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 updated on 10/25/20 I'm still me, still doing some tractor driving, sewing and now more writing. To date I have been truly thankful for good health. For those who can still travel I look forward to a picnic with you in August 2021. There are many advantages to being your IHS correspondent; frequent contact keeps our friendship fresh and you are never far from my mind and prayers.I spend some time with Larry on his farm in upstate NY, driving my 1953 Farmall Cub, and writing. Prison ministry is one way I have of lending an ear, offering hope and encouragement. I am amazed by the return I get for my time invested. My very best regards to you. What do you consider a good day? When I close my peepers and rest my tired back, I have reasons to appreciate the day offered to me. I helped someone, was kind, and learned something new. I pray for at least one more day to attend to my bucket list and do some good in this world.
Sherrills Ford NC 28673 RETIRED Married 4 Henry ST. Johns Worked for Therm Inc for 42 years have had great timePlease note: Dave passed away in 2018. His obituary appears elsewhere on this site.
Williamsville NY 14221 retired Married 2 Central and East Hill Ed Michael What have I been doing for the past 55 years? I got married to Connie Wells one week after graduating from IHS in 1960. Soon, I took a job working 2000 ft. below the earth, at Cayuga Rock Salt, in Lansing, NY. I worked in the salt mine for one full year before enrolling at Ithaca College as a Physical Education major. Our first child, Terry Ann, was born that same year. The Cayuga Rock Salt people were wonderful in that they also provided me with summer employment while I was going to college. While at IC, I earned multiple varsity letters in both football and wrestling. In addition, my team mates elected me co-captain of the freshman football team and co-captain of the varsity wrestling team as a senior. Also, as a senior, I won the 4-I wrestling championships at 177lbs. and was voted the team’s “Outstanding Wrestler.” On the academic side, I was a Dean’s List Student and was named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. In June 1965, I graduated Cum Laude from IC with a BS Degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation. In late spring 1965, I accepted a graduate assistantship to attend the University of Maryland in College Park. Soon after graduating from IC, we moved to College Park and I began graduate work on a MA Degree in Health and Physical Education. About half way into the fall semester, we were blessed with the birth of our second child, James. We now had two children. My responsibilities as a grad assistant included teaching physical education classes to the general undergraduate student body. In addition, I chose to involve myself as a clinician in the university’s Physical Developmental Clinic. This was a program that my academic advisor directed. In this clinic, we imparted basic movement and sports skills to young people who had been classified as brain damaged, emotionally disturbed or mentally retarded. The goal of this program was to improve overall function in these people. It was felt that if we could improve a child’s gross motor skills, this would carry over into improvement in fine motor skills needed in such things as reading and writing. Working with challenged youngsters proved to be a very rewarding and humbling experience. I feel I grew a great deal as a person. In August 1966, I completed my graduate studies and earned a MA Degree in Health and Physical Education from the University of Maryland. In summer 1966, I accepted a position to teach health and physical education and be the head coach of both wrestling and lacrosse at Corning Community College, Corning, NY. Lacrosse was a relatively new sport at the time and a sport that I had not played at any level. Thankfully, IHS class mate Terry Cullen, who played lacrosse at Hobart College, was a great help to me in my acquiring the skills necessary to be a successful coach. In fact, my 1970 lax team finished the season ranked 4th nationally in the NJCAA. In addition, all of my wrestling teams at CCC were exceptional. Still young and ambitious, in summer 1970 I assumed the position Instructor of Physical Education and Head Wrestling Coach at the University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. In all, I spent 37 years at this institution working in a variety of positions. During my first 21 years at UB, I was primarily an instructor of physical education classes and head coach of the wrestling team. During ten years of this same period, I also served as the coordinator of the university’s Basic Instruction Physical Education Program. In my mind, coaching was much like teaching in a class room. A wrestling room, playing field or gymnasium was just a different venue for imparting knowledge. Holding a tenure track position, I fully embraced the kinds of things expected of academic staff. Early on, I authored several sports journal publications and in 1983 co-authored a wrestling book with my long time assistant. This book sold more than 6000 copies. I also helped with departmental governance by serving on various committees. Perhaps the thing that I will be most identified with, in my professional life, is what I was able to accomplish as a college wrestling coach. The following is a compendium of achievements that stand out in my mind when reflecting on 25 years of coaching: Overall dual meet record 260-112-3, Coached 105 tournament champions, 40 All Americans (2 NCAA individual national champions, one named “Outstanding Wrestler” in nation), Team 7 times NY State Collegiate Wrestling Champions, 12 teams finished in the top 20 in the NCAA DIV. II and III Championships, 1977-78 team NCAA Division III National Champions ( The only UB athletic team to ever win a national championship) , !972-73 team ranked 16 nationally in NCAA Div. I by Amateur Wrestling News, 1973-74 team established the record for most dual meet wins in a season 22-1-0 (Record still stands), 1977-78 team inducted into UB Athletics Hall of Fame, 9 wrestlers inducted individually into the UBAHOF. None of this would have been possible without the extraordinary efforts of my student-athletes and the support of my family and the institutions that employed me. Coaching wrestling created many other enjoyable and rewarding opportunities for me. During the summer, in addition to teaching summer school, I ran my own wrestling school at UB and served as a clinician at many wrestling camps in NY, NJ and PA. I worked with both young wrestlers and coaches. I also got involved in wrestling cultural exchanges. This brought me in contact with delegations from Iran, Poland and North Africa. In addition to the competition, the exchanging of gifts with the athletes and coaches was always special during these events. In 1988, I was offered the position Director of Recreation and Intramural Services by our new UB Athletic Director. What some saw as a “head ache,” I viewed as an opportunity to build something special within the athletic department. I accepted the job with the understanding that the responsibilities of my new position would be in addition to what I was already doing. My new job seemed to energize and challenge me. In addition to teaching, coaching and managing our instructional P. E. program for academic credit, I would now be responsible for all informal recreation, intramural sports, sport clubs, structured recreation, outdoor adventure, aerobics / fitness training and facilities management. In short, my new job was to create and manage attractive programs that would enable some 28,000 UB students to fulfill their physical activity needs. University faculty and staff were accommodated as well. Alumni and the community at large participated in selected programs. In 1991, I relinquished all of my teaching and coaching responsibilities so that I could focus all of my energy on being the Director of Recreation and Intramural Services. I found being a sports administrator enjoyable. This position enabled me to get involved with several university wide committees that made recommendations affecting university policy. In addition, I was able to make new friends from amongst the UB faculty and administration. Overall, life has been good after high school graduation. I have had peaks and valleys in my life, like most of us. But in the big scheme of things, I feel truly blessed. My lovely wife of 55 years, Connie, is the best thing God has ever given me. Her support and hard work in my behalf enabled many of my dreams to come true. I have two wonderful children, who are graduates of UB, and two fabulous grand children. Coaches and Gym teachers had a profound influence on me growing up in Ithaca. I respected them and wanted to be like them as long as I can remember. IHS coaches Joe Moresco, Bill Layton, Orlando Turco, Cass Hippolit and Bob Congdon quickly come to mind. IC coaches Dick Lyon and Herb Broadwell influenced me as well. I feel I always had the support of my friends and team mates. Ithaca College and the University of Maryland provided me with a fine education. I always felt prepared for any job related task I was given. At times I had to “pinch” myself. I was a tenured Associate Professor at one of the top universities in America. As a wrestling coach, my teams defeated some of the top programs in the country, to include: Syracuse, Cornell, Pitt, Maryland, Princeton, Army and Clarion. I am currently a member of six halls of fame to include IHS, IC, UB and the NY State Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, housed in Stillwater, OK. In 2011, UB built a new state of the art wrestling facility and named it the Ed Michael Wrestling Complex. Yes prayers are answered and dreams can come true, if you work hard. Currently, I am enjoying retirement while dabbling in artistic pursuits, reading, repurposing furniture, tending to our vegetable garden, exercising, driving my nice 1982 Corvette, attending car shows, attending athletic events ( Particularly UB wrestling and football), being a member of two hall of fame induction committees and attending various team and class reunions. To a large extent, my life has been about relationships. If something good happens to you or a loved one and you don’t have anyone to share it with, it doesn’t seem to have much meaning.
Jane Miller (Kennedy)
Bloomington IN 47402 Retired Married 3 Danby I spent forty years in the banking industry, retiring in 2005. I started out as a teller and retired as a Vice President in charge of employee benefits. I now help out at the local library. It is a learning experience and I especially enjoy the children that come in.
I have been married to my second husband, Charles, for twenty three years. We have three children between us. Two of our children live in Illinois and one lives here in Bloomington.
We like to garden, cook, read and travel.
We are looking forward to the next class reunion.
Judy Mitchell (Knuutila)
Groton NY 13073 retired Married 2 East Hill, South Hill
Harwich MA 02645 semi-retired Married 5 Graduated College - Cornell Engineering in 1965 and earned my Masters in Business in 1966, also from Cornell
Worked for Western Electric for a few years in New Jersey.
Moved to Massachusetts in 1970 to work for Digital Equipment Corporation. Had various positions in marketing, Product Line Management, Technical Support, Sales, and more. Had an absolute BLAST!
Married in 1964 and have five adult children living in New York City, Brookline ( Mass), Boston, DC, and San Diego. Proud of every one of them! ! !
Took an early retirement when Digital "Melted Down" and went into computer consulting and computer programming (WEB sites, Lotus Notes, Domino and things like that).
Also went into residential rental real estate in 1980 (to pay for kid's colleges). Have sold some but still have two as now is not the best time to sell the rest. Make me an offer anyone?
Semi-retired now - enjoying life on Cape Cod (and also managing the rest of the rental stuff). If you ever visit (or live on) The Cape, give me a call
Janice (Prefer Jan) Murphy (Ivkovich)
Granger IN 46530 Science teacher Married 3 Belle Sherman After IHS, I went to Cornell and graduated in 1964. I married Ron in 1963, who was drafted after grad school. We moved several times over the next 14 years from Syracuse,NY, Cohasset, MA, Woodbury,NJ, Syracuse, NY, Charlotte,NC, Jacksonville, FL, and landed in Granger, a suburb of South Bend,IN in 1978. I was finally able to get my masters in science ed. biology and general science then. We have been here ever since. We have three children. Jill is the oldest and is married to Bob Sandilla. They live in Pittsburgh area and have two boys 16 and 11. We visit often. Cheryl who is married to Chris Wyma and They have one daughter who is 3. They live in Traverse City but her daughter is living with us. Kevin is not married but has a home on a lake about 40 minutes from us. He travels all over the US doing his work.
I taught at an environmental center in Florida. Then I taught bio labs at St. Mary's College for four years. I taught general science at a private, independent school in South Bend for 20 years before retiring. Ron is a retired food service executive.
I am currently a trainer for Hoosier Riverwatch and on the Soil and Water Conservation District Board. I am taking Spanish and we are both raising our granddaughter. Her Mom has mental health and addiction issues which are improving. Hopefully, she can be back with her Mom before too long.
Question: What is one amazing experience in your life?
Spending a month in Thailand teaching Thai secondary teachers inquiry lab methods was one amazing experience. I am sure I learned more than they did!
Going on the gold rush tour in Alaska and climbing Dome Mountain in Dawson with my husband was the other!
Apopka FL 32703 retired Married 3 Martha and I are enjoying retirement. Our three daughters Amy, Lucy, and Becky have blessed us with 4 grandchildren and 1 step-grandchild - the oldest now ready for college! My guitar playing - from "Bernie and the Cavaliers" days, is continuing. I play in the church band. After heart surgery five years ago I went back to playing golf and working part time as manager of buildings and grounds at my church.I will miss seeing everyone at this reunion - am scheduled for eye surgery November 12th. My brother-in-law Joel Ekholm will be there.