Former Wesleyan Argus Editor Steven Greenhouse sent me a newsy note. He said he and Kirk Adams “trekked up” to Fairfield early last November to celebrate the 50th anniversary of when Paul Baumann met his wife-to-be Vivian. Steve Forstein, who joined them on the Wesleyan freshman soccer teams 50 years ago, “joined the festivities and gave a smashing toast,” Steven said. He also said Kirk and his wife, Cecile, threw a book party for his new book, Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor. Steven was honored that Nick Kristof called his book “superb, important, and eminently readable,”while Zephyr Teachout, writing in the New York Times Book Review, called it “engrossing, character-driven, panoramic.”
He also said Wesleyan’s history department and College of Letters invited him to give a talk about the book in late October—and he was honored that one of his favorite professors, Paul Schwaber ’57, came to hear the talk. “When a friend held a book party for me in Los Angeles, I was delighted that Wes classmate, Peggy McIver Gregerson, joined us,” said Steven. Peggy lives in Pasadena and works in advertising. When Steven spoke in the Bay Area, he stayed with College of Letters “buddy and roommate in Paris, Jonathan Siegal, who is a very successful labor lawyer in Oakland.”
Alain Munkittrick is co-authoring a book with Deborah Shapiro, Middletown city historian, titled, Middletown’s High Street and Wesleyan University (Arcadia), featuring historical images from Special Collections and Archives, and the Middlesex County Historical Society.
From Washington, D.C., Charles Wayne and Ellen Kabcenell Wayne ’75 recently become grandparents for the fourth time in 26 months “despite the fact that neither of us are old enough to be a grandparent.” He says the proud fathers are Michael Wayne ’05 (an 18-month-old boy) and Joey Wayne ’08 (2-year-old twin girls and a baby girl).
Some of you may shun joining Facebook for a myriad of reasons but I will give one reason to get hooked up: Michael McKenna. His photographs from Vermont are spectacular and when he posts them, I can guarantee that you will look with appreciation and linger. Mike captures the essence of parts of that state and it wouldn’t surprise me if the best of his collage ends up somewhere sometime soon in a photo gallery.
Michael is a “first time grandfather to Ms. Frances Anne McKenna, aka Frankie. The highlight of this or any year.” He recommends reading David Brooks’s The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life, which is all about writing one’s personal résumé separate from one’s career. He says it supports the old saying, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mike is still working and doing more pro bono work. One of his most meaningful endeavors is serving on the Wesleyan Athletics Advisory Council. Mike adds, “Wonderful way to be invited back to campus to support Athletic Director Mike Whalen ’83 and coaches, see friends, and to meet and encourage some of the current flock of Cardinal athletes. What a talented, inspiring group.” The ever enthusiastic and upbeat Mike says he highly recommends reconnecting with Wesleyan in such ways and says, “I’m genuinely grateful for the opportunity.” He ends with the encouraging words of “Play on.”
Mike shared that Tim Warner is on the Wesleyan Athletics Advisory Committee with him. Tim flies in from Stanford, where he is a senior executive in the administration, and “adds great insights into how great schools can have strong athletics programs at the same time. Great to reconnect with my first-year Foss Hill neighbor!”
Finally, a farewell to someone who has been an incredible help to me as class secretary since she joined Wesleyan University 30 years ago. Wesleyan Magazine Managing Editor Cynthia Rockwell MALS ’19 announced she was retiring as of Feb. 28. Her duties with class secretaries are passing on to Randi Plake, who has been outstanding in terms of helping me reach out to you. But in this life, there is only one Cynthia Rockwell, whose passion for the school, the magazine, and all of you is unequaled. So, a final shout out to one of the best that Wesleyan was so fortunate to have as our source and guidance. In the end, she was typically self-effacing in a letter to me saying she always felt I was “the pro” and she was “the aspiring journalist.” Quite the opposite. Her articles and stories in the magazine have also been first rate. She has been the MVP, the Most Valuable Player, for class secretaries and we have been the players and hopefully “pros” most of the time.
Best of luck in your endeavors in 2020.
Peter D’Oench | Pgdo10@aol.com