Greetings from the Heartland! As I write this, the winter solstice is fast upon us. I hope that by the time you read this, spring will be in full bloom, war behind us, and New Year’s reflections manifesting themselves into positive energy and actions.
I received a wonderful update from Debbie Underberg Mueller. After a very successful and satisfying full-time career as an OB/GYN, Debbie relocated to Wolfeboro, New Hampshire to work part time solely as a gynecologist; she is using her free time to pursue her newfound passion—painting. A moment of serendipity in 2016, during a visit to her mom, resulted in her discovering a new talent—one that has become more than “just a hobby.” Debbie wrote, “I had, up until this point, felt very confident that I was someone who was completely artistically challenged. At the end of an hour, I had created a pretty horrible painting, but loved the way that I felt during the experience of creating it. It was meditative, focused, productive—the closest activity that produced this same feeling was performing surgery, but of course, the stakes are a bit higher with that! When I got back from that trip, I bought a box of acrylic paint, and my life as an artist began.” As her skills improved, she entered competitions, resulting in a multitude of accolades and prizes. “This year I received first place in the Art2Life International Juried Exhibition, from a field of over 5,000 submissions.” And Debbie shared that “also this year, Modern Impressionist Magazineran a feature story about me and my work. I show . . . in numerous galleries and have had several opportunities to mount solo exhibitions.” Check out some more of her stunning work at www.debbiemuellerart.com.
David Miller, who is still hosting an online science fiction book club, shared that he and wife Cathryne took a two-week cruise down the Mississippi River from St. Paul, Minnesota, to New Orleans, Louisiana. “In Saint Louis,” Dave writes, “I had a chance to spend the day with Linda (Hornby) Shogren ’83, who is also in the science fiction book club, and her husband David.”
Dave continues, “We got [in] a couple of concerts by Ethan Leinwand ’05, covering ragtime and early blues. There were concerts every night, but these were some of the best. Surprising to me, the second half of the trip was the most enjoyable. Perhaps this was because of the music. . . . Perhaps it was due to the cruise line’s careful choosing of ports. Or, perhaps, (because) I was just a visitor and didn’t live there. Anyway, I learned a lot (including a bunch of history which may no longer be taught in Florida), heard some great music and stories, ate some wonderful foods, and generally had a good time. Highly recommended if you’ve got the resources, enjoy blues and jazz, and can learn when you hear about some of the horrendous things Americans have done in the past.”
John Ross wrote in with news of what sounded like a super-fun get-together with some of his Williams Street 10-person roommates: Greg Andris, Alan Mairson, and Sean Moran, who all joined Peter Gryska on his West Texas ranch recently for a long weekend of skeet shooting, wild boar tracking, fossil hunting, a “Friday night lights” high school football game, mesquite barbecuing, and general merrymaking, “Peter, who lives in Houston, is a director at SPECS, an iconic Texas retail chain. John is working on his sixth book and runs a food pantry in Bethesda, Maryland, which he founded, often assisted by Sean, a staff scientist at the military medical school at Walter Reed. Greg, who lives in Miami Beach, owns and manages a luxury resort in St. Lucia. Alan works on various media projects after a long career writing and editing at National Geographic. Much discussion revolved around what the other members of the 10-person—Anne Standley, Barb Parrot Katz, Leora Freedman, Mary Dowd, and Carol Muller—are up to.” Please—write me and let me know!
Felicia Angus reported in from northern New Jersey, where she and her husband of 34 years, Mike, have lived for several decades after spending the first third of their marriage living and working in England. She writes, “I still work in the city on Wall Street, funding Mike’s retirement. Our kids are grown and living in NYC and Vancouver. A whole lifetime has passed since we’ve graduated . . . yet there’s not much else to report!”
Congratulations to Laurie Jacobs on her new job! She wrote in to share that she “remains happily living with Bob in NYC despite the Jersey commute to my new role as associate dean for faculty development at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. My kids, Liz (Wojnar) ’12, is in Brooklyn, Julia in Buenos Aires, and Ben in Los Angeles, but all make it home often. I saw Susan Stone and Laura Justice ’83, as well as Corinne Sternberg on a Seattle visit. Life is good.”
I do concur with Laurie. Despite the curveballs that life throws us, let us continue to focus on the positive—on the beauty around us, the spirit of giving in our hearts, and the importance of friendship and family. Happy 2024!
DAVID I. BLOCK | firstname.lastname@example.org
JOANNE GODIN AUDRETSCH | email@example.com