CLASS OF 1968 | 2021–2022 | WINTER ISSUE

Hal Skinner is a retired lawyer (Duke) in the Jacksonville area who recounted being on campus a couple of years ago for a beautiful Homecoming with his son, Hal Skinner Jr. ’92, and some grands. Hal Jr. is a very busy epidemiologist who, along with his wife, are professors at Lehigh. Hal’s daughter and her husband are attorneys who live nearby. Hal and his wife, Ana, were traveling extensively. He walks the dog and the beaches. He adds he does not like aging.

Jeff Lincoln succumbed to Parkinson’s on November 21, 2019. I knew him just well enough to know him to be a kind and gentle man. Turns out he lived in Guilford, one town over, and was an IT manager at Yale. Had an MBA from the University of New Haven and served as treasurer of some community organizations including the Shoreline Unitarian Society. A founder of Guilford Cable TV, he believed in creating an environment where people share information. Long active as a Boy Scout leader, he enjoyed the outdoors. He had two children and five grands with whom he spent summers at a family cottage at Groton Long Point.

Rich Kremer ’69 summers in Norwich, Vermont. The only thing he loves more than golf is family. As he has a lot of both scheduled this summer, he is one happy camper. He plays regularly with a couple of great characters: Nick Browning ’69 and Walter Abrams ’69.

Bill Carter is in Hanover. He’s been involved with Ashoka, a change-making, international NGO, for 40 years. Ashoka is currently focusing on scientists and social entrepreneurs addressing climate change. His wife, Nancy, has been a school board member for 25 years. His oldest son teaches in Saudi Arabia, his middle daughter is a social worker in Chicago, and his younger son does energy retrofits in Portland, Oregon.

Bill is working with Chris Palames, who is in western Massachusetts and the creator of Independent Living Resources, a nonprofit he runs from his house that is making an impact throughout western New England. Presently, he is creating a platform on Patreon for content-creators to share their responses to and experiences with disability—including his own. (He was injured in a wrestling accident while at Wes.) He noted with warmth his life-long friendships with John Bach ’69 and Professor John Maguire, whose civil rights work served as a model for Chris’s work with American Disabilities Act issues.

Sidebar: John Maguire was an extraordinary person, one of the faculty members who made Wes what it was. By his own account, born a bigot, he became, among other things, a personal friend of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a graduate of Yale Divinity School, a Freedom Rider, and president of the innovative State University of New York–Old Westbury.

Ray Solomon retired as the long-time dean of Rutgers Law School–Camden (with a year tacked on as chancellor of the Camden campus). To mark Ray’s work at Rutgers, an anonymous donor contributed $3.5 million for the establishment of a Solomon Scholar program for outstanding students committed to public service. Ray’s entire career has been in legal education: After a J.D. and a Ph.D. (American history) from Chicago, he clerked for a Federal Appeals judge in Cincinnati before working eight years as an administrator and research scholar for the American Bar Association’s Foundation. After a stint at Northwestern, he moved on to Rutgers. Originally from Philip County, Arkansas, he is involved with memorializing the Elaine Massacre, a little known 1919 racial conflict that was one of the most deadly in American history. He is married to a Russian literature professor he met through the late Walter Kendrick. Part of 1968’s Golf Club (Dave Gruol, Pete Hardin, Craig Dodd, etc.), he keeps up with a slew of classmates. He has two daughters and one grand.

Many of you are smarter and better read than I. Nonetheless, I would like to recommend Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration and Caste, as it taught me more about race in America than anything I have ever encountered.

Our world-class ornithologist, Paul Spitzer, is now a columnist for Connecticut Estuary, a quarterly that is focused largely on the four-state Connecticut River watershed and Long Island Sound. Paul characterizes it as “a noble effort to document and, thus, protect the natural and cultural features of the region.” Living on the Choptank in Trappe, Maryland, he swims daily. He notes, “We’ve had a big, luscious vegetable garden for years . . . Chris is a brilliant woman of the soil, and we eat well.”

Some months ago, Wink Wilder quite aptly noted that being 75 then was akin to having a high draft number back in the day. So, in that sense, we are most fortunate geezers. (I slept better after my second jab.) While slowly falling apart, I was not keen on dying quite yet and am profoundly grateful for having seemingly survived the pandemic. And profoundly sad for those that did not.

CLASS OF 1968 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

I heard from Jeff Talmadge: like most of us, he “didn’t go anywhere or do anything” in 2020. “A year of patience, resilience and caution. . . . While the world, and especially our beloved country, has been in chaos, we have turned to family and close friends more than ever for recreation, love and comfort.” 

     Bob Knox made my day by doing something very simple that you too could do: he called me out of the blue. One of those Stanford guys who never returned, he is a still practicing attorney in Marin County. When asked why he is still working, he confided that he enjoys it— trying to extract money from insurance companies who won’t pay little old ladies whose house burned down. Two special things: running through the woods with a bunch of friends every Saturday and getting back to the guitar (taking lessons from a very fine teacher). Two sons. Three grands. Keeps in touch with John Mergendoller

     Mark Johnson, a JV oar out of South Kent who entered in the fall of 1965 but—being a rambunctuous EQVer­—didn’t finish until 1971. He reached out and we had a lovely chat with a lot of crew stories and friends in common. Mentioned Louis Loeb ’67­—someone I only knew as a legend—and Nat Greene (someone we all knew as a terror but he’s mellowed). Mark is a musician of a funny sort (computer stuff etc.) who taught, played and stayed in California. When reality hit, he took his IT skills into banking and then, more happily, into economic forecasting and lobbying for hospital systems. Lucky in love, Mark is married and has four grown sons and two grands.

     Confession: as I told John Lipsky if I’d been in EQV, I probably would have grown up faster. But then would I have had as much fun?

     I got another glorious call from out of the blue: John Shobert, an oar on our ’65 and ’66 V. He left Wes after sophomore year. Did a tour in ’Nam with the 101st. Enrolled at Penn State where he met his wife, now of 50 years. Two kids. Three grands. One great. MBA from Fairfield. Series of responsible HR positions here and there. Twenty years in Baltimore where he saw George Reynolds occasionally. Last 20 years in a lakeside home in Greensboro, North Carolina. Ten years retired: United Way, church, skeet shooting, fishing, etc. Few parts replaced but in good health.

     In late November, Greg Angelini died. Wig Sherman remembered him as always having a smile and, clearly, that is the way he went through life. After Cornell Law, he married his high school sweetheart and returned home to Leominster, Massachusetts, where he established himself as a sole practitioner with a sizable support staff and a broad portfolio of cases. Family law, advisor to businesses, labor law, representing towns and school boards. But paramount was his reputation for collegiality and friendship. His ambition never intruded on his concern for others. A devoted father who skied Okemo and enjoyed summers in Harwich with his two daughters.

     Jeff Bell, a widower and a Philadelphia transplant to Savannah who proudly still sports a good head of hair, wrote to announce his engagement to Kathy Stevens—originally “a Jersey girl” that our Lawrenceville lad found irresistable. She has two sons, 23 (Miami), and 21 (Richmond), which is her alma mater. I spoke with Dave Webb. Happily reading his way through retirement with a break for cocktails at 6:00. Splits time between the Cape and Florida. Keeps up with Bill McConaghy who is also on the Cape who has become a grandfather. Bill Van Den Berg’s New Year’s letter was beautifully pictorial, indicating his real wish—to be a photographer for National Geographic. Dave Losee was sworn into the Maine Bar this summer. Drew Ketterer­—Maine’s AG for 10 years and Rick Ketterer’s ’69 brother—was Dave’s sponsor. Most sadly, Rick died in August. My Boys in the Boat had our October reunion on Zoom. Washington State has one of the world’s biggest ferry system and one of Nason Hamlin’s sons is now managing a big chunk of it. Wallace Murfit is the last one standing: still competing. I thought we were a handsome bunch of devils but someone said we were getting older.

     Judy and I have one “child,” Josh, and he came east (from Seattle) in December with Emma Barnett, a totally wonderful and exceptionally capable woman, to marry in a lovely/intimate/informal/immediate-family-only/CDC-compliant ceremony at a nearby Airbnb. David Ramos ’05­­—Josh’s best friend from high school—was the “congregation” and photographer. All very moving.

     Be smart/safe/strong.

CLASS OF 1968 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

After years of a terrible but spirited battle with health issues, on July 21, 2020, Bob Newhouse passed. It was on “a beautiful day in the place he loved best, his home overlooking the ocean in Nantucket, where he insisted going when it became clear that he might have only one more trip in him. . . . He was a truly gifted artist. He drew and painted and was a terrific cartoonist but it was his marvelous sculpting and woodworking that most will remember” (from correspondence from his brother, Steve). 

Again from Steve: “I taunted him by saying his trials and tribulations later in life were payback for his Baccanalian revelry at Chi Psi. . . . Some think he was the model for the cool and handsome Eric ‘Otter’ Stratton in Animal House.” Be that as it may, he still managed to have 

a very successful career at the financial giant Marsh McLennan.

Bill Beeman retired as the chair of the anthropogy department at Minnesota after a long—34 years at Brown and 13 years at Minnesota—and distinguished academic career. No fool, he is leaving midwestern winters for Santa Clara to join his husband of six years (after 30 years of togetherness), Frank Farris, who teaches at Santa Clara University. (He sees Ted Smith ’67 who lives in San Jose). Bill went to an island in the Persian Gulf the summer of 1967 with Sib Reppert ’67 and returned there for the fall semester of 1967 to do ethnographic work. It was transformational as it led to his senior paper which led him to the University of Chicago (provided he continue with Persian and Arabic). Traveled to Iran and Afghanistan until it was no longer possible. Taught Peace Corps volunteers.

I reached out to Bob Abrams, a Nicholson 6 graduate, and learned he is in St. Louis and a man of leisure. He has a son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter not far from me. His wife, Jan, is unhappy that the pandemic has prevented them from making their semi-annual visits. John Kepner who had a career in hospital administration, has been writing a blog entitled “Rounding Third Leadership Blog”(fenwaymanagementadvisors.org/leadershipblog). It is a deep, far-reaching and ambitious endeavor that covers a lot more than baseball. Meanwhile, his son, Tyler, actually covers baseball for the Times and had a book out last year, K, a History of Baseball in 10 Pitches, which spent a week on the NYT best seller list.

I have been speaking with my erstwhile comrade in chaos, Bob Svensk. Still working quite independently (partnered with his son, Andrew ’99) from a Southport office in a worldwide reinsurance business. (To understand it fully, it helps to have gone to Harvard.) Very involved with Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation and Southport Conservatory. Son Christian ’96 is an urban planner married to a transportation guru in Sacramento. Son Hallock is Williams ’07 and an attorney married to an attorney in L.A. Andrew’s wife is a NYC ADA. Bob and Annie have five grands but three are on the West Coast­—out of cuddling range. 

My editor gives me 800 words and I am not yet there. So: Dave Losee has become a beekeeper. Bill Currier ’69 is working hard on a pilot for a TV show. BiIl Nicholson continues to read his way through American history. We are fine: Judy continues to love me and really gives me no choice in the matter.

 I write in September, and, as a rule, I keep current events out of these Notes. But, as I make the rules, I can break them. And, though a divinity school graduate, I am not good at asking god for favors. But, I am praying for the unemployed, the hungry, the homeless, the sick and dying, that we address the many divides in our country and for an orderly transfer of power.

Lloyd Buzzell | LBuzz463@aol.com
70 Turtle Bay, Branford, CT 06405 | 203/208-5360