His Story — COA History

My sit down with Ed Kaelber

My sit down with Ed Kaelber

Maybe it’s because our college is relatively young and that even the far reaches of our history are easy to reach, but I must admit that I enjoy hearing about the college’s early days.  Now, I promise not to fall back and nostalgically kick my feet up, clasp my hands behind my head and dream of the good ole’ days — we are an institution on the go and forward looking.  But there’s nothing wrong with knowing, recording and learning from our own past.  Today, over the course of a lunchtime meal, I had the opportunity to relive some of those stories with Ed Kaelber, our founding president.  What a guy and what stories!! E.g.,:

Back in the war I was a paratrooper. But I didn’t jump into combat, we flew gliders.  A Howitzer, a pilot and about 12 soldiers loaded into one of those things — an overgrown version of what you see at the Trenton airport. We would leave just before dawn and were landing in southern France. The German army knew we were coming, so in our intended landing field they had ‘planted’ huge fence posts. Thankfully, they had done so in a very orderly way — with posts lined up in a nice grid.  We landed parallel to the rows and, although they clipped our wings, we made it safely.  If they had just peppered the field with them we would have been in real trouble!

There’s a useful analogy in there somewhere.

I think it would certainly be worthwhile having Ed over to the school for some Fall term “coffee and conversation” style talk in Deering.


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