Peter Greene ’74, passed away on April 10, 2020 at the age of 66. A full obituary can be found here.
The 50th Reunion is May 23-26, 2024. Reunion news and find out about regional events can be found at wesleyan.edu/classof1974. Join the committee and work on outreach, programming, or fundraising. Questions or want to get involved? Contact Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, ’19 at email@example.com or 860/685-5992.
June Jeffries ’75 noted the passing on April 11 of Peter Greene, M.D. For many years Peter was her family dermatologist. His ex-wife and June worked together, and their families spent many holiday dinners and other good times together. He died suddenly and unexpectedly in Washington, D.C.
Nan’l “Nate” Winship continues to own and operate a small farm growing vegetables and berries in central New Hampshire. As the growing season gets underway, this promises to be a very busy year as more people seek out locally grown products. It has been great to welcome Wayne Forrest ’74, MA ’77 and Tom Frei on visits to Tanna Farm, and he got over to give John Hickenlooper ’74, MA ’80 a man-hug at a campaign event in a nearby town last year.
Monique Witt reports in two parts. First is from mid-January. “We’re still building the new sound space in East Williamsburg and finishing four discs, including Ben’s new sextet album (Nebula Project), which will soft drop in February and officially drop in June. Dev is in L.A. for NAMM, launching the Solarium pro-audio monitors; Ben is touring throughout the Southeastern states, then through Europe, starting in Italy, back to the West Coast, and finally Canada. Steve and I, the same.”
….and now (mid-May):
“We are sheltering in place in Manhattan (Ben, Steve, and me) and Greenpoint, Brooklyn (Dev and Jenn). Ben’s U.S., Canadian, and European tours have all been pushed forward a year, so he is working with Concerts in Motion, doing daily live streams for shut-ins, hospitals, and similar organizations. Additionally, he does a weekly jazz live stream and a number of Zoom concerts for the venues at which he was booked. Steve’s working way too hard still but from home, and I’m doing board work (intensive staying up to date on pandemic regs), but Ben’s teaching me to cook, and we run every day in Central Park (masks, gloves, and social distancing). Ben and Dev are mastering the fourth album scheduled for release in July. Hope everyone is keeping well.”
Carolyn White’s news: “I have transitioned over to Zoom to teach the NAMI Family-to-Family class and it is going better than expected. We might just continue using Zoom. It beats having to deal with traffic every Thursday evening. I am looking forward to a new grandchild for 10/10/20 (good date!) who will be stateside. I have two adorable grandchildren in Toulouse, France, but, the question is when will I feel comfortable enough to travel to France to see them? Skype and Zoom will have to suffice for now. I hope everyone and their families are able to stay out of harm’s way.”
Peter Welcher’s updates: “I’m still working, for a network consulting company I and others started, (Chesapeake) NetCraftsmen. Now over 70 employees are busy during COVID onset supporting remote access for hospitals and government sites in Maryland-D.C. area. Plan to retire in next couple of years. Our kids are all employed at the time I write this. Paul works for USDA doing foreign service work, back in D.C. after three years in Thailand. Alison works for the State Department in D.C., Africa desk. Emma manages a team of six doing marketing for a large bank among others. Gwen is on a product marketing team for LifeStraw. No grandchildren yet.”
Wayne Forrest writes, “2019 and 2020 have been tough years in my household as my wife Jean has had serious medical issues. Multiple surgeries and countless anxious moments have been mixed with incredible closeness and unity of purpose. It was hard to miss our 45th Reunion last year as it fell on a surgery day. We felt the love from many classmates who knew the reason for my absence. COVID-19 has been a blessing in disguise as it has kept Jean away from the infected New York public hospital where she worked and me close by her side. The virus shut down all my extracurricular musical experiences in the orchestras and bands where I play tuba. Hopefully the summer brings them back. I stopped commuting to Manhattan in early March, but where I live (Westchester County) quickly became a hotspot. Thankfully, of the dozen or people I know who caught the virus all, except one, made it through.”
“Discovering the All Trails app has allowed my wife and I to plan hikes nearby that at first were uncrowded but have now become increasingly populated by people who don’t move over and don’t wear masks. But the best social distancing activity for us has been riding our pedal-assist e-bikes. You still get a great workout on these ‘cheaters’; they give you no excuse to not go out for an hour two up and down our hilly Hudson Valley terrain.
“Meanwhile I am still managing the American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (AICC) as well as its non-business correlate, the American Indonesian Cultural and Educational Foundation (AICEF). AICEF has been collaborating with Wesleyan to amplify the Javanese gamelan music program, providing funding to allow the university to engage a dance teacher. We’re also supporting Lloyd Komesar’s Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival connecting it to a film festival in Bali. With AICC, I began a campaign to get much needed N95 respirator masks to doctors all over Indonesia.
I have to say that although I have many problems with Facebook’s ad-driven business model, principally, their lack of transparency and accountability for perpetuating lies and falsehoods, it remains a welcome place to connect with alums and classmates. I really appreciate reading the thoughts and goings on from Nate Winship, Pat Mulcahy, Bill Burton, Naaz Hosseni ’74, MA’75, Lyn Lauffer, Tom Alexander ’70, MA’77, Michael Mininsohn, Tom Kovar ’76, Neely Bruce, Sal D’Alessandro ’72, MALS ’96, Mark Masseli, Todd Jick ’71, Nat Needle ’76, Jack Freudenheim ’79, Tom Ross ’67, PhD ’85, Alan Feinstein ’70, Harold Sogard, Arthur Fierman, Leslie Rudden ’77, Joseph Getter MA’99, Curt Steinzor ’77, and others.
“Finally, the virus has pushed us apart but also closer together. I am seeing family and friends on Zoom I would not have seen in years in-person.”
Howard Shalwitz reports, “After four decades, in September 2018. I stepped down from the artistic leadership of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. I feel both lucky and a bit guilty that I did so before the pandemic—although my successor, Maria Manuela Goyanes (Brown ’01), is carrying on with exceptional energy and vision: woollymammoth.net. I’m happily ensconced with my partner of 40 years, Jeanette Reitz, at our home in Alexandria, Va. Continuing to do some fundraising for Woolly, teaching, gardening, chipping away at a book about theatre, and starting a multi-year project to connect new American theatre leaders with their counterparts in Poland. It’s been exciting to read about classmates like Joan Braun who are involved in supporting their local theatre companies, especially with the challenges ahead!”
John Shapiro reports, “I am currently camping out in our home in Westchester, N.Y., with my wife, Shonni Silverberg ’76, my older son, Zach, and his fiancée, my younger son, Nathaniel, and his girlfriend, and two dogs! We are all well, but I’ve had to cancel my son’s wedding for the time being.
“Given that Shonni is a doctor at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, and my son is a legal advisor on medical ethical issues at New York Hospital, we have been very caught up with the challenges surrounding the coronavirus. My younger son meanwhile had to cancel what would’ve been his third off-Broadway production.”
Sharon Purdie | firstname.lastname@example.org
Marion Stoj was awarded the Cavalier’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland by the President of Poland (a Polish version of Knight’s Cross). On Sept. 21, 2019 in New Britain, Conn., in recognition of Marion’s contributions to cooperation between Poland and the U.S. Among other contributions, in 2017, Marion established the Falcons Academic and Athletic Association (FAAA). In order to preserve and prevent commercial development of 25 acres of historic parkland in New Britain called the Polanka, Marion made a charitable donation to enable FAAA to purchase the property.
For generations, Polish American groups and other Connecticut organizations have used this property for recreation, dances, picnics, and various cultural events. The property also includes New Britain Falcons soccer filed where Marion has played for over 50 years.
Richard J. Fairbrother, DMD, of West Hartford, Conn., passed away unexpectedly on Dec. 19. He was born in Providence, R.I., on Jan. 17, 1952. He was the son of the late Ann F. and John H. Fairbrother. He was a graduate of Northwest Catholic High School, where he was a scholar athlete. He was inducted into the Northwest Catholic High School Hall of Fame in 2005. At Wesleyan, he graduated with highest honors and served as captain of the men’s varsity basketball team. In 1974, Richard was named a NCAA Academic All=American. He then received his DMD from the University of Connecticut School of Dentistry. He was a member of the Connecticut State Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the American Association of Oral Systemic Health. Richard was devoted to his family, friends, his patients, and the community. All knew him as kind, generous and humble. His laugh was contagious, and his work ethic was unparalleled. Richard continued his love of basketball by playing for the East Hartford Explorers and in numerous leagues, even during his professional life. He was an accomplished tennis player, participating in USTA tournaments, leagues and was a long-standing member of the Hartford Tennis Club. Richard was also a member of The New York Athletic Club. Richard leaves his beloved wife, Virginia (Curry), his sister Karen Fairbrother of Massachusetts, his brother John Fairbrother, and his wife Zeta of Nevada. He also leaves his brother-in-law, David Curry, his sister-in-law, Kathleen Curry, and many beloved cousins and friends.
Pat Mulcahy looks “back on 2019 as the best one yet for my editorial consulting business–established in 1999. It can’t be a coincidence that this was based on sales of The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers, whose empathy and kindness-based life’s work is newly appreciated. The recently released paperback has just appeared for three straight weeks on the New York Times best seller list, bolstered by the new film in which Tom Hanks plays Rogers. Our book has no formal relationship with the film, although we cover Esquire journalist Tom Junod’s interview with Rogers—fictionalized onscreen.
“I also work with the Brooklyn-based Center for Fiction, coaching emerging writers in their fellows program. This year, two of the fellows I worked with saw their books published very successfully: Melissa Rivero, whose novel The Affair of the Falcons follows the fate of an undocumented woman from Peru; and Lauren Wilkinson, whose American Spy, about an African American FBI agent assigned to shadow a revolutionary leader in a fictionalized version of Burkina Faso, even made it to Obama’s summer reading list. Is Lauren writing a follow up? No—she’s in LA working on scripts for streaming services.
“This is our challenge in the literary world. I hope we’re all still reading as well as watching Netflix! All best New Year’s wishes to friends from’ 74! The Reunion really was a blast.”
Willy Holtzman reports that the new musical, Sabina, will have its regional premiere at Portland Stage this May with book by Willie, music by Louise Beach ’78, and lyrics by former Wesleyan adjunct, Darrah Cloud. One of the angels is Bill Pearson.
Debra Salowitz reports, “My husband Neil Salowitz ’73 and I just celebrated the 47th anniversary of our ‘meet cute’ at Wesleyan and are still thriving in Des Moines, Iowa, where we moved in 2000 after many years in Connecticut. In an unlikely turn of events, both of our daughters eventually settled here too; buying 100-year-old houses only five blocks from each other and a mere eight-minute drive from us. This makes us very fortunate grandparents indeed as Shoshana has a 2-1/2-year old son and Rachel ’07 has a 2-year-old daughter, with a little boy poised to join the family in June!
“My community transition consulting company just marked its 16th anniversary and keeps me actively and happily engaged with relocating executives and their families. Neil just celebrated 10 years of happy retirement . . . by becoming part-owner of a thriving restaurant and expects to be very busy with candidates and media in the run up to the Iowa Caucuses in February. That’s been one of the best things about our move here, really getting to know all of the Democratic presidential hopefuls every election cycle.”
Jean Barish writes, “As many of our peers are retiring, I have instead gone back to work full time for a startup, LEX Markets Corp., as head of administration. The company will provide both accredited and non-accredited investors the opportunity to invest in shares of individual commercial real estate buildings, and then trade them on a trading platform. You can check out the company’s website, lex-markets.com, and to sign up for ‘early access’ to its investment opportunities.”
Joan Braun has had an eventful year-end. “In August, my employer of eight years, United Way Bay Area, made the decision to outsource all of its administrative functions to the national headquarters organization, United Way Worldwide. Given the competitive fundraising climate being faced by all 1,200 local United Ways spread across the U.S., I supported (indeed, advocated for) the consolidation. Still, being laid off at this stage in my career took a certain amount of adjustment.
“Two weeks after I left the job, I discovered I needed hip replacement surgery. I am now three weeks into recovery, and I must say, it has been a remarkably positive experience. Very little pain, measurable progress every day!
“In between the two, I found what I think will be an excellent step on my glide path to full retirement—a three-day a week job that is far more focused than the sprawling chief operating officer position I just left. As of January 27, I will be the Finance Director for Homebase, a public interest law firm that focuses on homelessness. In this particular position, my grey hair and the decades of experience that created it are considered an asset, rather than a liability. That’s a refreshing change from a few of the other opportunities I investigated during the fall.
“I am also enjoying my new position on the board of directors of the Aurora Theatre. The Aurora is a hidden gem of a local theatre that offers refreshing and provocative theatre in an intimate Berkeley setting. Our 150 seats on three sides of the thrust stage give new meaning to the phrase ‘up close and personal.’ We are particularly proud that a play we commissioned, Eureka Day, was not only a local hit, but also a very well-reviewed off-Broadway phenom as well.
“My other surprise enthusiasm is stewarding Little Free Library #62316. It’s amazing to me how many of my neighbors stop to browse, take a book, or leave a bunch. Among the most interesting recent contributions—an entire collection of vintage Hardy Boys mysteries and a pristine hardback copy of Ron Chernow’s biography of Ulysses S. Grant.”
Jan Eliasberg writes, “Little, Brown is mounting a vigorous PR campaign on behalf of my novel, Hannah’s War. In the meantime, I’m deep into research and outlining of book #2 which is also historical fiction but set in a different time period with a unique set of characters and themes.”
John Shapiro writes, “I am sorry to have missed our class Reunion but was attending my nephew’s wedding in Seattle. At the end of 2018, I converted my firm to a family investment office which means I no longer have clients. I did retain my staff to help oversee my investments which has given me the freedom to spend more time on philanthropic boards. This includes joining the Wesleyan board where I was far and away the oldest of the new trustees. I also moved onto the Executive Committee of the Rockefeller University board where I will help roll out a new strategic plan and development effort. On the family front, my eldest son Zach is engaged to be married at the end of May.”
André Barbera shares, “Having never before submitted anything for class notes, it is unseemly of me to write to you now since I do so to inform you of my forthcoming book. Other than vanity, the only reason I can offer for this impertinence is that the subject matter of the book, faith and works, is perhaps not typical of Wesleyan alumni. (Is there a Wesleyan type?) Bloomsbury is publishing the work, available beginning Jan. 23. The title is On Faith, Works, Eternity and the Creatures We Are.
Pam van der Meulen reports that 11 members of our class attended Claudia Catania’s Playing On Air benefit and live recording last November by Tony Shalhoub, Kristine Nielsen and others of three terrific one-act plays. Those in attendance from our class were ttending from our class were Pat Mulcahy, Bill Pearson, Willy Holtzman, Harold Sogard, Sarah Cady Becker, Rick Gilberg, June Anderson, Inara de Leon, Jai Imbrey, and Wendy Richmond ’75. Also, Vicky Bijur ’75, Todd Jick ’71, John Cady ’71, Bob Becker ’71, Peter Woodin ’71, Karen Freedman ’75, and John Badanes ’68.
It was a wonderful evening and great to catch up with classmates. Pam urges everyone to check out Playing on Air’s podcast (those in Connecticut can catch it on WNPR Tuesdays at 11 p.m.).
Our 50th Reunion is May 23-26, 2024. Reunion news is at wesleyan.edu/classof1974. Join the committee and work on outreach, programming, or fundraising. Questions or want to get involved? Contact Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, ’19 at email@example.com or 860/685-5992.
Sharon Purdie | firstname.lastname@example.org
John McLucas had a blast at Reunion! One unexpected highlight was learning that Bill Pearson chairs the board at Young Audiences, a group which John enthusiastically supports in Baltimore. Another was learning that Peter Hayward’s in-laws are favorite neighbors of John’s in his new-ish neighborhood, Bolton Hill. John is starting his 36th and final year as professor of Italian and Latin at Towson University near Baltimore. Plans for retirement include continuing to write fiction. His debut novel, Dialogues on the Beach, came out in late 2017. A sequel, Spirit’s Tether, is in the editors’ hands, with a third, unrelated book in the works.”
Craig Everhart states and then asks, “I’m jumping into retirement in October. Much as people say to have a plan in mind, I don’t really have one. I may go bananas. But I suspect that I am like others of my classmates: work is pretty fulfilling, and I have not been driven to wish for other ways to occupy myself. What do you do in a similar situation?”
Blaise Noto reports, “I’m continuing as assistant professor of communications at Barton College in North Carolina, and loving it. Last semester, I designed and taught a digital media communications course in addition to my law and ethics in the media, sports and communication, public relations campaigns and marketing, and a range of others. I also have been active in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences (been a member since 1985) as an official judge of Student Academy Awards for domestic and intentional students, as well as the Nicholls Scholarship Screenwriting Competition. And last fall, I was appointment chairman of the Alumni Interview Committee for Chapel Hill and other parts of the Triangle for the University of Pennsylvania. As for my summer—been at home and doing physical therapy from total hip joint replacement surgery at Duke Hospital. Feeling great!”
Jan Eliasberg updates us. “My daughter, Sariel Hana Friedman ’19, graduated Wesleyan in June; she majored in American studies and minored in film studies; she’s currently working for FICTIONLESS, a team of passionate storytellers and strategists producing emotionally rich nonfiction film + television alongside high impact brand content.
“And I’m making my debut as a novelist, with my book, Hannah’s War, bought by Judy Clain at Little, Brown in a bidding war. This was the announcement in Publisher’s Marketplace, with a lovely blurb by Amy Bloom ’75:
“Award winning writer/director Jan Eliasberg’s Hannah’s War, a thrilling historical debut about a female scientist working to develop the first atomic bomb during World War II, and the young military investigator determined to uncover her secret past, has been sold to Judy Clain at Little, Brown & Company, in a pre-emptive bid. Hannah’s War, adapted by Eliasberg from her Black List and BBC List topping screenplay Heart Of The Atom, will be Little, Brown’s lead title for spring, with a publication date of March 3.”
“Jan Eliasberg knows how to open big with strong suspense and wry humor and take us for a hurtling ride through one of America’s most complex moments. The wonderful characters of Hannah’s War bring together a moving love story, a high-stakes mystery and a fascinating look into the moral compass of an exceptional woman.
―Amy Bloom, author of White Houses
“I flew through Hannah’s War, a gripping true story long overdue to be told, of a brilliant woman physicist working to develop the first atomic bomb and the secret she fights to protect.”―Martha Hall Kelly, author of Lilac Girls
Norma J. Williams was selected statewide to receive the inaugural Excellence In Practice Award given by the Solo and Small Firm Section of the California Lawyers Association. The award is to honor a solo or small firm attorney who has demonstrated exemplary leadership and dedication to the legal profession and has contributed to the betterment of the practice of law. Norma accepted the Award at a ceremony in Huntington Beach on June 14.
On July 11, Bob Heller’s 15-year valiant battle with cancer ended at the of age 67. He grew up in Carle Place, N.Y., graduated from Wesleyan University and the New England School of Law. After practicing in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, Bob moved to Seattle and for the past 30 years continued practicing law there, the last 11 at The Walthew Law Firm. He’s been a presenter at workshops and seminars on issues involving Workers’ Compensation law. Bob is past co-chair of the Washington State Deaf-Blind Task Force, past chair of the King County Bar Association Committee on Legal Problems of the Disadvantaged, past president of the Board of Daybreak Family Homes, and a founding board member of the Washington State Deaf-Blind Service Center. Bob also volunteered his time as a speaker before cancer support groups, as a special service provider for the deaf-blind community, and was a long-time volunteer with Volunteer Attorneys for Persons with AIDS (VAPWA). The two-time All-American college football player and inductee to the Wesleyan Hall of Fame, was also a mean fiddle player (by ear) of Irish music. He loved family, friends, all things Irish, Saki, the Mariners, the Seahawks, and the Patriots.
Sharon Purdie | email@example.com
Dr. Marion Stoj ’74, P’02 was awarded the Cavalier’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland. Polish President Andrzej Duda honored Stoj with the award during a ceremony on September 21, 2019, for his efforts furthering relations between Poland and the United States. Stoj, who established the Falcons Academic and Athletic Association (FAAA) in 2017, also enabled the association to purchase a historic parkland in New Britain. The property will remain undeveloped and continue to be available to Polish-American groups and others for cultural events and sports. At Wesleyan, Stoj majored in biology. He earned his medical degree from the University of Connecticut. An ophthalmologist, he specializes in medical and surgical diseases of the retina and macula.
Richard J. Fairbrother ’74 passed away on Dec. 19, 2019. A full obituary can be found here.
Robert J. Heller ’74 passed away on July 11, 2019 at the age of 67. A full obituary can be found here.
Ronald H. Goldman ’74 passed away on Aug. 29, 2019. At Wesleyan, Ronald majored in music. He later earned a PhD in computer science from Stanford University. He most recently worked at Toyota Research Institute as a senior staff engineer.
Let’s jump right into Reunion notes!
Pat Mulcahy’s notes on our 45th Reunion: “Here’s a key to the effectiveness and great good spirits of our reunion: right after our panel, What’s Next, for which Claudia Catania, Harold Sogard, Lloyd Komesar and Bill Pearson joined me to discuss the so-called ‘retirement years,’ I got a text from a highly placed publisher I know at Random House. She was in the next room at another seminar put on by her class, there for their 40th. The laughter from our end could be heard through the wall.
“‘Sounds like you’re having so much fun!’ she said. ‘Can you meet me for coffee?’
“Then at our women’s group gathering, we were joined by a member of the class of 1979, who wanted to meet the women who’d paved the way for co-ed education at Wes. What she heard was honest and sometimes a little raw: there were bumps in the road as women arrived on a previously all-male campus. Many thanks to Sharon Purdie and Nancy Stack for organizing what is always a very worthwhile and touching session.
“Here’s my take overall: our class, which broke Reunion attendance records, is united by a dose of adversity, a commitment to social justice, public service, the arts, and to each other. Throw in a soupcon of goofiness.
“As Lloyd put it in a thank-you to Wes’s Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, ’19 for her efforts, “We are not an easy class to wrangle.” But we show up for each other and for the school—which has tremendous value. One of our number is even running for president. He, too, has our support and enthusiastic backing, because his values are our values.
“A shout-out to my old roomie Angela DiFranco Platt, there for her first Reunion ever. The students who checked us in were thrilled to see former roommates reuniting. So, what if she told everyone that I used to study in the shower? We had a blast.”
Pam van der Meulen shares, “I had a wonderful time at Reunion, and I think everyone else did as well. It was great to reconnect with old friends, and I feel like many of us are pursuing new friendships with classmates we never knew. I hope to see more NYC alumni in the future. And I was particularly happy to see Lindsay Wilson again, after 20 years! I was not able to make it to Flagstaff after Randy died last summer, so I was glad she made it to our 45th. And the two of us had a great time sightseeing in NYC after Reunion.”
Jan Eliasberg exclaims, “What a magnificent weekend, attending the class Reunion dinner and, the next day, my daughter’s graduation, Sariel Friedman ’19!
“Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see everyone, but I hugged and caught up with the irrepressible Lloyd Komesar, Bill Pearson, Claudia Catania, Ellen Driscoll, Jon Eddison, Bill Burton and our (perhaps) future President Hickenlooper and his lovely wife.
“My big news, along with my daughter’s graduation, is that I completed a novel which sold in a bidding war to Little Brown. It’s going to be their lead title for spring 2020. I called it Heart of the Atom; Little Brown seems to think that science will ‘scare readers away.’ It is titled Hannah’s War.
“They’re sending me on a major book tour so, if you have a great relationship with your local, indie bookstore, please let me know so I can visit and sign books.”
Janet Biehl‘s biography of her late partner, the social-ecological theorist Murray Bookchin, was published by Oxford University Press in 2015. Ecology or Catastrophe: The Life of Murray Bookchin has since been translated into Spanish and French. Some 15 years ago Bookchin’s own writings, in Turkish translation, influenced the Kurdish freedom movement to adopt a new paradigm seeking democracy, anti-hierarchy, and ecology. As a result, Janet has been involved with that movement since 2011. She has translated several books about the Kurdish struggle from German into English (published by Pluto Press), including the three-volume autobiography of the founder of the Kurdish revolutionary women’s movement, Sakine Cansiz. Janet also translated into English Revolution in Rojava in 2016, which is about the gender-equal, democratic revolution that has been under way in northeastern Syria since 2012. She has just returned from her third visit to that area (April-May 2019) and is currently at work writing and drawing a graphic novel about her journey.
Mike Heard reports: “I am in my 12th year of doing volunteer work for the Los Padres National Forest near Big Sur, Calif., and it has finally dawned on me that I retired long ago but did not notice at the time. I’m preparing for another fire season, hoping to get in good enough shape to be able to pick up a little bit of money working as a casual hire on the inevitable wildfires. It was a real pleasure to reconnect with many of you whom I knew (and others that I didn’t) at the Reunion. Kudos to the Reunion committee for doing a bang-up job.”
Wayne Forrest reports, “I still work at American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and recently became chairman of the American Indonesian Cultural and Educational Foundation. Through that organization I helped arrange for the Sultan of Yogyakarta to visit Wesleyan in November 2018. The highlight for me is that I joined his gamelan group in their performance in NYC and played both gamelan and tuba. There are special pieces in the repertoire that use Western brass and percussion. I still play tuba in and around NYC and so this coming together of my two worlds was very special. Retirement still seems a ways down the road; I am stilling having fun helping to broker good relations between the U.S. and Indonesia.”
Bruce Duncan’s big news is that as of June 29 he’ll be retired from Fitchburg State University. Since he has not put in enough time, he doesn’t qualify as Professor Emeritus. Instead he’ll be the Former Professor of Physics or the Erstwhile Professor of Physics or the Late Professor of Physics.
Doug Cole had lunch with Lloyd Komesar in Ol’ Pasadena during a visit to his daughter’s and her family (including two of six grandchildren). It was fun to catch up after all these years: neither had changed much. Lloyd was wearing a Grateful Dead tee shirt—Doug is listening to China Cat Sunflower / I know you rider, as he writes. They compared their heroics of intramural softball, etc. It was interesting to learn about Lloyd’s impressive career at Disney. We all know what he is up to now. Carolyn and Doug are deeply rooted in the Northwest; he expects to continue selling until 70; grandparenting is a joy. He just hopes the democracy and planet are still around for them.
Monique Witt reports, “My older son, Dev, breaks ground on the Soundworks building in Williamsburg, July 1, and has finished the new monitors for broad distribution this fall. My younger son, Ben, is touring again in Canada, and then the West Coast, followed by a European tour and a long stop to compose new material with friends in Croatia. He finished recording his third full release album, “The Nebula Project,” which is largely original materials for sextet format (Ben on accordion and piano with some of the finest young jazz musicians he knows) to be released early 2020. Steven and I are still working full-time.”
John McLucas will retire from the faculty of Towson University in June 2020.He has taught Italian and Latin there since 1984 and just finished a term as president of the Faculty Association.He recently completed the draft for his second novel, Spirit’s Tether, a sequel to his debut novel, Dialogues on the Beach(BrickHouse Books, Baltimore 2017).
Charlie Cocores has provided the link to his next build (Coco’s Constructores) in Puerto Rico in January of 2020 for the Fuller Center for Housing, which you can find here.
You’ve heard about our 45th Reunion and just how fantastic it was. Now, it’s time to start planning for our 50th! Save these dates: May 23–26, 2024. We’re going to spend the next few years trying to track down as many classmates as possible. Want to get involved? Come to Middletown for Homecoming and a Reunion planning meeting on Nov. 2 or contact Kate Quigley Lynch ’82, P’17, ’19 at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860/685-5992.
Sharon Purdie | email@example.com
Remember to mark your calendars for our 45th Reunion May 24-26. Registration and information about the Reunion can be found at wesleyan.edu/rc . Also, feel free to contact any members of the Reunion committee, which includes: Bob Arcaro, Charley Blaine, Scott Brodie, Jon Eddison, Peter Heyward, John Hickenlooper, Lloyd Komesar, Lyn Thurber Lauffer, Barry Lenk, Charisse Lillie, Pat Mulcahy, Bill Pearson, Sharon Purdie, Dean Richlin, John Shapiro, Harold Sogard, Nancy Stack, Charles Steinhorn, and Pamela van der Meulen.
Devra Fischer, known at Wesleyan as Heather, was awarded a doctorate in psychoanalysis and certified as a psychoanalyst by the Psychoanalytic Center of California (PCC) in December in LA. This achievement comes after a long and fruitful career as a psychotherapist practicing in Beverly Hills.
This achievement comes after a long and fruitful career as a psychotherapist practicing in Beverly Hills, Calif. The title of her thesis is “The Body Speaks.” Devra can be reached at 310-749-1633 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jan Eliasberg reports, “I continue to write and direct in film and television, but I’ve been surprised and delighted to discover two new areas of creative expression:
“I’m currently completing the second draft of a novel called Heart Of The Atom. I sold the novel based on an original screenplay I had written and have spent the last seven months writing, and now revising, the manuscript. I’ve had terrific help and support from Paul Vidich ’72 another Wesleyan grad turned novelist, and his wife, Linda. I’m represented as a novelist by Adriann Ranta Zurellen at Foundry Literary + Media and publication details will be forthcoming. The following is a short synopsis of the book:
1945. The American and German scientists race to create, develop, and test an atomic bomb. Dr. Hannah Weiss, a brilliant physicist, is the only woman in the Critical Assemblies Division at Los Alamos, the top scientists working directly with Oppenheimer on the bomb’s final stages. Major Jack Delaney, a rising star in the shadowy world of military intelligence, arrives in Los Alamos with a mission: to find the spy leaking nuclear secrets to the Germans. Dr. Hannah Weiss becomes his prime suspect. Inspired by true events and characters, including the extraordinary female scientist Albert Einstein called “the Mother of the Bomb,”Heart of the Atomexplores one of the great mysteries of the Twentieth Century: How did Nazi Germany—with its fanatic will to power and its cadre of Nobel-winning scientists—lose the crucial race for the atomic bomb? Winston Churchill called it “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma,” but Jack Delaney is determined to reveal the truth he knows is hidden in the heart of an unlikely hero.
“I also undertook to renovate an apartment in Manhattan that has been in the family, but sitting unused, for a number of years. I gut renovated the kitchen and three bathrooms, as well as making minor renovations throughout the rest of the space. I found a phenomenal contractor and sourced all of the fixtures, tiles, paint colors, wallpaper, rugs, furniture, and artwork myself. I was thrilled when the design magazine, Apartment Therapy, featured a storyon my work, complete with photographs. It turns out that I love the work of renovating and designing — it’s a very creative process similar to directing — and I’ve taken on a couple of paid gigs renovating for friends and colleagues.
“Finally, my daughter Sariel ’19 graduates from Wesleyan in June; she majored in American studies and film studies.”
Charlie Cocores retires to Pawleys Island SC when not in Old Saybrook. He is doing a Habitat for Humanity Global Village build in Romania and would love some Wesleyan folks to join in. Contact him at email@example.com.
Monique Witt writes, “Not much that’s new while we’re involved in the new building. Ben is touring, Dev is designing audio tech, I’m finishing up some production projects and Steven is hip-deep in his deals. Ben has an Instagram post from a Target store in Cali where he’s playing a kid’s cat keyboard that meows. They were buying a pick-up cable by the toy section. It helped to lighten my day in the face of the hardships from the political situation. NYC suffers less, but I run with a curator from the Smithsonian and the situation is dire. Hope everyone is getting through this.”
Gail Austin Cooney reminds us that “it’s that age when the big news is often retirement! I stopped working because it was getting in the way of my dancing. Now, I am a modern dancer with Demetrius Klein DKDC/DIY in West Palm Beach. My brief encounter with modern dance at Wesleyan (thank you, Cheryl Cutler) is finally paying off. I am the oldest in the company and have the least amount of formal training but I’m not the only one on Medicare—it’s a diverse group and a huge source of joy in my life. We perform several times a year on a regular basis. One of our goals is to bring modern dance to people in the community who might not otherwise encounter it. Fun, fun, fun!” Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Howard Curzer reports, “The new, big thing in my life is a very small thing—a grandson. Jonah Henry Stanton Curzer was born to Mirah Curzer and Josh Stanton on Dec. 16. Jonah has not yet revealed his superpower, but we can wait.”
Harold Sogard has no meaningful personal news this time around, but would like to say that he is very much hoping that people who for one reason or another have not come to previous reunions will be able to attend our 45th Reunion this May!
Larry Green continues to practice law as a trial attorney and partner at the Boston law firm, Burns & Levinson. When introduced to someone outside of work, Larry is often asked: “You’re retired, right?” To which he jokingly responds, “I must look much older than I really am or much more prosperous than I really am.” Larry and his wife, Denise, do, in fact, enjoy life outside of work, spending more and more time at their second home in Ogunquit, Maine, and traveling to visit five grandchildren in Boulder and Palo Alto. Having been unable to make it to Wes Reunions because his annual extended family reunion is held in Ogunquit every Memorial Day weekend, Larry extends an open invitation to classmates to look him up when traveling to either Boston or Ogunquit.
Chuck Gregorywas elected to the vestry at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Fort Lauderdale. He also sings in the choir there. He also sings in the choir there. He’s secretary to the board of a community group, the Central City Alliance, which held a street fair on March 2nd called the 13th Street Craft Beer and Wine Festival with Car Show. Busy, busy, busy!
Sharon Purdie | email@example.com