Hi, everyone. I recently had dinner with Bill Shapiro and his girlfriend, Naomi Wax, in NYC. Bill and Naomi just finished writing a book called What We Keep, a collection of interviews with people around the country about the single object in their life that holds the most emotional significance. The book includes interviews with people like Hasan Minhaj, Cheryl Strayed, and Melinda Gates, and alumni Joss Whedon, Amanda Palmer ’98, and Anthony Weintraub; it comes out in September.
Speaking of Joss, he had this to say: “I’m writing, which means I’m okay. The last few years had less writing and more crippling sleep apnea, but a hilariously painful throat surgery in May made it possible to breathe, and therefore sleep, and therefore write/live/do that show-tune at karaoke that I thought everyone else knew too. This oxygen shit is dope, I highly recommend. My son is 15, my daughter is 13, and both of them still like me so something went right there. They are delightful, hardworking and kind, the lights of my life, and I’m counting the hours till they go to college, so I can move out of Santa Monica, where the last remaining bookstore just closed, and the sun is still trying to kill me in the face. I, on occasion, see or e-mail Lael Loewenstein, Tommy Plotkin ’86, John Penney, and Lisa Rosen ’86, all way too seldom. I am co-running One Vote at a Time, making free ads for anti-gun, pro-women candidates for midterms. I despair at the world but hope we may yet keep it spinning. I drink too much, but LESS too much, so I’m basically a True American Hero. Bye-ee!”
From Andy Grimaldi: “I’d like to share with our class the wonderful vacation that we recently took in Barcelona. My family and I visited with David Glatz and his daughters. We were joined by Chris Olinger, and his brother, Michael ’89, visited from Brussels. Dave was a fantastic guide, from a festival in Barceloneta to an amazing tour of Costa Brava. My wife, Lynne, and I are grateful to him, the Olinger brothers and our sons, John and Nick, for assisting me around the city. They went above and beyond by helping me into the Mediterranean for a rather brisk dip. I was diagnosed with ALS in 2017 and this was a tremendous getaway with good friends. Rumor has it that the Dilated Pupils will be reconvening this fall in western Massachusetts. Cheers everyone!”
Florence Dore has a new book, Novel Sounds: Southern Fiction in the Age of Rock and Roll (2018) out on Columbia University Press. Greil Marcus has said of Novel Sounds, “This is an original and subtle book, with punk rock ricochets.”
Stephen Porter donated his collection of 75 tapes of live student music to Olin Library Special Collections. “The tapes still sounded good after 30 years, and these are mostly the original master recordings. This includes stuff like all the mid-1980s Duke and Zonker Day music. Unfortunately, but perhaps not surprisingly, I do not remember much beyond what was written on the tapes themselves. There will be an inventory of these tapes available online under Olin Library Special Collections, if anyone can fill in names of musicians.”
Liz Kromelow writes: “My second son, James Dietz ’18, just graduated from Wes with honors in general scholarship. It was the Class of 1988’s Reunion so I got to see many familiar faces, including Justine Gubar ’88, Kwong Lee, Geoff Howell ’88, David Davenport ’88, and Deirdre Davis ’88. I met quite a few people I didn’t know from my time at Wes including Bobbito Garcia ’88, who has a new documentary coming out in June. I also ran into Muzzy Rosenblatt.”
Speaking of Muzzy, as of July 1, he is the chair of a new four-person Alumni Association Executive Committee.
Trisha Lindemann was just at Wes for her the graduation of her son, Jordan Witzel ’18. “Fitting bookend. From Bill Cosby to Anita Hill. From blistering sun to chilly rain. Go Wes.”
From Lori Benson: “Neil Benson ’88 and I just attended Neil’s 30th Reunion. The attendance was a bit small, but we had a great time catching up with folks like Steve Morrison ’88 and Christie Trott ’88. They were able to catch me up on Paul Gosselin—to whom I send a big ‘hello’! My oldest son, Oliver, and Nelly Taveras’s and Brian Shelly’s youngest daughter, Sophia, will be matriculating in the fall, which means their graduation will be our 35th Reunion. Wesleyan looked great—investment in the campus and facility really shows. I had a great dinner with Claire Conceison, who is the Quanta Professor of Chinese Culture and Professor of Theater Arts at MIT and splits her time between New York and Boston. She is as vibrant and gorgeous as ever and it was great to reconnect. I’m excited to have her up to my husband’s new restaurant—The Red Zebra—in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.”
Amanda Jacobs Wolf | firstname.lastname@example.org