Alain Munkittrick has an important update. He says that he and Rosemary (who met at Wesleyan) are “excited, first time grandparents, having greeted Finn Munkittrick to the world in October.” They live in Portland, Conn., and are busy at work as architects for the restoration of three historic buildings on the former Elmcrest campus as a part of a $30-million development Brainerd Place.
Michael McKenna writes that he is still working out of global HQ in the barn behind his home in Vermont where he and Lynn have lived for 11 years. “Loved my time in NYC but really enjoy consulting both non- and for-profit clients on strategic communications,” says Mike. He gave his first talk at SXSW in Austin on How Social Media Creates Tunnel Vision. He also joined the board of The Conversation US, an online news source featuring content provided by university experts. Mike says he started a term on the Corporate Communications Advisory Council at UVA’s Darden School and also had his first trip to China to visit a new client in Shanghai. He says he asked classmate and Chinese expert Claire Reade for her good advice before leaving. Mike also sponsored the annual Middlebury film festival founded by Lloyd Komesar ’74. He says it is a “wonderful event” that attracts a lot of Wesleyan alumni. Mike and Tom Kelly, Tom Halsey ’72, and Rob Calhoun ’72 hosted a dinner for the Cardinal football team when they came north to play the Panthers. Mike calls it a “year of firsts” and says best of all was being father of the bride for his daughter Lee who married a wonderful guy who had known her since the seventh grade. He says both of his children live in San Francisco.
Phil Levienwas reading Hearts by Willy Holtzman ’74 and enjoyed it as much as The Morini Strad and Something You Did. Phil let his students at SBCC’s School of Extended Learning know what a “good read” the plays were and what fertile ground they provided for scene work.
James Powers writes that owns a condo on Music Row in Nashville, is serving on the 45th Reunion committee, and looks forward to seeing everyone this May. Working at Vanderbilt he found two generations of Wesleyan graduates drawn to healthcare policy. Jim, a geriatrician, and Laura Keohane ’03, a health policy faculty member, were approached to write a volume on U.S. healthcare changes. He called it a “daunting task” following the 2016 Republican landslide election. They produced a volume, Value Driven Healthcare and Geriatric Medicine: Implications for Today’s Changing Health System, scheduled for publication by Springer in 2018.
Steve Kallaugher tells me that he is still going back and forth to Swaziland, where he says his Little Young Heroes program has “blown up.” He says they have two offices, a staff of 27 people, and programs reach more than 11,000 orphans and vulnerable children. Plus, they started a community-based savings/micro-entrepreneurship project for their female caretakers. It now has 2,900 members and they’ve already saved over $150,000 to lend to each other. Steve also says a screenplay he wrote 20 years ago suddenly “got hot” in Hollywood this past summer and it’s been optioned by a “big time” producer.” He says, “I wrote it so long ago, it took me two days to find a copy after he emailed me saying that he wanted to read it. Only in the movies.”
Michael B. Robinson, who says he was “the linebacker not the fullback,” writes that he retired from Baltimore City Schools in 2014 and moved into a retirement community in York, Pa., in 2016 with his wife, who is disabled. Mike reports that he is “energized by the competitive political climate in Pa with a strong Democratic governor maintaining in a state that supported our new president. He hopes to renew acquaintances at our 45th Reunion.
David “Harp” Feldman mentions that his newest harmonica book, Harmonica Aerobics, is now in print, published by the Hal Leonard music company. “Why,” Dave asks, “is this newsworthy?” Because he dedicated the book to his great friend Paul Van Stavern ’74.
In an act of self-preservation (since David only knew two Peter, Paul, and Mary songs, and played them incessantly), while living at the late, but hardly lamented, Vinci Apartments on William Street, along with Gary Larkins and Jonathan Burr, Paul bought David two used records. Paul then informed him, at the time, that David could either learn to play blues and rock harp, or Paul would kill him while he slept and a “strange, esoteric, career was born.”
Class President Bill Quigleyhas been busy helping his son deal with post-hurricane issues in Puerto Rico, where, at this writing, an astounding 32 per ent of the island is still without power following the storm in early September. Bill is also helping him start a business. On top of that, he tore a muscle in his leg and was stuck in a boot for more than a month. Billand our 45th Reunion committee have been trying to contact all of you by e-mail or phone to encourage you to join us during the weekend of May 24-28. You may have already heard from me or Bill or other intrepid committee members including Wayne Barber, Joshua Boger, Michael Donnelly, John Feinblatt, Granderson “Granny” Hale, Mark Helfat, Evans Jacobs, Ronald Johnson, Tom Kelly, Ron Medley, Jay Rose, Charley Wayne, and Jim Powers.
So far we have scheduled a healthcare and technology seminars featuring our classmates, a class conversation about different paths we have traveled in life since graduation, and a Saturday class reception, and dinner featuring faculty and staff guests Norm Shapiro and Steve Butler. And my former film professor Jeanine Basinger tells me she looks forward to seeing you as well. Bill reports that more information is available on Reunion 2018 including suggestions on where to stay. You are also urged to join the Facebook group: Wesleyan Class of ’73 Reunion Roadtrip. He notes that Wayne Barber and Mike McKenna are among those who have posted so far. Bill says the Facebook group will have a lot of stories and photos.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with each other as inch closer to another milestone reunion in Middletown. Hope to see you there.
Peter D’Oench | Pgdo10@aol.com