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 |
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