Palm Beach: Around the Island

Palm Beach Day School

Above: the opening ceremony during Field Day at Palm Beach Day School, 20 April 1968. For intramural competition the school was divided into two teams, the “Pelicans” (blue uniforms) and “Flamingoes” (yellow uniforms.) Both my brother and I were in the latter.

Note also the closeness of the buildings behind the field. Palm Beach’s real estate is expensive and used very efficiently, more so now than when we lived there.

Thirty years later, a friend coached a lacrosse team up the coast. The one school they would not allow their kids to eat lunch at was Palm Beach Day School, on account of the harassment by the “home team.” PBDS kids would even shout obscenities at the visitors as they got on the bus to leave.

Other Items

In holding his lecture in West Palm Beach, Pike was invading what was for him “enemy territory.” In an article in the July 2006 issue of Chronicles magazine, author Tom Landess reminded us of the following:

In 1966, a group led by Henry I. Louttit, bishop of the Central Archdeanery of South Florida, demanded that Pike be tried for heresy.

John Hines, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, met with Louttit and a small delegation in New York and told them he had polled key figures in the mass media, who had declared unanimously that a heresy trial would severely, disastrously damage the Church’s image.

Most of the bishops agreed. The Bishop of New York expressed the feelings of the majority: “Of all the methods of dealing with Bishop Pike’s views, the very worst is surely a heresy trial! Whatever the result, the good name of the church will be greatly injured.”

Hines asked Louttit and his cohorts to allow an ad hoc committee to address the problem more informally, less visibly. Louttit reluctantly agreed. Members of the committee met, engaged in a great deal of hand-wringing, and came back with a report that said in part:

It is the opinion that this proposed trial would not solve the problem presented to the church by this minister, but in fact would be detrimental to the church’s mission and witness…This heresy trial would be widely viewed as a “throw back” to centuries when the law in church and state sought to repress and penalize unacceptable opinions…it would spread abroad a “repressive image” of the church and suggest to many that we were more concerned with traditional propositions about God than with the faith as the response of the whole man to God.

At Wheeling, West Virginia, the House of Bishops adopted this statement by an overwhelming vote, though they also agreed to “censure” Bishop Pike – a small, dry bone tossed to Christian orthodoxy. In the above passage, two phrases — “acceptable opinions” and “repressive image” – revealed what was really going on.

Henry Louttit was a frightful bore from the pulpit, but he was right: it was heresy, and frankly it still is. People such as Pike detonated the jerk to the left that caused the Episcopal Church to lose a third of its membership in the 1970’s. Once again the Pharaohs on the left are making their move and once again God’s children are forced into exodus.  But now there is a Promised Land.

fred-tod-ketcham

Ah, the good life: Palm Beacher Fred Tod Ketcham relaxes in style. It’s an affectation for many, but Tod was the real article. A scion of the du Ponts, he attended Palm Beach Day School and graduated from St. Andrew’s in Boca Raton with me. I saw him once after gradation in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was a superb photographer. But alas, the good life was fleeting: Tod struggled with asthma, finally succumbing in death in 1981 at the age of 26.

One thought on “Palm Beach: Around the Island

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.