Al Ward reports that his health is good, having beaten back CML (leukemia) for 14 or so years, now in remission, giving thanks to big pharma. He is mobile and plays bridge weekly. He enjoyed winter in Naples, Fla., and is looking forward to this summer on Lake Michigan shore. He moved back to D.C. from Lewes, Del., to be close to family. He taught a lifelong learning course at University of Delaware which he enjoyed and hoped that others did too. His last trip to Middletown was for his granddaughter’s graduation and hopes to make it back for his grandson’s. Hail ’52. In response to my reply that Barbara and I are taking ballroom dancing lessons, he wrote that more than 10 years ago at a relative’s wedding, he ventured to dance a polka and crashed to the floor, but luckily only he was hurt. He commented that I was a hero for the “advanced in years” since I was still working and dancing.
Jack Murray enjoys his beautiful home in mostly smoke-free Santa Barbara. He is able to take care of it and himself, walks as much as he can, and is enjoying abundant spring blossoms. As a sign of hope, he planted tomatoes for late summer harvest. He has not seen anyone from our class for quite a while but hears from Maggie and Dixie Sanger and others. He hates politics these days but then people have never gotten along during his time here on earth. He says “kaire” to his remaining brothers from Alpha Delta.
Speaking of Dixie, he and Maggie celebrated their 65th anniversary last summer at the Victor Café in Philadelphia, where, one spring night in 1953 they had gone for dinner after picking out their silver pattern. This time they were surrounded by a dozen children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and a great time was had by all. The Victor, now a South Philadelphia landmark, was a record store when it opened many years ago. Neighbors would drop in to listen as the owner spun opera records on his old 78 rpm. It seemed only appropriate to offer them a little something to eat and perhaps a little wine to wash it down. If someone burst into song, so much the better.
When Maggie and Dixie came to dinner that night so long ago, they brought with them a single spoon in the pattern Fiddle Thread, which they had chosen. A flower vendor moved from table to table: “Roses! Roses! White for purity, red for love.” This time they took a spin on the dance floor while one of the waiters sang “Wunderbar” from the 1950s hit Kiss Me, Kate. They had waltzed to it at their wedding, an event attended by many Wesleyan friends, including some of Dixie’s brothers in Alpha Delta Phi who served as ushers: Stuart Goldsmith ’53 (best man); Gerald Patrick ’53 (away on service); James R. Miller Jr. ’53; W. Clapham Murray ’53 and William B. Bruner. Sadly, Stuart, Jim, and Bill are no longer with us. The rest are still kicking, although some higher than others. The past year brought them a third beautiful great-granddaughter with the happy prospect of a fourth (gender yet to be revealed) to come. Life goes on!
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