SCHOLAR'S NOTEBOOK - September 2010


Revealed by



Saturday, September 11, 2010*

(Date change due to religious holiday)

1:30 p.m.


VI at La Jolla

(formerly Classic Residence by Hyatt)


Complementary Valet Parking


* Please note change in date and location

See directions below


Diana K. Withee, an art historian, member of SDIS, and a grandmother, will reveal the mysteries of a Nazi Tapestry to the members and guests of San Diego Independent Scholars, as well as to The Sixteenth Century Society Conference 2010 in Montreal, Canada on October 17, 2010.  We look forward to her analysis and revelations of the often secretive world of art provenance involving stealth, wealth, and persons (and governments) of high rank.

Diana currently serves on the Boards of the San Diego Arts Council and the Combined Organization of the Visual Arts (COVA), and she edits the COVA newsletter.  In the D.C. area,  Diana served as Museum Educator at the National Gallery of Art; Museum Educator and Guide Supervisor at the Hillwood Museum; Curatorial Assistant in the Manuscripts and Rare Book Division of the Walters Art Gallery; and Research and Production Assistant at the National Museum of American Art.  Before those appointments, Diana was hired by the Navy to teach art history where she was deployed to the aircraft carrier, John C. Stennis, whose mission was bombing runs into Afghanistan in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.




The meeting will be held Saturday, September 11 at VI at La Jolla (formerly Classic Residence by Hyatt), 8515 Costa Verde Boulevard, La Jolla (just west of University Towne Center).

Directions if coming from Nobel:  proceed north ONE HALF BLOCK on Costa Verde and make a RIGHT turn into the entrance.

Directions if coming from La Jolla Village Drive:  proceed south ONE AND A HALF BLOCKS on Costa Verde and make a LEFT turn into the entrance.

Drive half circle to complementary VALET parking (no tipping).  Enter building, sign in at Concierge Desk and ask for directions to meeting.





We are starting a new year with a new President. This SDIS year is like a school year, from this September to May of 2011. Sam Gusman has been pleased to accept appointment as President by the Board of Directors of SDIS.

The president we elected three months ago, Anne Ewing, has been told by her doctor that she is not well enough to put in the effort needed for such a job. Anne was a wonderful president many years ago. But this year she had to resign, and this led the Board to find someone else. We had the good fortune that Sam’s life had become easier in this time period. We are delighted that Sam can serve.

A team is being built with Sam and with Sue Punjack as the Executive Vice President. Sue has years of experience because she was president of SDIS in the recent past. The Board had to find a new Executive Vice President because Greta Wheeler, elected to that post last May, who was willing to be a volunteer even though she had only been to one or two general meetings, resigned in August because she found that the amount
of effort for SDIS was not possible for her now that she had more demands in her private life. We are sorry to lose Greta, but we are very happy that Sue will serve in a broad capacity.

One other Board position has not been filled yet. That is Membership Chair. The former Chair, Bongsoon Zubay, had to move elsewhere for family reasons. So we have room for more members on the team, both on the Board and in other ways. Get in touch with Sam or Sue to let them know what you would enjoy doing to contribute or to participate.
                                                                                                                Bill Houghton, Secretary 



From the President

The name of our organization, San Diego Independent Scholars, says it all and says nothing. Yes, we are independent, and, yes, we are attracted to scholarly interests, but what brings us together? Some members attend SDIS Saturday lectures and discussions; some do not. Some regularly participate in study groups; some do not. SDIS offers a variety of venues. I suggest that these are all variations on a common theme: a home-base for sharing varied flavors of reasoned inquiry, for learning from and with each other. This mode of thoughtful discourse, this kind of community, deserves support — especially in today’s shrill world.

Many members have made enormous contributions to the shaping of SDIS during past years. The result of this work is embedded in ongoing SDIS programs and in the shared pleasures of companionship at SDIS gatherings. This needs to continue but times change and the vitality of organizations depends on openness to new directions and new ways. With this in mind, I am torn between two tendencies. On the one hand, I am inclined to move ahead as vigorously as I can. I have many ideas, hopefully practical and intellectually interesting, about additional ways SDIS can benefit its members and bring them together around shared interests and activities. On the other hand, I do not feel I have an adequate sense of your individual views. If SDIS is increasingly to become what each of us sees as a best match to individual interests, I and Sue Punjack and the Board need to hear what you have to say.

Planning has already started for reactivation of the Works In Progress study group, probably in a way which expands the meaning of "works" and the meaning of "in progress."  So too is planning for ways to bring to SDIS members interesting kinds of information about intellectual resources scattered throughout the greater San Diego community — for example, in museum libraries.

 I have developed an enthusiasm for start-up of new study groups. For example, perhaps it would be useful to set up a kind of “study group incubator” which eases the process of taking nascent study group ideas through their first few meetings to see whether they are viable.

 Perhaps we can find useful new ways of electronic communication through the internet and email. This is common practice in many professional societies and it takes many forms. I would especially welcome hearing from any member familiar with this electronic landscape (I am not) so that we can talk about the best options for SDIS.

I was immensely pleased to learn that Sue Punjack will work with me as Executive Vice President. She is a past President of SDIS. She and I will share the executive function. She will focus mainly on executive operational tasks. I will focus mainly on development, outreach, and communication.

SDIS is a treasure whose riches depend on our individual use of it in ways which please each of us individually. Please reflect on this. Please tell me your thoughts in a letter or email. I will look forward to hearing what you have to say and assure you I will bring it to the Board for consideration. We can't do everything but we can do a lot.

Please do write to me soon at or by letter to my home address.

                                                                                          Sam Gusman, September, 2010




Thanks to the SDIS Board for appointing me as Executive Vice President.  I look forward to working with Sam and all of our members as we start a new year.  Sam has many broad based ideas for outreach and for expanding our vision, and I will work to help those concepts materialize.  As a Past President I hope to retain the continuity of the past while nurturing our prospects for the future.


 Please feel free to email me at or to call me on my cell at 858-740-0790.

Sue Punjack, September 2010




Colloquy Café

The next Colloquy Café, on Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 1:30 PM, will be on the subject: Metaphor. Those who are interested in attending can contact Jean Mayer at or Sam Gusman at


The Literary Group will meet on Monday, September 27 at 10:30 AM in the home of Marcus and Marian Klein in Valley Center.  Harry Boyle will lead the discussion of The Adventures of Augie Marchby Saul Bellow.  Contact Harry at

Science (aka Brain Study Group)

The Science Group (AKA Brain Study Group) will meet on Friday, September 24, 2010, at 3 P.M. at Bea Rose's home. The new reading adventure starts with the first two chapters in “Sleeping, Dreaming, and Dying: An Exploration of Consciousness with the Dalai Lama”.  This book documents the fourth and last of the Mind Life Institute Series “Conversations with the Dalai Lama" which started in 1987 and ended in 1997.

For further information contact Bea Rose at (858) 458 – 9263 or

Members at work

Congratulations to SDIS member Judith Strupp-Green!  Her chapter, titled “Feasting with Foam: Ceremonial Drink of Cacao, Maize, and Pataxte Cacao”, is being published in a book about pre-Columbian food practices.  The first page of her chapter from the book Pre-Columbian Foodway is posted online by the publisher at


It is with great sadness that we mourn the death of Jay Joss, SDIS member, husband of Sandra, and a longtime member of the Science (aka Brain) study group.  He was a sweet and gentle man with an avid interest in Neuroscience, always ready to contribute some interesting article or comment.  We shall miss his dry humor and his infectious chuckle.  We send our heartfelt condolences to Sandra.
                                                                                                     Bea Rose, Science Study Group




SDIS member Donna Boyle will offer a paper for discussion titled Atlantic Divide: American and European Attitudes toward Public Policy.


The usual UCSD meeting place,

Room 111-A Chancellor's Complex

Saturday, October 16, 2010.



About SDIS

San Diego Independent Scholars (SDIS) supports unaffiliated writers and researchers and welcomes everyone who appreciates creative and intellectual activities in the humanities, science, and the arts.  SDIS is a non-profit organization and an affiliate of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars.

Sam Gusman,


Scholar’s Notebook is the newsletter of SDIS. Please send your news for the Notebook to Barbara Heckler, the Notebook editor: or by mail to 3489 Wellesly Ave, San Diego, CA 92122. The deadline for submissions is the 22nd of the month prior to publication date.











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