CLASS OF 1969 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

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Rameshwar Das co-authored Being Ram Dass, a memoir by his late teacher, “who bridged psychology and mysticism. A neurotic professor, he evolved into a transcendent yogi espousing unconditional love.”

     From Ric Peace: “No Pease, please, just Peace.”  Lloyd Buzzell ’68 said, “Be smart/safe/well.” Bob Watson wrote, “saw our grandson, Matthias, in Cartagena. My book about sports and psychoanalysis is well reviewed. We enjoy our daughter’s presence as she Zooms her Seattle patients.”

     Denny Marron channeled Billy Joel, “The good old days weren’t always good and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.”

     From Bryn Hammarstrom, “Don’t know when we’ll have to give up these 100 acres, but the time is coming. Climbing hills was hard. Diagnosis—aortic valve stenosis and aortic aneurysm. To the Cleveland Clinic November 16. So far so good. Back to a four-day week at Temple University Hospital in time of COVID-19.”

     Review Stu Blackburn’s novels on Amazon or Goodreads. The latest is The Boy from Shenkottai, Revolutionary, Murderer, Hero. He wrote, “Locked down on England’s South Coast and mourning Don Russell’s death.”

     Tom Kelly ’68 said, “Jack Fitzgerald died of heart failure last fall. A good fellow, serious, reflective, blessed with a deep and subtle sense of humor.”

     Jim Drummond wrote, “My senior thesis was on James Joyce’s Ulysses, Ihab Hassan the advisor. He once came to the lectern, paused, and walked out, no words. I have frequent contact with Jeff Richards, whose virtual productions are amazing. My novel in progress is Thank You for Death.”

     The “Four Dharma Summaries” are guideposts at Ken Kawasaki’s brelief.org.

     Bill Currier said, “Stay well. Eat well; get decent exercise; stay social, read, write, think. Nature is just doing what comes naturally. Adapt to Nature, and that goes for global warming.”

     Frank Putnam is “a professor of psychiatry at UNC-Chapel Hill, writing a memoir about child abuse, trauma, and medical interventions.”

     Pete Arenella and his wife “flew round-trip Mexico to Los Angeles for COVID-19 shots. Death’s shroud is over my loved ones. Best faculty friend died within 24 hours of diagnosis. First great love has cancer. Several pets died suddenly.”

     “Archaeological work recovering material culture from the mud flats of Wellfleet Village has long interested me,” said Steve Broker. “On loan, I’m archiving shipping forms, invoices, correspondence, 1860–1880, the period just before the first documented North Atlantic fisheries collapse.”

     Bernie Freamon wrote, “Members of ’70, led by S. Jacob Scherr ’70, Zoom every Tuesday at 6 pm. Very pleasant and self-esteem boosting sessions. Email: jacobscherr@me.com.”

     Charlie Morgan is “quarantining in Bonita Springs. I play tennis daily. Get some expert witness work—entertaining and lucrative. Grandchildren, largely in New Jersey, are growing up too fast.”

     Nick Browning and wife Rebecca Ramsey ’75 have “mostly closed our psychiatry practice and live in Woodstock, Vermont. We have a beautiful home. I write essays and short stories. Rebecca paints and plays cello. We get grandparenting joy from the grown kids. Peter Pfeiffer and I correspond. Add Walt Abrams and Peter Cunningham to the mix.”

     From Steve Mathews, “Nashville endured a tough 2020. No tourists. $3.5 billion impact. It is still a great city. Picasso is showing at the museum. That’s creating an early buzz.”

     Alex Knopp “no longer teaches at Yale but is still involved with public libraries, NAACP, the Connecticut Law Tribune, and the Connecticut Retirement Security Board. Bette’s first book, The Better Angels, is a time travel novel for seniors. Don’t let your guard down.”

     Mike Fink “got COVID-19 and almost died. While I was hospitalized, my family battled it at home. I stared Death in the face and whipped its ass.”

     John Fenner “practices law in Weston, Florida.”

     Neil Jensen and “wife Peggy are retired and live on a small lake in southern Maine. We volunteer and do environmental work. Children Kristin and Erik are academics, PhDs, world travelers, terrific cooks, and great entertainment. I’ve heard from Doug Coombs and Ken Quattlander ’68.”

     Ron Reisner “wonders why Williams and Amherst poll at 1 and 2. I continue to help a local state senator because there’s always another election.”

     Dave Siegel wrote, “As a part-time doctor, I’ve learned a lot of virology but look forward to resumption of activities. Hope others have weathered this difficult time.”

     Jack and Claudia Meier are “happily ensconced in Bluffton, South Carolina.”

     Bob Palumbo “spends blessed daily hours between stone carving and whale watching.”

     John Bach “will die happy if I can climb one more 14,000′ Colorado peak.”

     Tony Mohr’s “next gig will be the Advanced Leadership Institute at Harvard.”

   Peter Cunningham is “hibernating in Lincoln, Massachusetts, having completed a short film about life in pre-virus New York City.”

     Pete Pfeiffer wrote, “All us old Maine folks are vaccinated.”

   Jeff Powell wrote, “am fully retired and spend summers sailing coastal Maine.”

   Robert “Rip” Hoffman writes: “Looking back at 2020, we drove our cars much less so we saved money on gas.  We couldn’t go anywhere so we saved money on travel.  We couldn’t go out to eat, so we saved money on food. Our kids moved closer, so we were able to see them much more frequently.  My wife and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary.  I’d have so say 2020 was pretty good!”

   John Mihalec says: “Joined Steve Pfeiffer, Darcy LeClair, and about 20 other ex-Wes footballers for a Zoom session with our coach from back then, Don Russell, logging in from Texas. It was great fun and well-timed, as Don died shortly afterward in January.”

Peter Cunningham: I fled Bleecker Street 11 months ago and am hibernating in Lincoln, MA with my mate, arafitgerald.com who has a more advanced degree from Wesleyan than I ever dreamed of earning. My latest effort is this short film about vibrant life in pre-virus New York, it’s called This was Our Life. The music is by Zoe FitzGerald Carter (zoecartermusic.com), mother of two Wesleyan Graduates, Anna Guth ’14 and Mira Guth ’18

Neil (Nick) Jensen writes: “My wife Peggy and I are retired and living on a small lake in southern Maine. In recent years we’ve managed a volunteer lake stewardship organization and a volunteer-run invasive species eradication program. And we do trail work at Acadia National Park. We celebrated our 50th anniversary alone during the COVID-19 lockdown. We have two academically-oriented children: Kristin, a project manager in the UVA library system; and Erik, professor of ancient Mediterranean history at Salem State. Both of them PhD’s, world travelers, terrific cooks, and the best entertainment a fella could have (when I can catch up with them!) I occasionally hear from Doug Coombs,  and Ken Quattlander ’68, fellow refugees from the great EQV fire.”

Jeffrey Powell is “now fully retired since June 2020 having worked for New London Hospital IT department since my retirement from my clinical practice of Internal Medicine at the New London Medical Center at the end of 2012. My wife, Cheryl, and I celebrated our 5lst anniversary August 2020. We are still living in New London, NH but spend our summer months for the most part sailing the coast of Maine in our 35 foot Island Packet cutter between Portland and Bar Harbor. We have three granddaughters ages 17, 14, and 8 yrs living in Green Bay Wisconsin and Columbia South Carolina.” 

John Hickey says, “No visits to report during the pandemic, but I did revisit two books by our classmate Jamie Kalven. A Worthy Tradition a book that Jamie’s father (a law professor) started on the First Amendment, was completed by Jamie when his father died. In this time of constitutional focus, it’s a great read. Jamie’s autobiographical sketch Working With Available Light was also a great read.

In spite of the political “goings on” with the arrival of the vaccines a possible end to the pandemic does appear to be possible. I remember hoping for an end to the War in Vietnam during our era at Wesleyan.” 

    John Wilson and I concur, “Hope all are well.”

CHARLIE FARROW | charlesfarrow@comcast.net
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