We all knew this day would come, yet there was a part of me – the non-rational part that HMC works so hard and well to cultivate – that believed that it certainly wouldn’t be today. How could it be today? Today isn’t special – certainly not special enough for it to be the day that Joe Platt died. From there it had been easy for the heart to conclude that Joe would never die.
In the event, as before, the mind smoothly recounts Joe’s manifest contributions to HMC, to the Claremont Colleges, to higher education in the United States, to institutions outside higher education, etc. The mind marvels that a man who walked so softly through the world could leave such indelible footprints.
But what is the heart to do in a world without Joe Platt? For those of us whose formative years were spent with Joe – or rather, JoeandJean – how does the heart deal with his absence at HMC functions or his unavailability for the occasional dinner together. There was a comfort in knowing that he was still watching over HMC. What’s to be done about that?
If the power of the mind, in the final analysis, is the power of one, the power of the heart is the power of many. My heart joins the thousands of hearts who send their love to Jean, Ann, Beth, and to all those whose hearts are hurting because the world has lost Joe Platt. The mind still celebrates Joe’s magnificent legacy, but the heart now aches.