Class of 1939

Class Secretary: Eleanor Smart Parker, PO Box 210, North Bridgton, ME 04057-0210

Class President: TBA

Got news? Tap out a note to! Once again, Dottie Alder Bridges’ Christmas card included a delightful picture of granddaughter Christie, whose good looks come from Dot and Donna with a touch of Don there, too! Christie is interested in sports and gets all A’s. Bates, keep an eye out!… Evelyn Copeland, who moved back to Connecticut, shared a poetic account of the recent meteor shower viewed from their patio: “The kind of night Lorenzo describes in The Merchant of Venice: ‘The floor of heaven is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold. There’s not the smallest orb which thou behold’st but in its motion like a cherub sings.’ It was reassuring to find the starlit sky of my childhood on the farm still operating flawlessly. Add to all that the meteors whizzing by. One huge flaming disc barely missed the chimney. Did I actually hear the sizzling swoosh? Or was that a memory from the fireworks at the Talcott Mountain Music Festival last summer? I could imagine the Magi and the shepherds making their way to Bethlehem on such a night.”… Marita Dick Stratton‘s dear granddaughter Emma was not accepted at Bates but is happily attending Providence College. Her father, Jim ’69, was a doctor who died suddenly, and Emma’s mother has breast cancer, but Emma could get home quickly if she were needed…. Jean Dickson Kelley writes of several health problems in 2001, including a successful heart valve operation. “Although Sue and Tim live in Belgium, she has visited frequently. I’ve enjoyed visits from and news of all my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In September, a new great-grandson, Alexander Vollans, was born.”… Eleanor Hapgood McKenzie receives custodial care in a nursing home in the Burlington, Vt., area. Her daughter writes: “It is a reflection of her love of Bates College and her memories of happy times there that she thinks that’s where she is now. She suffers from debilitating Parkinson’s and either Alzheimer’s or stroke-related dementia. She is happy most of the time and enjoys activities as she is able.”… Barbara Kendall Ireland thanks the more than 100 people who wrote at the time of Bob’s death. Her Christmas letter included a great picture of the whole family at a granddaughter’s wedding with Bob seated beside Barb in the very front row. Do you remember a Norman Rockwell cover on The Saturday Evening Post showing a family tree, with family traits showing up time and again? In the wedding picture, Barb’s lovely silver hair and Bob’s big smile are repeated all through the at least four generations…. Gladys Howe, Dave’s widow, reports that she is still in Laconia and busy. She made 25 lap robes for homes…. Bob Kinney gets back to Maine for two months, and a highlight is watching two eagles right out back of their house. The eagles have had chicks each of the last six years. They get back to Bates and are delighted, as are we all, with the appearance of the campus and buildings…. Roslyn MacNish and Lois Clark had one last visit with Ev Copeland at Astolat in Florida and spent most of the winter in and around the Everglades National Park. They returned to Wethersfield, Conn., and their usual activities of camera clubs, AARP meetings, photographic gatherings, and the annual Wethersfield Festival. Her description of the pumpkin festival in Keene, N.H., with some 25,000 lighted pumpkins on display, sounded most intriguing. They went to the Yale-Harvard game (Ros is an alumna of the Yale School of Public Health), where a fancy tailgate brunch almost made up for Yale’s loss…. Helen Martikainnen’s focus was serving as educational facilitator of programs for the Advancement of Better Care for Older People. Through American Association of University Women, she also has participated in monthly meetings focusing on aging issues and challenges…. John Nash sent two delightful pictures: one of himself and Lauraine; the other showing John with his four-wheel pusher, wearing his Bates ’39 shirt and cap. In mornings when John does not feel too dizzy, he walks for the mail or even farther. He has low blood pressure and has had blackouts. He has annual check-ups, tests, blood work, scans, and three of four doctors gave him passing grades. The cardiologists are not so hopeful and he treasures each day and will give it his best. John was heartsick to see that Dave Howe had died. He said he and Dave, Bob Morris, Dave Saunders, and Don Purrington met on campus and walked downtown to eat supper together at the YWCA. On Sundays, they ate at the Chinese Restaurant. They called themselves the Sunday Morning Club…. For Chet Parker, some tennis, some wood chopping, some lawn mowing, but not enough traveling: “My fault,” Eleanor says. “This is a big house and clearing out the clutter is my dream, not his. We read more, watch the news, and play backgammon. We go out to eat more and enjoy a couple of groups of bridge players. We attend the plays in Portland. Chet is still active in Lions and the Appeals Board and the Water District. It was fun this year to visit one of his schools built here in Bridgton now completely surrounded and enlarged by expansion. We’ve lived here long enough to have seen two new hospitals built. Most recently, we attended a reception honoring the accomplishments of Bates College and the tenure of Don and Ann Harward. We chatted with Frank ’40 and Ruth Coffin ’42. As we left, we met Harry ’40 and Bee Shepherd ’42, who have recently moved to a retirement complex on the coast. They were a bit unhappy because they, who have a sailboat and a motorcycle, were finding many guests using wheel chairs…. Don Purrington is in Sun City, Ariz., and has taken up the ancient sport of lawn bowling, is a member of the computer club, and does some volunteering. In 1999, Don and Vera visited Maui with Vera’s daughter and did the tourist things. Don even tried parasailing. He has always been interested in flying and had his pilot’s license in Connecticut and flew a number of years with the Civil Air Patrol… From Chevy Chase, Md., Ruth and Ray Renaud sent a wonderful Christmas picture of themselves with the four daughters, sons-in-law, and offspring. I counted 22 — all handsome! The four daughters are in the area, and in addition to family, they have many friends, Women’s Club, American Legion, and the Fossils (a delightful group of retired gentlemen), with whom Ray plays bridge weekly…. Esther Rowe Tallamy has been ill, but is now ready to hit those campgrounds (in her new conversion van!) and have a great summer…. I’m next alphabetically (Eleanor Smart Parker). We celebrated our 60th anniversary Flag Day with a quiet dinner with Lynn and Randolph. Later in the summer we had a bigger party with lobsters, cake, and flowers under the stars at the beach house…. Dana Wallace lost 88,000 oysters, but that’s not too bad when you work with millions. A phone call revealed that Mary has had a new knee. Last winter, Dana skied Lost Valley and Sugarloaf…. Norma Watkins Maynard took a Caribbean cruise in 2000, but on Dec. 5 that year, she fell leaving a church supper. She was taken to a nursing home for therapy and there they found cancer. She started radiation, but more problems followed and she is now in a nursing home. When granddaughter Susan was married in November, they had a bridal shower for her in Norma’s room — a luncheon, no less!… Lee and Dottie Weeks Whiston, also in assisted living, had a quiet celebration of their 60th wedding anniversary last July. Lee is involved with discussions on
faith dimensions in current films, and Dot still delivers meals on wheels. They attend opera and repertory theatre…. Jay White is second in the world in three backstroke events. He has even participated in a Senior Games medley.