SUMMER 2023 CONTINUED
Greetings all. I hope the summer is going well for everyone, and that the recent flooding in the northeast and extreme temperatures elsewhere have not caused any hardships.
The last newsletter spawned more inputs, as usual, and we have heard from several classmates. It's not too late if you have news, pictures, or comments. I can easily add them to this page and will gladly do so for as long as people keep sending me stuff.
So, read on and enjoy.
Anne Hill Connelly shares pleasing news, and includes some very nice pictures. Thanks, Anne!
I was diagnosed in April 2022 with lung cancer and my children encouraged me to move to Kansas City to be closer to family. In September I left Colorado and became a Chiefs fan. Before leaving Colorado I had surgery to remove the cancer. Last month I had a PET scan and it determined that I am now cancer-free. Now I can move on, one day at a time.
I now have a new"companion". We decided that some words don’t work for us…..not partner, boyfriend, significant other. So we settled on companion. His name is Anson Burlingame and he is a Naval Academy graduate and former nuclear submarine Commander. We look forward to traveling together and we are planning an Alaska cruise. Picture was taken in Eureka Springs on a weekend getaway
Spent today touring central Kentucky where Anson was born and grew up. Beautiful horse farms, rolling hills, Blue grass. All along the road are stone fences that were built by slaves. Toured Ft Harrod, a pre-civil war cemetery. Highlight was a tour of Makers Mark distillery. Tomorrow we celebrate the Fourth of July with Anson’s high school friends.
Back from our “wandering” trip. Traveled from Kentucky (Anson’s hometown ) to LaCross Wisconsin. We had a great visit with Patrick, Kate and Addie. The highlight of the entire 10 day trip was to watch Addie compete with Cooper. She placed First in all categories.
Home for a few days and next Wednesday we begin an 11day Alaska cruise on Holland America.
Life is good!
My daughter Mary is a dentist, son Mark is a pilot for a charter company. Patrick and Shaun work in the tech sector. Not sure exactly what they do.
It would be fun to have another HGHS reunion. We just need an organizer
I hope you can add this to your next newsletter.
(Ed. note -- there it is. Comments, anyone?)
Carol (Fisher) Pfaelzer checks in, and sends a pic from some years ago.
Arthur and I are now settled in Cleveland four doors from my daughter and her family. I am a busy driver for my two grandchildren here. Danny is 15 and I hope never gets his driver’s permanent license as we bond together, sometimes in silence as we drive in the car. Willa will be heading to Middlebury in the fall, where her father went. She
waited to the last minute for her to decide on college. Torturing us all!!! Darianna (Dasha) is graduating from Hotchkiss after many great years there and heading for B.U. in Boston. Nice for my son and his wife to visit from Dorset, Vermont where they have a lovely home back safe and sound from Moscow. Spring has finally sprung here, thank goodness. Our cavapoo, Goodie, keeps us happy and content. Blessings to all of you.—Typing class pops up in my head as I type this. I provided quarters galore for parties in class. I talked more than I typed. A fun memory.
Love,Carol Fisher Post-Pfaelzer
PS: And there is the picture, with from 12 years ago and her four faithful companions, Jake, Barney, Phoebe and Henry.
Here's Peter Kilburn and a nice picture of the brothers together.
Hi all - I just came across this photo of Tony and me and thought it might be good for the newsletter. Natalie and I continue to enjoy retirement travel. We saw Jayne and Swede in Florida this winter. We will visit Mary Ellen Walsh (best friends since 3rd grade) at her new home in July. We continue to enjoy the benefits of living near the UVA medical center as we seem to be regularly in need of medical attention. Our children and grandchildren continue to thrive. We’ve been blessed in so many ways!
Lorraine (Price) Muth sent a very informative rundown all about her family and their various accomplishments. She included lots of pictures, and it is great to catch up with her. Lorraine was also at our 60th reunion.
I’m sending a whole bunch of pictures. My son and his family live in Whitefish, MT and are only about 20 miles from us and we see them frequently. My daughter-in-law teaches in Whitefish and my son did have a logging company but he’s gotten out of that business and is doing what I think is called short cutting now and I can’t tell you much about it as I haven’t watched him on this new endeavor. Their children are Ocala, who just graduated from U of M in education, summa cum laude, and she is married with a 19 month old son. She was working two jobs while pregnant and taking classes and her husband was being the stay at home daddy; Deagan is the second child and he got his engineering degree a year and half ago and is now in the Air National Guard. I went down to Texas in February to see him get his wings and he will be at Luke Air Base in August to learn to fly F-35’s. Dillon is the next child and he also was in engineering and completed two years, with a 4.0 average and said he hated engineering and he left Montana State and is working with his dad. He is planning on finishing his degree but in another field which he hasn’t decided on. He also is teaching flying. He and his father both teach flying and have a little flight school. Their youngest son, Dawson, just finished his first year at Montana State and I think he’s in engineering too. My granddaughter Ocala made us great grandparents with the birth of her son.
My daughter Mindy, and her husband, Ken, live in Sammamish, WA, near Seattle. Her oldest, Katie, was a pilot in the Air Force and flew a
C-130 cargo plane (I think I have that right) and she evacuated troops from Afghanistan. She and her husband live in Florida now and she is a flight instructor in the Air Force since her marriage last fall. Mindy’s second is Marybeth and she teaches school in Australia. Her next child, Will, is at Central WA U and I think he’s a junior. Annie, the 4th, hasn’t decided to go to college at this time and works. Mindy’s youngest, Luke, just finished his freshman year at Biola in CA.
Bob and I are both fine except he has spinal stenosis which causes him a lot of discomfort and he no longer can hike. I still hike with my all female hiking group, mostly in Glacier. Bob and I worked for 5 years in Glacier National Park as volunteer back country rangers and we loved it but the last year was very hard on Bob with his back problems. I play tennis two or three times a week, winter and summer. I gave up downhill skiing but still cross country a little.
I know I don’t send any info generally but I do enjoy reading what everyone is doing.
Bill and Mary Kase sent some pictures of their impressive rose garden on Fathers Day. They didn’t specify which of them was primarily responsible for these beautiful flowers, but I thought the images would be a nice touch.
You may recall that in the last newsletter, Anita Lindholm Smith continues in her calling to teach piano, and her student class numbers have recovered following the pandemic. She recalls fondly so many of her students who have gone on to adult life, yet continue to return to see her when possible. Those of us who have been teachers know the rewards of following students as they go on to bigger things. One of those, Tunde, whom she mentioned last time, now a medical student, returned not only to visit but also to participate in the most recent class recital. Enjoy the pictures and narrative.
Look what time can do! Eight years ago he was one of these students. He played “Take Five” a favorite of his. Kids loved it! Tunde is now a medical student at John’s Hopkins and has a minor in music. So happy for him! Music, music, music..
Will Risley offers a wide range of observations and narrative, covering not only his own activities and interests, but also very introspective reflections. Lots to see here folks.
He also included some nice photos from his 80th birthday celebration.
Our class's contributions to all the newsletters have been excellent, but for me the greatest batch with the mostest was the outpouring centered on our 60th reunion year of 2020. So much that we had four separate pages plus photos. The stellar topic of our memories of growing up in Chappaqua sparked a huge amount of narrative. I've re-read all that with delight, and surprisingly, without feeling embarrassed by my own contributions.
But three years later I cannot find the same joyful spirit, partly due to COVID-19, the divisive political mess our country is in, climate change and the ensuing harsh weather, disappointments I've had with college and pro sports, etc. I'm becoming introspective.
Actually, I view the time from 2020 to now as a sort of gloomy decline during which I've become focused on a topic that interests many of us: death. Not my own yet, nor the famous ones of Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth, George Floyd, Memphis's Tyre Nichols, Canadian favorite son Gordon Lightfoot, and just last week the amazing Jim Brown, the best athlete I ever saw. I lament the loss of so many people to COVID, including health workers and first responders, and wish the USA had acted sooner to battle the pandemic; you hate to lose folks you did not need to lose, maybe 300,000 or so. I lost my only sister, Mary Risley, completely unexpectedly, to cancer, in February 2021, and my wife Diane and I finally lost her mother, Eleanor Klemm, our last remaining parent, this past March; she reached age 102 and missed 103 by only 38 days. She fell in November 2021 and broke her pelvis, then again in May 2022, breaking her hip. We flew north to visit her both times and then a third time for her funeral in Monroe. On trips # 1 and 3 we got reacquainted with the Wisconsin winter, and at her funeral I was impressed by the 12-foot-high pile of snow in the church parking lot: no place else to put it. I don't miss my Madison winter weekly cycle of snow shoveling, snow blowing, roof raking and ice chipping, but I am a bit nostalgic for the snow and the cold. Yet southern Wisconsin was mild compared to Menomonie, WI, where my daughter Kristin and her Norwegian husband Frode live, about an hour due east of the Twin Cities. It's on the Great Plains-Twin Cities-Eau Claire-Green Bay-Traverse City line and is the coldest area I've visited since my two years at Dartmouth College, where in winter your nose boogers froze as soon as you left the dorm, and my time at Hamilton College, being part of 800 love-starved males buried in the lake-effect snows of central NY State. Hey, why not have classes six days a week? Good way to keep warm. Happily our last visit to Menomonie was June 2021: no snow, hurray.
Unfortunately, our reward for visiting a churchful of our unmasked relatives at the funeral was to contract COVID right afterward and spend March and April very tired and down. But thank you, vaccines. When after a month we both tested negative for COVID, Diane came down with shingles in late April. So it was a fun Spring.
Winter, 2022 was weird for Memphis: snow in January shut the city down for a while, February brought rain, sleet, freezing rain and power outages. Our daughter Amy's family lost power for six full days, while we were without it for only 20 hours but had no phone or computer for 35. (Memphis also lost power in June and August, as our wacko drivers ram into transformers while texting. Our fellow oldsters who live on the third and fourth floors of our condo building do NOT appreciate losing our elevator service at such times. Up north Kristin and Frode narrowly avoided death in February when they and four other cars hit black ice under an overpass in Minneapolis. They totaled their new Subaru right when car dealers could not get new cars; by March they were miraculously able to procure a new one, which we helped with about two-third$$$ of. Fortunately, like Madison with its three lakes, Memphis is on a bluff and usually avoids tornados that do major damage in Arkansas. Our family is still moved by photos of how Hurrican Ian destroyed Sanibel Island and much of Ft. Myers, two places we love.
Our existence here has been mostly uneventful routine: borrowing and reading Library books (so as not to acquire bought ones( we gave several thousand to the UW-Madison Library and don't want to fill the house again); COVID isolation and booster shots; the grandkids decorating Diane's creative and beloved Christmas cookies; new dental crowns; visits to doctors to remove various growths from our carcasses; Diane expertly gathering our tax info; and lots of TV movies and sports. (Not the news, despite our generation having many excellent NYC newspapers and being raised on and spoiled by Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Eric Sevareid, Huntley-Brinkley, Howard K. Smith, John Cameron Swayze and other immortals, who bear no resemblance to today's talking- head anchors without gravitas.) A Lazy reader now, I've switched from high-quality literature to thrillers by Baldacci, the late Vince Flynn, Patterson, Clancy, Connelly, Silva, etc. (Incidentally, although David Baldacci is a meticulous researcher for his excellent novels, I found a chink in his armor that may interest Chappaquaians. In The 6:20 Man, a good story, his hero is a former Army special ops guy turned Wall Street analyst who explores the world of dark money. But he commutes into the city from his residence in Mount Kisco on the train and enjoys peering out at the mansions and swimming pools of multimillionaires on the way. Now, you classmates and I have ridden that Harlem Division train MANY times, but I never remember spying luxurious mansions with swimming pools from it. I actually doubt that rich people would or could build alongside the railroad. So I think Baldacci faked this scenario.) As for TV movies, their body count is as high as in the thriller novels, so violent has nearly everything become. And I hope college sports will not be ruined by the NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) system of paying athletes pretty directly; it will lead to a Money Talks environment that will diminish all but the major sports conferences, who will become gods (SEC, Big Ten, etc.).
Believe it or not, we rabid Green Bay Packers fans are not unhappy Aaron Rodgers has gone to the NY Jets. As Brett Favre did long ago. Brett was not bright enough to learn a new offense. Rodgers is, but he had become a head case who skipped preseason drills (instead of breaking in his new receivers), played poorly last season and needed to leave. He's not replaceable, but it was time.
Cheery sports notes: 1. Argentina (where Amy and husband Joe have lived twice, in Buenos Aires), and Nessi, defeated favored France and Mbappe in the wonderful World Cup Final. 2. The U. of Memphis finally had a good basketball season (in Memphis basketball is THE sport, a madness, an obsession) and got into the NCAA Tournament---but only to lose to talented Final Four team Florida International in a game we gave away at the end. 3. Over time I have become a big hockey fan, first at Hamilton College, where my roommate was the captain of the hockey team and tough as nails (and where I learned how to skate a little in gym class, well enough to be able to smash into guys for my fraternity's intramural team, despite never being able to skate backwards; as you know, we never had much ice in Westchester and no rinks, only frozen ponds now and then). Next, I had hockey season tickets in Madison both in grad school and then when on the faculty, and the Badgers were good, won the national championship in 1990 and 2006. And finally, now in old age I email regularly with an old friend and retired Spanish prof from Ohio State, Steve Summerhill, who is a Toronto native, an exceptional knower of the game, and now a resident of St. Augustine, FL, avoiding the cold. He is huge Maple Leafs fan who has made me one, too. My enthusiasm infected Amy and my 12-year-old grandson Theo, who now root for the Leafs. Talk about a classy guy: when I told him I had gotten Theo hooked, he said, "Tell him to select a Leafs player and I'll buy and send to him that player's jersey---and Will, these are REALLY NICE jerseys they sell." So Theo surprised both Steve and me by selecting not the great Austin Matthews, their top star, who led the NHL in goals with 60 in the 2021-22 season, but instead team captain John Tavares, # 91, workhorse and very valuable teammate. Steve was VERY impressed by the choice, and Theo now proudly wears his # 91 beautiful jersey with JT's name across the back and his captain's C on the front. And Theo was on Cloud Nine when Toronto, after not making the NHL playoffs second round for decades via always blowing things in the first round---this huge deal is known in Toronto as The Curse--- defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning (who had won two of the previous three Stanley Cups) in Round 1 ON THE WINNING GOAL BY... TAVARES! You can't write this stuff.
Two Class of 1960 bright spots were our newsletters and reconnecting with my # 1 childhood pal, Pete Corbino. A special packet from Pete contained his stepfather Ray Berg's Okinawa diary, written when Ray was serving in WWII and flying transports. A terrific read that took me into the "behind-the-scenes survival reality of Army life in wartime. Ray was a very successful fighter pilot who flew jets for Pan Am after the war. He was a great man to chat with, as he had a rich and at times sardonic Swedish sense of humor. I once asked Ray how difficult it was to fly planes. He said it was a piece of cake, very easy, far easier than driving a car, "except for the occasional moment of stark terror."
My final input in this way-too-long narrative is a recommendation of a few literary works in Spanish everyone should read before leaving this life. Steve Blue, Karen Reagan and others who handle Spanish well don't need this advice, as they have surely read these works in the original. But for anyone who needs English translation, we have been blessed by a magnificent translator of Spanish (and Portuguese) to English: the late Gregory Rabassa of NYC. The works I'd recommend, in English translation, are the main novels---all different from one another, all masterpieces---of the unique Gabriel Garcia Marquez of Colombia: three long novels, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Autumn of the Patriarch, Love in the Time of Cholera, and two novellas, No One Writes to the Colonel and Chronicle of a Death Foretold. One Hundred Years... would have won Garcia Marquez the Nobel Prize in 1968 or 1969 had he been an American or a European; he wasn't, and so he had to wait until 1982 to win. The difficult ...Patriarch is a hugely researched novel based on all the worst dictators of Latin America and Europe; like One Hundred Years... it is sort of a history of Latin American civilization. Chronicle... is nearly a tragic prose poem. He wrote other novels, but these are his best. My other recommendation is one short story from a region that has produced brilliant, inimitable ones by Jorge Luis Borges, Juan Rulfo, Luisa Valenzuela and many, many others. It is the narratively dishonest yet absolutely remarkable tale by the Argentine Julio Cortazar, "The Night Face Up" (in Spanish, La noche boca arriba). You can't go wrong with any of these six works.
All the best to my HGHS Class of 1960, of which I'm honored to be a member.
Well, that does it for, for the moment. But perhaps you will indulge me as I add some thoughts. (Maybe I have been influenced by Will’s thoughtful and introspective piece.)
This time of year, mid to late summer, always reminds me of a poem, The Oven Bird, by Robert Frost. It was a favorite of one of my professors in college, and addresses a common theme for Frost, that of fading beauty and diminished newness. We begin to see that now, as the glory and newness of spring fades and reminds us of the inevitability of falling leaves and cold autumn winds. Some scholars have suggested that Frost was also foreshadowing own aging and death, and by extension, our own. I will leave that to others.
Anyway, here it is.
The Oven Bird
BY ROBERT FROST
There is a singer everyone has heard,
Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,
Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.
He says that leaves are old and that for flowers
Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten.
He says the early petal-fall is past
When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers
On sunny days a moment overcast;
And comes that other fall we name the fall.
He says the highway dust is over all.
The bird would cease and be as other birds
But that he knows in singing not to sing.
The question that he frames in all but words
Is what to make of a diminished thing.
OK, we're done for the time being. Please do not hesitate to send in items as the spirit moves you. I'll add them ASAP, as this newsletter is a work in progress. It's an honor to be able to put this thing together for the class.
Your editor remains: