Peter is writing for this issue.
Hillary shares “I hope you are all well and safe during this supremely challenging year-plus. I feel grateful to be able to work from home for MIT. Despite Zoom fatigue, I enjoy catching up with friends to share meals virtually, and recently participated in a virtual trivia night with Rick Stein to raise funds for an organization he is involved with. Leading up to the November election, I spent much of my spare time volunteering virtually to help elect Biden-Harris and down-ballot Democrats, and this work helped keep me from doomsday scrolling and rage tweeting. I was so energized by what I was doing that I joined Movement Labs as a volunteer after the election, and now take on regular texting assignments for a diverse mix of progressive candidates and campaigns.”
Deirdre Davis writes, “One of the main things that helped me get through 2020 were COVID happy hours with a Wes crew that allowed me to stay connected (and in some instances, re-connect) with good friends. Attendees at various points throughout the year included Justine Gubar, Sid Ray, Patrick McDarrah, David Davenport, Karen Yazmajian, Mark Niles, Phil Marwill, Joanna Berwind, Sandro Oliveri, Jono Marcus, Mike Shaffer, and Dylan McDonald!”
Hannah Doress advises “Celebrating the end of a grueling four years. Thanks for changing our lives for the better to all the Wes folks who stepped up—I enjoyed connecting with election volunteers like Hillary Ross, Monica Jahan Bose ’87, and Liz Pelcyger, and political professionals like Mark Mullen ’89 and John Hlinko ’89.
Earlier in the year my wife Emily Bender co-founded Voices for Liberation, a coalition of performers for racial justice. We temporarily forgot we were middle-aged and promoted and produced a 12-hour marathon raising $12,000 for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund with the help of Dar Williams ’89, Michele Barnwell ’89, Judith Sansone ’89, Jaclyn Friedman, Anoosh Jorjorian and Eric Hung with an assist from Algernon Austin ’89 (who works for NAACP Legal Defense Fund).
I’m continuing to work at the intersection of climate resilience, community engagement and equity and inclusion for the County of San Mateo.
I’ve recently been on a social media diet (one of my alternative activities was to write an article about voting rights on Medium) so I encourage anyone who wants to get in touch to call (my phone number is easy to find).”
Chris Galati reports “I’ve found joy during pandemic ennui in little pleasures: a glass of wine at 5:00 p.m., an exciting new Spotify channel, a Korean drama on Netflix, and Friday night sushi takeout. I also have found the courage to pursue one of my childhood dreams: to learn how to play ice hockey. After watching my two sons, Dylan and Geoffrey (10 and eight years old), practice at an ice rink in Yonkers for 10 weeks, I could no longer resist. I bought a new stick and skates, borrowed my son’s helmet and joined a Saturday morning stick and puck session at the LeFrak Rink in Prospect Park. It was 15 degrees and windy the first morning. My fingers and toes were cold. But as the sun glinted off a corner of the ice, I skated across the blue line and took shots on goal. Like a boy playing pond hockey for the first time, I warmed up and smiled. The other players skated circles around me, but I was glad just to be on the ice with them.”
Linda Brinen-Stout notes: “Reporting from Mill Valley, California. Besides trying to keep the whole human and canine family well—physically and mentally—during the pandemic, I’ve taught myself to sew reusable cloth masks (thank you YouTube). I’ve made more than 5,000 masks and straight up donated more than 4,800 of them to local community members in need. I’ve partnered with Canal Alliance in San Rafael to support the Canal District community, which has been particularly hard hit by COVID-19. Looking forward to getting vaccinated!
Christie Trott Adelberg writes in “The year 2020-21 has been a wild year for me and my loved ones, with many highs and lows (as I am sure it has been for many of you out there!). Overall, I am filled with gratitude that my family and I are all doing pretty well these days. Since last March 13, the four of us have been at home in the Bay Area zooming all day in four separate rooms. My husband Brad works for SAP, so he arises pretty early to Zoom with co-workers and customers all over Europe. Sam, my musical/artistic high school freshman, attends school all day virtually from her bedroom. It’s crazy to me that she has only set foot once on her new high school campus, but I feel fortunate that she’s been able to do a lot of hiking, biking, and studying with a few of her close friends outside. Hailey, my sporty eighth grader, has just this past week finally started attending school in person every other day. Her ice hockey hopes were dashed as her team has been unable to practice since early fall, but luckily she has picked up lacrosse and they have been able to practice outside. My dad finally retired after 33 years on the bench as a Ninth Circuit Federal Court judge. As for me, I have embarked on one of the most exciting and difficult endeavors of my life thus far: I have co-founded a new private K-8 grade school! Tessellations is an independent, progressive school tailored for gifted students, dedicated to serving the needs of the whole child. We received our nonprofit status (after filling out about 19,387 pages!) and have just secured a beautiful, six-acre campus in nearby Cupertino. Lastly, I have been fortunate to live near many wonderful friends and family during this strange year. I wish the best for all my former ’88 classmates and I am hopeful for a less chaotic, safer and kinder 2021!”
As for Peter, “I’m busy managing the phenomenal success of my podcast The CPG Guys, which I launched last summer. As of this writing, we have published over 75 episodes and generated 30,000 downloads. The podcast is available on all major platforms and home virtual assistants.”
PETER V.S. BOND | firstname.lastname@example.org
HILLARY ROSS | email@example.com