CLASS OF 1938 | 2016 | ISSUE 3

Today I was wonderfully surprised when Curtis Smith rang me up to say hello. He must have known I was up against a deadline, again!

I am guilty thinking that with only having two fellows of ’38 to speak with, I have all the time in the world. Which I do have, until I don’t!

Curtis Smith reports he is well. They are controlling his congestive heart failure as best as possible. He has joined a nearby church, which follows the Methodist belief. He enjoys singing along with the hymns. Curtis has also joined a chorus at his community. While he says he isn’t that strong at the singing, my guess is he sounds just fine. I am so happy to hear that music is back in your life via these groups, Curtis. He has had wonderful visits from all of his children. Just a few weeks ago, he was introduced to his first great-grandchild.

In another couple of weeks, all of his children and their spouses will gather to celebrate his 99th birthday on Oct. 28.

Curtis did want to say that he remembers Frank Conant ’39, who passed away on March 2 of this year. They met at Wesleyan when they became brothers at Sigma Chi. Curtis said Frank was the only person he ever knew that shared the same birthday as his. They spoke every year on their birthday, up until last year. What a wonderful connection to make 80 years ago!

I quickly called Art Kingsbury after my phone call with Curtis, to get his news. Art said, “I think I’m pretty well.” However, if I had called six weeks ago, things would have been a different story. Art had a detached retina, and while the operation to fix it is rather straightforward, the recovery is a quite a pain. If you are not familiar with the process, let’s just say, three weeks of NOT lifting your head is not easy. Thankfully they have great devices to assist one in recovery. The best device came from his wife, Dianne, who, to prevent Art from rolling off onto his side while sleeping, attached a bag of golf balls to the back of his pajamas. Brilliant!

As of late September, Art had been cleared to drive and play golf again. This Friday he will get back onto the greens. Congratulations on the successful recovery. Oh, and enjoy your latest addition to the clan, a great-grandchild due at the end of October. I believe this is number 11!

Politics didn’t come up this time around, but something tells me we will have much to discuss when the next deadline knocks on my door. It is such a pleasure sharing ideas and thoughts with these two remaining classmates. I miss having conversations with the fellows who have since gone on. This generation has such a valuable insight in our society today. I hope all classes that follow ’38 will record as much as possible. Having a perspective that comes from time on this earth is an asset.

Here’s wishing everyone much joy over the upcoming holidays, and a very happy 99th birthday to you, Curtis.

GRACE BENNETT, daughter of the late Walter V. Bennett ’38
8104 39th Avenue, S.W., Seattle, WA 98136