Alice Lancaster Buck
Alice Johnson Fessenden sent a fascinating letter about her life. She writes: “To use Somerset Maugham’s Term for his life story ‘The Summing Up’ I am sending some info for mine. Perhaps Meta Glass was an inspiration: riding at Sweet Briar, going on a fox hunt with Bedford Hounds were highlights. After debutante years in Atlanta, marriage to a geologist, pilot, from Yale led me to life in Venezuela and bearing two children there, followed by move to U.S. west, obtaining an M.A. at Hill Air Force Base, UT provided by U. of UT. I became a teacher, then principal, which led me to be selected for headmistress exchange program arranged by U. of UT with London Polytechnique in Essex, U.K. Another highlight was a summer term at Universidad de las America’s in Cholula, Mexico. This was a group Fulbright Scholarship through Brigham Young U. (Another child was added the UT years). Upon my husband’s death in1992, I attended the birth of a granddaughter in CA within two weeks. Driving in desert from UT, coming through NV to CA, I came upon the small town of Mesquite. Returning a few weeks later, I decided to move there. Who knew I would end up on the City Council and into NV politics! The intense heat caused me to look for a cool summer retreat, South Africa! To make any sense of it I signed up for a diamond grading course in Joberg. What a year—1994! Mandela had just come in. The greatest year in all of South African history! I have been back six times, and covered most of sub-Saharan Africa from Zanzibar to Namibria, and Morocco in the north just once, visiting several good friends in South Africa in different areas. Children just gave a huge party in Henderson, NV, on 12/12/12 for my 90th. 75 guests—unbelievable!” Alice also said that she and Louise Smith Barry “went down the CO River on a float trip two years ago—imagine two 88 year olds!” I expect that many of us already have or will soon be celebrating 90th birthdays.
Paulett Long Taggart sent a picture of a family gathering celebrating hers last June 23, and Marion Shanley Jacobs wrote that her family celebrated hers in Oct. shortly after she announced her retirement from her part-time job with the Federal Government. Marion lost her husband Bill at the end of 11/2011. Marian and Louise Smith Barry and Jean Blanton Stein and I had a fun two days in Oct. as the guests of Betty Williams Gookin and Richard at their lovely home “The Oaks” in Warrenton. We had such fun together sharing meals and Sweet Briar memories and going on the annual “Studio and Gallery Tour” of Rappahannock artists in the
Sperryville area. Richard was our tour guide as he drove us up and down mountain roads to discover fascinating hidden away studios. Louise and Marian spent the next 3 days in D.C. attending the Rhodes Scholar Program on the Middle East.
Christmas cards brought bits of news from many of you. Betty Farinholt Cockrill sent a wonderful picture of herself surrounded by 10 grandchildren while celebrating her 25th annual family trip to Hilton Head. Sorry to hear from Pat Whitaker Waters that she is having trouble with her sight, but she said that she still treasures her time at Sweet Briar. She also added that “Speedy” (Marion Saunders) died last July. We lost anotherbeloved classmate, Emily Ann Wilkins Mason, on 10/18/12. She was so faithful about coming to our reunions. I am enjoying my life here at Ashby Ponds, and as those of you in retirement communities know, there is more to do than time to do it! I enjoy singing in the “Songbirds,” acting in plays and doing some writing, as well as Bible studies and church activities, although shoulder surgery and a fractured elbow last year did end my tennis playing. Louise Barry enjoys her retirement community also and is takinga class on “Great Decisions” as well as attending a weekly current events class. In Feb. she went to FL for her family’s celebration of her 90th birthday at Callaway Gardens. Please continue tosend me your news.