Class Notes are shared on a monthly basis here in the Alumni Update. Are you celebrating a milestone? Moving to a new city? Finally learning French? Please reach out to your Class Secretary to share your news and look out for it in a future Update.
Class of 1952
As reported by Martha Green:
“I’m in Brooklyn Heights, doing a lot of Pilates and going to Deer Isle, ME in the summers. I am still swanning around with Stephan Chodorov and planning a trip to Santa Fe and Denver in February to visit my sister, son and daughter-in-law, and I hope to get to Key West at the end of the month.”
Jean Olson and Tom Bryan live in Lexington, MA and continue to spend some weekends on the Cape. They visited Martha Green in Maine last summer.
Arthur Lukach and Sharry have moved to Sleepy Hollow on the Hudson near Arthur's son and young grandchildren whom they see a lot of. They still go to their house in East Hampton when the weather is clement.
Peter Stack reports that he is in good health and makes regular spring and fall visits to South Carolina to play golf in Charleston and Myrtle Beach with his oldest son who works in Charleston.
Grover Wald writes of an accidental fall in late 2018, which has left him with short-term memory loss and some cognitive impairment. He suffers from general fatigue and weakness in his legs. Nonetheless he enjoys reading and arm-chair traveling and daily excursions through attractive neighborhoods. He lives in San Francisco.
Debby Andersen writes from Hilton Head, SC, where she and Arthur are living again, that she has just come back from visiting her families in Connecticut and New Jersey for the Christmas season. They spent Christmas in Sharon, CT with her son Matt and Tom, joined by son David and Laura and their children and were joined by Andy’s daughter, Kate and Mary White, a sister-in-law. They spent New Years' in Summit, NJ with youngest son, Tim's family, who'd just recovered from COVID. Debby drove all the way—down and back.
Class of 1956
As reported by Gretchen Dumler:
“I busted out of Hampton Bays for Christmas and a few days in DC with my daughter and enchanting children... even her husband behaved well. Grayson  is becoming a very good sax player (in the tradition of my Dad, Bugsy!), and I watched/listened to Harley  ringing one of the National Cathedral bells! Yes, the NC School has a course in bell-ringing! As an Episcopalian musician grandma, I was moved to tears!”
Ed Carroll reports, “I’m still digesting Friends’ incredible tribute and thinking about not just our class but the span of friends throughout the school who, still today, reside in me as one of two communities of meaning to me. I wonder what might have been had my family moved back to Baltimore almost as soon as we graduated. Methodist ministerial families are itinerant. We go where the ordained are assigned and live in parsonages.
When the Meetinghouse article came out, I went to my four yearbooks and read all the wonderful things written. It renewed my fervent feeling that our class was special atop a special community. I would so love to see all of us who remain. Since I married Rachel 23 years ago, I have been following her where her work took us since moving from Canada (She was born 2.5 miles from my Canadian summer community) to the States. Rachel has 5 years of Culinary training under a classic French Master Chief and 4 years of an Honors BA in Women Studies and Comparative Development from Trent University in Ontario. Her culinary training has always been her entry to employment, from which she just freed herself to join me in retirement and at home 5 star nutritious dining. We’re back in Rio Rico AZ, after a grueling and soul wrenching 3 years in Roanoke VA, Where Rachel managed the in-school feeding program for the Roanoke School District. We’ve decided for the time being that Rio Rico will be our winter retirement location (I’m presently writing this on my iPad under a blue blue sky and brilliant sun, temp reading 66. I’ve spent the last several months reading what we should have been reading in our history and lit classes: Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Dubois’ The Souls of Black Folks; and more for the present times, How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith, The 1619 Project, The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee, Becoming by Michelle Obama, The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson and so many others that if read with honesty and purity of heart will give insight into what we have been conditioned to deny ourselves of what all of the faiths promise. I miss everyone and look back in wonder at all of the gifts I had neither the experience nor substance to appreciate.”
Jed Davis reports, “I continue to operate my small law firm in Augusta, Maine, full-time when we aren't traveling, which is a good part of the time. That is possible only because of the technology which allows me to keep up with my office work from wherever I may be. Since Freda and I don't travel when the weather is beautiful in Maine, we'd be delighted to see any of you in our beautiful state. With very best wishes for, especially, good health, Jed.”
Class of 1960
Bronwen Cunningham reports, “Hope you are all well and survived 2021. Will this ever end? No great news to report other than we dodged a nearby tornado yesterday by spending some quality time in the basement storage room reading the New York Times. Thankfully [tornados are] not a frequent occurrence in Sanibel, FL. Still hoping for another venture to Europe with grandchildren this summer. But it’s wait and see… Be well my friends—stay safe till we meet again!”
1341 Middle Gulf Drive
Sunset South 15 B
Sanibel, FL 33957
Class of 1963
As reported by David Lowry:
“I am fine, as is my wife, two children and two grandchildren. Granddaughter, who is four years old, did get COVID, but it was over in a few days with no complications! Hope you are all vaccinated and boostered. Seems we are of the age that is at higher risk. Who would have ever thought we’d be in our mid-70’s? I am fully retired and living in Edgewater, NJ, right across from Manhattan. Not too far from home, having lived in Bloomfield Hills, MI; Lexington, KY; Pittsburgh, PA and then Englewood, NJ.”
Vicki Cooper reports:
“I am now living in Santa Barbara, California. My wife of 26 years and I have retired here after buying a home in the foothills in 2017. For the first two years we maintained our Chicago/Michigan residence. When we went into COVID lockdown, while in Cali, we became permanent residents, drivers, voters as well as property owners. Being here in SB is something I never imagined. In fact, I have no recollection of what I thought being 76 would be like. However this move has been a wonderful exploration. There is so much to learn about its history, the Spanish occupation, the California period of Mexican rule and then statehood. The university, UCSB, creates a strong science and arts focus. We go to the theater, opera, independent film, symphony and the fine arts. A downside here is fire risk! Having spent my career consulting and teaching in health, safety, environment and emergency preparedness, I have pursued a volunteer opportunity and have been appointed to the Santa Barbara County Fire Safe Council. The geography and demographics are so different here! Organizing groups and communities to protect and better themselves is something I am passionate about. So life is pretty good. Anyone visiting Santa Barbara, please get in touch. We rarely get to NYC these days. We are busy all the time. LA, wine country and Palm Springs are places we visit regularly. We are happy here, for sure!”
Harry Harding reports: “Shirley Lin and I continue to divide our time between Asia and America. My son Jamey, daughter-in law Vicky Ma, and two granddaughters Emma and Hannah now live in Taiwan, where Jamey runs international operations for one of its biggest banks. Shirley and I spend quite a bit of time there, since that is where she is from and where her father and elder sister still live. I hold a part-time visiting appointment at one of the big universities there, but I’m still based at the University of Virginia, where I teach courses on public policy and political leadership, in each case focusing on US-China relations. Shirley serves on several corporate and non-profit boards and is associated with both the Brookings Institution and the Miller Center of Public Affairs here at UVA. She also teaches part-time in Hong Kong and Taiwan. We’ve managed to avoid COVID so far but I was struck down in early August by a health problem you’re not supposed to encounter at our advanced age: acute appendicitis, followed by a ruptured appendix, an appendectomy, post-surgical complications, and a very long recuperation. I've finally recovered and am thinking of retiring at the end of this academic year. I had hoped to travel the world in retirement but, having gone through two weeks of quarantine coming into Taiwan in December, I don't want to do that again. I now understand why house arrest really is a punishment. Hopefully the pandemic will wind down soon and travel will become a little easier. Meanwhile we’re trying to think positive but test negative.”
Class of 1971
As reported by Laura Ward:
“I was fortunate to be able to celebrate the New Year with my sister Carolyn Ward ’74, at her home in Washington, DC.”
Katherine Schoonover shared that her choir, the West Village Chorale, was able to have its first in-person concert (with everyone vaccinated and masked) in two years, in December. Unfortunately, the Chorale is back to rehearsing on zoom, which Katherine says “is about 1% as soul-satisfying as singing together in person.”
Margarita Alban is volunteering as the Chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission in Greenwich, Conn. The Commission is focusing on initiatives to address climate change and working with other towns.
Rich Brown,“I wish for all of you to be healthy.”
Class of 1973
As reported by Barbara Michelson:
Daniel Greenbaum reports, “My daughter just got over her second bout of COVID. I tried to keep my calm through it. I continue to run my real estate business in Brooklyn and have now added Chinese martial arts to taking karate.
Warmly to all.”
Lisa Ernest Mierop reports, “Writing from San Jose del Cabo during a two-week getaway with Frank plus Emma and her significant other. We were quite unsure this trip would come off as Emma got COVID on New Year's Day and 1) many flights were being canceled between staffing and weather challenges and 2) we couldn't figure out how to get Emma back into the US if she was still testing positive by our return date. I did ultimately get her medical clearance, but it was not easy. No one wanted to see her since she had COVID, she wasn't registered to a specific GP and no one was taking new patients, and time before departure was running out. We had the added concern that her partner would contract COVID after she did—meaning he would get sick in Mexico and then what? I did not take up anything new during the pandemic and was somewhat content to have government orders to stay at home where I would always rather be anyway. After all efforts to the contrary, I did turn into my mother. Reading lots, TV and YouTube binges and Zoom meetings with friends and clients filled time and space. Our work in the landscape field, being outside and at the low end of the agricultural spectrum was deemed ‘essential’ so we never actually stopped working. There were significant obstacles of course with supply chain and labor shortages, employee battles over masking plus some hysterical neighbors who called cops to shut us down or refused to leave their homes if our entire staff wasn’t fully masked even though we were outside working over 100 feet from their homes. Yikes—so much crazy behavior. Between COVID and extreme weather challenges over the last two years, both Frank and I found ourselves more than ready to pass the baton and move away from construction. To that end, Frank sold his business a few months ago and we couldn’t be happier about the timing. We are focusing now on landscape design and consultation exclusively. COVID did nothing but balloon the demand for our services as no one around here with multiple children wants to ever be caught at home again without a great outdoor space. Demand for swimming pools alone is 3 times greater than prior to the pandemic and there are long wait lists for installation.
Emma too found her art business soar during COVID as she was finally persuaded to add cloth masks to her line and ended up selling thousands. As much as I may loathe social media, it has given her a safe way to generate income and be financially independent. We lost a significant friend to COVID and had another close friend lose his son, so we were hardly insulated from the ongoing agony of it all. I am weary of all the political and cultural battles that have stemmed from this and pretty much want to continue staying at home. Not a very proactive position but between politics, COVID and extreme weather events which dramatically affected our work, I find myself pretty much emotionally bankrupt. My stepson, Alex, landed at the University of Tampa after two dreadful and chaotic years of dealing with junior hockey athletics during COVID. We are glad to see him more settled and honestly happy that he is in Florida and out of the Northeast. That’s all for now… off to find some sun and peace for the moment.
Sending much love to all Friends.”
John Frye reports, “In January 2020 we had a nice trip to Hawaii and in late February a ski trip to Deer Valley. Then the world changed. Aside from a couple of drives to the Bay Area (my niece’s wedding in August 2021, then Thanksgiving) we’ve basically been holed up in Southern California, with nothing to see but beaches and mountains. Pity poor us. Each weekend, though, I have made a point of hiking through Los Angeles neighborhoods where I had either never been in 30 years, or never been outside of a car. It’s been fun, and helped to keep me in shape. In June my wife and I celebrated our 25th anniversary with a trip to Ventana Big Sur. What a beautiful coastline, and at peak wildflower season. I highly recommend it. My son’s college commencement is this May, as is my 45th college reunion. So I will have the chance to spend time in NYC on my way from Boston to Princeton. I’m hoping that the media is wrong about New York having gone to the dogs. In May of last year my partner and I sold our investment firm. She retired and I will stay on with the acquiring firm for a few years to come. I like what I do and can’t imagine being fully retired. Besides, until COVID becomes just another bad cold, there isn’t anywhere I’d really want to go. Soon, though, I hope. All the best to everyone.”
Webb Keane reports, “Having visited David and Paul on their island, I can affirm that they've landed in paradise! And a far cry from his family’s Grand St. apartment where we would head on the 2nd Ave bus after school some 55 years ago. Although I left Friends in 10th grade, having spent my first 9 years of grade school with many of you, and having taken my mother to Meeting there from time to time for decades after—my parents lived only seven blocks away until their deaths in the last few years—it still feels close. I know some of you are in touch with Paul Supton—please tell him he made a greater impression on than almost any teacher I’ve ever had). My wife, Adela, and I are both professors at the University of Michigan, she in English, I in cultural and linguistic anthropology. I specialize in Indonesia, but do the kind of comparative work that takes me all over the place, (or did, back when travel was a thing—and now that I've been sensitized to the carbon footprint I was leaving behind, well, who knows). Our daughter graduated from college in 2021 and landed her dream job as a grant-writer and policy wonk for a non-profit specializing in anti-recidivism and prison reform in Los Angeles. I never expected to spend over two decades of my life, and counting, in the midwest, but Ann Arbor has turned out to be a hard place to leave. And it’s been one of the easier places to be during a pandemic (where we landed after having spent the first six months of COVID in the idyllic Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton). I find the stimulation and provocation from students to be sometimes exasperating, often fascinating, and always an inducement to stay alert. I’m having too much fun to dream of retirement but also don’t want to overstay my welcome, and haven’t forgotten what it was like to suffer the old coots who did. So it’s an ongoing judgment call. Warm regards to all.”
Class of 1974
Michael Polowetzky's novel: “Courtesans Part II,” is now available on AMAZON and at BARNES & NOBLE. “Courtesans Part II” tells the story of Countess Celine and how she rises to become leader of the influential Montfort Ladies.
Class of 1977
We have been informed of the passing of Jeff Sawyer ’77 on January 17, 2022. We are holding his family and friends in the Light.
Class of 1983
Dave Isay ’83
Sets Out to Create Unity, One Conversation at a Time
Dave Isay’s newest initiative “One Small Step” gets Americans from across the political spectrum to stop demonizing one another and start communicating, was featured on 60 Minutes, to see the segment click here.
Class of 1991
Nicholas Testa reports, “I am still living in Los Angeles with my wife, Mariko, and two daughters, Kira (13) and Mika (10). I was back in New York over Thanksgiving and had the opportunity to see Lee Shapiro, Dave Sellar and Tristen Gottlieb which was a highlight of the holiday. I am still a doctor and Chief Medical Officer, and just like everyone else I am tired of COVID but happy to have seen so many of our classmates at our zoom reunion.”