| Let's start with the
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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?"
we certainly can.