CLASS OF 1956 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

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First, the bad news: We are all twice as old as Tom Brady, and collectively we have not won a single Super Bowl.

    Next, some good news: We are all twice as old as Tom Brady.

     I asked classmates how they are coping with the coronavirus. Dick Boyden, John Foster, and Tom Plimpton probably spoke for most of us. They are keeping the home fires burning and biding their time.

     Ray and Jim Gramentine “are holding up well; had our first Moderna vaccination on February 11. To date we cannot have any visitors inside St. John’s (our large Milwaukee retirement institution), but our wonderful daughter brings us sustenance by meeting in the parking lot.”

     Loni and Al Haas report “Our family is well, and our two children and six grandchildren are all within driving distance around Boston. Needless to say, the pandemic has caused pain and strain for our close family. The oldest are freshmen at the University of Miami (Meteorology) and Dartmouth (Big Data) and the next is our only granddaughter who committed to Dartmouth a year ago for lacrosse. A fourth is considering Wesleyan for photography and film in 2022. We will be back on Nantucket for our annual reinvigoration this summer. It is a pity that we may not be able to convene for our 65th. I suppose, in the greater scheme of things, there are more important sounds in our lives than ‘the bells of old South College.’” Al sends “Warm regards to classmates and friends, one and all.”

     Jay Kaplan writes: “Ann and I are both well. I have hardly been out of the house for the past year. I have my trainer come to me via Zoom. Virtually everything is delivered. I have only gone outside for safe walks in my neighborhood and to go to the doctor for my annual physical. My doctor confirmed that I am healthy, and I feel that way.

The Library Committee of the Cosmos Club apparently enjoyed my last book, In Search of Beauty. They have invited me to give a talk to the whole membership on it, which I will be doing in several months. In the meantime, I am now working on another book. My new one will be a novel about an international lawyer. It is a disguised autobiography except the protagonist is young and a bachelor (so I could get a bit of bachelor romance in it). I spend some of my time listening to frequent lectures put on by my club via Zoom on a broad variety of subjects. I also have my periodic board meetings of the Explorers Club and committee meetings of the Cosmos Club and the Philosophic Society of Washington. All in all, I am keeping myself fairly occupied.”

     From Bob Calvin: “I always wear something red for good luck on the Chinese New Year. Unfortunately, there will be no dragon parade in Chicago.

     “Jane and I have had our two COVID vaccinations with no ill effects. Northwestern Hospital is vaccinating 2,000 people a day. It was a seamless event. We feel very lucky and relieved.

     “We have mounds of snow in front of our house and it has been below 20 degrees now for two weeks. I stay sane by going to the gym twice a week to swim and hit tennis balls. We mainly pick the balls up but it is good exercise.

     “Twice a week Jane and I tutor Spanish-speaking immigrants, some undocumented, in conversational English. We do this on Zoom. We are learning a great deal about their experiences and journey.”

     Gary Miller feels “very lucky to be here in North Carolina, out of the snow belt and enjoying a little less stress because Marge and I got our vaccination shots in February with almost no side effects. We made one phone call, got our first shots the next day and were given an appointment for our second shots, two weeks later. Each shot took 30 minutes including paperwork, shots and wait time included, to be sure we didn’t develop an allergic reaction. We were advised to continue distancing, masking, and hand washing until the coast is clear (probably late this year). We may also get to visit the grocery store later than seven in the morning.

     “We’re doing well and hoping to be able to get to our summer place in Maine again this summer for our 27th summer.”

      Our sincere condolences to Leatrice Fung, who wrote: “My husband of 62 years, Lawrence Fung, passed away on September 18, 2020 in our home in Honolulu. May this year of the ox bring your class good health, peace, and happiness.” Larry entered Wesleyan with us, but graduated from Boston University.

     And to Margo Jenkins. George O. Jenkins III succumbed on February 4, 2021. Jay retired from the family businesses in 1995 and settled on Cape Cod, where he pursued his loves of world travel, sailing, model boats, clocks, and entertaining fellow Eclectics. He will be missed.

GEORGE CHIEN | gchien@optonline.net