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The ’62 Whiffs in Summer: The ’62 Whiff August ’23 Reunion

By John Stewart

Long-planned, on the evening of Tuesday, August 2, we’d assembled in Gates Mills, Ohio, at the home of Bonnie Humphrey and Charlie “Sonuva” Michener. Peter “Pop” and Margaret Sipple, Louis “Boiler” and Patricia Klindienst, John “Dirty Bas” and Jolly Stewart had flown together from Hartford. Dixie “Holy Mac” and Rives Carroll from Washington, Cam “Cash’n” and Angela Carey from Boston, Peter “Alarm” Clark and Ellen Barol from Cape Cod, Tom “Coast Guard” Cutler with friend Lindsay from Cape May, and Bill “Aspara” Gross and Jan Clarke from Philadelphia. Biggie “Popo” and Anne Moore were not able to make it. Charlie presided at the grill, and we greeted and gobbled. Those not staying with B. and C. were lavishly put up at the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club, a beautiful venue redolent of Scott Fitzgeraldian vintage.


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After breakfast the next morning we sang for an hour and a half, the same repertoire that we’d pulled off at the 60th reunion a year earlier, then drove west to the extraordinary Holden Arboretum, 3700 acres of forests and lush planted gardens. That evening Charlie displayed yet again his grill mastery and the talk went on late in the night. We all felt that communications were the most satisfying ever – more profound, more revealing, and more rewardingly intimate. There’s something to be said for getting older!

Before heading to the Cleveland Museum of Art for lunch Wednesday we sang again for an hour. After returning to Gates Mills for the always welcomed naps, we met to remember our much-lamented departed comrades: Jack “Raisin” Brandt, Sam “Semi” Knoll, Debbie “Diffie” Cutler, Carl “Pitchpipe” Kaestle. and his wife Liz “Fliegender” Hollander. Then as an amuse bouche before dinner we sang for about 25 minutes, warmly appreciated by our wives and other listeners, without embarrassing ourselves. Highlights were solos by “Holy Mac” and “Aspara” in “Granuaille” and “Slap that Bass,” totally recapturing our youthful spirits.

The next morning, we parted, extremely grateful to Charlie and Bonnie for the enormous amount of their hard work to put together a very happy and delightful reunion.


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