CLASS OF 1969 | 2022 | SPRING ISSUE

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.

Love,

Charlie

CLASS OF 1968 | 2022 | SPRING ISSUE

Sam Davidson, whose exquisite art gallery is in Seattle, touched base with Dick Emerson, a Connecticut lawyer, about Wes’s NESCAC championship basketball team.

Noteworthy exchange: Bob Svensk: “Athletes row—everyone else just plays games.” Bob Isard: “Sorry to have to remind you: Rugby players eat their dead.”

I have had a tough stretch this summer/autumn: Took some falls; broke one hip and a couple of ribs; fractured the other hip. Operation, then extended rehab. Can’t really stand or walk much. Ended up in assisted living—not an easy adjustment (food is terrible).  But no one ever said life would be easy. Sustained by many friends and Judy has been a freakin’ saint. I am the beneficiary of her competence and love every day. I have a lot of limitations and have to figure things out, including how to best continue to serve as your secretary.

On top of that, my brother/only sibling died unexpectedly in December. The product of the same sad family and too harsh boarding school; we were very close.

 

CLASS OF 1967 | 2022| SPRING ISSUE

Classmates,
In October 2021, Ted Smith emailed to ask if I had seen The New York Times obituary for former Wesleyan faculty member Dick Ohmann. Ohmann was in the English Department from 1961 until his retirement in 1996, and Ted wondered if I had taken a class from him. I wrote Ted that I had not (I copied my email to Larry Carver ’66, one of my two English major friends—the other, the late great Jim McEnteer, will have to read it from beyond).  I told Ted and Larry (and maybe Jim) that although I did not know Ohmann when I was an undergraduate, I did get to know him a bit four decades later when he asked me to write an article for a special issue he was editing for a lefty journal that he had helped to found in 1975.  The topic of the special issue was teaching about the socioeconomic class system in the USA, and I wrote a piece titled “Teaching an Interdisciplinary Course on the American Upper Class,” based on a course that I had taught periodically (the reading included Thorstein Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, C. Wright Mills’ The Power Elite, and more—the class was always fun to teach).  Ohmann was an excellent editor, a pleasure to work with, and we subsequently traded emails now and then, including a few in April 2021 about another article I had written (this one was titled “The Corporatization of the Liberal Arts College: Even the Class Notes!”).

Ted Smith, by the way, out there in San Jose, California, has survived earthquakes, droughts, fires, and some health issues, but he keeps on truckin’, fighting for social justice and environmental issues, sitting on the boards of some nonprofits.  Larry Carver, who is Class Secretary for 1966, has retired after a distinguished career as an English professor at the University of Texas, Austin, and now lives in Rico, Colorado, doing some teaching, some writing, a lot of hiking, and taking some amazing photographs of majestic views.

Our classmate Don Gerber has had two careers, one as a rabbi and the other as a furniture salesman.  He retired from his rabbinical career in 1999, though he still periodically sends out rabbinical email missives to a large, mostly Jewish, group of recipients. He has continued to sell furniture to retailers. For the past two years, unable to travel because of the pandemic, he has done so online.  He tells me that “Over the past two years, the housing industry has been booming, and ‘cocooning’ has become today’s ‘lifestyle.’  ‘Staycationing’ is more than a word, it is a macro-trend.”  So, stuck in his hardship home base in Newport Beach, California, with his wife Bonnie, Don continues to sell furniture (and to root for Syracuse teams).

My high school and Wesleyan friend, Brian Frosh ’68 (Walter Johnson High School, ’64) makes an early appearance (page 9) in Jamie Raskin’s riveting book, Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy.  When Raskin’s 25-year-old son, Tommy, committed suicide, just days before the seditionist January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, Brian, described by Raskin as “my friend, Brian Frosh, attorney general of Maryland,” helped expedite the process by which police shared with Raskin the heartbreaking suicide note that Tommy had left behind.  Another Wesleyan alum, Dar Williams ’89, makes a touching appearance later in the book.

A few sets of notes ago, in reporting on my decision to retire in the spring of 2020, I mentioned that Guilford College, the small, Quaker-affiliated, liberal arts college where I taught for 45 years, was struggling to survive the double whammy of economic woes and the pandemic.  A few months later the college’s administration and board were well on their way to eliminating most of the school’s liberal arts majors and firing a good portion of the faculty, but, amazingly, more than 3,000 alumni organized under the rubric of “Save Guilford College” and persuaded the board to reverse course.  Guilford College now has a new president, most of the former senior administrators have departed, there are some new members of the board, and the board has a new chair.  I have written about this, an article titled “Organizing during the Pandemic: The AAUP and ‘Save Guilford College,’” which now has been published in the journal Academe.

I hope you have survived delta and omicron, and that you are vaccinated and boostered for whatever comes next.

If you send me more stuff about you for the next set of notes, I’ll write less about me.  Stay safe.

CLASS OF 1966 | 2022 | SPRING ISSUE

We begin celebrating the distinguished career of Bill Dietz, his many years of clinical, metabolic, epidemiologic, and policy work devoted to helping us understand childhood obesity. Recently, Dr. William H. Dietz of George Washington University was “recognized as an Expertscape World Expert in health education,” a result of citations to Bill’s work, placing him “in the top 0.1% of scholars writing about health education over the past 10 years.” Well done, Bill!

A great story from David Griffith, inspired by Jack Knapp’s account in our last class notes about not being prepared for Wesleyan: “My first class on the first day, a lecture in philosophy that was part of the integrated program. The instructor, a newly minted assistant professor whose name I have forgotten, walks in, mounts the podium, and begins with words I will never forget: ‘I assume you all know the difference between a priori and a posteriori reasoning.’ I stared dumbly into space for a moment and then wrote in my notebook ‘Jack, you’ve made a big mistake.’” David, in the same class, remembers that the professor was Paul Reynolds and provides this reminiscence:

“One lovely autumn afternoon, the sun was streaming in the window of a seminar room in Fisk Hall, with a cardinal singing just outside, and bathed in that incomparable soft air of the Connecticut countryside, we slowly drifted in after lunch for a lecture in the freshman course on philosophy, part of the Freshman Integrated Program at Wesleyan in 1962. The original instructor, Mr. Shiman, had taken leave, I guess, and in any event that day the discussion and lecture were presented by Professor Reynolds, who was known and called ‘Rip Reynolds’ by the upperclassmen. Rip was a soft-spoken fellow, slight and thin and gray haired, with a little beard, in his 60s, and semi-retired from the faculty. He was noted for a paper he had published somewhere on Reverend Berkeley’s works on empiricism, and after our customary introductions, he launched into the talk that he gave from his paper, spread out on the wood table in that wood-paneled room, with 15 of us in attendance, seated on very comfortable armchairs. Rip’s delivery was as rumored, easy and light as a feather, slow and deliberate, reading more than speaking from knowledge, all on a topic that would hardly have stirred the heart to action or the mind to engage. As one might expect, as the lecture wore on, the combination of the afternoon, the armchair, and the soft tones of the speaker took their toll— first one student and then another slowly slumping into the chair and surrendering to the charms of Orpheus encased in quotations of Berkeley. Rip was not one to ask questions during a lecture or try to start a discussion, and he simply soldiered on, as one after another of my friends and fellows nodded off, until finally, about 45 minutes into a 55-minute lecture, even my friend Andy Kleinfeld drifted off, and then I no longer had it in me, and allowed my eyes to close. A public-school boy in a private school dominated class, I was diligently taking close notes on every class, trying to keep up with those privileged in their preparation for this college work, but I could not resist the day and the lecture, which was waning in strength. I suddenly opened my eyes and awoke from my light doze when there was no longer that soft droning speech to lull me to sleep, as happens when a sudden silence will wake a sleeper used to background noise; and as I opened my eyes, I realized with mild surprise that even Rip had fallen off, that he had indeed talked himself to sleep. It was somewhat gratifying to realize that I was the only one awake, that even the future valedictorian and master of all knowledge, Andrew J. Kleinfeld, had fallen off, and I was the witness. I kind of tapped on the table a little before the bell rang, which gave Rip a chance to bring up his head, shake off the afternoon nap, and stand to allow us all to leave. That was my only real experience with Rip or Berkeley, but I will never forget it. It was a signal to guide me, but I don’t know to what.”

Essel Bailey writes with the good news that “Our Knights Bridge Winery just opened a production facility in Knights Valley, California, and our wines got serious attention in this weekend’s Naples Wine Auction!” He and Menakka “recently acquired a property in northwest Connecticut where travel to Wes campus is very convenient.” And they have “reorganized our nursing care homes company, to become an ‘Employee Stock Ownership Plan,’ with all of our 1,600 employees as co-owners.”

Rick Crootof sees “Jack and Carla Knapp regularly since they are now living here in Wolfeboro, renting from friends of ours, from September to June, and 30 miles away in the summer. This is their second winter here and they are contracting for next winter again. Like you, they are former urbanites converted to the joys of small-town living. Many pleasant interactions conclude with ‘and this wouldn’t happen in Chicago!’” Rick also keeps up with Sandy Van Kennen, the two recently being “joined on a hike by Peter Monro.” Rick continues to enjoy Zoom “meetings with KNK brothers Jack, Dave Luft and Charlie Ingrao ’69,” where politics dominates. On the way to Sarasota for the winter, Rick and Linda spent a “night in New Haven with Bob and Priscilla Dannies.”

Received this inquiry from Tom Pulliam: “Do you happen to have email address for Hardy Spoehr? My granddaughter has been admitted to University of Hawaii and is interested in marine biology. I would absolutely love for her to meet Hardy, one of my all-time favorite people,” as he is for so many.

An update from Barry Thomas: “Connie and I are gradually getting back to a ‘normal’ pace of activity. Have been to a couple concerts—symphony and bluegrass. We have moved into a period of relative calm with the work in Burundi, striving to stabilize and make sustainable all building and program development activity undertaken during the past year. A third Department of State grant is providing opportunity to do more teacher training, which has to be done virtually. We hope that our return to Burundi is only delayed, and we will be able to travel to East Africa later in the year. The next big issue involves electrifying the Dreaming for Change Community Center, including the preschool. We are looking wherever we can to find an organization interested in supporting such a project.”

Let’s end on this uplifting note. Will Rhys writes: “Pandemic be damned, I did two performances in December of my one-man Christmas Carol and am now in rehearsal for Harry Townsend’s Last Stand, which will have a run in February at the Good Theatre in Portland, Maine.”

 

CLASS OF 1965 | 2022 | SPRING ISSUE

Bob MacLean: “Happy to say I am still in touch with John Dunton whenever there is a relevant rock’n’roll song from the Wombat era, Phil Russell when I need a golf lesson, and Ralph Jacobs during the annual races at Laguna Seca racetrack.

“I am also pleased to say that this is my 45th year as a professional ski instructor, practicing my trade on a part-time basis for year number 15 at Snowmass, Colorado. I’m looking for classmates to come ski with me or if that’s a bit much to ask, how about a little fly-fishing?  Or, if you are so inclined, I recently added on an instrument instructor rating to my certified flight instructor certificate to keep active during the pandemic lockdown. Obviously, none of this has anything to do with my Wesleyan experience except my thanks to Ted See for introducing me to the sport of skiing in Vermont in 1963. Probably should have been studying instead. Wishing my classmates health and happiness as we gaze into the sunset.”

Geoff Geiser: “We are still hanging in there. My wife Carole and I celebrate our 56th anniversary in June. Our primary residence is still in Pennsylvania. We also have a summer home on Long Beach Island, New Jersey. We have two children and four grandchildren. All are thriving and doing well.”

Jim Stewart is still working “more than full time” at the law firm of Pullman & Comley in Bridgeport. Recovering well from heart surgery (summer 2020), and still playing racquetball. Two daughters—Trinity and Wesleyan. Both are trust and estate lawyers and busy with their four granddaughters (ages 8–10).

Charlie Bassos: “Still kicking. Well, maybe not kicking as high as I used to. Most of what is happening in my life revolves around our five grandkids, ages 10, 5, 4, 2, and 2. We exercise a lot, but the MOST exercise we get is when we babysit the youngest ones! Wife Zoe and I wonder how we ever raised our two daughters who were 13 months apart. Daughter Stephanie is building a commercial photography business in the Denver area. Daughter Christi is vice president of digital media for the Tampa Bay Bucs. The team and she got themselves a Super Bowl ring last year and came up just short this year. Will they ever get another chance with Brady gone? I speak occasionally with Frank Green and he chats from time to time with Anthony Caprio ’67, Tom Moreland, and Mark Edmiston.”

Bertel Haarder: Attended Wesleyan during his junior year abroad (1964–65) from his college in Denmark. Later, he distinguished himself as a master of political science graduate and associate professor. He is now in his 42nd year as Liberal Party member of the Danish Parliament. He was also cabinet minister for 22 years and a 7-year member of the European Parliament. Now, president of the Nordic Council and chairman of the Royal Danish Theatre, he also serves on several parliamentary committees. (Glad Wesleyan could have some part in his impressive career!)

Good to hear from Dave Osgood who has been out of the Wesleyan loop for some years. He reconnected via a recent email with Larry Carver ’66. Dave lives outside of Nashville. He reports: “In September I drove to Wisconsin and spent a couple of days with George Adams and Bill Turner.  George is still running his company—an impressive manufacturing operation. Bill is involved in several businesses but devotes most of his time to golf and tennis. He and his wife, Barbara, spend half of the year in Wisconsin and half of the year at their home in Florida.”

Rob Abel and I had a wonderful chat in early February. We spoke because I was particularly interested in the course he teaches—The Healers’ Art—to first-year medical students at Thomas Jefferson University. (Rob is on the faculty of the university’s Department of Integrative Medicine and emeritus professor of ophthalmology.) The goal of the course is to invoke a sense of empathy, encourage active listening, and develop gratitude in students’ daily lives. These qualities are, unfortunately, not emphasized in medical schools.  Also, Rob has been invited to Africa this fall to teach eye residents from Rwanda, Congo, and Uganda, and has an interest in new approaches to bone and joint replacement. Talk about a life with purpose!

Marsh Cusic: “Despite cancellation of our ’65 gathering due to COVID, Georgeanne and I came back for Homecoming in November, amidst spectacular fall colors from Pennsylvania to New England. (It reminded us of several times in recent years when Georgeanne, singlehandedly, drove our daughters, Cyndi and Emily, and their high school teammates, oars, and boats to the Head of the Charles Regatta with the Mendota Wisconsin Rowing Club team.)

“With that pleasant memory in mind, we decided to go ahead and celebrate anyway, as did a handful of ’65 die-hards plus wives. And, despite the exciting, heart-wrenching, four-overtime loss to Amherst (in a drenching rain), Georgeanne and I, along with Gary Witten, Clyde Beers, Phil Rockwell, and wives, drowned our sorrows over brews and seafood at a local pub and had a great time.

“On a separate note, I’m pleased to say that long-lost close friend and ’65 Chi Psi brother Carl Siekmann has surfaced. Carl called me after receiving news about our reunion. (We had lost contact when Carl and I took a break after our sophomore year.)  Then, we got together with Carl and his wife, Susan, in Saint Louis. Carl is now a professor at Washington University Business School.”

Clyde Beers: “In the most recent communication from Wesleyan, I was happy to see President Roth extoll freedom of expression and acceptance of differing points of view.  His actions have not always registered well with me, but I do feel that is one of the most important things a college can offer. And I think his action is necessary.”

And, sorry to end these notes with a sad notification from Drew Hult that his wife Marilyn passed away in September of 2019. Drew, on behalf of all your classmates, deepest sympathies.

 

CLASS OF 1964 | 2022 | SPRING ISSUE

Hello ’64ers! Several folks have some news to share:

Jon Wilbrecht says: “We moved to Jacksonville, Oregon, this year to be closer to our daughters’ families. I’m still able to do business consulting in Minneapolis while enjoying all southwest Oregon has to offer.”

Chris Chase writes: “Name your animal—mole, squirrel, chipmunk, whatever—that seeks refuge in a burrow, hole, or tree cavity when danger presents itself. Just so, Karen and I have sequestered in our CCRC at Kendal in Hanover as the pandemic rages on. A pity: so many interesting people to talk with, so many stimulating things to do (e.g., concerts, writing, and study groups), but all cut to a minimum for safety’s sake. Still, one can still read. And discussions on the state of the world take place via email and phone. Karen finds an outlet through involvement in New Hampshire politics; I by singing in a local church choir. Trying not to worry overmuch about our grandson’s future; we are grateful for what we have.”

Brian Murphy notes: “Still alive, living in California—land of sun and little rain. Pretty lazy in general—enjoy getting out and seeing the varied wildlife in the area (e.g., wild pigs, burrowing owls, sea otters, golden and bald eagles, marsh wrens, dancing Western grebes, and pocket gophers). My wife Ginny is well, and our two daughters live in the area. Hope all of you are well!”

From Russ Messing:  “My big news is that I: just finished my fourth book of poetry, In the Corner of the Afternoon; have retired from being a clinical psychologist; am happy as a clam living in the wooded hills west of Healdsburg, California (the fires came right to the edge of our property!); still go to the gym 3-4 days a week; have the greatest family; and laugh a lot.”

Peter Stenberg writes: “News from Canada:  In October 2021 I had a two-hour webinar conversation with the foremost Icelandic author and filmmaker, Sjon.  Look for his film, Norse Man, which will be coming out soon.  Also of interest is his film Lamb, which came out in autumn 2021, and his new novel, Red Milk (2021), about the rise of neo-Nazism in Iceland in the 1960s.”

Bruce Kirmmse divides his time between Copenhagen and Randolph, New Hampshire. His translation of Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling was published by Liveright/Norton in November 2021, and the same press will publish his translation of Kierkegaard’s The Sickness unto Death early in 2023.

Tom Frosch, emeritus professor of English at Queens College, has recently published articles on Blake’s “Book of Thel,” Shakespeare’s As You Like It, and Gloria Naylor’s Mama Day. He has also recently self-published two books of poetry, Trickster in New York and The Storytellers. Kirkus Reviews wrote that the former was “a dizzying and gleeful tour de force” and “a carnival of poetic storytelling that will grab readers’ attention from the first page and never let go” and that the latter was “a large-minded and well-crafted collection by an expert storyteller.” Both are available on Amazon.  Tom’s wife of 46 years, Mary, was for 32 years head of English at the Spence School; edited three anthologies of multicultural short fiction; and, since retirement, has been a teaching consultant at the East Harlem Tutorial School and the Dalton School. Tom and Mary divide their time between the Upper West Side of Manhattan and Santa Monica. Of their two sons, Dan is a national news reporter for The Wall Street Journal, and Jon ’02 is reviews editor and movie reviewer for The Hollywood  Reporter.  Dan’s reporting was made into a prizewinning PBS Frontline documentary, Predator on the Reservation, and Jon has twice won the annual award for best film criticism in Southern California.  There are two grandsons, Zevi, 4, and Ezra, 6 months. Zevi plans to be a fireman, and Ezra plans to chew up everything he can get in his mouth, including his cloth books.

Editor’s note: We’re still searching for a new class secretary! If you are interested, please email: classnotes@wesleyan.edu.

CLASS OF 1963 | 2022 | SPRING ISSUE

Bob Gelbach is still busy.  “I’ve been doubly retired for eleven years now, first from Southern Connecticut State University after 32 years in the political science department, and later as executive director of Trauma Recovery (aka EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program), a small international NGO that trains clinicians and treats PTSD in post-disaster environments. My late wife, Katherine Davis, drew me into that second job, where she had been a longtime clinician/volunteer.

“Since her death and my second retirement, I have been keeping up with our four adult children and five grandchildren scattered across the country. I also moved away from New Haven to upstate New York with my new life partner, Marjorie. (We met online, by the way.)  And I am still pretty busy these days on the Saugerties Democratic Committee, Ulster County Community Services Board, Hudson Valley Jewish Voice for Peace, and Ulster Immigrant Defense Network.  Margie and I are taking a needed break from all that in February for a trip to Joshua Tree, California.”

     Jack Jarzavek reports: “We have sold our apartment in Arezzo, Italy, after enjoying it for 21 years. Italian law decrees that sellers and buyers must be at the closing. Norman and I had spent October there cleaning out the apartment and getting it ready to put on the market. I had 950 scholarly books to sell and thankfully did so—some dating back to Wesleyan courses. (Not to worry, we still have about 2,000 books here in our Boston apartment.) Arezzo is the home to Italy’s oldest antiquarian fair where you can buy a Romanesque painting alongside a Mickey Mouse watch. I had bought books from a number of dealers over the years and fortunately got one of them to purchase the library. When we returned to Boston in November and COVID exploded, flights got canceled, and we dreaded the thought of making it back for the closing. Fortunately, Norman discovered a loophole late in December and we signed papers earlier this week, had them notarized, and sent them off to the notary in Italy.  No, we are not sad about selling our place.  It was time.”

It’s okay to retire more than once. Robert Rideout should know.  “My first time was after a 32-year career with the federal government, mostly at the Office of Management and Budget.  I retired early so I could devote more time to the senior high youth group at our church. The illness of one of our members led me to my second career as a pediatric chaplain at a children’s hospital in northern Virginia and later in Columbus, where Marti and I moved in 2005.  Along the way I was ordained in the Episcopal Church, where I served in nearby Dublin, Ohio, for 12 years.  In early 2020 I retired for good both from Nationwide Children’s Hospital here and from the church in Dublin.  Marti retired in 2020 after a 60-year career in church music.  During that time, she served as organist-choirmaster at churches in New York, Virginia, Washington, DC, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.  Now we’re enjoying watching our six grandchildren, ages 13–24, as they progress through school and college here in Ohio, and in California and New York.  Our son, Brian, is a Marine Corps colonel at Camp Pendleton, California.  Our daughter, Lissa, teaches French and is co-principal of a middle school here in Columbus.”

It all began in early 2019, says Gordon Berger: “I traveled to Phoenix with a grandson for MLB Spring Training; then to Lima, Machu Picchu, and the Galapagos in March, and to the Italian countryside in May.  But one misstep above the Cinque Terre villages took me tumbling down the mountainside, cracking vertebrae as I went.  A helicopter rescue was an unexpected thrill, followed by hospitalization in Genoa and a flight to Los Angeles.  I completed a full rehabilitation, and in February 2020, the pandemic appeared.

“Lynne, my partner of 40 years (and my wife for the last 9), and I have so far dodged the virus.  We visited friends and family in the San Francisco area; spent an August week with Lynne’s family in the Poconos; savored Santa Fe again; and joined my sister travelling to Asheville, the site of the summer work camp we attended in the mid-1950s.  Now we spent a pleasant afternoon at the golf course where the camp had been located.

“Once home, we were able to move our psychoanalysis/psychotherapy practices online, but my plan to cut back on clinical hours and travel more hasn’t really worked out.  Instead, the psychological impact of the pandemic has increased my clinical schedule by 25% and my next trip to see mentors and old friends in Tokyo is on hold.

“For all that, we feel privileged to have survived the virus without personal loss.  Our daughter has blessed us with eight grandchildren, who in turn have contributed another ten additions to the family tree. And the presence of Cooper, our new Cobberdog puppy, has enlivened our household and promises better times ahead.”

CLASS OF 1962 | 2022 | SPRING ISSUE

With apologies to classmates whose welcome and interesting reports had to be edited down to meet length restrictions:

Robin Berrington reported, “Not much changed over the past two years for me as I remain holed up in my apartment, although managing some socializing in with friends and colleagues at home.” Like many colleagues, Robin “continues to struggle with minor problems associated with our advanced age, but so far has not been infected by anything.” Dismayed by Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction on Groundhog Day, he remained hopeful “since Phil’s accuracy rate is only about 40%. Until then, I hope all is well with all our classmates.”

Lindsay Childs lamented Bruce Corwin’s passing, noting they were roommates freshman year, and had both played tennis in high school. One day in the fall, one of them found a posted notice with the message:  Come Out for Freshman Squash. “Neither one of us knew anything about squash, but tried out, made the team, and played on the varsity for the next three years.” Lindsay continued to play regularly for 30 years and still plays tennis a couple of times a week.

Robin Cook reported being deeply involved in novel #39, “which is certainly 39 more books than I ever expected to write. This one is about how private equity involvement in hospital management reduces clinical supervision in the attempt to maximize compensation.” On another note, he and three partners founded a testing company and have developed “an entirely new way to detect SARS-CoV-2: a machine about the size of a roll-on suitcase which uses Ion Mobility Spectrometry and gives the strikingly accurate result in 15 seconds.” In a coincidence “that probably hasn’t happened too often at Wesleyan,” Robin’s son Cameron will be graduating as a philosophy major this spring precisely as we celebrate our 60th Reunion. Robin recalls himself avoiding those “hard” philosophy classes at Wesleyan because of his concentration on premed requirements, but “Wesleyan is such a terrific liberal arts school, it’s a shame that I was afraid not to risk it.”

Bill Everett reports the publication of two books since last summer “to provide a kind of capstone to my academic career: An ‘expository memoir’ entitled Making My Way in Ethics, Worship, and Wood, presents the main contours of my thought, including my work in worship and woodworking; and the second is a collection of my most significant essays entitled A Covenantal Imagination: Selected Essays in Christian Social Ethics. With that work completed, I turned to a project building a set of worship furniture for Boston University’s School of Theology.” Pictures of and commentary about Bill and his wife Sylvia’s impressive furniture- making projects are available on their website at WilliamEverett.com. They continue to participate in their church and local community of Waynesville in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.

Bob Gause writes, “We are now in our 80s and more names will appear with ‘he passed,’ but we are still proud members of ‘the Silent Generation.’ I refuse to give up, still practice pediatric orthopedics at EMMC in Bangor, Maine, two days a week but no more surgery. In my office, no one knows my age but then age is just a function of how you feel so they know me as 60+. I have a 40-foot catamaran in Panama that I hope to visit February–April, COVID permitting; and if not, I’ll keep carrying in wood for the woodstove.”

Bob Gelardi feels “fortunate in being able to give back to those in need through my board membership and chairing of the Charity Relations Committee for the Destin (Florida) Charity Wine Auction Foundation, which runs one of the ten, top-wine auctions in the country in a town of only about 15,000 people. Despite COVID we were able to give away—to 16 local children’s charities—$2,000,000 this year and over $25,000,000 since its founding in 2006. On a personal note, I am happily married, with a son, a daughter, their spouses, and three grandkids.”

John Hazlehurst writes, “We’re still in our ancient, drafty Victorian on the westside of Colorado Springs, dealing with sometimes nasty winters” and with a new Chesapeake puppy who is “playful, energetic, unruly, and big enough to knock us over when he jumps up—dangerous, but great for increasing one’s balance and agility.” John feels “proud of both our Wes graduates, Bennet (’87) and Hickenlooper (’74), in the Senate, but a little distressed to realize that I’m now (I think) the senior former Colorado-elected official with such a distinguished background.”

 Morrie Heckscher is “pleased to report that one of the more rewarding projects of my retirement has been working with the University on the restoration and repurposing of Alsop House following the Davison Art Center move to Olin Library. COVID and management permitting, I would love to explore Alsop’s painted interiors with classmates attending our 60th! There’s nothing else quite like them. Otherwise, Fenella and I are simply holed up, shivering, in our Hudson River Gothic house.”

Robert Hunter writes, “My only real ‘news,’ in addition to my continuing to write and give talks on foreign policy (Europe and the Middle East), is that I just completed eight years as (part-time) international affairs advisor to the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio.”

Ted Lehne “retired from the last of my five ‘careers’ toward the end of last year. I started with two years in the U.S. Army, then worked in radio/TV and became an elected official in Alaska, then a training manager for Delta Airlines, and finally taught business courses online for a major university for 18 years. I am now back in Douglasville, Georgia. My best to everyone.”

 Dave Lorenzen regrets having “not kept up with our dwindling classmates” and reports “I worked from 1970 to 2011 as a professor of subjects related to India in El Colegio de México in Mexico City. Since then, I have been an emeritus professor in the same institution and still try to publish some research in both Spanish and English.” Dave has “three children, all three thankfully with good jobs, two as college professors and one as a researcher for a climate NGO in DC.” Dave and his wife Barbara, who worked for many years as a geologist in the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, “generally spend summers in western New York and might be able to attend our 60th Wesleyan Reunion, provided COVID doesn’t cancel everything.”

Bruce Menke reports that after graduating he had a Fulbright scholarship in Argentina, during which “I read literally everything I could about Argentina and became fluent in Spanish.” After law degrees from Harvard and SMU, and the acquisition of reading proficiency in the Germanic, Romance, and Russian languages, he spent 25 years as in-house counsel with several companies doing primarily international oil and gas work, then 10 years as a “headhunter” placing lawyers. He married Karen in 1967 and the couple have three sons, all now with PhD degrees. They have lived over the years in Philadelphia, Caracas, Miami, Houston, and now in retirement in Athens, Georgia, and “have been very politically active, serving as Democratic precinct chairs and election judges in Texas and, in Athens, as elected members of the Athens–Clarke County Democratic Committee.” They have served on the campaigns of numerous Democratic candidates and actively supported action on voting rights, the climate crisis, and many other causes.”

Charles Seibert reports that “After Wesleyan, civil rights activism got me excluded from the philosophy department of Northwestern University, until I finally earned my PhD in 1972 from DePaul University, Chicago. After a period when I lived as an academic gypsy, putting together whatever part-time employment I could, I finally won a tenure-track position at the University of Cincinnati in 1994 and retired from there as emeritus professor of philosophy in July 2011. Retirement has been good on the whole, as finally there is time to read, write, and try to think with appropriate care. In August 2021, however, I was diagnosed with a squamous cell carcinoma and, two surgeries and 33 radiation sessions later, I am still recuperating. My wife Sarah is my lifeline and we look forward to the future with hope.” [Ed. note: And we all wish Charles a speedy and full recovery.]

Len Wilson and his wife Joyce are planning “a gala, 60th-wedding-anniversary celebration this coming August at our summer home on the Jersey Shore, where we have been secluding ourselves for nearly two years from the anxieties of living in our South Philly condo. Hopefully in July we will be able to travel to Denmark to be with YMCA retirees as well as over 1,000 current staff and volunteers from Ys around the world. I have stayed active as a retiree in the YMCA, on both the local and national level, after my retirement. Joyce has become quite the watercolor artist, and I enjoy the daily experience of enjoying her art in both our homes. On a personal note, I am usually by far the oldest in three different pickleball groups, but still reasonably competitive, playing about five mornings a week.”

Chuck Work reports, “Roni and I are happily hunkered down (as much as we can be given this pandemic) in Naples, Florida. We get out to San Francisco twice a year to see our three sons and are in touch with Milt Schroeder and Emil Frankel ’61.  Had the pleasure of taking my grandson to visit the school not too long ago; visits are different in this pandemic era but the school is handling them as well as can be expected.”

Recently received obituaries:

Barton “Bart” W. Browning, died November 5, 2021; obituary https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/centredaily/name/barton-browning-obituary?id=31435621

John “Jake” E. Davison, died February 9, 2020; obituary https://www.courant.com/obituaries/hc-obituary-john-e-davison-20200216-story.html

John C. Farr, died December 3, 2021;obituary https://www.eastbayri.com/stories/john-carnochan-farr-80-little-compton,94898

Richard “Dick” C. Whitely, died April 4, 2020; obituary https://www.tighehamilton.com/obituary/Richard-Whiteley

 

CLASS OF 1961 | 2022 | SPRING ISSUE

John Rogers opens our column with some rhyme:

I too am always seeking

Remedies for arthritis and pain.

At 82 not likely to be found,

So living daily with pills and a cane.

A recent move from South Carolina to Kentucky.

Left behind warm weather, shrimp and grits.

Thinking Lexington better for family and health,

Now relying on bourbon and snow mitts.

Winter here reminds me of Foss Hill icy slopes,

Plodding carefully to frats and dreaded classes.

Definitely needed study time in Olin and Clark,

But all too often imagining weekend lasses.

Fading memories of ’61-classmates and activities,

But certain now I excelled at sports and games.

Details of classes and grades quite fuzzy,

Not unlike daily questions about best friends’ names.

“Some sad news,” writes Peter Funk: “Brad Beechen died on 10 January in Chicago after a yearlong illness. He is survived by his wife Mary-Jane and son Adam. My review of the 4 June 1961 commencement program confirms that Brad graduated as a Bachelor of Arts with Honors and Distinction.  In addition to being a brilliant scholar, he was an excellent athlete and a close friend to many of us.  How he ever managed to study as a member of DKE during his four years at Wesleyan will remain a mystery to us mortals who managed to limp over the high threshold and obtain a simple BA.  I also managed to confirm for myself that 176 of us graduated with a BA on that day.  It was a long time ago, but I remember it well.”

Regarding his personal update, Peter continues: “I reached my 83rd birthday on the 27th of January this year and remarkably all is well here on our small Island of Jersey in the Channel Islands.  I have been trying to retire from my years of entrepreneurship and my international interests in communications, film, and television.  It has been a long voyage since we graduated in 1961.  After working with classmates, Bill Harris and Brad Beechen, in Chicago, I moved to New York and then to London in 1973.  I have been based on this side of the Atlantic, developing new communications enterprises in the Middle East, Far East, and Europe.  Lexy (’91) and Jenny (’95), my two daughters, are Wesleyan graduates.  I have four grandchildren and I hope the tradition continues. My best wishes to my fellow classmates.”

Pete Drayer proudly announces that his grandson, Ian Moran, is going to Wesleyan.  Russell Mott (aka Bob Lannigan) reports that he just opened a gallery with his partner and that he soon will be back to summer camp, with 160 kids in Amesbury, doing ceramics for seven weeks. Casey Hayes revealed his recent satisfactory recovery from a “three-day minivacation” in the hospital for emergency surgery treatment, praising the hospital staff: “They are so stressed out these COVID days—such troopers!”

Al Williams, a most faithful contributor to this column, writes: “I think all of us are tired of Zooming.  There is nothing like getting together in person. In that spirit, we organized a mini-Wes ’61 reunion lunch this past June, attended by Paul Dickson, Emil Frankel, Dave Denny, Ed Knox, Tim Bloomfield, and me.  It was a rousing success, and we plan a repeat this coming spring. At Paul’s suggestion, I later contacted Bob Palmeri who lives on Cape Cod near our summer house. Bob and I had a very nice get-together this past summer. Presently, my main contact with Wesleyan has been with Wesleyan wrestling, and I have become good friends with the current (and very talented) coach, Drew Black.

Jack Mitchell claims that his New Year’s motto is: “Be positive . . .  test negative!”  He writes: “The Jack and Linda Mitchell family, thus far, has survived the pandemic and are very healthy!

“Our oldest of seven adult grandchildren, Lyle (a Wes graduate, ’16), is engaged and will be married on Block Island in summer of 2023. He is attending Columbia University Business!  Our family business, Mitchell Stores, is still very healthy.  We now number eight stores.  Nine Mitchells from our family and my brothers are active in the business. My ‘Hug’ business has been limited to a few virtual presentations and selling many Hug books. In addition, I’m a trustee at the Greenwich Hospital and an executive in residence at Columbia Business School, guest lecturing in family business and mentoring students.”

Bob Hausman is thankful that all of his progeny reside within five minutes from him. He writes: “I continue to be well, although COVID has struck my domicile.  I walk 90 minutes a day and lift weights regularly. We still feel the effects of the George Floyd murder here in St. Paul. I am regularly in touch with Glenn Hawkes and have occasional contact with Bob Wielde and Emil Frankel.”

CLASS OF 1960 | 2022 | SPRING ISSUE

Nici and John Dobson were fortunate to travel to Chapel Hill, where all 13 members of their immediate family had Christmas together. It was a wonderful gathering!

Jeff Folley wrote: “Last September, I took an incredible 22-day, 10-stop car trip to the Northeast (I live in South Carolina). This included stays with lots of family and my best, childhood friend, and was highlighted by extended time with classmates and Psi U fraternity brothers and their wives: Jim Steen (Ann), Jim Corrodi (Gladys), and Bill Hawk’ Walker (Janet). Hawk and I had a fun round of golf, and while on the Cape, I was fortunate to squeeze in an afternoon with Carl Van Etten ’58 (also Psi U), a golf teammate and regular practice partner. All the guys and gals are active, well, avoided the virus, and look great. So many stories and memories.

“Probably the greatest accomplishment on the trip was reuniting the two Jims for the first time since maybe graduation (or too far back to recall differently). Jim Steen took a train from DC to Philly, and the three of us spent the day at the Corrodis’s in Wayne, Pennsylvania, catching up and remembering the Wesleyan past we shared. Just a great three weeks overall, and reminiscing with college buddies of 60 years ago was the best.”

Congratulations to Janet and Bill Walker who celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a trip to Alaska. Also, Bill’s fourth novel, If WAR Should Come, has been published.

Since my last note, I learned of the passing of Dick Guernsey (7/31/21) and  Bob McBrair (1/8/21). Their obituaries can be found in our online 1960 Class Notes via The Wesleyan Connection. My condolences to their families and classmates.

Pat and Dave Major enjoyed a December 2021 visit to their son, daughter-in-law, and grandson in Berlin, Germany, complete with the famous Christmas markets.

Rob Mortimer wrote the following: “Mimi and I have traveled annually to France for years, but 2020 and COVID broke that streak. But we were back this summer and autumn to catch up with our friends there. Vaccinated, equipped with our ‘passe sanitaire,’ and frequently masked, we were able to get around Paris and the provinces. Our visit included trips to Normandy for an academic conference held at a chateau, to the Midi (Nimes, Aix-en-Provence and Hyères on the Côte d’Azur), and to Bordeaux to renew acquaintances with old friends. It was interesting to see how another country has coped with the pandemic. Rest assured that the Louvre is open and the Arc de Triomphe, which was wrapped by the artist Christo during our stay, has been unwrapped. The old Paris stock exchange has been converted into a museum of contemporary art where another crazy artist created a large installation of ‘statuary’ made of wax, complete with burning candles. It is still melting down, but Paris will survive that too. Best to all.”

Paul Tractenberg is cocounsel for the Lakewood school district’s 5,200 public school students who claim that their state constitutional rights are being denied. He is also involved pro bono in several litigated disputes about school segregation in New Jersey. In addition, he serves as a legal consultant to a lawyer representing a major urban school district in a legal challenge to the state’s drastic cut in education aid.

Paul and Neimah made an October-November trip to Israel to visit family and close friends, their first in more than three years; otherwise, they continue to be in virtual lockdown because of continuing concerns that their age and underlying conditions make them especially vulnerable to COVID.

In September, I had cataract surgery. During the two-week period between procedures, it was revealing to compare the details and colors provided by my right eye with the dullness from my left eye. Now, of course, both provide excellent vision.