Karl E. Johnson, Jr.
Karl Johnson passed away suddenly in Albuquerque, New Mexico on June 3, 2019 of “complications from lung cancer.”
Karl attended Williams his freshman year on a National Merit scholarship. He earned a BA in philosophy from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK, 1970. He then earned his JD in 1979 from the University of Oregon in Eugene, where he graduated first in his law school class. Karl specialized in Native American law until he retired in 2017.
On June 24, 2019, an interesting piece discussing Karl and Liz Warren’s high school debating partnership appeared in the New York Times and Boston Globe. See How Elizabeth Warren Learned to Fight.
Karl was Liz Herren (Warren’s) debate partner in high school. Karl and Ms. Herren won the state debating championship in Oklahoma their senior year, 1966 . The article includes a very nice high school picture of Karl with Liz Herren, as she was known at the time.
This article was published in the New York Times and Boston Globe on June 24, 2019, just days before Ms. Warren’s first Presidential Debate in Miami, FL on June 27, 2019.
To read Karl’s full obituary, with his long history of public service in law, see https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/abqjournal/obituary.aspx?n=karl-e-johnson&pid=193125892.
Rick Foster, 379 Dexter St., Denver, CO 80220; [email protected]
As many of you know by now, Mark Cummins passed on Oct. 31, 2018, in the arms of his wife, Susan Hun Cummins, at their home in Saint Bruno-de Montarville, a suburb of Quebec City, Canada. After graduating from Williams with a degree in psychology, Mark obtained his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and went on to teach at McGill University. You can read Mark’s published obituary at: http://bit.ly/MarkCummins.
By the time you read this, we’ll be only a couple of weeks away from our class sojourn to Oxford University. Among those who were signed up in January were: Patience White and Alexandra Breed and their spouses. Patience and Alexandra were among the first participants in the Vassar/Williams exchange program. John Burns and wife Usha will be attending, as will Barbara and Fred Eames andmany more. Richard Wendorf decided to get a head start on the rest of us and, as of January 2019, is happily ensconced at Exeter College in Oxford for the winter planning for our arrival there in June and the side excursion to Bath, where he’ll be arranging a tour for us of the American Museum.
John Burns also reports that he and wife Usha are planning to attend our 50th reunion. Their news: “Our son, Josh Burns ’02, and his family of five have moved in with us in our lower unit (we have a two-unit townhouse in SF). Having bought a new house in the suburbs that needed remodeling, they needed temporary housing, which we were happy to accommodate. Things are a bit crowded with all the bodies, but we are enjoying all the activity with our three grandchildren.” Others indicating that they will be at the 50th: John Black and his wife Linda, Don Berens and wife Maureen. Fred Eames also will be attending. He has been working with Don Berens and others, trying to round up classmates (for Fred, especially from Prospect House), to attend as well. Fred is nearly retired, continuing to do neuroradiology five to six days per month and sees Don frequently in their Mendelssohn Club men’s chorus. In January, Fred had a nice visit and dinner with Judy and Paul Willis ’71 in Williamstown, and more recently, hiked up the Mount Prospect trail in Williamstown for a splendid view of the campus.
John Boyd wrote from Anchorage, “After almost 45 years of practice hanging up my stethoscope and calling it quits in September.”
Gerry Stolz writes, “Helen andHalley Moriyama, along with their dog Sam, visited us in Savannah on their way down to Vero Beach. In addition, the team of Debbie and Ted May and Carri and Gerry Stolz recently won the husband-wife member-guest tournament at the Mays’ club in Palm Coast, Fla. I regularly see Dick Lamb and Paul Lieberman (both Class of ’71) because we all live at the Landings on Skidaway Island, Ga.” Bob Lee has had conversations on a variety of topics with Bill Wadt, Tom Sweeney and Bob Groban. He described them thus: “The ostensible topic in each case was the 50th, but my discussion with Bill veered off onto the charms of Santa Fe, the one with Tom drifted into politics, and the one with Bob wandered off into the vagaries of immigration law.”
Bran Potter sent this personal reminder about the toll nearly five decades can take on our physical prowess: “As I was finishing my first mile in the Williams cross country team’s ‘Aluminum Bowl’ race in October, the undergraduate leaders were finishing their second. Grateful to still be moving and to see my former teammate, Pete Farwell ’73, as a venerable and much-loved coach. I’m back to teaching geology after a fall sabbatical.” It’s clear that Bill Lawson spends more time on the water than on land. He writes: “We had a wonderful summer at our lake house on Lake Charlevoix in northern Michigan. In November for my 70th birthday and our 40th wedding anniversary, we splurged for eight nights at the St. Regis in Manhattan. We saw seven plays—Harry Potter parts one and two, Come from Away, The Band’s Visit, American Son, Frozen and Dear Evan Hansen. Our favorites were Come from Away and the Potters. Excellent restaurants were Peasant in lower Manhattan and Estatorio Milos in midtown. We toured the 9/11 memorial, which is a must visit. We just returned from a two-week winter stay in Charlevoix and will soon be off to St. Barthelemy for two weeks. Then off to Longboat Key for 10 days in March and Southern California in April. We recently said goodbye to our dog Sammy, a Boykin spaniel, that was with us for over 15 years. A sad time for us. We wish all our our Purple Cow friends a healthy and happy 2019!”
Dick Ginman, submitting perhaps for the first time ever, sent little information about himself but sent a picture of his 2-year-old granddaughter and the details of her Williams lineage: “I can’t remember the last time I sent something for the class notes, perhaps never, but couldn’t resist sending the attached picture of my granddaughter, Taylor Reager Ginman, riding a purple cow on her second birthday. She’s the daughter of Alex Ginman ’07 and Ellen (Wilk) Ginman ’07,the granddaughter of Art Wilk ’77 and me, and the great-great-granddaughter of Richard Taylor, Class of 1914. Both Art and I, along with our wives, were in Boston for the celebration.”
Ray Kimball took time out from his January vacation and celebration of his birthday in Kauai, Hawaii, to write (complete with Emoji wearing sunglasses): “Had lunch with Paul Miller, Charlie Ebinger and Sheila Mason of the Williams Alumni Fund, in DC in December. Other than that, have a lot of post-holiday web stuff to catch up on when I get back. Really wish more folks who’ve committed to reunion would send me recent pics so we know what you look like now. Send to me or you can upload to your profile page at https://williams1970.com/. I’m going to look for an app that will take the 1970 Gul pic of those committed to the 50th reunion who haven’t sent me pics, and project what we think they look like now. Then when they send me a pic we can sub the real thing for the projection and compare. Should be fun!” Jeff Krull reported: “We have been making regular visits to Florida to see our son and his family. The grandkids are, of course, growing up awfully fast. Whenever we’re down there we try to connect with Shirley and Jack Maitland and Jenny and Lee Owen. Janelle and Sluggo Stearns are on the gulf side, so we don’t see them as much down there. I’ve been working with Mark Messing and Pat Bassett on our 50th reunion book. We will be asking classmates to submit bios, as we did for the 25th reunion book. So start thinking about what you want to say about your life in 250 words or less!
Jim Deutsch, whose name hasn’t graced these notes in a while, wrote: “I’m continuing to work as a curator for the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage—even through the recent federal government shutdown, because I am not a federal employee, and our offices are not in a federal facility. One of my colleagues, Logan Clark, who is the executive assistant at Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and an ethnomusicologist with a PhD from UCLA, was giving her parents a tour of our offices several months ago. As they were walking past my door, her father saw my name outside and said, ‘Hey, I went to college with this guy.’ Sure enough, Logan’s parents are Ron Clark and Lane Hammond ’71. A very nice coincidence.”
Finally, in late January, Chris Williamson, Bob Bearman, Tom Michaels and I (Rick Foster) got together for Saturday afternoon drinks in Denver at the Arts Hotel, where Jim was staying for a Williams Alumni Fund event in Denver. Befitting our age, health-mindedness and regrets over college excesses, each of us ordered and consumed a full glass of ice water, nothing more! A good time was had by all.
Who’s Attending the 50th Reunion, June 11-14, 2020?
By end of May, 2019, approximately 120 have committed for the 50th!
There are three (3) ways to see who’s attending:
New through April, 2019:
Bill Carney, Jerry Christensen, Jim Deutsch, Rob Durkee, Nathan Fox, Andy Gero,Bob Groban, Alex Hansen, Hill Hastings, Larry Hollar,Tom Hudspeth, Tom Michaels, Peter Ogilvie, Fred Rhame, Cliff Robinson, Tom Sweeney
( If you don’t see your picture below, please send a recent picture to, or contact, Ray Kimball at [email protected].
If we’ve missed you and you plan to attend, please email Don Berens)
Links are to Classmate Profile Pages and House pages
Attending Classmates Sorted by House: See these House links: Back to Top
If you have Amazon Prime, you’re in for a treat!
Straithairn plays Klaes Ashford, a mathematician, spaceship commander, former pirate, and second-in-command of the converted Mormon Eternity Ship Nauvoo,, now the Belter warship Behemoth. Straithairn first appears in Delta-V, Episode 7, Season 3 of The Expanse .
If you’re perplexed by the above paragraph, welcome to some of the best sci-fi writing of the new millennium! The Expanse is based on the eight-volume sci-fi book series The Expanse by “James Corey,” a pen name for two authors who also wrote the television series. The Expanse (Amazon link) is worth the read, especially books 1 and 2.
Season 3 of the television series wraps up Book 2. It then introduces Straithairn’s character Klaes Ashford as Book 3, Abbadon’s Gate, begins. In the book series, Klaes Ashford is introduced immediately in Abaddon’s Gate, Chapter Two: Bull)
Straithairn plays perhaps the most humorous and delightful character we’ve seen him in recently, though others would know better. It’s certainly a wild departure from his great roles as the straight-laced CIA Deputy Director Noah Vosen in the 2007 The Bourne Ultimatum, and 2012’s The Bourne Legacy; the solid but deliberately understated Secretary of State William Henry Seward in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (2012); and his Academy Award nomination as Edward R. Morrow in Good Night and Good Luck.
Strathairn plays Klaes Ashford with spiked hair, a spry, wicked smile, the intelligence of a survivor, and a surprising tenderness that dwarfs the other actors in his scenes. He adapts a unique, indescribable Belter accent that sounds somewhere between South London and Scotland, and everywhere in between. When Straithairn appears, you start asking “Who is this guy? He’s strange! I want to know more!”
Basically, Straithairn saves a struggling series based on the weakest of the first three books of The Expanse series. Abaddon’s Gate, both the book and the Third Season, is not quite as searing as the two books and seasons before it. Straithairn’s Klaes Ashford changes all that. Straithairn comes into a wobbly plot and makes it worth watching.
When you place an Academy Award nominee into a series dominated by young actors still learning their craft, the contrasts are delightful and also obvious. Straithairn plays with an energy and a crafty uncertainty that keeps you a little off-balance, and wanting to know more.
You can’t wait for Klaes Ashford to appear in another scene.
Only two other actors in the series, (Shohreh Aghdashloo as UNN Earther Chrisjen Avasarala, and Elizabeth Mitchell as Minister Anna Volvodov) give performances that are as fresh, interesting, and believable. Straithairn definitely is the the best of the top three actors in the series: IMHO, of course. Reasonable minds can differ, but there’s no denying Dave Strathairn’s freshness and interest in an otherwise struggling third season.
I’d like to include Thomas Jane as detective Joe Miller among the show’s believable stars. But in Season 3 his character is played with just too many detective “cliches” to be believable. That may be because Miller appears in Season 3 as a “not-quite-dead” “protomolecule” who returns as a “ghost” to teach James Holden, the reputed “star” of the series, how to defeat “The Ring.” (You got all that, right?) The “stilted-ness” may be built into the “half-character” Miller, that Jane returns to play.
Obviously, we were thrilled to see Dave Straithairn in The Expanse. Dave is just captivating in this role. You can’t help but see his strength and depth as an actor, and delight in his Falstafian performance.
My recommendation – but a mild recommendation only: Don’t just start with David’s appearance in Season 3. Seasons 1 and 2 are worth their weight because of the interesting plots. You may better appreciate Straithairn’s energizing Season 3 after you’ve seen the great stories and OK, not-quite monotonous acting in Seasons 1 and 2.
Mark Sill Cummins
Dr. Mark Sill Cummins passed away on October 31, 2018 in the arms of his loving wife at their home in St. Bruno, QC. He will be fondly remembered by his wife, Susan Hunt Cummins (Susie) and children, Colin Hunt Cummins and Emily Cummins-Woods (Alice Robinette-Woods) and his grandchildren Benjamin and Daniel Woods, his brothers Bruce Cummins (Chicago) and Paul Cummins and wife Melanie (Virginia), his brother-in-law and sister-in-law Johnny and Joann Hunt (Pennsylvania) as well as all the friends, extended family, colleagues, students and clients who were touched by the life and lessons of an inspiring man.
Mark was born 70 years ago in Chicago to Joan Sill Cummins and Dr. Clyde Robert Cummins. He graduated from Williams College in Psychology and obtained his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1975. McGill University then engaged him to teach psychology as well as live with and study vervet monkeys on the jungle and cane field island of St. Kitts. He had married the love of his life by then, living many adventures with Susie over their almost 50 years together. They became dedicated inhabitants of the Montreal region, learned French as adults, and developed a strong community of friends and colleagues.
A professor at McGill and Dawson College for almost 40 years, Mark’s students loved his sense of humour and thorough teaching methods. He saw the potential in them and expected them to work hard and achieve that potential. He also became a clinical psychologist early on with a dedicated client base in both St. Bruno and in Montreal. He was recognized as one of the three top marriage counsellors in Montreal, truly loving his work and caring about his clients’ journeys. Mark was still seeing clients up until the end.
Known for his strong will and tough love, he was also unfailingly caring and supportive, showing up to everyone’s vernissages, plays and games. He offered the best bear hugs, cried easily when moved, and listened fully while looking at you with his clear, open eyes. Always a voracious reader of many genres of books, Mark loved to grapple with the big questions, appreciated a lively debate and enthusiastically absorbed history, stories and information wherever he could.
Mark also had many talents and interests. If he couldn’t do something yet, he would figure out how! He was an amateur magician and former football player, able to cane chairs, be a perfect Santa impersonator, do wood working (by hand and machine) and practice his pastel and drawing skills. He even did eight years of adult Ballet lessons!
More than anything, Mark loved being a Dad and Grandpa and being close and involved with his children. He got so much joy from taking his kids and grandkids into the exciting woodshop or reading to them on his comforting lap. A teacher through and through, he passed on a love of learning to his offspring, and so many practical and subtle life skills.
Gentle and strong, brilliant and grounded, Mark affected the lives of so many of us. We miss him very much. [Montreal Gazette, November 3, 2018]
379 DEXTER ST.
DENVER, CO 80220
Thanks to all for responding to my woefully late request for news only two weeks before the submittal deadline. My additional plea for news other than about vacations and the topical question “did you like beer in college” brought the quickest replies.
David Coplan was first out of the box with this: “Hi Rick, no sweat. I never drank beer at Williams, just smoked dope like all the superior, hip types of the era. Besides, sex was better on weed than on beer, and yes I do remember. I am retired and not regretting it one bit, as I was not my job, don’t care for work that much anyway, and am now free to do whatever the hell I want unless my wife doesn’t like it. Meantime am being dragged back across the Atlantic to speak at Princeton and Michigan State this month; Have nothing left to say, so shall settle for shock and awe. Still working on my writing under the banner of less is more. These are the days, my friend.”
And from Andy Gero: “No news is good news, they say, and that’s pretty much what I have. Planning my annual half marathon Oct. 20; it will be different in one big way – 700+ participants (so far) rather than the 50 or so in the one I did the last few years. I am tentatively planning on attending the 50th, but it’s too early to say for sure. I didn’t like beer while at Williams, or now, or any time in between. I did know the legal age in MA, and in NY, unlike (apparently) our Supreme Court nominee. Good health and happiness”.
Bill Lawson also remembers what the liquor laws were 48 years ago and wrote: “I do recall some Williams students and their guests enjoying a few beers from time to time at the school at the parties that were held in the ex ‘frat’ houses, the mixers and the pre and post football game events. I believe the legal drinking age during our time at Williams was 20 and raised to 21 in 1984 to be in line with the federal law. Of course all of those that consumed the beers during our time as students on campus were over 20 years of age.”
Bill Courter wrote: “Since you do NOT want travel information, I will skip our two Europe trips this summer – one for 27 days and one for 15 days. And I will not mention the fun of watching a Croatia world cup game from Dubrovnik bar! As for our 50th reunion, I am expecting to attend with my wife. She (and my two daughters) have seen Williams only once. All three had the same initial response: ‘How could you say no to Stanford and attend a college so isolated?’ But I am certain my wife will love Williams when she is there for our reunion. Retirement? My only regret? I should have retired 5 years earlier! I am one of those people who absolutely love retirement!” (I just came back from a Tuesday lunch with just my wife and myself – and glass of wine!). As for Williams and beer? Wow! I am SO glad we did not have Facebook or Instagram or any social media … my God, I would have a lot to explain! Still, there were some GREAT Saturday night house parties! Many good memories.”
Rod McLeod and Naomi haven’t been traveling much in 2018 while Naomi recovers from her second hip replacement, although they did get a week of spring skiing in Austria. Rod said his knees limited him to no more than three hours per day of skiing on that trip, but it “brought back memories of Brodie Mountain during freshman year and Morgan Middle West classmates learning how to ski together from John Black and Nick Ward.” Rod also said that Israel had been captivated by the Kavanaugh Hearings and mused about how fortunate we all were to survive the political tumult of the 70s.
Richard Wendorf wrote to say, “I’ve been working on the Class of 1970 pre-reunion trip to Oxford (and Bath) next June. Should be great fun. I became a grandfather this past summer (against all odds) and will be a Visiting Fellow at Exeter College, Oxford for the winter term this coming January and February.”
Rob Durkee reported this “bad-to-good” news: “Old Rob survived a Lyme disease affliction in 2017 – 2018 interrupting soccer coaching responsibilities at a local day school here in Pawling, NY. Joyful plans for December nuptials — and honeymoon — have inspired a return to “the beautiful game” this fall. Medical professionals have observed that Coach Rob, again, “prowls about the futbol pitch with the grace and guile of a teenage panther, albeit with significantly muted velocity.”
Ken McCurdy wrote in early October about having just heard a talk at University of Rochester Medical Center by
Phil Greenland who received the Distinguished Alumni Award. Per Ken, “Phil is now at Northwestern, but was in Rochester for Med School, Residency, and as a Faculty member. His talk was wonderful and described his career and research in cardiology and how he contributed to the development of preventive cardiology which is benefiting all of us in 1970! This was a big day for him as his fifteenth grandchild was born this morning in Chicago where all of his kids and grandchildren live.”
Jim Slade wrote of how he celebrated reaching age 70: “I decided to backpack the 176-mile Tahoe Rim Trail, which circumnavigates the mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe. The 13-day hike was spectacular, and well worth it. I was grateful to feel up to it physically, and thankful to complete it. My wife Barbara continues her great work as president of her non-profit (betweenhorsesandhumans.com), which helps children with emotional and behavioral problems. She was selected as a “Remarkable Woman” of our county this year. Needless to say, I’m very proud of her and her work. We have traveled to Vietnam and Colombia in recent years, and are looking forward to a trip to Namibia next spring. We also plan to be at our 50th. See you there!”
Don Berens, among others is working hard on our 50th Reunion and tells me that, as of the end of September, we’ve had 95 classmates plus five exchange women tell us that they plan to attend the fiftieth reunion (June 10-14, 2020), making a total of 100 such affirmative responses with over 20 months to go. Monthly updates are posted on the class website.
A number of classmates attended the September Presidential Forum for the Class of 1970 and .and the fall mini-reunion for the classes of 1968 to 1972 in Williamstown. Among them were
Halley & Helen Moriyama, Bill & Eugenia Hamilton, Bob Bearman, John Cornwall, Professor Ray Kimball, Ken McCurdy, Paul Miller & Lea Perez, Bill Wadt, Chris & Peggy Williamson, Jeff Geller, Bob & Jennifer Katt, Ted May, Whit & Downey Knapp, Joe & Kathy McCurdy, Don Berens, Gates Hawn, Tom Crowley, Chip Baker & Sally Stoops, John & Usha Burns, Bob Ware, Brook & Mary Ann Brennan Newcomb, and Peter Thorp.
I don’t have sufficient space to cover all the information sent about the weekend, so I’ll just provide some snippets. Some of those attending sent reports about what the others had been up to and about the event itself. Paul Miller said that this was Peter Thorp’s first time in Williamstown in 18 years. Lou Buck explained why by noting that Peter recently had returned to the states following a long hiatus in Rwanda where, a decade ago, he had established the Gashora Girls Academy of Science & Technology. Lou Buck’s description of some of the events included this: “Two timely and highly beneficial faculty/student panel discussions were conducted on the topics of free speech on campus and the future of liberal arts. On the latter topic, classmate Tom Crowley delivered an exceptionally well researched and thought provoking presentation on the disruption caused by the rapid acceleration of technological innovation and the inability of higher education to adapt as quickly in order to keep pace.”
After noting that Jeff Geller has done some interesting things in psychiatry in Massachusetts Don Berens reported learning at the forum and mini-reunion that: “(1) 18% of current Williams students are the first in their families to attend college; (2) over half of current Williams students who have declared a major have a major in at least one of the sciences (defined to including math and psychology); (3) there are 75 computer science majors; and (4) new President Maud Mandel has commissioned a strategic planning review of all college programs.” On a more personal note, Don also reported that, in September, he visited five US National Parks from Isle Royale in Michigan to Glacier in Montana, bringing his total to 44 out of 59. His daughter, Kate delivered a boy, Daniel John Bucki, on September 23, bringing his total grandchildren to three.
Chip Baker, Halley Moriyama, and Lou Buck each commented about how impressed they were with Williams 18th President, Maud Mandel. Halley Moriyama, described the overall event as follows: “The talks focused on college finances, the composition of the student body and faculty, the winter study program, tutorials, career counseling and summer jobs, free speech, and curricular innovation. Many of these topics dovetailed with the gift purposes associated with our 50th Reunion Gift. These were candid discussions and the college’s transparency was greatly appreciated. Many of our sessions involved current students, including students sitting with us at the lunches. “Wow” would not adequately described them. They were articulate, poised, and friendly. These were two-way conversations, as the students were just as interested in us as we were in them.” Halley also reminds us that our next 50th reunion-related event will be the Williams in Oxford trip, which will take place June 17-24, 2019.
In a lame and shameless effort to have the highest number of bolded names of any single submission of Class Notes, I’ll end with these comments from Lou Buck about the multi-class aspect of the Mini Reunion Weekend: “In addition to connecting with classmates from the great Class of ’70, it was a treat to see friends from the Class of ’71including Steve & Sue Brown, Hugh Hawkins, John & Mary Untereker, Jack Sands, and former baseball teammates Tim Murnane & Diana Michaels, Steve Latham, Bob Schwed and Nick & Ann Tortorello. It was also great this year to have members of the Class of ’72 in attendance. After almost 48 years, I enjoyed seeing again and spending some time with, Wendy Hopkins, John LaPann, Cas Groblewski and Terry Smith. Terry attended his 45th reunion and has visited the campus periodically since graduating. However, this year’s Mini Reunion Weekend was his first. Terry summarized his experience with the following observation he had offered in an email exchange:
My 45th reunion was my first, but I enjoyed myself so much that I have vowed to return for reunion activities every chance I get! I had been back to Williamstown many times over the years, but never for an official gathering – just rolled into town, wandered around, and took in the beautiful scenery. The 45th reunion weekend put me back in touch with several classmates I really had fun with while in school. The annual mini-reunions leading up to the 50th put you back in touch with good friends from earlier/later classes…”
Capping off a beautiful autumn weekend in the Berkshire’s, many of us watched the stunning, long time coming football victory over Trinity and that evening enjoyed a delightful Class of ‘70 dinner at Mezze!”
We feature here the second of Bill Coyle ’70’s fantastic galleries; this one of his portraits.
New York City has honored Preston Washington, ’70, by renaming 115th Street West “Bishop Preston Washington Street.” This is, indeed, quite an honor. For full details on Preston’s life, commitment, and contributions to New York City, see Preston Washington, In Memoriam.
Read Preston’s Graduation Address to the Class of ’70 at CommencementSpeech1970033, courtesy, Williams College Library Archives.
You can add your own tribute or memory in the Reply box below.
Our special thanks to Cliff Robinson, ’70, for alerting us to this honor.
I’m noticing that, as we approach our 50th, your emails, while continuing to describe traveling adventures, are drifting more and more to the subjects of age, and what that brings. So, here we go.
Bill Lawson’s retirement sailing adventures continue. He writes, “We have had a wonderful winter and now spring is upon us. We spent a week in Grand Cayman with a grad school classmate and his wife who have several condos at the quiet end of the island in Cayman Kai and are building a home on beachfront property there. We just returned from a wedding in Nashville, Tn. For those of you that have not been there- go! It is a foodie paradise and the growth in new areas, restaurants, shops, condos and homes is impressive. We recommend Henrietta Red for dinner and Little Octopus for brunch. Soon we are off to our home in Charlevoix, Mi. where we spend the summer. We have a boat and cruise over to Sutton’s Bay, Harbor Springs, and other locales and may get up the courage to travel to Mackinac Island. Our grandchildren are 2 and 5 and we love spending time with them. We have a steam in our backyard which meanders through a ravine. We built a little bridge over it and our grandsons, who live on the other side, walk through the forest and to our home. We will soon be celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary and gulp! my 70th birthday. We will be in NYC and have already purchased tickets to Harry Potter Parts 1 and 2, Dear Even Hansen, Come from Away and Frozen. We thought about Springsteen but the ticket prices were too ‘dear.’ We are also visiting the 9/11 Tribute Museum and One World Observatory where we will have lunch way up high! We were at a ‘trendy’ restaurant the other evening and I looked around and wondered how all of a sudden did I become one of the more ‘senior’ patrons? It seemed as though everyone else there was younger? Then I remembered maybe it is because we will be celebrating our 50th reunion in 2020? How did that happen so fast?”
Jennifer Wolcott says “Watching the parade of birthdays for classmates is a constant reminder that we are getting old. At 60 I could convince myself we were still on the right side of age, even if we haven’t been trustworthy since we turned 30. But 70? How did that happen? Mine comes this summer, and we’ll celebrate with a family trip to Lenox for three weeks of Berkshire and Tanglewood enjoyment. More importantly, we’ll celebrate my mother’s 95th—she’s the daughter of Charles Ely ’14. The only real news is that a blankety blank doctor found a glioma lurking in my brain last summer. It’s essentially inoperable, being more like a spider than a walnut, and buried in my language center. We’ve been monitoring it, and the good news is that it doesn’t seem to be growing quickly, so maybe I’ll outlive it. In the meantime, it brings the whole idea of our mortality into sharp focus and helps to reorder priorities. Luckily, that doesn’t mean that I should go live on a mountain in Tibet with a lama spiritual guide—I can continue to do the things I’ve been doing, but maybe put some more focus on writing and staying close to family. So we still go to Panama for the winters—remember we love to have classmates visit. My son and his wife finally created another granddaughter for me and she—like all of them—is adorable in Seattle. The rest of the family is doing well. And Dan who is 82 this year is the same, although his mobility is a continual struggle for him. Sorry to miss the mini-reunion in May—Dan replaced a shoulder the week before (went well).
Richard Wendorf, whose birthday fell on St. Patrick’s Day, offers his musing on most of us having or soon to have achieved the age of seventy, in rhyme.
It once seemed as far as Duluth,
We never so long in the tooth.
But the years they have played us
And our bodies dismayed us,
And now we are flush with the truth.
Sluggo Stearns, more or less permanently back from Thailand, wrote to say, “We are ‘readjusting ‘ for lack of a better word to living ‘full time’ in USA…which we realized last week that we really haven’t done in 40 plus years. It’s not easy. I’m reminded of the saying, “It is not a sign of mental health to be well adjusted to an insane society! Anyway, big news is that we bought a condo in St. Pete so we can escape Indiana winters since we are no longer going to Thailand. (Three hours door to door to St. Pete – 33 to Thailand!) Although FL has a lot of interesting attractions…it’s also a pretty weird place as anyone who has read Carl Haissen (fiction OR nonfiction) will confirm. Had a great mini reunion with Lee Owen, Jack Maitland, Jeff Krull and Kim Dawson while visiting Del Ray in March.”
Halley Moriyama and Helen “continue to spend the winter in Vero Beach, FL, where Mary and Rob Stone are our neighbors. In April, the Stones and Moriyama’s visited Cecie and Rod Titcomb for the day. In June, we are going on the Williams alumni trip to the Baltics. Kids and grandkids are all doing well. Reunion planning continues. Our upcoming events include the Presidential Forum in Williamstown on September 27-28, Bob Ware is organizing that program during which we will meet the new President. Our class is invited to participate in the Williams in Oxford (UK) program on June 17-24, 2019. For more information about either event, please contact me at [email protected].
Our Esteemed President, Lou Buck, sent the following: “I had the good fortune of being invited by three former Williams hockey greats to join them and their spouses for what has become their annual February hockey weekend in Williamstown. I spent a most enjoyable time with classmates) and Rosie Gary (le Baron Rouge Bensen, Downey and Whit (le Camion) Knapp and, from the Class of ’71, and Susie and Steve (le Sauvage) Brown. We saw the Ephs barely hold on for a victory in a hard fought afternoon contest against Amherst. Following the game, we adjourned to the Brown’s most attractive and comfortable pied a terre on Cole Avenue to catch up with one another and savor a Thai dinner. Unfortunately, I had a 10:00 p.m. curfew and was required reluctantly to take my leave of such good company and return home to Queensbury.” Lou also passed along a few comments about the Mini Reunion in Mystic Seaport: “The great Class of ’70 was well represented at the early May Mini Reunion co-hosted with the Class of ’69 in Mystic Seaport, CT. After a productive Reunion Planning Committee luncheon meeting, we heard a very informative presentation on the Williams-Mystic Program by program director Tom Van Winkle. The presentation was followed by a most interesting walking tour of the seaport conducted by Dr. Glenn Gordinier. That evening, everyone met for a cocktail reception, dinner and apres dinner talk by Williams Professor of English, Dr. Shawn Rosenheim.
Just to provide some filler material I’ll add some news of my own: Julie and I spent four days in Paris in late May, one of them at the French Open (“Roland Garros”) where we got to see Venus Williams’ and Sloane Stephens matches, among others. After that, we flew to England for four days of hiking and sightseeing in the Lake District. Julie then took a train to London to spend a few days there with a cousin. They got to see the play Hamilton with a mostly British audience and all enjoyed the songs, especially those by and about King George III. I went from the Lake District to Glasgow Scotland where I met up with my sons Andrew McKenna-Foster (Colby College 2004), and Daniel McKenna-Foster ‘07. The three of us then spent nine days traveling (lots of hiking and beer drinking) together in the Scottish Highlands (Glencoe, Fort William, Fort Augustus, Inverness, Isle of Skye) and two final days in Edinburgh. It was a most enjoyable and memorable trip for me in my 70th year, particularly those nine days on a “guys” trip with my two sons. A bonus benefit was that I added three Vermeer painting viewings to my list (two at the Louvre, one at the National Gallery of Scotland) as part of my goal of seeing each of the 36 (or so) Vermeer paintings known to exist. This trip got me to 24. Unfortunately, the Queen of England owns one Vermeer and I am advised that she never allows it to be shown publicly. So, I’m leaving that one until last and counting on Richard Wendorf to use his influence to convince whoever is monarch at the time to grant me a showing.