Nick Browning has “moved full time to Vermont, close to Woodstock where we have a 50- mile view to the east to watch the sun rise over New Hampshire mountains. We love being here, but are thoroughly sick of the social isolation that this pandemic has imposed on us. I’m still working about 25 hours a week, something I’m enjoying more than ever before despite having to do everything on the computer. My nearly lifelong correspondence with Peter Pfeiffer continues and is the closest I can come to having a brother in this life.
You know, Charlie, I was talking to a friend not so long ago and we were talking about our working lives. I told him I could not remember, ever, getting up in the morning feeling that I wished I didn’t have to go to work that day. Ever! Perhaps this memory is not entirely true, but I think it’s close. I doubt very many people in the world can experience good fortune like this. I am always interested and always learning. You could put this in the note also if you’d like— it’s my preposterous good fortune, along with my wife and family.
Rob Pratt writes: “Greetings! I hope you and your family are well. What an incredible time we’ve been living through. Here’s a brief update.
“At the request of Asian Development Bank officials, I’ve started a new company to help Pacific Islands address their renewable energy and energy efficiency needs. I was scheduled to travel in February to the Solomon Islands where I and my team members have been working with the electric utility, but a COVID surge has delayed the trip to late April.
“Because I know you are interested in clean energy, my new company (my fourth) is Pacific Clean Energy Partners (www.PCEPartners.com). I founded PCEP almost two years ago, but with the pandemic, it’s been really difficult to get approved for travel. This latest delayed trip was my third attempt to get to the Solomons (travel bans get imposed when COVID surges), but I’m a tenacious guy, so I will get there. The Solomons, as well as many Pacific Islands, are mostly dependent on diesel oil for their electricity generation, so accelerating the use of renewables and energy efficiency approaches is not only good for the environment and climate change but helps with the countries’ balance of payments. Another positive is that through our clean energy development, we will be creating jobs in countries where unemployment is often high. (Ironically, there’s a lot of clean energy funding committed to the Pacific Islands by the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, etc., but a good deal of it doesn’t get committed because of a lack of RE/EE developers.)
“I’m no longer CEO of GreenerU, my third company, which works with colleges and universities in implementing energy efficiency installations and climate action plans, but I do continue to serve as its chairman. While the pandemic halted our work on almost all college campuses during the early stages of the outbreak, the federal PPP Loan Program was literally a lifesaver, and GreenerU (www.GreenerU.com) has come through it okay. We’ve done a great deal of work with Brown, Brandeis, Babson, Dartmouth, Clark, WPI, Boston College, Yale, Smith, Wellesley, Mt. Holyoke, and many more (though we’ve never been able to crack Wesleyan in spite of numerous attempts!), and just received a $7M contract from Harvard Medical School. So, it’s been gratifying to see continuing progress with EE and colleges’ work in helping to mitigate their GHG emissions and become climate neutral.
“In addition to my clean energy work, I continue to sail Zephyr, our cruising sailboat, all over the Coast of Maine in the summer, taking off the entire month of August each year. This past summer we sailed from our home port of Falmouth, Maine, to the Penobscot Bay/Mt. Desert Island/Bar Harbor region. It’s wonderful to be able to sail to inhabited and uninhabited islands, interesting ports and peninsulas, which abound in Maine, which has more coastline than the rest of the East Coast combined! With our home in Exeter, New Hampshire, I also do a good deal of skiing in the winter, both with my daughter and the Seacoast Ski Club. So far this year I’ve skied Cannon, Mt. Sunapee, Stowe, Sunday River, and Okemo.
“So, life is good, in spite of the pandemic and my worries about the national political situation and, of course, climate change. We seem to be rushing down a path with huge climate and environmental consequences, and it’s far worse than most people know. But I’m an optimist, and rather than getting depressed, I simply try to contribute where I and my companies and non-profit organizations (I founded the International Institute for Energy Conservation —www.IIEC.org—in 1984 and served as its chairman for many years) can help make a difference.
“Sorry for this long email. I got carried away on this Sunday morning. Best wishes to you and your family!—Rob”
Larry Feldman notes: “Still well, still working, three grandkids.”
Jim Drummond replies: “Deborah and I are healthy and I still practice criminal defense in Texas. Hope Colorado re-elects its two Wesleyan senators.”
Paul Dickman writes: “I have a new hip.”
Pete Pfeiffer laments: “John Bloomgarden died last October. A wonderful person. Quiet, delightful sense of humor, and a warm, generous nature.” I couldn’t agree more.
Pete continues: “Maine’s Jack London winters aren’t getting any easier, snow and sleet outside. I’m in the La-Z-Boy looking for the right words. Solastagia, second book, on Amazon.”
Ron Reisner reflects: “Mike Terry’s passing is sad. In spring 2020, he challenged lacrosse teammates to help Wesleyan improve. Positive, smart, beyond funny, he will be missed.” Mike used his talents as a writer, visionary, and humanist to set goals that benefit others.
From Ken Kawasaki: “We are happy to keep in touch with all, to hear from old friends, and to make new! With the continuing pandemic, we wonder when we will be able to meet anyone again in person, to welcome visitors, or to travel again. We are not in lockdown, but the virus is still spreading in Sri Lanka as everywhere, so, for the most part, we remain isolated at home. We’re grateful to be able to communicate online; we’re stronger together, even virtually! By the power of the Triple Gem, may you enjoy well-being.” www.brelief.org.
John Wilson is “well, thankful, and hunkered down in Ann Arbor. Read, exercise, forage for food. Love to grill.”
John Bach paints houses and counsels Quaker students at Harvard. “I’m going out with my boots on.”
Stu Blackburn recommends Helen MacInnes’ spy thrillers. “I can see signs of spring on England’s south coast. Enduring family dislocations because of COVID.”
“Boog” Powell writes: “New London, New Hampshire. Fully retired. Sail an Island Packet out of South Freeport. Oldest granddaughter Lizzie, a freshman at Berklee College in Boston.”
Barry and Kate Turnrose “welcomed a second grandchild, Tyler; parents are our son Eric and his wife Dawn. Living nearby, we see Tyler and big sister Jenna often.”
From Steve Broker: “Linda and I continue to reside in Cheshire, Connecticut, and Wellfleet, Massachusetts. We met in the Wesleyan MAT Program in September 1969. A few years later, Linda completed a second master’s degree at Yale’s Epidemiology and Public Health, and in the early 1980s, I studied further at Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental Sciences (now School of the Environment). Linda’s career involved 32 years of academic administration at Quinnipiac University, while mine alternated between high school science teaching and graduate school administration at Wes (Graduate Liberal Studies Program) and Yale (Forestry). We have long pursued various activities (painting, gardening, and birding) in retirement.”
Mark Hodgson published an essay in Hippocampus Magazine.
Tom Earle says: “Fly fish for bass in Oahu’s jungle streams. Will visit Norway unless another variant emerges.”
Dave Dixon “made a career of planning urban renaissance projects across North America. In touch with Jeff Richards, Bill Edelheit, Rob Pratt, and Bob Feldman ’70. Still trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up.”
Charlie Morgan writes: “COVID in January; mild symptoms. Play tennis, do genealogical research, and act as an expert witness in lawsuits. Love from southeastern Florida.”
Paul Edelberg ’72: “My brother Jay died after a long battle with multiple myeloma. He was a natural leader and a nationally known emergency room physician. He was a kind and generous spirit.” Hear, hear! I remember Jay’s smile, which lit up a room.
Ed Sonnino’s political platform: “End poverty, homelessness, violent crime, addiction . . . .”
Rich and Evvy Kennedy ’71 note: “What a strange world. So unkind these days.”
Rick McGauley replies: “Cape Cod. Hanging in. Let’s keep in touch.”
Rip Hoffman shares: “At our assisted living facility, a very elderly man asked me my college affiliation. I said Wesleyan. ‘Communists,’ he shouted, laughed hysterically, and walked away. We hunker down. Meals delivered to our suite. Have had dinner with Bob Wylie ’49 and Bob Runk ’67, a member of Uranus and the Five Moons. We shared lots of late-60s memories. Stay positive, test negative.”
Steve Hansel states: “We downsized last summer. All best wishes.”
Bob Dombroski “had COVID. Fine now. Looking forward to two 50th reunions—wedding and law school.”
Dave Siegel, a physician, answered my question, “Why does COVID scare you?” His reply: “Many reasons. Even when we did not know the cause of AIDS, it was clear that avoiding high-risk behaviors made it almost impossible to get AIDS, unless you stuck yourself with a needle from an AIDS patient when drawing blood. Of course, if you were a sexually active gay man or an injection drug user, you would have difficulty avoiding these behaviors. Unlike AIDS, COVID can kill quickly and is a respiratory pathogen. It spreads in a stealthy way and one might not know when you are exposed. For medical people, working in the ED or ICU is especially scary. My son, not me, worked in the ICU in spring 2020 and we were scared to death that he would get sick. Many young doctors and nurses, especially in cities with medical centers, shouldered a huge part of the burden. Fortunately, between vaccines and treatments, things are a lot better.”
February snow swept through. The condos, small and massed, feel like Plimouth Plantation that first winter. COVID has changed me into an exotic animal on a large preserve.
The far horizon is pink, the high sky a very off light blue. The moon’s disc silhouettes the big oaks, and the far trees bunch like Brillo. These are Wyeth’s colors.