Class of 1950

Class Secretary: Lois Keniston Penney, 75 Hickory Hill Rd., Kensington, CT 06037-1209,

Class President: Weston L. Bonney, 11 Wildwood Circle, Portland, ME 04103

Next Reunion in 2005. Got news? Tap a note to!  This news has contributions made before Sept. 11 and some after…. Jane Appell de Beauport writes: “We are happy and healthy – about to celebrate son Gerry Dennison’s wedding in Vermont.”… Wesley Baker in Bingham, Maine, is retired from the gift business. “An appointment book is more important than when I was working. The latest project is working on a National Scenic Byway Committee. We have had Route 201 approved as a scenic byway and I am going to a national conference in Portland, Ore. Just got news that we are going to be great grandparents for the first time.”… Wes Bonney writes: “We moved into our new house in Portland last May and love it. Based on a screw-up of one of the subcontractors, we had to move in 10 days before our kitchen was finished despite very careful planning to avoid having to do just that! As usual, our daughter and her family, who live in Holland, spent five weeks with us at our summer home. For the five weeks we had a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 19 family members with us. It is so much fun, but what a relief when the five weeks were over!”… Barbara Chick writes: “It never ceases to amaze me how much time it takes to do so little these days! Could it be my age? I am doing well, but had a couple vertebral fractures in May from a bad backwards fall on the boat; seems to have healed okay with conservative management, mowing when necessary, doing my turns on patrols of Lake George and such (all with somewhat limited approval of my orthopedist).”… Barbara Cotton writes: “After Sept. 11 I wasn’t in the mood to sit down for anything but the most urgent of bills. When I finally got around to feeling like writing letters, it was the beginning of October. However, I went to the Bates alumni brunch with President Harward in San Francisco and had a nice chat with Wendell Wray, and I got inspired to send news. I’m very busy on the board of a neighborhood watchdog organization that is fighting for transit-oriented development of property around our local BART stations (the county wants to build office space and another hotel so that it reaps tax income). I’m also vice president of our homeowners association board and we are kept busy maintaining a 30-year old condo development. Then there’s the San Francisco Opera to attend, my kids to visit and plays and movies to see. Would love to escort around anyone who comes out this way to visit.”… Frances Curry Kerr writes: “The heinous attack occurred while we were on a wonderful trip to Alaska. The attack caused a delay in getting home, but we were safe. Our lives will never be the same. I hope that care and caution will be taken as we try to ferret out the perpetrators.”… Phyllis Day Danforth writes: “A word or two? Easy – same old. Our lives haven’t changed much: canoeing in the summer, hiking in the fall, music and genealogy, church and inter-church council. We have put our New Hampshire vacation home up for sale. We just don’t get up enough to justify all the care it takes – like trees falling on it. We now have seven great-nieces ranging from 7 months to 15 years.”… Bob Dunn writes: “Friendships from our five years in Korea continue as we welcome visitors from there. One of the memorable highlights of the dedication of The Dunn House at Bates was having Hugh Penney as a speaker. Last winter’s three months in Hawaii were so pleasant that we are looking forward to a repeat in 2002. Future international travel plans still up in the air.”… Marjorie Dwelley Reid writes: Our grandson, Nathan Reid ’05, got an early acceptance to Bates. He had a nice interview with the baseball coach and is looking forward to playing ball for him. I expect I’ll be sending up ‘care’ packages to him, the way my grandmother used to for me. His favorite cookies are gingersnaps. Best regards to all the other grandparents.”… “Bates Class of 1950, President Emeritus George M. Gamble, in appreciation of 50 years of outstanding volunteer leadership and dedicated service this honor is awarded by Bates 1950 class members, officers, and friends.” That’s the inscription on a brass plaque presented to George by Wes Bonney, the present president of our class. The surprise presentation was made at the 50th wedding anniversary celebration of George and Ginny on Oct. 13 in Shrewsbury, Mass. Following Wes’ laudatory speech and presentation of the plaque there was great applause plus a few tears in the eyes of the other classmates and guests present. Ginny writes that “George is doing well, but requires a wheelchair in places where we can’t drive. We went to the Fryeburg Fair in October with my former roommate Geri Moulton Lavelle and her husband Bob.”… Athena Giftos Garivaltis writes: “Jim is much improved this summer – radiation and chemotherapy have helped – so we enjoyed a summer of golf and concert going up here in the Berkshires. We will soon return to Naples, Fla.”… David Green writes: “My wife Phyllis and I are happily retired and in good health with four fine children (ages 49, 47, and twins 43.) Each child has two children which means we have eight grandchildren ages 2 to 20. In August, we took our family to Bermuda to celebrate our 50th anniversary. We’re truly fortunate.”… Ozzie Hammond writes: “As sort of a follow-up to working at the Democratic convention in LA, we attended the inauguration in January. It was the first time I had met Maine’s senators and governor. We have been fortunate to avoid hospitals. The exceptions being my hospital volunteer duties in Maine and California with Karl Koss ’51. The second time we were able to include Lee ’51 and Rae Walcott Blackmon. For the first time in my tenure as class agent, I had help: Maxine (Max) Hammer Tuxbury agreed to share the load. In July we took a two-week cruise to Scandinavia – most rewarding. Recently, we had four Hammond grandchildren for four days. All went well, but returning them to their parents was good, too!”… Thelma Hardy Pasquali writes: “We had a great Elderhostel trip to the Highlands of Scotland (Aigas Field Center), Isle of Skye, and Orkney. It was thrilling to stand in a 5,000-year-old living area at Skana Brae in Orkney.”… Robert Hobbs writes; “Elsbeth ’51’s new book, Poems from the Lake, published by Goose River Press, has made a big difference in our day-to-day lives. Already book signings and readings have been scheduled in cities all over the country. My roommate Austin Jones and his wife Norma Reese Jones ’51 organized a three-day book event in their part of Maine. My work with PFLAG and other civil rights organizations is increasing. Arthur Griffiths and his wife Lois Spofford Griffiths ’51 paid a visit to our summer home at the lake.”… Irene Illing Fariss writes: “After extensive therapy from a left knee replacement, by May I was able to plant a vegetable garden, which became prolific. I’ve been inspired by Polly Kiely, Elder Site manager in Erving with her arts degree from the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts. Six or eight of us have been concentrating on oil paintings that we are producing. I am called on busy Sundays to work at Historic Deerfield and worked one day in the Silver Museum where the beautiful, 1700-1800 work of Paul Revere and other silversmiths is displayed. One Sunday I was in the Sh
eldon Hawks House where I feel very much at home. I have been tutoring an Erving eighth grader who had a hip operation.”… Austin Jones writes: “Our summer was very dry which kept me busy hauling water to my young American Chestnut trees and seedlings, to the detriment of my vegetable gardens. I just couldn’t cover it all. We’ve also had our distractions. Norma ’51’s 50th Reunion sort of one-upped ours of last year. Then came our 50th wedding anniversary scarcely a week later, lovingly celebrated by a collaboration of our three daughters at our youngest – Pam’s – log cabin in Brunswick, a beautiful setting. Where did those 50 years go? We topped it all off with a six-day windjammer whale watch cruise in Penobscot Bay and the Gulf of Maine aboard the ketch Angelique. A couple of humpbacks performed on cue for us not far off the stern – massive beasts leaping almost clear of the water and splashing back down with great thumps. I won’t comment on the despicable acts of terrorism that now have us up in arms, but I will note my intense displeasure at President Harward’s decision to sideline the Bates chapel cross. Having abandoned Christianity, presumably with the support of Bates’ faculty and board, but without consulting us alumni, I suppose Harward’s great leap forward beyond ecumenism includes displaying in the chapel among the other banners one representing the Wiccans – a hag on a broomstick. How timely! Please cancel my ‘subscription.’” The banners that hang in the chapel are each symbolic of a major world religion: American Indian, Buddhist, Christian, Taoist, Hindu, Islamic, and Jewish. (Sorry, no Wiccan banner). A banner of the planet Earth completes the collection. – Editor…. Phoebe Jones Samelson writes: “We were in Maine for two weeks in September having rented a home near Bar Harbor. We flew on the 14th from Manhattan and had no trouble returning two weeks later. The Blackmons drove up to see us for the day. We had a great time and visit. We are scheduled for an Elderhostel in Cuba in January, if everything goes well. Like others we are slowing down a little, but otherwise fine. My long-term arthritis is taking its toll. Little Manhattan (Kansas, the little Apple) is fine in comparison to our big sister in New York. I would like to work for peace, but this is not a good community with an army base close by. The prairie is beautiful at this time of year.”… Glenn Kumekawa writes: “I attended the first annual William Stringfellow ’49 Award ceremony at Bates, although Dan Berrigan and Helen Papaioanou ’49 were unable to attend due to circumstances beyond their control. I was hoping to see Helen, since it has been more than 50 years since I saw her last. The award ceremony was moving, the recipients most deserving, and I was delighted to sit with Jane ’37 and Milt Lindholm ’35 during the ceremonies. “… Muriel F. Mansfield Leach writes: “I remain active with a local food pantry for the hungry and with environmental issues. I am adamantly opposed to oil drilling in the Arctic. My tax ‘refund’ went to feeding the poor. All of us must make choices related to our core values and our individual life needs as we age. Bates gave us so very much. How could we not give in return to whatever causes choose us – or do we choose them? I wonder. I am grateful to all of you who wrote to me after David’s passing. The damned woodchucks ate his veggies this year. I am furious! Next year I will put up a fence and force them to burrow. Our youngest daughter has moved to Hancock, Maine, an hour from Bar Harbor. She and her husband are slowly restoring a century old home that once was a schoolhouse. She is not fond of the snakes living in the back yard. I like the fieldstone fireplace. May I suggest a book of essays by Robert Finch, Death of a Hornet. He has lived on Cape Cod since 1971 and is an observer who thinks and reflects about what he sees. He won the Boston Public Library New England Literary Lights Award two years ago.”… Charles MacArthur writes: “Just acquired 12 electric cars and 27 mopeds for my Anne Wilkinson Museum collection. I took off for California to bring back a 1980 Freeway motorcycle car for the museum. I have a novel about ready to go to the printer. The Adjustment deals with the long-term effects of the California blackout disease, but takes place in February 2009 with another all-New England power failure that lasts for three days, during which the urbanites of New York City, unwilling to suffer from the cold, make small fires in wastebaskets, but when the drapes catch on fire, the phone doesn’t work to call the firemen, but, what the hell, there ain’t no water pressure anyway. So all of Manhattan south of Central Park goes up in a firestorm. Two characters escape and make their way to Amish country where petroleum would hardly be missed. “… Hugh and Lois Keniston Penney write: “We not only participated in the dedication of the Dunn Guest House on the Bates campus in June, but also stayed in the ‘Penney Room,’ which Gladys and Bob had so thoughtfully named in our honor. The Dunns’ gift of this hospitality center provides handsome accommodations for the College to house visiting guests and dignitaries. In September we returned to Celebrate Bates. In addition to Hugh’s Bates Fund meeting, we attended several festive occasions including a dinner with a representative cross-section of international students. The controversial decision to remove the Christian cross from the front of the Bates chapel during non-Christian services made good sense to us, as we recognized the multicultural/national/religious nature of the students on campus. We don’t deny our Christian heritage, and the cross will be in place for Christian services and programs, but its removal shows sensitivity and respect for those of different faiths. Our 2001-02 Bates Fund goal is 66 percent class participation. Send a pledge for $50 or a check for $1,500 for the President’s Circle…or more! Giving and breathing are basic, so let’s do something to show our appreciation or to help with current scholarship needs.”… Madeline Pillsbury Chrystowski writes: “After two years in my condo, I’ve found Dover (N.H.) to be not only a pleasant, but also a convenient locale. I plan to ‘do’ the Berkshires (day trips) with my sister who lives in western Massachusetts. I also hope to spend some time in Los Angeles with my son who is working there temporarily. Back in Dover, I enjoy The Works (gym), the Active Retirement Association out of UNH, and a reading group, among other associations.”… Bud Porter writes: “Love to travel. I have two sons, one in Wilbraham, Mass., with two children and one in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Fifteen years of catching did both knees in: I have had both replaced with titanium prostheses. Adds 20 yards to my golf. Celebrated our 52nd wedding anniversary in August. Life has been good to Nancy and me.”… Nickie Scott Them writes: “We are all reeling from the Sept. 11 events. Our comings and goings are so trivial. We did spend an adventurous, but plush, 10-day tour on the Negro River and the Amazon River out of Manaus, Brazil. We are well and want everyone to count their blessings and hug each other.”… Frederick Slocum writes: “ I celebrated my 75th birthday by parasailing over the Gulf of Mexico off the shores of Longboat Key. A member of the Class of ’50 accompanied me – but she graduated from UConn. See, you take what you can get! The right knee replacement is holding up well enough for me to play tennis every morning, a distinct advantage when all my partners are retirees a
nd there is no problem getting 7 a.m. courts. Tell Bill Perham we might get in that tennis match that could not be done at Reunion time; perhaps it will take place at the 55th.”… Stanton Smith writes: “Betty and I spent the summer, as usual, between York, Maine, and our Sebago Lake cottage; a cold wet spring at the lake, but the summer was beautiful. Last April we toured the Southern Plantations around New Orleans, Biloxi, Natchez, etc. in time for the wonderful spring flowers. Lots of short trips to New Hampshire and Vermont. I find the thing I now do best is taking a nap!”… Dorothy Stetson Conlon writes: “In light of the monumental nationwide tragedy we are all experiencing. may we see this not as an attack by weirdos from ‘over there’ somewhere, but as an opportunity to re-evaluate our role in the balance of world forces. Are we not somewhat responsible for the gross inequities that exist? How do our posturing and attempts at peace-making appear to starving people around the world? Can we transform ourselves into a society, which furthers enough social justice and love so as to preclude future violence? My last winter’s travels took me back to Asia for three weeks of teaching in Thailand, tours in Cambodia, Laos, and Sri Lanka, and a great yoga seminar in India.”… Sylvia Stuber Heap writes: “Thank-you to our many classmates for remembering our 50th wedding anniversary. Your cards and letters are in our scrapbook to re-read and enjoy. It is good to have this connection now. The tragedy of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and on the Pentagon, and the unimaginable consequences, changed not only those cities, but also the entire world. One thing that has not changed is our recognition of the importance of family and friends. Avon Cheel Oakes sent us e-mail about the candlelight vigil on the National Day of Prayer. I hope we can all stay in touch, supporting with prayers and perspective, giving strength to each other, as we work to rebuild, and work toward our ultimate goal – a world of peace.”… Laura Toomey writes: “I have had an interesting year since being diagnosed with four kinds of cancer last September. All (two lungs, two breasts) have been tidily treated with surgery, period, and I am about back to my old routine. Many thanks to classmates who sent cards and notes, especially Thelma Hardy Pasquali who kept sending great limericks. Your good wishes made the whole experience less grim. Let’s all consider going to Reunion 2002. We’re now in the Half-Century Club, and are recognized whenever we show up, and at our age perhaps we shouldn’t count on attending in 2005.”… David Turell writes: “No real news of consequence. All pales against the terrorist attack. May our country now regain and maintain the patriotism and ideals of purpose currently present, unfortunately lost during the horrible decade of the ’60s. We offer our prayers to all affected by this.”… Diane Wolgast Parker writes: “We have some restrictions on our usual on-the-go activities, as David can no longer drive. We still enjoy seeing friends and family around the country. Hope to do more Elderhostels in spots we haven’t been. I am still involved with our Long Island Coalition for a National Health Plan. As the HMOs and other managed care operators reduce care and increase costs, and we continue with close to 44 million Americans uninsured, the more folks are willing to listen about a universal plan (‘Medicare for All’).” We continue to be passionately opposed to the privatization, voucherization, financialization (the latest term, I gather) of our country’s social contract programs involving health care, social security/retirement/old age protections, and public education. There is a great difference between ‘modernization’ and/or reform of existing laws, and the destruction of social programs that underpin our democracy and enhance the quality of life for all Americans.”… Wendell Wray writes: “My exile has lasted six years. Was I kidnapped, shanghaied, or seduced? All that I carried was a small bag with a change of clothes and my toothbrush. Driving from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., I only have a blur of the trip – broiling heat when we left Pittsburgh and a violent snowstorm in Colorado. My jail cell is an apartment overlooking a lake. There is a bird sanctuary. Thousands of geese are flying south this time of the year. There were two brief stays in a mental hospital. ‘Meds’ and ‘sharpies’ have become part of my vocabulary. A guardian angel phones me from Pittsburgh every week and sends CARE packages (Priority Mail). It is very hard to meet people in this City by the Bay. A wonderful epiphany for me is that religion is my hope and salvation: the music of Purcell, Bach, Palestrina, Schubert and Mendelssohn. Call me early or late, 510-891-9954.”