A Serendipitous Friendship

by Jim Blume '63

In 1957, when I was 16, my family and I embarked on a two-week wide-ranging tour of Europe, which, at that time, was not a routine destination. Because we covered so many countries in a very short period of time, my parents opted to return to the United States via a small, one-class Holland American line vessel, the Noordam

Fortunately, as I remember, there were about six other teenagers on board, and we hung out together. One of the teens was a fellow named Bill Whitney, who hailed from Los Angeles while my family lived in the suburbs of New York. Bill and I bonded on the eight-day voyage and vowed to remain in contact, which, of course, we never did. At that time, we were both juniors in high school and contemplating colleges. Bill was thinking about attending Stanford, where his family had a long-standing relationship, while I was interested in Brown.  

So, imagine my stunned reaction when on my very first day at Williams, while having lunch at HoJos, who was seated there but the very same Bill Whitney. We reconnected immediately. It was an auspicious start to my Williams education.

The next time I visited Europe, in 1965, after working in Stockholm for the summer, I travelled to Paris. While entering the Louvre, whom should I see at the entrance, but the very same Bill Whitney.

We have remained friends. Bill is a retired city planner living in L.A., while I continue to manage an investment advisory firm in Berkeley. Our network of Williams friends continues to overlap.

Jim Blume and Bill Whitney
Jim Blume '63 and Bill Whitney '63 with other '63 classmates at the groundbreaking ceremony for Theatreworks in Colorado Springs
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