Of God and Blue-Footed Boobies
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The Polaris sits anchored as
a brown pelican
Strangers when we boarded the Polaris, the coming days are so filled
with eye-popping sights and life-altering experiences that we feel
like old friends by the time we exchange e-mail addresses and hugs
at the airport for the return flight home. We have swum in the blue
water with playful sea lions, giggled at the mating dance of the
blue-footed booby and tiptoed among marine iguanas sunbathing in
perfect stillness on lava rocks, oblivious to the Teva-wearing invaders.
"You know what? This is exactly what I worked 40 years so
I could do," says Chuck Goodman '60, who recently retired as
president of the Syracuse China dinnerware company.
The Bruins mingle during a Monday evening cocktail reception hosted
by the Alumni Association. The festivities start at 6 p.m. on the
sky deck, just at sunset. We had quickly showered after a day of
snorkeling and a long walk through the saltbush and scrub on Española
Island. It was here that we first watched the courtship ritual of
the boobies — the male lifts one very blue foot and then the
other, spreads his wings, points his tail skyward and whistles.
This romantic overture looked silly to us, but who are we to say?
The females — boobies not Bruins — joined in the dance,
Up on the sky deck, Goodman and his wife, Karen '59, stand against
the railing, posing for a picture under a star-filled sky. Goodman,
66, is a big bear of a man and his wife, two years his senior, is
petite, with reddish-blond hair and an unlined face. As the photographer
counts to three, Karen Goodman leans in close to her husband and
rests her head against his chest. The chemistry between the two
was obvious the first time they met at a music class at UCLA in
the late 1950s, but both were dating other people so nothing happened
at the time.
About a year later, one of Goodman's fraternity brothers ran into
Karen, who asked about Chuck in a way that suggested she had feelings
for him. "Why don't you give her a call?" the fraternity
brother prodded his friend. "I did," Goodman says. "And
that was it."