PICKING UP WHERE WE LEFT OFF ON 2023 CONTINUED, SO HERE WE GO
And we start off with Liz Lewis Usborne, who has a lot to report on her current activities and then memories of a special encounter with Robert Frost many years ago...
Hello to all our classmates
I have only been on two trips in the past year and a half… last year we went to Roger’s 60th reunion at Dartmouth and added Cooperstown and Plymouth MA. I decided plane travel these days is not my cup of tea…long delays, etc. etc.
But this spring we did the Columbia River Lewis and Clark Cruise from Spokane to Astoria. We had driven both sides of the river but never did the cruise. We were joined by 25 Dartmouth classmates of Roger and along with their wives. (Direct flights)
I keep too busy with all my volunteer stuff. I am the photographer for our Bonita Museum. We recently had an exhibit honoring the Vietnam Vets. They even used my uniform from 1964-1968 and Roger’s. I am also very active in DAR and we combined the two for a Vietnam Veteran Commemoration where we pinned the Vietnam Veterans with the commemoration pin. I am also involved with Military Women Across the Nation and the Mayflower Society.
I hope to get up to Washington again sometime in the future with Scott, our youngest, a high school teacher and water polo coach in Enumclaw…
The Robert Frost reference to The Oven Bird brought back a special memory….
As I stepped out of the car, I could feel the crisp fall wind sting my face. I headed toward the dining hall of Kenyon College where I knew a warm fireplace would be welcoming. I had two hours to kill before Bob would be finished with his Saturday Classes.
I heard nothing but silence in the building, and it was as cold as I imagined it would be. I scurried toward my favorite nook. I was in luck; I had found the only toasty spot on campus and the logs in the hearth blazed brightly.
After I unwrapped my scarf and took off my coat, I noticed an old man dozing at the end of the worn brown leather sofa. His white hair was disheveled and his clothes rumpled. I thought it was probably the custodian taking a break. As I walked up to the fire and extended my cold hands over the hot embers, I heard the old man’s voice behind me.
“ I think we have found the coziest spot on campus,” he remarked.
“ You’re right. I’ve been driving for an hour in this crummy weather. This is wonderful!” I answered.
He came to life, leaned forward and patted the sofa. He invited me to sit by him while I warmed up. I plopped down on the well-worn cushions, took off my shoes and lifted my feet onto
the coffee table. The fire warmed our little corner, and I could feel myself begin to relax. “Do you work here?” I asked.
“ No, I am just visiting for the weekend,” he answered.
“ Me too. I came to see my boyfriend, Bob. There is a big fraternity party tonight, “ I added.
The old man straightened up and ran his hand over what was left of his white hair. “Where do you go to school?” he asked.
“ Denison University. It’s about 30 miles from here.”
I told him I had just finished some tests . I snuggled deeper into the soft cushions.
He asked me my major and I told him I hadn’t decided yet. But I knew what I did not want ...English. I looked at him and asked if he were a professor. He chuckled , “Absolutely not!”
Why not English he wanted to know. I told him I especially didn’t like poetry because I could never figure out all the hidden meanings in the poems and that I hated to have to analyze them. I said I thought the poets didn’t really know all the hidden meanings when they wrote them . He laughed and said probably not, but told me to just enjoy them.
We chatted for another hour or so, just passing the time and enjoying each other’s company.
The noon bell rang and classes were over for the weekend. The old man struggled to get up, and I helped steady him. He put his arms around my shoulders and whispered , “ I can’t tell you how nice it has been to get to know you. I don’t often have the time to just chit-chat with someone. I haven’t had such nice conversation in years. I hope you have a good weekend.” He shuffled away.
Hundreds of young men rushed into the dining hall for lunch and I was welcomed by my date. I told him I had just had a nice time with an old man while I was waiting for him.
With surprise in his eyes, he blurted, “ Don’t you know who that was? That was Robert Frost!!!”
Jack Duncan sent a nice note and some great pictures.
(He's intending to send more, but these pics are too good to keep to myself.)
Dick and Denny Quinn stopped by to see us on their way back to Wilmington NC recently. We had such a great visit! They both look great and Dick looks just like he did in 1960, save for the beard.
My grandson, who lives about
25 minutes away, is an avid fisherman - lives and breathes fishing. This is just an example of one of his catches. In 2021 he caught the largest yellow perch in the state of New Jersey! And he still gets honors in school!
And, like so many us, Jack recently observed his 80th. Here he is with son presenting the cake.
The latest from Gay and Mary Mayer. Interesting and informative as usual.
Mary and I were in Maine in late June- a great road trip visiting friends and family and learning more about the Pine State.
THOUGHTS ON THE WEBSTER ASHBURTON TREATY OF 1842
You may wonder what the heck Gay is talking about now?
Seems that the US and England never quite settled on the boundary with Canada despite the Treaty of Paris in 1783, The War of 1812, The Maine Boundary War, The Pig War (Oregon) and assorted other events until Kaiser Wilhelm negotiated the final treaty in 1872!
Daniel Webster was our Secretary of State and Lord Ashburton in the English House of Lords back in 1842. “Fifty-Four Forty or Fight” was James Polk’s presidential campaign slogan in 1844 and covered what was then the Oregon Territory border dispute with England. Timber was a primary export from what we now think of as Maine. In 1820 – the locals split off from Massachusetts- to better control this valuable resource. It remains a key resource two hundred years later. The Boundary War of 1839 was a real threat – the US Congress authorized an army of 10,000 men and a budget of over $1 million to call on if the English and New Brunswick leaders did not come to terms.
I read a book – Northland by Porter Fox who wanted to follow the US/Canadian border on foot, by canoe, by freighter etc from Maine to Washington – all 5525 miles of it. He started down near Campobello and encountered many miles inland from the Bay of Fundy – Monument 1 –Seemed like something Mary and I could do as well – not by canoe but walking into a marshy area not all that far from Highway 1 near Houlton. There are more than 900 markers – but we only were curious about this first one – set there after the 1842 Treaty and maintained ever since by the Boundary Commission under the terms of The Treaty of 1846 between the U.S. and Great Britain which set the boundary at the 49th parallel. In addition to the monuments, an area 10 feet wide is kept clear of vegetation on both sides of the boundary – half in the U.S., and half in Canada. This 20-foot wide space is known as the “boundary vista” to make it clear to anyone who stumbles across it that he or she has reached the international boundary. Should be easy enough to find??
We find Monument Road on our Google GPS –unpaved for most of 2.5 miles – it ends by a dirt pile. The two people who came out from their very much off-line home smile at us and said we could easily walk to Monument 2 – but that it was just too swampy to get down to 1 even with our boots. Sure enough, it was a short walk- others have been there – maybe a day or two ago? And there was the 20 foot wide “border” and a solar powered Border Patrol camera on a pine tree observing our arrival. I messed up my picture taking with a thumb over the lens- but Mary took a few with her phone. Interesting “trivia”; and an intriguing start from that book- Northland. I doubt we will seek out more of these markers!
Mars Hill is a small town along the way of the “Maine Solar System” – a project built by students from the University of Maine about 10 years ago. It is a good way to keep kids engaged on a very long drive? We can see “Big Rock” ski area off to our left along with an enormous radio antenna…the international short-wave superstation built in 2018 with private money to “promote free speech” – previously an arm of the Family Broadcasting Corporation. Now owned by one man – it can cover the world from this high point.
Just past Jupiter there is a sign for “transatlantic balloon launch site” – it is only 2 miles, so I turn on the blinker and off we go to see what this is all about. Would you know that the first successful transatlantic balloon flight was in August, 1978 from Presque Isle, ME to France? There is parking for maybe 10 cars. A small balloon model marks the launch spot – the real balloon is at the Smithsonian. Neatly tended and it would seem barely visited. One hopes that for the 45th anniversary there will be a big celebration.
Cathy Ciulla Rodier sends a very nice summary of what she and Ed have been doing since Greeley and lots of terrific pictures of the family.
We have been married since 1965. Met again after high school when I was working at IBM in White Plains near his fathers Chrysler Dealership. I was sporting a cool car 1958 Corvette convertible. As you know he was very much a car enthusiast. He saw me crossing the street to visit my Dad and the rest is history. No. Kidding. It seemed we had a lot in common. Skiing up in Vermont and camping on the beautiful Islands of Lake George. And so we started a family rather quickly. An adorable little boy who lit up our life. Whom now sits in the left seat of Jet Blue Airlines. Has been a dream come true. Fly for Free! And Ed loves to get away for a new adventure on the high seas. Yes The Grenadine Isles. I personally love Bequia. It is our first stop on every bareboat yacht we chartered. Ed grew up on a Lake in the summers so I trusted his sailing ability and I became his first mate whether I liked it or not. Skip a few years. There are 2 more kids. Christine Levine. CEO of one of the largest Autism Treatment Businesses in CT. and Brad who follows his fathers “
“need for speed” agenda. Has some trophies from Limerock and Pocono Tracks.
We sold our home in Bedford Village in 2007 and moved up here in Old Saybrook to be closer to the water and sailing again. We shared a 34 Catalina with another couple half our age but was a nice fit. For myself, I finally had a piece of property made mostly of sand being near the beach. I became a master gardener and joined the local Garden Club where I met all my new friends. My house is always on all the Saybrook Garden Tours. Even in this dreadful heat my 25 Hydrangeas and lots of beautiful perennials are thriving. I decided to take up tennis at 65 and joined a senior tennis group that play outside and joined the Racket Club for the winters. Amazing I am still playing 3 times a week. Are you bored yet😂. I have 2 Grandchildren that I adore and 1 step. She is the daughter of my pilot.
I miss being near my granddaughter in Westchester. She is 15 now and a knockout beauty and top of her class. Michael is 17. Lives an hour away but drives now. Looking at R.I. Colleges.
I have always played the piano but for some crazy reason took up the violin a few years ago. It takes a year to learn how to hold the bow but I wouldn’t give up until I was in my teachers recital. I have loads of photos of my life. Yes. We are still married. Amazing. 🎾🧘🏼♂️ Namaste