CLASS OF 1977 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

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To be sure, the coronavirus pandemic has changed all our lives forever. The desire to connect, be in touch, has increased as we adjust to Zoom gatherings and other methods that allow us to continue work as well as survive during the time of social isolation. Slowing the pace of our day-to-day lives has had a positive effect in that we make time for reaching out, as well as perhaps cook and eat better, get some exercise, meditate, whatever. With this, I am delighted to be in touch with so many classmates via Zoom and others by phone calls and notes sent along.

Carol Weiss is doing well sheltering at home in Westchester with her husband and two of her three kids. Everyone is healthy. She is avoiding her office in Manhattan: enjoying seeing all her patients virtually. Dave Schreff sends best regards to friends Bob Yorburg, Michele Druker, Martha Meade ’76, Eric Zimmerman, and Don Lowery. Dave Levit, along with wife Ruth, lives in Amherst, Mass., where they have been since 1989. As clinical psychologists, they are adjusting to doing sessions by videoconference in the time of COVID. Dave remarks that both his daughter and son are staying in the family business: Becca completed a master’s in school counseling, Jeremy is a second-year medical student awaiting his clinical rotation in psychiatry in Brooklyn.

Dorothy Crenshaw had a Zoom happy hour with pals Marianne Diorio and Vanessa Burgess, commiserating about the pandemic in NYC, sharing gratitude at being healthy. She has been texting with Don Ryan; she managed a visit with Don, George Capone, and Cal Dysinger last October when they traveled to join her at a Steely Dan concert at the Beacon Theatre. Dorothy is busier than ever with her PR firm. She is sheltering in place in Manhattan (unlike the many who have fled) and, as an older parent, lucky that her 16-year-old daughter is still living at home and not off somewhere alone.

David Dranoff is hunkering down in Oak Park, Ill., where he has lived with wife Wendy for 28 years. Like many of us, David is working remotely, wondering if this is the time to put the work thing aside: wondering what will be the next stage of life. His kids are healthy, though not all remain employed due to the pandemic. Iddy Olson is now commuting from master bedroom to office/bedroom 12 feet away. She can’t imagine taking a train, parking, walking a half-mile each way again. Her husband, Tom, has had some health challenges in what was assumed to be a mild case of the coronavirus. He does appear to be turning the corner, which comes at a great relief to us all.

Jim Melloan is doing well in Brooklyn: had a nice Zoom session with Rich Shulman a couple of weeks ago; also in touch with Marisa Smith ’78, Miriam Wolf, and James Lyons via email. Joan Goldfeder is staying busy with a PAC that supports Democratic, pro-choice, female candidates in California and nationally. She is seeing lots of great candidates via Zoom. Joan’s son just finished college at Bucknell; she is extremely proud of his accomplishments.

John Fink has a new book out compiling his TV editorials from the past 19 years in Hawaii, published by Watermark Publishing. To quote: “When the world comes out of its largest-ever ‘timeout,’ I plan to do seminars about ‘making a difference.’” Before the shutdown, John met up with Rick Dennett and with Peter Guenther in New York. He also dropped in on former roomie, Scott Director. Lisa Brummel is working from home as a recruiter in the financial services field. Lisa is in touch with Lorraine Schwarz, among others. Her eldest son graduated from Dickinson College, and her younger son is a junior at American University. I had a nice exchange with Iddy, Mike Coffey, and Ted Stevens, sending along their good wishes. Ted and Iddy revealed their one real complaint being the inability to interact with their grandchildren, which is a sentiment echoed a lot by others in our class.

Additionally, I have been fortunate enough to be included in a cross-the-globe Zoom session with Jane Goldenring, Janet Malkemes, Ruth McMahon, Kate Seeger, Laraine Balk Hope, Wendy Giardina, Richard Parad, and Bob Katz. We organized a film club that appropriately began with each of us viewing The Big Chill and coming together to discuss via Zoom. Good stuff.

Here is hoping we all keep safe and sound during these days ahead. Best wishes to all, family and friends, during this extraordinary time.

Gerry Frank | Gfrank@bfearc.com