Monday, February 11, 2008


PA 1959 Class Notes
January, 2008
David Othmer

The first order of business, of course, is our reunion—it’s gonna be great! For the latest details, go to, Paul Neshamkin and Alan Albright’s magnum opus bringing us all into the wired age. When you read these notes, the reunion will be a mere year away, and it’ll be time for you to do three things: first, scratch June 11-14 in indelible ink on your calendars; second, write your essay for the ’59 Class Book—the deadline for submissions is fast approaching; and third, continue to think of what it is that Andover does best that you want to encourage.

The Schedule. We’ll gather on the evening of the 11th for an opening reception where our many arts works—art defined very broadly—will be on display. Quinn Rosefsky has been working on this activity for some time, and the extraordinary range of objects and ideas that he’s accumulating will surprise you. Maureen and I are bringing—and making—the wine for the evening, and that may surprise you as well! Friday all day, and Saturday morning we’ll have a variety of activities—physical and mental—from which to choose. There will be sports events—golf, duh, and anything that can be done at the PA facilities; seminars, and, we hope, some hands on activity probably associated with one of the several initiatives our class will have gotten behind. The rest of the weekend will be a combination of ‘59er events and reunion wide events at various places on and off campus. Key people here are Quinn, John Doherty, and myself.

The Essay. Bill Bell and Suzie Stedman as you know, with help from Jim Hayman (see below) are putting together what promises to be a mold breaking book. With Jim’s help, they’re looking at new design approaches, integrating the Andover and Abbot entries, and, most importantly, encouraging us all to write something unexpected. There are a number of examples at—go there. Be inspired.

Encouraging PA. One of the most meaningful things we can do is to give PA the value of our 50 years’ perspective on life, and our thoughts on what PA can and should do more of. Since we know that one size won’t fit all in this area, we expect to give you a number of initiatives from which to chose, and, of course, we urge you to come up with ideas of your own. Key people here are Art Rogers, Hank Higdon, and Lee Webb. So there’s lots to do and think about—get going!

One initiative that is well under development is the Sustainability Initiative I alluded to in the last notes. Here is a note from the school about a recent related activity:

From January 25th through February 25th, PA and 31 other independent schools will compete in the third annual Green Cup Challenge (GCC). The goal of the competition is to educate our community about the environmental and economic impact of one’s actions with relation to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions by measuring reduction in campus electricity use. The school with the greatest reduction wins the cup!

In other news, an undated and enigmatic note from Les Cheek: “trip tracing voyage of Aeneas from Troy to Italy, and 16 day visit to Galapagos and Inca ruins.”

And now Jim Hayman:- What have I been doing for the past 40 to 50 years? Yikes, what a question.The short answer is mostly writing.The longer answer starts after I graduated from Brown and finished serving for six months in the Army Security Agency. At that point, I headed for Madison Avenue. From '64 to '95, I worked as a copywriter and creative director for several New York ad agencies, mainly at Young & Rubicam where I helped create print and TV campaigns for clients like P&G, Lincoln/Mercury, Advil, Merrill Lynch and the US Army ("Be All You Can Be") and a bunch of others.I left the agency business in '95. As Cormac McCarthy might have put it, New York ad agencies are No Country for Old Men. I spent the next five years writing freelance, mostly advertising and marketing pieces, from our home in Ridgewood, NJ. It was about at this point that I began thinking seriously about trying my hand at fiction. Meanwhile Jeanne and I were building what was originally intended as a summer-house in a beautiful spot we found on Peaks Island, Maine. The island is technically part of the city of Portland and just a short ferry ride away.In 2001, our youngest, Ben, started college at UVM. We sold the house in New Jersey and moved to Maine fulltime. The itch to write fiction was getting stronger but was again postponed when I accepted an assignment from Banknorth, a large regional bank headquartered in Portland, to write their history. The result was Taken at the Flood. a big, glossy coffee table book. This was followed by researching and writing a similar book for Maine Medical Center.The second book was finished at the end of '05. I'd just turned 65 and realized if I was ever going to take the plunge into fiction, it better be now. I started writing The Cutting in January of 2006 and completed a polished draft eighteen months later. I was lucky enough to land a really wonderful agent in New York, almost immediately.The Cutting is the first of what is planned as a series of thrillers featuring Portland homicide detective Michael McCabe who, like me, is a transplanted New Yorker. St. Martin's loved the book and the characters and made an offer to publish both The Cutting and a second book, which I plan to start writing in early 2008, in both hardcover and paperback versions.

So be well, start writing, and drop by anytime to


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