Last weekend, I had the distinct pleasure of attending Dr. Ed Klugman’s “90th birthday party – in preparation for his 100th”!
Ed, as I and others fondly call him, dedicated his career to education, most notably early childhood and the training of future teachers. He wrote many policies affecting young children and led organizations dedicated to their development. After “retiring” from Wheelock College, Ed helped to establish the intergenerational studies masters program from which I earned my degree.
Our paths did not cross at Wheelock in the early 1990s. But, fast forward to Spring 2013, when we were both at a reception for 125 of Wheelock’s Outstanding Alumni, of which I was an award recipient. We met that day and became fast friends and colleagues. As I recalled for Ed this weekend: “I remember the first time we met for coffee. I felt honored and humbled, and had an overwhelming sense that I was sitting at the master’s feet.” Ed would add that our roles are now reversed, that I am his boss! Indeed, over time, we have collaborated on several projects, including Project READ on Cape Cod.
Ed’s focus on children has shifted during the last decades to put a spotlight on the importance of play for people of all ages. Check out this poster Ed helped create. Now, as he begins his tenth decade, Ed is modeling what healthy aging can look like, even with a cane; what it means to remain vibrant, active, engaged; what it means to live and work… and play in a multigenerational circle of love and collaboration, cherishing the gift each person is and connecting the many people and gifts in our lives.
When I get to be 90, I want to be like Ed! And I can’t wait to celebrate at his 100th! Mazel tov, Ed!
With deep gratitude-