Dear Classmates, Thank you for your responses to the latest request for news as follows:
Bertel Haarder from Copenhagen, Denmark: “President of the Nordic Council of parliamentarians, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Royal Danish Theater. Twenty-two years as cabinet minister and 41 years as member of Parliament. My Wesleyan experience has been very valuable, particularly through my 15 years as minister for education and research.”
Dan Hinckley: “Surviving the pandemic. We get our second Moderna shots Monday, February 22, which is a huge relief. Florida has managed OK given the massive numbers of over-65s around here. Kids and grandkids (in Switzerland and Maryland) are all OK, and we even got to see four of the five from the Swiss side for 36 hours last week, first time since exactly a year ago. We moved back to the U.S. in 2014 after 25 years in Switzerland for me and 45 for Katherine. Plan is to be back to Maine as usual by Memorial Day, with perhaps a trip to Switzerland in the fall.”
Tom Bell: “Still living in Halifax, Nova Scotia and enjoying life here. The family is all doing well.”
Clyde Beers: “Donna and I are now at our home on Grand Cayman. After a brutal two-week quarantine (never risked being sent to jail) we now have beautiful views, highs of 82 and lows of 75, zero non-quarantined cases and no masks on the whole island. So, a tough start rigidly enforced leads to lots of vacation positives compared to a super cold Pennsylvania. Back in Pennsylvania in time for serious gardening and seeing the rest of our family.”
Carl Hoppe: “Slowly winding down my psychology practice after 49 years, I am devoting more time to doubles tennis.”
Brian Courtney: “Retired last year after practicing dentistry for 50 years. It was always easy for me. Enjoyed good health and retired at the top of my game. Living on Lake Sinclair in Georgia.”
Brian Baxter: “As I begin my fourth year as president of the board of our 731-unit condominium community of 75 acres and 12,000 trees on Little Sarasota Bay here in Florida, I continue to seek an appropriate balance between a volunteer job that can easily be more than full time and my retired life with my family. Developing policies, rules, and a culture of safety during this coronavirus pandemic has been a great challenge over the past year, with about one-half of one percent of our residents reporting coronavirus infections compared to over six percent of residents in the surrounding area.”
Rob Abel’s latest book, Is Death Really a Mystery?, chronicles extraordinary reports from ordinary people who have had visitations while asleep or awake, as well as near death experiences. The book is available on Amazon. My wife and I both found it to be a very satisfying read.
Rob also offered some memories of Norm Shapiro, who passed away last year: “Over the years I would visit him on campus, send copies of my books and, in return, receive one of his magnificent opi with a humorous inscription. Without being overt, Norm would be intensely interested in (and committed to) the lives of all who wandered into his orbit. He was one of us and yet resided in a higher realm, to which we can only aspire. . . .”
Rob also stepped up to help a recent graduate, Zoe Garvey ’20, who was hoping to conduct research during a gap year before medical school. They have now collaborated on several mind-eye connection studies and a presentation (“Harnessing Eyes for Capturing Mental Status”) for the American Psychiatric Association.
Art Rhodes: “Still alive and retired. Wife Leslie Newman and I are spending our time with our collective five children and 10 grandchildren in Chicago and New Orleans. Wishing everyone well in life in the time of COVID-19.”
Paul “Dutch” Seigert: “My law practice in New York City is booming because everyone is suing each other as a result of the pandemic. Now, I am working 52 hours a week (i.e., 13 hours a day from Monday to Thursday). On Fridays, I check into the Borgata Hotel in Atlantic City, where I am a professional poker player and play all day Friday and Saturday. I am back in Yonkers, New York on Sunday mornings to attend church services or my wife would kill me.
“By the way, more than 50 years ago when I was in the military as an enlisted man and going to Vietnam, I met my Deke brother and a great guy, Tim Lynch, who was a naval officer, on a pathway at the Subic Bay Naval Station in the Philippine Islands. Tim said, ‘Dutch, what are you doing here’ and I said the same to him. But I forgot to salute him. This has bothered me for many years. Tim, I salute you!”
Bill Brooks: “The big news—apart from surviving both COVID-19 and the greater evil of DT-2016—is that I will retire from teaching, fully, completely, and utterly, in July 2021. I’ll still go back and forth to and from Europe and England, but only as a visitor; thereafter my home will be in Champaign, Illinois.”
Finally, on a sad note, in late February our class lost an outstanding individual, Peter Whiteley. A wonderful tribute to him by his son Mark can be found in the online version of ’65 class notes (magazine.wesleyan.edu).
Wesleyan and countless alumni also lost in February a wonderful friend, Don Russell, who passed away at age 90. Don was very close to many ’65ers and attended a number of our reunions. He was admired as a highly successful coach, advisor, administrator, and community leader.