Jeffrey Sprowles

Profile Updated: April 21, 2015
Residing In: Langhorne, PA USA
Spouse/Partner: Martha
Homepage: www.sprowles.com
Occupation: Fee only financial planner and investment advisor
Children: John, born 1983; Sara, born 1985
Post secondary school education

A.B. Princeton 1969 in English -- roomed with Claus Frank
1981 National Graduate Trust School
2001 Certified Professional Planner

What's happened since leaving Central

Taught 5th grade at Kelley Elementary, 29th and Columbia for three years. Was a terrible teacher and drank heavily. Spent most of my career in the trust industry in commercial banks and private trust companies. Met Martha sophomore year in college. In June of 1969 we both graduated college and then got married. Still married as of the date of this posting. Our two children are grown although our daughter is disabled and living in a group home. Since 2006 I have had my own registered investment advisory firm. It has been nine years since a CEO or a member of the board of directors has criticized any of my decisions.

School Story:

When I was covering basketball for the Centralizer I saw Butch Van Breda Kolff talking to Joe Heiser after a home game. Butch successfully recruited Joe to Princeton. Now they are both dead.

At our 25th reunion I asked Bill Simon what he was doing. He responded that he was an attorney in Washington, D.C. I suggested that it was a relief to me that he was there because there probably weren't enough attorneys in D.C. He averred that actually there were a lot of attorneys in Washington.

In my experience, it is a stretch to expect a Yale graduate to have a sense of humor.

Central's influence in my life

I would have been happier had I gone to my neighborhood high school which was co-ed. On the other hand, I remember friends and faculty with great fondness. Dan Kubert, Phil Luber and Stan Fiel were good friends. Claus Frank is now one of my favorite people. I enjoy interaction with all of those with whom I interacted. These days it is always a treat to hear from Mark Lipshutz and Ron Rosen, for example.

Things I learned from Mr. Kaplan, Dr. Hamm, Mr. Warshaw and Mr. Horan have stuck with me. I still have a villanelle that I wrote for Mr. Horan floating around here someplace.

Jeffrey's Latest Interactions

Jul
23
Jul 23, 2018 at 7:14 AM

It isn't even a palindrome. I fear I am losing what little intellect I once possessed. Apologies to Nomar.

Jul
16
Jul 16, 2018 at 4:53 PM

Interesting palindrome. Have we stooped to this? I hope so.

Jeffrey Sprowles has a birthday today.
Jun
25
Jun 25, 2018 at 4:33 AM
Jeffrey Sprowles has a birthday today.
Jun 25, 2017 at 4:33 AM
Jeffrey Sprowles added a comment on his Profile.
Oct 28, 2016 at 1:23 PM
Jeffrey Sprowles added a comment on his Profile.
Jul 11, 2016 at 8:08 AM
Jeffrey Sprowles added a comment on Kenneth Reynolds' Photo. New comment added.
Oct 19, 2016 at 11:30 PM

Posted on: Jul 09, 2016 at 9:37 AM

Jeffrey Sprowles has a birthday today.
Jun 25, 2016 at 4:33 AM
Mar 30, 2016 at 10:06 AM

Love your comment about the present state of presidential candidates. The GOP is undergoing an unbelievable melt down. If it were not so dangerous I might enjoy it although as somebody who was a Republican until Nixon proved himself a shameless liar I feel a certain amount of regret if not pity.

One of the disadvantages of going to an elite high school is a semi-obsession about where prominent people went to school. May I note that Ted Cruz, '92 shares an alma mater with Adlai Stevenson, II, Princeton '22. Thomas Dewey is Michigan '23 and Columbia Law '25.

My immediate predecessor as sports editor of the Centralizer, whose name I forget (Stewart 222?), knew where every NFL player went to college. He liked to be quizzed the way the Daniel Stern character in "Diner" liked to be quizzed about the record labels on 45 RPMs of hit songs.

Some of the things that come out of Ted Cruz's mouth are merely unbelievable. I am especially offended by his thought that in order for someone to be qualified to be president he or she must start each day on his knees. As a recently discovered Jew this scares the hell out of me.

On the other hand, I don't care if Michael (Dartmouth '69) is not Jewish.

Jeffrey Sprowles added a comment on his Profile.
Nov 04, 2015 at 8:50 AM
Oct 21, 2015 at 10:56 AM

Only half through the essay and I have to leave but did not want to postpone telling you how much I am enjoying it. Will finish after my bridge tournament if I remember.
Jeff
p.s. your 1968 Dartmouth football picture has not yet been digitized.

Jeffrey Sprowles has left an In Memory comment for Lee Stanley.
Jul 25, 2015 at 12:33 PM

The struggle against misunderstanding of the original sin of 224 and its fifty year old teasing of young Lee Stanley raises additional questions worthy of consideration.

Brother Gurk suggests that the trouble lies not within the stars but within ourselves.

Brother Geller implies that all would be right with the world had Lee Stanley been armed on that long ago day on the South Lawn when he was pantsed or any of the numerous times he wandered through the halls bereft because his brief case was stolen making locomotion difficult for him.   One wonders if Scott arms himself before attending a movie or attending church?   Would Lee have been legally justified in gunning down his tormenters?   Would he have been handled had he merely fired warning shots instead of wounding or offing those grabbing his briefcase?   Yet, had he been carrying, Lee probably would have kept his piece in his briefcase so he would have been SOL in trying to prevent its theft by brandishing his firearm.   Upon recovery, however, revenge could have been swift and merciless.

Mitchell’s thought that the class should indulge in some kind of cathartic mass mea culpa that does not involve money or plaques raises some questions as well.   I, for one, am satisfied with the conversation with Lee reported by Alvin Wadler in which he expressed contrition for nasty behavior to which Lee responded with a strikingly thoughtful comment which contained both explanation and forgiveness.   Lee was truly remarkable under his shell (autistic or otherwise) that made it difficult to “like” him.

For that matter, if I spend a lot of time trying to undo or make amends for embarrassing or shameful acts of adolescence I would probably need therapy.

OR, I could take the Eric Cartman route and give fruit baskets to everybody that I may have offended or harmed.    Query:  Did I harm anybody by taking certain snapshots with the Polaroid camera I got for Christmas in 1963 if the subjects were unaware that I was taking the pictures and I didn’t put them on the web or hang them in the locker room?

Another question is what did Scott, Mitchell or any of the rest of us do to change the atmosphere that permitted, if not demanded, bullying?  [Please know that I have shown restraint by refraining from a long discussion of the existential question implied in the last sentence.]   It is possible that an excess of testosterone was a contributing factor.   Is it possible that the gender specific nature of our school contributed to an atmosphere that encouraged cruel treatment of the weak?

After reading the memorial posts my first wife commented that there was no such bullying at her coeducational high school or anything that approached it.   On the other side is the example of the British public school system of the 19th and early 20th century which is famous for tales of buggery, bullying and anti-social customs in the boys only atmosphere.    Of course, without that system would the British have been able to create their empire?   It seems to me that colonialism is perhaps the ultimate expression of bullying. 

When it comes to the British, a litmus test of one’s cultural habits might be:  Do you know more lyrics of Led Zepplin (Will you take me to the movies?   Are you dizzy when you’re stoned?) or Gilbert & Sullivan (Though it’s patent to the mob, that my being made a nob, was effected by a job.   And a good job too.)

Having read this far you need not wait any longer for the action step of this screed.    It seems to me that one way to approach our collective angst about the treatment of Lee fifty years ago that does not involve money or ceremony to which Mitchell objects, would be to launch a campaign to make Central coeducational.   I think it likely that this is an idea whose time is finally right.    Perhaps there should be a merger with Girls High with two grades attending one building and the other grades in the other.    If we are successful in making this happen, I suggest that the halls at CHS be painted something other than vomit yellow.   Perhaps a gentle lime green or a restful azure?

Jeffrey Sprowles has a birthday today.
Jun 25, 2015 at 4:34 AM
Jeffrey Sprowles has left an In Memory comment for Daniel Kubert.
Jun 12, 2015 at 12:33 PM

Dan was indeed brilliant but he had some idiosyncracies that I found endearing.   

He applied  to Phillip's Exeter Academy every year.    He never was able to explain why he thought he would enjoy going to that bastion of WASPish aristocracy and snobbery instead of CHS.

Dan and I are the only people I know who collected PTC transfers.    We had a race to see who could get a transfer from all the stations on the Broad Street and Market-Frankford lines.   I think Dan won.   I still have a bunch of transfers in the attic.    Perhaps I should consult with Sotheby's or Freeman's to  test the market for early 1960s transfers.

Dan was a wonderful person and I regret that I did not keep in touch after Central.

Jeffrey Sprowles added a photo to his profile gallery.
Apr 21, 2015 at 7:47 AM
Mar 14, 2015 at 8:44 AM

Mike, I had the same experience at Frankford Trust where the president would never fail to say, "he graduated from Central, so you know he's smart." He never mentioned my Ivy League college degree.

Jeffrey Sprowles has left an In Memory comment for Edmond Rosner.
Mar 02, 2015 at 4:33 PM

Ed died 6/18/1999.    An obituary may be found on Philly.com.

Jeffrey Sprowles has left an In Memory comment for Donald S Himmelreich.
Mar 02, 2015 at 4:33 PM

Just spent 10 minutes chatting with Don.    He told me the reports of his death are greatly exaggerated.

Mar 02, 2015 at 3:24 PM
Jeffrey Sprowles has left an In Memory comment for Lee Stanley.
Feb 28, 2015 at 12:33 PM

Lee sat next to me in book from sophomore year when he first came to us from Masterman until graduation.    He was murdered last year in the same home on Mole Street in which he lived during his Central years, most likely by a burglar.    Lee attended our 45th and I had a nice chat with him.    He was a sweet person.    According to his obituary he is greatly missed at the synagogue where his father was cantor and where he had assembled a collection of music memorabilia.    I suspect most of us remember Lee as using his briefcase as an aide to propulsion through the halls and as a source of teasing when his briefcase was stolen.    I remember him for the surprise I felt when he told me that he was spending his post retirement (he was an archivist for the City of Philadelphia) working on the music collection for the synagogue and another data base on the Philadelphia Phillies.    He never impressed me as a sports fan, but there you are.        Jeff Sprowles   2/28/2015

Posted: Apr 21, 2015 at 7:47 AM
Posted: Apr 21, 2015 at 7:47 AM