Remember when Bob Runyon challenged us to examine our bucket lists—our goals for the time left to us? Recently I was compelled to revisit mine. I’ve never once had an urge to ski Mount Everest, but I have set foot on all seven continents. I accept that I’ll never sing a performance of Bach’s Mass in B-Minor, but derive some consolation from having 26 recordings to choose from, should I want to listen to it. I’ll have no regrets if I never see a World Series game or a Super Bowl in person, but I hoped to see Wesleyan win one more Little Three football championship before I depart this mortal coil.
And I did! Ann and I drove up to Middletown last November 2 to watch our Cardinals edge Williams’s Ephs to take the crown after 42 years of frustration. It was nerve-wracking to be sure, but how sweet it was! I wore my newly acquired Wesleyan sweatshirt for a week straight! Of course, Trinity put an end to that, but it was great while it lasted. Hip, hip, hooray!
We planned to sit with my roommate, Tom Reed ’57, but we never connected. Tom, bring your cell phone next time! I did see old friend Hal Buckingham ’52, Bill Gordon ’55, and our own Al Haas there. Al, I must say, looks great. He is still active as president of Educational Futures, Inc., assisting students from around the world who wish to study in North America. Al and Loni enjoy their role as grandparents for six boys and one girl who live in the Boston area.
The game prompted happy exchanges with Jim Gramentine and Ed Palmer. Enthused Jim: “This is just plain fun. Wish I had been there with you!” Ed, who is professor emeritus of mathematics at Michigan State and battles some serious health issues, added: “It’s so nice to hear that our guys are handling the aging process with courage. My own medical team has their hands full, especially my massage therapists, Ingrid and Dagmar.”
Dick Bauer writes: “News here pretty steady state. Health holding up; Ginny and wider family doing well. Play piano and sing regularly, finding more and more corners in the American Songbook for exploration. Also, still derive considerable satisfaction from leading monthly discussion groups here at our retirement community in Hingham, Mass. Over 80 are active; three separate sessions; lots of good, often humorous exchange. Hope our classmates are thriving.”
Random thoughts from Barry Passett: “I recently connected with a ‘kid’ from elementary school. He remembers Marv Pisetsky, one of our class’s best. Scott Aiken ’57 died. Not our class, but a diligent Argus writer/editor, so well-known to many. Two students took it upon themselves to create an event commemorating the anniversary of Ed Beckham’s death. Not our class, but important. They planned the event, overcame the usual bureaucratic obstacles, and raised the money. Over 200 people attended. (I was stuck in D.C.) Students rock!”
I promised more from Tom Connell, and here are some excerpts: “I have traveled a lot, something I continue to do. In 2012, I helped the Audubon Society lay out a trail for the sensory deprived and wrote a script explaining what was at each of the marked stops along the all-person trail. That script was professionally recorded and is available in MP3 and downloads for people who want to use it.
“My other major activity is research and trading stock, which keeps me active now that I am retired from the practice of law. I run my own portfolios and have enjoyed enough success at it that I am not tempted to turn management over to any other entity. I interested my son-in-law. We often debate just how much is predictable and recurring so you can learn from the past, and how much is based on current news happenings and political ‘moves’ (which are hard to predict). My background in law and politics leads to one method, his in science leads to another. It’s a good way to spend time.
“My son has his doctorate from MIT in artificial intelligence and is employed at the Watson Lab of IBM. He has a number of patents and several books in print (check under Jonathan Hudson Connell). By agreement with IBM he has his own, separate, small business, which designs and sells to colleges and schools kits that make artificial intelligence robots. He also teaches at Vassar. His wife has her doctorate in chemistry and is employed by, and part owner of, a technical instrument firm. My granddaughter is a sophomore at Vassar and my grandson entered college last fall. My daughter did her MBA work at UMass where she met her husband, my trading partner, who has his doctorate in polymer chemistry and is employed by Kimberly-Clarke evaluating potential acquisitions. Their older daughter, 13, has apraxia and is severely handicapped. The younger, 7, now in first grade, is a live wire and very creative.”
One final note: I’d like to express my thanks to Dick Bauer, Bob Calvin, and Pete Deacon for their kind words in response to my piece in Issue 1 2013 of this journal. Go, Wes!
GEORGE CHIEN and BOB RUNYON
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