Tag Archives: Bentley College

Little Steve Sees “Japanese” Bombers

Philadelphia Defense Council Warden Badge, courtesy of Flying Tiger AntiquesIt was at two years old [1942] that I—and the rest of the family—we moved to Philadelphia area, Drexel Hill, 325 Riverview Avenue. That just sticks in my mind and Drexel Hill. We did that because Dad [Taylor] was in the navy.

In the First World War, he was a seaman. In the Second World War, he became an officer to the point where at the end of that war and in retirement, he was a captain level, which is the same as a colonel in the army, which is quite an honorable position.

Dad was a determined guy and a very much of an expert or—let me just say—a perfectionist. He was an accountant before the navy and after the navy and he taught at Bentley University, Bentley College, which now is a university.

In the navy, back to the navy, back in the Second World War, we were at this place in Drexel Hill. After the war—and I recall the VJ Day—and there were some things that were outstanding that I recall in Drexel Hill.

Because I have some very creative brothers, they taught me that Japanese planes were coming in to bomb us. The story had gotten around. They put me in a two-sided porch, two-windowed, windowed on two sides. All I could see was these Japanese planes coming down to bomb us during the blackout time.

Blackouts meant everybody had to turn out their lights in the whole city because they thought that—it was actually in relationship to Germany—because they thought the Germans would fly over and see the houses and see the outline of the houses on ultra—not ultraviolet, but red—infrared vision of the housing and would bomb. We’ll we didn’t know that and we had the blackouts anyway.

Dad, Taylor Albert Duncan Senior, he was one of the wardens, who went around the streets when he got home from the navy time, and he would insist that the city was blacked out. Of those around in his neighborhood, he was responsible. He would make sure that people had their lights out or you couldn’t see it in the houses with lights.

And so that is one of the very prominent memories that I have of the Second World War. I have other little memories, but that was a very outstanding one. I was for sure I could see these Japanese planes because, as I say, I have very creative brothers. They would tell me about all this was happening. It, of course, never did happen.

[325 Riverview Avenue, Drexel Hill, PA is correct. I’ve previously reported Grandma Duncan’s version, which was Riverview Cove. It is listed on the maps as Avenue.—dch]

story told by Steve to the family reunion gathering on January 10, 2014; recorded and transcribed by Dawn [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.)

  • What do you remember of the blackouts?
  • What stories have your folks told you about that period?
  • Do you recall Grandpa Taylor serving as an air raid warden? What can you tell us about it? Did he wear a special patch, badge, or uniform? Did he have to “report” houses that weren’t blacked out? How did he deal with enforcement?
  • Do you remember Steve sleeping on this porch? Do you recall him expressing fear? Do remember the “Japanese bombers” story? What can you tell us about it?

Virginia Donates Taylor’s Library to Bentley

Virginia Donates Taylor's Library to BentleyBentley College of Accounting and Finance
921 Boylston Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02115

February 29, 1968

Mrs. Taylor A. Duncan
16 Washburn Avenue
Auburndale, Massachusetts

Dear Mrs. Duncan

I want to express our sincere gratitude to you for your generosity in donating Mr. Duncan’s book collection to the Bentley College Library. In as much as these books will be used both by students and faculty over the years, your gift will constitute a truly significant memorial to Mr. Duncan’s long association and interest in the Bentley School (College) of Accounting and Finance.

The photographs that you gave us will be put into the College archives. Henry Porter was able to identify all those present in the pictures. “The Competent Internal Auditor” will also be preserved in the archives of Bentley College.

It was very nice meeting you, and I very much appreciate the graciousness which you showed me during my visit to your home. I look forward to the pleasure of personally conducting you through the new Bentley College Library in Waltham when it opens in the Fall.

James A. Boudreau
Bentley College Library


letter discovered in Tad’s papers by Gloria Boyer (Tad’s daughter) and scanned at the family reunion, January 2014 by Dawn 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.)

  • Do you recall the size of the library donation in question? About how many books did Grandpa Taylor have in his collection?
  • What exactly is “The Competent Internal Auditor”? It sounds like a book or perhaps dissertation that Taylor wrote. Can anyone verify that?
  • Does anyone remember Grandma receiving the mentioned tour of the new library? Can you tell what you recall?

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?

Grandpa Smiling

Taylor Albert Duncan with Wally, Bob, Tad, and Steve, 1950

This is a rare are the pictures of Grandpa [Taylor] smiling. Here are a few special memories I have of Grandpa: his giggle (believe or not); he would say “wishee” every time he sneezed; and watching Wagon Train, Gunsmoke, and other classic TV series with him.

We lived with Grandma [Virginia] and Grandpa for six months when we were back in the USA on furlough [1960/1961].

written by Sandy Moyer (Betty’s daughter) in response to the above photo, which Colin Duncan (Bob’s son) posted on Facebook, February 23, 2010

In the picture, I see many stories. But first Grandpa, or as I knew him it was Dad. I think the picture of him smiling was not the image that I recall most. I was born when he was 52 years old, my mother was 40 years old, and I was indeed unexpected, delivered by caesarean section and an addendum to his seven prior children. I remember dad as a stern disciplinarian, who was often not at home because he was teaching at the Bentley College, now Bentley University. I was simply the child that came along after my mother’s gynecologist said, “You will have no more children!” Never trust a doctor!!!

Two of the children before me were half siblings and the other five were all older than myself. In the picture, I was the smallest, about ten years old if the number “50” in the corner of the picture represents 1950. Lee, in her nurses graduation uniform, is pictured beside the sofa. Dad, or Grandpa, was posing for a photographer, which was Wally’s friend, a colleague from the Gordon College where he was attending.

Wally, being the older of the boys in our immediate family, was more of a role model that was my occasionally-home father. It was his craftiness that I emulated and even some of the harebrained ideas. Sometimes we called that vision! Anyway I got it. Wally was away at college frequently in Boston, where Gordon College was situated at that time. He always had some idea or project and I admired that. He started the youth work called Crusade for Christ and it was at those meetings where Betty and Harley met; that eventual marriage was not his idea though.

Bob was born after Betty, who was not in the picture at all. As I recall Bob, the most outstanding memory is that he spent time with me to help me learn some—believe it or not—Latin and some other subjects. It never seemed like he was caught up in crazy projects, which I was to emulate, but a lot more serious in study and learning. He was always fun.

TAD (Taylor Albert Duncan, “Junior”) was the next sibling in line and closest to my age. As I recall, in his younger years he was a good student and a good worker, earning more money than the rest of us. He had more tools and better tools and we competed between us, even though there were only two and a half years separating us. I was always a little tag-along and unfortunately, frequently, especially in the younger years, a crybaby. He was a challenge for me and I always thought him smarter than I was. I thought of him as being the one who did things in the nonconventional way, but he was there in school with me.

Dad was proud of his boys but sometimes we tried his patience. The smile could have been for many reasons. That was my Dad.

added by Steve on November 26, 2012

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.).

  • What do you remember about Grandpa/Dad?
  • What do you recall of his sons Wally, Bob, Tad/Junior, and Steve at those ages?
  • What was happening to you in 1950?
  • What house was this photo taken in?