CLASS OF 1982 | 2022 | FALL ISSUE
What at lovely gathering at our 40th Reunion in Middletown in May. The pandemic door creaked open and a number of us were able to be together for it. Go to the Wesleyan University ’82 Reunion Facebook page and have a look as many of us have posted photos there. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/Wesclassof82).
Kudos to Sarah Chapin Columbia for her Distinguished Alumni Award and a big shout-out to Joe Fins (my COL classmate!) for receiving an honorary degree for his groundbreaking work in medical ethics (and for his service to the University, it goes without saying). Many thanks to Ginny Pye and Bob Russo for speaking at our class dinner.
Forty years is a very long time, isn’t it? It was lovely to celebrate it. Laura Fraser and I appreciated seeing you all, class notes really live. It remarkable how special it was to be together, something I hadn’t quite anticipated. I will take the liberty of writing that I really loved spending the day with Michael Lucey, eating a (large) breakfast at Ford News on Main Street, hanging out at Eclectic, reading our bound theses at COL and attending its reception, and getting a signed copy of his newest publication, What Proust Heard: Novels and the Ethnography of Talk, an amazing book.
Still, some catching up to do:
Emilie Attwell writes, “I am fine, the same. For the last 11 months, I have worked for the Harris Center. That is the mental health center in Harris County, aka Houston. Uvalde hit us hard. So did abortion laws and the heat is hotter than f@#%. Cold beer helps!”
Rob Lancefield writes that last year he retired from a 27-year career in museum work, most recently as head of IT at the Yale Center for British Art. “No regrets.” Rob is enjoying a simpler life largely free from Zoom meetings, looking forward to having his favorite guitar made playable again, and to reacquainting himself with it.
Chris Garson is still happily retired, “12 years and counting,” and very busy penning novels. “I recently completed a modern Arthurian trilogy set in northeast Ohio. If anyone has ins with publishers, shoot me a message!”
Bob Russo (post reunion) wrote, “Jeff Susla, John Brautigam, and I went to hear Graham Nash at a small, 200-seat venue. He sounded great, did a very nice show, and ended with a sing-along of Teach Your Children. Sentimental.”
Steve Maizes (my cousin!) “had the pleasure of a great California visit from Michael Zeller and his lovely wife.”
Alex Thomson is like a lot of folks, sorry he missed the reunion, having had something he could not miss that weekend. (Like so many of us. Life is busy.) Alex goes on: “I went with Moons [John Mooney] to see Phil and Friends a week ago. Only differences between the crowd at the show and the crowd in ’82 are cell phones. Same Twirlygirls, same Deadheads, same shenanigans . . . same good friends . . . just a bit older . . . .”
Michael Levine has been living in Williamsburg, Virginia, since 2000, practicing occupational and environmental medicine. “My wife Liz is a prof at William and Mary, and son Andrew is a rising sophomore at Virginia Tech. I collect antique woodworking machinery (hoard broken and rusty things) and make some efforts to preserve American democracy.” He stays in touch with former roommates Garrett Randolph, Anthony Pahigian, and Neil Richman, and the folks from the Wesleyan crew. “I was very sorry to have missed our 40-year reunion—but look forward to seeing you all at 50!” We do too.
I will finish on a deeply sad note. Julie Kraushaar Zurcher passed away on July 23 after a struggle with her mental health that developed over the past year, unable to find a clear diagnosis or successful treatment. I had a chance to sit with her husband Werner and son Bryce ’18, in their home in Ladera, California, to remember Julie’s vibrancy, love, and optimism. I met Julie freshman year in Clark Hall and we lived near each other in Silicon Valley. When I moved here in 2010, we stayed in a hotel until our housing became available. Julie happened to be staying there, too, returning herself with her family from Switzerland and waiting for their own home to become available, and we recognized each other immediately. Her warmth and hospitality made our transition from Cambridge so much easier. She will be missed terribly, but our memories of her and how she touched us will remain.