CLASS OF 1956 | 2019 | ISSUE 1

Kudos to Jay Kaplan: “My first book, Secrets and Suspense, sold out of its first edition. It is now available in paperback on Amazon, as well as in a second edition in hardback. There are five-star reviews of it on Amazon. I so enjoyed writing this book that I am almost finished writing another—In Search of Beauty—about our collections of art assembled over the past 55 years. It will be highly illustrated and will also be published by Academica Press. And the Cosmos Club just awarded me their Founders Award for outstanding service to the club. The award has only been made once before and cannot be made for another three years.” Way to go, Jay!

Bill Bixby has moved to Applewood Amherst, an independent retirement community with 100 units. He dines daily there with other residents. He is selling his house to his son, who has a law firm in Springfield. Bill presently is recovering from a broken hip—lots of physical therapy—and uses a walker. He still has speaking problems but meets with two or three UMass students one hour a week. He’s not driving anymore but will use an Applewood bus for doctor appointments, etc. He hopes that friends can drive him to sporting events at Amherst College and UMass but still plans go to annual Wesleyan and Amherst baseball games. Get well, Bill. We’re on your team.

Writes Barry Passett: “Margery and I have moved into a retirement community near our (beloved) old house. As happened in the Air Force 65 years ago, I am having trouble adjusting to a more controlled environment. Since 2018 was a difficult health year I am crankier than ever. I’ve given up most of my ‘music impresario’ role, too. I’m playing poker with Art Levine ’58. We can use two more players!”

From Doug Northrop: “I still play tennis three or four times a week. I give occasional talks to local groups and made it to YouTube for a talk on courtesy at the Winchester Academy. With one son and family in Maine and another son and family in Seattle, I go to the third son in St. Paul, Minn., for Christmas. He has a 13-year-old daughter who is frequently mistaken for a college student and a 10-year-old son who can get me to checkmate in four or five moves. The great-grandchildren are out on the coasts and visit during the summer months.”

Jim Jekel: “Jan and I celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary last August with 24 family members (including our two great-grandchildren). They came from as far away as Asia (our daughter, Wesleyan ’86) and California. Jan is active in music and I in teaching adult classes at church and community classes on various topics. We are still able to keep up our place on Cape Cod and rent it out during the high season, although most of the year we live close to family near Harrisburg, Pa. It is great to hear about classmates.”

From Don Price: “After 60 years, I have retired from a career in science/medicine (including faculty appointments at Harvard and Hopkins). Helen and I spent most of the summer at our home in Woods Hole visiting with family, friends, and colleagues. All our kids are in medicine, and they and the grandkids love the science environment.

“I’ve been thinking about science, medicine, oceanography, marine biology, climate change, energy sources, education, world health, et al. Moreover, I’ve been trying to hybridize neuroscience and humanities, particularly to what may be going on in the brains of principal characters in Shakespeare’s plays. The greatest characters of interest are Prospero and Lear. There are important lessons to be learned in the outcomes of these plays.

“One of our grandsons entered Wesleyan this fall. I hope he has mentors like Nobby Brown and Fred Millet, who were a principal or influence on my career. Great opportunity for a young man.”

Jim Gramentine observed that he was born on the very same day as Brigitte Bardot—adding that he had seen a recent photo of B.B. and wonders if, after all these years, he might be catching up with her in the looks department. It reminded me of Ann’s and my tour around France in 2004. As we approached Bordeaux our guide pointed out a local landmark, commonly known as “the Bridge at Bordeaux.” She claimed that some of her former touristes (mostly male) had expressed disappointment because they thought they were going to catch a glimpse of a certain French actress. I asked her, ‘If they wanted to see the Brigitte Bardot, shouldn’t they have started looking at Brest?’ She dragged me to the front of the bus and made me repeat It for the group.

Just keepin’ hope alive.

George Chien |