03 March, 2014


by Joan Turner and Zbigniew Kowalewski

The city of Utica not only represents our connection to the Child Life Archives but more importantly our connection with Thom. Although we really only met a few times, our memories are fond. He holds a lasting legacy for both of us: for myself, the beginning and the completion of the Pips of Child Life and for Zbyszek the discovery of craft beer.

We only stayed a few days for each visit.

When visiting for the first time we had the honour of meeting Thom in his office. It was during our casual conversation that we learned about Thom’s passion for the history of psychology: I remember the antique calipers. It was at this moment that the real seeds of the idea for a history of a child life collection were gathered. Through our conversation, an image of how a child life history could be created began to take shape. He generously shared some examples of texts while he talked about his memories of the foundations of the child life academic program at Utica. He told his story of Gene Stanford and pondered writing that story to be shared in the future. Of course, he wanted to contribute.

I am so proud to have placed Thom’s composition as Chapter One: that is where it belongs.

Our first trip to Utica College, February 2011 is less about our visit to the Archives at Utica and more about our visit at the Brown’s home. The whole family was there: Thom and Civita as well as Amy, Megan and Matthew - and Maddox the big yellow lab. We were welcomed on a cold night into a very warm home - Christmas decorations still on display well past the holidays. The conversation was lively and the food was excellent.

On the second visit, we had a more social visit. Dinner at the Brown’s and dinner at a local restaurant. Again, the lively conversation and the fine examples of excellent cuisine caught our attention. For Zbyszek, Thom’s consideration for his interest in fine European beer translated into the presentation of a very fine Craft Beer from a local brewery- So impressive, we took a photo of the bottle. Zbyszek attributes his new found affinity for local craft beer to Thom’s influence.

To Civita, we want to share our most heartfelt appreciation for welcoming us into your family and allowing our connection with your dear Thom.

We want you to know that our brief association with Thom has provided us with a sense of warmth to last our lifetimes.