It was great to hear from so many classmates.
Robert Typermass wrote that following Wesleyan he completed the MBA program at Columbia University, and shortly afterward he was drafted by the army and stationed in Germany. Bob wrote:
“I couldn’t honestly say my army service was a particularly enjoyable time, but, in a way, it was a valuable kind of learning experience, and I was always well aware that it could have been a whole lot worse. Europe definitely beat the alternative.”
After the army Bob went to work in the financial sector, first at a commercial bank in New York City, then at another bank nearby. Several years later that bank was swallowed up by Merrill Lynch, and “I spent the rest of my working life at Merrill Lynch, in the institutional side of the firm,” Bob explained.
“Merrill was an interesting and generally decent place to work but not the most stable working environment thanks to a pretty much constant stream of reorganizations, management shake-ups, upsizings, downsizings, rightsizings, and ‘wrongsizings.’ Often chaotic but rarely dull. Most of my time was in New York, but I also had international assignments including a multiyear one in the Middle East and shorter stints in Asia and Europe.
“Around midway between 9/11 and the Great Recession, I quit working; it seemed like the right time to move on. When I let people know I was leaving, a friend there said to me, ‘I’m really ticked at you, Bobby; now I’ll be the oldest guy on the floor.’
“Nowadays I try to keep active and not worry too much about the future or other weighty, depressing issues. Whenever I feel the need for a dose of hopeless despair, I can always just tune in to cable news or watch the New York Jets.”
Fred Karem started off in the class of ’63 but took a year off to work in a Kentucky political campaign and ended up in our class. Fred and I both grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and went to the same high school, but lost touch after Wesleyan.
Fred wrote that he and Suzanne, his wife of almost 60 years and a Smith ’64 graduate, have long had a home in Lexington, Kentucky, but were spending the winter in Mountain Brook, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham. They have a condo there, about a half mile from their daughter and her four children. They also have a son, Fred (with two children), in Franklin, Tennessee, and another, Robert, in Washington, D.C., where he is national security advisor to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
“After many years in state and national politics, law practice, and the apartment development business, I retired about eight or nine years ago. For the past six years, we have spent the winter in Naples, Florida, where, beyond the warmth, I enjoyed outings to Fort Myers to see Red Sox training games. Since growing up in Louisville, I have been a dedicated Boston fan because Louisville was the AAA farm club for the Sox during those years. Our Naples days are now over, and we will spend this winter here.
“More than 40 years ago, I started running for exercise and relaxation (no races). Fortunately, I’m still doing so, although jogging (rather than running) three times a week combined with indoor workouts three times a week.”
Ted Ridout wrote: “I was enamored with ships and sailing as a high school student. I built a Sailfish from a $169 kit in my bedroom. My father and I visited Webb Institute of Naval Architecture in the fall of 1959. Meanwhile, I applied to Wesleyan. They offered a full scholarship, while Webb was free to all accepted, funded by the marine industry. I decided on Wes.
“Longing for at least a yacht while raising a family, I settled for ‘Ted’s land yacht,’ a hard-sided pop-up trailer easily towed by our minivan. In retirement, Chris and I and our dog drove it happily all over the Lower 48 and much of Canada.
“Now with so much time, adequate vision, and dexterity, I have returned in a major way to building ship models from kits. Doing the rigging on a square-rigged man-of-war must stave off dementia for a while. Typically, a year or more is needed to finish a ship.”
Also, good to hear from:
Robert Maurer: “My wife, Zoelle, and I have just self-published A Travel Adventure in France, a small book with photos, describing our day-by-day trip to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary in 2011 in the country we love. (Last May we celebrated our 47th.) In addition, I recently completed a decade-long project of sending my personal papers to Michigan State University Libraries for two of its special collections: African Activist Archive (digitized) and American Radicalism (hopefully to be digitized).”
Dan Davis: “We moved from Germantown, Maryland, to a continuous care retirement center in Frederick, Maryland, in February 2022. My wife, Suzanne, and I remain active physically and are enjoying church work. I retired from the FDA in 2016 and have enjoyed a limited amount of consulting since then. I play tennis four to five hours a week and nine holes of golf on Wednesdays.”
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