MAY / JUNE 2006
The 2006 Mini Reunion will be in Aspen, Colorado, October 5-8. That is the same location as announced earlier but with different dates. Steve Susman (Houston), who has a vacation home in Aspen, is taking the lead on the arrangements assisted by Class Secretary Kirk MacDonald (New York City). They report the weather in early October should be good and that the crowds may be smaller and the prices lower.
Colorado classmate Sandy Avner wrote that he maintains his medical practice, as do two sons, also in the Evergreen State. He and wife of 42 years, Susan, have five grandchildren, "three to two in favor of the boys." Sandy continued, "I have been on medical missions in Romania where there is desperate need for health care. We ski, hike, read, golf and bathe in our blessings."
Rod Quainton (Bloomfield Hills, MI) wrote "count us definitely in" for Aspen. "Last year's Washington D.C. Mini inspired us to organize a Micro-Reunion of our TD gang in Tucson for Nanci and I, Dick & Dal Gale, Al & Glenda Hallden, Charlie Flinn, Eric & Nancy Eitreim and Mary Anne & Doug Charles at the Hacienda del Sol resort. We had a grand time and the hearty played golf in the 104 degree temp. Certainly enhanced the taste of the evening's gin and tonics! Rod has been leading discussions at the church where he is a minister about "The World is Flat" phenomenon and what it means for us as individuals, parents and grandparents. By extension, this includes our kids and their education and work prospects and the how the church can further develop a ministry of coaching and mentoring for people in job/career transition."
David Fobes (Chesterfield, MA) also is working in churches and agrees with Rod about close allegiance to his residential college. In David's case, it is Pierson, and he said, "I felt more tied in with my college than my class including that my roommates were from other classes." After 35 years of practicing law in the specialized arena of ship financing, David retired "because my wife deserved more of my time." He then decided to attend Yale Divinity School graduating in 2003. The intent was to enter parish ministry, but as it has developed, he says that he is a visiting or substitute preacher at United Church of Christ churches in Western Massachusetts while living in an 1822 ancestral home. The winter months are in Amelia Island, Florida, where "we bought a condo very much on the spur of the moment. We have no intention of moving to Florida permanently," David adds.
Frank Wanning (Blue Hill, ME) also has settled in a place that he knew from childhood. After 20 years living in London working in the sugar business, followed by time back in the New York area, Frank retired with his English born wife and two pre-teen daughters to Maine. "I believe in serial monogamy," Frank contends, explaining how happy he is with what is his third family. Frank volunteers on the Boards of the Blue Hill Memorial Hospital and the George Stevens Academy. The latter is an unusual institution in that it is a quasi-private school dating back more than 200 years but has as its students mostly kids from small nearby towns that no public high school. The towns pay per student so that the institution functions somewhat like a charter school.
The latest word from Steve Lash (New York) is that, "I still am fully engaged at Christie's where happily there is no mandatory retirement. In fact, I find that in this particular business length of service is an advantage. I travel a great deal to London for internal meetings; Asia, where the impact of new money from China is palpable, and Brazil and Argentina, countries mass tourism has yet to discover, but which are full of charm and color. On the home front we have been blessed with the arrival of our first grandchild Harriet (aka "Hattie") Lehman Shapard, who conveniently lives five blocks away. We often spend weekends in Stonington, Connecticut. Naturally I wonder what the future holds, but I try to remind myself to maintain great "nostalgia for the present." Yale remains a fundamental building block in my life, for which I am grateful."
Steve was one several classmates to note that he was replying to my steady enjoinders to send along what is new and important. Is it your turn now?
In Connecticut all of the time is Tom Luckey (Branford, CT), who continues to be an inspiration as he slowly fights his way back from his paralyzing injuries suffered in a fall last year. Tom is back at home and is again getting new contracts for the extraordinary climbing apparatus that he designs for children.
And still in the Nutmeg State, Charles Merlis (West Hartford) recently completed an extremely satisfying theater role as the lead in "All My Sons." A local newspaper reviewer wrote, "Throughout his charismatic performance, he is arrogant, humble, loving, and bitter. His characterization transcends the script, marching confidently off the page and standing at attention in our collective consciousness."
Finally, Bill Stork checked in from Hong Kong to say, "I went to the Consulate General to get guidance in completing the form I had received unsolicited from the Social Security system regarding the Medicare B plan. The consular official kindly took me through the form [after having to go to colleagues three times for advice] and, as we finished, asked why I was enrolling. I guess my blank face told her that I just did not understand. If the government, of which I carry their passport, sends me, in Hong Kong, a request to fill out their form, I expect there is a good reason for so doing. She hastened to add that, since I was not residing in U.S.A., I was not eligible to receive benefits."