CLASS OF 1957 | 2017 | ISSUE 3

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Writing from his home in Nova Scotia, Ed Porter is active in his printmaking interests, and recreational sailing. He and wife Lainie enjoyed a summer family trip aboard a narrowboat along canals in Warwickshire. The Porters highly recommend it—“a grand way to float through the English countryside.”

In New Mexico, Bill Pratt is working to enact a co-op statewide healthcare plan that would be nonprofit. If there is interest in such a plan—which he believes would work in other States—the site is

Last September Dick Cassie underwent a total knee replacement—turns out it was the second such procedure, the initial one resulting from a basketball injury in a 1956 game at Williams (he adds that it occurred 10 days prior to junior prom). Further, Dick would think it fitting for the old knee remnants to be donated to the archives of the athletic department in Williamstown. Continuing to teach oral diagnosis at Rutgers, he was afforded several weeks of rehab before returning to the classroom.

In a note from Sparky Watts, he reports that he and wife Sarah will re-lo to New Mexico in 2018. The Watts’ enjoy visiting with their daughters in Jacksonville. Sparky adds that he reads and studies films about “an entity Ramtha,” whom (he) met almost many years ago. My search engine discloses that Ramtha is a school of enlightenment established in 1988 in Washington State. His note also added a kudo for the work your scribe does for the Notes (as did Bill Pratt). Much appreciated, Sparky and Bill.

Gordy Wilmot says his pacemaker has been performing well enough to produce a normal heartbeat. He and Marilyn have (by now) completed an annual migration south. With an eye towards global warming, he wonders if the family can stay all year-round in Rhode Island. The Wilmots have booked a summer Boston-to -Bermuda cruise for the entire family—19 in all—their third such event.

Heard from Jack Braitmayer that he’s not on his boat as often as previously, but that his son is. He adds that there are all manner of new “toys” for sailors, e.g., equipment to ease docking maneuvers, and that he needs to be brought into the “modern world.” The Braitmayers enjoyed an October western trip seeing their daughter and her family and then taking to the Colorado and Snake rivers.

Sam Bergner continues to unbundle his real estate portfolio, apparently with success, as he’s down to a sole commercial property. Sam and Lynn are giving careful consideration to downsizing from their home to apartment-condo type space. They did a bit of traveling up to Niagara Falls this past summer, as part of an Elderhostel-style tour.

A late summer note from Bob Gorin informs of the loss of his wife of 57 years, Natalie. On behalf of the class, Bob, our deepest regrets. Bob and family continue their support for Wes…recalling his organization of annual skating parties in NYC in honor of his daughter Bethel ’90 and his late son-in-law, which have raised funds for scholarship programs throughout the last several years. He reports that the first such recipient thereof will graduate in 2018.

Sadly, Carey Congdon died of acute leukemia in August. A memorial service was held in New London. Carey’s entire career was in graphic arts and publishing. Prior to coming to Wesleyan, he had served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. I talked with Carey often and always found our conversations to be informative and upbeat. I know he leaves behind active projects that he was passionate about. I extend our class’ condolences to wife Bonnie.

Al Fitz-Gerald reports on the progress of his play, Prisoners of Hope. There have been several performances to date, most recently at SUNY Potsdam. Al received praise from a UN scientist, who applauds the play’s impact both on the performing arts and climate control.  Other performances have generated accolades, including an endorsement from the Florida Studio Theatre, whose reviewer cited an effective contrast between comedic moments and the serious issues that are addressed.

Bill Shepard lectures on American history at Chesapeake College and finds growing interest in the Civil War as well as WWI. He is using his father’s combat notebook from the latter conflict as teaching vehicle. He also thinks classmates might be interested in his wine-tasting course. More info:

A note from our Re-u emcee: Whitey Johnson rounds out reporting on the event. “The fine dining and conversations in the Taylor Room were replete with remembrance, exemplified by words from ‘Campus Memories.’ Old times, old friends we hold to you, hands joined, hearts full, pledge every man, your love and honor to old Wesleyan!” Whitey extends appreciation for the event committee: Messrs. Reiss, Travis, Ochsner, Williamson, Braitmayer, and yours truly. Bill Reiss and Ken Travis received 2017 WUSA’s (Wesleyan University Service Awards).

Expressing thanks for the opportunity once more to serve as emcee, he closes with Vic Butterfield’s charge to our class at graduation: “Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding.”

Best wishes to all for happy and healthy 2018.

Art Typermass |
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