← 1974 | 1976 →

I’ve fallen down on the job a bit, but here’s your secretary back in action. Thanks to all who sent me notes in the bustle of winter holiday season. Gina Novick is MIA too, though for good reason—email autoreply says she’s on sabbatical from Yale, July 2023 to January 2024.

Dr. Dennis Chin sent photos of his tour of duty as a retired orthopedic surgeon in the Navy Reserves. In early December, he was in the Solomon Islands as part of the Pacific partnership 2024 on the USS Mercy hospital ship, with a stop at the 2023 Pacific Games.

Dennis (third from right) arriving in Guam with colleagues on the USS Mercy hospital ship

A note from Jeff McChristian reported on his first year of retirement. He and Pat spent 2023 making up for travel lost to COVID. Their itinerary: A three-week trip to Steamboat Springs to see their son, daughter, and families. Then off to Guatemala, where Pat has participated in community mosaic projects since 2020. Jeff carries luggage and plays music for artists making beautiful mosaics to install along public streets in a small, traditional Mayan town. April was Italy, enjoying the pleasures of Rome, Florence, and Tuscany. Late June took them to Wisconsin’s Northwoods to see Jeff’s sister. Jeff celebrated his 70th at a weeklong guitar camp in Puget Sound in August (a gift from Pat), followed by 10 days of driving and hiking with Pat in nearby national parks. October found Jeff and Pat, with their daughter and son-in-law, exploring Morocco’s charms. In between trips, Jeff does projects around the house, sees friends and former colleagues, and has arbitrated a few cases. His summary? “Retirement suits me!”

It appears that after declaring retirement in December 2023, Judge J. D. Moore amended his decision within 30 days. In January, J. D. joined the Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice at Pullman & Comley, LLC in Hartford. With 10 years on Connecticut’s Superior Court bench, preceded by a career in litigation, he’ll bring vast experience to mediating or arbitrating a wide range of civil matters and family disputes. (With all due respect, J. D., this prompts the question of whether when a judge retires, one can say he has disrobed.)

David Leisner (middle) at the Wes Center for the Arts with soprano Katherine Whyte and his husband, Ralph Jackson, for the tribute to Professor Winslow

Meanwhile, David Leisner is going strong as a performer and composer. Recent highlights include performing a program of Shakespeare readings with solo guitar music with actor Anthony Heald. September 2023 saw the world premiere of Wayfaring, David’s concerto for guitar and orchestra, commissioned by the legendary Pepe Romero. In October, David and soprano Katherine Whyte performed in a tribute to the late Wesleyan professor Richard Winslow. The tribute at Crowell Concert Hall was directed by Neely Bruce, who joined the Wesleyan music faculty in 1974.  David has a new solo recording coming out in February and is grateful for good health and 42 years with his husband, Ralph Jackson.

On another musical front, Bruce Weinraub closed his medical practice in Northampton, Massachusetts, to move to Clarksdale, Mississippi, home of the crossroads. He’ll work at the community health center and pursue his interest in blues. “Bennie Thompson is the congressman, Morgan Freeman has a club there, and 60 Minutes recently profiled the city— check it out!”

Some of us are getting a head start on reunions. Steve Levin sent a photo from fall 2023 “at Wes celebrating the 50th anniversary of our ECAC championship season in 1973.” Check out the formidable reunited team of Carl Cavrell, Mark Nickerson, Gary Steinel, Jeff Van Nest, Perry Cacace, and Steve:

From left to right: Carl, Mark, Gary, Jeff, Perry, and Steve on the Wes football field

Jill Rips and Carole Evans Sands, freshman roommates, did a road-trip reunion visiting New England museums, lakes, nature walks, a powwow, and Dana Asbury and her husband, Richard Levy, in Maine. Jill’s working in San Antonio with resettled Afghans who fled the Taliban.

Out on the Pacific fringe, Martha Faller Brown, Bruce Paton, and I have a get-together to hike and dine whenever Colorado-based Tim Brown ’72 and his wife, Rosie, visit their Bay Area grandkids. My husband, Bob, usually joins us.

Hiking along San Francisco Bay in Berkeley. From left to right: Rosie Pillar (Tim’s wife), Bob Daniel, Cindy Ulman, Martha Faller Brown, Tim Brown ’72 (no relation to Martha), and Bruce Paton

I’m introducing a new game for the next year. It’s called (apologies to Waldo) WHERE’S WES-O?  A number of classmates seem to be hiding. Let me know if you find Debby Addis, Ramon Alonso, Steve Anderson, Mark Anderson, Deborah Appel, Robert Baratt, June Hatton Barr, or any other ’75ers who are out of touch with our class. There might be prizes at the 50th for our best detectives.

A great Reunion Committee has begun planning for our 50th. There’s still room to join this team, and we’d love to have you. See you in 2025!

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