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More News - August '15

Well, once again, the newsletter stimulates more inputs, so here is some news from classmates that has come in over the past couple of weeks.

But first, this breaking news just in.  Click here to read the article that describes how Horace Greeley High School has been named by as the Number One High School in the Nation!

I think it's fair to say that credit for this recognition goes all the way back to folks like
Dr. Doug Grafflin and Dr. Don Miles.  And to all the people of Chappaqua, who were committed to making our school system excellent.


And now for something completely different....

Doug Weiss sends a nice update, and outlines some upcoming travel...


We just moved (downsized to a larger house) so that's been taking our time...still in Sarasota but now in a golfing community even though we don't golf.    Next trip is Sept: Boston...Rejkjavik...London to visit grandkids on their birthdays.  Caribbean cruise in December with friends then 28 days cruising from Buenos Aires to

Ft. Lauderdale via Cape Horn, Chile and  the Panama Canal in February. 

Rob Barns and Lisa just celebrated their 50th in style ---


Elizabeth(Lisa) and I will plan on attending the next reunion whenever it is. We just got back from celebrating a total family reunion in the Adirondacks on Fourth Lake, New York 18-25 July as a celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary. While our actual wedding day is August 14th, by that time four of our five grandchildren would be in school. We had the family dinner for twelve on the actual day (July 23) that Lisa and I started "going steady" 54 years ago. It was a great time and it was difficult to return to Missouri and back to work - although only part time.


Sandie Donham Gardner and hubby Gary are doing lots of interesting stuff and Sandy is pretty positive concerning recent health challenges.


Still grateful that we're living in the Western Slope mountains of Colorado. The Roaring Fork Valley is a spiritual gift that fills us continually.

Gary is focusing on a dream he's had to "make a difference" in this world before moving on...Bringing Vertical Agriculture to our Valley. We have a very short growing season. There is a strong demand and interest in sustainable farming and he is becoming well-versed in the movement. With his business background he is hoping to get the backing from several of the non-profits and the philanthropic community. It's great to see him excited again

I have had a few challenges the last couple of years, but am happy to say my recent Lymphatic Cancer 1yr Anniversary was an excellent prognosis. We have a premier Cancer Center 20 mins from our home. I cannot say enough about my wonderful care and support !!!!

Our families are doing us proud by facing this "sideways" world with strength and dignity. As always, our Grands keep us filled with laughter and joy.

Joan Kather Henry sent an extensive update and it sounds like she has had a wonderful summer!


My summer news:  I’ve taken several great trips – one with my granddaughter to Spain, and one on a llama trip into the Olympic Mountains.   They’re both briefly described below.




Our granddaughter Shannon, age 14, had just finished her first year of Spanish as a high school freshman, so we decided to go to Spain for 2 ½ weeks.  What a fun time we had seeing our beloved Spain through her eyes!  We wanted her to experience Spain, yet not spend a lot of time traveling.  Since we have many Spanish friends, we planned to spend most of our time with people.  We began our journey in Benavente, where I had taught English for two months in 2010, and stayed with one of the teachers and her family.  The day after we arrived, the ‘Fiesta del Toro’ began.  Adults, mostly men, run with the bull and thousands of people gather along the route to witness this Spanish experience.

We then explored Galicia, Avila, Toledo, and visited friends in Leon and Segovia where we toured the alcazar and climbed 153 steps to the top of the tower giving us a great view of the city. 


It was an amazing trip getting to spend time with our granddaughter, seeing wonderful Spanish friends, eating delicious food, and touring many famous cultural treasures in Spain!


And, unlike some others (hint, hint) she includes some nice pictures.  Here's the one from Spain.


Enchanted Valley:


In July we took a 4-day backpacking trip, ‘old folks style’ – we hired llamas to carry our gear so we didn’t have to put it on OUR backs!  Three couples hiked into Enchanted Valley in the Olympic Mountains and had a marvelous adventure.  Being with great friends in a beautiful place, with warm, sunny weather, made for a glorious trip!  Ernie, our guide and llama expert, packed the llamas with all our gear.  Ernie, age 71, was delighted to see us because he rarely leads trips with people his own age...and 4 of us were older than he!

We set up camp in Enchanted Valley.

On our last day, the temperature was in the 90’s, and we were especially glad the trail was mainly downhill.  We stopped numerous times along the river to cool off, wash away some of the sweat, and fill our canteens.  We made it back to the cars by 6:00 p.m.   It was such fun that we hope to take another llama trip next year.

Editor note:  As you can see there is a lot to do here in Washington State, but the llama thing was news to me.  Might have to try it.

Here is a great message from Lynne Dennison Fitzhugh -


Just back from family canoe trip on lake Temagami, Ontario, me with broken foot in cast but Bill and two strong sons to help me in and out of canoe. Still drying out the tents here in Vermont and getting pot-black out of fingernails.


I said I'd send some news since we seem to have outdoor interests and a New England location in common with some of the classmates who posted in August. Re. the latter, I'm inspired by the tri-annual gatherings my sister Kris and her '62 California classmates have been having for a number of years in Palo Alto and wondering if something like that might work here for anyone within a reasonable drive of Fairlee, VT (on the CT River/NH border ca. 20 minutes north of Dartmouth on I 91). Kris's group has become quite close in the special way you can be with people you grew up with, sort of like family. Bill's sister Portia lives across the river and is married to John Karol of Chappaqua who graduated Greeley about 8 years ahead of us so has stories about earlier times and people. Lots of fun to play "do you remember...?" As for logistics, we can sleep up to 14 if 4 are couples, plus there's a nice lodge and a golf resort in town. I'm here June-October, when Bill might occasionally breeze through between his archaeological fieldwork in Canada and lecturing on North Atlantic cruises. We're both here winters now while Bill does a semester teaching at Dartmouth and I take advantage of the x-country ski trails and fabulous 4.5-mile skating trail on Lake Morey below the house. Since Bill is still officially at the Smithsonian running the Arctic Studies Center, we are at the DC house fall and spring, but it's rather small for gatherings.


So, re. those doing trail work etc., my current interest has been championing an environmentally important, 2.5 sq. mi. town forest that until now has been haphazardly used as a woodlot by the town. Because Fairlee has no conservation commission, a neighbor and I started Friends of Fairlee Forest three years ago to show the Selectboard that there was a local constituency for the forest's environmental and recreational values. Since then we have produced print and digital maps of its 25+ miles of trails and forest roads, signposted over 20 trail intersections, got a team of conservation biologists to inventory the 40+ acre wetland system, hosted a public presentation on the results of this study, and this spring created a nifty website ( Whether inspired by us or not, the town has since had a proper forest management plan done to govern its logging operations in ways that protect and even improve wildlife habitats. We've also been establishing a working relationship with the official forest board (a few local landowners who mainly hunt and ride ATVs in the forest) and will partner with them next year on an annual inventory of nesting birds in several of the proposed patch cuts to monitor the effects of logging and regrowth on bird habitats. We'll also be producing a town festival celebrating the Fairlee Forest as we enter the second centennial of the Vermont Town Forest Act of 1915 (postponed from this year when I broke my foot, couldn't drive or hike all summer, even had to give up my new super-charged rescue pup, and life in general ground to a pitiful halt). Hopefully I get the cast off next week and will be able gradually to resume work on the trails and planning for next summer.


I am envious of the numerous grandchildren so many classmates have, especially those living near you, but delighted with our two Seattle girls. The youngest, 10-year-old Larissa, was "leader" of our canoe trip, having just finished her first season at Camp Keewaydin on Temagami (a family tradition) and eager to show us her new skills and knowledge. She did us all proud! Her big sister Laska is also a wonderful girl and Keewaydin alum, and on her way to Whitman College as I write.


Best to all,



 And, here is a pic of Larissa and Lynne's boys, Ben and Josh.

Ed. note.  What a good picture!  Check out the texture of the water and the reflections in the foreground.



Here is the latest from Peggy Dickenson:


In March 2015, my sister (BettyDickenson, now known as Elizabeth Rudolf, from the HGHS class of 1962) and Itraveled to Cuba for 8 days with a group of people on a tour focused on Cuban music.  The Cuban people were very nice and friendly, and we felt very safe.  It was fascinating to see all the classic cars from the 1950s, and I haveincluded a photo of us in a 1952 red Chevrolet (I'm in the driver's seat, andBetty is in the passenger seat).  We learned a lot about Cuba, its history, and everyday life since the Cuban Revolution.  And we heard wonderful Cuban music everywhere, but it was sad to see the crumbling infrastructure of the buildings, sidewalks, and roads.  Five days were spent in Havana, a city with beautiful architecture, and two days at a beach resort on the southern coast of Cuba with pristine beaches. My favorite memory of the trip was one evening when we were on our own for dinner.  After dinner at a local restaurant, we rode back to the hotel in a taxi along the Malecon, the long boulevard along the seawall.  The waves were rough that night, crashing against the seawall, sending water onto the sidewalk where teenagers were gathered in groups. Some of the spray from those waves floated through the open windows of our taxi, surprising us and making us laugh.  What fun!  


Peggy also included some great pics!

Speaking of news and pictures, don't hesitate to send me some.  Pictures are especially nice.  I seem to have the new website program somewhat under control, so it's easy to add stuff.....


I remain your humble servant, still available at 253-905-2751 and of course at


Court is adjourned.

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