CLASS OF 1968 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

I heard from Jeff Talmadge: like most of us, he “didn’t go anywhere or do anything” in 2020. “A year of patience, resilience and caution. . . . While the world, and especially our beloved country, has been in chaos, we have turned to family and close friends more than ever for recreation, love and comfort.” 

     Bob Knox made my day by doing something very simple that you too could do: he called me out of the blue. One of those Stanford guys who never returned, he is a still practicing attorney in Marin County. When asked why he is still working, he confided that he enjoys it— trying to extract money from insurance companies who won’t pay little old ladies whose house burned down. Two special things: running through the woods with a bunch of friends every Saturday and getting back to the guitar (taking lessons from a very fine teacher). Two sons. Three grands. Keeps in touch with John Mergendoller

     Mark Johnson, a JV oar out of South Kent who entered in the fall of 1965 but—being a rambunctuous EQVer­—didn’t finish until 1971. He reached out and we had a lovely chat with a lot of crew stories and friends in common. Mentioned Louis Loeb ’67­—someone I only knew as a legend—and Nat Greene (someone we all knew as a terror but he’s mellowed). Mark is a musician of a funny sort (computer stuff etc.) who taught, played and stayed in California. When reality hit, he took his IT skills into banking and then, more happily, into economic forecasting and lobbying for hospital systems. Lucky in love, Mark is married and has four grown sons and two grands.

     Confession: as I told John Lipsky if I’d been in EQV, I probably would have grown up faster. But then would I have had as much fun?

     I got another glorious call from out of the blue: John Shobert, an oar on our ’65 and ’66 V. He left Wes after sophomore year. Did a tour in ’Nam with the 101st. Enrolled at Penn State where he met his wife, now of 50 years. Two kids. Three grands. One great. MBA from Fairfield. Series of responsible HR positions here and there. Twenty years in Baltimore where he saw George Reynolds occasionally. Last 20 years in a lakeside home in Greensboro, North Carolina. Ten years retired: United Way, church, skeet shooting, fishing, etc. Few parts replaced but in good health.

     In late November, Greg Angelini died. Wig Sherman remembered him as always having a smile and, clearly, that is the way he went through life. After Cornell Law, he married his high school sweetheart and returned home to Leominster, Massachusetts, where he established himself as a sole practitioner with a sizable support staff and a broad portfolio of cases. Family law, advisor to businesses, labor law, representing towns and school boards. But paramount was his reputation for collegiality and friendship. His ambition never intruded on his concern for others. A devoted father who skied Okemo and enjoyed summers in Harwich with his two daughters.

     Jeff Bell, a widower and a Philadelphia transplant to Savannah who proudly still sports a good head of hair, wrote to announce his engagement to Kathy Stevens—originally “a Jersey girl” that our Lawrenceville lad found irresistable. She has two sons, 23 (Miami), and 21 (Richmond), which is her alma mater. I spoke with Dave Webb. Happily reading his way through retirement with a break for cocktails at 6:00. Splits time between the Cape and Florida. Keeps up with Bill McConaghy who is also on the Cape who has become a grandfather. Bill Van Den Berg’s New Year’s letter was beautifully pictorial, indicating his real wish—to be a photographer for National Geographic. Dave Losee was sworn into the Maine Bar this summer. Drew Ketterer­—Maine’s AG for 10 years and Rick Ketterer’s ’69 brother—was Dave’s sponsor. Most sadly, Rick died in August. My Boys in the Boat had our October reunion on Zoom. Washington State has one of the world’s biggest ferry system and one of Nason Hamlin’s sons is now managing a big chunk of it. Wallace Murfit is the last one standing: still competing. I thought we were a handsome bunch of devils but someone said we were getting older.

     Judy and I have one “child,” Josh, and he came east (from Seattle) in December with Emma Barnett, a totally wonderful and exceptionally capable woman, to marry in a lovely/intimate/informal/immediate-family-only/CDC-compliant ceremony at a nearby Airbnb. David Ramos ’05­­—Josh’s best friend from high school—was the “congregation” and photographer. All very moving.

     Be smart/safe/strong.