IHS Class of ’60 Newsletter, Vol IV December 2022
If this letter lands comfortably amongst your holiday cards and letters, layered between messages from friends and family, it’s right where it belongs! We are a family of friends. Three Christmas cookies, a glass of wine, another Hallmark movie on the screen, and you on my mind – great company for me on this Sunday night
I have news to pass along. Alison MacLeod
is now the bride of Larry Johnson. We wish them well as they settle into a new abode in a small town in Maine. Sounding just like a bride, Alison reports: “We had a perfect day and are still glowing from all the love that surrounds us! Liz Horn Kurtz was my matron of honor, and our beloved Latin teacher Dorothy Stewart officiated. Oh, and Dave Wilson was best man!”
No one will ever say the Class of 1960 is not diverse! Alison spoke of wanting to hold a Northeast reunion there but since they still have to build the barn, where she would no-doubt have us gathered, we’d better wait on that. But anyone else? (My last family reunion was in a horse barn Alison. It works! We had a blast.)
Barb Child Mobbs
has made a new life for herself since Bill died. You may recall she moved from their home on Upper Enfield Rd, Ithaca to Utah where some of her children live. I get the greatest hand-written letters from her – a gift of time and heart rarely shared these days. (not to discount all the emails I get from others – I love them too). Her latest letter told how she and her “preferred companion” remodel vintage RV’s, thus creating a perfect haven for sojourners to rest and re-invent life. How inviting! I’m thinking … writer’s retreat overlooking gorgeous Utah landscape…?
sent new contact information: “Bette and I are at 154 Galahad Loop Rd., Woodville, TX 75979
. My best E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
and phone (713) 503-0619
Texas, in the winter, that would be nice!
offered more sound advice for us in this newsletter: “At this age "eating sensibly" means eating whatever you want (who knows which meal will be the last).“ I concur! Dave Sears and Dave Wilson
will connect in January for 3 fun-packs days at Wakulla Springs State Park (FL). It is home to one of the world’s largest and deepest freshwater springs. It boasts of manatees, alligators, and a host of nature’s diversity. We will have a report in the next newsletter. I doubt being eye level with alligators is as exciting as Dave Wilson keeps telling me it is.
Linda Light Lafford
wrote: “Husband Walt and I are halfway through a cruise to Tahiti. Have been to Hawaii and now Tahiti. Hope everyone has a Happy Holiday season. Still doing Quilts of Valor. My group has reached the 1,200 mark. If any of you know of a veteran who has served our country, please let me know and I can see that they get a quilt. Check out my web-site - ccqov.org
. Linda (Light) Lafford.” Linda, I do see news articles about veterans receiving a quilt. It means a lot.
Patricia Newman Mena
is recovering from Melanoma surgery. She wrote: “My hand aches when it gets cold, but other than that, everything healed very well. My middle finger can do everything that the pointer once did. Uplifted by prayer, the surgery and therapies, I'm barely aware of the loss.”
Patty Piper Courtright
wrote: “Dear Phyllis, You spoke of releasing monarchs to the wild. I saw a migration of millions twice in our Canandaigua home. We backed to a small forest area with a 500’ drive to a water tower and trees on both sides. Nearly 400 to 500 feet back our yard met the forest. During the fall season millions of butterflies clung to trees in clusters. We heard their wings. They were gone the next morning. The second sighting was in 2003 or 2004 before we moved to Colorado. At the Denver Nature and Science Museum there was an IMAX movie on monarch migration featuring Dr. Fred Urquhart who spent nearly 40 years of migration from Ontario Province Canada to Mexico mountains. Our grandchildren loved the 3D experience, Aidan was about 6 and Helena 4 at the time. Thanks for letting me tell you about these special experiences. Hope all is well. Pat Piper Courtright” Oh Patty, you make me lonesome for our monarchs. Later in 2023 in my weekly blog they’ll show their face again. I love it when you, or anyone has something like this to share.
Beverly and Bob Briggs Hillman
are settled in their new neighborhood (see September issue) and have now established gardens for all to enjoy. Beverly is always sharing her gift with others.
exemplifies her strength through hard times. Health challenges are met with a positive attitude, and she encourages us to do the same. I appreciate her support.
Marilyn Trapp Buckmaster
writes: “I am settled back in Illinois once again, close to my younger son and his family which includes 2 grandchildren. My older son is here with me also. The move was very hard on me spiritually and physically but now I am once again basking in the fact that Jesus truly does loves me all the time.”
sent this in October: “A colleague and I were invited to participate in a family pheasant hunt hosted by long-time friends on their land in rural South Dakota. This is day one and four birds short of an eight-person limit. Great dog work and perfect weather.”
writes often with profound thoughts. I can’t print them all here but will catch a bit of this one as we can all relate:
| We are a generation that will never come back. A generation that walked to school and then walked back.
A generation that did their homework alone to get out asap to play in the street, that spent all their free time
in the streets.
A generation that played hide and seek when dark, made mud cakes, collected sports cards and empty coke
bottles, then returned them for 5 cents each. Our TV went off at midnight after playing the National Anthem.
Karen Day gives us an update: (I apologetically missed getting this in September’s newsletter.)
“Living in Denver in a condo, missing living in the Foothills with all the birds, and quiet and greenery because it has been a brutally hot summer in the city. I have been grateful to have two new eyes (cataract surgery last December) and a new right knee as of this past April. Becoming truly bionic, though I do at least still have my teeth! My hubby, Jim, is in the early to mid-stages of Parkinson’s Disease, but we are working at exercising and staying active. Recently adopted our daughter’s two Chihuahuas - Roxie and Bodhi, because they didn’t mix too well with our kids’ two two-hundred pound Boerboels names of Maximillian and Morpheus, who have become Instagram stars. Our two grandkids, Brooke (14) and Liam Henry(6) are growing up too fast! Love them and their busy parents, Hilary and Bill Calton,dearly. I remain in touch with Liz Horn, Martha Race, but not frequently enough. Our gardening attempts this summer have been a bust, as everything keeps frying in the heat! Missed going down to Santa Fe to see the Opera with Barbara Darling and her lovely husband. May get there this Fall. I am so thankful that you keep us all up to date on everyone’s activities, just wish we hadn’t lost so many classmates already. My current passions include reading, cooking, and politics. Hell of a combo! Love to all, and STAY HEALTHY!”
Keith Bruckner, Chuck Moeder and Don Berk
, and many others have expressed appreciation for the newsletter which keeps us together. None of you get far from my mind and when an email comes in from any one of you, you’re on the front burner again! I have a special pocket in gmail where I store your entries for the next newsletter. Remember, if you intended it to be between just the two of us, tell me and it will be just between the two of us.)
added: “We all toddled through WW2, hid under our desks during the Korean War, made it through the polio epidemic before and after Salk, experienced the transformation of the Civil Rights movement, lost friends and relatives in Vietnam, the first Iraqi war, the twenty years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan triggered by the 9/11
attacks; ushered in Bill Halley, Elvis, the Beatles, the Stones, Chuck Berry, The Kingston Trio, Bobby and the Counts, plus another 100 R&R and C&W greats, newly greeted Star Wars and James Bond, Michner, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Sophia Lauren, Paul Newman, Monk, Mingus and Coltrane, went from slide rules and dialup phones to computers and mobile devices, from '47 slope-back Pontiac V8's to EV's, Convair prop planes between Ithaca and NYC to 787 Starliners and drones, from Earth to the moon, pizza at Joe's to, well, pizza at Joe's, dragged through multiple economic recessions and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
And here we are having arrived in September 2022, most of us 80 or thereabouts, almost oblivious to all the above unless we think about it, happy to enjoy the simple pleasures of old friends, family, nature, and a half bushel of fine NYS apples in the back seat!
As for moi, I am grateful beyond words for my undeserved good fortune since 1942, despite my best efforts to screw it all up. After many travels I'm ensconced in Southern AZ in the high desert at the foot of the Santa Rita mountains where some 275 species of birds stop on their migratory routes. My kids and grandkids are happy and healthy in Seattle, and we have traveled both directions to visit and reconnect on a regular basis. I reluctantly just sold my airplane as possibly the last remaining vestige of good sense before geriatrics takes me over completely.”
shares his treasures of history and great photography on our Facebook page and he will take any photos you have to share and add them. (I understand pictures do not translate well on this email.)
Bev Upper Ciferni
wrote words I’m including here in their entirety because I think it will help many of us understand and handle loss and aging. We are facing it daily now, directly and indirectly. “I find myself looking back on the years rather than looking ahead at what is to come. I'm sure for many of us the memories have faded enough to have the very best ones at the forefront. However, even without the filter I am ever so grateful for the wonderful and full years I have had. I am fortunate enough to have had a loving husband for 56 years, three children, and seven grandchildren.
Approximately 10 years ago my husband was diagnosed with dementia which has been pretty much determined as Alzheimer's. Initially it was overwhelming and sad. I read and tried everything I could find on alleviating the symptoms, slowing the process, etc. Did any of it work? I don't really know. But I was hopeful. Our family slowly adapted to what was happening and the new reality. Everyone stepped up including the grandchildren.
My husband is still physically with us, and we enjoy him immensely. He has infrequent moments of clarity when we rejoice, but mainly he is still the man we have all loved and continue to love no matter what the illness brings.
I wanted to share our story because I have learned this.... We are never too old ( even 80+) to take a new path and embrace it. There is so much to be gained both personally and because of those we meet on this path. Yes, my husband's illness has been overwhelming at times, but I realize it is also a gift when I choose to see it from that perspective.”
was sitting in her golf cart yesterday and a monarch flew in and briefly said hello. He may have recognized me. Taunting, he circled around me, touched down briefly on my bottlebrush tree, then off to investigate my neighbor’s tropical paradise. By mid-December he should be in Mexico! If you have found time to read my blog and now journey with me, it is my hope that you find your own place in Ms. Daisy’s story. As Bev reminds us: There is so much to be gained both personally and from those we meet on this path we call life.
I just received information from the Friends of R.H.Truman organization. The Old Mill, our trailhead on many class reunion hikes, has been granted a new life!
I also took the liberty of continuing our support of Second Wind Cottages and sent them a donation for 2022. They are most appreciative. Their thank you note told of a second haven of tiny homes being created in the Dryden area, for would-be homeless women. The balance in our checking account will be applied to continuing our website, currently paid through next year and we have enough for three more years, unless I get a majority vote to use it otherwise. Okay??
My best wishes for a healthy and rewarding 2023. May we experience joy, comfort, and peace in our most precious years of life. Thank God for every day we have.
Happy Hanukkah – Merry Christmas