CLASS OF 1973 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

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From Middletown, Ron Medley writes that “the biggest news” is that he’s just renewed his lease for a College Street studio apartment. “This marks my second year as a part-time Middletown resident,” he writes. “For folks who have not set foot in our adopted city these last few decades, suffice it to say, most of us would barely recognize the place. For sure, the old North End is still familiar with its mom and pop storefronts and O’Rourke’s diner holding up nicely. But, the whole South End of town (including the old Middletown Press building, if I recall correctly) has been bulldozed, sanitized, and curated to resemble an ersatz Northampton or Amherst.” He reports that some will love it. Others will not. “All I know is that as a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker, the new Middletown comes with one indispensable ingredient that the old one did not,” he says. The city now has a functioning public transit system. Buses now leave Main Street to the Meriden train depot pretty much on the hour, eliminating the need for a car. He says during his first summer there, he walked over to Jane and Michael Gianfriddo’s house on the other side of Long Lane Road for lunch. Ron says,  “Michael and I now have a standing invitation to meet on the steps of Olin for as many power walks as we can squeeze in before the Connecticut Valley summers kick in.”

     Rich Ladd tells me that he lives near Olympia, Washington with wife Carolyn. He still works in mortgage lending and continues to enjoy tinkering with cars. His daughter works at Amazon HQ and his son attends Boise State. “Rugby remains a favorite sport—watching only,” he says.  Rich and Carolyn were very sad at the loss of their friend Tom Pfeiffer.

     Moses Samuel Pinkston tells me that he has retired from the Department of Human Services after 12 years working as an adoption social worker. “I met many children in need of permanent loving families,” says Moses, and others “who were in foster care, and now are permanently living with loving families.” He traveled to Georgia and Florida, as well as all over Pennsylvania, to place children in permanent homes.

     Dr. Ron Johnson tells me Granderson “Granny” Hale runs a homeless ministry in Philadelphia, providing hot meals and clothing to those less fortunate. He has six kids and 14 grandchildren.

     Ron lives in Orinda, California. He is nine months now retired from his medical specialty where he was a vitreoretinal surgeon for the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group. Ron now spends his time traveling and working on his golf game, hiking, biking and enjoying life.                                                  

     Ron reports that Doug Belt is presently living in Florida for the last six months after moving from New Jersey. Doug just recently retired from the research and analytics company he founded. He tells us he has been happily married for 50 years! “Some of us remember his wife Sheila, a Mt. Holyoke grad. Doug is most proud of his four exceptional children including an associate professor of law at Stanford, a medical doctor, a biological researcher, and a businessman,” says Ron.

     Albert Smith tells us he is a self-made independent architect who has run his own firm in New York City for the past 38 years! He is married to Rosalyn, the love of his life, and they have five kids.

     James (Diego) Howard is a graduate of University of Michigan law school and resides in Pleasanton, California. He is now retired and tells us he has been married for 35 years with two children and is expecting his first grandchild this April. After suffering a medical setback in 2019, Diego is now vegan.

     Lacy Tinnen tells us he’s been living in North Carolina since 1994 and is married to the love of his life for the past 30 years! He has been in the income tax business since 1991 with national franchises.He has two successful  sons, and notes that despite his busy schedule he still enjoys boating, fishing and biking.

     Marshal Lassiter tells us he’s been living in Atlanta since 1977, has been married for the past 47 years and has two sons. After 43 years, he is still working as an executive for the railroads.

     Zane Bailey currently resides in Philadelphia. He’s been married for the past 41 years and has been blessed with two daughters and grandchildren who are the loves of his life. “Teaching them lacrosse, which Zane excelled at 50 plus years ago, gives him a great sense of pride,” says Ron. Zane retired nine years ago doing medical research and private investigating in the office of his best friend, the late Philadelphia lawyer Ronald White ’73.

     Wayne Barber currently resides in Lake Oswego, Oregon, after moving there from Honolulu, Hawaii two years ago. Wayne is retired from his specialty as an ears, nose and throat doctor with the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group and in private practice in Hawaii. He has been happily married to the former Sharon Nelson, Mt. Holyoke class of 74, for 45 years! Wayne has two daughters. Kerri ’91 is an educator and Tori is a sound and light engineer in Los Angeles. Wayne continues to do research in diagnosis and prevention of childhood hearing disorders.

     In other news, can you believe this: our 50th Reunion is right around the corner, in May 2023. Class President Bill Quigley says the 73 Reunion Committee is looking for volunteers to expand and broaden interest and participation. He notes he is looking for a wide range of people, and there will be opportunities to serve on various subcommittees. If you have any interest, please contact Jay Rose (jrose907@aol.com), Kate Q. Lynch (our Wesleyan organizer— klynch@wesleyan.edu), or Bill Quigley (bquig@aol.com).

      It should be an unforgettable weekend.

PETER D’OENCH | pgdo10@aol.com