Becky and I moved into Cathedral Village in Philadelphia last spring. We still plan to be in Sandwich, N.H., at least half the year. Inexorable march of time. From John Witsell: “I attended Renny Ponvert’s nice Service in June 2017 at the Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Palm Beach, Fla., followed by a reception at Sailfish Club.” Gerhard Schade suffered a serious bicycle accident last summer in Maine, but he is on the mend and actually doing some modest bike rides again, weather permitting.
Tom Charlton writes: “I live in a very rural and depressed area of southern Virginia called “Southside.” I have family ties here, going back before the Revolution. It used to be an area of tobacco farming and textile manufacturing, but both have fled. It now grows pine trees, and timbering is the only thing left. I live alone in a big house and take care of myself. I had some issues with a heart valve a year ago but, aside from that, I am in good health. I am physically active and exercise daily. I am a teetotaler and a vegetarian. I heat my house with wood, which also keeps me active. There is no cell phone signal here. I keep informed of the things that interest me through the Internet. Those things include the world of competitive rowing, the Olympics, and the politics and history of the Middle East. I have worked in Libya and Saudi Arabia and traveled in Iran. Under U.S. leadership, the Olympics and the Middle East are rapidly going down the drain. Too bad. I am now a spectator. Keep well.”
A note from Matt Plum: “Little news, other than I am now spending most of my time in Chatham (on Cape Cod), a childhood ambition. Health (age adjusted) is okay. Blessed with a wonderful wife, two children, and two grandchildren, all living within 100 miles. We have lived at a wonderful time and hope that the future will learn from the past, despite some unfortunate aberrations. Yes, we can learn from our mistakes. But it is useful to note that, while children generally lose from not listening to family admonitions, sometimes what can’t or won’t work turns out not to be so, providing new insights and opening the gates of progress for new exploration. We seem to be on the cusp of a period of much change. What we do with it will provide challenge and opportunity. As always, it’s up to us.”
Ralston “Mouse” Coffin submits this quick update: “In early 2018, I am publishing a book about my wife’s battle with Alzheimer’s. Upon her death, I received nice notes from Phil Price, Fred Hoppin, and Hugh Magee and a call from Asa Davis. Best to my aging formmates.” Peter Wells writes: “Karin and I moved to RiverMead in Peterborough, N.H., last February, after it had become clear that health issues demanded serious downsizing, simplification, and medical attention. We attended the 65th Anniversary, but, soon after, my back surgery date was fixed for July 6. A risky three-hour operation at Southern N.H. Medical Center turned out very well. I am now pain-free, but, just to be sure, we are registered with the N.H. State Therapeutic Cannabis Program. RiverMead is a Continuing Care Retirement Community. The nursing staff at the Health Center helped me recover from the extensive surgery, and all that expert care made life much easier for Karin. She continues with painting, book editing, and design. We are weaving ourselves into the life of this community. It is a rewarding experience, and we are enjoying ourselves very much. Visitors are welcome (email@example.com; land line: 603-924-8417; cell and text: 603-933-2477). And some of you have connected with me on Facebook.”
From Asa Davis: “Between back surgeries, Deb and I visited Venice for a behind-the-scenes tour with the Telfair Museum in October. Plans to ski in February are on hold. Waiting for an MRI and dates. Still enjoying life and love. Hope all goes well with you all. Happy 2018.” A note from Frederic Hoppin: “Reunion was great, and I have enjoyed catching up with Dave Sinkler and Stan Rinehart since. After almost 60 years of easy, fun, fulfilling partnership (I was incredibly lucky), Caroline passed in March. It’s tough, and will not get easy. At the same time, life is full and fun in old and new ways – progeny (awesome, lovable); sailing with them on the old family Concordia yawl; leaping off a 23-foot cliff into the Maine water to the delight of grandkids (age record for the island and a fractured rib); piano; socialization with an incredible group of fellow inmates at Brookhaven; initiating a small group here of fellow spousal caregivers. On request, I’ll e-mail you a short article I wrote about the group – many of us see it coming, or are there, or will be there.”
Peter Booth submitted this message: “Hi, all, from Pete and Carolyn Booth, far down south in Pensacola, with regrets for not being with you on our 65th. Were I there, I would have offered a few words after dinner that expressed my deepest appreciation for having been a two-year alum of St. Paul’s. It would have gone something like this: In the late 1940s, my dad, a career Naval Officer and aviator, was assigned to the Navy headquarters in Washington, D.C., where I attended three public schools from the eighth to tenth grades. He was then promoted and sent to Atlantic City to command a large all-weather fighter complex at the beginning of the Korean War. This meant another move for us and yet another school for my last two years of high school. As it was, my folks had befriended the Rector of St. Alban’s Church (where I successfully carried the cross), Dr. Felix Kloman, who had two sons at SPS at the time. Long story short, I got a modest scholarship, trekked off with some foreboding to Concord, moved into Middle House, and got to work.
The next two years were a kind of blur with studies at the forefront. Bottom line is that I was light years behind academically, particularly in math and science. I recall well Mr. Mechem working me in the afternoons before sports on the basics and, sadly, I never had the sense to look him up in the years that followed to thank him. At the time, I did not realize how fortunate I was. When time came for college choices, I was accepted to a couple of the big guys as my dad had encouraged me to think outside the USNA. But USNA it was, loved it, went on like many of our classmates to the real Navy, flight training, fighter pilot, and so on. Do it all over again? You bet.
I just wanted all of you, and those no longer with us, to allow me to say thanks to all of you whom I so greatly respected and who allowed me to enter the world of St. Paul’s School late in the form, and gently point me in a productive direction.”Jan W. Sissener reports: “Thanks to good doctors and good luck, health is fine for our age, even for Lise after her five major operations of hips and back over the years. Family life with our young ones, including five grandchildren ages eight to 25, all living nearby, is splendid, but we much miss our lost daughter. In 2015, Lise and I celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary. Post-retirement business is promising, with an exciting development in the field of marine biology that I have sponsored and participated somewhat in, now being commercialized. After 25 years as honorary (unpaid) consul for Norway in three Swiss cantons, I have been promoted from knight to commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit. All the best to everybody.”
Forrester “Tim” Clark, Jr. was awarded the Positive Aging Role Model Award by the North Shore Elder Services of Massachusetts. The award is given to an older individual who, through energy and enthusiasm, continues to have a positive impact within the community at large. The award itself reads, “For decades of selfless service to the betterment of life on the North Shore for all.”
A November formnote from Joel Reynolds in Santa Rosa, Calif., regarding the devastating fires in the area: “This may be too late, but what I can tell all those who have read about the tremendous tragedy and loss in our area is that all residents – even those who did not lose our homes – are in a kind of shock, even without having access to the devastation. We all know people who did lose everything – and sometimes life itself. There is a kind of pall overhanging the area, and general feelings of loss, coupled with gratitude, relief, some survivor guilt, and amazement. Along the lines of ‘worst times, best times’ are the tremendous outpourings of care, concern, and support throughout the communities. The focus now, of course, is on the clean-up and planning for the future. An already very tight housing market has been seriously exacerbated by the events of the past weeks.”
Bill de Haven
George Hobson is pleased to announce he recently published his third book of poetry in England, titled Faces of Memory. It is available on Amazon, and from the publisher, Olympia Publishing. His previous works include Rumours of Hope and Forgotten Genocides of the 20th Century. Additional information can be found at his website, www.georgehobson.com.
There is still time to make plans and come to our 60th. Both the Norwich Inn (pre-reunion, Wednesday to Thursday, May 30-31) and the Holiday Inn (Anniversary, Friday to Saturday, June 1-2) will hold group rates until April 30. Phone numbers for reservations are on our reunion website (www.sps.edu/1958). Be there and join the gathering. From Lars Egede-Nissen: “On September 18, 2017, a flag was flown over the United States Capitol in honor and memory of my wonderful wife, Nancy Egede-Nissen. I received the flag today, along with a beautiful certificate. Nancy is still greatly loved and missed by our family and her many friends. The flag will be flown at our home in Michigan in her honor. I want to especially thank Congressman Mike Bishop and Margaret of his staff for making this unforgettable tribute possible.”
Ed Thorne writes: “Last February, my wife, Melanie, and I joined six other people from Santa Fe and spent three weeks in Burma and Thailand. The purpose of the trip was to be an experiment to see if it was possible to create a tourist adventure in northern Burma. We spent four days with our own elephant, tracking through the jungle where no Anglos had been since World War II. They built three camps in the jungle for us and we had a chef with us, so the food was quite good. We really got to know our elephants and came away from the trip with a tremendous admiration for the wonderful animals and their plight in the world. In July, we spent two weeks in Israel with a family whose son was representing the United States in tennis in the Maccabiah Games. Two weeks in Israel with a wonderful, knowledgeable, and energetic guide was an incredibly intense experience. Over the summer, we have been playing lots of tennis, driving fast cars on the wonderful roads here in the Southwest, and trying to stay as far away from the media as possible. We are both in excellent health and lead pretty active lives. Santa Fe has been truly a wonderful place to live for the past 26 years. I am going to try to get back for our 60th and beat the Halcyon shell one more time.” Some news from Dave Barry: “On December 9, our middle daughter, Lydia, and her husband, Stefan, made me a grandfather and Jane a grandmother. We are thrilled finally to join the blessed ranks.”
Ellis Wisner submitted this note: “For our reunion, I have not given up the idea of our talking at some point about Transcendentalism, especially since it seems to be part of Dr. Shattuck’s notion in ‘green fields and trees, streams, and ponds, etc.’ So I would urge classmates to try what I would call Transcendentalism ‘lite’ and simply reread Wordsworth’s ‘Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey’ and ‘Ode: Intimations of Immortality,’ and maybe Emerson’s ‘Self-Reliance.’”