CLASS OF 1972 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

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Six months of restricted life, no end in sight, and it will probably be the same when these words reach your eyes. As Shakespeare said, “oy gevalt.”  My family and I are well and I hope the same is true for you.

Our Class Zoom in March was such a success that President Michael Roth ’78 wanted to do one with us. Organized by Ron Ashkenas and Peter Hicks, Michael joined us for a most interesting session during which he discussed Wesleyan’s response to COVID-19 and its re-envisioning of its future. Ron and Peter are busy organizing another set of webinars on various themes for our class, which should be of great interest to all and should build enthusiasm for our 50th reunion, which we really hope will come off as scheduled in May of 2022.

My old roommate Roger Jackson, now retired as professor of religion at Carleton College, has been awarded the 2020 Toshihide Numata Book Award in Buddhism (“Toshi Award”) for his book, Mind Seeing Mind: Mahamudra and the Geluk Tradition (Wisdom Publications, 2019). The award is presented on an annual basis to an outstanding book in any area of Buddhist studies. The award is typically presented at UC Berkeley, and is celebrated with a public lecture by the award recipient and a symposium focused on the book’s theme. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the celebration, including presentation of the award, public lecture, and symposium, had to be conducted remotely as a webinar.  That webinar had not been held at the time of writing a few of us planned to attend, based on Roger’s assurance that some of his remarks would, in fact, be  aimed toward “a not-too-deep-in-the-Buddhist-studies-weeds audience.”  This is a most significant achievement, one that caps a distinguished and committed career. Well done, Roger! 

Marc Bloustein wrote me from his home office, where he too was sheltering in place. Marc continues to work for the New York State court system. 46 years in all.  He is the Judiciary’s Legislative Counsel and an advisor to the State’s Chief Judge and Chief Administrative Judge.  He lecture to groups of judges frequently on court system history, constitutional law issues bearing upon the structure/operations of New York’s courts, and recent legislative developments.  Once in a while, he even publishes something on these topics.  The work is challenging (never more so than now, as they try to keep the courts operational during these fraught times) and, as long as his health is good, he plans to continue. Marc and wife Diane (Skidmore, 1975), continue to live in suburban Albany. Their daughter (Wellesley, ’03, Northwestern (master’s), 2005) is a journalist who has been an NPR reporter and is now a digital content editor for the local paper, The Albany Times Union. Their son (Northwestern, ’06)  lives in Chicago, where he is “a freelance TV production guy.” He directs TV broadcasts of the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Bulls for NBC Sports Chicago; and Big Ten football and men’s and women’s basketball for the Big Ten Network. Occasionally he does NHL games as well.  But the best thing about Marc’s life these days is being a grandfather.  And that his two grandchildren, Kinsey, age seven, and Calvin, just about age three, live all of 10 miles away.

I am sorry to report that Arnold Hendrick lost his battle with cancer on May 25, 2020. I remember him as a delightfully learned and enthusiastic gamer, and he spent his life exactly that way. Capitalizing on his degree in history, he began with board games, including Barbarian Prince. He expanded his game sophistication as computers developed; he was most proud of his game Darklands. He expanded his interests to include online training for both medical crises (in coordination with Stanford University) and military training scenarios with the U.S. Army.  Even after he retired, he began a small, international company to expand on the Darklands theme. He leaves behind his wife, Georgeann, a step-daughter, Dr. Heather Pua, and a brother, Stephen Hendrick. 

 Don Lewis is still practicing law in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He and wife Michelle have been strictly sheltering in place since mid-March; their daughter Meredith’s husband is a health scientist who warned them about COVID-19 in January (when Don bought his first pack of N95 masks), and they are insisting on a very strict regimen.  Meredith and her family (including three kids, ages two, five, and eight) are also sheltering in place about 15 minutes away. Their younger daughter, Emily, lives in Philadelphia and they have not seen her (except via Facetime) since March. Don has many regrets about his Wesleyan years, which were clouded over by the Vietnam War (especially after he drew number 4 in the draft lottery). Instead of reaching out to classmates back then, he curtailed his involvement in campus life, which he deeply regrets. Nonetheless, several people at Wesleyan, especially Prof. David McAllester, helped him obtain a CO classification. He served his two years of alternate service in a relatively low stress job with the Boston College Law School legal aid program, and credits Georgia Sassen ’71 with steering him to that job. Ironically, that set the stage for his unexpected gravitation into the legal profession. 

Don was one of a few dozen classmates who participated in a Zoom session in October at which we whipped up enthusiasm for the reunion, but mostly just talked and had fun. I couldn’t talk to everyone, but here are a few highlights:

 

Steve Lewis—in Marin County, still practicing environmental litigation

Blake Allison—in Lyme, New Hampshire, active in conservation groups and the Town Band

Ron Ashkenas—Stamford, Connecticut—not-for-profit organizational consulting

Rick Berg—near Albuquerque, bed & breakfast, software business, Democratic politics, outdoors

Paul Edelberg—also Stamford, still practicing law with emphasis on China

Bonnie Krueger—sheltered on Cape Cod, preparing to teach her last semester at Hamilton College, albeit remotely

 

There will be more such get-togethers, and maybe one day we can do it in person again. Here’s hoping for May 2022, and see Kate Lynch’s note below about how you can help in the reunion effort!

Save the date for our 50th Reunion scheduled for May 19–May 22, 2022! Reunion planning and fundraising for our reunion gift is happening even now and for those that missed our virtual conversation with Michael Roth last June, other virtual events will be scheduled over the next several months. If you want more information go to wesleyan.edu/classof1972. Or if you want to get involved, contact Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, ’19.

Seth A. Davis | sethdavis@post.harvard.edu
213 Copper Square Drive, Bethel, CT 06801