Tag Archives: 1965

Steve Wouldn’t Do a Thing, Would He?

Marcia MacGregor, Easter 1966, Engagement

Marcia MacGregor, Easter 1966, Engagement

For our home life, Christ was very much at the center. Between that and the [Newton] Presbyterian Church, which is very Evangelical in nature, I [Marcia, Steve’s wife] just considered that as such a basic foundation for me, for my own life, from the time that I can remember anything. I grew up there.

Uncle Bob was in seminary at Gordon Divinity School and was doing a practicum at the Newton Presbyterian Church. He was—at the time I was in junior high—he was our youth group . . . he wasn’t a youth pastor, but he was a youth. . . .

[Steve]: Director. Facilitator.

Youth facilitator.

I was in ninth grade [1955/6] on this one meeting evening. He invited a good friend of his at Gordon, Russ Reinhardt, who was blind, to come and give his testimony. It so happened that a man by the name of Steve Duncan, a freshman in college at the same time as Russ, was his roommate. He came along to provide Russ transportation and to help him. Marcia MacGregor was sitting in this room. In walks this college freshman with wavy brown hair, just a hunk of a guy, handsome as could be, and she thought she was born five years too late.

Fast forward eight years. Uncle Bob and I were at a Presbyterian youth camp during the summer, counseling together at that camp. He just casually said, “You know, we’d like to get you together with my brother.”

I knew that Bob had a lot of brothers. I was just trying to figure out: is this the same brother that I saw back eight years ago. I couldn’t quite figure it out.

Anyway, sure enough, we had a double date together. They showed up with Steve. There he was, this handsome man, but I have to say he didn’t know how to dress. Maybe he didn’t know how to dress. Maybe that wasn’t his fault totally because the money was not flowing. Evidently somebody had died and that person’s clothes got passed onto Steve. Anyway, I was impressed by everything else except the way he. . . .

[Stephanie?]: God was preparing him to be a missionary.

[Steve]: I’m still wearing the same clothes.

Now at the time, that year I had gone to the University of Massachusetts to do some graduate studies in German. I had studied German language as my major in college and I wanted to do graduate studies, so I was out there. I came home during Christmas break and that’s when we had this date, so I wasn’t used to living at home at all anymore. We went out and Bob and Polly—we went to see The Sound of Music all together—eventually Bob and Polly went home.

Steve took me home. We sat out, in front of my house at 46 Slade Street in Belmont for I don’t know how long, talking. I just knew that I had met the man I was going to marry. We just shared a lot of things, what our life was, what our hopes were for our lives. Both he and I felt that God was calling us to the mission field. We knew that. We shared those kinds of things. We talked about, just about everything. I mean, I was looking for a husband. He was looking for a wife. We were cutting to the chase.

Anyway, so then I don’t know what time it was in the morning at this point, but I walked into my house and there was my father. “Where, on earth, have you been?!” He had been calling Polly and Bob and worried sick.

[Steve]: Oh, boy!

[Virginia, laughing]: Did he call your cell phone?

No! There were no cell phones!

[Heidi]: Aunt Polly was like, “Oh, no, Steve wouldn’t do a thing?! Would he? Oh, they just met! It’s a blind date!”

We were outside. The car was parked right in front, on the curb, if he had looked out the window. But you know, I wasn’t used to having to think about oh, somebody’s inside waiting for me. I had lived away from home for so long. That just totally busted my bubble, you know, because I was walking on a cloud that night when I came home that night.

Anyway, Steve went to my dad and apologized. Right away, that went up, Steve went up in his mind. Then we were engaged, basically, on Easter Sunday, the following Easter Sunday. That was Christmas and we got. . . . Steve went to my dad and asked for my hand in marriage, so that really took him all the way.

My dad said to me, “You’ll go places with that guy.” That’s what he said. So we’ve been places.

story told by Marcia (Steve’s wife) to the family reunion gathering on January 10, 2014 with questions and comments from Eric Kindberg (Lee’s son), Virginia Gorman (Lee’s daughter), Steve, and Steve’s daughters Heidi and Stephanie; recorded and transcribed by Dawn Duncan Harrell (Steve’s daughter)

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below. (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.)

  • We have Betty’s courtship and engagement story. Anybody want to relay what you recall of the others?
  • Mom/Marcia, on which campus of the University of Massachusetts did you do your German graduate studies? Were they completed? What year was that? What was the degree?
Advertisements

Duncan Clan Reunion Uproariously Good

June 1965 Family Reunion, courtesy of Colin Duncan

Mr. and Mrs. Taylor A. Duncan of 16 Washburn Ave., Auburndale, with their six children and families, hired a motel near Manchester, N. H. last weekend for their first family reunion in 13 years.

Betty, Taylor, Virginia, Wally, Harley perhaps, 06.12.1965, courtesy of Colin DuncanWeary but happy after the excitement of family baseball games, musical sessions, and en masse church attendance, Grandfather Duncan’s two-word description of the Friday-to-Sunday gathering was “uproariously good.”

The 28-member clan, lacking only one youngster who had the mumps, included Mrs. Willard Kindberg (Virginia Lee Duncan) and Mr. Kindberg, who have returned from the jungles of Peru where, since 1952, they have been working with the Campa Indians, translating and defining the language of the people, preparing young natives to teach it, and establishing schools. Mr. Kindberg is a translator with the Wycliffe Bible Translators, a Protestant mission society. Mrs. Kindberg was the first graduate of the nursing school at Wheaton College in Illinois. There are six children in their family.

Mrs. Harley Smith (Betty Duncan) and her husband and two children, [sic] home from Paris, France, where they operate a school for Greater Europe Mission (Protestant). Mr. Smith is business manager for the European Bible Institute in Lamorlaye, France. Mrs. Smith, a graduate of Wheaton College, Illinois, is a teacher of music.

Mr. and Mrs. J. Wallace Duncan and their four children [sic] from East Haddam, Conn. Mr. Duncan is a quality control engineer with Winchester Electronics Co. in Waterbury. He is a B. A. graduate of Gordon College, Wenham.

The Rev. and Mrs. Robert Duncan and their three children [sic] of Mattapan, where Mr. Duncan is the minister of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church.

St. Louis, Mo., is the home of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor A. Duncan Jr. Taylor, a graduate of Northrop Institute of Technology, Inglewood, Calif., is with McDonald Aircraft Co. in St. Louis.

The youngest son, Bertrand Stevens Duncan, was graduated this June from Boston University with a degree in psychology. “Steve” is working as a laboratory technician at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Brighton. He plans to study medicine.

The senior Duncans, who will have been married 40 years on July 25, have lived in Newton since 1935. They left their first address on Hartford St., Newton Highlands, at the outbreak of World War II when Mr. Duncan reentered the service.

He had been in the Navy during World War I and after that had gone into public accounting, getting his CPA in 1925. He entered teaching when he was called upon to fill a temporary vacancy at Temple University in Philadelphia, continued on a part-time basis, and was later called upon to set up business courses at Girard College.

During World War II Cmdr. Duncan spent three years in Philadelphia where he was in charge of a $115 million airplane contract between the Navy and the Budd Co. Later he was transferred to Portsmouth, N. H., where he served as the yard’s fiscal officer.

Mr. Duncan says he has retired twice. He left the Navy as a captain in 1932. Then he worked for General Electric Co. for more than five years as manager of a special auditing project in which he organized a staff of auditors. He retired in 1957.

For five years before World War II and for five years afterward he taught accounting, economics, and finance at Bentley College. He has also taught in the Boston University School of Business Administration.

June, 17 1965 News-Tribune newspaper article entitled “Newton-Based Duncan Clan Reunion Uproariously Good, courtesy of Polly Duncan (Bob’s wife) via Colin Duncan (Bob’s son)

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • Colin or Aunt Polly, what’s the name of the newspaper and the date of the edition in which this article appears? Best guess, anybody?
  • Which cousin had the mumps and couldn’t come? Can you tell who stayed home with you? Tell us about having the mumps. How long did it last? Did anyone else in the family get it?
  • Virginia, what year did Aunt Lee graduate from Wheaton as the first graduate of the nursing school? What was it like being the first graduate? What, exactly, does that mean? Was there no one else in her class? How big was her class? Was the program up and running or were there fits and starts? How long did it take her to get through? Why did she choose nursing? Why Wheaton?
  • Uncle Harley, Debby, Sandy, did Aunt Betty teach music in the school in Lamorlaye? Or did she take private students only? Did she teach anything else in the school? What was the school’s name? I presume it’s Aunt Betty playing the piano in the photo above. Am I right? Is Uncle Harley holding the trumpet?
  • Jimmy, Diane how long were you all in East Haddam? Why did you move? Can you describe your house? Remember your address? What ages were all the kids? How long was Uncle Wally with Winchester Electronics? Was he always quality control there or did he move around in jobs, up the ladder or otherwise? How did he get that job? Why did he leave?
  • Aha! The name of Uncle Bob’s church in Mattapan was St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church. Aunt Polly, what position did he serve there? What were his dates there? Was he still in seminary? Where did the Bob Duncans live at that time? How old were the kids? What happened to St. Paul’s that I can’t find anything about it on the web?
  • Gloria, Trey, how did Uncle Tad end up on the other side of the continent in California? What did he do with McDonald Aircraft? How long was he there? Did he move up in the ranks, move around? Why did he leave? What did he go to? Does your mom remember that time? What does she recall? How did they feel about moving to St. Louis?
  • Dad/Steve, can you tell about getting the lab tech job at St. E’s? How long were you there? I’ve never heard about that lab tech job. Why not? What else was going on at the time? Were you dating that painful pre-mom woman still?
  • Anything else anybody wants to tell us?