Class Notes Archives
Winter Andover Bulletin 2006 Class Notes (written September 2006)
Hey! It’s time to start celebrating our kids! Through the conversation that’s begun on Yahoo.com (go to PA59ers.com to sign up), several of you have mused about getting our kids involved with our reunion—an idea we need more input on, great idea or a stinker? let us know—and that led to a couple of interesting notes. First, Peter and Joyce Moock’s son Alastair is a folk singer, and gives concerts regularly all across the country. Maureen and I joined Peter and Joyce at one a year or so ago, and were reminded of how super it is to be in a small group with a very talented entertainer. If Peter can sing, we’ve got a natural act, if not, perhaps there’s a junior group that could join/complement the obviously great voices we have in our class—Geoff Martin, Jay Nelson, Ed Shapiro, Perry Miller (aka Jesse Colin Young), Keith Barbour, Bill Cruikshank, Charlie Sawyer among others.
In September, Maynard Toll’s son Ian’s book SIX FRIGATES: THE EPIC HISTORY OF THE FOUNDING OF THE US NAVY, was published by W.W. Norton. His book tour maya bring him to your town, possibly a maritime or naval museum. The book covers roughly the period of 1794-1814, which if you remember American History, was a particularly dicey part of our history—it was by no means clear that the US would make it, and our Navy was critical to our success.
Which leads me directly to the reunion—a planning meeting was held on September 29th at PA which included both Abbot (Kitty Sides Flather, Ann Stack, and Suzie Steadman) and seven of us (John Doherty, Art Rogers, Quinn Rosefsky, Jim Bishop, Dave Atchason, Jim Kfoury, and Ralph Kimball) where we laid out the various things we have to do between now and June, 2009, and it’s clear that we need help! Not that a lot hasn’t already been done: what Alan Albright and Paul Neshamkin have done with the website is nothing less than phenomenal, but even they can’t keep up that pace, and need some help in all aspects of web development; Hank Higdon will organize and lead the memorial service, and he, too, will need people to speak—briefly!—on behalf of a friend. Quinn Rosefsky has volunteered to organize the art exhibition—art being defined as broadly as possible (he’s accepted our wine for the opening reception as “art”, so you see how broad his definition really is!) and, of course, he’ll need help finding the artists among us, and arranging the exhibition.
And there’s a ton of other needs: music for the dinners, activities for Friday and Saturday, and, lest I forget, The Book—the primary memento of the reunion, which celebrates who we are, and what we still want to accomplish. Traditionally, the book is a series of personal essays with a picture of the Bell Tower or the globe in front of the Library on the cover, but we can make ours whatever we want—how about a photo by Steve Rosler on the cover, or a watercolor by Quinn, or an original lyric by Jesse Colin Young, or a poem by…well, we’ve got to have a poet somewhere among us! And the essay could be focused on what we still want to accomplish, again broadly defined, or what has really mattered in our lives. Ideas and volunteers needed!
Meanwhile in the news department: Hank Atha, tired of retirement, is as Deputy County Administrator for Community and Economic Development in Tucson, AZ. Last year he bailed the library out of a five year decline and set it up to respond to the expansive population growth we are experiencing out here.
Doug Jenner, on Bill Coffin’s death: I remember [a dinner at the Coffins and] just being blown away by the wide-ranging conversation and the sense that he and his wife were citizens of the world, took that responsibility seriously, and were up to the task.
Randy Devening is splitting his time between Seattle and Oklahoma City and Rancho Mirage—. “I do not miss the corporate world a bit and try to keep up with my leisure pursuits and three children and their offspring.”
Finally, as part of Tom Stirling’s compendium of our military service a tease from a note from Winnie Winfield—we’ll post the whole on the website.
"I was always the last at PA… I graduated in August 59… I enlisted in the Army in September. At this, I had to be the first, the first in our class to do his military.
In late 1961 I volunteered to go to Viet-Nam as an “advisor”. What duty… Civilian clothes… A room in an apartment hotel in downtown Saigon overlooking the Saigon River… Meals in nice restaurants… Then it suddenly ended… "
Summer Andover Bulletin 2006 Class Notes (written May 2006)
PA59ers.com is going great guns, thanks to all who have checked it out, commented, corrected, and made suggestions, and to Alan Albright and Paul Neshamkin for doing the heavy lifting. We’ve got a lot done, but need your help filling it out—pictures to post, websites to link to, writings, blogs, keep them coming: the goal is to document the 10,000 years we’ve experienced since leaving Andover, and it is, as even a casual perusal of the website demonstrates, an extraordinarily rich, accomplished, meaningful, poignant, and above all joyous celebration of our lives.
Some quick, abbreviated notes to accommodate reunion classes (asterisk indicates more on PA59ers.com):
David Epstein*: PhD in Anthropology from Columbia, wrote book about Brasília, taught at UCLA , Law degree from UCLA, worked in DC, California, elected to Santa Monica City Council on (relatively) conservative slate for one term in early '80s.
Former managing partner at leading plaintiff construction defect law firm. “I know a lot about concrete, mold and landslides.” Recently started blogging as "Grumpy Old Man" .
John Briley Cultural Anthropology at Harvard, Columbia Medical School, Boston City Hospital ("Saint Elsewhere") and Maui, where a pediatrician was badly needed. “My polio caught up with me and in 2000 I had to semi retire (but still work in the area of child abuse/neglect), and continue my hobby of writing. I have many short stories and medical pieces published but my first love was children's fiction. Several times I came close to getting my fantasy books published, but something ….”
Kay and Maynard Toll* visited Algeria for two weeks earlier this year. “It is really a fascinating country—their brutal civil war seems to be over and no tourists have been beheaded recently as far as I know—and the week we spent in the desert in SE Algeria (near the Libyan and Niger borders) was stunning.”
Whit Smyth and (PA roommate) Ted White*
got together in Nashville in March.
Whit’s passion is now golf, a year-around activity in Nashville where he and his wife, Shari, have lived since 1997. He is the senior copywriter and project manager for a small marketing agency in Stamford, Ct.
Whit is also an author, “having written books on the history of the Arby’s roast beef chain and the history of III Forks Restaurant, a majestic steakhouse in Dallas. Unlike Ted, these coffee table books have won no awards, only earning me a few free meals.” Whit—perhaps you and Basil Cox, president of the “Eat and Park” restaurant chain in the Pittsburgh area should get together!
Finally, John Smith* suffered horrendous injuries from a horseback riding accident in South Africa in February, is recovering well, and has written about his experience—under his name in PA59ers.com.
The series on our military experiences will continue next time, as well as on PA59ers.com, where words need not be counted! Keep checking in, and sign up to the Yahoogroup of 59ers through PA59ers.com.
Have a great summer!
Spring Andover Bulletin 2006 Class Notes (written Feb 24, 2006)
OK—The next big one is just three years away! June 11-14, our 50th reunion, and John Doherty, Artie Rogers and I are beginning to get the pieces together, and we need you! We need you to write, to plan, to think, to sing, and of course to come and to support, financially, the great things the school is doing. There are a lot of specifics—from putting together “the book” of essays from each of us to planning the activities and entertainment. Call us before we call you!
Tom Stirling has been collecting stories of classmates’ experiences in the military. Here are a few—more to come in future notes. When Tom arrived at Cornell, “I couldn’t pass the Navy’s eye test, so I chose the Army, and Army Intelligence, and found it interesting enough to extend my commitment and volunteer for Vietnam duty. I considered making the Army a career, and also an offer from the CIA, but finished law school and wound up as an attorney, something I found I have a bit of a knack for. I stayed in the Army Reserve for 28 years and retired ten years ago as a LTC.”
While in Vietnam, Tom ran into John Doherty, also in Army Intelligence, who was subsequently badly wounded in Hue during Tet. John, a lawyer, is now the coordinator of veterans’ affairs for the town of Andover.
John Butler was an Air Force navigator -- KC 135's, although “I wanted to be a pilot. Luckily they didn't make me a pilot because I probably would have bought it. We flew out of Thailand, Okinawa, and the Philippines refueling B52s and various fighters. Like Bill, I always felt a little guilty while guys like Tom and John were down there getting shot at. They might even have been figuring out where the SAMs were so we wouldn't get shot down.”
Dexter Koehl enlisted in the Army for three years, 1961
– 1963, “first year was spent in Monterey, California at the Defense Language
Institute where I studied Japanese. Final two years were assigned to the
National Security Agency (NSA) in Ft. Meade, Maryland where I served as
a Japanese translator. “
Alan Albright was drafted on 29 June 1966; basic training at Ft. Bragg; assigned to the Medical Battalion, Support Command, 3d Infantry Battalion, in Aschaffenburg, Germany. Mustered out on June 28, 1968. “Hallelulah! The Army was a great learning experience! I'd recommend it for anyone, if you didn't have to kill and be killed. This is why I'm working so hard with the AFS.”
In other news, Tom Stirling uncovered, and Dave Smoyer confirmed, that Dave’s dad recently gave a million dollars to help renovate the soccer field—it’s to be called the Smoyer Family Field recognizing Dave’s Mom and Dad and their children, Dave, Nancy and Billy (PA XX).
From California: the California Senate just confirmed Jerry Secundy 37-0 as the Vice Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board. He’s in charge of water quality (pollution) and rights issues for southern California.
From Washington, D.C., Jerry Bremer: “I did a presentation at Andover as part of my 27-city book tour. My first visit to the campus in 47 years. I particularly enjoyed the dinner with a group of bright inquisitive students.”
And finally, Kirby Jones—long the principal facilitator between Fidel Castro and American businessmen interested in Cuba—ran a conference in Mexico City in late January that brought American oil companies and Cuban officials together to discuss drilling in Cuban waters. The conference was a success despite the US government’s insistence that the Cuban delegation not stay in the American owned Westin Hotel. Go figure!
Summer Andover Bulletin 2005 Class Notes (written Feb 2005)
Dave Fournier died on December 7th, 2004 of a pulmonary embolism caused by a blood clot resulting from complications of a hip replacement operation. Dave, who was born and grew up in Attleboro, Mass., went to Brown, then returned to Attleboro where he became a major presence in the town’s major industry, the jewelry industry, but more importantly in its civic and cultural life. Dave loved books. He subscribed to many book reviews from major newspapers around the world, and bought the books he was interested in. And he read them! His tastes were eclectic: business, cosmology, history, particle physics, World War II.
Dave’s early career was as a stockbroker for Boston area security firms, but he soon returned to Attleboro where he worked first as the owner of a company that made jewelry components, and later for the company that manufactured for Tiffany’s and made the Kentucky Derby Trophy. Dave and his family were active in the Murray Unitarian-Universalist Church in Attleboro, and with the Menauhant Yacht Club in Falmouth, which Dave served as Commodore, but probably more important to him, as founder of the Club’s book club.
Dave, Beck Gilbert, Jim Noyes and I were the four inhabitants of Park House, our Lower year. Our four singles formed the top floor of the house, and we often played “soccer” using a duct tape ball, and opposing doors as goals. Dave’s athleticism, intelligence, and -- as Beck, Jim and I well knew -- his extraordinary physical strength made him hard to beat. When I spoke this week with Beck and Jim, the first thing we all remembered was how quiet, focused, but above all incredibly strong Dave was. He was, no surprise, a star of PA’s wrestling team.
It was great to catch up with Beck and Jim. Jim retired a few years ago from his own executive search firm specializing in sales and marketing management positions for chemical specialty suppliers of electronic components. He retired both to care for his parents, both suffering from a form of Alzheimer’s, and to recover—which he has—from follicular lymphoma, a non-Hodgkins blood cancer which struck him a year ago.
Beck was one of the early pioneers of the leveraged buy-out industry—he was into LBOs before LBOs were cool. His work as a crisis manager with problem companies led him to look at some of the issues facing our society from that point of view, specifically medical research. That led him—recently—to audit the first two years of medical school at Cornell Medical school, and then to enroll in a masters/PhD program in cancer immunology at Rockefeller University, where he is currently writing his master’s thesis. His goal is to improve the efficacy of how medical research is conducted.
Without much coaxing, both Jim and Beck agreed to come to our 50th reunion, a mere four years from now. John Doherty, who himself underwent an emergency prostate cancer operation last June—and has fully recovered—is already thinking about the reunion, and joins me in asking all of you a) to set aside the second weekend in June, 2009 now, and b) to make suggestions about what might make the reunion most memorable. The possibilities extend from exhibits (art produced, books written, old/new photos), to seminars featuring classmates. Kirby Jones and Bill Bell met, for example, unexpectedly over dinner in Havana, as Bill said “…looking after various business clients’ interests.” He added “…Kirby has probably been Fidel’s most trusted American friend since 1974.” They and Carlos de la Cruz who spearheaded the Elian Gonzalez defense in Miami a few years ago could have a lively discussion. As could Chester Crocker, Jerry Bremer, both active in the State Department, and Will Thompson, of the Fletcher School at Tufts, not to mention discussions in the worlds of business, medicine and the arts that many of us have been so active in. Please send suggestions!
We want absolutely every member of the class of ’59 (both Andover and Abbot) back in June of 2009. We want that, not to set a record, but to celebrate an extraordinary group of men and women, and to acknowledge the fact that we owe our extraordinary lives not to Andover the school, but to Andover the institution that brought us all together, and gave us the opportunity to learn so much from one another. Let’s celebrate the lives we embarked on from Andover 50 years earlier.
I leave you with one of Deborah Fournier’s images of Dave. “He had a great sense of humor, loved good food, but above all love animals and books. It was not unusual to find him in a chair reading with a hamster on his shoulder, and a cat in his lap.”