I am sure all readers noted that in the previous issue the secretaries of the two preceding classes began their columns with “Aloha!” I did not and will keep that string intact. Connecticut winters are still fine by me.
Steve Alpert is now in British Columbia. “Enjoying growing blueberries, keeping an orchard, and working the garden under the gaze of the sea and a snow-capped volcanic Mt. Baker. Best news of all Sarah Alpert ’07 gave birth to a granddaughter in May, Aviva Olesen-Alpert. In a tangential way Wesleyan keeps spreading its wings even here in Victoria, B.C., as Sarah and her husband, Max, both teach with substance, verve, and passion.”
Mike Bober passed on the news that Geoff Rips was involved in organizing a Clean Water Act citizens suit against Formosa Plastics for pollution of Lavaca Bay. The suit resulted in the largest citizens suit settlement in U.S. history. See the Texas Tribune article. Geoff says they were worried about having the settlement approved “because the decision on the amount had to be cleared by the Dept. of Justice because the settlement amounts are in place of federal fees for EPA violations. Apparently, the DOJ has other things on its mind because it didn’t oppose this by the deadline.”
Mike added this personal reminiscence of Geoff, which in many ways sums up our particular class experience:
“In September, 1968 I heard about a guy from Texas in our class but didn’t realize I had already met him. Geoff can be very self-effacing, simply the last person to ever promote himself. When I visited San Antonio in the summer of 1970 and met his family, I began to understand how deeply rooted they were in the state—in its politics, its traditions, in the land itself. Over the last 50 years, Geoff has turned that same love of place into an art form. I never understood how he could continue to write fiction and poetry, when by day he wrote for and edited the Texas Observer; or, during Ann Richards’ administration, for Jim Hightower at the Agriculture Dept., and then for the Austin school district, as it struggled to accommodate an historic burst in population. Always, his work has been informed by the particular ground beneath his feet, and the incredibly diverse people who have come to compose that special part of America that has always been writ large.”
It’s been surprisingly tough getting news out of classmates for this issue. I sent out a broadside note asking, “How are you doing?” Rob Gelblum responded, “Better than I deserve.”
Steve Scheibe teaches global business “once in a while” at National University, still operates his consulting business doing handholding and export management Brazil, USA, and Mexico. He writes a blog mainly on Brazil and sometimes posts on the Wesleyan LinkedIn page. You can find the blog at allabroadconsulting.wordpress.com. He has been married to Angela for going on 47 years, with two sons (biotech and fireman), and four granddaughters, all local! “Smart people, ha!”
Peter Schwartz is still working one day a week in a medical center serving the uninsured and underinsured north of Philadelphia. He plans to work another 12-16 months before hanging it up forever. He love living in the Northeast and can’t see moving to warmer climates. His son, Jonathan ’00, loves Ann Arbor, Mich., despite the cold. He is head of middle school at the Greenhills School there.
Paul Vidich has two bits of news:
“First, I have embarked upon an effort to create a micro history of the Wesleyan’s film program 1968-1972, which happens to coincide with our years there. I started this project after reading the laudatory article on Jeanine in the most recent Wesleyan magazine, and I noticed there was hardly any mention of the program’s origin and early years. I spoke with Jeanine and she was extremely supportive of the idea, in part because the class of 1972 provided the first real funding for the film program during our 25th Reunion. So far, I have interviewed Jeanine, Colin Campbell Hon. ’98, Richard Slotkin, Laurence Mark ’71, Mark Levin, Raffaele Donato, Jan Eliasberg ’74, Dave Williams, and Stephen Schiff. I hope to catch up with everyone in our class that took a course with Jeanine. Of course, they university has not records of who took what classes then. Could you mention this project in the class notes and encourage any classmates who took one of Jeanine’s classes to email me at email@example.com.
Second, my third book, The Coldest Warrior, which publishes Feb. 4, has received a starred book review from Publishers Weekly, which said: “With this outing, Vidich enters the upper ranks of espionage thriller writers.” I will be on a five-city, winter book tour with a stop in Middletown. More can be found at paulvidich.com.”
John Manchester has published If I Fell, a sequel to Never Speak A novella prequel will shortly appear.
Leon Vinci gives us this report on recent activities:
“Went up to Middletown last month for a visit and popped-in to O’Rourke’s Diner for breakfast on my way to a national council meeting on health and safety codes with the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) headquartered in Chelsea, Mass. (I am a 10-year board member). From there, as the delegate for the Yale Club of Southwestern Virginia (that other CT school just down the road from Wes U), I went back to New Haven for the annual Assembly of the Yale Alumni Association and attended ‘THE Game’ (Yale-Harvard football at Yale Bowl). You may have heard: this contest was a classic in that Yale came from behind (down by 3 touchdowns at one point) and won in the last 20 seconds! That achievement followed a prolonged half-time break—due to the sit-in demonstration on the 50-yard line wherein both Harvard and Yalies protested their alma mater’s investments in fossil fuel companies in recognition of the need to take action concerning climate change (my MPH in environmental health is from the Yale School of Medicine’s Public Health program). Ah, reminds me of the good ol’ days!
“Presently, I am tutoring STEM students at Virginia Western College (in Roanoke), as well as grading my recent Project Management in Healthcare course at Drexel University (I’m an adjunct faculty member there). In my role as Policy Chair of the APHA Environment Section Committee on Climate and Health we are preparing testimony concerning the proposed EPA effort (aka the current Administration) to ‘dumb-down’ the role of science in their rule-making process.”
David Hagerty and his wife Louise continue to live in Great Barrington, Mass., having moved from Boston after 28 years in 2016. He continues to do executive coaching at the Harvard Business School in their senior level executive development and owner-president programs several times a year. In addition, he is involved with the Berkshire Guild of Artists exhibiting his photography in local art shows. Louise and Dave are also involved with a choral group, Berkshire’s Sings. They spend time with their grandchildren and traveling internationally.
Tom Edmondson offered to join a demonstration outside Moscow Mitch’s office “for fair trial procedure.” Unfortunately, with the lag in publishing this magazine by the time you all read this the demonstrators will likely be long gone. But he says, with respect to future demonstrations, “My slovenly suburban hovel would be open to anyone who can tolerate it overnight to take a stand for fairness and democracy.”
And finally, this obligatory plug for our Reunion, which will be great and to which everyone should come: The 50th Reunion is May 19-22, 2022. Reunion news and news about regional events can be found at wesleyan.edu/classof1972. Join the committee and work on outreach, programming, or fundraising. Questions or want to get involved? Contact Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, ’19 at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860/685-5992.
Seth A. Davis | email@example.com
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