Our 45th Reunion is now history, and those who attended will concur that it was great fun. The campus was beautiful, and it was great to see old friends, even if we all seem to be getting older and kvetchier. Considering the alternative, that’s not such a bad thing. So here are my random recollections, with apologies in advance to any attendees I may have omitted.
I arrived at Wesleyan on Friday, and camped out by registration to see who was checking in. Thus, I got some time with Jim Shepherd, Steve Goldschmidt, Steve Lewis, Dennis Kesden, Mike Busman, Bruce Throne, and others. At our class welcoming reception at the Stew Reid House we had our only weekend visits with some true notables—Wesleyan President Emeritus Colin Hon.’89 and Nancy Campbell MALS’80 (who have nothing but wonderful memories of us—or so they say), and Chip Goodrich.
Friday dinner was an extraordinary event, thanks to the labors of Andy Feinstein. We took over O’Rourke’s Diner for the occasion, and Brian O’Rourke prepared an elaborate tasting menu for us. Only one dish vaguely resembled a steamed cheeseburger, and the “BYOB” policy led to some fine pairings. My table sipped a marvelous Walt Wines pinot noir, and there were various other wines and single malt scotches passed around. Leon Vinci presented Brian with a copy of Brian’s cookbook, autographed by us.
So it’s fitting to mention two who were unfortunately NOT in attendance. Mike Carlson, 45 minutes before his cab was due to arrive to take him to the airport in London, realized that he had forgotten to renew his passport. (Further comment from me would be superfluous—not that it has stopped me in the past.) Hank Shelton’s plane (after his original flight was cancelled) hit a bird one hour out of Memphis, whereupon that flight, too, was cancelled, thereby making it impossible for Hank to get to Wes in time. We truly missed them.
Most of us managed to be there for the alumni parade, noting that we are getting that much closer to the front. There followed an afternoon of hanging around on Foss Hill and attending seminars and film presentations. Our class seminar, entitled “Sustainability, Climate Change, and Energy in an Era of Alternative Facts” (title credit to Bruce Throne) featured Bruce Throne, Bonnie Blair, Stew Reid, and yours truly. We all laid out a mixed message of innovation vying with aggressive administration retrogression. What can we do about this, many asked, and the best response was that individual and grassroots actions still count for a great deal. Thanks, I guess, to Peter Hicks for posing a question about the ban of fracking in New York State, my honest answer to which earned me the opprobrium of most of the crowd. And the record will show that Stew was the only one of us explicitly to call for removal of the president.
From there to our class dinner, which was a raging success, thanks to the efforts of Mike Kaloyanides, Blake Allison, Steve Blum, and Mike Kishbauch, a.k.a. Blackwall Hitch, who performed the 19 top songs of our college years, from “Time Has Come Today” to “Honky Tonk Women.” Word got around campus that the ’72 party was the place to be, and by evening’s end we had quite a crowd. We cannot thank the four of them enough for their efforts—they were fabulous, and we’ll all have wonderful memories of their performance for a long time.
Bonnie Blair was an admirable MC. And thanks to those who joined with me in expressing brief tributes to recently departed classmates. Some found it mawkish, but it’s important. Thanks to Steve Goldschmidt, Blake Allison, Rich Easton, Bob White, Steve Berman, and Marjorie Melnick.
Richard Kolotkin filled me in on the past 45 years, although he was not able to come for Reunion. He got his PhD in psychology from the University of Minnesota, and spent the bulk of his career at Moorhead, both teaching at Minnesota State University and in the private practice of psychology.
He wrote, “Over the years, I have published a marriage self-help book and a number of research-based articles. One of these was a study that compared relationship satisfaction as it emerged in committed relationships in real life to the satisfaction experienced in online amorous relationships between two “committed” avatars on a massive online game called Second Life. This generated a bit of a buzz when the data showed that significantly more women were more satisfied with their virtual lover than they were with the man with whom they had a committed, real life relationship.”
Now fully retired, Rich and Deidre, his wife of almost 40 years, plan to reinvent themselves “in a warmer part of the world in new ways that nurture both spirit and soul.”
Next Reunion is our 50th. Be there. Renew your passports now. No excuses will be accepted. For those of you who keep saying you’ll be there “next time,” this is it
Seth A. Davis | firstname.lastname@example.org
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