Chris Denison writes: “My wife, Wendy, and I both retired last year in so much as an artist is allowed to retire. We are looking forward to building a new home near Portland, Maine, next year. It seems that Maine has become very attractive to our formmates in their advancing years and I gather from various postings that Hornor Davis recently retired to Bar Harbor, Peter Seymour is similarly looking forward to building a house there. Chris Mooney has taken up residence in Yarmouth, though I have been very remiss in not welcoming him to the Pine Tree State. Hank Hilliard has been living here forever as has John Howard. Steve Norris lives aboard his boat on the coast in the summer and sails to the Caribbean for the winter. Tough gig. Bob von Stade and Jake McFadden both have summer homes in Prouts Neck and we recently enjoyed a wonderful visit with Bob’s wife, Liz Munson ’74. I am sure I have missed some Mainers, and for that I apologize. Hope to see everyone at the 50th.”
Julia Alexander writes: “As we navigate troubled times, I echo the notes of our formmate, Jeffrey Zellers, and others. I, too, feel family and nature ground us. Reading between the lines, friends, art, and good food help, too. My recent centering place was Cortes Island, B.C., where land, water, wildlife, and people consciously work to, both sustainably and peacefully, coexist. Whether creating, hiking or sailing/motoring Desolation Sound, spotting pods of orcas or a humpback whale, I was repeatedly reminded of two things; the importance of responsible stewardship and how easy it is to fall madly in love with the world, over and over again. Be well, and keep on exploring.”
A note from Jeffrey Keith: “Inspired by the wonderful contributions of my erstwhile formmates, and, it must be said, the stirring pictures of the women of ’73, I write my own notes regarding life with the Keith family in Denver, Colo. This city is exploding, please don’t come. I moved here over 30 years ago for the real estate, meaning for the vast number of empty warehouses, perfect for cheap live-in studio space, to make big, messy, smelly oil paintings. Now all that has gone by the wayside for millennial housing, yoga and fitness clubs, chic boutiques, wall-to-wall start-ups with the word “creative” in their names, microbreweries, cyber-cafes, dispensaries, restaurants, comedy clubs, and bars. I feel like a genius for moving here back then because now, finally, this city has become a great place to come of age for my two amazing sons, Charlie and Owen. Charlie, 13, plays a mean defender with Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer, and excels at math (anybody remember the History of Math class specially created for a few choice seniors so we could bypass calculus and graduate?). Owen, 16, is shining brightly in the visual arts program at Denver School of the Arts and excels in all things tech, social/digital media, A.I., classical piano, and, also, somehow, calculus. I don’t know how I would survive the 21st century without a 16 year-old tech advisor in the house. My sainted wife, Sara, is a full-on Tibetan bodhisattva and is at Iliff School of Theology, studying for her second degree to become a Buddhist chaplain. (Yes, it is a thing. I, on the other hand, am the zazen member of the family).
I paint through the night in a large warehouse space in Denver’s RiNo Arts District, usually between about 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. I am building – and looking for backers and angel investors interested in social justice – my for-profit start-up, Rock Drill Art/Center for Art and Collaboration, a local-to-global brick and mortar/digital exhibition platform that brings together artists and non-artists to create civilized dialogue about the important social, cultural, political challenges of today. For those of you on Instagram, please find me at jeffreykeithrgb; I’d love to catch up in a visual sort of way.”
From Alan Frey: “Working at Maine Wood Works in Saco, Maine, doing the prep-sanding duties on the (cottage-style) furniture on its way to top coat painting, so I sand and smooth down the beds, bureaus, and chests/tables after they’ve been primed. Our motto is “smooth as an android’s bottom, eh, Data?” Why do I dig this work so much? Not really sure. It’s repetitive. Maybe it’s a daily “Groundhog Day” experience. I have gotten better at this. Tried a bunch of things: 10 years in commercial casualty insurance, like my dad. It was ok, and I was even earning some dollars for a while at the end. But moved to Maine in 1987, tried education for about eight years, and it never quite clicked. Tried sales, good for 11 months then the close rate plateaued, and I went into customer service. That was a winner, but I wanted to do it at a better outfit, and couldn’t quite find a good way into the best couple of companies around Portland, Maine. I wound up working the census in my neighborhood in Portland and also tried my hand as a landlord. I was not put on the planet – clearly – to chase rent checks, fund endless building repairs, pay city water and sewage bills, etc. Sold that building by the skin of my teeth. A constant for me has been the music. I have been producing a radio show for more than 20 years now at WMPG, USM’s community radio station. The focus is blues, R&B, and gospel, and I’m on every other Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. The website is wmpg.org.
Other than the reunions, where I look forward to performing for classmates with my stalwart partners, Tom Penhale and Chris Welles, I keep working on blues harp, flute, keys, and guitar, and catch a lot of open mics. There have been paying gigs, but the Good Lord seems not to want me famous. My ex and I parted, but my daughter is doing great, and although she is an only child like both her parents and her husband, she’s got a pretty big family growing up now in the D.C. area – three granddaughters (Lucy is five and twins Emily and Elena are just turning four). I still can’t fully comprehend being so blessed. I met my wife, Earlene in 2013, we married in 2016, and I’ve honestly never been better. She brought two more (step)granddaughters into the mix. Finally, what a blessing to be part of the SPS community, especially the Form of ’72.”
Pres Stone and Halsted Wheeler sent in this note: “As these two old guys head to 65, we got together on the shores of Lake Tahoe to talk about the good old days. We are both still able to sit up and take nourishment, and pay for Medicare.”
Lin Giralt writes: “I was in China from July 10 to August 11, 2018, teaching an undergraduate summer school class at Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University. The air quality is not as bad as Beijing, as I could see my keyboard. The food was bipolar – exquisite and delicate at some of the VIP banquets we were invited to. We had dinner at a couple of PH level restaurants at the Bund. Paris cuisine at Chinese prices. I tried to look around and see Bob (Stockman), but I guess that a tall, blond American is hard to find in China. Caveat emptor at the many restaurants and stalls that lined the streets and alleys. Food looked interesting, but frog in oyster sauce was not exactly my dish. People were very nice, and no one was paying attention to Trumpian political fights with China. Looking forward to returning next year. Meanwhile, I am preparing materials for next semester’s course at Rice, channeling my inner Jeff Keith by dabbling in digital art and keeping busy as the new chair of the Houston Chapter of the Institute of Management Consultants. I hope to see all of you before the 50th. Can we do a 47.5?”
From Helen Bouscaren: “I am still working in primary care at Harvard Vanguard in Boston and am coming up on 28 years or so. I love the work, so will continue, although it is a challenging time to be in medicine right now. I am honored to be the PCP of several SPS classmates (who shall remain nameless so that I don’t violate HIPPA!). Family is doing well. Travis (22) is finishing pre-med studies at Brown and playing on the water polo team. Lindsay (19) is at UMass Boston and playing soccer. There is not a fall weekend when Joe and I are not at either a water polo match, a soccer game, or one of each. We had a great family biking trip to Cuba earlier this year.”
Lucinda and Paul Dean saw their daughter, Laura Closson Dean ’04, granddaughter of Burton Closson Jr. ’48, marry Carmine Grimaldi ’04 in Biddeford Pool, Maine on September 15, 2018.
Kim Henning was very excited to have taken her daughter, Julia, to begin her freshman year at Scripps College. A huge bonus was running into Nina Bohlen, who was dropping off her niece at Scripps – also a freshman.
Liz Krengel writes: “Shelley Robinson and I got together for an oil painting collaboration week in Santa Fe in July. Included in the fun was dinner at Kim Henning’s with Shelley, Betsy Armstrong and Cynthia Marshall.”
From Talie Ward Harris: “What a difference a year makes. Having missed last year’s 40th due to lymphoma, I’m happy to report that my hair is back and so are a bunch of pals from Millville. And my appetite. No one wants to visit Maine in January, but they’re all here in August. Warren Ingersoll and I boated across Casco Bay to see Betsy and Matthew St. Onge and Bill Reynolds and his Betsy on Little Diamond. I left them there – last seen stuffing pockets with blueberries. A week later, Chris Willis motored us around Somes Sound on the S.S. Midnight Rider and we later joined Perot Bissell, his daughter Helen ’14, and Chris’s daughter, Caroline ’14, at XYZ in Southwest Harbor for a rip-roaring Mexican dinner. Twelve hours later, I watched Nick Newlin whipping up scrambled eggs at the home of his father, Bill Newlin ’51, in Northeast Harbor. It could have been Upper on a Sunday morning oh so many years ago. A few days after returning home from Southwest Harbor, Warren Cramer stopped by on his way up to Northeast Harbor. Dizzy yet? Wait, there’s more. Cici Cruice Peterson joined DeeDee Look and me for dinner after her brief stay in Maine. Cici is finishing up her master’s in social work and will soon start her new career as a social worker in Denver.
Grandson Walter Ward Harris joined us for a week of shenanigans. His favorite book? The Truck Book, sent by Annie O’Herron Burleigh – whose daughter, Emmy, will wed on September 29, 2018, in the same church where Annie and Jon were married 33 years ago.
Heather Potter McClelland’s daughter, Katie, is a senior at McGill and just back from Turkey. Daughter Izzy is at the Fashion Institute in NYC but studying fashion in Florence this fall. Over and out from Maine – where it all happens in August.”
A note from Bill Reynolds: “On Saturday, September 8, a small contingent of SPS alumni, including Chris Willis, John Sweet ’78, Mitchell Kelly ’78, Allen Hance, Tom Luz ’78, and I, attended a memorial service for Sandy Kaynor at the Yale Club in New York City. Despite the tragic circumstances of Sandy’s death, the service, organized by Sandy’s fellow Elis, was far from a solemn affair, but rather a celebration of Sandy’s spirit and love of life and music. The afternoon was filled with stories and featured performances by former members of the Alley Cats and Wiffenpoofs, Yale’s renowned a cappella singing groups, of which Sandy was a member during his time at Yale. Sandy’s son, Granville, a sophomore at Trinity College, also performed with members of the Accidentals. Granville clearly inherited Sandy’s love of music. His stirring solo rendition of “Hallelujah” brought down the house.
The past six years have obviously been tremendously difficult for Sandy’s wife, Grace, and their children. A fund has been established to assist the family with medical and educational costs. To donate to the Kaynor Family Medical and Children’s Educational Trust, copy and paste the following link into your browser: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=R66J7PF4694NL. Or paper checks can be made out to “The Kaynor Family Medical and Children’s Educational Trust” and sent to Iberia Bank, 3412 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70115, Attn: Todd B. Johnson, assistant manager.”
Nora Tracy Phillips
In early July, editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg announced that “the legendary” Todd S. Purdum would be joining The Atlantic magazine as a staff writer and California correspondent, writing “at the intersection of entertainment, business, and politics.” Referring to Todd as “a wonderful stylist and a relentless reporter,” Goldberg said that it is also “my hope that he will serve as a mentor to younger staff members, who will find great value in his insights and advice.”
On September 8, Edie Farwell and Nora Tracy Phillips met in Hopkinton, N.H., to share in the moving “memorial service of celebration and thanksgiving for the life of” former longtime SPS math teacher (and their two-year Drury housemaster and friend) George Chase, Sr. As Edie noted, “the service was filled with many stories of all the people he inspired, his quintessential goodness, attentiveness to youth, teaching skills, and the many ways in which he was a truly wonderful person.” They expected to – and happily did – see Mr. Chase’s son, Sam, and his family at the service. What they had not anticipated was the remarkable number of former (and more current – yes, Matt Soule ’77, we saw you) SPS faculty members who attended the service as well. Though the service marked a sad passing, it did so by reminding all who were there of the powerful ties that bind us to so many wonderful people of all generations through our St. Paul’s School associations.
From Tom Luz: “Though so many of us were able to catch up with one another at our best-ever reunion in June, I want to add this reflective addendum relating to our late friend, Sandy Kaynor ’77. On Saturday, September 8, several SPS alumni joined Sandy’s family and about 60 others at the Yale Club in New York City in a remembrance and celebration of Sandy. In addition to Mitch and me, SPS alumni in attendance included Jon Sweet, Bill Reynolds ’77, Allen Hance ’77, and Chris Willis ’77. We remembered Sandy as a man with many remarkable talents, but none more compelling than his capacity for friendship and love.”
Bryan Bell announced the September publication of Public Interest Design Education Guidebook: Curricula, Strategies, and SEED Academic Case Studies, for which he is both co-editor and a contributor. His book presents the work and ideas of 60 thought-leaders who are “shaping a broad curriculum of the new field called public interest design. Written in a guidebook format that includes projects from across design disciplines, this book describes the learning critical to pursuing an inclusive, informed design practice.”
Liz Droz writes: “This is my second year as the dean of students at The Hotchkiss School. It is a tough job. Thinking back on my time as a student, I never realized how much work faculty and staff do behind the scenes – from keeping track of attendance, to driving students to the ER, to speaking to parents about travel plans, to overseeing the disciplinary process, and, of course, to attending all kinds of ceremonies.. In the midst of news of our times at SPS, I recall the good times and the good people who steered me in the right direction. Keep the faith.”
Kaja McGowan reports: “I am alive and well in Ithaca, N.Y., where I continue to teach at Cornell University in the Department of the History of Art. My focus is South and Southeast Asian Art. I am currently gearing up to teach a second Cornell in Cambodia winter session course entitled “Performing Angkor: Dance, Silk & Stone.” Students (and I) get to spend a week in Siem Reap, exploring Angkorian temples, dance performances, and silk-weaving workshops, followed by a week in Phnom Penh. It was – and will be – a wonderful adventure. On the domestic side, things are also well. My son, Surya, is just starting high school this year, and my husband, Ketut, works at Mac’s Café in Cornell’s Statler Hotel.”
From Paul Eddy: “I’m about a third of the way through a master of arts in clinical mental health counseling at Northern Vermont University-Johnson, and enjoying it. Also enjoying playing jazz and funk in a couple of local music ensembles, loving Vermont’s spectacular mountain and road biking, and generally enjoying living in Vermont again. Still have such wonderful memories of our reunion.” 1979/40th
A note from David Stevenson: “Andrea and I just returned from Berlin, where we stayed with Bill Martin and his family. Bill is one year into his tour as press attaché at the U.S. Embassy. Bill and I studied German together under Frau Jennifer Hornor at SPS our Sixth Form year. We were both pleased to put our German skills to work at a couple of nice restaurants!”