary, rainy day that a
relative commented, “She must have a lot of courage, otherwise she’ go right back.” And she
was called Charlotte because the spelling variations are minor in most languages.
        Charlotte’ father and mother both knew French, but while she was growing up, they
occasionally conversed in English for privacy— and their wily children did not reveal that they
were learning English in school, and understanding. Charlotte grew acquainted with two
Philadelphia girls living next door, when she invited them to use the swing in her back yard.
        Otto Blensdorf, both musician and merchant, had read about the work of Emile Jaques-
Dalcroze in the teaching of eurythmics, the science of harmonious movement. He went to
Geneva, and came back to teach the Dalcroze methods, as an enthusiastic convert. Artists came
to his classes to sketch “bodies in movement.” When Otto Blensdorf wore one of his other hats,
that of music critic for the papers, Charlotte sometimes went with him, hearing Wagner’ Parcifal
at age seven. By eight, she was singing Schubert and Brahms melodies, and sometimes at night,
through the open window, she could hear the birds outside, answering his piano notes.
        During World War I the family was often hungry in their Rhineland village, but though
their father would not patronize the black market on principle, Charlotte did, for the sake of her

mother, she said. “When my German-American friend got married, I had no good dress to wear
for the wedding,” she recalled, “but we managed to make an acceptable one out of an old lace
        In 1919, with the war ended, she hastened toGeneva to take Dalcroze’ course, “a man so
kind,” said Charlotte, “he was an inspiration. He knew us all, and we felt well taken care of.” On
one of her first walks in Geneva, admiring the fall flowers, she felt the warmth of its citizens
when “a gentleman suddenly leaned over a hedge, gave me a bouquet of flowers, and said
‘Welcome to Geneva.’” She enjoyed the theater, opera, and concerts, but a “fortune” that a friend
of her father’ had put up for her education suddenly melted away with the German inflation. She
gave piano lessons, at lunches of soup and boullion cubes, with bread and cheese shared with her
by Russian friends, and occasional Russian pastry made by her mother in a nearby Swiss town.
In addition to the Dalcroze lessons, she studied the development of children, going often to the
Maison des Petits.
        Misfortune struck her at the end of the Dalcroze year, while she was on a train headed for
her Rhineland home. She became gravely ill and, after several operations, suffered nearly a year
of invalidism, mitigated, she smiled “by a case of champagne and reading Dante’ Divine
Comedy.” Inflation was still rampant, and formerly self-supporting people visited soup kitchens,
disguised by veils.
        Charlotte’ luck changed dramatically when two Swedish girls offered to help her get a
petition teaching eurythmics at the university of Maalberg, Sweden, where the kroner currency
had solid value. “I entered a completely new life,” Charlotte recalled. “I learned Swedish, the
children teaching me, without taking a lesson, and in three months, I was giving eurythmic
demonstrations in Swedish. I felt quite at home, and pleased at doing all sorts of experimental
things.” She gave classes at the ancient university of Lund, spiritual home of botanist Linnaeus,
taught Swedish gymnastics teachers how to use eurythmics, wrote plays for little children and set
them to music. Charlotte traveled to northern Sweden to give demonstrations, and Swedes,
Danes, Norwegians, and Finlanders came to Lund to learn from her. She was especially pleased
when the Swedish writer Hjalmar Guzee wrote of Charlotte in his autobiography that “you made
me a great poet.” Many years later, she wrote an article on Guzee for the Swedish academy.
        In 1925, Otto Blensdorf visited his daughter and asked her to return to help him with his
Dalcroze teaching. At Eberfeldt she taught young men and women to become Dalcroze teachers
themselves. She taught at the University of Jena, and then at the Blensdorf seminary set up in
Godesberg, near Bonn. In her teaching travels, she found that heavily retarded children were

especially benefited by eurythmic help. The German Ministry of Culture called her to Berlin to
demonstrate how children could express physical energy rhythmically.
        The word had spread to England, and Charlotte taught for a time in Surrey, where she
spent weekends in London working on her voice with singer Mary Capiani. She loved walking
on the South Downs and, after a year in England, discovered what she felt was the key to English
sociability, when a weekend with friends included an Oxford don, silent and chilly on the first
day, talkative and friendly the second.
        “There were comfortable silences at tea the first day,” she recalled. “And then, the next
day, a great weekend of humor and witty conversation. The English feel each other out, see if
they are on the same wavelength— and if they are, then they talk. I felt I at last had the key to
English communication, so different from the immediate effusive greetings of French and
        While she was in Sweden, the amused Charlotte went with Swedish girls at midsummer
midnight to pick seven kinds of flowers (but Charlotte could find only five) and put them under
their pillows. Tradition held that they would then dream of their future husbands. When
Charlotte was asked about her dream the next morning, she said she dreamed she was in a large
garden, sitting with a headmaster who was her husband. Her father reminded her of the dream
when she married Donald on November 5, 1932.
        Many years later Charlotte labored for three years organizing the committee which staged
the Dalcroze centennial World Congress of Dalcroze Eurythmics at the Geneva Dalcroze
Institute. For 12 years, she served as president of the International Dalcroze Teachers Union.


“You ask me what was the hardest thing I did in my life? That’ easy,” MacJannet told me. “It
was getting the Talloires camps reopened in 1946— getting scarce food and other supplies into
France, and recruiting a whole new staff and getting them into France in spite of post-war
restrictions. I wrote literally hundreds of letters, all in my spare time. A whole suitcase full. It
was unbelievable, the difficulties.”
        As usual, MacJannet had several irons in the fire, all crying for immediate attention. By
day he pleaded for money to move the Tufts medical and dental schools to their new location. By
night, he dictated from 9 to midnight to a stenographer, pleading with prospective counselors
(who had to speak French well) to pay their own way and contribute additional money to support
the war orphans who would fill the camp to more than twice the prewar numbers. And in 1945,
during a brief leave of absence from Tufts, MacJannet wanted to find Charlotte’ parents in a
defeated Germany, get them to a safe place, find time to do a movie to rally support for the war-
ravaged French, establish working relations with a new French regime, get cooking, bedding and
myriad other supplies for camp to replace things requisitioned or stolen, and find workmen and
materials to put their war-torn buildings back into shape. He labored from August to December
1945 to do all of this.
        MacJannet believes he was one of only two U.S. civilians allowed back into France
during the hectic post-war summer of 1945. The other was the wife of the leader of the LaFayette
Escadrille. Woody, as an Air Force colonel stationed in Italy, had hooked and crooked his way to
a short visit at Talloires in the early spring of 1945, just before the war ended, and had reported to
MacJannet that the camp building seemed in pretty good shape. But M. M. Boissert, the 78-year-
old of German origin who had been educated in England and then, after studying the French silk
industry at Lyons, had become a French citizen, was much less confident.
        Boissert wrote the MacJannets May 25, 1945, reporting on his struggles with various
French and Quaker officials who had requisitioned or “borrowed” cooking utensils, crockery, and
bedding. Some he had been able to have returned, and had promises on the rest, or at least
reimbursement. “But what is the value or cost of an object that you can’ get at any price? I shall
necessarily refuse to accept any monetary arrangement and drag it out until one can again fix a
price for an object and replace it,” wrote Boissert, still much upset by the death of his wife a year
earlier. “Everybody here is very kind and thoughtful but I still think in English, and I believe it is

that that prevents me from looking upon them as ‘old’friends, which is what I feel towards you,”
he wrote, looking wistfully toward a return of the MacJannets. Boissert had been helpful to
Charlotte at the outset of the war, when Charlotte had been threatened with concentration camp,
because of her German origin.
        Boissert reported that fresh vegetables and fruits were almost unobtainable, because
farmers could get more money at Annecy, and that all other household articles were difficult to
obtain. Guided somewhat by Boissert’ letter, MacJannet managed to lay hands on almost a
truckload of food and clothing, soap, and other short-supply items, and took it with him on a
freighter that docked at Marseilles in the summer of 1945. Here he was aided by that far-flung
network of friends, former counselors and campers which seemed to populate all the inhabited
portions of the globe. When military authorities refused MacJannet permission for a truck, on the
ground that the goods might be diverted to the black market, former counselor Oscar Cox, who
had been catapulted through the windshield, along with MacJannet, in the school bus accident
near Dijon, turned up and obtained clearance. After the war, Cox moved on to become solicitor
general of the United States.
        MacJannet found a place to sleep— in a second-class railroad car in the Marseilles
railroad yards, and the Quakers sent a truck to cart the precious load of supplies to Talloires.
Riding along to Talloires, MacJannet found his ever-ready camera useful in taking movies of the
wedding of Georgette, the Georges Bise, son of famous restauranteur Pere Bise, at Talloires, to an
American army sargeant. MacJannet was best man at the wedding. The marriage, unfortunately,
                                                s                               s
turned out to be less successful than MacJannet’ pictures. He also found Annecy’ Imperial
Hotel full of some 800 American soldiers, who were relaxing on leave or recovering after
hospitalization. They were taking full advantage of military convenience, MacJannet found. If a
touring entertainer wanted a grand piano and band, for instance, it was no trouble to have them
flown down from Germany.
        MacJannet found things tougher in Paris, when he tried to get into Germany to locate
Charlotte’ parents, who were somewhere in the Rhineland, if indeed they were still alive. But
the Rhineland was in the British occupation zone, and the British officer in charge of passes
bluntly refused MacJannet’ pleas, turned his back, and walked away. Perhaps, MacJannet
thought, he could get into the French occupation zone, and simply walk across into the British
area. He had friends at the American Embassy telephone for an appointment and then, with the
red ribbon of his Legion of Honor decoration prominently displayed in his buttonhole, went to the
Paris office of the French zone.

        There he met the same refusal— more polite, but just as firm. “But I can’ go home and
tell my wife there’ nothing more I can do,” MacJannet pleaded. “Give me advice. At least tell
me what I’ going to say to my wife when I get back. How am I going to explain?” He turned
his back, this one-armed officer, and walked over to his desk. And I said to myself ‘ s acting
just like the British.’ But he didn’ He wrote something, and brought it over to me. And there
was my laissez-passer.”
        At 4 A.M. the next morning MacJannet was on a French military train headed for
Germany, but it was full of Algerian soldiers, none of whom spoke anything but Arabic. He
knew only “Good morning” and “Good afternoon” in Arabic, but got on smilingly, even receiving
a large piece of bread and cheese from one of them— who refused a proffered silver franc. At
Coblentz on the Rhine he got off, planning to spend the night there, but the billeting officer said
he couldn’ even take care of colonels. Retrieving his suitcase, left at the station, he found he had
no change for the luggage custodian, but the French soldier helping MacJannet gave him the man
a mark, saying, “the poor devil needs it, and is overworked.”
        Riding now in a chilly, broken-windowed civilian train full of Germans, MacJannet
slumped in a corner, unnoticed, when the ticket taker appeared, and thus arrived unchallenged in
the British zone, at Godesberg, near Bonn. The next morning, after finding a place to sleep, he
discovered that Godesberg was a transfer point on the U.S. Army supply truck route. “We can’t
sell you anything, but we can lend it,” an officer said, and added, “you can pay us back some time
on the good old U.S.A.” So MacJannet loaded a rucksack with soap and groceries, and found
Otto and Julie Blensdorf, Charlotte’ parents, destitute, still in their old home, but facing the
prospect of winter in a heatless house. After a joyful reunion and exchange of news, he pushed
        Getting lifts from British officers, MacJannet traveled without difficulty or permit to the
home of a Blensdorf daughter, Inga, and her husband, Hans, in the Canadian sector near Hanover.
A “very kind” Canadian colonel provided gasoline for Hans’ small two-cycle car to pick up the
Blensdorfs and bring them to Hans’ heated home. Mission accomplished, MacJannet arranged
to send weekly care packages to Hans, through the Canadian colonel, and head back toward Paris.
(Later, MacJannet learned in a letter from Hans that the kindly colonel had been killed by a truck,
just two days before his wife, a nurse, was to rejoin him for Christmas.)
        While eating in an American officers’mess at Metz, on the way back to Paris (with no
ration card, he could not eat in a restaurant) MacJannet heard a shrill shout, and looked to see
Hally Kalkun running toward him. She threw her arms around him, and then burst into tears. He
learned immediately that the tears were more from sorrow than joy. During a bombing raid in

Germany months before she had become separated from her husband, Gustav, and feared he was
            ll                                             m        s
        “We’ find your husband when I get back to Paris. I’ sure he’ alive,” MacJannet said.
Hally, who spoke English, French, German, Estonian, and Russian, was working with American
military forces as a secretary and interpreter.
        Back in Paris, MacJannet found a letter from Charlotte, who reported a long letter from
                          ve                                        ve
Gustav Kalkun, saying, “I’ lost my country, lost my wife, and now I’ lost my country. I’m
not allowed to go out, and have no place to go.” He was being held in a concentration camp for
refugees in Denmark. MacJannet arranged with American Aid to France to have Kalkun
released, furnished Hally’ address, and put Gustav to work helping in the reconstruction of the
camp at Talloires. MacJannet had already run into a former teacher at the Elms, now in the
French militia, who had been happy to take the job of restoring the camp. The man had engaged
German prisoners of war as workmen, paid in food, tobacco, and some spending money, and
delighted to resume their trades of carpenter, painter, electrician and plumber. American Aid to
France cooperated with a somewhat similar organization, Entré Aid Française, which jointly set
up a special association in MacJannet’ behalf, with official status, making him eligible to receive
a loan from the French government to rebuild the camp.
        MacJannet not only got his mail at the American Embassy but used the embassy staff to
arrange appointments for him, because in that way he usually managed to speak to the top man in
any organization. He remembered, and put into practice, the comment of a French customs porter
when he and Charlotte went to pick up their trunks from London, full of expensive and dutiable
presents received at their wedding in England in 1932. “You’ in luck,” the customs porter said.
“Here comes the chief inspector, and it always better to deal with God than with his saints.”
When the chief inspector asked if they had anything to declare, MacJannet had replied, “a great
deal,” and explained about the wedding presents. “Well, in that case, a very happy life to you,”
said the inspector, chalking their luggage without even opening it, and telling the porter, “Take it
to the taxi.”
        The Embassy was also a good place to look up old friends, and run into others who
congregated in the area. MacJannet found one amusing note amid all the postwar horror stories,
when he ran into Price Mosher, an American army-officer friend, whose chest was ablaze with
decorations, including one for “courage under fire.” Mosher, who was noted for his finicky
dressing, explained that the ribbon was the result of anger, rather than courage. He said that as
his unit advanced, he tried at each billet to have a hot bath and clean underwear, “even if it didn’t
always fit.” While he was advancing in a Jeep toward a town reported as captured, a burst of

Nazi machine gunfire knocked him out of the Jeep, and he found himself in the ditch, wounded in
the leg, and with his clean, newly-pressed trousers torn, bloody and dirty. “Why, I hadn’ even
had those clean pants on for half a day,” the officer said. “Outraged, I jumped back into the Jeep,
charged the machine gun nest, and silenced it. The ribbon was the result.” MacJannet had taken
Mosher’ mother to the Tufts senior ball in 1916.
        One of the many projects MacJannet crowded into his postwar trip to France was to
produce a movie, “France Rebuilds,” technically done for the cultural attaché of the French
                                                 s                            s
Embassy in Washington, but inspired by MacJannet’ friendship with the Embassy’ cultural
representative in New York. MacJannet intended the movie to counter accusations circulating in
America that Frenchmen, instead of digging in and helping to reconstruct their country, were
mostly busy in black market activities, making a lot of money and squandering it.
        “The object was to show that the great majority of the people were struggling with
desperate but successful effort to rebuild the shattered country,” MacJannet said. “I wanted to
show that Frenchmen were worth aiding, and that France itself had not ceased to exist."
        The late George Bakeman, a long-time friend from St. Cloud, was in Paris, in charge of
American Aid to France. His office loaned MacJannet a car and chauffeur, to help him complete
the film. “Workmen were putting back the stained glass windows of Chartres Cathedral, and I
got moving pictures of that,” MacJannet exulted, thinking of his great good luck in being at the
right place at the right time. “I was able to obtain closeups of the stained glass that I would never
have been able to do otherwise. Chartres was there, and Rheims was there, and Versailles, and
Fontainebleau. I had pictures of the jewels of French architecture, not only outside but inside,
including the authentic furniture that was being moved back into Fontainebleau.” These treasures
of architecture, famous worldwide, gave grace and beauty to the more mundane shots of
buildings, railways and utilitarian objects being repaired or rebuilt. MacJannet used “France
Rebuilds” for the next few years with great effect, in connection with speeches and appeals for
money for support of the postwar camps. The first three years of the camps were devoted entirely
to French war orphans, selected for their leadership potential for the reviving country.

Absent nearly half a year from his main job of raising money for Tufts, MacJannet had a lot of
catching up to do when he returned to America, but he also plunged almost immediately into the
hardest, most demanding six months of his life— to bargain for and obtain mountains of food,
equipment, and clothing for the first of the postwar French orphan camps, find 40 young men and
women who would pay their own transportation and work for free as counselors for more than

200 children, and raise several thousand dollars to pay for the goods he was ordering. He and
Charlotte, of course, contributed their own time.
        Another project close to his heart was to bring six French young adults to America for the
summer, who would visit several American camps as counselors, to learn American summer-
camp techniques. The French government was faced with an entire generation of children who
had suffered six years of malnutrition and the emotional buffeting of invasion and military
occupation turmoil. A survey had shown that nearly half of all French children were suffering
some form of lung ailment, often tuberculosis.
        The French government, in fact, was planning an array of summer camps, to be called
Colonies de Vacance, with counselors to be known as moniteurs and monitrices. The counselors
picked by MacJannet would join 100 French men and women at a week’ training camp in
Normandy where they would play the games and learn the activities that the young campers
would be following. MacJannet, as the pioneer in conducting American-style summer camps in
Europe, had a voice in the French planning. He had already arranged for the French to lease his
own camps for three years and put them back in running order, with himself as director. Just
before the campsing season began he agreed to take on another camp at Faverges, 20 minutes
from Talloires, splitting up his staff of counselors and even lending a few for a third camp run by
the French.
        Hundreds of letters went to camp directors throughout America, and to former MacJannet
campers, asking them to sponsor one or more French war orphans for $100 per child. (At the end
of the camping season, each sponsor got a picture of the sponsored child, a translated letter from
the child describing his camping experience— and an appeal from the MacJannet committee to
continue the support next year.)
        One example, a particularly happy one, shows how the process could expand. MacJannet
had appealed to Charles Sumner Bird, a Boston businessman who home was at East Walpole,
Mass., head of the Old Colony (Massachusetts) Boy Scouts of America. Bird agreed to sponsor
three war orphans. In his thank-you letter, MacJannet sought a visit with Bird, to discuss mass
buying of supplies, a field similar to Bird through his Boy Scout Camp leadership activities. As a
result of the meeting, Bird agreed to sponsor two more orphans, in the names of his twin 18-year-
old sons, Christopher and David, and send the sons as counselors. He also offered cots, “more if
needed,” to use instead of the mattress ticking that MacJannet had planned.
        A MacJannet letter told how he could obtain 50-pound C-ration boxes through CARE at a
reduced price, each box containing enough food for 10 men for a day. He said he would buy 800
of them, and would still need to buy powdered eggs and milk and dried fruits, to supplement the

cases of canned fruit and vegetables donated by various firms. “I imagine there are many firms
dealing in food who might make similar gifts, and I am writing to a number of them,” MacJannet
told Bird. When Bird countered that he thought the C-rations might not be appetizing, and that
bulk foods might be more cheaply obtained elsewhere, MacJannet said the C-ration cans were
already in France, thus avoiding shipping hazards.
        “The cigarettes that each box contains are invaluable for use as exchange among
farmers,” non-smoker MacJannet retorted. “The are very reluctant to sell anything for paper
francs, which, as you know, have decreased enormously in value. But ten cigarettes had an
exchange value of $1 when I was in France . . . and I expect to get from the farmers fresh
vegetables, milk, and even butter in exchange for some of the contents in our ration boxes.”
        MacJannet’ letter outlined some of his other problems, and one big opportunity: A Tufts
dental student had volunteered her service for the summer to care for the campers’teeth, which
had suffered six years’lack of attention. He had already received the gift of a used dental chair,
weighing 800 pounds. “It is a fairly costly matter to prepare the packing of this dental chair and
X-ray,” MacJannet wrote Bird. “Perhaps you know some way of arranging that less
        “Among other things that we need are hand toold for our woodworking shop, kitchen
utensils, and cups, plates, knives, forks, and spoons. A friend of mine at Sears & Roebuck has
offered to let us have these things at cost price.”
        Every other contributor, and there were hundreds, got a thank-you letter from MacJannet,
often with a personal reference, and even for contributions as small as two dollars. The appeals
the first year raised $2,000. Although the amounts fell in the next two years to less than half that
sum, a fall in the value of the franc and a somewhat smaller number of campers still made it
possible to break even.
        Charlotte MacJannet sailed early in May for France to help in choosing the six young
people who would come for training to American camps, and French counselors to furnish half
the staff for the MacJannet camps and a full number for the camps under French direction. She
also helped select suitable campers from among the 700,000 French orphans. She took 2,000
pounds of food with her, and shipments followed with such items as 44 cases of blankets and 342
cases of food.
        While in France, Charlotte was also slated to direct a training school at the Annecy camp
for persons who would direct other camps in various parts of France. The French Ministry of
Education gave special leave to teachers attending the Annecy school. Tufts college offered
academic credits to American counselors chosen from more than 100 applicants.

          “The project is almost breathtaking in scope and vision, and has captured the imagination
of men and women everywhere,” Millicent Taylor declared in an article in the Christian Science
Monitor. She might equally well have applied these terms to MacJannet, who was orchestrating
this whole assemblage of people, purchases, solicitation of money, clothing, and food, and
arranging passage of everything to France, all in his spare time from the job of raising funds for
          For a shipment aboard the Ile de France on June 28, 1945, for instance, he certified in a
statement carrying the seal of the French consulate in New York (MacJannet thoughtfully
identified in the statement as “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur”) that the shipment of 54 cases
weight about 400 pounds each included 25 cases of food, four of tooth powder, two each of
kitchen equipment and electric light bulbs and wires, and five barrels of soap weighing 900
          At the last moment a dock strike forced deferral of some of the shipment to a later sailing.
Longshoremen told a frantic MacJannet that he could pick “just one more” crate to be loaded. He
chose the dental chair as the one most needed, and because of its bulk and 800-pound weight, as
the least likely to get to Talloires in time for use if it was left to other persons to forward.

Getting supplies and people to the Talloires camps was just the beginning of an action-packed
summer, which had its own special problems. Along with French rationing, shortages and a
countryside still far from normal, the MacJannets led a staff who scarcely knew each other, and
were unfamiliar with the camp routines. A few old-timers were there, like Gustav and Hally
Kalkun, and at the Faverge as director, Catherine Pegg Lewitsky, the demure but dynamic and
efficient British woman who had taught for many years at the Elms. She had been in an
internment camp for a year and a half near the outset of the war, but was later freed and lived in
the unoccupied zone with her husband, a white Russian photographer.
          The war orphan campers themselves (130 at Angon [way above the normal camp
capacity] and 40 at Faverge) were totally unused to American-style camp life. None of them
knew how to swim, always a major activity at the MacJannet camps. They found some of the
food strange, and above all, the habit of teamwork, democratic discussion and “majority rule.”
          Susan Fleisher, one of the counselors, wrote in Camping Magazine that the idea of
teamwork “was the root of our greatest problem— how to reform an American program of
camping, which is based essentially on group play and team spirit, to the needs of children 10 to
14 years old who are not accustomed to living or working in groups.” All the children showed
the results of living for six years in the midst of war, and their favorite free-time game was “La

Résistance.” And when the moniteurs or monitrices attempted to obtain discussion and a
majority opinion, they met so much quarreling and lack of cooperation that “we went back to
handing down ready-made decisions.”
        In spite of the problems, the camps were a rousing success, with weight gains of five to
eight pounds among the campers, and highly enthusiastic reports of progress from parents and
proud campers, glorying in their new skills and accomplishments.
        David and Christopher Bird, the 18-year-old twins from the Boston area, wrote accounts
of life in that first postwar camp. Christopher’ was written a few weeks after he returned to
Boston. David’ was penned 36 years later, for this book.
        Christopher was stationed at the Faverge camp, which had 40 Belgian children, under an
exchange arrangement under which some 2,000 children from northern French towns like Lille
were put in Belgian camps.
        “As the bust drove off, and I saw these young people for perhaps the last time, I felt sure
that each one had a happy remembrance to carry through life,” Christopher wrote. “For some it
was the sports and games, and the sense of sportsmanship learned in playing together as a team.
For others it was the evening veillées (campfires), where each had an opportunity for self-
expression, or the thrill of counselors’songs and dances, with costumes, scenery and music. For
others, the chance to create an object in wood or clay, make nets and baskets, light a fire, learn to
box and wrestle. For lucky individuals, hikes which taught “the fairness of the trail,” where all
are equal and each is partly responsible for the others. All these larger memories were certainly
colored by little things, the joy of receiving mail from home, the good food, the hikes to town to
buy fruit, stamps or souvenirs, the pride in winning a daily inspection.
        “Another factor which to me made the summer more than a success was the chance that
each of us— American, French, English, Russian, and Belgian— had to develop real friendships
with people who, although thinking a little differently from each other, were in the main the
same. The increased understanding of one another in working and in recreation was a revelation
that all of us had perhaps not thought possible.”
        A much more dramatic view of camp life was set down by David Bird 36 years later, in
these excerpts from his letter to me:
        “Our life with orphan French children was exciting enough. American counselors, with a
rudimentary knowledge of French, learned rapidly to cope with the street urchin slang of the
French city slums. But added to that was the intense rivalry built up between the Belgian-
Walloon children (at Faverge) and the French children (at Angon). To referee the soccer games
between them was an exacting task! Moreover, when they wanted to take advantage of their

counselors, French and American, they resorted to speaking their own Walloon patois, not
understandable to us. Had it not been for the chief Belgian counselor, Monsieur Gonze, a strict
disciplinarian, we might not have made it!
        “The children, however sickly, had plenty of resourcefulness, spunk and guile. One of
our first crises was a knife fight between two of them, which we solved by confiscating all the
knives we could find, instituting a knifemanship course and giving back the knives to the
successful graduates, slowly, over the summer.
        “Since none of the children knew how to swim, this activity took up a lot of the camp’s
focus. But so did crafts and games. We had to teach the kids the basis of sportsmanship, which
they had lacked as wartime, occupied-country youngsters.
        “Deprived though they had been over five years, the children quickly adapted to spoiled
tendencies. The MacJannets had brought foodstuffs from the U.S. to supplement the currently
meager rations supplied by the government commissaries. But some of these American rations
didn’ suit the little fellows. I remember particularly the canned corn. Corn, they said, was not a
       s                                              t
people’ food, it was an animal food, and so they didn’ eat it.
        “The same was true with the yellow-jacket wasps which infested the jam we set out for
breakfast. Once the children identified the jam as poisoned by les gueppes there was no eating
it— except by the hungry American counselors, who were half-starved all the time!
        “This staff undernourishment problem had its own theatrics. It came to a head one night
at a counselors meeting when a naturally-slim, almost emaciated Smith College counselor (a
monitrice) announced, with all the moral tonality she could muster, that we privileged American
counselors should not consume any more rations than the war-torn children! The French
counselors, who at least were semi-wartorn, said nothing, but their faces indicated that a full-
grown counselor should be worthy of a greater ration, by physiologic rationale, than a semi-
emaciated child.
                                      I    t
        “Unbelievably, the new-found ‘ don’ like the food’syndrome increased among the
children as the summer went on. About mid-summer MacJannet’ daily homilies to the children
at breakfast fell on newly-decadent juvenile deaf ears. In a dramatic breakfast episode, the
American head counselor, Sam Legg, a Quaker, shocked the children— and most of the
counselors— alive.
        “Sam Legg, as a conscientious objector in World War II, had volunteered to be a
participant in a ‘hunger experiment’conducted by the University of Minnesota biology
department in 1945. Forty or so volunteers agreed to submit for forced starvation over about 40
weeks. Their rations were reduced, weekly, until they came to a perishing level. Then, in various

groups, the starvees were rehabilitated, some rapidly, some moderately, and some slowly, to
determine for postwar U.s. government and international policy how slowly or how rapidly
starved populations should be brought back to health.
        “Sam cracked in the middle of the starvation ordeal. His faith and morals couldn’t
renege, but his body gave in. As a ‘dodge’he let a wheel rim from a tire-changing operation
come down on one hand, the rim amputating two fingers. That, he figured subjectively, would
release him from the starvation project. It didn’ work out that way: After a brief hospital stay,
for two missing fingers, he was sent back to the project. His moral fiber saw him through to the
        “It was Sam, then— when these resuscitated, underprivileged, orphaned, war-debilitated
children had overwhelmed the camp counselors and the camp director with their exaggerated
complaints about the food— it was Sam who stood up at breakfast one morning and told the
children, to their faces, what it was really like to starve.
        “I never forgot that. Neither did the children.
        “Nor did I forget Gustav Kalkun, the head counselor, who had become separated from
hiw wife Hally, camp nutritionist, and had been reunited in 1945 through MacJannet’ efforts.
Time had not improved Gustav’ French. We all, but particularly the French counselors, took
pleasure in mocking his Estonian accent. ‘Tous les enfants vout balayer les dents,’he said. We
weren’ sure whether they were to brush their teeth or sweep out the tents. Kalkun was a stern
disciplinarian, but a man of heartfelt understanding.
        “One of the French counselors was Claude Lavrillier, the son of France’ most celebrated
medallion sculptor. Like his father, he was a convinced Communist. Kalkun, of course, despised
the Communists. He didn’ trust Lavrillier, and assigned him more than his share of onerous
tasks, but Lavrillier and I became good friends because we were both Boy Scouts, I in America
and he in France.
        “Some of the children begged to be taken on an overnight hike, and it became a ‘big
deal.’ MacJannet was hard to persuade, and Kalkun wanted to cancel it because Lavrillier was
involved, but Lavrillier and I won out. We went, and came back exhausted from the tough
discipline problem the kids presented. On our arrival Kalkun complimented me and Lavrillier on
a job well accomplished. He overcame his political dislike in recognizing a human being’ skills.
        “There was also plenty of tension between the older French counselors who had been in
the French resistance movement, and those who had remained steadfast to the Vichy regime. Our
truck driver, a loy Pétainist, would not even speak with Raymond Navez, the camp dentist who
had spent three years with a resistance group. . . .

        “One could go on and on. That summer, as I am sure the next ones were also, was one of
hard, painstaking work. Some of the American counselors didn’ make it through; possibly some
of the French ones didn’ either.
        “But all in all, it was a tremendous initiative undertaken by the MacJannets in a
whirlwind of energetic activity. Curiously, and I remember this well and have always been
perplexed by it, no one considered Donald MacJannet a particularly efficient or apt camp
administrator. Charlotte MacJannet provided a behind-the-scenes effort of which we, the worker
bees, were less aware. We recognized at the same time MacJannet’ unusual ability to surround
himself with talented help. And that skill, like General Eisenhower’ has within it the makings
of greatness.”
        In his report at the conclusion of the camp in 1946, Sam Legg, now of Gex, France, said
nothing of any difficulties. He wrote:
        “The children were taken from homes where hardships were daily fare, where grief and
mourning are too-often evident, where proper nourishment and proper training are impossible.
They found an inexpressibly beautiful camp site, companionship, adequate food, some
opportunity for healthy exercise, friendly counselors as playmates and advisors, and not to be
forgotten, a new international outlook, including some of the virtues as well as the faults of a
foreign country. Our children left camp with a broader conception of the world and healthier
minds and bodies in which to continue their development.”
        In a letter to me, Legg declared, “I draw a blank on the summer of 1946. I was in poor
health myself and worried about a nasty family situation, and the summer is pretty much a blur to
me now. But I can tell you a story about Charlotte:
        “We gathered the whole group of campers one night and told stories. I embroidered at
length on a ghost story that built up to a scream, and then dissolved with a logical explanation.
Being an insensitive idiot myself, it never occurred to me that after what these kids had been
through, scaring them to that extent was not the epitome of wisdom. So I went off to bed pleased
with my performance, only to learn the next day that Charlotte had spent the whole night holding
a sobbing little girl in her arms and comforting her until natural daylight, and that motherly and
loving concern brought peace and sleep to the child. Charlotte never held it against me. She and
Donald just went only quietly repairing counselors’goods and establishing their own unique way
of broadening people’ love and understanding of one another.”
        Some 450 individals and organizations contributed about $32,000 in money, food and
supplies for the three years that the MacJannet camps were run exclusively for war orphans. The
first year’ appeal produced $12,000 in cash, plus quantities of food, clothing and equipment.

Counselors received a discount on their ocean travel from the French Maritime Ministry of
around $100 each, but they also paid $1.70 a day for board at the camps, so their net cost
averaged $470. Besides eight weeks of rewarding camp experience, they had a week’ travel in
France, Switzerland and Italy as a reward.
         The first year, in fact, showed a surplus of $5,200 over expenses, and this helped out in
the succeeding years of 1947 and 1948, when contributions fell to half, but expenses also
dropped, due to a decline in the value of the franc.
         The orphans were encouraged to write letters about their experiences to the groups and
individuals who were sponsoring them, and each sponsor also received a picture of the child. The
MacJannets received hundreds of these testimonials, and used extracts from some of them as
publicity to stimulate contributions.
         A typical letter from a 13-year-old boy, Gerard Charlot, of Boulogne-sur-Seine, an
industrial suburb south of Paris, described his life of hardship, with tightening food supplies, and
the death of his soldier father in the last year of the war. Of his MacJannet camp experience, he
         “This year [1946] I had the great good fortune to be admitted to the camp of Mr.
MacJannet, and I lived there seven unforgettable weeks. I got to know delightful American
counselors, who were so skillful at giving us a good time and teaching us. Often I was ashamed
to be the only favored one when I thought of my two brothers back home. I want to thank you,
Mr. and Mrs. MacJannet, for all that you did for me. Thanks to you, I have come back with fine,
healthy color, well equipped to carry through a good school year. Perhaps I shall see you next
year, but be assured that I shall always be deeply grateful to you and to all those Americans who
are giving generously so that your fine philanthropy can continue.”
         A French widower, L. Dechanet, from Epinal, in the Vosges area of northern France,
wrote about his daughter as follows (translated):
         “I want to express all my feelings of gratitude and thanks to you, which have continued to
increase with each of the delighted letters from my daughter. Yes, the memory of Talloires and
of her benefactors will remain impressed on her for a long time. Her letters, virtually complete
reports, witness the high morale and discipline maintained at the camp. My admiration goes also
to the monitrices and moniteurs, to the other helpers whose devotion sees to it that the
organization proves worthy of the directors. I know Francoise lacked nothing that could be
provided by way of moral and physical support, the kind of atmosphere that I myself,
overwhelmed by my own activities, would not have been able to provide for her. As you may
know, her mother was killed two years ago in a bombardment. . . . From the bottom of my heart,

thank you, thank you, for having provided such pleasant and valuable vacation for my dear little
        After that first hectic camp season the operation ran more smoothly in the next two years,
1947 and 1948. Jean Foster returned to Paris and was able to select the French counselors for the
camp, as well as the five who were to go to America for training at American camps. The
MacJannets also had more opportunity to select French orphans drawn from the hard-hit
professional and intellectual classes, children more likely to grow into the leadership positions
badly needed in the depleted French nation.
        Everyday clothing was still hard to come by. For example, in 1948 the MacJannets
appealed for sturdy walking shoes, because so many of the orphans were unable to go on hikes
becase they did not have shoes good enough to carry them on a trail. They sought music books
for a gifted child musician, and wool, wool that the children could knit into warm sweaters for the
coming winter. The camp was stabilized at about 80 children, and cost to counselors rose to an
average of $545, but they got a full two weeks of travel in Europe, besides the eight weeks of
        Beginning in 1949, the MacJannet camps swung into a new era, taking 40 American
children, whose parents paid an extra fee, so that 40 French orphans could also attend the camp
free, achieving the mix of American and French that the MacJannets wanted as a method of
promoting international understanding through personal friendships. Half of the counselors were
also French. In 1949 also a training school for extra counselors was held at Talloires, and they
were sent in teams of two to help in the expanding number of French summer camps. Old-timers,
like James Halsey and his wife Julia, and Jack Rich, then dean of admissions at Rollins College,
were back. The Halseys brought their three young sons. He had become president of the
University of Bridgeport.
        At this point, it seems appropriate to picture the last 17 years of camp life and the
MacJannets’impact, through comments sent to me by counselors and campers.

Indoctrination of the counselors in both moral and practical matters began before they even
arrived at camp, so discloses a letter from William S. Dougall. He was among a contingent of
counselors on the troopship Ernie Pyle traveling with Charlotte MacJannet toward France, when
Charlotte delivered a ship’ deck lecture three sentences long, on the birds and the bees and ended
up with the phrase “no twos-ing,” Dougall wrote. “That phrase alone would have normally
encouraged the process, but the force of her character was enough to have people pay attention to
the idea, although I’ sure you can imagine the phrase being bandied about.”

        For at least two counselors, Dougall and Lucy Peaslee, it fell on totally deaf ears. They
were married the following March, with MacJannet in attendance, taking movies, of course,
which he added to the film of camp as a wedding present. Lucy Leaslee had been a kindergarten
pupil at the Elms in 1931, daughter of an international lawyer, Ames Peaslee, who had
represented Emory Foster in the suit for damages at the time of the Woodard children’s
kidnapping. Lucy got her own surprise at the camp in 1947 when Jean Foster gave her a
handkerchief that she had left at the Elms 16 years earlier, returning it in a sort of “oh, by the
way, last time you were here you forgot this handkerchief,” Dougall said.
        Dougall and Lucy got a further revelation, that the MacJannets could have the same
classic differences over trivial matters as any husband and wife, this one being over just how long
tea water should boil. “The question was whether the water for the tea that we were waiting for
was as hot when the boiling first started as when the boiling was really boiling. Each side was
                                   no,                                 s
doggedly dug in, and phrases like ‘ Donnie dear (or Donnie dear), that’ not correct’were
exchanged, while we all waited, and the water almost boiled away.”
        When Bill and Lucy Dougall returned to Talloires for a three-day visit and drove into the
Prieuré courtyard, they saw MacJannet leaning under the open hood of his car, peering at the
motor. Lucy reported: “as Bill strode toward him, Mr. Mac glanced up, and then very
nonchalantly, as though 26 years had not elapsed since we last saw each other, said, ‘ hello,
Bill. You know about cars. How about having a look at this?’”
        Dougall remembers the singing most vividly. “We sang on the boat going over, going
back, at the camp getting up, going in to eat, eating, going to bed. I’ never really thought about
until just now that perhaps the singing, more than anything else, is what made a group out of us,”
he wrote. And as to MacJannet’ famous bargaining and economies, he added:
        “I think that efficient use of money, rather than tight-fistedness, would be a more
appropriate description. If he had really been concerned about money he would have kept his
mind on those investments in the late 1920s and not suddenly discovered that he’ lost it all.
More characteristic of his approach to money was his answer when one of us asked why were
traveling third class from Paris to Annecy in 1947. His answer was classic Mr. Mac: ‘because
there is no fourth class.’ I don’ think he could conceive of spending money when traveling, just
to be somewhat more comfortable.” (MacJannet must have been thinking of Albert Schweitzer,
the famous musician-physician, who used the same phrase when he stepped out of a fourth-class
carriage on returning to Strasbourg.)
        Dougall, an aviator, heard about the MacJannets through Jack Rich, an intelligence
officer, when both were at a remote naval station during the war. “Jack would talk about the

Macs and the American school and the summer camp, and it all became a magical kind of place,
where all the constructive people were, at the time the directionless Americans in France were the
people that Hemingway wrote about,” Dougall said. “Jack Rich is probably the single most
important influence in my own life, just as the Macs must be for him. He introduced me to the
Macs in the winter of 1946 and they asked me to be a counselor, which led to meeting Lucy. Jack
also made teaching so exciting sounding that although I started an engineering career I left it for
teaching in the 1950s because it didn’ seem to measure up to the meaning and importance that
the Macs and Jack gave to education.”
        The travelers on the Ernie Pyle troopship got a different kind of lesson in morality when
the MacJannet group listened to a talk by a woman known for her rapport with French children.
She was with a group not connected in any way with the MacJannets, Mrs. Barbara Watts wrote.
“She told how she took the children she worked with to steal apples, and what a glorious time
they had, and how the experience made them accept her,” Mrs. Watts said. “Mrs. Mac was
horrified, and gathered us counselors together to explain that one should never compromise one’s
principles to gain an end. It was a lesson I have never forgotten and have thought of often.”
        How MacJannet could turn a 12-hour New York plane wait in 1950 and, through the help
of friends, get everybody into a Rudolph Serkin concert, “and I didn’ even mind that we had to
spend the rest of the night sleeping on our luggage,” Mrs. Donald C. Perry, Kentfield, California,
wrote of her counselor summer.
        “We stayed in many hostels that summer. I think Mr. Mac originated the theory that you
could see Europe on less than $5 per day. However, some of his arrangements were rather
primitive, for instance, the bombed-out castle with the plumbing hanging on the cliffside with
curtains flapping in the bitter-cold wind. . . . He was a Pied Piper on the trails— one never took a
train if it was possible to walk— we could see the wild flowers, have a lesson in geology, and
meet people along the way.”
        Dan Rottenberg, Philadelphia, who was a camper with his younger brother Bob in 1952,
1953, and 1955, remembers a successful effort to get the mildest of swear words officially into
the camp language. Counselor James Halsey Jr., son of the university president, decided there
was too much profanity among the senior boys, and put down demerits for “unsuitable words,”
defined as any word the MacJannets would not use. “Since the MacJannets were perhaps the
most serene and placid people on the face of the earth, this meant that even a simple ‘golly’or
 gee        t
‘ whiz’wasn’ allowed,” Rottenberg said. Then he and Paul Jolis, another senior camper,
were watching Mrs. MacJannet packing a lunch, and trying in vain to pry open a tin of ham.
“Darn it, it won’ open,” she said. From that day on, “darn it” could be used.

          But Eddie Gannon, fourth year camper, lost when he tried to upset the Sunday routine by
asking whether the Catholics, who got up early for a Sunday mass in Talloires, also had to attend
the later nondenominational camp service. Without answering yes or no, Rottenberg added,
MacJannet launched into a glowing description of the Sunday service, the wonderful experience
of boys and girls of all nationalities, religions and creeds gathering together in common
fellowship. After a few minutes of this, he turned to Eddie and said, “Does that answer your
question?” and Eddie, with a disgusted look on his face, replied in his rich Brooklyn accent,
          William H. Rough, now of Glascow, Virginia, camper in 1951–52, counselor in 1959 and
waterfront director in 1961, saw both the serious and the lighter side of his four years. “The
experience did much to shape my entire way of viewing the world,” he wrote. “It was an
idealistic existence which worked. Without knowing at all what was happening to me, I left that
community with a belief in the common roots of mankind and a tolerance towards differences
which has never left me.”
          He also experienced the results of frugality. “One of the last summers brought a violent
gale which blew down five of the camp’ plum trees,” he said. “Not being one to waste an
opportunity, Donald saw to it that those plums would be consumed before they spoiled. That
entire summer we ate plums: Jam, stewed, in tartes, compotes, baked, etc. We all lost weight (I
badly needed to), the toilets were overused, and everybody complained. The plums, of course,
                      ve                                             ll
were delicious, but I’ never been able to enjoy a good plum since. I’ wager not a single plum
was wasted that summer.”
          But Rough was also a young man of action. Fed up with the clean-plate admonition to
“remember the starving Chinese,” he seized one occasion, “when I worked up the nerve to
package up my leftovers and personally mail them to China. It was not greeted with amusement.”
Now, Rough says, “despite my old annoyance, I spend a considerable amount of time trying to
impart the same value to my children, and use the same old warning, ‘remember the poor starving
. . .’”
          In the mid-fifties MacJannet found that he himself had to “go back to school” because the
postwar popularity of “colonies de vacance” for children made a national standard for directors
necessary. (A camp across the lake from Talloires, run for French children by a Frenchman, but
without what MacJannet considered adequate safeguards, had been closed by police after three
boys at the camp drowned.)
          “A 1955 law required that every camp director must be a graduate of a special course in
preparing for such a job, and must have worked under another man who was already prepared for

at least one season,” MacJannet said, and he had to take the course, even though he had been
directing a camp in France for 30 years. “The minimum age for a director was fixed at 25 years,
so most of my 200 comrades in the early spring sessions at a Loire château were about that age. I
managed to keep up with them (he was 60 at the time) and stand the rigors of cold showers, cold
classrooms, and cold barracks.
        “We were divided into teams of 10, and a young man who said he was a Communist from
St. Denis started us off on a ‘ acquainted’note. When it came my turn to describe my 30 years
of camp work, our self-appointed leader stopped me after a minute or two, saying “what happens
in this camp that MacJannet is describing is of no interest to us. We will be working with
underprivileged children.”
        “I replied: ‘Our camp has children from the families of the bourgeois and educated
classes, and other less fortunate. I have discovered no difference in the needs of children from
different backgrounds, except that the more wealthy children have suffered more from neglect
and lack of affection than the others. We try to fulfill the needs of all children, whatever their
race or social status or skin color.’
        “A month later, when we met in Paris at the Sorbonne for our written examination, my
friend from St. Denis was the first to greet me with a cordial and affectionate ‘embrazo.’”
        The special thoughtfulness of MacJannet is remembered by Dr. Alida Gale Currey,
Salem, Oregon. “Knowing how much I had respected and had enjoyed working with Amos
Booth the preceding summer, Mr. Mac arranged to have Amos meet me at the Geneva airport in
late June 1962, so that we could buy new arrows for the archery groups, and discuss that year’s
program adjustments. He recognized instinctively the need to be aware of the problems, and to
avoid as much as possible letting any of them become troublesome.
        Amos Booth, a Scotsman and Oxford graduate, who now heads St. Bernard’ school in
New York, drove up from a sabbatical in Aix-en-Provence, where he was completing his Ph.D.
thesis, to be co-director of the camp in 1961–62. His French wife, Jenine, served as counselor.
He remembers especially MacJannet’ energy and swiftness, the “eye of the master” that kept
everything going. Booth described a typical day with MacJannet pressing on:
        “A quick trip to Annecy for supplies at 6:30 A.M., breakfast with the campers, toilets to
unclog, wool to buy for the weavers, an excursion to take to the foot of Mont Charbon, planks to
buy at Doussard on the way back, a quick tour of the camp, an eye on the bathing, with particular
attention to the lifeguards, words with the cook, anecdotes for the children at lunch . . . and on
and on until all were safely in their chalets, and peace fell over the lake. Then, endless pouring
over the next day’ plans, correspondence for the next session of camp, a quick visit to the upper

camp to ensure that all was well: Were the counselors in bed? Had any detail escaped scrutiny?
And all this said amid endless digressions, fabled deeds from the past, and gens for the future:
        “To the children: ‘You see all that sawdust on the floor of the lodge? That has all come
from the ceiling. Up there are thousands of ants gnawing away at those great beams. Now, why
would they go to all that trouble, climbing all that way up there just to eat my rafters?’”
                                             re               s
        “‘You know, you know just the man we’ looking for. He’ young, intelligent, reliable.
      s                                t
There’ only one problem . . . he doesn’ exist. So we must make do with what we have.’
        “To the children or counselors: ‘         re                      re
                                         When you’ running a race and you’ near the finish,
        t                      ve                             ll
you don’ stop and say “wait, I’ run far enough now. I think I’ take a rest.”’
        “To a counselor, after a strenuous morning: ‘Now you go and take a nice long rest.
We’ meet again in 10 minutes.’”
        Like Bill Dougall, Amos Booth also recalled that Charlotte was every bit as forceful as
her husband, though she usually acted in a sphere of influence sufficiently distinct from Mr.
Mac’ for there to be only a limited number of clashes. “Inevitably, when they did take place, the
battle of wills was titanic.” But Booth emphasized that these disagreements were just as
affectionate as they were firm. For instance, on a certain day “when the weather was
unpromising, and the debate was whether the children would not, would, would not, wear
raincoats. ‘ Donnie dear . . .,’‘Charlotte, I will not have the children . . .,’etc.”
        By the late 1950s, after he had bought the abandoned and half-ruined Prieuré, former
home of the Benedictines, in 1958, MacJannet was already turning some of his interest toward
restoring it, and even had some of the counselors helping him in spare moments. Charlotte
MacJannet felt keenly, and Donald agreed, that it would be less than fair to campers and to
himself to continue as director of the camp when he reached 70 years of age, in 1964.
        As that year approached, MacJannet began looking for someone to take over and run
what had become an increasingly successful camp. In the mid-fifties, with an increasing number
of camps competing for children, it had become something of a struggle to fill the camp, because
MacJannet required the children to stay the full eight weeks, while other camps were accepting
children for as little as two or three weeks. When MacJannet changed, to permit a four-week stay
if a suitable child were available for the other four weeks, he soon had more applicants than space
for them. But the search for a person who would take over and operate the camp as he felt it
should be conducted proved unavailing. He decided his only alternative was to sell.
        The French division of the Gillette company of Boston had been renting the camp off
season for seven years, by 1963, for the training of athletes for the Olympics and other sports
events. The company hoped that the athletes would be good models for growing French and

other European boys, who could be expected to copy the athletes’clean-shaven style (The
Gillette company manufactured razors.) Two other buyers were interested, but MacJannet felt
that they merely wanted the camp as an investment. In a letter to James Halsey, MacJannet
pointed out that Gillette would winterize the camp, run it eight months of the year, and look after
all details. If either of the others bought it, he said, “I could help feeling under obligation and
forced to strive harder than ever to be of help. What I really desire is to close completely this
chapter of my undertakings and get away from the everlasting and unavoidable detail connected
with looking after children well.”
        With the Prieuré demands, MacJannet wanted full freedom, so at the end of the 1963
camping season he concluded the sale to Gillette. Afterward, going over his figures, he thought
he had undervalued the camp, and that the $150,000 he received did not cover the large sums he
had spent on land, buildings and repairs, but he did not complain. The Gillette company also
found it had miscalculated. Young Frenchmen followed the trend of American youths, and began
appearing with beards. Only partly discouraged, the razor company continued the camp— as the
“Center for the Study of Human Ecology.”

Chapter 13

“I wanted something Donald could do after he was 70— something that would be a passion for
        Thus Charlotte explained the MacJannets’purchase of the abandoned and badly rundown
ancient Benedictine priory of Talloires. Indeed it soon became his precious gem, his passion, the
apple of his eye, a constant challenge to his restless energy and inventive skills, and a delight, as
he gradually restored and transformed it into a building that retained so much of the past yet still
was adapted to present-day demands and conveniences. There was so much to do that some of
the building’ old cellar areas still remain mostly untouched.
        The MacJannets started looking for a location for their post-camp enterprises in the mid-
1950s. Their Geneva apartment in the Old Town section of Geneva was all right for the cold
months of the winter, but they could not think of being away from Talloires and Lake Annecy in
spring, summer and fall. Lakeshore property higher up the hill were both too expensive. The
Prieuré, though in wretched shape, with a roof mostly fallen in, and dirt and debris everywhere,
had a large room that Charlotte wanted for the conferences and other activities that she
envisioned, and the building itself was in wretched enough shape to satisfy anyone with an itch to
reconstruct. The nearby ancient abbey, which had housed the 20 Benedictine monks, had been
converted many years before to an elegant hotel, theHôtel de l’Abbaye. At first the Prieuré
seemed unavailable, but in 1958 MacJannet learned that it was for sale and rushed to the auction,
but arrived too late. It was a standard form of French auction, in which three specially prepared
candles are lit, timed to go out at intervals, with the last bid before the last candle went out
prevailing. However, in the Prieuré auction there had been no bids. MacJannet, busy with other
work, forgot about the auction, but he went around later to see the owner, Armand Leleu, a man
with a long white beard, son of a former mayor of Talloires.
        MacJannet offered $10,000, which Leleu accepted on condition that MacJannet would
take the land on which the Prieuré stood, and leave the other half of the land to Leleu. Donald
learned that Leleu had inherited the land from his father, but had disliked his father so strongly
that he hated the Prieuré, because it had reminded him of his father. He wanted the vacant land to
add to his own holdings. And thus the deal was struck.
        Leleu had achieved a sort of fame as “the man with the million-dollar legs,” MacJannet
recalled. When he was a boy of 12, he had been spotted by the painter Paul Chaba who wanted

him as a model, but just for the legs. Chaba had been painting a picture of a British girl bathing
in the lake, but when the girl sneezed because of the cold, her worried mother ordered her out of
                         s                                                  ve
the water, despite Chaba’ pleas. Then the painter saw Leleu, exclaimed “you’ got the legs just
like that girl,” and finished the picture. Later titled “September Morn,” it was “banned in
Boston” as indecent, but prints of it adorned the walls of most barber shops and many a calendar,
reputedly earning a million dollars for its promoter.
        What MacJannet got for his money, 6,700 square meters of land, on which the Prieuré
stood, works out to 1.65 acres, most of it covered by the building, and the large garden enclosed
in an encircling wall— and a lot of history.
        There is evidence in stone inscriptions that Talloires was already inhabited by Roman
times, and probably some of the Prieuré’ foundations date from those days. Wandering monks
are believed to have established some rude quarters for two or three persons in the ninth century.
The tiny religious cluster got encouragement from Queen Thiberge, exiled by her irate husband
for some medieval reason to this farthest outpost from his capitol at Aix. The advent of the
Crusades to recover the Holy Land, and the flurry of panic when many people feared the year
1000 would signal the end of the world, increased the interest in monasteries. The Queen
Ermengarde, wife of Rodolphe III, drew up some rules to guide four monks who took up
permanent residence in 1033. The Benedictines took over and the monastery grew with
enlargement and rebuilding. By the fifteenth century it had 640 hectares of land (about 1,530
acres), but half of that was in steep, rocky slopes or covered with heavy brush. The abbey housed
20 monks, led by a prior quartered in the Prieuré. They operated, with many helpers, two
hospitals and two leprosaria, soon had civil authority, and burned their share of heretics and
witches, and hanged or decapitated various felons.
        Like many other powerful Renaissance institutions, they were the target of charges of
corruption and abuse of power. St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of the area and Bishop of
Geneva in the mid-seventeenth century (though barred by Calvinists from taking his seat) forced
through some reforms, but the monks still lived quite well. Old documents show that they
received six and a half pounds of food and three liters of wine a piece each day from the
monastery’ very productive vineyards, plus plenty of meat, bread and cheese. There were
supposed to be three fast days a week, but the monks ate in their cells, helping themselves from
the kitchen. St. Francis ordered them to eat together in the refectory, but all but five of them
refused to do so.
        In the eighteenth century, the monastery’ rich holdings and income— calculated at
$20,000 per year— were nibbled at by powerful neighboring lords. A near-fatal blow was

delivered in 1783 when the pope decreed that all of the monastery’ income should go to the King
of Sardinia.
           The end came in 1793 when the French Revolution, at its height, opened war on all
religious institutions, calling the church “the hydra (nine-headed serpent) of superstition.”
Authorities in Annecy, and the Revolutionary Committee which governed Talloires, set June 30,
1873, as the date when all religious materials— books, manuscripts, statues, furniture and the
like— would be removed from the abbey and priory and burned.
           Before that date, the seven remaining monks left Talloires under a safe conduct from the
Revolutionary Committee, which stated that they were to be treated “as men of honor and
probity, without fault in conduct who had given constant evidence of charity and religion for the
edification of the public.”
           The grove of chestnut trees in front of the abbey was the setting for a three-day anti-
religious festival, where crowds drank up the wine of the Prieuré and ate the food provided by the
Revolutionary Committee, while they removed books, manuscripts, religious relics, furniture and
other articles from the abbey and priory. Afterward, the Revolutionary Committee unanimously
certified that every book, scrap of paper and religious relic had been burned. However, Henri
Rodet, in his book “Talloires et Son Prieuré,” printed by the publisher Pierre Masson in Lyons in
1927, declares that several persons, either pious or merely dextrous, were able to prevail on the
authorities and received permission to salvage what they could of the documents before they were
taken from the library. Enough documents were thus salvaged, Rodet declares, to permit an
almost complete history of the abbey and priory. Most of his book, in fact, is devoted to this
           A succession of owners had possession of the Prieuré before the MacJannets bought it,
but apparently did little to maintain the building. A Quaker acquaintance who looked at the
Prieuré returned to Geneva and told friends, “Charlotte has gone mad.” A casual observer might
well have agreed, and Charlotte herself gave this bleak description:
Consider that there was only one toilet, outside, without water, and one spigot of water at the end
of the building. The room we had to use for a kitchen had rotten floorboards, and a cellar
underneath, filled with empty wine bottles. The “bathroom” consisted of a pail with holes in it,
and you had to fill another pail, empty it into the “shower” pail, and pull a string, to make it work.
The former garden inside the perimeter wall was simply a wilderness, a jungle of nettles. Rotten
rabbit hutches hung on a wall near the veranda, and stagnant rainwater, a paradise for mosquitoes,
stood near a corner under the veranda.

Worst of all, from Charlotte’ point of view, was the condition of the large room on the second
floor, that she had planned to use for meetings and conferences. A former owner had put a wall
across the center of the room, leaving it gloomily lit by some sparse north windows. The other
half of the room, facing the lake, had large windows and good light. One spring day, the
MacJannets and James Halsey Jr., who had been spending the winter with them in Geneva, tore a
large hole in the wall. “When the first beam of light came through the hole and struck the other
wall, you had the feeling that that part of the room was now singing,” Charlotte exclaimed.
MacJannet’ major worry was to get the fallen roof repaired, but there was little time for any
serious work until the MacJannets turned over the camp to the Gillette company at the end of the
1963 season. Counselors did some clearing of the garden, and senior boys helped plant some
trees. The youngest campers, who formed what was called the Midgets Group, put on a show
wearing home made monk costumes, but little else could be done.
Major work got under way, at least on weekends, when MacJannet discovered some Italian
masons and carpenters, in Geneva on work permits for foreigners, who jumped at the chance for
extra money and something to do on weekends which would take them away from their dreary
barracks and chilly neighbors. “We had to smuggle them across the border as ‘friends’because
their work permits did not extend to France,” Charlotte recalled, “but we filled the car Friday
nights and brought them back Sunday nights. And I never cooked so much spaghetti in my whole
life.” The workmen were delighted with the Prieuré, clapping their hands and exclaiming, “Ah,
what a building!” The MacJannets could hear them whistling and singing in the cellar, where
they tested and approved the sturdy walls, some of them six feet thick.
The MacJannets also got a lesson on the difficulties of international living, when they discovered
that the men paid highly merely to sleep six in a room, while they were trying to save money to
send to their families, part of it to be set aside for a future home of their own. Among other
helpers, a frail-looking mountaineer who nevertheless could shoulder a 100-pound sack of
cement, spending his evenings reading de Gaulle’ works by candlelight— and gambling his
wages away at local card games. The MacJannets invited a Uraguayan sculptor, living in
Barcelona with a wife and two children, when a Geneva friend told them she wanted to help the
musically-talented children. However, after getting through the MacJannets, an apartment in
Talloires, a piano, and a scholarship for the children, the family suddenly went back to Barcelona,
perhaps because of a sick grandmother, and were never heard from again.
After several tons of rubble had been cleared from the cellars MacJannet was able to lay
permanent floors to replace the old pounded earth. He got marble chips and broken bits of marble
free from an Annecy tombstone carver, put them in the bottom of a low-square frame he made,

poured concrete on top, and then turned them over on a bed of sand to have a mosaic-like marble
floor. The vari-colored marble chips and fragments could have been polished to a high gloss, but
MacJannet decided that he would do without that luxury for the cellar. He used the squares also
for the terrace and garden. MacJannet felt the same about the 20-foot walls which used to
surround the Prieuré in the days when the prior was in effect a feudal lord with his own little
army, a wealthy establishment, very influential in the area. “The walls show the effect of wear,
but I am not going to rebuild them, certainly not in reinforced concrete,” MacJannet commented.
The place Charlotte wanted restored as soon as possible was the big room on the second floor,
which had been used as an assembly room by the monks. Donald had to have help getting the
enormous ceiling beams back into place, but these big pieces of oak, and the smaller ceiling
rafters, dating from the fifteenth century, were still in good shape. Soon, new hardwood floors
were laid, the mammoth fireplace restored to its original condition, and more windows put in,
which gave a sense of space and grandeur to what had become a magnificent room.
Charlotte intended it primarily for the use of her former pupil, Gerda Alexander, who had carried
Charlotte’ teaching of eurythmics into further development, especially for the benefit of
professional people like musicians, medical men, and business executives to teach them the
harmonious use of their muscles to offset and relieve the tensions brought on by the stresses of
their work. Gerda Alexander, then located in Copenhagen, had been especially successful with
members of the Royal Orchestra of Copenhagen, teaching them through eurythmics classes how
to be in command of their own muscles so that they would produce only the minimum of tension.
Violinists and cellists were her special targets for help.
As the room took shape, Charlotte could picture in her mind’ eye a whole roomful of people
lying on their backs on the floor, looking up at the splendid beams of the ceiling, and absorbing
the kind of instruction and practice that would keep them fit for their tasks, and this is exactly
what happened. Gerda Alexander’ classes became a standard feature of the Prieuré summer
program, attracting scores of French businessmen and professionals each year.
The Alexander courses, however, were only a part of the full program that Charlotte projected.
While the big hall could hold meetings of 100 to 150 persons, smaller rooms in other parts of the
30-room building held a dining hall, and reception rooms where groups of 10 to 15 people could
meet for discussions. With a dozen good hotels within walking distance, and the attractive setting
of lake and mountains, Talloires and its Prieuré soon attracted the kind of groups that Donald and
Charlotte wanted especially to reach: multinational organizations like dental and health
executives, world peace advocates, international public health associations, and similar

        Of course all this took time. While the Prieuré schedule was growing from a scattered
handful of gatherings, MacJannet was busy with hammer, chisel and saw. He did not attempt to
put in the modern plumbing for that big building, but called in the plumber and his son who had
brought water half a mile to the camp structures. MacJannet was puzzled when he began
installing new windows to find that the Prieuré’ walls were of widely different textures.
Sometimes he could pry stones and mortar loose with just a screwdriver. And then he would
strike another place where he couldn’ dent mortar or stone with a screwdriver or chisel, and he
had to use exhausting blows of a sledgehammer. He asked a local mason to account for the
difference. The man explained:
        “Very simple. The monastery owned all the land around here. That’ why the people
were so happy to burn and destroy all the documents back at the time of the Revolution— the
documents that showed the monastery owning the land, not the farmers. Before that, of course,
while the monastery was being built, the head of the monastery told each peasant that if he gave
his land to the monastery he would get to heaven. And then this feudal lord would require the
people living on his land to pay a tax, and they would pay in work. Some knew what they were
doing and built a good hard wall, but others didn’ care, or were less skillful, so you got a loose
wall. And of course there was a big difference in the quality of the cement at various times.”
        MacJannet tried his best to get through the six-foot walls with chisel and sledgehammer,
but he was grateful when the plumber came armed with a jackhammer carrying a chisel on the
end. “He could do in seven minutes what took me seven days to make an opening,” he recalled.
There was still plenty to do trimming the edges, and building in frames and windows.
        However, MacJannet did most of the electric wiring himself. Amos Booth, head
counselor at the camp in 1961–62, wrote “I remember so well seeing him install electricity in the
upstairs kitchen that overlooks the monks’walkway. He was holding two live wires, one in each
hand, and threading them through a narrow aperture in a baseboard, to which an outlet was to be
          Of                             t
affixed. ‘ course, if they touch, it won’ matter because I have rubber soles on my shoes,’he
told me.”
        The surprising aspect of this tale is that Booth was apparently not invited immediately to
help with the construction. A constant stream of former campers, their parents, descendants, or
friends walked up the elegant outside staircase of the Prieuré to renew acquaintance and talk over
old times with the MacJannets, and “Mr. Mac,” to give him his usual title, smilingly unveigled
those who seemed to have any skills to try their hands.
        Some of the visitors, watching MacJannet fashion his marble chip squares for flooring
did some of their own, and later proudly showed off “their” squares to their relatives.

        One of the first rooms to be finished was in the cellar, a long rectangle which the monks
had used as a wine cellar. After it was cleaned out, and a floor laid and walls patched, the
MacJannets turned it into a crafts room, with the looms and art craft equipment from the camp,
ready for the new arts classes for adults that would soon be part of the constantly expanding
Prieuré program. On the walls they hung the “shields” from camp— the boards on which campers
names appeared and a record of their prowess: best swimmer or “Lake Annecy Olympics” 100-
meter dash winner, and so forth, with the year. Returning former campers loved to show relatives
through this room and point to their earlier victories.
        When MacJannet rebuilt the Prieuré’ old tower, rising two and a half stories above the
big assembly hall, he provided a guest room where visitors could look out at spectacular views of
lake and mountain— one visitor reported a special joy was being able to hear sounds of breakfast
being prepared in the kitchen and Charlotte giving an impromptu piano concert for herself.
Above the guest room was a “tower room” where MacJannet, if he ever stopped working, could
view the gardens, where classes and meetings were often held, and check the enormous roof. The
tower carried a marble plaque carrying the chiseled notation that the Prieuré had been “Restored
by Donald R. MacJannet.” The plaque was the sole reminder of the Uraguayan sculptor who had
carved it, and the only recognition in the building of MacJannet’ enormous effort. He once
declared that he had seen too many buildings bearing famous names where a grossly deteriorated
neighborhood in effect disgraced the memory of the person once honored, and he did not wish to
risk the same fate.
        MacJannet’ luck in finding free marble for his mosaic floor squares brought him other
treasures. The Benedictine prior of the monastery had used the front room of the ground floor as
a sort of audience room. After the Revolution era’ vandalism of the building, oxen were stalled
in it for a time. MacJannet replaced the dirt floor with mosaic squares, filled the large opening at
the front with glass bricks, and made it into a “meditation room.” Then one day, passing an old
convent in the neighborhood, he saw some ancient choir stalls stacked outside, ready to be hauled
away, and got them for his room, where they fitted in appropriately.
        More seats and furniture came when the American church in Geneva renovated the
interior. Charlotte also did her part. “I looked over our furniture in the Geneva apartment, and
decided what we could spare— in effect stealing from myself,” she smiled.
        The imposing outside staircase to the second floor, a dozen feet wide and with pillars
supporting a roof, needed some broken balisters replaced, and repairing of some of the treads, but
otherwise had stood the rigors of neglect very well. One counselor’ young daughter, down-
hearted because no kings or queens had been visible in their tour of châteaux, was delighted on

their arrival when Charlotte appeared at the head of the stairs, and the child shouted “There’ the
          Donald’ deed to the Prieuré gave him the ancient right to water his cow at the well
located in the nearby abbey, but he liked to point out to visitors that the well was dry and he had
no cow.
          Into his late seventies, MacJannet paralyzed old friends— and Charlotte— with the sight
of him teetering on tall ladders to replace tiles on the roof, and he descended with flashlight into
the crypts and dungeons beneath the ground floor to determine whether they were worth the effort
of restoring. (He decided they weren’ Besides his own ceaseless labors, he poured tens of
thousands of dollars into hired help and purchase of building materials, plumbing and electrical
features and the like. The MacJannets assumed the entire cost of maintaining and operating the
building, until the entire property was turned over to Tufts University in 1979 to serve as a center
for foreign studies. Even after the turnover, however, MacJannet continued to keep a very close
eye on things. At 87 he made a special early-spring trip from Geneva to make sure the
installation of a new roof was done properly.
          He and Charlotte moved to a small chalet a hundred yards up the hill from the Prieuré,
though “borrowing” a couple of rooms in the Prieuré for their own use. They walked down and
back every day, making sure that honored guests for the various meetings and programs were
properly received and guided, stopped for lunch and an afternoon rest, overseeing the installation
of electric heating panels for more extended use of the building in spring and fall, and trying to
see that small repairs actually got attended to.
          The program of activities started almost as soon as the acquisition of the building in
1958, and increased in scope as more and more facilities were added. One activity especially
close to Charlotte’ heart was the “Entretiens de Talloires,” four days of conversations and
discussions of papers centering on some ethical topic. Begun in 1968, the project, entirely under
Charlotte’ direction, eventually drew 200 attendants.
          One major contribution to the usefulness of the Prieuré was made with the gift of the
Woodworth Memorial Library room, in honor of Lynn F. Woodworth, the dynamic executive
director of the MacJannet camps for so many years, who died in 1978 at age 82, and his wife
Anita, who continued to be a focal point in Washington, D.C. for support and information about
the MacJannets in America.


“This venerable house with its harmonious, high-ceilinged rooms, its large hall, its walled
gardens, its orchard with the view over the lake and mountains, is a precious tool put into our
hands, and we are grateful for the opportunities it offers,” Donald MacJannet wrote of the Prieuré
in the Christmas 1959 joint letter to former campers, students, and friends.
        “The house will be open to groups serving cultural exchange between nations. As you
know, this has always been one of our aims on the childhood level, and we now hope to carry it
on by bringing together outstanding individuals from different countries and backgrounds.
Courses at the Prieuré will be based on the kind of work that furthers better organization in
individual and group living.”
        “I can’ help feeling that Mr. and Mrs. MacJannet came into their own after the camps
closed and they began their work at the Prieuré,” said William T. Granfell, Jr., son of the famed
“Labrador Doctor.” This is an impression of a rank insider, but I am sure that the work at the
Prieuré was their major lifetime contribution to the cause of international peace and
understanding.” Grenfell, of Orange, Virginia, was a counselor at the camp for three years.
        Perhaps to mark the transition, Donald and Charlotte, accompanied by Donald’ sister
Jean Foster, made an around-the-world tour for five months, starting in October 1958 with a
flight over the pole to Tokyo from Copenhagen, visiting former campers and students in the
Orient, India, and the Middle East before returning to Geneva in February 1959. They tried the
“boiling hot” mineral baths at Atami, on the southern coast of Honshu, followed by a taste of raw
fish and salted vegetables, and were lulled to sleep by the musical clatter of wooden clogs from
        After all they saw of the Inland Cities and Nara, Jean and Charlotte returned to their
favorite, Kyoto, while Donald traveled to the southern island, Kyoshu, to complete his series of
pictures of Japan. Then, with typical MacJannet zest, they tackled lessons in Sumi painting,
flower arrangement and tea ceremony, and Charlotte took part in the exercises at a Zen temple—
all done in an effort to understand the basis of the Japanese philosophy of living. They admired
the patience of parents with small children, and were concerned at the impact of Western ways on
        An especially happy occasion was a reunion with the Sawada family, while three sons,
Peter, Paul, and Stephen, had been at both the school and camp in France when their father was

deputy ambassador there. Their mother, Mrs. Miki Sawada, had converted from Buddhism to
Episcopal, and had been responsible for caring for thousands of orphans fathered by American
occupation soldiers. Stephen, the youngest Sawada, had been killed at sixteen and a half, on his
first kamikaze flight during the war.
           In Tokyo, on impulse, MacJannet risked his life to save a Japanese woman who had
jumped in front of an oncoming subway train. In an instant, Donald was sprawled over the edge
of the platform, while Jean and Charlotte held him from falling. The Japanese on the platform
remained stunned and motionless, Donald seized the woman’ arms and pulled her toward the
platform, where other hands helped drag her to safety. “All my life I had been obssessed by a
secret fear that I would be a physical coward in the face of a sudden emergency,” Donald mused
later. “After that incident on the subway platform I felt that I had proved myself.” Typically, he
did not mention it in a six-page New Year letter, in which he recounted the round-the-world
           After a pre-Christmas Advent celebration with Tokyo Quakers, the MacJannets witnessed
fervent Spanish Catholic prayers Christmas Eve in Manila’ reconstructed cathedral, and got a
Philippines tour by Wellington Koo Jr., who had been the special friend of Prince Philip of
Edinburgh when the two were pupils at the St. Cloud school in 1927. An Australian friend, a
woman who was a professor at the University of Hong Kong, gave them insights in that city, but
the MacJannets rapidly made their own friends in stops at Saigon (“The most graceful women
and costumes of the entire trip,” wrote an appreciative MacJannet). They also saw the tourist
marvels at Ankor in Cambodia, Bangkok, and Ceylon.
           Indira Nehru Gandhi, an 11-year-old camper at Annecy in 1929, received the MacJannets
at the Prime Minister’ house in New Delhi, where she told them of establishing similar camps in
parts of India. A few days later the MacJannets met Nehru and Mrs. Gandhi at the opening of the
World Congress for Planned Parenthood, with Margaret Sanger, pioneer birth-control advocate,
in attendance. For ten days in Israel Charlotte and Donald met with educators, and Charlotte gave
radio talks and lectures on eurythmics, as she did when they moved on to Athens, where they
were entertained by John Oliver Rich and his family, who were spending the winter there. Jack
Rich was a teacher and counselor with the MacJannets in France and Sun Valley. On the way
home, the MacJannets had dinner “chez Boutau” at Nice, where they had first met 27 years
           The next fall, a Swissair ticket from Geneva to Panama was so loaded with free stopovers
that MacJannet’ Scotch soul found it irresistible. He and Charlotte managed to resist stops in
Zurich and Cologne, but saw friends in London, Edinburgh, Montreal, and Ottawa; Thanksgiving

dinner in New England, a reunion in New York with more than a hundred MacJannet “alumni”
arranged by Howard Cook, president of International House and former pupil and camper;
Christmas with friends in a cool, porticoed British colonial mansion in Jamaica; a New Year’s
carnival in Costa Rica (“without a trace of vulgarity”) in a country, Donald reported, “with more
school teachers than soldiers.” On to Guatamala, and a taste of Mayan and Indian piety; Mexico,
Yucatan, the New Orleans Mardi Gras; Atlanta and Washington. After a visit to the Dalcroze
School for Music in New York, and a last goodbye to friends in Bridgeport and Boston, they
sailed to a French Spring in Normandy. “Oh, you are the people who used to arrive right after the
war with all that baggage for refugee children! Passez, passez!” said the woman customs
        The MacJannets did stop long enough in Boston to establish the MacJannet Scholarship
to enable French or other European students to study at the Fletcher School for International Law
and Diplomacy, a division of Tufts University. Soon, with MacJannet’ assistance, the Fletcher
School would establish links with Geneva’ School for International Studies. The return to
France, of course, found both MacJannets anxious to get back to the task of putting the Prieuré
into more usable shape.
        In the spring of 1960 the Prieuré had been cleaned and repaired sufficiently to permit the
first moves into the field of adult education. Gerda Alexander of Copenhagen, a former student
of eurythmics under Charlotte, had pushed that study into advanced fields. Charlotte, in fact, had
assisted Mme. Alexander in the summer of 1959, when 500 persons attended a course in what
Europeans called Eutonie, a balance of tension. In May 1960 Gerda Alexander offered the course
at the Prieuré and repeated it in July. A third session, in Dalcroze eurythmics, was offered in
August, with Rosalie Chladek of Vienna as a staff teacher. The Alexander courses became a
standard feature of the Prieuré schedule, attracting as many as 150 businessmen and professionals
from France and other countries each summer.
        In the succeeding years, as the Prieuré became known as a delightful place for
internationally-oriented groups to hold gatherings of 100 to 150 persons, the MacJannets
developed their own provinces of activity. Charlotte kept on arranging the schedules and acting
as hostess, while Donald continued restoration. Both joined, with their special knack, in making
each visitor feel especially welcome— including the constant stream of former pupils and campers
who kept dropping in.
        In another area, the MacJannets’constant push for international cultural mingling moved
a further step when their small program of counselor exchange, bringing five or six French
counselors to American camps each year was taken over by Dr. and Mrs. James Halsey at the

University of Bridgeport, Connecticut, which Halsey headed. The Halseys began persuading
ethnic groups in Bridgeport to sponsor scholarships for graduate students of their national origin
to come to America and study at the Bridgeport institution. After the first summer of the new
program at Bridgeport Julia Halsey joined forces with American Student Information Service,
headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, which was finding jobs for American students all over
Europe and arranging for inexpensive transportation, with plans to do the same for European
students coming to America. In the summer of 1959, some 350 students worked on farms, in
industry. Mrs. Halsey was in charge of the orientation program given arriving students in
Amsterdam, as well as being in special charge of the Camp Counselor exchange program.
        Without any fanfare the MacJannets had started their own plan to aid students, by giving
scholarships and small grants to European students for study in America. By the time this
program was taken over by the MacJannet Foundation, established in 1968, a total of 51
European students had received aid. The MacJannet camps at Talloires would continue, more
successful than ever— a group of gifted British counselors from Oxford and Cambridge brought a
new and livelier quality to the 1959 summer activities— and the MacJannets were already moving
into the adult education field, with aid to college students as an intermediate stage.
        As MacJannet, aided by occasional crews of workmen, and the volunteered help of
visiting former campers or St. Cloud pupils labored to make more space in the Prieuré usable,
more and more groups poured in to use it. YMCA workers from several nations came for a two-
week international conference. The Center for Psychological and Religious Studies of London
met to discuss the theme of “The Hero of Our Times.” Simultaneous translations into Russian
and several other languages seldom heard in Haute Savoie were carried on when a conference of
a hundred and fifty medical doctors from forty-five countries met under auspices of the World
Health Organization.
        Besides various adult education group meetings, many concerts and recitals drew crowds
to the Prieuré. Some were benefits held for “Terre des Hommes,” a movement in Switzerland
and France to give immediate help to desperate cases among children. In 1965, for instance, four
such concerts for Terre des Hommes were held by artists from Germany, Switzerland and Spain.
        When the MacJannet camps were sold to the Gillette Company of France at the end of the
1963 season, the looms, pottery wheels, and large crafts tables were moved to the former wine
cellar on the ground floor of the Prieuré, and continuous classes held in crafts and bamboo music
pipe making, under direction of Priscilla Barclay of England. One of the occasional visotirs at
concerts and lectures was Armand Leleu, who had sold the property to the MacJannets because it

reminded him of his father, the former mayor, whom he disliked intensely. Leleu was pleased at
the splendid results MacJannet had obtained in restoring the Prieuré.
        A particularly satisfying event for MacJannet was inauguration of a yearly seminar in
public health at the Prieuré, honoring the memory of Dr. Yves Biraud, whom he had recruited in
1923 to be a counselor at Maurice Blake’ camp on Lake Bourget, at a time when Biraud was a
medical student in Paris. MacJannet played an active role in encouraging Biraud to go to the
Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore, where he received a scholarship.
        Born in 1900 at Poitiers, Biraud had received a college degree by age 15; he received a
master in public health at Johns Hopkins, and later the gold medal of the medical faculty of Paris.
He was a member of the League of Nations public health secretariat until 1945, and then became
head of the World Health Organization created by the United Nations. As secretary and director
of the WHO, he supervised its growth, and continued his own writings and collection of
demographic information on contagious diseases. After 1960 he became a professor in the
French National School of Public Health, but remained a WHO consultant.
        The Yves Biraud seminars are held under the auspices of Tufts University, the National
School of Public Health, Rennes, France, and the Marcel Merieux Foundation, Lyons, France.
The first seminar dealt with the topic of the role of environment in epidemiology. The second
year’ theme, continuing in succeeding years, was on “signals of healthful conditions, dealing
with modifications of vegetables, animals and humans that pose threats to health.” The seminars
drew participants from all over the world.
        Like Donald, Charlotte also had her favorite Prieuré program. This was the “Entretiens
de Talloires,” informal gatherings, usually lasting four days, in which up to 200 persons met for
conversations, reading of papers, and discussions on some theme dealing with the human
condition. Charlotte had entire charge of program and arrangements, beginning with the first
“entretiens,” held in 1968. The conversations drew participants from Annecy, Talloires, Geneva,
Paris and many other places. There was no registration fee, and all were welcome.
        Three days of lectures and dialogues at the end of August on the broad subject of “What
is Man?” drawing people largely from the Annecy region and Talloires, constituted the first
“Entretiens.” The various aspects were presented by a professor of philosophy, a physician
specializing in psychosomatic research, a professor of comparative religion trained in Jungian
psychology, a Catholic priest of the order of St. Francis de Sales, and a Protestant minister from
Geneva. The meetings ended on a Sunday morning ecumenical services led jointly by the priest
and pastor. Amos Booth, head counselor at the MacJannet camps in 1962–63, gave a paper on

Camus at a later “Entretiens.” In 1969 the second gathering of the Entretiens drew 150 persons,
to explore the topic “Vital Relations of Man.”
          A sampling of activities at the Prieuré since 1960 indicates the strong international
emphasis of the gatherings. Besides the many concerts and occasional lectures given by
MacJannet visitors, and the crafts activities led by Priscilla Barclay, here were some of the other
          A deeply religious group with a peace mission was the Pax Christi pilgrimage, which
stopped overnight at Talloires. This movement of reconciliation, started by German students
after the War, meets each year in a different country, participants walking from village to village
for a fortnight, entertain villagers at a simple campfire, and go with them the next day for a
church service. A two-week conference of the World Alliance of International YMCAs drew 60
Europeans; a two day meeting of the Anglo-French Council of Paris on epidemiology; a seminar
for German dentists; a three-day session of “Aide à la Recherche Medicale pour l’Enfance,” on
child nutrition, and a seminar on Mediterranean lymphomas (lymph gland tumors), by the
Merieux Foundation, Lyons, France. However, a seminar on meditation techniques, planned by
the World Peace Academy, New York in the hope of smoothing difficulties in the Middle East
was cancelled by the sponsors when word of the project leaked out and certain hawkish Middle
East groups denounced it.
          MacJannet, whose voracious mind absorbed every new thing he came in contact with,
was a constant attendant at most of these gatherings. He and Charlotte, in fact, added a special
flavor, a piquant sauce of friendly hospitality, to the plainer fare of conference programs. With
each of them able to converse fluently in French, German, Italian and Spanish, they could put any
conferee at ease. As they did with each returning camper or student, they conveyed the feeling
that each person they were talking to was the very one they most desired to see. MacJannet, of
course, delighted in showing off the glories of the Prieuré, from its Ninth Century masonry to its
Fifteenth Century beams and ceiling. Charlotte was equally active in overseeing the provisions
for food and comfort and guests.
          A solidly international gathering came in early August, 1968, when 25 young men and
women from 19 nations, all alumni of the World Youth Forum of New York, held a reunion at the
Prieuré. The meeting was particularly gratifying to the MacJannets because these were all young
people, mostly between 18 and 25 years old, strong reminders of the boys and girls, and the
young counselors who had peopled the camp and school. And their coming to the school was an
example of the interrelationships which had characterized the MacJannets’lives over the years.

        The World Forum had been founded by the New York Herald Tribune in 1946, to bring
one high school senior from each of several countries, usually about 35, who came to New York
for three months of living with American families, taking part in Washington, New York, and
other places. Robert Huffman had become director of the Forum in 1962, and the U.S. delegate
that year was Augustus Naismith, who, a few years later, was chosen as one of the first two
MacJannet Fellows at the Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy at Tufts to go to
the Graduate School of International Studies at Geneva in the fall of 1967. There Naismith
encountered the MacJannets, fell under their spell, and suggested that the Prieuré would be an
excellent place for a reunion of World Forum alumni. By that time the New York Herald Tribune
had folded, but Huffman raised money from other sources to carry on the World Forum for
several years. At Naismith’ insistence, Huffman met the MacJannets, promptly fell under their
spell, and arranged the World Youth Forum alumni meeting for August 5–9, 1968. For the next
three years he saw the MacJannets for part of a day each year, in connection with an educational
travel group he had organized in 1964. Although his total time with them was scarcely more than
a week, he seized their essence, just as a perceptive traveler will often capture the meaning of a
city or a place that longer acquaintance blurs away. Here is an excerpt from his letter about them:
        “I have often cited the MacJannets as the most perfect example of two people who have
shared a long life together, and who have advanced into old age with a total love for and rapport
with each other— a certain je ne sais quoi in their relationship to each other that I have found
unique. . . . They proudly showed our group photos from the school and camp before the war, and
for our students, who weren’ even born until after the war, one could see that Donald and
Charlotte provided a bridge, a living link to a time they had only heard about.
        “The other side of that coin is that Donald and Charlotte have not been living in the past.
I must have been very wrenching for them to have been driven out of France during the war, but
they moved on and made the best of it. When the time had passed for the school and the camp,
          t                             ve
they didn’ retire, as they easily could’ done, but they thought up new ways to put themselves
and Talloires at the service of others. When our students arrived there, one would have thought
that this was the first group of visitors they had ever received. Even in 1968 they were elderly by
the standards of people who were 20 or so, but I’ sure none of our ‘kids’ever thought of them
as elderly. They have a youthfulness that transcends chronological age.
        “To me there is something almost sacred about the relationship between the
generations— something we have lost to a great extent in this country. We ship our parents off to
Florida or Arizona to die, and young people don’ realize that growing old and dying are part of
living. Donald and Charlotte somehow bridge that gap. These two vibrant people were making

the most of each day, renewing themselves from resources which I surely don’ have, and
opening to each generation they met a view of the history of their home in Talloires and an
understanding of the passing of time as revealed both in the ancient stones and in their own
          The MacJannets must have sensed something, too, in Robert Huffman and his work with
youths. They provided grants from the newly-established MacJannet Foundation for several
years, until the World Youth Forum finally grounded on the financial shoals.

Although the Prieuré program, and its continuing reconstruction, engaged the MacJannets’full
attention: spring, summer, and fall, they used their big Geneva apartment as a springboard for
much travel, as well as for entertaining the steady stream of visitors, old and young. (Although
only about 20 feet wide, the apartment in the 400-year-old building was 270 feet long.
Answering frequent queries on why they didn’ move into something smaller and more modern,
the very Scotch MacJannet would reply that it would cost no more than a modern one-room
apartment. And he may have been thinking of the tons of documents and pictures stored in
cabinets and the attic, which would have swamped a smaller place.)
          In the winter of 1962 Donald and his sister Jean Foster spent many weeks in America,
visiting relatives, and especially their older brother Malcolm, who had finally retired with his
ailing wife and fellow missionary, after 35 years as a missionary among primitive tribes in Africa.
Malcolm was two years older than Donald, but years later, at 90, he was still buzzing around
Oakland, California, hopping on and off buses and subway trains, to attend Bible study meetings,
and handing out tracts to any who would take them.
          Another time, Donald and Charlotte took time off from Prieuré activities to attend the
50th anniversary of his graduation from Tufts, which for him had fully lived up to its alma mater
Latin name as “dear and nourishing mother.” They sang the familiar old college songs, and
Donald, who had still not given up skiing, was astonished when he asked a classmate “how are
you?” and received the answer “Fine— fine, that is, if you don’ go into details.” Accustomed to
perching on 20-foot ladders to check on Prieuré roof tiles, Donald could only smile.
          Both Malcolm and Donald MacJannet searched telephone books in every city they
visited, looking (usually in vain) for anyone named McJannet, which was the original spelling of
their name. When Malcolm turned up a cousin in Toronto, Canada, he wrote Donald, who made
a special trip, on a New England visit, to see them in Toronto, and later had the two young sons at
the Annecy camp. Donald himself tracked down another cousin when he saw the name in a

Swiss hotel register, and a visit to see this cousin Douglas McJannet, in South Africa was a prime
reason for his two-month African tour in 1965.
          Besides visits with his McJannet cousins, Donald wanted to “see for himself” the political
situation. During his two-month tour in February and March, 1965, MacJannet wrote 45
Aerogramme letters to Charlotte, each closely packed with details of what he saw of apartheid,
the extreme of wealth and poverty, the condition of blacks, varying from mud-walled huts and
modest dwellings to some of the abject degradation of life in stockades. Some impressions:
          As an older flier, he visited the cockpit twice on the 5,000-mile flight to Nairobi,
absorbing technical details from the Australian pilot of the British plane. In Nairobi he found
“these Africans have dignity, reserve; there are no beggars,” but he was distressed by the
“restricted entry” signs at many clubs.
          The enormous displays of flowers in Johannesburg amazed him as much as the fact that
all the women blued their eyelids “and had frightful accents.” Donald’ cousin Douglas
MacJannet, teacher in a private school for 35 years, drove him around, delighting Donald with a
view of “McJannet House,” built on the technical college grounds by Douglas’ late brother.
Everywhere was segregation, and “an atmosphere of fear,” Donald wrote Charlotte, citing the
barred windows, the many security precautions, and Douglas’ warning to “stay off the streets at
          At Capetown, 1,000 miles away, MacJannet found apartheid much less rigid, with whites
and blacks side by side on buses, and no discrimination at the university, but “very few blacks
here, mostly light and dark brown, and many Malaysians.” At an ostrich farm MacJannet leaned
that owners “could still make a profit at $27 a pound for feathers, down from $350 in 1900, and
that ostriches mate for life, take turns brooding the eggs, and live an average of 40 years. Mr.
Peteni, principal of a neat Bantu school, told him most jobs, even running the elevators, were
reserved for whites. When MacJannet asked Peteni’ outlook for the future, he replied: “There
can never be a wholly just solution to a problem so very complex. I for one would hope that the
Europeans, even though a minority, would remain always as leaders. We need their skills, their
experience in government and organization, their technical knowledge. Without the white men,
we can probably never raise our standard of education and of hygiene and living to any extent.”
          At the enormous “Stonehenge Farm” of Henry Jackson, a distant relative, near Thomas
River, MacJannet visited the 14 native huts, each holding a dozen persons, got them to singing,
and dined seven miles away (still on the farm property). He learned that school caning is still
normal for minor infractions like a disorderly desk or tardiness. Mabel Jackson Haight, the late
              s                                 s
Henry Jackson’ sister, was present at MacJannet’ visit. Now living in Toronto, Canada, she

wrote recently of that visit when an old native commented: “There was a white man with a
          In the Transkei area, riding with a friend, MacJannet saw a resplendent figure striding
down the road in a red and gold costume, earrings, arm and leg bands, and a startling headdress.
“A chief?” he asked. “No,” his host replied. “A young man just out of a contract period in a gold
mine, on his way home to impress the village.” Near Transkei, he also met Llotso, grandson of
the famed Paul Kruger’ coachman, whose 16 wives and 22 children all lined up and sang in
harmony. Besides owning four Cadillacs, Llotso was a renowned herbalist, reportedly making his
fortune by providing chiefs with the proper herbs to rid themselves of their enemies.
          “We were never,” Donald wrote, “out of sight of at least a score of villages, a monotony
of huts, huts, huts, fields of corn, and green meadows, naked small boys, bare-breasted young
women, mothers carrying their babies, and carrying sacks of grain on their heads or long heavy
faggots of wood.”
          Apparently Charlotte complained now and then in her letters to Donald that she had been
left out of the trip, and MacJannet assured her that it would have been much to strenuous. He
tried to compensate by promising to meet her in Rome or Athens or any place of her choosing,
but all such plans fell through, and he ended by returning straight to Geneva. He filled the annual
New Year letter with a long account of the trip, and invited friends to come and see all the slides
he had taken.
          The MacJannets invited Ruth Mary, daughter of Douglas MacJannet, to visit them at the
Prieuré while she was recovering from an auto accident in which her skull was crushed, and bone
from her pelvis was used to repair her forehead. She was blind for some time after the accident,
and broke off her engagement to “Ted,” E. C. Gil-Fillan. “She was still in bad shape when she
arrived but improved enough in the peaceful haven of the Prieuré so that we dared encourage her
to go to the Cordon Bleu famous cooking school in Paris,” MacJannet wrote. She also took
intensive French lessons from MacJannet’ former French master, Pierre Maurey. Invited out
often, she met many eligible bachelors, but when one proposed, she wrote her former fiancé “It’s
you I want to wed,” and she did, bringing him to Talloires ten years later to meet the MacJannets.
From her earlier visit, in 1967, she wrote vividly of “Mr. Mac collecting me from the station in
his Mercedes and driving through Annecy using both his arms to show me the city and not to
steer the car.” He presided over the breakfast table “and insisted on porridge for everyone every
morning. Every meal was an occasion for conversation, or for mind improvement.”
          After a week of sunbathing and what Donald called “restful exploration” in the Canary
Islands, Donald and Charlotte winged to Caracas, Venezuela, in January 1966, for three months

of touring South America. The official purpose of the trip was for Donald to look at possible
candidates for appointment to a South American Council of the World Association of
International Houses, at the behest of Howard A. Cook, head of the International House in New
York. Charlotte saw leaders in music education, on behalf of the International Alumni
Association of Dalcroze Eurythmics Teachers. (The summer before she had spent two busy
weeks in Geneva at the Dalcroze centennial, being celebrated by the World Association of
Eurythmics Teachers, which she had headed for 12 years.)
        Their host in Caracas was Guillermo Marcos, known as Billy when he was a Talloires
camper in 1937. He showed them his marine biology laboratory, and the new apartment building,
which he asserted the people crowding the tin shacks of the barrios on the steep slopes refused to
occupy because they wanted to hang onto their few pigs and chickens. In Bogotà, the university
president’ wife told him at dinner of the widespread illiteracy and disease, while on the other
side the vivacious varsity swimming champion daughter of the house told him how the Greek-
American from Florida, seated opposite them, had “tamed” savage tribesmen into a more sedate
village life, and helped him collect the jaguars, boas, and monkeys that he shipped to laboratories.
“Watch your step!” their hosts said, returning them to their hotel, as they skirted two open
manholes. There, and in many another city, manhole covers were often stolen to be sold as scrap
        Kaye MacKinnon de Pacheco and her husband Luis met the MacJannets at Lima, and
took them to a performance of the Peruvian Ballet, of which Kaye was director, and her husband
the orchestra conductor. The performance that week was at a cinema instead of the ballet’ more
elegant in the municipal theater. Kaye recalled in a letter that when apologized for the location,
“Charlotte put us at ease right away when she said, ‘Cela ne fait rien. Nous sommes du métier.’
And so she was; a former dancer herself, she knew that it didn’ make so much difference where
you danced as how you danced!”
        As Kaye MacKinnon, she had been a teacher at the Elms in the spring of 1934 when she
tried out, and was accepted, as a dancer with the Ballets Russes of La Nijinska (sister of Nijinski).
“This is your big chance, Kaye, we won’ allow you to miss it,” Charlotte had said, and they
arranged for other teachers to complete her classes for the rest of the school year. While with the
Nijinska ballet Kaye met and married Luis de Pacheco, who died in 1982.
        The MacJannets got a taste of revolution in Quito, Ecuador, as they were walking down a
cobble-stoned street between whitewashed colonial buildings. They heard shots and shouts, saw
fleeing figures streaming into their street, along with a choking, stinging wave of tear gas.

Fortunately, they found a dozing taxi driver, jumped into his car, and sped away. “Students
rioting the government,” their host said.
        The night before, sipping drinks on the flower-banked terrace of the Intercontinental
Hotel, 9,500 feet above sea level, and watching tourists in the hotel pool, they listened to an
American tell of the steaming jungles “80 miles from here, and hot! The Indian women wear
nothing above the waist, and you think you’ back in the Stone Age. And suddenly you notice
that some of them are wearing transistor radios dangling over their bare shoulders and are
listening to blaring jazz. You just can’ stop progress.”
        Donald called on progress himself when the MacJannets took the train to Huancayo, 200
miles, 68 tunnels, 55 bridges and 22 zigzags, up and over a 15,000-foot ridge. Sturdy, white-
coated attendants carrying huge balloons of oxygen patrolled the car aisles, and Donald was glad
to accept a few sniffs near the high point. After two days of high fever for Donald they were
forced to flee the high altitude in a rickety car which roared perilously down the rutted mountain
        After further adventures in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil they headed for home,
agreeing with their Brazilian host’ statement as they flew low over São Paulo that “our country
has immense problems, but glorious opportunities.”
        Charlotte slipped away in mid-August, 1996, for two weeks, to preside at the
Panamerican Summer School of Dalcroze Eurythmics at Interlocken, Michigan. In another of
several MacJannet trips to America during the 1960s, Jean Foster recalled, Donald twice gave
evidence that his love of telling Scotch anecdotes rested on a solid base of ingrained thrift. She
and Charlotte had been at Donald for a long time, urging him to buy a new coat to replace one
that they considered less than adequate. Donald finally managed to buy a coat, triumphantly
brought it home and showed it off— and then took the coat back to the store and bought a second-
hand car instead.
        He showed the same firmness about a favorite hat, which Jean and Charlotte considered
much too dirty and battered to be worn. Donald insisted that all it needed was a new hatband.
Suddenly, the hat disappeared, amid dark suspicions on Donald’ part that this was not accidental.
Donald reluctantly bought a new hat. Some months later, the old hat miraculously was found.
Donald got a new hatband, and joyfully resumed wearing it.
        Freed of the many cares and anxieties of the camp by its sale to Gillette at the end of the
1963 season, Donald and Charlotte had cut loose with a burst of travel into new areas in 1964,
preceding the longer trips to Africa and South America in later years. In the spring of 1964 they
enjoyed a spring in Norway and Sweden, celebrating Donald’ 70th birthday at the Royal Yacht

Club in Oslo harbor, while “mother-of-pearly–colored light dripped from the evening sky over
the boats mirrored in the harbor water,” he declared in their annual New Year letter.
        Later that summer, they went behind the Iron Curtain to Prague and then Budapest, on an
overnight decision when the visiting Halseys suggested the trip. Later Donald went to
Yugoslavia on his way to Greece, and then to East Berlin, with what Donald called its “hard,
dreary, stripped-down reality,” with vacant, haunting expressions on the faces of its inhabitants.
But a chance greeting in English to a hotel elevator companion led to unexpectedly pleasant
results, as such moments so often did in Donald’ life.
        The chance conversation led to discovery of Eva Remport, a young, highly-gifted
Hungarian singer, destined for the opera, who at that moment was eeking out a meager life selling
yearbooks and almanacs. Brought to the Geneva Conservatory of Music on a scholarship
provided through Charlotte, she blossomed into a noted concert singer. Her father, a professor,
had called her “the stupidest member of the family, good for nothing but singing.” “Very well, I
will sing,” she replied, but at her first lessons, the teacher said dryly, “no talent.” She persisted,
with private lessons, but finally had to take a sales job to support herself. Then MacJannet
learned of her, and opened a new world— one more of the serendipities that have dotted Donald’s
        Another happy occasion for the MacJannets was a visit in the 1960s from Nadim and
Amin Abuhamad de Tarrazi, a Lebanese couple who had been at the Talloires camp. The
MacJannets felt that their teachings and example had borne fruit when the couple told proudly of
having established vocational schools and summer camps in Lebanon. Amin also joined his
father’ banking business, and was also president of the world organization of the Society of St.
Vincent de Paul.

Chapter 15

“Where to?” the big Russian in his small car seemed to be asking as Donald MacJannet,
accepting the offered ride, climbed into the car, thankful not to have to walk the half mile to the
Moscow subway station after having visited Europe’ highest television tower (1,700 feet).
        “Hotel Rossia,” Donald told the driver, as the man smiled and said “Da, da,” the Russian
yes, yes, showing that he understood.
        Then, a moment later, noting the expensive camera hanging around Donald’ neck, he
frowned, pointed his finger at Donald, and said, “Capitalist?” to his 76-year-old white-bearded
        “Nyet,” Donald replied, his Russian having progressed at least to the Russian for no.
        “Communist?” the driver persisted, hopefully.
        “Nyet,” Donald replied again, and added, with a smile, “Professor.” This neutral,
noncontroversial word brought the smile back to the driver’ face, and they proceeded the dozen
miles to the 6,000-bed Hotel Russia. The man refused Donald’ proffer of a package of
cigarettes, and drove off with a friendly wave. The pack of cigarettes was not accident, though
Donald had never smoked. He knew the value of small gifts to smooth the traveler’ path. He
usually managed to find bits of candy in his pockets for children, and cheered the trips of campers
or students with the quick purchase of cake, gingerbread or fruit.
        Donald and Charlotte had come to Russia July 7, 1970 in a chartered plane with the
French section of the International Society for Music Education, which brought 1,700 delegates
from 40 countries, ranging from Outer Mongolia, Japan and Australia to European and American
groups. The delegates brought with them some 3,500 children and adolescents who would sing,
dance or give concerts at three centers. Donald and Charlotte, delightedly at home in this cultural
exchange smorgasbord, tried to be everywhere at once, aided by their ease in languages. The
MacJannets got quick lessons on Russian differences their very first day. Air time from Paris was
four hours. And another four hours, from Moscow airport until they got to the hotel, were
assigned a room— and found a working elevator to get to it. By that time all the dining rooms
were closed, and a grudging waitress gave them some cold meat and black bread. The hotel
would not give them room numbers of their friends, and help in finding Russians was refused.
Nevertheless, the Intourist guides were always courteous and friendly, and the MacJannets
enjoyed their stay in Moscow.

        Armed with a map that pictured famous buildings, Donald had no trouble getting
directions. His disarming smile, and the basic warmth of his personality charmed the Russians,
who smiled back at him, and pointed the way, He tooks pictures freely of the buildings, and of the
Russian people, too. When he sought Moscow University, a youth guided him down the long
subway escalators to the spotless and ornate station, insisted on paying the five kopeck fare, and
then, knowing some German, poured out a stream of statistics about the 800-foot-tall building,
it’ 65 miles of corridors, 2,000 laboratories, and so on. The student doubted that Donald could
get in without an Intourist pass. Donald showed his elaborate music conference invitation, but
the student said it was “no good.” But when the students crowded into the entrance, waving their
cards, Donald waved a card of his own, and slipped in with the rest.
        Charlotte spent most of her time at the conference, snatching a few moments to eat a
caviar sandwich. They had difficulty choosing among the many concerts offered by groups at the
conference, and on their one free night, finding the Bolshoi Ballet away in New York, watched a
spectacular Russian circus from a ringside seat. Charlotte seized an opportunity to contribute to
expanding the potential of cultural relations by helping to set up a Dalcroze eurythmics
conference to take place in Buenos Aires. She even located an early Dalcroze student in
Moscow. Seeking better understanding of Russian culture, she found a friend who took her to a
university institute on “the scientific study of religion and atheism.” The four professors, and
those attending, exchanged ideas over tea and cakes, “with inconclusive results,” she reported.
(At the airport Donald had winced when he exchanged dollars for rubles at $1.11 each, knowing
that the Geneva black market price was 18 cents, but decided it was a better bargain than 20 years
in Siberia for violating Russia’ tight money controls.)
        Except for flights to America, the Moscow trip was the last major foreign excursion of
the MacJannets. In the winter of 1971 they flew to Madeira and to the Canary Islands for a bit of
warmth and sun, but after a few pleasant days, both came down with Hong Kong flu, and tottered
back to blankets and hot water bottles in Geneva. They also tried hot mineral baths, in Italy and
Germany, at various times, to help ease the pain of Donald’ recurrent bronchitis and arthritis.
After two weeks of such treatments Donald usually declared himself cured, and moved on to
explore more interesting local areas.
        Although they were always eager to get back in the spring to Talloires and the busy life
of the Prieuré, plus the steady summer flow of old friends in touch with the world and its
problems, their winter life in Geneva was equally rich. Their apartment on the third floor at 12,
Rue de l’Hôtel de Ville, a block from the City Hall in the Old Town, was only a five minute walk
from the opera, the finest department store, the Museum of Art and History, and the University

library. An eight minute tour would bring them to Victoria Hall, where on many evenings they
listed to performances by artists like Arthur Rubinstein. A co-op grocery was near at hand, and a
fragrant bake shop, always crowded, where a cheerful baker’ wife and a lilting Geneva-accented
“Merci, Monsieur” when MacJannet stopped by in the morning for hot croissants. Close by, the
bells of St. Pierre Cathedral invited them to Sunday services, where they liked to hear their friend,
Pastor Edmond Rochedieu, a psychologist and professor of comparative religion, who knew how
to “speak to the mind,” as MacJannet termed it.
        “After breakfast,” Donald wrote friends, “I stroll down to the Rhone and watch progress
in the herculean construction of an underlake parking garage,” which eventually removed 1,600
cars from the streets. Unlike many oldsters who moan any change in environment or the pattern
of life, MacJannet was keenly interested in all evidences of change. He studied the city’ plan to
create room for parking of 2,000 more cars by tunneling into the high hill on which the old town
rests. And he was not disturbed by the probability that the venerable St. Pierre Cathedral, built in
1100 A.D., instead of resting on solid rock, would be supported by reinforced concrete pillars of
the parking area to be carved beneath it, “where ill-smelling motor beetles will scurry around in
the hollow labryinth,” he said.
        Donald and Charlotte, in their unobtrusive way, had always helped individuals and small
organizations with financial aid. By 1968, looking for the future, they decided to set up a
foundation to which their far flung circle of friends, former students, and campers could make
tax-deductible gifts. Such an organization, they felt, would give those friends who were so
frequently expressing admiration for the MacJannets’efforts to promote cultural interchange to
participate themselves.
        The Woodworths and Halseys, always consulted on matters like this, were enthusiastic,
and so the MacJannet Foundation, a non-profit group, was incorporated May 22, 1968, at
Bridgeport, Conn., “to ensure the continuation of their educational activities and to further
international goodwill.” Donald started off the foundation with an initial gift of $10,000. He
became president, Charlotte vice president, and James Halsey secretary-treasurer. Old friends
made up the rest of the board of trustees, which got an international flavor with the naming of an
Annecy attorney, and an Italian friend of the MacJannets living in Rome. Howard A. Cook and
Amos Booth naturally found places on the board.
        The first grants, more like “encouragers” than major support, went to groups typifying
the MacJannets’interest in activities like music education and international education. One was
the Centre Musical International d’Annecy, another the Concours Nacional de Piano, organized
by a friend, Elaine Richepin, in Montevideo. Terre des Hommes, Geneva, giving emergency aid

to suffering children, and Tufts’Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, received grants. So did
the organization for training Dalcroze method eurythmics teachers, Charlotte’ long-time project,
and the World Youth Forum, which had just held an alumni reunion at the Prieuré.
        By 1982 contributions since establishment of the Foundation had grown to $248,101—
thanks largely to a gift of $100,000 from MacJannet, and grants rose to 96, during the life of the
organization. Contributors during that time had also increased, to over 600. The fund was now
giving $11,000 a year to the MacJannet Traveling Fellows, undergraduates at Tufts University, to
work and study in France.
        In addition to setting up the MacJannet Foundation, the spring of 1968 was also notable
for the MacJannets and their friends, when President Henry W. Littlefield of the University of
Bridgeport draped a doctoral hood over Donald’ shoulders and he was awarded the honorary
degree of doctor of laws. Lynn and Anita Woodworth, Howard A. Cook and many other
MacJannet friends were on hand for a ceremonial dinner marking the event, and the Woodies
pleased Donald by presenting him with a taped record of the entire proceedings.
        Flying to New England in 1971 in a British jumbo jet, Donald and Charlotte were asked
by the stewardess why they happened to be making the trip. “We are going to the 55th
anniversary of my graduation from Tufts,” MacJannet said proudly. “That calls for a
celebration,” said the stewardess, and produced a bottle of champagne. At Tufts they received a
more substantial surprise, when the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, a graduate division
of Tufts, presented him with a citation in recognition of his long-time interest and support of the
school. In addition to scholarships for Fletcher students, MacJannet had helped to set up a joint
arrangement with the Institut de Hautes Etudes at Geneva to facilitate international study in
        The heart-warming events marked the summer of 1974 for the MacJannets, a year in
which he reached his 80th birthday— and Donald managed to produce a surprise all his own which
delighted the citizens of Talloires. Gatherings of alumni of the MacJannet schools and camps
were held during the winter in Boston, New York, Bridgeport and Washington, D.C., climaxed by
a massive five-day celebration at Talloires in the middle of June, all of them marking the 50th
anniversary of the establishment of the MacJannet schools and camps, as well as Donald’ 80th
birthday. (Technically, the 50th anniversary of the first camp on Lake Annecy did not occur until
the following year, but the celebrants were in no mood to quibble over this slight inaccuracy.)
        The Woodworths showed slides of camp and school scenes, as well as some of Donald’s
movies, at the gatherings in America. James H. Halsey presided at the Talloires celebration,
attended by nearly 300 persons who made the trip to Europe. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,

the celebrated pupil at the Elms school from 1927 through 1929, had written that he would be
proud to be named as honorary chairman of the Talloires gathering, but said pressure of other
duties would prevent his attendance in person. His message to the Talloires gathering read:
         I was delighted to accept the Honorary Chairmanship of the MacJannet Alumni-Friends
Reunion, but I am only sorry that I canno be with all of you to attend the festivities.
         I know everyone attending would wish me to express the pride we all feel at having been
connected with the MacJannets in one way or another.
         I send my best wishes to Donald and Charlotte MacJannet and to Mrs. Jean MacJannet
Foster. May the MacJannet Foundation, which they have so generously endowed, go from
strength to strength.


Jacques de Felice, first French boy at a MacJannet camp (Belle Ile, 1921, and now a Talloires
neighbor) was an honored guest. Others included the prefect and senator of the area, the U.S.
Ambassador to Switzerland, the mayors of Annecy and Talloires, and the Count François de
Menthon and his wife.
         James Halsey, general chairman, presented a volume of 238 letters and tributes to the
         The restoration of the Prieuré, its increasing use as a meeting center for internationally-
oriented gatherings, and the constant comings and going of former campers, students and friends
of the MacJannets had not gone unnoticed by Talloires officialdom.
         After all, Donald MacJannet had acquired the land for the camps on the Angon peninsula
48 years earlier, and his 80th birthday, and the 50th anniversary of the schools and camps had
capped a significant era. Large cities had frequently given special honors to their distinguished
residents. Why couldn’ the 500 or more permanent inhabitants of the village of Talloires do the
same for its noted resident? Accordingly, the municipal council voted unanimously to declare
Donald MacJannet an honorary citizen of Talloires. The same honor was extended to Charlotte,
on the grounds that her work was inseparable from his. A Saturday night, October 5, 1974, was
set for the presentation of the honor, and all of the villagers were invited, plus a few dignitaries
from the area.
         The reporter for Le Dauphine, which covers the French Alps area, pulled out all the stops
in an almost lyrical description of the occasion, including the special surprise MacJannet had
prepared for the inhabitants. MacJannet, termed “ce grand ecogriffe americain” (literally, “this

noble bold man who acts without asking first”) “in the community which he loved so dearly, was
showered with praises by the mayor and former mayor of Talloires, was given an exceptional
evening which he will ‘mark with a white stone’in the annals of his life. The affair was as warm
and friendly as the recent reunion celebrating his 80th birthday and the 50th anniversary that
friends from all the corners of the earth took part in.”
        M. Tiffenat, former mayor of Talloires, sketched the history of the MacJannets for the
audience, telling of the establishment of the schools and camps, and declaring that the
MacJannets had worked constantly to advance the prestige of Talloires. And as for the Prieuré,”
said M. Tiffenat, “that cultural and artistic haven, what artist, what learned man, what
philosopher, has not brought a tribute stone to add to the edifice in honor of the art and the
universal peace which are the goals of Mr. and Mrs. MacJannet?”
        Mayor Joseph Burdeyron then took up the story, pointing out that the award of honorary
citizenship had been created by the municipal council in recognition of the fact that the
MacJannet activities had spread the fame of Talloires far and wide, and the MacJannets, through
the camps for children, had carried out their goal of promoting better understanding through
having children of many nations live side by side.
        After sketching MacJannet’ life history, Mayor Burdeyron pointed to MacJannet’s
action in making the camps available to house French war orphans. Immediately after the
liberation of France, MacJannet produced a film, widely shown in American universities and
elsewhere, “which presented the true face of France at work reconstructing and producing.”
        At this point the mayor, resplendant in his tricolor sash of office, presented the certificate
of honorary citizenship to Mr. and Mrs. MacJannet, who had been sitting side by side. And now
it was MacJannet’ turn to surprise the gathering with his own gift. The reported continued the
story in these words:
But Mr. MacJannet had prepared a surprise for the inhabitants of Talloires. He presented them
with a film with images of extraordinary quality, giving both a history of the Angon camps and an
anecdotal account of the Talloires community. The villagers could see again the marvelous
scenic delights of the area, with less emphasis, to be sure, on buildings, but full of the daily
activities and gestures of the inhabitants. Here were scenes of hay making, the grape harvest,
potato digging, threshing, the life of local business establishments, and craftsmen’ workshops.
        But it was especially the pictured faces which attracted the spectators, and drew
comments full of delight and astonishment. There were faces of youngsters, and of older
residents of Talloires, some going back 30 years or more. As the film unrolled its story, one

could pick out a familiar face of a merchant, or a farmer, or a youngster playing in the village
          It was truly an old family album that the Talloires inhabitants were leafing through Mr.
MacJannet, together with scenes of the young campers, who themselves constituted a big family.

During the showing of the film MacJannet had accompanied it with a running account of the
history of the camp, and pointed out some of the youths in the pictures who had later moved on to
positions of power and fame, such as “a big blond youth making faces at the camera,” who later
became Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and husband of Queen Elizabeth II. (Philip, however,
had never been at the camp, MacJannet pointed out.)
          The film was an instant hit with Talloires residents, and MacJannet had to show it several
times later, always to the delighted shouts of the viewers, who would voice comments like
       s                 s
“There’ grandpa!” “There’ Uncle Henri in the hayfield,” and the like.
          MacJannet had done a masterly job of clipping and stitching, from the miles of film he
had taken during 40 years. “There were over 100 splices from various films, and it took an
infinite amount of time and patience, but it was worth it,” MacJannet wrote the Woodies
          The stream of visitors remained strong all through the ’70s. Donald spent much of the
time after the 50th anniversary of the school and his own 80th birthday sending thank-you notes to
the hundreds who had sent congratulatory messages, but with his typical ingenuity Xeroxed a
handwritten acknowledgement containing much of what he wanted to say, leaving room for the
saultation and a “personalized” paragraph. “You can hardly tell the difference,” he boasted in a
sample to the Woodies, crossing out the Donald signature and writing in “Donnie,” the name used
by his closest intimates.
          An example of how MacJannet kept in touch— and inspired— at all stages of a person’s
life is presented by the Thackara family. The Thackaras, descendants of General William
Tecomseh (“war is hell”) Sherman, lived four years in Sevres, near St. Cloud, and the two boys
went to the Elms School. Eleanor Thackara remembered seeing her brother in a wig, playing in
Molière’ “Medicin Malgré Lui,” and being jealous, and as a six-year-old girl she had been
rescued and whirled round the ice at the Palais de Glace in Paris, when MacJannet saw her in
distress in the crowds. She also remembered riding on the shoulder of “that wonderful red-haired
giant” when the family went to the Talloires camp to pick up the boys in the fall.
          In recent taped recollections Eleanor, now Mrs. Ralph Campagna of Canterbury,
Connecticut, told of seeing MacJannet in America in 1946, two days before her wedding (when

he managed a bit of fatherly advice). The next occasion was in 1968, when the Campagnas and
their 15-year-old daughter Rachel stopped at the Prieuré. While he was showing them around,
                             s                                        ll
the cook shouted that “there’ no cheese, and nothing for a salad.” “I’ get some grapes,”
MacJannet shouted back. “They’ inedible,” said the cook, determined not to be comforted.
“I’ get some anyway,” said MacJannet, already mounting a ladder toward the Prieuré eaves.
“He’ fall and break a hip,” the shout went up, but MacJannet, unperturbed at 74, went on
snipping clusters of grapes and dropping them downward.
        Naturally, MacJannet pressed husband Ralph Campagna into service, and he raised the
level of the massive fireplace in the grand hall of the Prieuré to stop it’ smoking, tinting the
concrete to match the color of the stone mantle of the Renaissance fireplace. On a shopping trip
to the arcaded streets of Annecy Ralph Campagna was amused when the thrifty MacJannet said
that croissants would be nice, but he “couldn’ afford them” for breakfast. Rachel followed
MacJannet with pad and pencil, putting down the price of everything, at his request.
        “I would say of Donald MacJannet,” Eleanor Campagna said, “that he is interested in
everything, and appears to enjoy everything, as if he were seeing it for the first time, and wants to
share it with whoever is around. Everything is forever new and forever young.”
        Eleanor’ brother Alexander Thackara, now of Laguna Beach, California, in a telephone
conversation reported that Donald and Jean Foster, who had traveled across the country by bus,
visited his home on New Year’ Day, 1972. With some 25 Thackara neighbors Donald sat in
front of the Thackaras’new color television set, watching the Rose Bowl parade, which
                                                         ve                        m
enchanted Donald, who had never seen color TV before. “I’ had enough of the bus. I’ going
back by plane or train,” said Jean. But Donald went back by bus.
        How did MacJannet, in his old age, look to the very young? He gave Don Cook, one of
the five children of Howard A. Cook (known as “Hooky” when he was a pupil and camper in the
’20s), a strobe flash at the end of the 1958 camping season. Don Cook recalled it, writing for
Donald’ 75th birthday, and continued:
Do you remember the little boy who was incontinent the summer I spent at Talloires? You
removed him from his cabin and placed him in mine. You felt that if he were given more
sympathetic treatment his problem would disappear. This was one of a series of events that
summer that helped me build confidence in myself. And when I led a mountain hike you said
“Listen to Don as you climb. He has a lot of experience as a mountaineer.” That confidence you
were so instrumental in building . . . was invaluable to me when I began to roam the world,
especially as I began to teach.

        And Belinda Douglas, of Annapolis, Maryland, just out of high school in 1977, helping
the MacJannets at the Prieuré and in Geneva, wrote of watching from a mountainside as the lights
of Annecy twinkled in the hazy twilight, and MacJannet
pressed upon me with gentle intensity the importance of making decisions with integrity. “Every
action either builds or wears down your moral conscience,” he told me. Do what will be
honorable in your own eyes and in the eyes of others. Do not settle for mediocrity when
excellence is within your grasp.
        Mr. Mac asked me about my “young man” of the moment, and smiled as I described him.
In his kind and loving way, he told me to choose a young man of character, who would spend his
energy in service of others. “And finally,” Mr. Mac told me, “be sure he has a sense of humor.”
        Now, five years later, I find myself weighing many of my decisions by thinking, “What
would Mr. Mac do? Would he be proud of me if I were to do this?”
        The MacJannets are my heroes; yet I remember their humanness with great fondness.
Once, when the cellar of the Prieuré was rat-infested, Mr. Mac set traps. As the days wore on, he
would emerge triumphantly from the basement, swinging his dead trophy by the tail for
inspection and praise from our bemused luncheon guests.
        Mr. Mac delighted in telling shaggy dog stories and jokes during long evenings around
the supper table. It was through these that I formed my definition of true love: after 50 years,
Mrs. Mac would still get the same anticipatory twinkle in her eyes that Mr. Mac had at the telling
of them, and she would laugh or groan as appreciatively as if she were hearing them for the first

        Back to Tufts for the 60th anniversary of his graduation, Donald found the ranks of his
class noticeably thinned, but got the same renewal of spirit and vigor that contact with his alma
mater always seemed to give him. Like Antaeus of Greek mythology who was invincible as long
as his strength was renewed by touching his mother Earth, MacJannet drew strength from Tufts,
and especially from association with young people. Earlier, in that spring of 1966 MacJannet
received a letter from Jonathan Daniels, now retired after succeeding his father as editor of the
Raleigh, N.C. News and Observer. Daniels was the only one of his St. Albans pupils that Donald
had remained in touch with. “It would be fun to see you again, not in the master-pupil
relationship but as equals in old age, and I would like to share a bottle with you,” Daniel wrote,
apparently unaware that Donald drank very sparingly.
        In the spring of 1977 Donald and Charlotte went to Paris to consult American and French
authorities and other persons about putting the Prieuré on a firmer footing by turning it over, very

probably to Tufts University, “after we are no longer here,” MacJannet wrote to the Woodworths,
using his customary phrase for the inevitable future. He recovered rapidly from a gall bladder
removal operation, and he and Charlotte were delighted to attend the jubilee celebration of Queen
Elizabeth II’ accession to the throne at a July 19 garden party at Buckingham Palace. Philip’s
aide had written, saying the prince wanted a 15-minute private meeting with the MacJannets
before the party, but they left Geneva before the invitation arrived. However, MacJannet posted
himself in the garden path that he had learned the prince would take, and they had a brief chat.
        Donald, Charlotte, and Jean Foster had also attended a formal reception in the Louvre
given for the queen in 1957. MacJannet thought that he and Charlotte and Jean were the only
Americans present besides Art Buchwald, the ubiquitous Paris columnist at that time for the New
York Herald-Tribune. MacJannet, after a brief handshake, went to another flower-encrusted
room which the prince later entered. Spotting MacJannet, he said with a smile, “You again! No
wonder I thought this place seemed unusually crowded.” Donald and Charlotte had also attended
the Coronation of Elizabeth. All three of the events they attended were at Philip’ invitation.
        A grievous double blow struck Donald and Charlotte MacJannet and Jean Foster in 1978,
with the deaths of Col. Lynn F. Woodworth and retired Chancellor James H. Halsey. Together
with their wives, they had been the closest intimates and supporters for more than 50 years. The
Woodies, mainstays in the operation of the pre-war camps, continued afterwards as a rallying
point for school and camp alumni in America, a constant sounding board for ideas and projects.
The Halseys, in Bridgeport, and as leaders in the MacJannet Foundation, gave life and wider
extension through their international programs to the MacJannet goals of better international
understanding and world peace.
        While the Prieuré’ summer program of lectures, concerts, and conferences going on, a
new project engaged the attention of the MacJannets. Anita Woodworth suggested, through
Howard A. Cook, the establishment of a Lynn Frank Woodworth Memorial Library at the
Prieuré, in memory of Woody, who had died May 9. She said that it should be “a library of
substance, specializing in reference books, source volumes and bibliography for the researching
student, and embracing French and other languages.” The library began to take shape the
following year, with Woody’ name over the door, and two busts, of Woody and Anita, flanking a
framed brief biography of Col. Woodworth. Donald and Charlotte had promptly welcomed the
idea as an excellent project for the MacJannet Foundation. They had already determined to give
the Prieuré to Tufts University, and had begun the preliminaries for the complicated legal steps

        In mid-November 1978 President Jean Mayer of Tufts, himself a native of France, as well
as being a noted authority on nutrition, announced the MacJannets’gift of the Prieuré. He also
said Tufts would sponsor an international conference on world hunger to be held at the Prieuré in
early 1979, where “specialists from western European countries will exchange views on assisting
poorer countries in terms of agriculture and nutrition.” The topic became a continuing theme of
the Yves Biraud seminars held in the Prieuré.
        In recognition of the MacJannets’life-long work, Tufts awarded honorary degrees to
them, which were conferred at the Prieuré in ceremonies Sunday, May 27, 1979, the day before
Donald’ 85th birthday. To mark the importance of the occasion, Raymond Barre, premier of
France, was present and presided over part of the proceedings inaugurating the Tufts Center for
European Studies. In the Grand Hall of the Prieuré, President Mayer presented the honorary
doctorate in humane letters to Donald MacJannet, and an honorary Master of Arts degree to
Charlotte. Signifying the new, closer relationship of Tufts University to France, several other
Tufts degrees were conferred on French and other European citizens. President Mayer pointed
out the growing importance of the Tufts role in Europe. “Contacts merely among universities are
no longer sufficient for the survival of the modern world,” he declared. For that reason, he
continued, Tufts had set up programs in Paris, London, Barcelona, Tubingen, Geneva, “and now,
        Premier Barre in his discourse acknowledged the threats posed to survival in the world,
but declared himself optimistic in view of the capacity of human intelligence to find solutions to
the problem of limited resources and boundless demands upon them. He hailed the establishment
of the Tufts Center for European Studies as a further sign of the friendship between France and
America, and cited his own familiarity with American universities.
        Other degrees from Tufts were doctor of laws degree to Mlle. Colette Flesch, mayor of
Luxembourg and former Tufts student, and to Henry J. Leir, American industrialist in
Luxembourg and honorary consul general of Luxembourg at Lausanne. Charles Merieux,
president of the Merieux Foundation at Lyons, an organization which had participated in various
Prieuré conferences, received a doctor of science award. The Merieux Foundation had begun
paying a large share of the overhead expenses of the Prieuré. Among the scores of MacJannet
friends and others attending the ceremonies were M. Philips, prefect of the Rhone-Alps region,
and the parliamentary delegates of the area.
        The summer program of conferences, concerts, and colloquiums had already begun at the
Prieuré, and MacJannet, as usual, attended most of the sessions. Prof. Seymour C. Simches, head

of the Tufts French department, named director of the Tufts Center for European Studies, was on
hand, preparing for the arrival of the first students the following year.
        The colloquy on world hunger problems promised by President Mayer in announcing the
gift of the Prieuré was duly held. A followup conference in May 1980 brought 30 leading
nutritionists to the Prieuré under the leadership of Prof. H. N. Munro of the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology for four days of discussions on nutrition and the aging process. Munro,
perhaps thinking of the immensity of the problem, was reported in Le Dauphine as saying that the
conferees were unanimous on only two points: “There are no miracle diets, and— too many
conferences are bad for our health.”
        A new organization, calling itself the “Groupe de Talloires,” headed by German, Swiss,
and Luxembourg industrialists, began sponsoring meetings at the Prieuré in 1980 and set up an
annual award of $10,000 to be given to “an accomplished generalist in our contemporary world of
specialists.” The Groupe de Talloires said it chose the Prieuré for its gatherings because of the
serious, yet welcoming atmosphere created by their hosts, Mr. and Mrs. MacJannet.
        The group summoned some 40 academic and industrial economists to grapple with the
first year’ topic: “Aspirations for change in industrial societies.” The first recipients, who
shared the award, were American political writer Harland Cleveland and French economic writer
Bertrand de Jouvenel. President Jean Mayer of Tufts welcomed the conferees.
        MacJannet was ecstatic in May 1981 when a world conference on press freedom landed
the Prieuré on page one of the New York Times. All major Western and some Third World news
organizations took part in the conference, brought together through Freedom House, an American
private group. Their meeting resulted in what became known as the “Declaration of Talloires.”
Leonard Sussman, executive director of Freedom House, writing in the Wall Street Journal,
called it a counterattack against the effort of Marxist-Leninist and some Third World countries
who have mounted a ten-year effort through UNESCO to “constrain or otherwise discourage the
reporting of information they consider detrimental or embarrassing,” in the words of the
declaration. The Declaration concluded:
We believe that the state exists for the individual and has a duty to uphold individual rights. We
believe that the ultimate definition of a free press lies not in the actions of governments or
international bodies, but rather in the professionalism, vigor and courage of individual journalists.

The MacJannets by now were living in a small chalet at the top of the slope of the Prieuré
grounds. Donald had been in the hospital in 1980 for a renewed gallstone attack. Early in the
spring of 1981 he suffered a gash on his forehead and a fractured skull when he slipped on the

marble floor of the Prieuré. Rushed unconscious to a Geneva hospital, he slowly recovered. By
the end of May he was back in Talloires, once again keeping a close eye on the Prieuré. Tufts
had begun holding some undergraduate classes at the Prieuré, but the MacJannets still guided
much of the summer program of meetings of organizations, and the relaxation classes for
business and professional people conducted by Gerda Alexander.
Every morning MacJannet, a jaunty, upright figure, now steadied by a light cane, strolled down to
the Prieuré “to see what was going on.” Charlotte was usually there ahead of him, making sure
arrangements were complete for meetings, and ready to greet visitors at the head of the stairs.
Donald, and sometimes Charlotte, usually rested an hour or so at the Prieuré after lunch there.
Donald, his sharp eyes noticing everything, worried about floods in the spring which sometimes
washed over the cellar floors. Tufts was putting in $50,000 worth of new wiring to bring the
now-public building up to code. He wrote Anita Woodworth that “an enormous burden” had
been lifted from his shoulders when Phillip Rich, son of the former counselor John Oliver Rich,
came to work for the summer at the Prieuré. While he enjoyed getting acquainted with the Tufts
students (some 70 of them now came each June for an intensive five-week language and
orientation session, and living with French families in the neighborhood before going to other
institutions), he fretted over the occasional thoughtless damage they inflicted on his beloved
building. “Look at that loose handrail, ready to fall off, but nobody bothers to fix it.” But he
attended the lectures and concerts with his old zest, and was constantly refreshed by the stream of
camp and school alumni visitors.
When the MacJannets had bought the Prieuré in 1958 Charlotte had hoped that the building
would give Donald something to do “that would be a passion for him.” It was obvious that while
Tufts might now hold title to the building, MacJannet remained its spiritual possessor— still
passionate about the Prieuré on which he had labored so long, and about the goals for which he
had helped to make it a symbol.
One of his most persistent goals remained the stimulation of young people to enlarge their
horizons and set their own goals higher. In early July 1982 he took Katherine Aitken, one of the
author’ granddaughters, for tea and crumpets at Talloires’famous Michelin three-star restaurant,
Père Bise, with prices to match. Katherine had just begun work as an au pair girl with a French
family living close to the MacJannets’chalet— arranged, of course, through the good offices of
the MacJannets. Susan, a daughter of the author’ (and the same age as Katherine, 19), had been
a counselor at the MacJannet camp in 1953; thus Katherine was the third generation to come
under the MacJannet influence).

In a letter to her parents, Donald and Elizabeth Aitken, Katherine said she had been a bit lonely at
first, expressed awe at the Père Bise prices, and continued:
But it was fun, and the food was excellent. Mr. Mac told me proudly that I could now say I had
been a guest at Le Père Bise. What a sweet man he is. He has done a good thing for me, too, in
opening my eyes to the fact that I can’ just be lonely. I have to make good use of the time I have
here. We sat down, and he said “OK, tell me your objectives. What do you want to get out of
this time here?” I think you could say, he has acted like a roman candle.


April 17, Father, Robert McJannet, born, Ayr, Scotland

Emigrated to Canada with parents, four brothers and sisters

Graduated from McGill University School of Theology, Ordained Baptist Minister

Sept. 9, Married Irene Flint Waters, born in Waterville, Maine,

       1889     Aug. 9, Josephine born, Mashpee, Mass.

1892            July 27, Malcolm born

1894            May 28, Donald Ross born, Sterling, Mass.

1896            Sherwood born, Peakes Island, Maine (Died in teens)

1899     Family reunited at Holyoke, Mass., after a year during which mother work and children
were boarded out

1901     Moved to Willaimsburg

1902     July 1, Jean born, Williamsburg, Mass.

1901–5 Family lived successively in Williamsburg and Northampton, Mass.

1905–7 In Westfield, Mass.

1907–9 In Hyannis, Cape Cod, Mass. Worked as night telephone operator, other odd jobs.

1909       Aug. 6, Father died, mother institutionalized. Donald went to live at home of Mrs.
Marian Mitchell, member of Plymouth Brethren group; Jean to home of another of Father’s
              At 15, Donald became sole support of Mrs. Mitchell, a widow, and her young son, as
well as himself. Worked as gas meter reader, night telephone operator, and other jobs.

1910       At Medford High School. Invited by Rosewell B. Lawrence to join group of boys for
winter sports and to Three Mile Island, Lake Winnipesaukee.
1912       Graduated Medford High School as valedictorian; broke high school summer long
distance runner record. In July, sold at Westfield Standard Dictionary of Facts
              Entered Tufts College, studying chemistry, physics, mathematics.

1914       Changed major of study to Latin, French, German, and Spanish. Won letter in track,
1912–16, sexton at Medford Universalist Church. Member, Tufts Glee Club, debating society,
each july, sold aluminum kitchenware, in August, waiter at Three Mile Island

1915       Junior year, elected Phi Beta Kappa

1916       St. Albans School for Boys, Washington, D.C.

1917       Harvard Summer School for French, five weeks; in August, hut master for Appalachian
Mountain club at Mt. Madison. Continued at St. Albans, but enlisted in Aviation section of U.S.
Army Signal Corps, with promise to teach until called up. Supported sister Jean at Whittier
School, Mass.

1918       June 15, ordered to Princeton by Army, graduated first in ground school training class of
200, reduced to 57 at graduation. (Fall, Jean enters Northfield Seminary.) Donald at various
camps, wins “observer” rating.

1919                                  s
           May, discharged with pilot’ wings and “bomber” rating, as second lieutenant in reserve;
works in wheat harvest and as cook at Pike’ Peak.
              Returns in September to St. Alban’ as head, modern languages

1920    July, to Europe as assistant guide for a youth group— England, France, Italy. Entered
Sorbonne in fall, after touring Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Holland. Supported self and Jean
by tutoring American youths

1921    Held first American summer camp in Europe at Belle Ile.

1922    Continued at Sorbonne, joined by Jean in June. Summer, assistant to Maurice C. Blake at
his camp on Lake Bourget; Jean stayed with American-French family near camp. In fall,
registered at University at Bonn. Wintered in Bonn, with Jean.

1923    Summer at Blake camp. Fall, with Jean, joined Paul de Rosay and his wife in opening
the Auteuil Day School, first American preparatory school in France.

1924    Summer, camping trip to Norway, Scotland, Lake district, with Matthew Baird and group
of American boys. September, opened the Elms, with Jean, as boarding and day school. At
Christmas, took group to Chamonix for winter sports.

1925    Fall, opened Trocadero School under Agnes Rollit Wood for grades 1–3.
First camp on Lake Annecy, at Veyrier. Found and purchased site at Angon on Lake Annecy the
following year.

1926    Summer, moved camp to Angon site, Lynn F. Woodworth as executive director.
Woodworth and Emory Foster taught in fall for academic year.

1927    Easter holidays tour with students, some parents, to North Africa. James H. Halsey
arrives at camp, teaches at school. Fall, Prince Philip enters the Elms school. Mrs. Dorothy
Huckle directs lower grades. Emory Foster takes charge of Trocadero School.

1928    Mrs. Huckle opens MacJannet Riviera school near Cannes.

1929    Sept. 10, Jean and Emory Foster marry, in civil ceremony at Talloires and religious
services in St. Pierre Cathedral, Geneva. Catherine Pegg joins staff. Many Americans leave
France after Wall Street crash.

1931      First Boy Scout troop organized by MacJannet School teachers.

1932      Summer. Met Charlotte Blensdorf at conference of New Education Fellowship in Nice.
Married at Marlylebone town hall, London, Nov. 5.

1933      Honeymoon in Spain during Easter vacation. June, received honorary Master of Arts
degree from Tufts.

1934      Cruise to Greece.

1936      December to March, 1937. Traveled with Charlotte to Massachusetts and Southern

1938      Awarded Cross of French Legion of Honor. Trip to Egypt. April 24, Emory Foster dies
at Chenonceau while on Easter vacation with Jean.

1939      Last pre-war camp at Talloires. Fall, school continued at Talloires when French forbid
continuance of St. Cloud School because of war.

1940      French forbid school to continue at Talloires. Donald closes St. Cloud School, destroys
records. June, Donald and Charlotte flee to Genoa, take “bombed” refugee-filled ship to
America. Camp turned over to Quakers to house French war orphans. MacJannets raise money
in U.S. to support camp. Arrange with Averill Harriman to establish MacJannet Alpine School in
Sun Valley. Arrive there Christmas Eve.

1941      Jan. 18, Open Sun Valley School and Camp. Continue fundraising for Talloires war
orphan camp.

1942      Fall. Warned that Navy would take over Sun Valley facilities for hospital use, Donald
investigates Caracas, Venezuela as possible school site, on invitation of Jean— decides against it.

1943    Donald and Charlotte go to Washington, where Donald supervises South Americans
training for civil aviation; Charlotte leads group training foreign diplomats’wives for post-war
rehabilitation of their countries.

1944    On invitation of Leonard Carmichael, president of Tufts University, MacJannets move to
Arlington, Mass., where Donald serves as fundraiser for relocation of Tufts medical and dental
schools until 1951.

1945    August–September. Returned to France, found camp gutted by Nazis, refugees.
Arranged for restoration. Made Film, “France Rebuilds.” Found and relocated Charlotte’s
parents in Germany.

1946    On three-months leave from Tufts for French refugee camp with volunteer American
counselors, raised funds in U.S. for support. French children “with leadership potential” invited.

1949    American children admitted for half of camp places.

1951    Six months leave of absence without pay from Tufts.

1952                                                s
        Spring. Did not accept President Carmichael’ invitation to return to Tufts.

1953    By invitation of Prince Philip, attended coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

1955    Attended French school “to learn how to run a camp.”

1957    Attended, with Charlotte and Jean, French government reception at Louvre for Queen

1958    Bought Le Prieuré; began restoring it in spare time. October–February 1959— Round the
world tour with Charlotte and Jean; Japan, Philippines, Thailand, India, Israel, Greece.
   Camp continues, for Americans and other nationalities (one year, 17 nationalities).

1963             Camp sold to Gillette Co. for training of athletes of all sports.

1964            MacJannet technically “retires,” celebrates 70th birthday.

1965            February–March. Donald tours Africa.

1966    Tours South America with Charlotte. Attends 50th graduation anniversary at Tufts.
           MacJannet Foundation established. Receives honorary doctorate from University of
Bridgeport, Conn. First “Entretien de Talloires” held at Prieuré.

1971    Visits Moscow. Citation from Tufts Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy.

1974    Fiftieth anniversary celebration of MacJannet schools and camps. Celebrates 80th
birthday. Made “First Honorary Citizen of Talloires.”

1976    Attends Tufts’60th anniversary of graduation.

1977                                                      s
        Attends, with Charlotte and Jean, Queen Elizabeth’ Jubilee in London, July 19.

1978    Gives Prieuré to Tufts as Center for European Studies.

1979    In ceremonies at Prieuré awarded Tufts honorary degree as Doctor of Humane Letters.
Charlotte awarded honorary Master of Arts degree.
           Undergraduate courses at Tufts Center for European Studies begin.

1980    Hospitalized for gall stones.

1981    Fractures skull in fall at Le Prieuré. Recovers in Geneva hospital.

1982    Resumes “superintending” building and program at Le Prieuré.


Aitken, Donald, Elizabeth, Katherine, 310
Alexander, Gerda, eurythmics teacher, 250, 270
Alice, Princess, Prince Philip’ mother, 85
Andrew, Prince, Philip’ father, 84
Aiglon, boys’camp, 98
Allouette, girls’camp, 98
Angon, campsite found, 98              fire at town of, 104–105
Annecy Junior Camp, 99


Bakeman, George, aided film, 225
Baird, Andrew, friend of Rev. Robert MacJannet, 27
Baird, Matthew III, 71–72
Bamboo pipe making, 107
Barre, French premier, 306
Barclay, Priscilla, crafts teacher, 272, memoir, 197
Beards, change Gillette camp, 251
Belle Ile camp, 60–62
Bernard, Saint, 111
Bernhardt, Sarah, 61
Baker, Josephine, dancer, 98
Bird, Charles Sumner, aids war orphan camp, 227
Bird, Christopher, author, 83–A, counselor, 228, 232

Bird, David, counselor, 228–233
Biraud, Yves, at Bourget, 65, memorial seminar, 273
Bise, George, restauranteur, 220

Bise, Georgette, wedding, 220
Blake, Maurice C., Bourget camp owner, 63–65
Blensdorf, Charlotte, see MacJannet, Charlotte
Blensdorf, Otto, 214–216
Bloomers, gendarmes object to, 97
Boissert, Albert, aids MacJannet, 133, 138, reports on camp, 219
Boody, William, advises MacJannet, 25
Booth, Amos, counselor, 9, MacJannet Foundation trustee, 292, on MacJannet’ energy, 248–
249, 261
Bourget Lake camp, 64–66
Boyle, Kaye, author, 138
Brenan, Gerald, author, 5
Bullitt, William, ambassador, 83
Burdeyron, Joseph, Talloires mayor, 297
Bushnell, Robert, tells of hay mattresses, 104
Byrne, Mrs. Horace, see McGowan, Eleanor
Breidenthal, Ruth (“Breidy”), counselor, memoir, 199–200
Bourbon, Anne de, 87-B
Bourbon, Jacques de, 87-B
Bowles, blind Tufts professor, 40
Bouët, Jean-Louis (“Swissy”), memoir, 191–196


Camps— campfires, 192–193; chalets replace tents, 117; co-ed camps more difficult, but worth it,
199; contests— “beat your own record,” 106–107; crafts, 107; discipline, 113; “diving helmet”
pail, 114; emergency protection, 120-A; farmers’fears, 105; “fêtes champêtres,” 116;
fundraising, 153; flag salutes, 102–103; honor trips, 191–192; letters to parents, 120; lodge, 101;
manners, 105; mountain climb, 114–115; as nationality mixer, 103; newspaper, 121; orientation,
106; pageants, 111–114; pier— Woody “drives” posts, 101; pyramid stunt; rain— coping with,
102; skirts— required by gendarmes, 97; songs, 102; camp sold to Gillette, 250–251; tent
platforms paddled, 100; train trip to Paris, 118; water safety, 120-A
Capiani, Mary, Charlotte’ music teacher, 217
Campagna, Mrs. Ralph, see Thackers, Eleanor
Campagna, Rachel, 300
Canaday, John, 6
Carmichael, Leonard, Tufts president, 147; asks MacJannet to return, 150–151; tribute to
MacJannet, 155–156
Cars, requisitioned in war, 134
Carroll, Mitchell, friend at Bonn, 66
Cathedral Boys’School, see St. Albans School
Chaba, Paul, paints “September Morn,” 253
Citroën factory visit, 78
Challis, Lucy, Elms teacher, 83
Chamberlain, Phyllis, counselor–composer–pianist, 102
Charles, Prince of Wales, 86, 88-A
Charlot, Gerard, postwar camper, writes, 139–240
Chatfield-Taylor, Hobart, Red Cross agent in Paris, 135
Cigarettes, as “money,” 228
“City of Portland” ship disaster, 16
Children, as “deforming experience,” 139; avoiding choices by, 78
Constantine, King of Greece, 84
Church, William H., St. Albans head-master 42
Cook, Donald, 301

Cook, Howard A., in Dijon accident, 100; on MacJannet’ energy, 73; MacJannet Foundation
trustee, 292
Cox, Oscar, counselor, 100; speeds aid to postwar camp, 220
Costs, keeping low at schools, 80
Counselor exchange program, 271
Crafts, at Prieuré, 272
Crane, Dr. A. A., views on World War I, 45
Culbert, Theodore, wrestles Philip, 88
Curray, Dr. Alida Gale, 248
Chalets replace camp tents, 117


Daniels, Jonathan, St. Albans pupil, 43; letter to MacJannet, 302
Dechanet, L., postwar camp parent, 240
Declaration at Talloires, on press freedom, 307
Dental aid, from Tufts, 208–209
Dent de Lanfon, 115
DeRosay, Paul G., Auteuil school founder with MacJannet, keeps Elms tuition, 73
DeVismes, Eric, counselor, 115–118
Dimnet, Abbé Ernest, 83
Discipline, at Elms, 91; in classrooms, 44; at camp, 106–107
Dougall, William S., on “twos-ing,” tea water, singing, 242–243
Douglas, Binda, true love, defined, 301
Drawbridge incident, 1–2
Duke of Edinburgh, see Philip
Duncan, Isadora, dancer, 83–84
Duncan, Raymond, poet, 83
Durant, Albert, 83-A
Durkee, Frank, Tufts chemistry professor, 35


Earhart, Amelia, flier, 83
Eastern Europeans increase at camp, 127
Edge, Walter, ambassador, 83
Education— advice, when not to give, 178; discipline, as inspiration, 173; example, teaching by,
174; failure, preventing, 186–187; flower, lesson in a, 161–164; goals, planting of, 173; grading,
making it positive, 131; interest, how to provoke, 170-A–170-B; leadership, hazards of, 131–132;
the past, connecting to, 170; property, promoting respect for, 194; rules, as stimulant, 191;
teachers, how to treat, 79; values, inculcating, 172
Eisenhower, David, 88-A
Eisenhower, Dwight D.— Malcolm MacJannet’ record cleared by, 37; takes Woodworth
typewriter to Washington, 47; orders Woodworth to draft integration plan, 203
Eisenhower, John, pupil, 84
Eliade, Professor Mercia, 179
Elizabeth II, Queen, 84, 87-A
Elms School— founded, 70; normal day, 72–75; closed by war, 132–134; as social center, 87;
Elms at Talloires, 132–133
“Entretiens de Talloires,” 274
Ethnic scholarships, pushed by Halsey, 210


Farrell, Tony, memoir, 166
Faverges, camp at, 227
Fay, Charles, Tufts French Professor, 41
Felice, Jacques de, first French camper, 62, 294
Fitzpatrick, Clara, 20, 21
Flag ceremony, camp, 194
Fleisher, Susan, on teamwork, 231
Food frauds, 21
Ford schoolbus, in accident; aided by enema, 170-B
Foreign students, at Elms and camp, 76

Foster, Emory— biography, 205–207; joins Elms staff, 88-A, 88-B, 91; kidnapping incident, 88-
A–90; sings at camp, 196
Foster, Mrs. Jean (MacJannet)— biography, 205–207; at Bonn, 66; Elms School, readies for use,
72; marries Emory Foster, ???; hostess at Elms, 52; Philip’ ears, cleaned, 87-B; tours Paris, 63;
at Veyrier camp, 98; in Venezuela, 207; picks postwar campers, 241
Franc, declines, 94
“France Rebuilds,” MacJannet film, 225
French— children, admitted to camp, 102–103; language required at meals, 102; MacJannet, ties
with, 76
Funds, for Quaker camp, ???; New England camps, 192; smuggled to Talloires, 132


Gandhi, Indira Nehru— at camp, 110; started India camps, ???; hostess to MacJannets, 268–269
Game favorite, postwar camp— “La Résistance,” 234
Gannon, David, Lake Dwellers explorer, 114
God, why deal with, 224
Gouraud, Gen. Henri, gives books to Elms, 83
Grenfell, Dr. Wilfred, 82
Grenfell, William T., counselor, 266
George III, King, 86
George VI, King, 86
German, Charles, counselor, 100
Gillette Co., buys camp, 251
Grew, Joseph, U.S. ambassador, 109
Groupe de Talloires, 307
Guzee, Hjalmer, Swedish writer, 216
Gonze, Belgian counselor, 233


Halsey, James H. and Julie— biographies, 208–211; at camp, 115–116; takes over counselor
exchange, ???; starts ethnic scholarships, 271; favors expansion of MacJannet schools, 95–96; at
postwar camp, 241; death, 304
Halsey, James H., Jr.— objects to swearing, 245; works on Prieuré, 257
Haight, Mabel Jackson, MacJannet kin, 281
Harrington, Rufus, urges MacJannet to study chemistry, 28
Harriman, W. Arverell, wanted school at Sun Valley, 143
Harts, Cynthia, counselor, 119
Hayes, Eliot, Tufts classmate, 34, 40
Health inspection— by French, rids camp of nuisance, 181–182
Herrick, Myron T., ambassador, Elms speaker, 75
Hopkins, Prynce, set up rival schools, 93–94
Huckle, Mrs. Dorothy, teacher at Elms and Riviera schools, 87–87-A
Huffman, Robert, directs World Youth Forum, 276
Hygiene, 181–183; foot care, 183–184


Internationalism, how to teach, 5
International House, 100, 170-A


Jackson, Henry— MacJannet meets on Africa tour, 281
Jacobs, Herbert, counselor, 112–119-A
Job, Cornelia, counselor, 105


Kalkun, Gustav and Hally— biographies, 212–213; and Communism, 235; at Elms, 87-A,
disciplinarian, 183–185; Lake Dwellers pageant “battle,” 114; at postwar camp, 230; recalled to
Estonia, 132; reunited, 223
Kennedy, Joseph— MacJannet caddies for, 23
Koo, Freeman, 87-B
Koo, V. K. Wellington, 87-G
Koo, Wellington, Jr.— meets MacJannets in Philippines, 269; at Elms, 87-B–88


Lahm, Col. Frank M., flier, 83
Language teaching— German theory of, 66
Lee, Mrs. “Mimi” (Mathilde, Menthon descendant), 112
Lavillier, Claude— Communist counselor, 235–236
Lawrence, Rosewell B.— aids MacJannet, 32–35
Legg, Sam, counselor— ends campers’“food rebellion,” 234–235; Charlotte’ compassion, 238,
Legion of Honor— ribbon helps MacJannet in Genoa flight, 139
Leir, Henry J., Luxembourg industrialist, 306
Lelou, Armand— attends Prieuré, 253, attends concerts, 272
Levitsky, Catherine Pegg— directs Faverge camp, 231
Lindbergh, Charles— sends his picture, 83
Lowell, A. Lawrence, Harvard President— jars MacJannet, 128
Lowry, Mrs. S.— works with Charlotte in Washington, 149


MacJannet, Charlotte— biography, 214–217; as comforter, 238–249; concentration camp,
threatened with, 136–138; drama director at Tufts, French school conductor at Arlington House,

132; Dalcroze teachers’meeting, 286; Interlochen conference (Mich.), 286; Elms, first
impression of, 124; foreign wives aided in Washington, 149–150; as Savoyard storyteller, 198;
Tufts, M.A. received, 305
MacJannet, Donald Ross— accidents— hernia, 15; bike, 17; skull fracture, 308; Bonn, year of
study at, 66; “Burden laid down,” relieved of, 138; summer camp, first American, 60; Bourget,
64–66; Veyrier, 98; Angon, 99; French Camp directors school, 247; Cook, Belle Ile, 60; Paris,
62; Pikes Peak, 51; Appalachian Hut, 45; as youth, 19–20; aluminum ware sales, 38; conscience,
“flexible,” 128; Dijon train, “gingerbread” caper, 126; drawbridge incident, 1–2; economics,
philosophy of, 243–245; edelweis lesson, 161; Fletcher law school scholarship established, 270;
France, why remain there— “I saw a need,” 3; generation gap, bridging, 277–278; Geneva,
winter life in, 291; honors— high school valedictorian, 30; Tufts, class orator, 41; Phi Beta
Kappa, 41; Tufts honorary M.A., 128; Legion of Honor, 129; University of Bridgeport, honorary
Ph.D., 293; 50th anniversary of schools and camp, 294–298; honorary citizen of Talloires, 295–
298; honorary Ph.D., Tufts, 305; “Impractical?”, 200; investments, 117; jobs— early farm, 17–
23; meter reader, 29; peddles encyclopedia, 32-A; church janitor, 33; aluminum ware sales, 36–
39; telephone operator, 23, 29; tutor in Paris, 54–59; life, as “joyous adventure,” 117; lifesaving
test, 117; loss of schools, camp, depresses, 143; “most difficult job,” 218; marries Charlotte
Blensdorf, 127; name origin, 11; namesakes hunted, 279; Pan American Council governor, 153;
Paris and Sorbonne, 54–60; rat trapper, 302; reading, in early youth, 15; repairs, learns to
make, 92; royalty gatherings— Elizabeth II coronation, 84–87; Louvre reception, 303; Jubilee,
304; ship, hotel bombed in World War II, 139; risks life, saves would-be suicide, 268; schools—
St. Albans, 42–44; Auteuil-Paris, 51–52; Elms, 68–70; Trocadero, 75; Riviera, 75; French camp
directors school, 247; Sun Valley (Alpine), 143–148; Spanish honeymoon, 127; sports— long
distance running, 23, 29; thrift— coat and hat, 286; enema tube for school bus, 170-B; use up
every last plum, 242; third class on train, 243; travels— to France, Italy, Germany, 52–58;
Scandinavia, Scotland, 71–72; Spain honeymoon, 127; Southern U.S., 129; Greece, Egypt, 129;
on “bombed” ship, 139; Germany, in search of Charlotte’ parents— 1945, 221–222; round-the-
world tour, 267; Central America, 269; Eastern Europe, 287; Africa, 280; South America, 283–
285; Madeira, Canaries, 283; Russia, 288–290; U.S.— bus to California, 300; Tufts class
reunions— 25th, 147; 50th, 279; 55th, 293; 60th, 302; views on— bullying, 33; children, as
“deforming influence,” 139; avoiding choices, 78; discipline, 33; education, see education; war
orphans camp, fundraising, 218; war service— aviation volunteer, World War I, 46–50; aviation,
civil, World War II, 149–150
MacJannet, Jean, see Jean MacJannet Foster

MacJannet Foundation— summary, 293; first grants, 292; progress, 292–293
MacJannet, Douglas, 279, 290
MacJannet, Irene, as mother, 14, 15
MacJannet, Josephine, sister, 15
MacJannet, Malcolm— war objector, 46; missionary, 47; carpenter, 28; retires, 279
MacJannet, Rev. Robert, 10; death, 25–27
McGowan, Eleanor, 158–164
McJannet, Ruth Mary, 281, 282
Malley, Mrs. Dorothy, 90
Marcos, Guillermo, 283
Margaret de Mollans, St. Bernard’ fiancée, 111–112
Maria (Petrik), camp and school cook, 80–81, 101–115; exempt from concentration camp, 136
Mark (German) falls, 66
Maurey, Pierre, Elms teacher, 282
Mayer, Jean, Tufts president, 305
Mears, Dorothy, counselor, 105–106
Medford, Mass., MacJannet residence, 28
Menthon, chateau de, 111
Merieux, Charles, 305
Michael, King of Romania, 87-A
Mitchell, Mrs. Marian, 27–28
Morgan, Dino, spanked by Woody, 109
Mosher, Price, “hero unawares,” 224
Morse, Samuel F. B., daughter, Mrs. Sarah Breese Walker, visits Elms, 82
Mukerji, Dhan M., 109–110
Munro, H. N., 307
Murgier, doctor, sold Angon camp site, 99
Murphy, Lillian, rides with MacJannet, 32-A
Murphy, Robert, ambassador, 83
Murphy, Rosemary, actress, 94, 9-C


Naismith, Augustus, 276
Nehru, Jawaharlal, 109, 12
Navez, Raymond, postwar counselor, 236
Norcross, Carl, counselor, 2; how to treat teachers, 79; water pistol incident, 77; MacJannet as
school head, 79–80


Oberammergau mishap, 119
Octroi, Paris tax, 94–95
Orphans, see postwar camps


Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon de, 284
Pacheco, Luis de, 284
Parra-Perez, C., Venezuelan ambassador, 207
Paris, life in, 55–60, 68; octroi (tax collection), 94–95
Palmer, Harvester official, 83-A
Peabody, Endicott, 142
Peabody, Malcolm, 142
Pershing, Gen. John J., 84
Pegg, Catherine, Elms teacher, 91, 96; see also Levitsky
Petrik, Maria, cook, 80–81
Perry, Mrs. Donald C., 245
Pipes, of bamboo, 107–107-A
Philip of Greece (Prince Philip)— Elms pupil, 84–88, 92–93; to MacJannet: “you started me off,”
9; Queen’ Jubilee, 303; message to school’ 50th anniversary, 294–295
         s                                s

Prieuré— camp trophies housed, 262; condition at purchase, 256–257; costs, MacJannet’ pay,
264; “Entretiens de Talloires,” 265; Grand Hall restored, 259; history of, 254–256; hosts,
MacJannets as, 275; MacJannets move out, 265–266; restoration begins, 257; Tufts given
property, 303
Postwar camps— Americans admitted again, 241; clothing appeals, 241; food “rebellion,” 234–
237; police “courtesy card,” 77
Porter, Mrs. Marion, 98–99
Powers, Ray, 83-A
Press freedom, 308
Prices— 1906, 22; 1914, 31
Publicity methods, 92
Pyle, Ernie, 202


Refugees bombed, 134
Remport, Eva, singer, 287
Rene, Prince de Bourbon, 87-B
“rich children” more neglected, 247–248
Rich, John Oliver, “Jack” Rich, counselor, teacher, 130; at Sun Valley, 146; at postwar camp,
241; influence of, 244; welcomes MacJannets to Greece, 269
Rich, Phillip, 309
Richardson, Lt. David, 188
Rick, Professor Karl, language teaching theory, 66
Riviera school, 123
Rochdieu, Prof. Edmund, Jungian psychologist, 177
Rodet, Henri, Prieuré historian, 256
Roosevelt, Eleanor— MacJannet cranks Ford for, 43; aids war orphans camp, 142, 146
Roosevelt, Eliot and James, at St. Albans, 43
Roosevelt, Franklin D., 83-A
Roosevelt, Henry Latrobe, 83-A
Rottenberg, Dan, on swear words, 245
Rough, William H., plums galore, leftovers for Chinese, 246–272
Ruth, Babe, at Elms, 82


St. Albans, MacJannet teaches at, 42–44, 51–52
St. Cloud School, see Elms school
St. Cloud, town of, 70
Sawada, Mrs. Miki— checks religious teaching, 108–109; host to MacJannet protegé, 176
Sawada, Peter, pipe maker, 108–109
Pawadas, hosts of MacJannets, 247
Safety— mountain climbing, 183–184; water, 116
Scandinavian tour, 61
School bus accident, Dijon, 100
Sherman, Gen. William T., 299
Simches, Professor Seymour, 306
Singing, as unifier, 243
Sorbas, scene of illness, banquet, 127
Sorbonne, student types, 55
Spinning, Barbara, 91
Spinning, Mrs. Kenneth, 91
Spinning, Patricia, 72-A
Snyder, Mrs. Ruth “Breidy,” memoir, 199–200
Steele, Eric, teacher, 94
Sun Valley school, 143–148
Sussman, Leonard, 308
Sutherland, Charles and Beth, counselors, 119-A–120
Swenson, Albert, Tufts classmate, 35
“Swissy,” see Bouët, Jean-Louis


Talloires, film of, 297–298
Tarrazi, Aboukamad de, Amin and Nadine, start Lebanon camps, 287
Taylor, Dr. Grant, memoir, 180–188
Taylor, Millicent, orphan camp comment, 230
Tea Water, the proper boil, 242
Terre des Hommes, concerts, 272
Thackera, Alexander, 300
Thackera, Eleanor (Mrs. Ralph Campagna) Chamonix, 77-A; visits MacJannets, 300
Thompkins, Peter, pupil, 83-A
Tiffernat, ex-mayor, Talloires, 296
Tournette climb, 182–188
Trappist monastery, 105, 193
“Twos-ing,” frowned on, 242
Tufts— MacJannet buys house, 132; fundraiser, 153; doctorate, 305


Upton, Ernest and John, MacJannet nephews, 112-A
Valero, Fernando, camp, school artist, 107–108
Verne, Jules, author, his mansion site of Elms school, 70
Victoria, Queen, 84


Water safety— perfect record, 116
Waters, Cornelius, minister, 13
Waters, Ernest, MacJannet uncle, 13, 32
Waters, Dr. George Frank, MacJannet’ grandfather, 12, 13
Waters, Dr. George T., MacJannet’ great-grandfather, ???
Waters, Irene Flint, marries Rev. Robert MacJannet, 11

War orphans, suffer malnutrition, nerves, 226
Watts, Barbara, 244
West, Rebecca, author, 5
White, Peregrine, ancestor, born on Mayflower, 10–12
Wilson, Woodrow, president, 83-A
Winter sports, Chamonix, 77-A
Woodworth, Anita, biography, 202–204
Woodworth, Lynn Frank (“Woody”)— biography, 202–204; at Elms, 75, 104; “drives” pier posts,
101; life saving lesson, 160; memorial library, 304
World Youth Forum, 276
Woodward, Frank, seized children at Trocadero school, 89
Woodward, Mrs. Persis Earle, 89


Yonge, Frau Rudi de, at Bonn, 66–68


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