CLASS OF 1963 | 2021–2022 | WINTER ISSUE

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Fritz Henn proudly notes that his granddaughter is now at Wesleyan. That makes three generations: her parents both also went to Wesleyan. He writes, “She took a gap year working helping a family in France in order to get French down. At the end of her time there we met so I could introduce her to German relatives she never met. Ella ’24 did get to Heidelberg, where I lived for nearly 20 years, when we had our 50th wedding anniversary; in the interval my wife, Suella, passed away and I was anxious to get back to my old haunts one more time. We toured Munich, Dresden, and Berlin and went to Hamburg where the virus caught us. We got the last planes back to Washington, D.C., and San Francisco; in fact, she was on the NBC Nightly News, just interviewed catching the last flight to SFO.

“I sold my house and joined with my daughter’s family to buy a very large house in D.C., where I have my own apartment but eat with my daughter’s family (much better cooks and as an infectious disease doctor, Sarah is good to be around currently). I still have one last research project going, hoping it will cure depression (but beginning to doubt it).”

     Scott Wilson reports, “What a difference a year-and-a-half makes! Lucy and I had returned from a three-week mind-expanding tour of Egypt and Jordan, and then attended a Maya symposium at Tulane University in New Orleans, continuing our pre-Columbian studies. But those were the end of normal ‘exterior’ life events. Since then we have turned to ‘interior’ events, keeping our heads down from the virus and the political maelstrom, but the ‘interior’ events hold benefits, too: An expanded and productive vegetable garden is one; Zoom provides access to an array of lectures far beyond our own pre-Columbian Society of D.C. events, and my pastel painting and drawing continue, with some frameable efforts. I’m compiling all of our travel for the past 50 years, vivifying memories that had lain dormant.

“One product of my college teaching was a co-authored, community organizing text published in 1994 by Columbia University Press. It has continued to sell well for more than 25 years.”

     Hank Zackin turned 80 in August. “We have three grandchildren: Sam 16, Isabella almost 14, and Lola 12.  I am retired, but looking for something productive to do.  I read a lot, mostly fiction, and am grateful to our local library, especially during COVID.  Both my wife and I are fully vaccinated, remaining fairly healthy and as active as possible, but no travel as yet.”

     Fred Taylor says that his family’s three children married and he now has 10 grandchildren. “No wonder we are worn out at 80. I am still working part time at Evercore, which helps keep the mind stimulated. Carole celebrated her class of 1965 reunion at Connecticut College.  We had our 54th anniversary!

“It’s terrific to be able to be very happily married to the same person for all these years. I enjoy staying in touch with Wesleyan with the Emeritus Trustee Annual meetings. It continues to be an active, engaged campus. I stay in touch with Lew Whitney regularly and we enjoy trading our latest book suggestions.”

“A few years ago I retired from Columbia Business School after 50-plus years, 10,000 students, and 100 endless faculty meetings,” Don Sexton began. “I am now learning how to be retired. Fortunately, I minored in art at Wesleyan and have been a professional painter for more than 30 years, and now I have time to put a little more effort into that career. Had to reschedule a few 2020 solo shows due to COVID, but have been doing commissions and have six solo shows in the New York and Connecticut area scheduled for 2021–22. I have also been participating in courses in improv and in standup comedy to keep alert during these later years and have some fun during open mike nights.

“My wife Laura is still working for the New York City Education Department as a parent coordinator and has been working from home. Our daughter is a mechanical engineer and senior manager in the defense industry. She and her husband have two terrific children. Our two sons are developing careers in the restaurant business and in the film industry. Usually we live in Tribeca in New York but during the pandemic we were staying in our country home in northwest Connecticut. If you’re near or visiting New York, my next solo show in Manhattan will be during August–December at the East 67th Street Library. Information on my shows is on my website: www.sextonart.com or email me: don@sextonart.com.”

“I delayed responding to your request, Jan, hoping that the muse would strike, but there is not a lot going on that is exciting,” wrote Harvey Bagg.  “Anyway, since the onslaught of COVID, Martha and I have been pretty much hunkered down in Chatham, New York. She is actively practicing law from our makeshift office. I, being completely retired, keep more or less busy with catching up on my reading and various projects around the house.  I note, however, that my current tastes in literature are not the great books, but mysteries. On a ‘me’ note, I was recently awarded the Vietnam Veterans of America Achievement Medal for my work with veterans. I hasten to add that I did not serve in Vietnam, but there is no Dominican Republic Veterans of America organization. I hope that this provides a little grist for the class notes mill. Best to all, Harvey.”

     Len Edwards is busy as ever:  “We have now moved to the Sierra Nevada mountains for the summer. Our house is in Truckee, a railroad town near where the first continental railroad ran through and still does.

“My wife, Margie, and I married 12 years ago after both of our spouses died of cancer. With her nine grandchildren and my three we are busy with birthdays, graduations, and demands that we appear at holiday celebrations. We are both in our 80s but just barely, and our health is holding up. I, however, have flunked retirement. I still work as a consultant, teaching judges and attorneys around the country on juvenile law issues. I also am on the state ethics committee and am working on a project to reduce the impact of the opioid crisis on Californians.

“One sad note:  I am particularly grieving the loss of Peter Whiteley (’65) who was a close friend through grammar and high school and who then attended Wesleyan. Sadly, he passed away recently.”

     Stan Lewis, bound to be a lifelong artist, did pause to comment on his life. “Karen and I are living in Leeds, Massachusetts, a part of Northampton. Basically all I do is paint and visit grandchildren. Our oldest grandchild, Zoe, daughter of John Lewis (’64), just took a guided tour of Wesleyan. She was very impressed.

“I am getting tired and wearing out, but Karen has, over the years, made me do these 22-minute exercises every day (Miranda Esmonde–White’s Classical Stretch). I seem to be able to do a lot.

“I’ve got a method of painting that is so impossible that I continually fail. If I keep going, something good happens in about a year or even in 10 years. My classes in Kierkegaard, at Wes with Professor Crites, was a big influence as I developed this method. We have a large yard, and I decided years ago to use that as my subject matter since I am a landscape painter. In the winter, if it is really cold, I draw views out the windows. Right now I have a winter-spring painting based on my yard that I have been working on for 12 years. It must be finished for a show I will have in 2022 at the Betty Cuningham Gallery in NYC.

“The worst thing for me (besides the ongoing problem of not really knowing how things will turn out in my painting) is the news. We watch a lot of it on TV and can see our daughter-in-law Alisyn Camerota, an anchor on CNN. I slowly read books on my iPhone.”

JAN VAN METER | bensfamily@aol.com; 845/657-2465