I will start with Wig Sherman (Army vet) who let me in on a Wharton reunion at a dinner hosted by Jay Hoder (Navy vet) in Vero Beach. (Back in the day, back in Rhode Island, they played ’ball against one another.) Bob Runk ’67 (Army vet)—and some non-Wes guys—were present. “As you might expect, we listened to oldies but the night was not spent conjuring up old memories…rather focused on the present and future. All the while laughing.” Wig and Jay live in Grand Harbor, a community owned by Carl Icahn, as does Mike Spence, who is such a good golfer that he is shunned, and Ed Cortez ’69, who is an active artist and the lead singer in a local rock group.
There is a brilliant and hugely influential 2010 book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander that persuasively argues slavery was succeeded by Jim Crow laws, which created a permanent racial underclass and that, in turn, has been succeeded by The War on Drugs and mass incarceration to the same end. And Eric Blumenson’s research on “Policing for Profit”—how the federal Drug War gives police departments financial incentives to pursue drug offenders—was cited prominently. Eric teaches at Suffolk Law School in Boston.
I recently spoke to Dave Webb (who is splitting his time between Cape Cod and Ft. Myers), and he reported Paul Jarvis, a psychologist formerly in private practice and at Illinois State University, is retired. Living just outside of Chicago, Paul also has an in-town condo. Two daughters and grandchildren nearby. His wife, Carolyn, authored what has become the standard text—“the Samuelson”—of nursing. Peter Corbin, a Millbrook, N.Y.-based artist, had a one-man show at the National Sporting Library & Museum in Middleburg, Va. Featured were a number of his fishing paintings complemented by a lovely catalog and a 2014 video showing the progression of his work on one painting, which presented his philosophy. Bill Beeman was quoted in the Times’ Feb. 14th Travel Section in an article about Americans traveling to Iran.
Judy and I went on a Viking cruise of the western Mediterranean in January. It was our first ever as we search for a way for me to travel, given my limited mobility. While I have never been so pampered or well fed, I thought it pretty sedate. Fortunately, we brought along our own excitement in the most genial persons of Chris and Gary Wanerka ’62, pillars of our new town. Chris cooks a mean shad and Gary is a legendary semi-retired pediatrician specializing in allergies.
It is my somber duty to report we lost two from our class in December: David Moss and John Grace. Robert Pease ’69 was kind enough to give me an account of David’s life: He completed his first two years at Wesleyan, after which he was drafted into the Army and served as a medic—becoming known as “Doc Moss”—with the First Cavalry in Vietnam, providing the initial treatment of wounded soldiers during the Tet Offensive and starting a medical program for Vietnamese villagers. He returned to Wesleyan in 1968 but moved to Oregon without completing his degree—something he later attributed to his recent combat experience. After receiving a BA and MA in history from the University of Oregon, his career included staff work in the Oregon State Legislature, chief of staff for the Oregon Speaker of the House, and the renovation of dilapidated properties into rental houses for modest-income families. A city councilor in Salem, he was appointed chairman of the State Ethics Committee by the Governor, in which role he was known for forthrightly speaking his mind on issues such as gay rights.
A skier, whitewater rafter, sailor, carpenter and historian who was active in several charities, he developed a paper titled “The Myth of the Vietnam Veteran,” which used social statistics to argue against the image of veterans as drug-using, homeless, poorly-educated, suicidal losers. He presented this paper to many civic groups along with another one on PTSD, in which he argued that it was a very real but subtle condition. He leaves his wife, Patricia Graves Moss MAT’70, and a daughter.
While I only knew him in passing, I remember John Grace as a person of uncommon decency. His wife, Joan Raducha, put it nicely in saying, “His Wesleyan education was a significant part of his future.” A Grateful Dead fan and a whitewater canoeist, he spent an undergraduate year in India, earned his MA at Hartford Seminary Foundation, was a Fulbright tutor for a year at the Ramakrishna Mission in Calcutta, and then coordinated the University of Wisconsin Year in India Program in Banaras for three. Joan reports (somewhat incredulously, I think) that he convinced her that they could do anything together—including a rock climbing and rappelling course in the Himalayan foothills.
They returned from India to Madison, Wisc., where John established after-school programs in rural communities. He believed in servant-leadership and continued his commitment to human services, ultimately serving families and children as the head of the Wisconsin Association of Family & Children Agencies for 25 years. Further, through volunteer board commitments and his involvement with Madison’s Quaker Meeting, he worked with foster children, homeless families and as a patient advocate. Always an avid reader, in retirement, he consumed four papers a day, traveled widely and was an engaged grandfather. Besides his wife, he leaves a son and a daughter—Laura Raducha-Grace Thompson ’03, a physician and the mother of two.
I will close by reminding you that your 50th Reunion is May 24-27, 2018. You are expected to attend and, after that, I promise that I will never bug you about anything again. Sandy See (email@example.com), Stuart Ober (firstname.lastname@example.org) and George Reynolds (email@example.com) continue to seek volunteers for our Reunion Committee.
LLOYD BUZZELL | LBuzz463@aol.com
70 Turtle Bay, Branford, CT 06405 | 203/208-5360