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Reminiscences from Reunion 1999: year (G+25), courtesy of Jack Gray.


  Let's start with the weather.

     Early summer in New England, and it's sunny and warm by day, cool at night, all weekend. Perfect weather to act like teenagers again. On Friday afternoon, as we gathered at our headquarters at Nathan Hale, familiar faces from five years ago, like Nancy Peterson Fiore‚s, smiled in recognition seeing Jack Crawford, back from Denver for his first reunion. Hope Woodhouse left her husband and daughters at home. Tobin Armstrong and Nick Scheu brought their young sons. Andy Hallberg and Don Hayden brought spouses and four kids each.
     At our reception at Phelps House, we reached critical mass. John MacWilliams, back for the first time in decades, warmly greeted Laura Richards-James, our intrepid leader. John‚s wife, Tammie, compared imminent motherhood notes with Mary Pat, spouse of Doug Greeff. Both Tammie and Mary Pat are expecting their second babies. Bob Driscoll rubbed elbows with Peter Clay. Richard Meyer and Charles Smith and their respective spouses caught up. After some prodding, we decamped for dinner in the Cage. I'm sure they were just being polite, but this correspondent was flattered by writer Ted Nace and Washington Post editor Gary Lee's favorable appraisal. It was a busman's holiday for Joe Algrant of the Fieldston School in New York.
    
At Nathan Hale, the serious fun began. Bill Augerot, senior proctor there in 1974, felt right at home. Betsy Evans insisted on dance music and met Bill Berkeley‚s daughter Carmen. Richard Morse, a pediatric neurologist at Duke University, chatted with Chris Aall, who recently moved to Wellesley from Europe. Long-lost (at least to us) Steve Lubanko made a dramatic entrance. Diane Gilday Corbin, mother of a recent PA graduate, greeted newspaper reporter Todd Bates. Andy Peterson unveiled a CD by Ned and the Nummies called ...."Live at Phillips Academy." Karl Harig and Bruce Fleming were all smiles. J.C. Croll and Jim Briggs were happy to be there. Howard Sklar informed us he is still teaching physics, though no longer at PA. Charley Nadler dropped in briefly. Dana Delany, sleek and stylish in a fitted leather jacket, mingled in the crowd. Fellow movie person Bob Trehy, now officially settled in L.A., found a television set to cheer on the Knicks (sure you're really an Angelino, Bob?). A commotion rippled through the room as our class uniform, polo shirts and baseball caps emblazoned with our PA 25th reunion logo, was modeled by, among others, Sara Knowles, in from Aspen. (Chris Shaw ended up with three.)
The next morning, optometrist Sue Rodgin arrived for the day‚s events. Ann Hoover Maddox shared a quiet moment with Val Corning Spencer before heading to the Alumni Parade on the Great Lawn. After the parade, we were led like lemmings into the gym, where Barbara Landis Chase announced we were Phillips Academy's first coeducational class. George Ireland and Caitlin Cofer Rotchford stepped to the podium to present a check for almost $1.2 million, a new 25th reunion record, thanking their absent fund-raising colleague, Bill Lewis. We enjoyed collectively basking in the unaccustomed role of PA heavy hitters.
     Again, Steve James, Laura's husband, volunteered to miss his own Governor Dummer reunion to lead a party of golfers including Walter Granruth.      Many were astonished to learn that Tom Mitchell did not join them. During lunch beside the Bell Tower, Cate Sprague Gilbane, Billie Pease Burke and Diane Aigler Cook munched sandwiches and got reacquainted, as did Becky Park and Becky Putnam.Kelly McCune was there, and so was Louisa Mackintosh. Lenny Moher joined his parents for lunch and then set out for Laura‚s now-traditional pool party, once again mobbed with happy kids. 
 
    Sara Wedeman braved a swim and entertained us with a wit as sharp as it was 25 years ago. Teacher Robin Eason Panico and stockbroker Kevin Wood were there. Grant Donovan came from Salt Lake City. New Yorkers Sara Nelson and Margaret Downs rushed back to campus to enjoy the Abbot tea with restaurateur Priscilla Martel. Lee Grumman, in from Seattle, and Helen Cabot McCarthy, down from Vermont, caught up with Coe Kittredge.
    As the day waned, we made our way to GW Hall for drinks, dinner, and dancing. This time it barely accommodated us. The long-awaited John Ham appeared. Doctors Mark Harman, John Pawlowski, and Pat Marasco visited with insurance guys Greg Winn and Scott McIsaac (all five looking vastly amused by the proceedings). Ex-Federal Reserve economist Tim Wilson consulted with former Massachusetts Treasurer Joe Malone, currently retired from public life, who has assumed the position of sales director for-what else-? An Internet company. Lawyers Jon Drake and Jeanne Nahill Kempthorne took the weekend off. Mark Tay and George Redman were reassuringly present, as were John Roulston and Dave Bauman. Chris Maietta, Chris Gannon and Keith Kloza remembered old times. Jack Herbert and Tim Martin discussed current events. Steve Johnson celebrated the joys of settling down. Ann Randazzo shared the adventures of mothering a young teenager. Tim Segal made it from New York. Marianne Wallach appeared. Karen Stone described how she and Lili Dwight are working together on a business Lili dreamed up, though they live on opposite sides of New England. Dick Gordon looked as he did in 1974. Bob Bagnall and Whit Johnson looked even better than they did.
    
Jamie Morgan and Gar Waterman did a great job organizing a show of the work of our artist-classmates in honor of retiring PA art teacher Gerry Shertzer. Photographer Tony Armour asked Gar’s wife, Thea, if she had modeled for Gar's anthropomorphic pink marble sculpture. Jamie‚s pastels captured California‚s industrial detritus frozen in its sparkling light. Julian Hatton, fresh from a successful New York gallery show, exhibited two of his lyrical small landscapes. Taking a break from running Rummery's Boat Yard in Maine, Trigger Cook contributed an elegant table and Nina Rutenburg Gray showed a group of tiny, beautifully worked ceramic vases. Carrie Crane showed works on paper. Scott Benefield and Harriet Richards Sullivan sent a stunning glass vase and a stylized landscape, respectively. Ruth West created a surreal computer generated tableau.
Robert Preston showed a genre scene instantly familiar to every parent.
     After dinner, Peter Kapetan reprised his a cappella paean to reunioning, to great hilarity. Laura got a well-deserved round of applause for her work in putting the event together and presented our uniform to special guest stars Ted and Nancy Sizer and Jack and Wendy Richards. Steve Miller showed off our new home page on a projection monitor. All of the time and money he put into www.andover.edu/ alumni/1974/home.html were well worth it - especially if we all use it to keep track of each other. Faith Barnes left after dinner, but not before she indicated that a permanent move north to New England would be welcomed.
     Tom Boyle and his new wife, Laura, barely left the dance floor once the band got started.
     Jonathan Meath once again took the mike for several numbers. He morphed into the rock 'n roll hero we always knew him to be, supremely enjoying the moment.
     Crazed fans Rob Miller and Lissy Abraham worshipped from the dance floor below.

    

PA Trustee Sam Butler ‚72, crashing our party, marveled at our exuberance. Tom Walker '73 and Katy Gass Walker felt the same way, though their focus was on how consistent these events have been.
    The band finally quit after midnight, at which point Dave Zelon led us onto the main stage, where Sara Grosvenor handled the camera and Bruce Bacon, PA theatre instructor, took care of the lights, and we again spelled “MOTHER PHILLIPS” with our bodies. No nudity this time; we're over 40.
Jon Friedenberg, a theatre instructor at Wake Forest, hung out with Mark Efinger, PA theatre department head, and Mark's student cast of We Bombed in New Haven well into the night. Meanwhile, back at headquarters, Cathy Chapman ‚75 passed around photographs she had taken 25 years ago. Emmy Hobson was amazed at how young and innocent her husband Tony Hobson appeared. Needless to say, Jim Troup again led us toward dawn as Gilles Carter broke out several bottles of 1974 Bordeaux.
    The next morning at brunch, things finally quieted down. Roemer McPhee and Ted Maynard marveled at the turnout. Amazingly, Kent Vogel actually bragged about attending each official event sponsored by the school (no wonder we hardly saw him). Mason Wilkinson, there only because his clients Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young had delayed their summer tour, was appalled he had missed so many earlier reunions. Mandy Barton, our last arrival, showed up to spend the day with several classmates.
    Adding to sentiments expressed by many, Peter Currie observed that a reunion inevitably prompts calibration with our peers and our youthful selves, bringing us to look at our lives and ambitions. It might be different for others, but the Class of 1974 did not treat this process as a competition. We share a powerful connection, transcending time and distance, even gender and money, and returning to our lives in the world, we took that knowledge with us. At this point Halsey Smith yelled out, "Can we hold hands?"

  Yes, Halsey, we certainly can.




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