Leo W. Johnson, ll
Hartsville SC 29550 retired/progress-energy-nuclear Married 2
Jinny Klune (Light)
Orleans MA 02653 retired Married 2 Belle Sherman It's definitely several lifetimes since we left IHS. After graduating from Cornell I married Don Light. We were in Ithaca another year while he got his MBA and then moved to the Albany area, living in several cities for 8 years. Then to Connecticut where we raised our two boys and I was a professional volunteer. It provided me the opportunity to be at home and yet challenge my mind. The last ten years there I worked part time at the public library. In 1998 we moved to Cape Cod and have enjoyed our life here immensely. I keep active with biking, swimming, kayaking, gardening, reading, and music. We now have 3 delightful grandsons and enjoy our babysitting opportunities.Please note: Jinny passed away in 2014. Her obituary appears elsewhere on this site.
I have really enjoyed following the updates of classmates on this great website.
Grand Junction CO 81506 Retired Married 1 Belle Sherman My basic chronology is Cornell undergraduate, followed by Cornell Law School (where my first year of law school also counted as my fourth year for undergraduate degree purposes), followed by service in the US Air Force as an Intelligence Officer, followed by a career in the Central Intelligence Agency. It is my time in CIA, concluded in 2002, that explains, to a degree, my invisibility at earlier reunions. I was always in another place, usually at some distance from Upstate New York or wherever the reunion might be held. Oftentimes, in the pre-computer era, I was ignorant of reunion plans because multiple relocations rendered me unreachable. And besides, why go to a reunion and spend my time lying about what I do and where I work? Such misrepresentation was burdensome but obligatory. While my past employment can now be acknowledged, a lifelong statutory prohibition remains on discussing most related work topics, so this profile will be somewhat short on specifics.A note to any reader who has not provided their profile for the website: The rapidly lengthening Deceased portion of our website sends the unmistakable message that life is uncertain, time is passing, and 50 years is long enough to remain silent. Surviving class members can read the rest of your story in your words, or in a bare bones recitation written by grieving family members who cobble together an obituary. The 59 class members who have predeceased us did not have a chance to speak for themselves. I encourage you to avail yourself of the opportunity to do so, but the choice is yours.
I spent my career as a CIA Operations Officer (what we used to call Case Officer). When mentioned in newspapers or television news coverage, Operations Officers are typically called "spies" or "CIA agents", but both labels are misnomers. A functional job description devoid of glamorization would be that I was one of many reporters working for the US Government's policymaking community. The client list for Operations Officers starts with the President, and moves on selectively through some of the agencies and departments in the Executive Branch. I hasten to add no one ever awoke a President to pass him information only I had developed. In virtually every instance, what you collect is part of a very large mosaic, and you are furnishing a small or medium or (in rare instances) a large piece of the puzzle being solved. You serve all administrations, irrespective of political affiliation or personal sentiment. Yours not to reason why, yours but to do or die.
As a final assignment prior to retirement, I was selected to be a CIA Officer in Residence. In 2000, I was the Directorate of Operations (the part of CIA that clandestinely collects information) nominee for this position because our most senior officer, then called the DDO, wanted to reward me for having spent four years in the job he felt was the worst in the Directorate. (I was never able to convince him it really wasn't.) Officer in Residence is a tiny program that annually sends three CIA employees (not more than one per directorate) to US academic institutions for a two year assignment as adjunct faculty. The ground rules are that the university has to request a CIA officer and must approve the candidate proposed, and the candidate comes to the school to do nothing but teach classes and speak (when invited) in public settings such as the Rotary Club. And, of course, the Officer in Residence must avoid any discussion of classified matters. Universities love to get an Officer in Residence because they are a freebie. CIA pays for everything. After spending my life figuratively in low light environments, this public trumpeting of my actual affiliation was quite a departure, not totally unlike writing this profile for the Class of 1960 website. I ended up at Clemson University, where I joined the Political Science department, creating and teaching three courses on espionage. It took me a while to be comfortable saying where I really worked. Even now, years later, the acknowledgement feels strange. After completing that assignment in 2002, I retired, but continued to reside in the town of Clemson (located in South Carolina).
Taking advantage of my still existing clearance, I got into consulting work for companies that had classified US Government contracts with agencies that required all contract employees to have the clearance I retained. I moved from company to company and contract to contract, traveling widely during the period 2002-2008. When the contract budgets shrank, the consulting opportunities for someone not residing in the Washington area diminished, and I went from living in hotels and sleeping on airplanes to finally staying put in the Upstate of South Carolina.
On the personal side, I got married toward the end of my Air Force time, and have remained so. In my CIA years, we lived in a variety of places, both in the US and abroad. I traveled a fair amount, and was active a little or a lot on most continents. My wife and I had two sons, but only one is still living. That son has three children. We sold our home in Clemson in 2009 and moved to Grand Junction to be close to him and his family. My work life and our home life have made us acutely sensitive to the passage of time, and to windows of opportunity that suddenly materialize and just as quickly evaporate, so we are grateful to be here during our grandchildren's formative years.
My wife has had serious medical issues for some time. They have recently worsened, and since late 2009 I have become almost a full time nursemaid and caregiver. Our previous outside pursuits, including golf and travel and a large chunk of our normal social interaction, have been put on hold. We extract joy in very large quantities from intense involvement with the three grand kids (ages 8, 6, and 2). Like others in the Class of 1960 who have faced similar situations, I have a fulsome appreciation of the marriage vow phrases "for better or worse," and, "in sickness and in health." In one sense, my life has come full circle. I now sublimate my wants to my wife's needs, which is exactly what she did for me without complaint for almost all of our married life.
My journey since graduating from IHS 50 years ago is a road less traveled, and it has included many twists and turns. It has never been dull or without challenge. I must confess to feeling that I simultaneously had two wives. One I married in 1968. The other is my former employer. Most of us know what spousal marriage is like from personal experience, from the lives of others, or from books and movies. However, few people have the privilege, and I believe it is that, to see CIA from the inside, as I did for over four decades. The Agency has a remarkable and dedicated workforce. There is a loser here or there, but in my experience marginal employees are few and far between. CIA houses the most impressive collection of individuals I have ever encountered. On so many levels, what the Agency attempts to do is mission impossible---not in the way we used to see it on TV, but because success is so difficult to achieve, and so transitory, with an array of unending substantive challenges that range from perennial to novel, all of them daunting.
You have read newspaper stories in the past, and undoubtedly will do so in the future, about concealed CIA operations that turn into public disasters, and you may just shake your head and wonder where the US Government found such a collection of idiots. Mistakes are made every day, and in every time zone. Fortunately, most of them are inconsequential, but every once in a while one is not. However, in the ensuing publicity, the media never is able to capture the whole truth about what happened, and why. Successes are never heralded, the work has an extreme complexity not apparent to anyone uninitiated in clandestine activities, and, as with everything else in life, it always is far easier to grade the papers than it is to take the exam. I was enthralled at CIA from my first day to my last, never loving Fridays or hating Mondays. In so many ways I was the world's happiest bigamist, loving my two spouses differently, but equally.
I mention Fridays and Mondays, but in truth there is a fireman quality to the work, and weekends often become an extension of the work week. You just never know when the bell will ring, or why, and personal plans are expendable. Your professional life frequently engulfs your personal one, and you struggle mightily to strike and maintain a meaningful balance. I was once asked by a senior elected official visiting my locale how many hours our people worked, and I truthfully responded, "We never close". The work is consuming, by turns exhilarating, frustrating, and enervating, with constant risk, both personal and professional, and large splashes of humor and occasional absurdity thrown in for good measure.
My professional voyage involved trying to contribute to an understanding of present and future issues of policymaker relevance, and I did not have the luxury or a penchant to examine or reconsider my earlier life by gazing in the rear view mirror, or by rekindling long dormant relationships from high school, college, law school, or the military. Some of my inclination to look around, or ahead, but rarely behind, is just me. The lyrics of one of my favorite songs sums me up perfectly. "I'm not the kind to live in the past. The years run too short and the days too fast.... It's just now and then that my mind gets cast into these time passages." Some of my attitude undoubtedly stems from a life lived in the shadows. Like many other intense professions, Operations Officers are forever marked by the lives they lead.
Whatever its source, my preferential focus on the present and future, by now deeply engrained, has made me at best lukewarm to the notion of reunions. Indeed, I have never attended one, but 50 is a great number, and I would be in Florida in November were it not for my current difficulties on the home front. I'll be there in spirit. That, and this note with so many details excluded, will have to do.
Union Springs NY 13160 Retired Divorced Henry St. John
After graduating from Cornell, I worked in New York for Doubleday and Natural History Press as a secretary and editorial assistant. In 1969 I moved west to Seattle, where for many years I ran the job placement program at the University of Washington School of Law. Thanks to Mac computers and layout programs and to my writing and editing experience in New York, I later became publications director for the school’s alumni, fund-raising, and deans’ offices.
Seattle was a great place to be – good theater, music, art, and, best of all, proximity to water and mountains. I hiked and camped a lot, fished and skied (cross-country) a little, and – after buying a house in the suburbs – took up gardening.
In 2003 I returned to the Finger Lakes and, with my old college roommate Veronica Seyd, bought a rundown Greek Revival farmhouse outside Union Springs. It’s a lot of work (a horse once inhabited the dining room and a goat lived upstairs), but we are slowly renovating it and planting flower and vegetable gardens as well. We’re also involved in some local activities: a community planning committee, book club, historical society, and food bank.
We fit in as much travel as we can – Japan is a great favorite, but also Europe, Mexico, and of course the US, especially the Southwest – and enjoy entertaining visitors. A lot of Seattle friends have stayed with us, and others as well – notably and frequently, my friend since fourth grade, Peggy Payne. I’m always experimenting in the kitchen and take great pleasure in using local produce. This area is rich in beauty and bounty, and I’m glad to be home.
Greenville SC 29604 retired Committed Relationship 1 corning, ny Trying to reach my full potential!!! Married, divorced, (a few times) 40 + years in packaging ( manufacturing, design engineering, and sales) all after college, (Utica and RIT), and more through the 40 years. Now working on my second career of turning my week end hobby (watercolor painting)into a paying job. I teach basic water color, and sell a painting once in a while, but so far I'm doing well as a starving artist.
Wrentham MA 02093 semiretired college tutor and horse farmer Divorced East Hill and Belle Sherman When I graduated from Ithaca High School, lo those many years ago, I had absolutely no idea what the future had in store for me. College was a given – daughter of two academics plus free tuition at Cornell – there was never any question. Beyond that, however, all I saw was a blank slate waiting for me to begin making choices and filling in the blanks. Well, fifty years is a lot of blanks, but somehow I managed to fill them – not always wisely, but never without some justifying rationale in my head. And over time, I’ve managed to collect quite an array of adventures – such as two failed marriages, at least four career changes, and enough stories to keep a soap opera going for years. I think of it all as chapters in a book – each building upon the last, and all eventually leading me to where I am now – which is a grand and wonderful place – both figuratively and literally. Those of you who knew me, probably remember that my main passion in life was horses. Somehow life was never quite whole unless there was a horse included somewhere in the picture. As far back as I can remember, I dreamed of having my own horse farm and being able to have a barn full of my favorite creatures to do with as I pleased. For years, that’s all it was – a dream. I never really thought it would actually happen – but it did. After husband number one (the Czech architect who came to be known as “the bad Czech”) decided his office interior designer was more to his liking than his wife (a long story – good line for the soaps), and after several years of becoming thoroughly disillusioned with the corporate world (horrible job at the former First National Bank of Boston), I met husband number two – who seemed too good to be true. He wanted to marry me, buy a farm, and have our own boarding facility. How could I turn that down? So, in 1984, I married Charlie, sold my house in Belmont, MA, and moved to Wrentham, MA, where we’d found 30 acres of pure heaven. For the first few years it was fun. We transformed what was originally a gigantic refrigerator for apples into a great barn – thick, insulated walls, a dozen large stalls, and built miles and miles of fence around acres and acres of pasture (killing numerous post hole augers on New England’s famous rocks). After a couple of year, we’d filled the barn with boarders along with our own four horses. We enjoyed fox hunting on weekends, but during the week, while hubby went off to his job at the Foxboro Company, I did all the horse-keeping – and housekeeping. Twelve horses is a lot for one person to care for—especially when owners expect perfection for their board money—and by the end of the day I would be pretty exhausted. By 1989, I was thoroughly burned out and it was time to renegotiate my contract. I’d managed to pick up a masters degree in education in the mid seventies, and decided I should look for a teaching job. Charlie agreed as long as I assumed responsibility for hiring adequate barn help. Fine. I found a great job and a succession of barn workers, managed to juggle it all more or less successfully, while Charlie became increasingly morose. Old farm with too many projects that only he could do – why pay someone to do something that one can do better oneself?! By the late nineties, that chapter ended. He left, leaving me the farm – which included a falling down house that somehow we’d never quite managed to renovate, and no money. The next chapter opened with me carefully arranging buckets around the floor upstairs to catch the raindrops that seeped through the roof every time it rained. By then, the boarders had all left and I had only my own horses to care for – a thoroughbred gelding, a quarter horse mare, and her daughter who was half Holsteiner. I’d also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, and things were looking pretty bleak. But always the optimist, I refused to give up. One of my horsey friends who was high on talent and low on money began showing up to help me with my young mare. One thing led to another, and we developed a business partnership. And even better, her husband was a farrier and could take care of shoeing the horses. Next, a neighborhood builder stopped by and offered to build me a new house in exchange for my front hay field. He also threw in a new roof for the barn and a new out-door riding arena. And he demolished the old house which would have fallen down soon in any case.
To make a long story endless, I think I can sum up these past fifty years as a journey to find all of the silver linings in all of life’s black clouds. And if I do say so myself, I’ve done a pretty good job. Today I have a wonderful house on a wonderful farm with a perfect business partner who thinks like I do only is more practical and thirty some years younger. I’ve found my niche as a teacher – tutoring learning disabled and ELL college students – mostly at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI, plus a few private kids at Wheaton College. Heidi (my partner) and I have made the farm into a non-profit corporation where we rescue horses, ponies, donkeys, and kids. Heidi’s husband, Ken, has found a new passion for organic farming – so we’ve added that to our list of reasons to be here. We are educating the community about healthy living through organic gardening. And, we have a wonderful family of assorted chickens whose egg producing capacities seem limitless. Thanks to osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia, I no longer ride much, but have discovered the fun of driving. If you want to get a sense of all this, check out our web site (still a work in progress – but it’s coming along) www.dunveganfarm.org. The non-profit bears the name “Another Way” – which, if you think about it, is what we should all do when facing certain defeat. Just try another way.
I’m coming to the reunion and can’t wait to reconnect!
San Francisco CA 94109 retired Single Bethel Grove 1 - 4; East Hill 5 & 6 teaching, developing personnel systems, consulting, hiking/backpacking, enjoying friends & family, lots of music (appreciation - not making), travel, etc.I moved to SF in 1967 and have spent most of my adult life here; I do come to Ithaca regularly and can be reached there at 607-27-28785 in summer. As my parents have aged have been spending more time there.
Lexington MA 02420 Research Married 2 West Hill [A letter from Larry to Phyllis Sommerman, September 2009. Added with permission.]
Hi Phyllis --
It was a nice surprise to receive the reunion material, and to gain a partial image of what your life must be like.
As all lost souls might, I find it a surprise to learn that I am a lost soul to IHS '60. My life is so simple, and gee, I so often know where I am, exactly. Imagine that a whole class of Boomers might imagine that I have become an elusive hobo, or that I have run off to Malaysia with a young Pilates instructor, or something like that!
The less interesting fact is that I now sit dully in my little office at MIT, waiting for staff/students to come in. When I stop sitting here, tonight, I return to historic little Lexington MA, where, as far as I can tell, the last actual rebel was seen in about 1777, and where hobos do not now choose to live.
At the age of 67, the American male falls into reflection, sometimes, usually when there is no baseball on TV. Sometimes, he wonders if the world can still make any sense when someone as strong and kind and admirable as Bill Laidlaw is abruptly removed from it. Sometimes he regrets that he hadn't spent time getting to know the more cheerful and thoughtful among his classmates. Sometimes he marvels at the blind date that, in 1966, pretty much changed everything to the good from then on. [If Alexa had had a better option that night, he ponders, he would have probably ended up as that elusive hobo, and not so long thereafter.]
Anyway, it is impressive that Steve could find me via online search. As Mister Google must have informed him, there is a famous Larry McCray, one who is a blues singer, makes CDs, is very relaxed, and likely lives in a great big Louisiana house. I wonder how he knew that wasn't me?
Something tells me that you and I last chatted a little after our college years. Here's my life since then.  A year in India on a Fulbright, where I had time to offer marriage to Alexa, then still in college, and waited, and then waited some more. At our 16th anniversary dinner out she explained that the delay had been the result of some indecision about which of two [or more?] proposals she would accept. (Our 41st anniversary just passed by, but with no more such surprises.)  Thinking, evidently, that university degrees were to be collected like Scout merit badges, I got a third one in management and a fourth one in political science, then discovered that I was still bad both at managing and at understanding politics, and so I drifted onward.  Thinking, evidently, that the world needed changing right away, I pursued a career in Washington, where tours at EPA and the outer White House and the National Academy of Sciences proved that it couldn't be changed much, at least by people like me.  Then . . . Shazam! a son who soon showed me, how a son should treat a parent, and Shazad! a daughter who brought those many delights missed by my own Mom, who had had only sons, and Shazadada! a granddaughter who -- well, I hope you know all about granddaughters -- the whole purpose of human evolution, I now understand, is the perfection of the human granddaughter.  Thinking, evidently, that global warming would kick in right away, we moved back north to Massachusetts, but the latest reports are that Florida still has a better climate than Lexington -- except for August 5 to August 25, arguably.
Our university jobs will keep us up here next November. But best wishes for the roving reunions! It'd be fun to see pictures of it.
Yes, there is such a question. The answer is secret.
It's difficult to imagine how my life might have played out if I had not been born in a college town. Know what I mean?
State College PA 16803 It is with deep sadness that we announce that Vance passed away on August 19, 2013. His obituary is printed under the "Deceased Classmates" section.
A few months after we graduated from IHS my family moved to Doylestown, Pa where my father had partnered with another Cornell graduate in a business startup. I enrolled at Penn State in the Fall of 1961 and found that the area was a paradise for guys who loved the outdoors. I married in 1964, started working part time for the PSU Athletic department, then graduated in 1966.
I had completed ROTC, was commissioned , and prepared for my assignments. I attended The Infantry School and another dream came true when I managed an assignment to Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska. After almost two years there, I was assigned to the Special Warfare School and then to the Defense Language Institute in preparation for a stint in Vietnam. I commanded a MAT team conducting operations with Montagnard irregular forces in the Central Highlands. This was an experience right out of National Geographic, living in a very small tribal village in the middle of the jungle.
I returned to Penn State in the Fall of 1971 and began a twenty seven year career in Athletics and Recreation. This was an ideal job and ideal location for our two daughters to grow and attend an excellent school system. The town was similar to Ithaca and had the same advantages of cultural focus and opportunities. In my case, the hunting, fishing, hiking , skiing etc, was literally just out my backdoor.
In 1991, I partnered with one of my brothers and purchased a bar and grill business on the main street adjacent to the University. If you remember Johnny’s Big Red in Collegetown, it was similar in style and clientele, a real favorite with the students. About that time I also began guiding flyfishers on the streams in Central Pennsylvania. I was already teaching a flyfishing course at the University and this was just another way to enjoy my avocation. By 1997, I was ready to retire from a regular job and devote more time to business and the outdoors. As you might expect, the time flew by and by 2008, we were ready to wrap up the business and get real serious about retirement.
I currently split my time between Pennsylvania, Stone Harbor in New Jersey , Naples in Florida and Cameron, Montana.
Phyllis McLaren (Sommerman)
The Villages FL 32162 retired Educator and Accountant Committed Relationship 2 Belle Sherman 4/20/18 Date of this edit. I'm recharging myself. I hope it's not too late. I started hearing rumors that Steve was looking great and not to be left behind, I have re-committed to living healthier. So who do you suppose I ran into at the gym this morning? Steve! I continue to enjoy hearing from any of you as we stroll along on the 70's trail. Our connectivity is key. The IHS'60 database is so much more to me than a list of names. You all have a story to tell, one that the rest of us would like to hear. Date your profile entry please. I'm so very pleased to call you my friends and will keep in touch through email. When is the next reunion? Plans are to have a 60th reunion in 2020. We can do it! Details forthcoming.