Always fascinating to see what my periodic call for updates from the Class of ’82 will yield. Some dispatches are strictly personal, others all-business—all always welcome, of course. And even the most cut-and-dried correspondents can sometimes be coaxed to give up a personal detail or two.
Beck Lee, for example, wrote to plug the work of Jim Brenner ’79, who is building “a sustainable community housing development in war-debilitated Liberia”—a project he’s helping promote.
“I’ve loved providing a small measure of marketing help for this worthy project, but boy, is the work blazing new trails out there unforgiving,” Beck writes. “Reach out to him whenever you can. And, go ahead and buy a home out there. It’s certainly a good value!”
Prodded for at least a modicum of news about himself, he added rather reluctantly (oh, okay twist my arm!) that he is “enjoying fatherhood for the first time.” (We journalists sometimes call that “burying the lead.” Congratulations, Beck!) “I’m starting this at a very late age, so I hope anything I say doesn’t sound like old news to our much more parentally established classmates,” he wrote. “My son is very cute, by the way.”
Bob Russo writes that he has not been up to anything “juicy” of late, although he, too, is reveling in the pleasures of fatherhood. “I have not just published a novel, I have not won any awards, I am not planning any expeditions and I have not started a new company/nonprofit/website,” he said. “The current excitement in my life is: my son Peter is teaching me how to make a traditional archery bow using hand tools and a hickory stave.”
He adds: “I am now chair of my town’s park and rec commission, and we have a new dog—a chocolate lab named Shelby who will retrieve a ball all day long. Oh, and I am taking up beekeeping.”
Emilie Becker—we knew her at Wes as Bunny Attwell—has been named acting medical director of Texas Medicaid and CHIP. “Our son started college and our daughter is faring well at a boarding school in Connecticut where she is on the equestrian team,” she writes.
Bill Stephan lives in Buffalo, and is in his 19th year in practice as a family doctor “with a special interest in complementary medicine,” he wrote, adding that he “recently passed board exam for holistic medicine certification.” Bill has four kids: Alexandria, 23, a graduate of St. Bonaventure, who is pursuing a possible opportunity to skate in a Disney on Ice show; Kathryn, 21, who is graduating this year from Fredonia; Billy IV, a sophomore at WVU; and Juliette, 18, a high school senior.
Congrats are in order for Laura Fraser, who writes that she has launched Shebooks, a new e-book publishing platform for women, founded with two other veteran publishing professionals. So far, they’ve published over 40 short memoirs, stories, and long-form journalism pieces by top-shelf women authors, including Wesleyan writers. The works can be downloaded individually, or via subscription at shebooks.net.
“I can’t believe that after 30 years of being a freelance writer, I’m a start-up entrepreneur,” Laura writes. “My big hope is that we’ll be successful enough that I can go back to being a freelance writer—with someplace to publish.”
Lavinia Muncy Ross is “presently living the very full life of a farmer, musician and blogger.” She shares that she is living with her husband, Rick Ross, on a small farm in the Cascade foothills of western Oregon, and blogs about her farming and music at salmonbrookfarms.wordpress.com.
The Association of Reform Zionists of America honored our own Peri Smilow at a New York City gala in April, “for involvement in more than 30 years of Jewish communal life and education, and for helping secure the future of Reform Judaism’s support for Israel.” ARZA hailed Peri as a musician and educator blessed with a “special gift” of sharing spirituality and inspiring social action through her music.
Julie Faude writes: “I continue to work as a clinical developmental psychologist, both in private practice and at an independent school focusing on pre-K through 2nd grade,” adding that she and her husband are also avid travelers. “I am writing this from PHL airport en route to the Dominican. Jeff and I love to travel and live for Airbnb. We are outside of Philly and we are always open to visitors!” Julie adds that one of her daughters is a freshman at the University of Southern California and that her older daughter is poised to graduate soon from Cornell. “Margot will be moving to Boston to work for the TJX companies,” she writes. “Anyone in Beantown with a great apartment for rent, let me know!”
Bill Jeffway writes that he has joined the Bioethics Research Institute at The Hastings Center in Garrison, N.Y., as director of marketing and communications, after a 30-year career at global advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather where he worked in their New York, London, Singapore, and Los Angeles offices. Bill was married last year to his longtime partner, Christopher Fook Hong Lee, in Milan, N.Y. Congrats!
Joshua Ehrlich has just published his first book, Divorce and Loss: Helping Adults and Children Mourn When a Marriage Comes Apart. “It is being published by Rowman and Littlefield,” he said. “It is designed for therapists who work with children, adolescents and/or adults dealing with divorce.”
Stephen Daniel, Alex Thomson, Kevin Foley, Jack Taylor, and Peter Frisch write in a jointly-penned missive that they continued their 20-year tradition of a family ski trip during Presidents’ Day weekend, although this year without the usual participation of John Mooney, Dan Hillman, and Bruce Crain.
Harold Bordwin, writes that he and Julie Broude Bordwin sold their house last summer after 25 years in Westchester County and have moved to New York City. They are the proud owners of a co-op in a 1910 building in Morningside Heights. “Our son, Jesse ’10, is in his third year of a five year PhD English program at UVA,” Harold writes. “Our son, Simon (Bowdoin ’13), lives with us in NYC and is working at a start-up, online art gallery, Uprise Art.”
Thanks for the dispatches, one and all!
Stephanie Griffith | email@example.com