A note from Hilary Bedford Parkhurst: “My family and I took a trip to the Galapagos Islands just before Christmas. Galapagos is an incredible place, where you can truly connect with nature.”
A note from Gifford West: “All well with the West clan. I am spending a lot of time in Madrid and Kiev – any classmates there? My eldest just started at University of Chicago, the other two are still at BUA. I still check to see whether WSPS is on the air as I pass through Concord on vacations.”
Richard Wesley sends in this report: “I’ve spent the last 20 years here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest raising two boys with my wife, Paula, and taking the tech startup Tableau from five guys in a small office to IPO. We spent New Year’s on Maui, hiking around the rain forest and Haleakala crater, and while the land is as gorgeous as ever, I’m sad to report that since I started visiting, the reefs have been dying and the beaches have visibly eroded. Now that the boys are (almost) in college, we are contemplating our next moves, which for me may entail working on the climate breakdown crisis.”
Peter Doucette shares: “I was named the volunteer of the year for SACS (Sexual Assault Crisis Service) at the YWCA in New Britain, Conn. SACS offers 24-hour hotline crisis counseling as well as hospital and police accompaniments for victims. After getting my 500-hour yoga teacher certification in summer 2017, I followed that up with a course in the fall and got my counselor advocate certification from the state of Connecticut. I began volunteering on New Year’s Eve last year when I got summoned to the hospital on my very first call.”
A note from Jennifer Ruhl: “Working, traveling, and grandparenting, life is good. It seems that a bonus to marrying and having children young is that we have lots of energy for grandchildren. I have an almost full-time psychotherapy practice in Waltham, Mass., and am lucky to have time to travel, spend time at our home in Rockport, and watch my granddaughters grow. I’m reconnecting with SPS by serving on the Alumni Doorways committee, which allows me to combine my professional expertise with my ongoing commitment to the school.”
Marian Guyer writes: “Writing from Berkeley, Calif., where I have lived for 30 years. I’m a physician with two grown kids. Just returned from Colombia for a niece’s wedding and the Galapagos (like Hilary Parkhurst).”
Sometimes I wonder if the formnotes section is almost an anachronism these days, given the prevalence of social media. Then I remember that many of our formmates have forgone the electronic platforms (and are probably leading a life of zen-like tranquility as a result) so in fact there is always news to be uncovered and shared.
Jarvis Slade reports that he and his wife, Tonia, moved from NYC to East Hampton. After 25 years working in the city for American Express travel and Christie’s International Real Estate, Jarvis is currently involved in real estate development and sales with Saunders & Associates. His work has taken him to more than 65 countries since his SPS days. More local travel has included visits with Ned Doubleday in Santa Barbara and Jamie Purviance in the Bay area. He’s also visited his former SPS roommate, Ivan Sellers, in Lisbon, Portugal, and often sees Biddle Duke and Christina Robert ’80 in East Hampton.
Jim Kitchel is living in two realities, which he calls “middle school and ‘middle’ age.” He writes: “Our oldest children, Krystal and Kevin, are having or have recently had our first grandchildren. Pam and I love that, but don’t really feel like grandparents yet because our youngest kids, Allison and Jack, are still making their way through middle school. Our lives revolve around pets (cats, dogs, and Guinea pigs) and sports, mostly the kids’ and somewhat ours, as we stave off the years. We see Jim Lowe regularly and are in touch with great folks like Marybeth (Hart) Janerich and Gabriella Demenyi often, through social and electronic media. Looking forward to making it to an SPS reunion.”
Joining Jim in grandparenthood is Nina Streeter. Her son, Henry, an officer in the Marine Corps, and his wife, Clara, had their first child.
Alec McCabe writes: “The good news is that my lovely wife, Katherine Tasheff, and I finally have all four combined kids in college. The bad news is that we have four kids in college. At this rate, Publishers Clearing House seems like a viable option. Happy here in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, with just the dog and two cats to keep us company. This month marks my 25th year as a journalist at Bloomberg News.”
From Maria Agui Carter: “I’m now a tenure-track assistant professor at Emerson College in Boston, in the Visual and Media Arts Department after a decades-long career as a writer/director. I’ll be teaching in Boston most of the time, although next fall I have been invited for a faculty residency in our LA campus as a fellow – would love to connect with any Paulies out there. I continue to make films and run my media company, iguanafilms.com, that has been operating since 2000. I directed the opening episode of and served as a producing advisor to the 2018 PBS and Trans-media series SciGirls last year, and am now working on two new projects. I’ve won PBS development funding for a new documentary on Patricia Esparza, a Mexican-American psychologist, professor, and former World Health Organization consultant convicted for the killing of her rapist by her ex-boyfriend. It is a film about overzealous prosecutors and the toll of plea deal convictions on families. It’s already partly shot and I’m looking to find impact and outreach partners. I’ve also written a new script, Secret Life of La Mariposa, based on my childhood as an undocumented teen. The script has been supported by Sundance, New York Stage and Film, and CineQuaNon screenwriting labs and attracted the great Barbara DeFina (Goodfellas, Age of Innocence, Kundun, You Can Count on Me, Grifters, Hugo) as our lead producer. We are looking for additional partners and development funding for this magical realist film about migration and climate change. It will be the first feature film about the undocumented, written and directed by an artist who actually lived through that experience.”
Adam Young returned my unconditional love with this update: “When not busy trolling my more liberal ‘enlightened’ classmates with FOX news posts on Facebook, I spend my time as an account executive at Salesforce.com. I have been selling their marketing cloud platform for the past four years to the financial services sector. A year ago, I moved back to my hometown of Swampscott, Mass., and am enjoying this scenic oceanside community. Of far greater meaning, I have had the pleasure of reliving my long-lost youth vicariously through my son’s exploits as a Fifth Former at SPS, including watching his varsity football team go undefeated this past year, culminating in winning the championship over Pingree, doing honors work in Honors Calculus (clearly takes after his mother) and varsity lacrosse. I look forward to continuing my ‘benevolent needling’ of you all on Facebook, mostly just to provide insight as to how those of us living in the alternative universe think while never losing sight of the ties that bind us.”
Allison Icy Frantz
I enjoyed receiving updates from members of our class, so here is mine. When I am not pressuring you to send news, I spend my time with family. Hunter is a senior at Bucknell. Hanley is a junior at Princeton. McKinley is a sophomore at Princeton and Brady is in the seventh grade at Greenwich Country Day School. I am involved with our local teen center and currently sit on the Board of Taft. I write a column for a local newspaper and play as much squash as I can. Over the break, we traveled to South Africa and Botswana (amazing adventure) to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We brought the kids.
From Anne Loemker Pratt: “I’ve spent the past several years very happily in Minneapolis with my husband, Ben, son, Tommy, daughter, Jane ’21, and our dog, Rocky, rarely making it back to the East Coast except for an annual family gathering in Maine. When we learned last year that my husband’s work was going to take us to the Tampa Bay area, Jane decided it was time to look at boarding schools. I’m still startled to find myself with a Fourth Former at SPS, a freshman at Duke, a house near the water in St. Petersburg, surrounded by endless summer. Jane is loving SPS. I’ve been up to see her several times and it is a strange and wonderful feeling to be back on campus.”
Lorna Mack Sheridan wrote in to say she is still happily living in Sonoma, Calif., where her husband, Barry, works in the wine business and she is now the managing editor of the Sonoma Index-Tribune. Her oldest daughter, Nina, is graduating from Princeton this year and her youngest is heading to George Washington University. Her son is a junior at Cal Poly SLO. She still spends much of every summer on Cape Cod, in Chatham, and said they love visitors either place – reach out anytime.
An update from Andy Block: “I am currently the director of the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice. I live in Charlottesville with my wife, Kelli, and our four kids, Sage (18), Maya (16), Eden (14), and Ryan (8). Prior to my time at the Department of Juvenile Justice, I was a law professor at the University of Virginia and a child advocate. I guess all my time before the Disciplinary Committee at SPS gave me the clear message that second (and third) chances are important, especially for kids.”
From Fiona Sanders: “With our boys living together in San Diego, we decided to spend the holidays in sunny Southern California instead of New York. Enjoyed the views from the Palm Springs Tramway and San Jacinto State Park.”
Alex Denisof shares this update: “I was nominated for an Emmy for the role of Glenn in the digital series I Love Bekka and Lucy on the new Warner Digital platform – Stage13.com. Also, I will be appearing in the recurring role of Adam in season two of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix, airing soon.”
A note from Sallie Bryan: “It was so wonderful seeing everyone at our 35th. All my talk of a new direction in my career at our reunion is now in action. I started a business in garden design, focusing on California native plants and habitat gardens. It’s been a blast. Because I still love working with high school kids and parents, I launched a business as an independent college consultant. This, too, has been wonderfully challenging and interesting and I don’t miss running a high school. Also, it’s been great having more energy for my boys, who are now 13 and 17 and so much fun to hang out with. The fires this fall were brutal. Ande and I offered our in-law apartment to a fire victim. We heard some horror stories. Raking the forest is not the answer.”
Chris Caen writes: “I saw that John Pleasants and his company were at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, as was I. Went and saw him and his cool company, Brava. So, two Form of ’83 CEOs at the same show.”
Come celebrate our anniversary. It’s our 35th this year and Eloise Patterson and I have a fun weekend planned for you. Come back to school, see what’s new and what remains the same, reconnect with friends, and relive a little of your youth. I crashed the Form of ’83’s Anniversary Weekend last year and it was a blast. Put the weekend on your calendars (May 31-June 2) and plan to be there. Registration and more info at www.sps.edu/1984. We are looking forward to seeing you.
Alexandra Strawbridge Maurer (Straw) writes in with this news: “We are still living in Maine, though now in Scarborough by the beach. Maja Paumgarten-Parker stopped in to exhaust both of our new English Cocker puppies. What were we thinking – both being empty nesters. I love having folks stop in to visit any time.”
Truman Semans sends this update: “Excited to attend our 35th. I’ll be tacking on New England college visits with my 17-year-old daughter, Wilder (Connie and I also have Annabel, age 15, and Tucker, age 12). I’m leading an initiative to stand up an open-source platform for climate-smart investing. Through a nonprofit organization set up under the Linux Foundation, OS-Climate will build a platform of data and modeling to integrate factors related to climate change – in policy, technology, resources, weather and climate, and company attributes – into portfolio construction, asset allocation, and company-level analysis. The platform will also improve investments in climate mitigation, resilience, and adaptation by intergovernmental organizations and governments. BNY Mellon, large Canadian pension funds, and several large asset managers are on board, and our planning team includes State Street’s head of data science and Lazard’s head of multi-asset strategies. We would love to get SPS alums involved. (http://www.os-climate.org.) You can contact me at: Tsemans@os-climate.org or 919-599-3660. Finally, many thanks to all who have sent condolences for the death of my mother – it has helped a lot.”
In a nod to the post-holiday blahs, I asked my fellow SPS ’85ers in early January to write in with news “of the mundane and mediocre.” Some complied in that spirit. Others demurred (while carping about their “esteemed” form director contacting them one day before the Alumni Horae deadline). I leave it to readers to discern the difference. Let me begin by noting that, just hours before this writing, my older son’s godfather, Eric Emil Oleson, visited me in D.C. Our cups ran over with lassitude as we lunched on vegan cheesesteak while discussing credit card debt and my white New Balance tennis shoes, which my wife characterizes as “the sneaker equivalent of mom jeans, only more surrendering and impotent.”
Lance Khazei claims he “spotted several birds in the sky while hiking in early January. Though my sneakers collected dirt, I did not experience any muscle cramping or acid reflux.”
Diane Moss says she “became a mother to a wonderful, talented, bouncing 120-pound boy,” though didn’t say when. She also writes: “House burned down in the Woolsey fire. Saw and corresponded with some of you. A worker outside my window is seriously singing ‘Hotel California’ off-key as I type and as waves crash. Would say more, but the rest is comparatively dull, and a certain formmate announced the deadline really late.”
In a purported “out-of-office autoreply,” Murray Buttner reports that he is “finishing up his solo unsupported circumpolar swimming expedition. He is hoping to be the first person to swim the Northwest and the Northeast Passages. Surprisingly, neither sea ice nor polar bears have been the biggest challenge, but rather accusations of Russian collusion that have been leveled by certain former SPS formmates (Michael Karnow).”
John Hunt admits that “I’m a little uncomfortable sending this to you (Andrew Corsello). I believe I should be sending it to Rob Garrett, as he is our agent par excellence. (That is French, Andrew. It translates as ‘by excellence’ and usually means ‘preeminent’ – but don’t preoccupy yourself. No one judges you for not being familiar with things like this.) Anyway, I graduated with a M.Div. from Yale last May and am now pursuing a master’s of sacred theology there. I hope to complete my thesis by next October and graduate with the STM in May 2020. I’m in discussions with the Episcopal Church to figure out where I might be of use.”
Charlie Newton, who in 1985 won a prize for his best-in-form score on the verbal portion of the SAT, and who in 2009, in his capacity as a television producer for Jersey Shore, helped usher Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi to her place in American culture and vernacular, sent in a teaser clip entitled ‘Puke & Rally’ Official First Look: MTV Floribama Shore Season 2.’ “Keep in mind,” Charlie adds, “one man’s art is another man’s cultural regurgitation, splattered on the urinal walls of society. I think Whitman said that.”
Rob MacKay notes: “Eric Williams is a great musician, you know. He plays bass in a few bands in Chicago. He also plays for his church band. His sons and wife are part of that group. He has a CD and everything.”
In a triumph of brevity, Jonathan Young writes: “Complete mediocrity with everything except my two sons, who are terrific.”
Nearly as succinct is William Moore, who writes: “Hey, Corsello, you can put in the formnotes we were supposed to have dinner last January, but you got cold feet.”
Most succinct of all is David Foulke, who sniffs: “Corsello, you EXCEL at mediocrity.”
Nick Spooner boasts: “I continue to build my empire, with the sole purpose of becoming wealthy enough to crush my enemies – and they are legion. My main source of (legitimate) income is still directing TV commercials and such, though I ventured into longer format with my short horror-comedy film, The Call of Charlie, which just completed a two-year festival circuit that spanned 12 countries, four languages, 87 festivals and 45 awards. Court Fawcett was kind enough to haul his cookies down from the North Shore and attend our screening at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, where we won the Audience Choice Award. I have also continued cartooning, and am regularly published in the nation’s last comedy magazine (other than MAD), The National Bystander. Take note, foes.”
Jessie Williams writes: “Still working (teaching secondary school ESL and literacy), married, and my kids are still in school (eighth grade and freshman in college). All of this is subject to change. Hoping my kids don’t read this and decide to take an extended gap year, like the ones I perfected. I also still row, though now on my Concept 2 looking out at the skyline of lovely Somerville, Mass., or the Weather Channel.”
From Don Sung: “In November, I visited Nicole and Garry Channing in Knoxville, Tenn. It was a glorious weekend all around, and I felt totally at home there, far away from the coastal cities that I call home. Back in New York City, Jack Rusher and I had a lovely dinner while he visited on business, at the only restaurant in town that serves authentic ‘tortellini en brodo.’ (Does that sound pretentious?) [Form Director to Sung: Don, are you kidding? The combination of Jack Rusher and en brodo is pure rock ’n’ roll!]
Nicole Channing corroborates Don Sung’s account, saying, “It was so great to have Don visit with us.
In other SPS-related news, Garry and I had the pleasure of sharing dinner this fall with Agatha (Njoku) Asemota during Parents Weekend at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Agatha’s son, Osa, is a freshman at UTK along with our son, Harry. (Go, Vols!)”
Jenny Wilson joined the Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority (REMSA) as its newest medical director. In this role, she is directly responsible for medical oversight of the organization as well as providing direct medical leadership to the ground, clinical communications center, and education departments. Jenny will represent REMSA in regional projects, including PMAC, EMS Oversight, and EMS Advisory Board.
From Timmie Friend: “I am still running my own interior design business in San Francisco. Our daughter, Lucia, is in fifth grade, loves to read, write poetry, and does swim team three days a week. We lost our beautiful, 14-year-old labra-doodle in October, but got a new puppy last week. While it’s a bit like having a newborn again (eating and elimination schedules), it’s great to have a fluffy warm canine back into the house.”
Laura Hildesley Bartsch writes: “On December 7, my father (C. Hugh Hildesley, P’86, GP’14,’17) was invested as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) at Buckingham Palace by Prince William on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. I was able to attend, along with my mother and sister. It was a very exciting and proud day as he was honored for his charitable good works throughout his career.”
Jolly Stamat and Terry Rossio welcomed Elowyn Guinevere St. Rossio on August 1. She joins brothers Paul and Julian.
Caroline Gillman La Voie
Fellow West Coaster Alexandra Bailliere wrote to me: “This past fall, I was selected to be one of nine funded artists-in-residence at the Palo Alto Art Center. The residency culminated in two group shows of our work, one at the Palo Alto Art Center and one at the Worth Ryder Gallery at UC Berkeley. I am teaching two-dimensional art at the College of Marin and City College of San Francisco. On the family front, my husband, Allan Treadwell, and I are still juggling a very busy household with our three sons, who are now 16, 14, and nearly 12. Never a dull moment.”
I also heard from Sally Horchow who continues to be busy on Broadway. As I write, she is co-producing GLORIA: A Life. In December 2018, she helped host an SPS XIX Society event to see the show with lots of SPS alumnae in attendance. Sally said her next big project is Tootsie, “the new comedy musical based on the beloved hit movie from 1982 starring Dustin Hoffman. It starts preview performances at the Marquis Theatre on Broadway on March 29, and opens on April 23. I am so excited about it – it’s hilarious and a ton of fun. I am happy to help any Paulies with house seats – just e-mail my assistant at SHIPseats@gmail.com.”
Lizzie Callard writes: “I was really fortunate to be able to spend a month participating in a medical relief program – organized by an American Buddhist monk – to the remote Humla and Mustang regions of Nepal. It was an extraordinary experience.”
Beck Laverge reports that he “lives by the water in Riverside, Conn., with wife Kate, son Charlie (5), and daughter Allie (9) and has been sharing a frostbiting dingy (winter sailing) with neighbor Tom Rein ’98. Neither knew of the SPS connection until Tom’s eagle eye spotted the SPS logo on a piece of gear. They now need to find an SPS flag to proudly fly off the stern.”
Banc Jones reports: “Ran into Christine (Pillsbury) on the King’s Road in London randomly!”
And last but not least, the SPS ’88 parent crew, Christine Pillsbury, Blair Enders, Alison Cody, Caroline Gillman La Voie, Christine Fearey, and Scott Davidson, were together for Family Weekend this fall with our kids.
Laura Lepler Munro