CLASS OF 1960 | 2021–2022 | WINTER ISSUE

Mark Lischner has completed 50 years of medical practice in pulmonary medicine. In addition, the group that he founded, Pulmonary Medicine Associates, has expanded to include critical care, infectious disease, palliative care, and wound care. It currently has 50 physicians and 12 nurse practitioners. Mark appreciates the mental stimulation provided by his medical practice, which was especially important during the pandemic when many activities were prohibited. He reported that he has a low-grade lymphoma that is responding to chemotherapy.

     Dave Major and co-author Sirkku Juhola have published a new book, Climate Change Adaptation in Coastal Cities: A Guidebook for Citizens, Public Officials, and Planners. Dave says that he and Professor Juhola are foregoing royalties from Helsinki Press so that the book is available for free download worldwide under a Creative Commons license.

Congratulations to Bill Murphy who was honored for his 60 years of teaching at Hanover High School. Bill credits his late wife, Kay, for everything he has been able to do. A current student commended him for leading by example and encouraging critical thinking. An article about this event appeared in the Valley News.

An interview of Dan Nebert entitledRole of Environmental Genetics in Preventive Medicine” was published in Yale University Journal of Biology and Medicine. He has made significant contributions to clinical pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics.

     Ira Sharkansky wrote: “We’ve moved to a retirement village, after 46 years in Jerusalem. The city has changed. Much more ultra-Orthodox than in the past, and lots of building near where we lived. Now we’re getting used to neighbors even older and weaker than us. Still blogging about Israeli politics.” You can read more about his thoughts at www.jpost.com/blogger/ira-sharkansky.

Congratulations to Paul Tractenberg on winning his first poker tournament. He entered the competition as a way of supporting the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces. You can read more about this event in the New Jersey Jewish News.

     Bill Walker wrote an op-ed article entitled “The Coming Demand Surge Brings Back Memories of 1970s Inflation” that appeared in the Wall Street Journal in March 2021.

One of my favorite places to visit is Mount Rainier National Park. An interview done by the philanthropic Washington National Parks Fund describes a few of my family trips to the park and my involvement with hiking in Washington State. I have had occurrences of an abnormal heartbeat called supraventricular tachycardia since 2009. During the pandemic, the frequency and duration of these episodes increased, so on May 4 I had successful catheter ablation to destroy the heart cells that were causing the abnormal electrical signal. I am thankful to be living at a time when medical technology can provide a way of eliminating this disorder.

CLASS OF 1960 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

In August, Sue and Jim Dover moved to the Highlands in Topsham, Maine, where they often see Ann and Bob Williams, who also live in that retirement community.

     Peg and Dave Hale continue in the Give-a-Lift program, giving rides to fellow seniors to medical and other appointments.

     Congratulations to Paul Tractenberg and three coauthors on the publication of Making School Integration Work: Lessons from Morris by Teachers College Press at Columbia University. Paul reported the following: “My wife, Neimah, and I are doing well, better than we might have expected. Because of age and underlying medical conditions, we have been in strict self-quarantine at our home in West Orange, New Jersey for almost eleven months.

    “We miss person-to-person time with friends, but most of all being able to hug our grandchildren, whom we see at safe social distances outdoors or on Zoom, but it’s just not the same. And now with two feet of snow and cold temperatures outdoor get-togethers don’t seem likely.

      “I’m staying remarkably busy with reading for a virtual book club I launched with seven friends, a short story discussion series at my synagogue, and one-on-one book and short story discussions with each of my two eldest grandchildren. I’m also staying involved professionally consulting with lawyers on several ongoing cases, preparing a chapter for a book of essays being compiled by Rutgers Law School entitled The Great Reckoning, and presenting lectures and being on podcasts about the Notorious RBG, who was a Rutgers Law colleague of mine for two years and remained a friend thereafter.

      “I’m managing to find time and energy to stay fitter and trimmer than I was at Wesleyan. When the weather permits, I take long walks outdoors and when it doesn’t, I use my new, state-of-the-art treadmill to do hikes and treks around the world. I add stretching and weights for a satisfying full-body workout.

      “Of course, I’ve stayed up on and even engaged in politics—until I can’t stand it and then I escape to streaming films and mainly historical series on TV.

     So, all in all, a surprisingly full and satisfying life despite the pandemic and the usually depressing political environment.”

      Jim Meyerhoff received a grant from the Department of Defense via the Geneva Foundation to study post-traumatic stress disorder. He is officially retired from U.S. civil service but maintains a relationship with federal labs. He is very happy to be free from the previous administrative responsibilities of being a lab chief. In addition, he is writing a review article on the brain-unique equivalent to the lymphatic system. He stays fit by running two miles every day.

CLASS OF 1960 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

John Dobson shared the following: “Nici and I continue to love our new home in Ocala, Florida. It is sunny, warm, and flat here, which allows me to walk for my exercise. Because of COVID-19, we are wearing masks and keeping to ourselves, except for visiting our state parks occasionally.” 

A new book, Target Switzerland, written by Bill Walker, has been published. Like Danzig and A Spy in Vienna, it is a novel of political intrigue set in Europe, this time in 1939. It combines real history with a good story and continues the adventures of Paul Muller, a Swiss intelligence agent charged with protecting Switzerland from plots being hatched in Germany but also in Britain and France. More information is available on Bill’s website, authorwilliamwalker.com.

SAL RUSSO | salandjudy@hotmail.com
2700 Kentucky St., Bellingham, WA 98229

CLASS OF 1960 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Thank you to Dave Hohl for planning our 60th Reunion. It is unfortunate that the COVID-19 pandemic prevented us from gathering in Middletown. Thanks also to Myles Standish ’60, MA ’62 and Bill Masterson for producing the 60th Reunion booklet that provides an update on classmates. I still have copies of our freshman class directory (1956), 20-year history (1980), and 50th Reunion booklet (2010). Together with the most recent 2020 booklet, they provide an informative historical record.

Dave Hohl led our virtual 60th Reunion via Zoom on June 12. The program began with Alan Wulff reading the names of our 43 deceased class members. Participants then had the opportunity to describe their current activities. Jay Levy answered questions about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We ended our session by having a lively discussion of politics with written background material provided by David Boesel (“The Oligarchs and the Mob” as well as “Similarities between Trumpism and Fascism”), Bill Walker (“Butterfield Excerpt”), and Robert C. Williams (“The Virus of Autocracy”).

From Gus Napier: “Margaret and I remain uneasily isolated in the beauty of our woodland Appalachian spring. Grateful for the friends here and trying socially-distanced hikes and even occasional shared meals at the two ends of a picnic table. Margaret does the grocery shopping at certain hours in a small market and gives socially-distanced tours of her beautiful native plant garden. I ‘chair’ a 12-man discussion group on Zoom and am working on poetry and some photography. I was delighted by the bios in the class book.

“Our son, Mark, a pulmonologist, has returned to his former hospital, Albany Medical Center, to work weekends on the COVID-19 unit while doing his full-time work as a medical director at Anthem. Sarah and her family from Concord, Mass., are headed soon for residence in our guest house, and we are very eager to see them. The parents will both work online. Julia’s family in Buenos Aires seems incredibly far away now. The city is in severe lockdown, but Julia and Juan seem to be very productive. I am in close conversation with Oliveio, 13, who wants to be a filmmaker—we share movie reviews on Letterboxd.

“I am very disappointed not to get to meet for our 60th. I find the impulse to reach out to others very strong and find the old-fashioned landline a good friend. Good luck to us all, and to you-all, as we say down here.”

Rick Garcia has moved to an apartment in La Paz, where he occasionally enjoys the company of children and grandchildren. He is the president of the National Academy of Economic Sciences of Bolivia (ABCE). ABCE and INESAD produced Investigations for the Economic Development of Bolivia that contains the research results of five groups chosen in a worldwide competition. The book serves as a reference for universities and public policymakers in Bolivia. At Wesleyan in February 2019, he presented and discussed a comparative view of liberal arts college education in Bolivia and the U.S., and a paper on sustainable development from the point of view of Bolivia’s compliance with U.N. goals and the performance of the Morales government.

Tragically, Robert G. Williams was killed in a car accident on Nov. 22, 2019. He was an attorney in Mooresville, N.C.

Alan Shestack died in his Washington, D.C. home on April 14. He had been suffering from multiple health problems in recent years. Alan’s first curator job included responsibilities for the National Gallery’s Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection in Pennsylvania. In 1965, he moved to Yale University Art Gallery, where he stayed until 1985, rising to become a director and an adjunct professor. After two years in Minneapolis, he began his tenure as director of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFA). Upon leaving the MFA in 1993, he returned to the National Gallery, where he was deputy director and chief curator until retiring 15 years later. His longtime friend Mervin Richard commented that Alan “was keenly in love with art, especially prints.” He married Nancy Jane Davidson, an immigration lawyer, in 1967. She died in 2016. He is survived by a foster daughter, Lisa Yi Lu Feng, and two grandchildren.

SAL RUSSO | salandjudy@hotmail.com
2700 Kentucky St., Bellingham, WA 98229

CLASS OF 1960 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Bill Murphy has been teaching citizenship and history at Hanover High School for nearly 60 years. One morning, he finally became fed up with the role model presented by our current president and decided to run against Trump in the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary. His students are excited by his action, and Bill hopes that his involvement will be an important example for them.

In February 2019, Peggy and Dave Hale cruised from Barcelona to Lisbon. Their second major trip was a river cruise in October from Vienna to Amsterdam.

Neimah and Paul Tractenberg took a 16-day cruise through the Panama Canal with Paul’s oldest friend (they were elementary school classmates 72 years ago) and his wife. In addition, he submitted to the Rutgers-Newark chancellor’s office a major report on curing school segregation in New Jersey. He is also participating in important judicial arguments regarding school integration and school funding equalization for three major lawsuits scheduled in January.

John Dobson: “Had a wonderful Christmas with my entire family in our new home in Ocala, Fla. One hour from Disney World. Please come and visit if you are in Florida!”

On Sept. 5, Rick Garcia, president of the National Academy of Bolivian Economic Sciences (ABCE), gave a speech describing the accomplishments and contributions of ABCE on its 50th anniversary. On behalf of that organization, he received congratulations from the International Community of National Academies, Universities, and High Learning Organizations of South America, and Spain.

On Oct. 24, Jay Levy joined other speakers at a symposium titled “Homage to Samuel Beckett.” The event honored Jay’s gift to the library: his personal correspondence with Samuel Beckett over nearly 30 years. The interesting story of how Jay developed a friendship with Beckett can be found in the Nov. 6, 2019, issue of The Wesleyan Connection.

Jay’s twin brother, Stuart, died on Sept. 4, 2019, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. You may recall that Jay and Stuart executed an unannounced identity switch for several days during our sophomore year. Stuart was a microbiologist who received an honorary Wesleyan degree in 1998 for sounding the alarm on the dangers of antibiotic resistance, demonstrating that drugs routinely given to fatten farm animals posed a threat to human health. I express our condolence to Jay and his family.

Francis Haywood Parker, of Muncie, Ind., passed away unexpectedly on March 26, 2019, at the age of 80. Francis moved to Muncie in 1976 as one of the four original faculty members of the Department of Urban Planning in the College of Architecture and Planning at Ball State University, where he taught until his retirement in 2013. His specialty was transportation planning, which fit well with his lifelong love of trains and ships. From childhood, Francis was a fan of steam engines and model railroading.  As soon as he moved to Muncie, he became a volunteer on the Whitewater Valley Railroad in Connersville, Ind. In addition to serving as engineer and conductor, he was also the railroad’s historian, editor of their monthly newsletter, and leader of the yearly training class for new members. He also managed to fit in sailing excursions on a number of tall ships over the years and built model railroad layouts all over his home. Francis is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Carol Greenberg Parker, his sister, son, and grandson.

William Scott Robinson died on March 30, 2019 in Deephaven, Minn. Bill was retired from his job as financial adviser for RBC Wealth Management. He had served as president of the Deephaven Historical Society and was a lifelong member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was an avid bicyclist, kayaker, canoeist, and traveler. He is survived by his wife of 57 years Donna and two sons and their wives, a daughter, and six grandchildren.

I end this column with a quote from Gina Barreca who is an English professor at the University of Connecticut: “Now in my 60s, I understand and accept that time is the rarest of all commodities, the greatest of all gifts, and the most irreplaceable of items.”

SAL RUSSO | salandjudy@hotmail.com
2700 Kentucky St., Bellingham, WA 98229

CLASS OF 1960 | 2019 | ISSUE 3

Congratulations to Dan Freedman who is co-recipient of the 2020 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for the invention of supergravity, a deeply influential theoretical blueprint for unifying all of nature’s fundamental interactions. He will share the $3 million prize with collaborators Sergio Ferrara of CERN and Peter Nieuwenhuizen of Stony Brook University. Dan is an emeritus professor of applied mathematics and theoretical physics at MIT while currently a visiting professor at Stanford University.

Since 2008, Bruce Dow has been working as a psychiatrist (psychopharmacologist) on Cape Cod with a program for assertive community treatment. Their team consists of one psychiatrist plus nurses, social workers, and psychologists. They provide outpatient care for 80 clients referred to them by the state department of mental health, due to serious mental illness and heavy use of state services. They are salaried employees of a nonprofit corporation, Vinfen, funded by state and federal contracts.

Bruce lives in Osterville while his girlfriend, Rae Edelson, lives in Jamaica Plain and runs a studio arts center in nearby Brookline. They get together on weekends either at her place in winter or Bruce’s in summer. Several years ago, Bruce and Rae became couple friends with Dan and Miriam Freedman. Rae and Miriam were classmates at Barnard (’64). Social contact between the couples is less frequent because the Freedmans currently live in California.

Nici and John Dobson sold their condo in Big Sky, Mont., and moved to a small home in Ocala, Fla. They appreciate their new location in a warm climate that is closer to family.

Adrienne and Roland Bassett celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary. Their three sons, daughters-in-law, and grandkids all live nearby, and they see them almost daily. They have survived their share of major illnesses, medical treatments, and surgeries. They enjoy traveling a lot. This year they finally checked off their 40-year-old wish list item of touring Israel. They report that “life has been good to us.”

The highlight of my summer was being a participant in Orcas Summer Camp where we contra-danced on each of three successive evenings. At this event, some of us play music while others are the dancers or callers. During the day we are free to swim, canoe, or explore picturesque Orcas Island. It was a fun communal celebration in the Pacific Northwest.

Our 60th Reunion will take place in May 2020 so consider making plans to attend the event.

SAL RUSSO | salandjudy@hotmail.com
2700 Kentucky St., Bellingham, WA 98229