CLASS OF 1973 | 2019 | ISSUE 3

We have news from around the world, starting with one of my three East College roommates from senior year.

John Spike writes from Venice, Italy. “In January 2017, I retired from the College of William & Mary after nearly 10 years as assistant director and chief curator of the Muscarelle Museum of Art. The ensuing freedom has allowed us to return to working in Europe for about half the year (or less, for tax reasons). In London, I am senior advisor to the Sir Denis Mahon Foundation. In Venice I am organizing a symposium and an exhibition of Raphael drawings for the Accademia museum in honor of the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death in 1520. Michèle is lawyering plus writing and lecturing on Matilda of Canossa and other medieval themes. This autumn in Tenafly, N.J., we’re looking forward to our 50th high school reunion. In Los Angeles, our beautiful 3-year-old grandson, Santiago Spike, is happily babbling in at least two languages at the same time.”

From Lake Placid, N.Y., John Huttlinger reports a busy summer. “My CPA practice is very time consuming, but I enjoy working with my clients,” he says, adding, “I have taken steps to seek out a smooth and orderly transition to semi-retirement, but have not found the right solution to that yet.” He is still active with the Lake Placid Film Festival, which was launched in June 2000. He attended the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival, where he met festival organizers Mike McKenna and Lloyd Komesar ’74. His film society arranged their annual classic film screening hosted by Jeremy Arnold ’91. Jeremy is a writer for Turner Classic Movies and writes the companion books to their Essentials series. His family has had a camp on Lake Placid for over 80 years. John and wife Karen had lunch with Jeremy and his mother at their classic Adirondack camp high on a cliff overlooking Lake Placid.

He’s also connected with Charlie Cocores ’74: once at Reunion last year, when he invited him to go to Foxboro to watch the Wesleyan Men’s Lacrosse team play in the NCAA Division III championship game (Wesleyan won) and again last spring in Middletown for a reunion of Wesleyan Men’s Lacrosse teams from the 1970s “which Mike McKenna inexplicably attended as well!” He says he also keeps in touch with Michael Gionfriddo, who has moved back to Middletown and spends a lot of time at Wesleyan.

Bruce Fergusson tells me, “Peter, first of all, kudos for drastically lowering your A1C! I’m still north of the border myself but we’re working on it.” He says following his wife’s retirement as a social worker for the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, they sold their home and moved to Salem, Ore. “As I’ve done elsewhere, a new home is not yet christened until I build a dry-stone wall—front yard this time. Building stone walls is a lot easier than writing, but I’ve somehow still managed to finish, and publish, my eighth novel, and I’m working on the next,” he says. (

His son Brian is in grad school, hoping to become a respiratory therapist. His oldest son, Patrick, recently married, is in the “thick of the D.C. political scrum,” working as the assistant chief-of-staff and legal counsel for a prominent “Rebel Alliance” congresswoman.

Jay Rose writes that, “Since we are all old, I can share the rites of passage for our age group. I am getting my second hip replacement, we recently downsized to an over-55 community, and my back hurts all the time. But I can break 90 pretty often.”

From Nashville, Jim Powers, with the Vanderbilt Center for Quality Aging, reports that he received a HRSA Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program grant to train health professionals to care for older people and deliver effective models of care to improve health outcomes.

At this writing here in early September from South Florida, we have dodged Dorian, another dreaded hurricane that was heading in our direction originally putting us “in the cone” for a week and then skirting north after walloping the Bahamas and then threatening my oldest daughter, Jennifer, and her family in southern Virginia before heading further north. We are still in the peak of the hurricane season so who knows what I’ll be reporting next.

Until next time,

Peter D’Oench |