CLASS OF 1968 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

I have been doing this for well over 40 years and—because I found you to be a delightfully spirited group back when whose trajectories have exceeded all my expectations—it has been a pleasure. But these are difficult/strange times to retain my usual good cheer: Not long ago I was caught up in the impeachment proceedings, but then thousands started dying, millions became unemployed and we, as members of a high-risk cohort, walk about with a target on our backs. While you know all that, I could not proceed without at least noting it.

Locally: for reasons that defy comprehension, my wife still loves me and gives me no option but to do things by the book. I like our governor’s leadership. Our son, Josh, was to be married to a good woman May 24 in Seattle. Heartbreakingly postponed. But we’re fine.

Pre-all this, Helen Dempsey had a lapse of judgment and married Bill Van Den Berg in a Unitarian service in the State College, Penn., area. We spent time together at the 50th and they are a fun couple. Andy Gaus—who is in Boston—and I had a great email exchange. We agreed that this is the time in our lives when we should do exactly what we want. For him, that was to self-publish a selection of his songwriting from his teens through his 70s entitled Songbag and available at Amazon.

John Poor died peacefully at home in Bronxville, April 13, of COPD. The Commodore “was a charismatic, smart, and generous man who…loved kids and art and sailing and the beach. He was very sharp and would do the Saturday crossword puzzle in minutes (and in pen). He truly loved life and lived it well” (from the NYT). Professionally, he was a well-regarded advertising executive with Blair Television and later Petry Media. Steve Carlson remembers him as a “fun and unique guy” who inherited his crossword skills from his mother and will be sorely missed.

It may seem a little unexpected, but Wig Sherman is the classmate with whom I stay in closest contact. We do not agree about anything (except some jokes) but serve as one another’s portal into alternate universes. However, our discord is brotherly. The May 7 arrival of Elizabeth Bean made him a grandfather for the first time. A devoted friend, he keeps up with the guys from the Lodge and is currently supporting Bob Newhouse, who retains a strong spirit as he contends with some medical issues.

Erica MALS ’91 and Nason Hamlin, one of our most elegant couples, retired to (and hunkered down on) Washington’s San Juan island. “Adequate supplies, gardening, reading, jigsaw puzzles, a beautiful setting, and lots of fresh air. The big downers are not being able to hug our grandchildren…and the cancellation of three musical string quartet workshops (Bruges, Sooke, BC, and Seattle)” as well as Nason’s barbershop quartet.

I am not a phone guy and normally wouldn’t suggest this, but the times are not normal, and a call from any of you about anything would be most welcome. After noon or early evenings, s.v.p. Be safe. Stay well.

Lloyd Buzzell |
70 Turtle Bay, Branford, CT 06405 | 203/208-5360

CLASS OF 1968 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

After an MA from SUNY-Buffalo, Ted Li joined the English Department of Pingry School where he enjoyed a distinguished 43-year run. He landed at Pingry due to George Moffatt, the two-time world champion in gliding who taught there then, and gliding became Ted’s primary avocation through the early ’80s. But, in 1984, he shifted his focus to fencing. While coaching Pingry’s team, he had the opportunity to manage the U.S. fencing team at the Los Angeles Olympics—and subsequently two other Olympics.

Though retired from the classroom, he is not only involved with Pingry fencing but has also been elected the international body that governs fencing. Gliding and fencing have taken him to all the inhabited continents.

Dave Garrison ’67 retired in 2009 as professor of Spanish and Portugese from Dayton’s Wright State University. He started in the class of 1967 but a year off in Spain happily moved him into 1968. In retirement, he plays tennis and golf and, after a 50-year hiatus, has taken up the trumpet again.

A poet, he has just completed another book which—not surprisingly—looks at things from the point of view of 70-year-old guys. An excerpt:

They take aspirin before playing tennis,
write wills directing their ashes
be mixed into the clay of the courts …
They have a lot to remember,
more than they have to look forward to.
These men put more and more pepper
on their potatoes, jam on their toast.

The Boys in the Boat—Wallace Murfit, Harrison Knight, Bob Svensk, John Lipsky, Nason Hamlin, Will Macoy ’67, and me—held our annual October get-together at Wes. A special treat for me was that Janet and Coach Phil Calhoun ’62, MALS ’69 came in from Lancaster. He was too young and irresponsible to be much of a role model but god we had fun.

With profound sadness, Dick Grimm reported the death of his wife, Annabella Gonzalez, of COPD in NYC on Nov. 24. Born into a prominent Mexican family whose friends included Frida Kahlo and the young Fidel Castro, she, a dancer, ended up in NYC and studied with Martha Graham. In 1976, she founded a modern dance company that is going strong and which performed at many venues internationally, at Wesleyan, and to many underserved audiences. Our heartfelt condolences.

Jan and John Graham report they are now living in a comprehensive retirement community southwest of Asheville, in part to be close to Jan’s 101-year-old mother who is in skilled nursing in the same complex, and in part to assure their daughters they will not burden them. The Osher Lifelong Learning Center at a nearby UNC campus is a big part of their lives. There, a variety of courses taught by retired professors and the like keep their minds fully functioning. Alas, John’s golf game has irreparably deteriorated but he has found other fulfilling ways in which to engage himself.

Locally, I write this in January. We are a mixed marriage and usually celebrate the holidays in a mixed-up way. But circumstances this year were such that I celebrated my first genuine Jewish Christmas—Chinese with friends followed by a movie. Refreshing.

Bob Reisfeld, the retired chief of psychiatry at the Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Redwood City, Calif., is enjoying good health and this phase of life with his wife, Leslie. They’ve two adult daughters: one married; the other in a long-term relationship. One is an incredibly athletic amateur aerial performer with a master’s in management in the nonprofit sector; the other a professional artist. Bob, Brian Frosh, and Tony Rotundo and their wives spent a week together on Maui in November snorkeling, golfing—studying the perfect Mai Tai. Tony and his wife, Kathy, retired from Andover’s faculty five years ago and moved from campus housing to Lexington to be closer to friends, family and “city life.” Their daughter is in computer science at Mount Holyoke, while their son teaches at a bilingual boarding school in Shanghai. In retirement, Tony is working on a book exploring the relationship between white masculinity and conservatism. (Sort of a sequel to an earlier volume he did on 19th-century manhood). He keeps up with a select group of Wesleyan friends: Eric Blumenson, Ray Solomon, Don Fels, and Mark Taylor. “Kathy often comments on what great friends I have from college. I always tell her to be glad she didn’t know us when we were 18.”

Lloyd Buzzell |
70 Turtle Bay, Branford, CT 06405 | 203/208-5360

CLASS OF 1968 | 2019 | ISSUE 3

Judy and I greatly enjoyed a home invasion from Bill Currier ’69 playing hooky from his 50th. We have overlapped repeatedly—from Sam Greene’s art history classes to NYC in the early ’70s—but hadn’t touched base in a while. A one-time educator, one-time trial lawyer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office (prosecuting seriously bad people), one-time SEC lawyer, retired White and Case attorney (with world-wide assignments), and novelist in search of a publisher. He accompanies John Lipsky—our boy from Cedar Rapids who, despite his sleek, cosmopolitan ways, remains a devoted baseball nut—to National’s games occasionally. Bill’s wife, Nuchhi, heads a women’s political action group that goes back to the Suffragettes and his daughter, Lauren, a Middlebury/Pratt graduate, just made him a grandfather. He keeps up with Jim Weinstein ’69, a therapist/life-coach in D.C. Bill worked with Judy on a curricular project back in the day and had to remind me that I married over my pay-grade.

Barb and Dave Webb continue their romance with Cape Cod and one another. They hosted Ron Gwaizda ’67 and Bill McConaghy one night and Hank Sprouse ’62 another. It is almost Labor Day and, when football season approaches, I ache for Tim Polk. We used to go out to the Bowl together where I would share not only his good company but his insights into the game. Bob Runk ’67 recently co-authored/published a satiric look at golf entitled How to Line Up Your Fourth Putt. It contains important chapters like “The Insignificance of the Proper Grip” and “Replacing the Divots of Your Life.” A bargain at $9.99 from Amazon.

Crew corner: The men’s varsity were New England champions for only the fourth time in the history of the program and, as we see the team when we return, we feel a proud, proprietary relationship. Bob Svensk and Will Macoy ’67 rowed at the Royal Henley Regatta. Wallace Murfit competes in an extended sculling season in California and has been accepted to row in Boston’s glorious Head of the Charles Regatta in October. However, Harrison Knight has gone over to the dark side: He and Kit won the Over 60 Connecticut State mixed pickleball championship at Wes last June.

I spoke with Paul Spitzer who spent part of the summer nearby in the Congregational parsonage in his hometown of Old Lyme in exchange for a couple of sermons. He was working on two books, one scientific and one more spiritual. His big news: He is a visiting scholar at Wesleyan’s College of the Environment this fall. On May 18, Visakha and Ken Kawasaki ’69—a good friend of Paul’s—sent me a lovely Happy Vesak (Buddha’s birthday) e-mail/card from Sri Lanka.

I spoke to my old roommate, Bill Nicholson, down in Jacksonville. His daughter, Chase, just finished a joyous first year at SMU and had a summer internship at State. He plans on taking his youngest son on the classic New England college tour this fall. He has been reading: Sandberg on Lincoln and Coolidge’s autobiography. Said Coolidge is underappreciated and that his odyssey from one-room schoolhouse to the White House was empowered by his Amherst education. (Meanwhile, my Mueller Report is being used as a doorstop).

Karen, his wife of 50 years, reports that we lost Roy Thorpe, a brother of mine from Psi U, in August. Roy died at his home in Culpeper, Va., of pancreatic cancer and had practiced local government law to support his love of travel and sailing in the British Virgin Islands. President of Local Government Attorneys of Virginia, he served as city attorney and assistant commonwealth attorney in Bedford and Falls Church as well as attorney for Montgomery and Culpeper counties. In retirement, he spent time woodworking and at their home in Akumal, Mexico.

Personally, I must admit to some frustration with my limited mobility. Just cannot do things that I’d like to. Though falling apart in all the usual 73-year-old ways, basically well/strong/happy. Our move from New Haven to Branford on the nearby shoreline has been a great success. Judy and I are social and have made many new friends while not losing touch with our old gang. I take great satisfaction from moderating a weekly discussion group of about 20 spirited oldsters at my senior center. Involved as the PR guy for three lecture series and, in a very small way, with goings-on around town. Inasmuch as your life could not possibly be any more mundane than mine, I would love to hear from you with your particulars.

Lloyd Buzzell |
70 Turtle Bay, Branford, CT 06405 | 203/208-5360

CLASS OF 1968 | 2019 | ISSUE 2

I heard from one of my favorites, Jeff Talmadge, with whom I shared so many cups of coffee that we were both disqualified from Phi Beta Kappa on that basis alone (not that we ever had a prayer). His biggest 2018 news is celebrating his 30th anniversary with Joan—marked by their annual trip to Kennebunkport—and the multitude of joys received from their raucous hybrid family. While it is not like they just hung around the Boston-area following their beloved Patriots and Red Sox, 2018 was a quieter year than 2017 when they visited both Cuba and Africa. An English major who slid into computers (at his mother’s suggestion as I recall), he ended up founding/running a service ( that helps travelers find accommodations on Cape Cod that has passed on to the next generation. He helped Carol and Bob Ziegenhagen (Bay Area residents) celebrate their 50th by attending a gathering at their Northfield, Mass., summer place last year.

Bill Van Den Berg continues windsurfing through retirement, getting down to Bonaire (from the State College, Pa., area) for big chunks of time for its optimal conditions. Bill is a good guy but I learned at Reunion that his partner, Helen Dempsey, is a stitch. They did some spelunking in Bonaire and Bill did some climbing in Nevada.

I did Wes on the five-year plan (and I expect that, based on these notes, some of you may feel I have never fully graduated) and the good company of Rich Kremer ’69 was one of the highlights of that final year. We spoke recently. A retired doc who advocates small-town living, he splits his time between Norwich, Vt., and Williamsburg, Va., and has four wonderful “kids” finding their diverse way through life. Like myself, he needs supervision, and his wife Andrea finds time to provide it when not teaching at Dartmouth. An ace golfer in his day, he’s still out there. He is in touch with Nick Browning ’69 and Walter Abrams ’69, both North Country golfers.

Locally: Judy and I enjoyed brunch recently with Chris and Gary Wanerka ’62, a free-thinking Eclectic and a still-practicing, legendary pediatrician back from a cruise to French Polynesia. Judy’s grandfather was a Zionist who exited his village as the Cossacks entered, but didn’t make it to Israel until his 80s. Not wanting to repeat this pattern, Judy went on a most marvelous tour with a friend. I had lunch with David Ramos ’05, a musician and my son’s best friend from high school who keeps me up on all things millennial.

It was reported that Maryland’s attorney general (our Brian Frosh) was dismayed when his emoluments case against the president was referred to a three-judge panel comprised of all GOP appointees. My old Kent buddy, Dave Losee’s career was as a Connecticut attorney involved in environmental issues. His idea of a fun retirement? Get back into the game! To that end, he just took and (miraculously) passed the Maine Bar.

I reached out to Wig Sherman: In Vero Beach, and a little haunted by the deaths of two roommates/brothers (Cal Hay and Jeff Arnold), he arises at 5 a.m., walks two miles, and reads the paper by the time the sun comes up. Keeps his doctors surprised with good health. Though divorced, he is good friends with his ex and very close to his children (they all gather for Thanksgiving). His oldest daughter was married recently but says he is too young for grandfatherhood.

Kink Terry died of complications from Parkinson’s in April. A lifelong member of Hartford’s Asylum Hill Congregational Church. He was a fine athlete: captain of his Kingswood baseball team who played baseball and soccer at Wes. A goalie, his shutout record stood for years. After Penn’s Annenberg School of Communications, he worked in the media before shifting to a distinguished career in commercial real estate with the Farley Company. A Hartford boy through and through, he gave back with a wide array of community involvements. I liked that his obituary was accompanied by a picture in which he looked exactly the way I remember him: red-haired and freckled, twinkle in his eye and sporting a mischievous smile.

Lloyd Buzzell |
70 Turtle Bay, Branford, CT 06405 | 203/208-5360

CLASS OF 1968 | 2019 | ISSUE 1

Class of 1968 Endowed Wesleyan Scholarship Fund
Caroline Pitton ’22, Seattle, WA
Dylan Judd ’22, Bellmore, NY

I am ruthless about keeping these notes non-political. But today I slept late, as I often do, and awoke to learn of a massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue. My heart is just breaking for our country.

Bill Shepard died right after Reunion. A swimmer, he competed at Pingry and Wes. He took vacations where he could swim recreationally and imbued his children and grandchildren with a love for the water. A decorated Vietnam combat veteran who spent a year at a riverboat base, he explored foreign cultures in a long, distinguished career in high finance—with assignments in Tokyo and Saudi Arabia—after a degree from Columbia Business School. He concluded his career in Houston as head of U.S. operations for the Riyad Bank. Tony Mohr ’69, a Superior Court judge in LA, who transferred into Wes, wrote me noting how kind Bill had been about taking him under his wing when Tony didn’t know anybody.

Local/crew news: Judy, who is a Francophile without mobility issues, went to Brittany in the spring (regular paid vacations are in her prenup) and we went to Alaska in August. Great fun. More landscape and wildlife than you can shake a stick at. On Oct. 2, Will Macoy ’67, Bob Svensk, John Lipsky, Nason Hamlin, and I had dinner down by the boathouse to celebrate crew, old times, and Harrison Knight’s birthday. Phil Calhoun ’62 was not sufficiently recovered from a trip to Tuscany to grace us with his presence. As we were playing near the water, Santa Fe-based Joe Kelly Hughes ’67 was in Wilmington, N.C., working for FEMA. In November, he’d moved on to Paradise, Calif. Also, in November, Ellen and Wallace Murfit celebrated their 45th with a trip to places like Budapest, Salzburg, and Trieste.

In September, I heard from Sandy See just before he was off to Florence. He played a pivotal role at our 50th—as I told him, he has been our de facto class president since 1964—and his long-standing, multi-dimensional contributions to the University and the wider world were recognized by a special McConaughy award at Reunion. After graduation, he taught in Maine, then spent 10 years on the staff of Rep. Gerry Studds, D-Mass., a “very intelligent and committed” representative for “a socially and economically diverse” district that includes Boston suburbs and New Bedford. Sandy’s got a master’s in education and a law degree, and he moved into full-time development work for some worthy Boston-area educational and environmental non-profits. He is one of those retired but extremely busy types.

George Reynolds saw Southeast Asia from a destroyer, spent (with Dick Cavanagh’s help) a year in the Nixon administration and then morphed into a Baltimore attorney with an almost fun, junior partnership in a small local wine store on the side. At this point, he is spending more time in the garden than in the office, very busy as a trustee for Baltimore’s amazing Walter’s Art Museum, and celebrating his daughter’s new position as an assistant attorney general in Brian Frosh’s office. He has done a lot for us over the years. Thank you. Enjoyed seeing John Baggerman and the Reunion in general.

I heard from Stuart Ober, one of the Reunion’s tri-chairs and the recipient of an Alumni Service Award. He migrated from being an art major who studied French literature at the Sorbonne to an MBA and becoming an expert witness in fraud and securities litigation based in Woodstock, N.Y. (He was instrumental in helping send Bernie Madoff to the Big House) as well as a publisher. His son, Alexander (15), a whiz of a student and a starter for the New York State soccer team, attended Reunion and was one of its highlights for me. A scholar and a gentleman.

Our son attended the same preschool that Gus Spohn’s [’70] and Sarah Clark’s [’73] daughter, Katy ’05, did. Fast forward a million years and Katy’s a parent there who wrote a moving solicitation letter for the school. JoAnn and Bob Runk ’67 are still putting out music, at this point from Pinehurst, N.C., with their children and grandchildren. I heard from Dave Webb from St. Petersburg—Russia, where he and Barb celebrated their 50th.

I know I am terribly guilty of reporting highlights but—if it ever was—life is no longer a competition. (Personally, I gave up on trying to keep up with you all long ago). So, whatever you are doing, please let me hear from you.

Lloyd Buzzell |
70 Turtle Bay, Branford, CT 06405 | 203/208-5360

CLASS OF 1968 | 2018 | ISSUE 3

Let us here plunge willy-nilly into the Reunion, noting only that while I made a point of circulating, I know I missed dozens of classmates and apologize: Ted King—a surgeon unable to practice his art for some time due to a stroke—spoke to the class on doing what you can. Andy Gaus was there—editing and other literary endeavors in the Boston area. Steve Carlson, a lobbyist from Sacramento, looked 45. Said the chaos in Washington is great for business. Everyone wants him to assure them that the End Days are not upon us.

Talked to Eric Conger about the meaning of life and the structure of reality. He spoke for many of us when he said his kids were his biggest achievement: Eric and Stuart Ober performed a play—set in a jail cell filled with deep references—that Eric wrote and performed with Bob Helsel 50 years ago. (Eric said it was as slap-dash and juvenile then as it is now). Speaking of deep references: enjoyed seeing Mark Taylor—taught at Williams for years (and still living there) but now at Columbia—as he actually understands all those philosophers with whom I struggled during my div school phase.

Bill Carter was there, down from Hanover; remains active in international development through an organization he helped found back in the day. And Chris Palames was there with his wife—from Northampton. His life-work has been to enable independent living among those who might be viewed as handicapped. My Judy takes any chance she can to corner John Lipsky (recently retired from the IMF) for scuttlebutt about the world’s stage. Bleak.

Paul Jarvis, a Chicago-area psychologist in private practice, followed someone’s good advice: If you are going to marry an academic, make sure they are the author of a standard text that goes into multiple editions. Their kids are Carleton grads—a Minnesota school a lot like Wesleyan but a little better. Eric Blumenson is very happily still at Suffolk in a position that has no responsibilities and no compensation—writing and doing the kinds of things Eric always does. Talking about getting out of Boston winters to Santa Monica.

I caught up with John Steele, an architect/builder who has enjoyed his last 31 years in Burlington, Vt. Cap Cline is a physician whose work-life and retirement has been in the charming, historic town of Frederick, Md. Chris Thomas has a sweet story: He and his wife returned to their hometown of Meadville, Pa., where he was a primary care physician for 35 years. Don Logie, a retired Hartford-area insurance exec, got an alumni service award. Involved with Toastmaster’s and lobbying Wes to reinstate a public speaking requirement.

Chi Psis normally do not embrace the likes of me, but Wig couldn’t restrain himself. Barry Edwards, who worked in finance, was in from Portland, Ore. I’d give him the prize for the best head of hair. And Bob Knox, a still-practicing lawyer and still-running through the forests of Marin County, would garner my award for the most minimalist head of hair. Bob was a hockey player, on the same line as Peter Corbin, a renowned painter of fishing and wildlife scenes from Millbrook, N.Y., whose blonde/white hair has gone gray/white and looks great.

Frank Phillippi got an alumni service award for his many efforts on our behalf. A semi-retired journalist/reporter/videographer/blogger, he’s had fascinating career with stops at the Watergate hearings, Dukakis’ campaign, Kiplinger’s and the Newseum. I heard a lovely anecdote about Michael Roth ’78 from one of you and met him. Super-smart and personable; seems to be doing his level best to keep the place chugging along.

I must turn from celebratory frolics to more serious matters: In January, we lost Oliver “Rawley” Thomas; in April, Steve Kidd; and, in June, Ken Almgren.

Don Logie remembers Rawley, his KNK brother and sophomore year roommate, as a good basketball player and always interested in financial matters. Thus, it was no surprise that, after a degree from Carnegie Mellon, he chose a career in finance, working for the Boston Consulting Group, and the food distributor SuperValue outside Chicago.

Steve was drafted and spent two years at the Pentagon, followed by a stint at Brookings, then Wharton, some time at Cooper and Lybrand, and then to smaller consulting companies in the Washington area, where he specialized in federal financial accounting systems. Moving to Arizona five years ago to be near his only child and very much enjoying the Southwest, he suffered a series of medical setbacks after a fall. His wife, Elizabeth, observed “he died as he lived, quietly and with great dignity.”

Ken was devoted to his Swedish culture, gardening, and his show dogs. Noted for his accepting demeanor, humor, and style, he was a naval corpsman and then communications officer at Subic Bay and aboard the USS Waddell. He held a master’s in economics and, after moving to Annapolis in 1980, was the CFO of Arinc and then the National Association of Broadcasters for decades before retiring.

Lloyd Buzzell |
70 Turtle Bay, Branford, CT 06405 | 203/208-5360