Oswaldo Alberto Rodriguez

Oswaldo Rodriguez was one of my closest friends at Yale, and the first person I came out to. I may have been the same for him.  We spent many hours discussing the origins of species, that is how did we get to this situation.  It was very good to have someone to be frank with during times of personal reflection, as well as to discuss the relative merits of Ethel Merman versus Mary Martin.

William Packard


I have donated an early 18th century American mourning picture to the Art Gallery in honor of Oswaldo, who became a curator of American Art at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. We were graduate students of the legendary Charles Montgomery, curator of American Art during the seventies and eighties. Oz and I rescued the picture from a junk shop, probably in 1974, paying all the money we had on us. An appraiser has valued it at $6000.00. 

The experience provided one of those great life lessons.  

The junk shop was across the street from a place called Gordo’s, where we’d had dinner. After buying it, we walked across campus to Montgomery’s house to display our find. He dismissed the sad condition of the picture and declared the frame alone was worth at least $300. Our triumph was short lived. A one-time antique dealer, he wanted to know details of the transaction. We told him the shop owner was asking $10. I said I had five dollars. “And I had five dollars,” Oz added. “So we paid him,” we concluded. Montgomery’s face fell. “Boys, boys,” he wailed, “haven’t I taught you anything? You never pay the first price!”

Bill Howze, ’67

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