Thursday, July 19, 2007

PA59 Summer Class Notes

PA 1959 Class Notes
May, 2007
David Othmer

OK guys, time to get it together. Here are two printed alumni quotes—not hearsay, not phone calls, not even emails—from non-Andover, classmates of mine:1) “After publishing [a book about arthritis]…I’m now writing a murder mystery and teaching a course on genocide at Stanford.” And 2) “…two days after our honeymoon I departed…for three months in Karachi. My wife did not travel with me as she could not find proper care for her 11 year old miniature poodle…” Now really, why don’t I get material like that from you all? Could it be that hard? Are all your lives that spectacularly predictable? We did grow up in the fifties, I know, I know—

Reunion Update—less than two years away, and developing fast. After last fall’s get together at our house in Philadelphia, Bill Bell and his wife Barbara staged the “Second Annual Alan Albright fly-by-on-his-way-from-Florida-to-Canada” dinner. This year it was in Maine with Bill’s Abbot counterpart as coordinator of The (Reunion) Book, Suzy Stedman, along with Peter Moock, Jim Hayman (writing a novel) and his wife Jeanne, and Suzy’s classmate Tina Treadwell and Alan’s sister Suzie. Ted McCarthy was coming, but had to bail at the last minute, apparently because he got so carried away surfing the wonders of!

Just a couple of days earlier, half of our Denver area classmates—Doug Jenner, and Pepper Stuessy—and I had a great catch-up dinner in Denver They both looked great, and had each settled into very comfortable lives, Doug—who grew up in the Denver area—is now a real estate agent, Pepper a 12 month a year tax consultant. Log cabin update: Doug has now finished refurbishing five of the six, and is selling all but the one that he and Fran will keep to folks looking for weekend places close to Denver. He is instrumental in insuring that Denver’s old housing stock (“old” in Denver is pre-1940) is appreciated and valued as it should be. He showed me around his neighborhood which has a rich history of a community that successfully integrated in the 50s, not without a lot of effort on the part of the white residents there, supported by aggressive editorial support from the local newspaper. It was touch and go for several months, before settling into the healthy, vibrant integrated community it still is.

Pepper, after stints in the late 60s and early 70s with the Federal Reserve and the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington and a PhD in economics (which allowed him to call himself “Dr. Pepper”), headed west, loved Boulder, CO, and set up his own accounting firm, which has been going strong ever since, in no small part because of Bill Bell’s being one of his oldest and most loyal clients! Turns out we all have kids in their late 30s or early 40s, the food was good, and we were all happy to have finally gotten together.

Denver is a lovely city, by the way, with a new Leibeskind designed Art Museum that echoes the Rockies on the outside, and has some great art on the inside (the modern art and pre-Columbian collections are particularly wonderful). So even if you don’t need a new house or your taxes prepared, stop by!

Then on June 12th (after these notes were submitted) Art Rogers and Hank Higdon organized a lunch in New York attended by Garrett Kirk, Peter Foote, Mike Bassett, Giles Payne, Paul Neshamkin, Peter Pochna, Beck Gilbert, Jay Nelson, Sven Hsia and a couple of Andover people. We discussed how PA59 could help shape Andover’s future in an area such as China and globalization, having a “green” campus as a global warming initiative, and a couple of other areas—your suggestions are needed and wanted. .

Many of you reminisced about Dickie Thiras and Fred Stott. Tom Stirling put it well when he said “Andover won’t be the same without Fred Stott or Dickie Thiras. No one embodied the school more than those two.”

Finally, a note about Art Burnham. When we were at Andover, being from another country was so rare that it really didn’t mean much to us. I came to PA from Brasil, but Mom was from Michigan and Dad from Iowa so I really wasn’t a foreigner—ok, with that parentage at Andover in the fifties, I was a foreigner—“Iowa? Here in the east we pronounce that ‘Ohio’”. But we did have some bona-fide classmates who were born and grew up in other countries. Art Burham was one of them. And what a great experience it was to know him.
After an incredible rowing career at Andover, Cornell and Cambridge (he rowed in the fabled “The Boat Race” of 1965 in the winning Cambridge boat), Arthur defied British tradition and the odds by enrolling in the 10-year apprenticeship and technical training program as a perfumer in Grasse, France. His experience in Grasse led to being responsible for a major perfume company’s commercial operations in South Africa, Australasia and the UK. He subsequently created his own firm, developing fragrances for a large list of major companies.

Art died very suddenly on Sunday 29th April in the early evening, following complications from his last hospital admission.
Competitive rowing and perfumery appeared an incongruous combination. Only an outstanding character could pull both off with panache.

Fragrance was his Oxygen.

What’s yours?


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