Editor’s note: Nelson’s “In it for the Money” column appears regularly in The Chronicle, roughly around the third Wednesday of the month.
Mitt Romney and I went to the same high school – three decades apart. This would be immaterial, except the Washington Post just published a fascinating 5,500-word remembrance of Mitt Romney’s hijinks at Cranbrook, a high-pressure prep school in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
I attended this same school in the 1990s; it’s an architectural gem, the staff is excellent, the program an academic crucible. Later, as a University of Michigan student, I shared a broken-down house with three fellow Cranbrook alums. One was in a sociology class, and we were delighted when he revealed that his textbook listed Cranbrook as “one of the last vestiges of American aristocracy.”
Because Mitt and I attended Cranbrook exactly 30 years apart, we ended up standing back-to-back on a balmy June evening in 2005 – the same year Mitt received the school’s 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award. The governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and I stood together at the lip of a deep, inset fountain, which gurgled contentedly, almost as though it was whispering ♪♫Daaaaave, I would be an excellent place for a GOP splaaashdown!♫