CLASS OF 1973 | 2021–2022 | WINTER ISSUE

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Paul Baumann writes that while attending the funeral mass of Nicholas Clifford, a professor of Chinese at Middlebury College and a board member of the liberal Catholic magazine Commonweal, he noticed something familiar but hard to identify about an older man kneeling reverently in a pew in front of him. When both he and the man got up to go to Communion, he recognized the “older” man was Michael McKenna, a classmate and fellow member of the Wesleyan soccer team, and now a longtime resident in Middlebury. They limped up to the Communion rail together and later commiserated about their time at Wesleyan.

Paul is retired after editing Commonweal for fifteen years. He is in frequent contact with Kirk Adams, Steve Greenhouse, and Steve Forstein. Kirk continues his work as a union organizer and Democratic Party strategist. Greenhouse is retired from his job as the New York Times labor reporter, and is the author of the much-heralded Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor. Forstein is a pediatrician living in Lyme, Connecticut. Paul is also in contact with Chris Keneally, a small business owner living in Easton, Connecticut. All of these friends and classmates played soccer at Wesleyan back in the Paleolithic Age. Chris and Paul also went to high school together in Westport, Connecticut, along with Scott Karsten ’74, another Wesleyan classmate. Chris, Paul, and Scott reengaged at their 50th high school reunion in 2019. Sadly, Scott, an all-state wrestling champion and formidable football player in high school, died last year. He was a prominent attorney in the Hartford area and an outspoken champion of DKE.

     Vinod Busjeet writes that after spending 29 years in economic development, finance, and diplomacy, holding positions at the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, and the Embassy of Mauritius in Washington, D.C., he wrote a novel, Silent Winds, Dry Seas. He says, “It was published in August by Penguin Random House under its hardcover imprint, Doubleday. A coming-of-age story that starts in Mauritius during a period of political convulsion and ends at Yale, it got a starred review in Publishers Weekly. The book has thus far received endorsements from a Pulitzer Prize winner, a finalist of the Man Booker International Prize, a finalist of the French Renaudot Prize and two New York Times bestselling authors.”

     Bill Gillespie writes that he and Susan sold their home on Hilton Head this summer in a very “hot” market and chose to return to Connecticut to live in West Hartford. He writes “Our 12 grandchildren continue to thrive. Looking forward to seeing folks at our 50th Reunion in 2023!”

On a personal note, I have had some challenging months. Had open heart surgery March 26th to replace infected mitral valve and aortic valve after problems with endocarditis. Brilliant surgeon Dr. Michael Cortelli at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood helped me. Have had a wonderful support team with my wife Connie and daughter Dana here and my daughters Holly, who flew in three times from Denver, and Jennifer, a nurse who flew in three times from Virginia, have been tremendous. Made me really appreciate how much my family matters. Went back to work after two and a half months off. All is well.

PETER D’OENCH | pgdo10@aol.com