CLASS OF 1968 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

After years of a terrible but spirited battle with health issues, on July 21, 2020, Bob Newhouse passed. It was on “a beautiful day in the place he loved best, his home overlooking the ocean in Nantucket, where he insisted going when it became clear that he might have only one more trip in him. . . . He was a truly gifted artist. He drew and painted and was a terrific cartoonist but it was his marvelous sculpting and woodworking that most will remember” (from correspondence from his brother, Steve). 

Again from Steve: “I taunted him by saying his trials and tribulations later in life were payback for his Baccanalian revelry at Chi Psi. . . . Some think he was the model for the cool and handsome Eric ‘Otter’ Stratton in Animal House.” Be that as it may, he still managed to have 

a very successful career at the financial giant Marsh McLennan.

Bill Beeman retired as the chair of the anthropogy department at Minnesota after a long—34 years at Brown and 13 years at Minnesota—and distinguished academic career. No fool, he is leaving midwestern winters for Santa Clara to join his husband of six years (after 30 years of togetherness), Frank Farris, who teaches at Santa Clara University. (He sees Ted Smith ’67 who lives in San Jose). Bill went to an island in the Persian Gulf the summer of 1967 with Sib Reppert ’67 and returned there for the fall semester of 1967 to do ethnographic work. It was transformational as it led to his senior paper which led him to the University of Chicago (provided he continue with Persian and Arabic). Traveled to Iran and Afghanistan until it was no longer possible. Taught Peace Corps volunteers.

I reached out to Bob Abrams, a Nicholson 6 graduate, and learned he is in St. Louis and a man of leisure. He has a son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter not far from me. His wife, Jan, is unhappy that the pandemic has prevented them from making their semi-annual visits. John Kepner who had a career in hospital administration, has been writing a blog entitled “Rounding Third Leadership Blog”(fenwaymanagementadvisors.org/leadershipblog). It is a deep, far-reaching and ambitious endeavor that covers a lot more than baseball. Meanwhile, his son, Tyler, actually covers baseball for the Times and had a book out last year, K, a History of Baseball in 10 Pitches, which spent a week on the NYT best seller list.

I have been speaking with my erstwhile comrade in chaos, Bob Svensk. Still working quite independently (partnered with his son, Andrew ’99) from a Southport office in a worldwide reinsurance business. (To understand it fully, it helps to have gone to Harvard.) Very involved with Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation and Southport Conservatory. Son Christian ’96 is an urban planner married to a transportation guru in Sacramento. Son Hallock is Williams ’07 and an attorney married to an attorney in L.A. Andrew’s wife is a NYC ADA. Bob and Annie have five grands but three are on the West Coast­—out of cuddling range. 

My editor gives me 800 words and I am not yet there. So: Dave Losee has become a beekeeper. Bill Currier ’69 is working hard on a pilot for a TV show. BiIl Nicholson continues to read his way through American history. We are fine: Judy continues to love me and really gives me no choice in the matter.

 I write in September, and, as a rule, I keep current events out of these Notes. But, as I make the rules, I can break them. And, though a divinity school graduate, I am not good at asking god for favors. But, I am praying for the unemployed, the hungry, the homeless, the sick and dying, that we address the many divides in our country and for an orderly transfer of power.

Lloyd Buzzell | LBuzz463@aol.com
70 Turtle Bay, Branford, CT 06405 | 203/208-5360

CLASS OF 1968 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

I have been doing this for well over 40 years and—because I found you to be a delightfully spirited group back when whose trajectories have exceeded all my expectations—it has been a pleasure. But these are difficult/strange times to retain my usual good cheer: Not long ago I was caught up in the impeachment proceedings, but then thousands started dying, millions became unemployed and we, as members of a high-risk cohort, walk about with a target on our backs. While you know all that, I could not proceed without at least noting it.

Locally: for reasons that defy comprehension, my wife still loves me and gives me no option but to do things by the book. I like our governor’s leadership. Our son, Josh, was to be married to a good woman May 24 in Seattle. Heartbreakingly postponed. But we’re fine.

Pre-all this, Helen Dempsey had a lapse of judgment and married Bill Van Den Berg in a Unitarian service in the State College, Penn., area. We spent time together at the 50th and they are a fun couple. Andy Gaus—who is in Boston—and I had a great email exchange. We agreed that this is the time in our lives when we should do exactly what we want. For him, that was to self-publish a selection of his songwriting from his teens through his 70s entitled Songbag and available at Amazon.

John Poor died peacefully at home in Bronxville, April 13, of COPD. The Commodore “was a charismatic, smart, and generous man who…loved kids and art and sailing and the beach. He was very sharp and would do the Saturday crossword puzzle in minutes (and in pen). He truly loved life and lived it well” (from the NYT). Professionally, he was a well-regarded advertising executive with Blair Television and later Petry Media. Steve Carlson remembers him as a “fun and unique guy” who inherited his crossword skills from his mother and will be sorely missed.

It may seem a little unexpected, but Wig Sherman is the classmate with whom I stay in closest contact. We do not agree about anything (except some jokes) but serve as one another’s portal into alternate universes. However, our discord is brotherly. The May 7 arrival of Elizabeth Bean made him a grandfather for the first time. A devoted friend, he keeps up with the guys from the Lodge and is currently supporting Bob Newhouse, who retains a strong spirit as he contends with some medical issues.

Erica MALS ’91 and Nason Hamlin, one of our most elegant couples, retired to (and hunkered down on) Washington’s San Juan island. “Adequate supplies, gardening, reading, jigsaw puzzles, a beautiful setting, and lots of fresh air. The big downers are not being able to hug our grandchildren…and the cancellation of three musical string quartet workshops (Bruges, Sooke, BC, and Seattle)” as well as Nason’s barbershop quartet.

I am not a phone guy and normally wouldn’t suggest this, but the times are not normal, and a call from any of you about anything would be most welcome. After noon or early evenings, s.v.p. Be safe. Stay well.

Lloyd Buzzell | LBuzz463@aol.com
70 Turtle Bay, Branford, CT 06405 | 203/208-5360

CLASS OF 1968 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

After an MA from SUNY-Buffalo, Ted Li joined the English Department of Pingry School where he enjoyed a distinguished 43-year run. He landed at Pingry due to George Moffatt, the two-time world champion in gliding who taught there then, and gliding became Ted’s primary avocation through the early ’80s. But, in 1984, he shifted his focus to fencing. While coaching Pingry’s team, he had the opportunity to manage the U.S. fencing team at the Los Angeles Olympics—and subsequently two other Olympics.

Though retired from the classroom, he is not only involved with Pingry fencing but has also been elected the international body that governs fencing. Gliding and fencing have taken him to all the inhabited continents.

Dave Garrison ’67 retired in 2009 as professor of Spanish and Portugese from Dayton’s Wright State University. He started in the class of 1967 but a year off in Spain happily moved him into 1968. In retirement, he plays tennis and golf and, after a 50-year hiatus, has taken up the trumpet again.

A poet, he has just completed another book which—not surprisingly—looks at things from the point of view of 70-year-old guys. An excerpt:

They take aspirin before playing tennis,
write wills directing their ashes
be mixed into the clay of the courts …
They have a lot to remember,
more than they have to look forward to.
These men put more and more pepper
on their potatoes, jam on their toast.

The Boys in the Boat—Wallace Murfit, Harrison Knight, Bob Svensk, John Lipsky, Nason Hamlin, Will Macoy ’67, and me—held our annual October get-together at Wes. A special treat for me was that Janet and Coach Phil Calhoun ’62, MALS ’69 came in from Lancaster. He was too young and irresponsible to be much of a role model but god we had fun.

With profound sadness, Dick Grimm reported the death of his wife, Annabella Gonzalez, of COPD in NYC on Nov. 24. Born into a prominent Mexican family whose friends included Frida Kahlo and the young Fidel Castro, she, a dancer, ended up in NYC and studied with Martha Graham. In 1976, she founded a modern dance company that is going strong and which performed at many venues internationally, at Wesleyan, and to many underserved audiences. Our heartfelt condolences.

Jan and John Graham report they are now living in a comprehensive retirement community southwest of Asheville, in part to be close to Jan’s 101-year-old mother who is in skilled nursing in the same complex, and in part to assure their daughters they will not burden them. The Osher Lifelong Learning Center at a nearby UNC campus is a big part of their lives. There, a variety of courses taught by retired professors and the like keep their minds fully functioning. Alas, John’s golf game has irreparably deteriorated but he has found other fulfilling ways in which to engage himself.

Locally, I write this in January. We are a mixed marriage and usually celebrate the holidays in a mixed-up way. But circumstances this year were such that I celebrated my first genuine Jewish Christmas—Chinese with friends followed by a movie. Refreshing.

Bob Reisfeld, the retired chief of psychiatry at the Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Redwood City, Calif., is enjoying good health and this phase of life with his wife, Leslie. They’ve two adult daughters: one married; the other in a long-term relationship. One is an incredibly athletic amateur aerial performer with a master’s in management in the nonprofit sector; the other a professional artist. Bob, Brian Frosh, and Tony Rotundo and their wives spent a week together on Maui in November snorkeling, golfing—studying the perfect Mai Tai. Tony and his wife, Kathy, retired from Andover’s faculty five years ago and moved from campus housing to Lexington to be closer to friends, family and “city life.” Their daughter is in computer science at Mount Holyoke, while their son teaches at a bilingual boarding school in Shanghai. In retirement, Tony is working on a book exploring the relationship between white masculinity and conservatism. (Sort of a sequel to an earlier volume he did on 19th-century manhood). He keeps up with a select group of Wesleyan friends: Eric Blumenson, Ray Solomon, Don Fels, and Mark Taylor. “Kathy often comments on what great friends I have from college. I always tell her to be glad she didn’t know us when we were 18.”

Lloyd Buzzell | LBuzz463@aol.com
70 Turtle Bay, Branford, CT 06405 | 203/208-5360

CLASS OF 1968 | 2019 | ISSUE 3

Judy and I greatly enjoyed a home invasion from Bill Currier ’69 playing hooky from his 50th. We have overlapped repeatedly—from Sam Greene’s art history classes to NYC in the early ’70s—but hadn’t touched base in a while. A one-time educator, one-time trial lawyer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office (prosecuting seriously bad people), one-time SEC lawyer, retired White and Case attorney (with world-wide assignments), and novelist in search of a publisher. He accompanies John Lipsky—our boy from Cedar Rapids who, despite his sleek, cosmopolitan ways, remains a devoted baseball nut—to National’s games occasionally. Bill’s wife, Nuchhi, heads a women’s political action group that goes back to the Suffragettes and his daughter, Lauren, a Middlebury/Pratt graduate, just made him a grandfather. He keeps up with Jim Weinstein ’69, a therapist/life-coach in D.C. Bill worked with Judy on a curricular project back in the day and had to remind me that I married over my pay-grade.

Barb and Dave Webb continue their romance with Cape Cod and one another. They hosted Ron Gwaizda ’67 and Bill McConaghy one night and Hank Sprouse ’62 another. It is almost Labor Day and, when football season approaches, I ache for Tim Polk. We used to go out to the Bowl together where I would share not only his good company but his insights into the game. Bob Runk ’67 recently co-authored/published a satiric look at golf entitled How to Line Up Your Fourth Putt. It contains important chapters like “The Insignificance of the Proper Grip” and “Replacing the Divots of Your Life.” A bargain at $9.99 from Amazon.

Crew corner: The men’s varsity were New England champions for only the fourth time in the history of the program and, as we see the team when we return, we feel a proud, proprietary relationship. Bob Svensk and Will Macoy ’67 rowed at the Royal Henley Regatta. Wallace Murfit competes in an extended sculling season in California and has been accepted to row in Boston’s glorious Head of the Charles Regatta in October. However, Harrison Knight has gone over to the dark side: He and Kit won the Over 60 Connecticut State mixed pickleball championship at Wes last June.

I spoke with Paul Spitzer who spent part of the summer nearby in the Congregational parsonage in his hometown of Old Lyme in exchange for a couple of sermons. He was working on two books, one scientific and one more spiritual. His big news: He is a visiting scholar at Wesleyan’s College of the Environment this fall. On May 18, Visakha and Ken Kawasaki ’69—a good friend of Paul’s—sent me a lovely Happy Vesak (Buddha’s birthday) e-mail/card from Sri Lanka.

I spoke to my old roommate, Bill Nicholson, down in Jacksonville. His daughter, Chase, just finished a joyous first year at SMU and had a summer internship at State. He plans on taking his youngest son on the classic New England college tour this fall. He has been reading: Sandberg on Lincoln and Coolidge’s autobiography. Said Coolidge is underappreciated and that his odyssey from one-room schoolhouse to the White House was empowered by his Amherst education. (Meanwhile, my Mueller Report is being used as a doorstop).

Karen, his wife of 50 years, reports that we lost Roy Thorpe, a brother of mine from Psi U, in August. Roy died at his home in Culpeper, Va., of pancreatic cancer and had practiced local government law to support his love of travel and sailing in the British Virgin Islands. President of Local Government Attorneys of Virginia, he served as city attorney and assistant commonwealth attorney in Bedford and Falls Church as well as attorney for Montgomery and Culpeper counties. In retirement, he spent time woodworking and at their home in Akumal, Mexico.

Personally, I must admit to some frustration with my limited mobility. Just cannot do things that I’d like to. Though falling apart in all the usual 73-year-old ways, basically well/strong/happy. Our move from New Haven to Branford on the nearby shoreline has been a great success. Judy and I are social and have made many new friends while not losing touch with our old gang. I take great satisfaction from moderating a weekly discussion group of about 20 spirited oldsters at my senior center. Involved as the PR guy for three lecture series and, in a very small way, with goings-on around town. Inasmuch as your life could not possibly be any more mundane than mine, I would love to hear from you with your particulars.

Lloyd Buzzell | LBuzz463@aol.com
70 Turtle Bay, Branford, CT 06405 | 203/208-5360

CLASS OF 1968 | 2019 | ISSUE 2

I heard from one of my favorites, Jeff Talmadge, with whom I shared so many cups of coffee that we were both disqualified from Phi Beta Kappa on that basis alone (not that we ever had a prayer). His biggest 2018 news is celebrating his 30th anniversary with Joan—marked by their annual trip to Kennebunkport—and the multitude of joys received from their raucous hybrid family. While it is not like they just hung around the Boston-area following their beloved Patriots and Red Sox, 2018 was a quieter year than 2017 when they visited both Cuba and Africa. An English major who slid into computers (at his mother’s suggestion as I recall), he ended up founding/running a service (WeNeedaVacation.com) that helps travelers find accommodations on Cape Cod that has passed on to the next generation. He helped Carol and Bob Ziegenhagen (Bay Area residents) celebrate their 50th by attending a gathering at their Northfield, Mass., summer place last year.

Bill Van Den Berg continues windsurfing through retirement, getting down to Bonaire (from the State College, Pa., area) for big chunks of time for its optimal conditions. Bill is a good guy but I learned at Reunion that his partner, Helen Dempsey, is a stitch. They did some spelunking in Bonaire and Bill did some climbing in Nevada.

I did Wes on the five-year plan (and I expect that, based on these notes, some of you may feel I have never fully graduated) and the good company of Rich Kremer ’69 was one of the highlights of that final year. We spoke recently. A retired doc who advocates small-town living, he splits his time between Norwich, Vt., and Williamsburg, Va., and has four wonderful “kids” finding their diverse way through life. Like myself, he needs supervision, and his wife Andrea finds time to provide it when not teaching at Dartmouth. An ace golfer in his day, he’s still out there. He is in touch with Nick Browning ’69 and Walter Abrams ’69, both North Country golfers.

Locally: Judy and I enjoyed brunch recently with Chris and Gary Wanerka ’62, a free-thinking Eclectic and a still-practicing, legendary pediatrician back from a cruise to French Polynesia. Judy’s grandfather was a Zionist who exited his village as the Cossacks entered, but didn’t make it to Israel until his 80s. Not wanting to repeat this pattern, Judy went on a most marvelous tour with a friend. I had lunch with David Ramos ’05, a musician and my son’s best friend from high school who keeps me up on all things millennial.

It was reported that Maryland’s attorney general (our Brian Frosh) was dismayed when his emoluments case against the president was referred to a three-judge panel comprised of all GOP appointees. My old Kent buddy, Dave Losee’s career was as a Connecticut attorney involved in environmental issues. His idea of a fun retirement? Get back into the game! To that end, he just took and (miraculously) passed the Maine Bar.

I reached out to Wig Sherman: In Vero Beach, and a little haunted by the deaths of two roommates/brothers (Cal Hay and Jeff Arnold), he arises at 5 a.m., walks two miles, and reads the paper by the time the sun comes up. Keeps his doctors surprised with good health. Though divorced, he is good friends with his ex and very close to his children (they all gather for Thanksgiving). His oldest daughter was married recently but says he is too young for grandfatherhood.

Kink Terry died of complications from Parkinson’s in April. A lifelong member of Hartford’s Asylum Hill Congregational Church. He was a fine athlete: captain of his Kingswood baseball team who played baseball and soccer at Wes. A goalie, his shutout record stood for years. After Penn’s Annenberg School of Communications, he worked in the media before shifting to a distinguished career in commercial real estate with the Farley Company. A Hartford boy through and through, he gave back with a wide array of community involvements. I liked that his obituary was accompanied by a picture in which he looked exactly the way I remember him: red-haired and freckled, twinkle in his eye and sporting a mischievous smile.

Lloyd Buzzell | LBuzz463@aol.com
70 Turtle Bay, Branford, CT 06405 | 203/208-5360