MIT and the Cambridge Ward, 1964-65
…Previous Church assignment: French Mission Editor
While I was in France, in 1962, the old Atlantic District of the New England Mission had become the new Boston Stake. Wilbur W Cox, long-time District President, became the first Boston Stake President, bringing with him his old District Council as the founding Stake High Council. The marvelous old Cambridge Branch, of course, had become the Cambridge Ward, with Bert van Uitert as its first bishop. Bert had been a counselor in the old Branch Presidency, and we had worked together when I was an Assistant Branch Clerk.
The old Branch had a tradition called Project 48, which put a modicum of structure on the hospitality that local members were used to extending to newcomers, especially in the early fall when all the married students arrived, all at once, for the new school year. The “48” referred to 48 hours: a new family could look to local members for that much shelter while they arranged more permanent housing.

I’d lived in East Compost, of course, and had known of Project 48 only second-hand. But the van Uiterts and I had arrived in that same autumn of 1958, and I did count them as old friends. So, I wrote to Bishop Bert to ask whether the old customs were still in force. He replied promptly and very sweetly: he and Luanne and the boys (Dennis and Kurt) were going to be away on vacation when we arrived. But if we’d stop at the Stake President’s house, we could say hello to Bill and Nora and pick up the keys to the van Uiterts’ house on Dean Street in Belmont. Where we were welcome to stay at least until they returned.
Lovely hospitality, of course. And of course we did as directed. It was a delight to see the Cox family again. I don’t recall that anybody brought up that I’d had something of a crush on their Martha, since then married to Joe Ballantyne. I certainly didn’t mention it, ’specially in my newly benedict status. Nor did anybody remark that Bill Cox, an old Sanpete County hand, was a distant relative. I may not even have known that, at the time.

Bert really went out of his way to make us feel at home, capping it off by calling me to serve, once again, as assistant ward clerk.
…Next Church assignment: Seminary Teacher
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