Business first: Our 50th Reunion is coming up. I know I will be there, but am not so sure about you (May 24-27, 2018). Stuart Ober (firstname.lastname@example.org), Sandy See (email@example.com) and George Reynolds (firstname.lastname@example.org) continue looking for guys willing to help out.
Local: I had an urge to continue walking, so I used this winter to get my right foot reconstructed. Made me house-bound which, especially in view of the great and amazing things seizing our nation, left me glued to the tube (in deep denial, watching countless Law & Order reruns). Judy, as her just desserts for steadfastly seeing me through, went to a French immersion program near Nice in March. And in May, we took my hobbling to Ireland for 10 days. There we spent two days with an erudite and entertaining Irishman whose granddaughter Beatrix Herriott O’Gorman ’19—would you believe it?—is studying film at Wes. Loves it.
I had a chat with Tim Polk’s widow, Lucy. She and the kids are managing. Still teaching in St. Paul. Taken up golf. I met Wesleyan’s Imam, Sami Abdul Aziz, and his wife. Bright, personable couple who are the center of a vibrant community. Report good support from the administration. Harrison Knight polished up his pickle ball game in Bonita Springs last winter. Paul Spitzer was the subject of a lovely magazine article in Cornell’s Living Bird. Michael D. Terry ’69 was very explicit that “you do not take me or yourself too seriously” as he continues to write about his cancer journey. His treatment center, Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center, is using some of his material in their outreach. Bob Runk ’67 has always impressed me as a particularly good-natured guy and I’ve attributed his good vibes to his love for music. Well, it continues. Check out his new stuff on iTunes by searching for “Bobby Runk” and “RunkRock.”
Wig Sherman—whose good cheer and gossip over the years has made him your unacknowledged associate class secretary—and I caught up recently. After Wes, he served in ‘Nam in the Army working with IEDs—a most unenviable assignment. Then Wharton, and a very successful run on Wall Street. Mid-life two things converged which changed his course: second thoughts about his career, and the prolonged illness and ultimate death of his daughter, Whitney, at 13. He then got a master’s in education and planned to teach in his hometown of Wilton, Conn., but instead got approached about joining the Board of Education, which he did. (That precluded his teaching in town.) He toiled mightily and with distinction on the Board (“more hours than I ever put in on Wall Street”). As its chair, he addressed the graduating class several years, most thoughtfully ruminating—as the son of a gas station owner—on the meaning and obligations of affluence to the high school’s graduates in this very upscale town. In Vero Beach for the last five years, Wig keeps up with a lot of brothers from the Lodge. Ralph Boynton ’69 lives in his complex, and Bob Newhouse is planning to move in.
I caught up with John Mergendoller, a southern California native, now in the Bay Area. (There was a picture of him online and he looked both well and very California.) After Harvard’s School of Ed, he did his doctorate at Michigan and enjoyed a Fulbright in Geneva. Most of his career was with the Buck Institute for Education, an outfit that works face-to-face with 15,000 educators worldwide each year, advancing project-centered learning. John is quite involved with music, playing acoustic guitar and mandolin in groups. His wife, Jessica, has a doctorate in anthropology and taught at UCSF’s medical school. Their son, Jacob ’11, lives in Brooklyn and works in the tech world, while their daughter, Julia ’07, works at Berkeley’s Latin America Studies Center. He keeps up with some of his Beta brothers: Frank Phillippi, Bud Bourke, Bob Knox, and Dick Cavanagh.
Brian Frosh, a Columbia Law School grad, is Maryland’s attorney general. An April 11 article in the Baltimore Sun opined that he “doesn’t have an A-list air about him. But late in the afternoon on the General Assembly’s final day, he was greeted like a celebrity when he walked onto the floor of the Maryland Senate. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Thomas ‘Mac’ Middleton threw an arm around him. Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Chairwoman Joan Carter Conway kicked up a foot, and all three smiled broadly for a photo. ‘We love our A.G.,’ Middleton said.”
The occasion for the article was that Brian had “emerged from the annual 90-day [legislative] session as one of the major winners.” Drawing on ties he cultivated as a 28-year member of the General Assembly representing the Silver Spring area, Brian succeeded in gaining for the attorney general position itself a considerable boost in power. In this newly empowered role, he is expected to defend Maryland’s reformed money bail system, to fight against sharp pharmaceutical price increases, and for the rights of emigrants. Though a trusted figure in Maryland politics, he has ruled out a run for higher office.
In closing, I’d note I am writing this on May 26 and, if everything goes as it should, we will be together next May 26 celebrating our 50th—which to my mind, leastwise, is a big deal. Humor me and show up.
Lloyd Buzzell | LBuzz463@aol.com
70 Turtle Bay, Branford, CT 06405 | 203/208-5360