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FALL 2019, MORE....







Let's start with Doug Weiss, and one of his typically entertaining and informative reports.


Marianne and I have decided not to get any older, but we do seem to take more pills every year.  I’m up to 7 a day for a variety of things that won’t kill me according to the doctor.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t know what will kill me so I just keep on trucking along seeing specialists every 6 months who tell me that I’m stable, nothing’s changed, there’s no new medicine/procedure and I’ll see you in 6 months…I think I am now officially a medical cash cow!.


We are still travelling, still volunteering.  We cruised Venice to Barcelona this past summer (hot, hot, hot)….and just returned from Montreal to FLL on our first HAL cruise.  We felt young and surely brought down the average age on that cruise…..think about that….we’re in our middle later 70’s.  Currently very active at Selby Botanical Gardens doing most anything volunteers can do….and our local food bank helping distribute food to the needy.  Note: don’t confuse homeless with needy as I did before I got involved…..needy are the folks that work part time at many jobs or just can’t find a job…nice folks who are just hard up.  We are also involved (emotionally and financially) with southeast guide dogs who trains service animals and then gives them away…no cost to anyone as long as they truly need and will care for the animal.  It costs about $55k per dog but the value those dogs bring to people is priceless.  We would host one of the dogs in training but we travel too much so it’s not fair to the dog. 


Our Family is all good and almost fully employed (one quit their job but has many offers so I count that as almost employed again (a phd from Harvard should be able to get a job in Boston..right!)….grandchildren are great…the oldest is 6 and we visit often via facetime and multiple times a year in person…in fact our last cruise stopped in Boston, so we met our son and family and had a wonderful lunch and day.  I’m’ playing around with home automation and a raspberry pi micro computer…fun and keeps my brain very active.  Cooking Asian food….I’ve been working on Korean recently which is incredibly tasty, but I love spice…my wife, not so much. 


Next trip to the Caribbean with friends, then a cruise around the British isles with friends and then either a Dublin to Boston cruise touching on Newfoundland, Iceland or maybe Southampton to Venice….with maybe a river cruise stuck in there somewhere or maybe just a week in Paris added on to one of those…we haven’t been there in ages….we are so flexible that we have trouble making decisions on trips. We’ve pretty much decided Asia is just too far…..we’ve done enough 14 hour+ plane trips.   

Doug didn't have any new pictures for us, but never one to be deterred, I picked one from a year or so ago, that I particularly liked from his trip to Norway.  

Doug suggested several captions, and I'm going with, "For the best Alaska King Crab come to Norway."

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A nice update from Sue (McKinley) Carpenter, and some very nice pics to go with it.

The biggest event of our year was our 5oth wedding anniversary. We spent it in Donegal, Ireland and stayed in a Irish farmhouse owned by my second cousins. The stone cottage my grandfather was born in was just down the road. Pictures are of Bob and Janine, Sarah and Don, Sue, Charlie, Bob and Janine

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Jack and Barb Duncan also report on their travels, and the doings of children/grandchildren.  Nice pictures too!

We are getting along pretty well, feeling our age a bit, but enjoying life.  End of September we took a Viking cruise around the Baltic.  It was marvelous.  Viking really knows how to do it!  We visited Stockholm, Helsinki, ST. Petersburg, Tallinn, Gdansk, Warnemunde Copenhagen, Alborg, Stavanger, Eidfjord and Bergen.  Too many favorites to mention.  ST. Petersburg was a hit, with the Church of the Spilled Blood simply fantastic.  Alexander II was slain inside the church, hence the name.  The church was beautiful, inside and out.  Inside the walls were all mosaic, beautifully done.


The other stop we loved was an excursion up a fjord from Stavanger, Norway to Pulpit Rock, 2000 feet above the fjord.  Breathtaking!  People climb up the back side of this monster and actually peer over the edge.  Not me!

Barb and I seemed to like relaxing in the Observation Lounge before dinner, with a libation (or two) before dinner.  It did take a week or so to get back to normal once we got home.  I got into my hobby of making photo books and DVD movies of the trip.  Barb is back with her bible study group, and is planning to lead the next study.  She is also doing the planning for next year’s ministry to the local homeless shelter, organizing volunteers to make monthly meals for 80.


When we got home, our son and his family did a 77th birthday deal for me.  Time with the family is always good.  Alex made the cake, as she likes to do.  AT 13, she has decided on Princeton!  (Good luck, Dad!)  Jack III is my buddy.  He is into animals, mostly frogs and snakes.  Wants to study Zoology and has been searching the internet for a college with a good zoology program.  Pretty ambitious for a 10 year old.


Daughter Amy is on her way up from Florida for a short visit.  She is adjusting to a new life after retiring from her job at Deloitte International.. She spent the last three years as Director in Hydrbad, India.  Think she is happy to be back in the USA!  She and Mike are busy refurbishing my folks home on Cape Cod, and are thinking they will hold on to it as an escape venue.



 Will Risley is delighted to report that his daughter, Amy, was awarded Rhodes College’s highest faculty honors for teaching and research at the college’s annual Awards Convocation.  You can read about it HERE.  He goes on to add that "For some reason both my daughters---(the older is Kristin, who teaches at Univ. of Wisconsin-Stout, where she co-founded and directs the Writing Center, as her Ph.D. was in English from Ohio State)--- have kept the last name Risley, possibly because they were so fond of my own parents.  Kristin is married to a Norwegian, Frode Larsen, from Tromso, Norway, WAY up north (and a very beautiful city, a postcard).  Frode is 6'4" and Joe Jansen (Amy's husband) is 6'3 and a half ", so once when I was standing between my two sons-in-law waiting in the bar room of a Madison, WI steak house for all of us to be seated for dinner, a slightly boozed gent at the bar asked, "Are those your body guards?" Actually, he said "dose."  I replied, "Yeah, so don't say nuttin' you'll regret," upon which we all burst out laughing at the sort of mafioso moment and I explained to him who the guys really were.  Madison is very short of mafiosos but long on guys with Scandinavian and German names.

Ed. note.  It is not surprising that Will's daughters would have such impressive academic credentials.  As you may recall, Will himself is a full professor at the University of Wisconsin.

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And here's some photos that Jim Buckner sent from our days at Roaring Brook, 5th grade.  I think we had these included in a newsletter several years ago when Jim first sent them, but it can't hurt to see them again. On the left is a fun little playground scene.  Jim thought, and I agree, that's Denny Joy in the middle, with Grant Schroeder in the background.  On the right, I just don't know, but I do remember a fellow who was with us through about 5th grade named Buddy Manchester.  Maybe?

On the right is Mr. Allard, one of our teachers that year, and, again surmising, John McKelvey and I don't know who.... Locke Bogart? It's always fun to see these kind of photos, and if you happen to have any, by all means send 'em in!

Thanks so much, Jim.

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And, finally, here is a nice note I got from Dick Prezzano, Class of '61. who has been a regular reader/contributor for several years now.


"This is the best video I have ever seen about growing older!!  Of course, Toby Keith and Clint Eastwood have never done anything that was not the best. Hope you enjoy this (from the movie “The Mule”) and that it will make you thankful for the life you have and not worry about the things we can't do …"

Great words, Dick, about a subject that just happens in our lives....

You can access the video HERE.


Done for now....

As always, contact me with corrections, additions, complaints, and anything else.

Dave Williams -

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