CLASS OF 1964 | 2017 | ISSUE 3

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The recent controversies around the playing of the National Anthem before NFL games has added a coincidental factor to my news from classmate Lou D’Ambrosio. Lou was invited to sing the National Anthem before a MLB game in Angel’s Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., in June. He also sang, “Take Me Out to The Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch, and he included a video of the event. He said, “I had the honor and privilege of singing our National Anthem.” It is our National Anthem, and it’s always a choice in how to pay respect to the ideals it brings to mind.

Lou celebrated his 45th wedding anniversary with his lovely wife Christy, “reliving our past honeymoon in beautiful Carmel.” They also went up to Napa, Calif., to visit with Steve Humphrey ’63 and wife Ginny, where they played golf and sampled lots of tasty wines. Lou and I played with Steve on Wesleyan’s baseball team in 1962-1963, with Steve being a bulldog on the pitcher’s mound, and a pleasure for me to be his catcher.

I received a photo of Lou lunching with Wink Davenport and Jay McIlroy, all with wide smiles of retiree contentment. Unfortunately, they informed me of news about Jim Reynolds and his wife, Patty, who are facing serious health issues. Our prayers go out to them.

Oliver “Chips” Wood Jr. and spouse Crete have retired from the fast lane of real estate in Carmel, Calif. They are building a home south of Pueblo, Colo., on the Saint Charles River where Crete was born. They offered an open invitation to drop in and enjoy the vistas in their state.

And congratulations to David Skaggs on receiving the 2017 Distinguished Service Award from the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress at its annual meeting on September 27 in D.C.

My wife, Becky, and I drove from Florida to Lafayette, Ind., in mid August, to attend a fantasy football draft with my brother-in-law and other educators, in a league we’ve been a part of for a number years. The main reason for the trip was to attend the wedding of Becky’s nephew just east of Indianapolis two weeks after our draft. My wife came up with something to do in the interim gap of the schedule.

We took an Amtrak train from Lafayette to Union Station in Chicago, and connected to the California Zephyr heading for Emeryville, Calif. The latter leg of the journey took 51 hours which included meandering through the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and the Sierra Nevada mountains, while we rode and slept in coach seats. We adapted to life on board a train, and fashioned plans to take train trips in the future. We spent two evenings and a full day in the San Francisco area, returning to Chicago on the Zephyr for another 51-hour adventure. We’ve entertained friends by retracing our adventure for them.

After the wedding in Indiana, we delayed driving back to Florida, as someone named Irma visited the state in an unwelcome manner. Upon our return, we had lots of cleanup to do from the trees around our house that the winds thinned out. Our house somehow was spared damage, including the new roof we replaced in July.

I submitted these notes on the morning of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, with the loss of countless lives. Once again, I found myself praying for the victims of this ugly event. This is in contrast to some wonderful people I met in our recent adventure. I find in myself the value of having a personal relationship with the God of the Bible, beyond a religion about God. I find comfort in the good news about my Savior.