Class of 1954

Class Secretary: Jonas Klein, PO Box 456, Georgetown, ME 04548-0456;

Class President: Neil A. Toner, 17 Mast Rd., Scarborough, ME 04074-8782;

Next Reunion in 2004. Got news? Tap out a note to! Carol Anderson Robinson and husband Joseph have undergone successful surgery and “are pretty fit.” As 30-year Jehovah’s Witnesses, their “joy in life, as always, is to bring hope to people weighed down with the anxieties…” We are saddened by the quite sudden death of our classmate, Nowell Blake, on March 26, 2002. Sincere condolences go out to Moira MacKenzie Blake ’56 and all the Blake family…. Savoring lovely San Diego weather, Bill Cummings reports that he spent two fall months on Cape Cod, and then cruised the Mexican Riviera. He communicates often with Gil Grimes, who has turned to Bill for expertise on stocking ponds at his Florida development…. Bob Greenberg, enjoying good health and life in Williamstown, has made the switch from handball to squash and relishes his regular March ski trip to Sunday River in Bethel with Nate Boone ’52, Al Goddard ’53, and Jerry Tompkins. Bob and Pat (Tobey ’57) continue to summer in South Bristol, where they see Dick Melville, Ernie Ern ’55, and Jessie Thompson Huberty ’56…. Gil Grimes sent congratulations to Jonas Klein on his book, Beloved Island: Franklin & Eleanor and the Legacy of Campobello, and recalled enjoying his two visits to Campobello Island. It reminded Gil of attending a lecture given by Eleanor Roosevelt at the Lewiston Armory, circa 1953, and having his photograph taken with her. “The picture appeared in the Sun Journal and listed me as her friend! “Gil also remembers talking to biology professor Mark Crowley “about [Eleanor Roosevelt] many times because his sister was, I believe, her personal secretary…. We are sorry to report that John Monahan, husband of Pat Heldman Monahan, passed away on April 2, 2002, after a number of months with heart complications. Our deepest sympathy to Pat and her family for their loss…. Dare we [the editors] say that among all of Jonas Klein’s book signings of Beloved Island, the one at the Visitors Center last August was close to tops with the welcoming group from the Roosevelt Campobello International Park Commission (RCIPC). Among those present were Christopher Roosevelt, RCIPC chairman; G. Fred Nicholson, vice chairman; Eleanor Roosevelt Seagraves, daughter of Anna Roosevelt and the oldest grandchild; Chandler Roosevelt Lindsley, daughter of Elliot Roosevelt; and Anna Fierst, daughter of Eleanor Roosevelt Seagraves…. Bill Hobbs, now in good health, writes that he has more energy and keeps a more active schedule. He also mentioned Eleanor Roosevelt’s visit to Bates and that he “found Mrs. R. quite charming, intelligent, and well informed, just as I had expected.” Bill grew up in a staunchly Republican family “that never spoke of FDR without some gesture of disgust.” Years later he bravely confessed to his mother of meeting Eleanor. Surprisingly, his mother “admitted she admired Eleanor because she had turned her back on the DAR when they barred Marian Anderson from singing at Constitution Hall. Bill also reports that he and his daughters are excited by the appointment of Elaine Tuttle Hansen as the new Bates president. His recent reading of A Woman’s Education by former Smith College President Jill Ker Conway, gave him a whole new respect for the demanding job of a college president…. Who lives a more vigorous life among ’54-ers than Sumner Kagan? If anything, he’s picked up the pace. Last summer he went on an unsupported Sierra Club backpacking trip in northern Wyoming. And this past winter Sumner led his bike club on a snowshoe hike of Mount Wachusett (without the bikes). Sumner also plays a prominent role in the ShowtimeSingers ( with gigs at Sun Microsystems and Community Centers. Whew!… Dick Liebe wrote of an expected visit by Pete and Christa Knapp to his winter digs in Tucson. Having the best of both worlds, the Liebes still spend their summers on the lake in Hammondsport, N.Y…. Edie Mason White and Read spend six months in Venice, Fla., and the other six in a condo in Yarmouth, Maine. The upoming 50th Bates Reunion and their 50th wedding anniveresary “are coming too soon. We’re not old enough!”…. Gretchen Shorter Davis ’61 visited Margaret McGall Boyes when Gretchen and Jerry ’61 vacationed in Baja, Mexico. Now retired as a doctor, Margaret is living in Todos Santos, Mexico, and looks forward to attending Reunion in 2004, “weather and local politics permitting.” By coincidence, Margaret and Gretchen grew up in the same New Jersey town, Nutley. The Davises also took in an Elderhostel in Palm Springs, Calif., with Richard and Barbara Meader Roof…. Not retired or entertaining, Harry Meline tells us of his activity with SNIP (Spay/Neuter Incentive Programs) operating in the Bahamas. Due to the success of the Bahamas program, Harry and Kathy have been invited to be one of six presenters at the HSUS Island Nation conference in Miami. Harry claims that “since I am unaccustomed to public speaking, Kathy will make the presentation to Island Nation representatives from around the world.” Their feline facility in Berwick and the Melrose (Mass.) small nursing home businesses “proceed apace.”… Dick Melville sent word, via Chinese New Year’s greetings, that all is well. He and Angela stay busy at their South Bristol saltwater farm. Dick’s last harvest was successful, albeit lacking a blueberry crop. He volunteers two days a week at the Pemaquid Lighthouse. Son Thomas captains an Airbus 320 on a Lufthansa subsidiary. Michael continues to be based in New Orleans, and Carlos (Charles) ’00 is a public affairs liaison in Boston. Dick and Angela took a three-week “pilgrimage” to Angkor, Cambodia, with two sons and friends from Singapore and Connecticut. For Dick it was “an emotional homecoming after some 30 years absence.” They took hundreds of photos many of which Dick will use for a six-lecture course he will teach on the glories of the Angkor civilization at Senior College of UMaine-Thomaston…. Betty Sherman Wildes and Glenn keep busy with local volunteer activities in Sanford. They do a fair amount of traveling in Maine with agricultural groups, and with visits to eight grandchildren scattered in Maine, Wisconsin, and New York…. Lois Whiddon Simmonds has family in and around Gloucester, Mass., and she enjoys their house on Smith Cove, an old fishing port with local color of “fish, artists, music, and ocean” nearby. Two 30-foot sailboats cruise the Maine coast and day-sail in Gloucester and Marblehead. After youngest daughter Beth’s May wedding, the Simmondses will head their van-camper west back to Alaska. They will then cruise to Antarctica where, Lois says, “I feel rather as though I’d been invited to the moon.”… Neil Toner completes his service on the Bates Alumni Council this year. Neil has done a great job representing our class, is on campus often, and reports that he’ll miss Commencement for the first time in eons because of a family graduation. Neil and Shirley lunched with Lois and Jonas Klein; and the Toners, Kleins and Dick Melvilles are assembling in May to welcome Singaporean Dwight Harvie at the East Boothbay home of daughter Lisa Harvie McIlwain ’82, and cheer his 70th (gulp) birthday…. Although a professor emeritus from Univ. of South Carolina, Don Weatherbee continues to be “fully engaged” in research, writing, and
consulting on Southeast Asian affairs. In April he returned from a five-week trip through the region looking at the foreign policy impact of the U.S. war on terrorism. During the summer Don moves his boat to Jamestown, R.I., from winter quarters in Jekyll Island, S.C…. From the Rocky Mountains, Char Wilcox Weiler writes that grandson Kevin Weiler ’05 and roommate visited her during winter break. They shot lots of pictures of “our fabulous scenery from the ski slopes.” Kevin is having a wonderful time at Bates and has thoughts of bringing more of his friends next year!…. Lynn Willsey and Pete Knapp won snappy Bates ski caps for their remarkable visual recall in the Class of ’54 Name-Those-Classmates-at-Reunion Contest. Lynn’s highly prized and richly earned cap arrived only a day before he and Bev (Hayne ’55) left for a winter visit to Bates. They watched and enjoyed the women basketballers beat Babson and the men hoopsters crush Colby for the first time in Lynn’s presence. The Willseys then joined Ralph Perry ’51, Neil Toner, Dick Coughlin ’53, Al Goddard ’53, Gene Taylor ’56 and their wives for dinner with the coaches at Don and Ann Harward’s home. “All in all, a wonderful Bates day!”