CLASS OF 1971 | 2022 | SPRING ISSUE

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Greetings. For this issue I asked for a few words from classmates who knew they would not be able to attend the reunion. As I write this, we are scheduled for our 50th in less than 70 days.

Michael Mullally writes, “I remember rowing on the Connecticut River with my crewmates, Michael Ronan and Buddy Coote. We would run down to the boathouse, pull out the 8-man shells, load them up and over our heads, and lower them into the river from the dock.

Once, we were about to head out in the current when an unseen barge was being pushed across our path. We had to rush out at full power and literally rode the bow wave of the barge across its path and just avoided a serious calamity. There were days when it was so cold that we had icicles on our hands and feet at the end of the row. But we warmed ourselves by running UP to campus. This was all before breakfast!” Ahh memories . . .

Warren White says: “My 37th move while living in 12 states was from Nashville, Tennessee, to Richmond, Virginia (moving from Lawn Avenue to Beta Theta Pi was one of these). My nephew, Garret Westlake, instigated an extended family migration by taking the position of director of the da Vinci Institute for Innovation at Virginia Commonwealth University. It is a fast-growing urban university that reminds me of Wes U’s Hagen counseling me in 1971 that the University of Texas at Austin would be an ‘up and coming’ place to apply to for graduate school but a lot of the growth was simply concrete.  I enjoy frequent walks by the former Robert E. Lee statue in the picturesque Fan Historic District and read Colonial and Civil War history as a prospective docent at the renovated Virginia Museum of History and Culture.

“Many other double-masked, double-vaxxed volunteer prep cooks join me every week at Feed More, preparing 32 million pounds of food for 39,000 hungry, disadvantaged central Virginians every year. . . .

“I wish the class of 1971 a happy, heathy post-reunion life that surpasses actuarial odds!”

Mike Thompson muses: “As ‘American Pie’ begins, ‘A long, long time ago . . . ,’ it was clear that our class wasn’t going to be able to hold anything more than some sort of a virtual 50th Reunion, Demetrie Comnas set up a Zoom session and asked a group, mostly from Psi U, if they would be interested in joining. Here are the names, including several who joined up later on: John Billock, Pat Callahan, James Goold, Don Graham, Rick Lawler, Skip McLean, Dave Nelson ’69, Carey O’Laughlin, Vic Pfeiffer, Stu Reid ’72, Andy Sutton, and yours truly.  Gary Walford joined for a few sessions as well.

“But the remarkable fact is that with only a handful of exceptions, this group has gathered online every Wednesday at 7 p.m. East Coast time!  The topics have ranged far and wide, from discussions of music (way above my pay grade) to college memories, to family, to politics, to Wesleyan today, etc., etc.  Jim Goold has made several fascinating presentations about the undersea search and recovery projects that he has undertaken for various countries all around the world. These weekly gatherings have become a vital part of our lives.”

From Anthony Wheeldin: “I was an attorney for 30 years and for the last 11 years I have been on the Sonoma County, California, Superior Court Bench.  My fondest memory: the outstanding Wesleyan faculty.”  And Jim Rizza: “My Wesleyan experience awakened me to a world that might be worth living in, something I had not found anywhere before, given my life experience up to that time.  That was life changing in ways that will forever leave me grateful.”  Andy Glantz says: “I am still in Scottsdale, Arizona, still making furniture and furnishings and still healthy. Roberta and I are planning our first short trip since the pandemic hit, which is nice. Love to hear from any classmates (zenith3735@AOL.com).”

Mary McWilliams regrets, “I won’t be at reunion, but I’ll be in Italy with my partner on an education program for a health system board I’m on. We’re spending more time in Palm Desert and Coeur d’Alene than in downtown Seattle for better weather and safer streets.” And from Charles Skrief: “I’m enjoying life in St. Paul with my wife Andrea Bond ’72; exploring Schubert’s last piano sonata; and writing a book that may yet justify Professor Golob’s (CSS) faith in a provincial sophomore.”

On a sad note, Todd Jick (TJ the DJ) is having a serious family issue. Send him your love. Todd you are in our thoughts.

Hope the reunion was fun for those who attended and we missed those who could not. Peace to everyone and stay safe and well. Aloha!

NEIL J. CLENDENINN | cybermad@msn.com
PO Box 1005, Hanalei, HI 96714