I cannot remember some of the names and dates from my time at Nairobi School, but I have retained many impressions
nonetheless. I was an American who transferred from The Duke of York School in 1967 and I was at the school for maybe
a year and a half.
I had an African friend whose name was Charles Okioma. I had American friends: Bruce Heater and Bruce Ferguson.
Bruce Ferguson was the American Ambassador’s son and he carried a briefcase. He beat me unexpectedly in a swimming
meet at one point.
I remember an English teacher named Major J.B. Eckersley who taught me to write well. He was quite a character. I remember
yawning in the back of the class once and being shocked as a piece of chalk exploded right next to my head, Major
Eckersley having just missed my gaping mouth. Another time he flew into a rage and made everyone leave the classroom
and I could not understand what the problem was. Turned out someone had farted and he was trying to identify the
culprit! We had to write an essay every week and it was this experience which helped me become a good writer, and I
later became an English major at Middlebury College in Vermont.
The art teacher, Keith Harrington, was also influential. We went outside to collect horticultural specimens to draw.
He liked my drawing but took a pencil and amended it by extending the leaf forms in bold lines right off the edges
of the page saying, “Do it like this.” This was an “Aha!” moment for me. My career has been in art, mostly sculpture.
I have taken up oil painting recently, my sculpture career having dwindled for various reasons. I did create a large
and important work, however, for the National Shrine in Washington, DC:
(Registered - 8th November 2008)
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