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

CLASS OF 1960 | 2019 | ISSUE 2

John Dobson has not skied the past two seasons in his hometown of Big Sky, Mont. In January, he underwent a complicated lumbar spinal fusion that required 12 screws and two long rods. Walking has been his physical therapy after the operation. He has some physical restrictions. In May, he had a prostate operation and is doing well after the surgery. John and Nici invite you to come for a visit: johndobson4@gmail.com.

Peg and Dave Hale are trying to “age gracefully.” They had a nice cruise in February from Barcelona to Lisbon with stops in Spanish ports, Tangiers, and Gibraltar.

Pam and Tom Mansager finished their 11th season as junior varsity girls tennis coaches at their local high school and have announced their retirement from coaching. Although they did not have a winning record this past year, working with the girls was a joy for them.

Bill Walker had total ankle surgery and appreciated Janet’s great support during recovery. They celebrated his return to good health with a May week in California wine country that included an enjoyable evening with Sharon and Jay Levy. He returned to the golf course that same month.

Bill is the author of two popular and highly respected novels of inter-war Europe, About Danzig and About a Spy in Vienna. For more information, consult authorwilliamwalker.com. He is working on political intrigue novel number three.

Bob Williams has written an autobiography, From Away: The Maine Origins of a Russian Historian. He urges others to do likewise for their children and grandchildren before most of it is forgotten.

February in Bellingham was the coldest recorded in the past 70 years. I am glad that we are past that.

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

CLASS OF 1960 | 2019 | ISSUE 1

Charles W. Smith Class of 1960 Scholarship
Joseph Ellis ’19, Government, Film Studies

Richard H. Huddleston ’60, P’90 Wesleyan Scholarship
Glenn Smith III ’21, Roxbury, MA

Nici and John Dobson are having a small home built in Trilogy Ocala Preserve, Fla. They look forward to enjoying some warm weather in that location. In early January, John underwent lumbar spinal fusion surgery and is doing well while complying with requirements for very restricted activity. Our best wishes to him for continued recovery.

We are fortunate to have Dave Hohl as our new class agent, since he has always been a strong advocate of Wesleyan. Dave continues to teach two classes in the Baruch College (SUNY system) Great Works Program as an adjunct associate professor. He would like to retire, but recent losses in the stock market and maintenance on his six-bedroom beachfront house in the Hamptons are straining his budget, so he will wait at least another year. Wife Anne continues as director of the French program at Seton Hall University.

Harvey Hull passed away peacefully at Connecticut Hospice on Dec. 17 at the age of 81. He retired after 35 years from the Lillian Goldman Rare Book Library at Yale University School of Law. After retirement he assisted the staff of the Guilford Keeping Society in cataloging their library collection and volunteered at the Guilford Free Library book sales. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Sara, four children, as well as 10 grandchildren.

Mimi and Rob Mortimer arrived in Hanoi on Rob’s 80th birthday last October to begin a visit of Vietnam and Cambodia. Rob commented as follows: “The U.S. war in Vietnam was one of the great issues along with civil rights facing our class in the decade after our graduation. In some sense the trip was a vindication of my opposition to that war. The good news is that Vietnam is today a dynamic society with a growing economy and beautiful landscapes. Traveling north to south from Hanoi and the lovely Bay of Halong to the pre-colonial capital of Hué and on to Ho Chi Minh City (ex-Saigon) and the Mekong Delta, the names of battle places became the sites of a grand culture. Then we flew on to the longlost Khmer kingdom of Angkor Wat, surely one of the wonders of the world. We crossed paths with Buddhist bonzes, remembering their sacrifices in protest of the war. We returned assured that our activism against the war was the right thing to do in that first decade beyond Wesleyan.”

Ira Sharkansky recently celebrated his 80th birthday. All four of his children and most grandchildren came to Jerusalem from their homes in the States and elsewhere in Israel to join Ira and Varda. It was a time of memories, pictures, and looking forward.

In June 2018 Janet and Bill Walker moved from New York, where they had spent the past 40 years, to Cape Cod. They are both very active and have a large ground-floor apartment that suits them. It is not really retirement, as Bill is actively tracking projects in the Middle East. Janet and Bill will celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary in June 2019. He encourages us to “savor the gifted life we’ve all been privileged to experience since that long ago welcoming address by Vic Butterfield in the chapel in September 1956.”

The big trip of the year for Ann and Bob Williams came in August, when they joined their Russian surrogate family, Elina, Sasha, and two children, at the seaside town of Murter on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. Their relationship started at Davidson, where they were Elina’s host family in ’94, and they have remained very close. Despite the heat and humidity, it was a marvelous look at another culture where the eastern half of Europe likes to play in summer.

Back in the States, Bob had a scary car accident on Sept. 1, in Maine, when he somehow drove off Route 1 into a signpost, which resulted in a bruised sternum and ribs, and a totaled car. Despite that they managed to have two weeks in Lovell on Kezar Lake at their family camp, Birch Lodge, where they honeymooned in 1960. Time does fly by.

Bob has written a timely book, Useful Assets: The Trump Family, the Russians, and Eurasian Organized Crime (Dorrance Publishers), which will soon be available at Amazon.com.

My deceased wife left an IRA that has been used to fund the Sal and Judy Russo Biochemistry Research Endowment at Western Washington University. It honors my contributions to the early development of the biochemistry program. In addition, it honors the memory of Judy and her devotion to family. The endowment funds will be used for the education of future biochemistry students.

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