Jane Russo Sheehan
600 S. Main St.
Mansfield, MA 02048
Not as much news as I would have liked to report, but here goes!
Joanne Holbrook Patton had her annual Sweet Briar Picnic on 7/20 at Green Acres. Joanie and I were the only ’52ers of the group, and I have to tell you all that she is still her fabulous self. Her son Ben dropped in to say hello, just as his Mom extolled his new book Growing Up Patton. Several class members sent notes regretting not to be able to be there. Anne Hoagland Plumb Kelsey was among these, but also sent me news of the fact that Joanie and her family will be honored by the Essex Heritage Commission and the National Park Service on 10/16. In addition, Anne tells me, Joanne was awarded an honorary degree from Endicott College. Others who responded to Joanie’s invitation were Binji (Harriet) Thayer Elder who sends her greetings to all. Pauline Wells Bolton couldn’t make it because she was going to be in Paris! Ann Whittingham Smith, who lived with the same family as Pauline (and later Pauline’s sister Jay, who going to Paris with Pauline) sent her regrets. She thinks the trip will bring back lots of good memories of those days. Grace Wallace Brown had a family reunion at her daughter Elizabeth’s mountain home in NC.
Martha Legg Katz had a reception at the Weston Public Library on May 12. It was for a sculpture retrospective of her works in wood, bronze and clay and was on display May 2-31. Martha Yost Ridenour writes that she was able to entertain Dean King, the author of the new book The Hatfields and McCoys, when he and his daughter were in Pikeville for a book signing. Martha also had the misfortune of a fire, which totally burned down her late daughter’s 80-year-old home and destroyed all her daughter’s things that were still in the house. So sad for her.
Nancy Hamel Clark is going to Grandfather Mt. for a few days in Aug., where she hopes to see Carma Lindsay Burton. Nancy and her son Jim will go to Mayberry Days in Mt. Airy in Sept. Then more travel plans with daughter Ann in Nov. to San Antonio where Ann is giving a talk on public education. Our Step Singing leader is still singing in the church choir. She wishes Helen Graves Stahmann would look up Janet Graham Scott, as they both live in Queensland, Australia. Nancy also inquired about Jean Caldwell Marchant: I last saw Jean quite a few years ago at a U.S. Dressage Assoc. Annual Meeting, I think in Denver. Would love to hear from you, Jean, and from all the rest of you who read these Class Notes. Next deadline is probably Feb., so that gives you time!
Betsy Wilder Cady and I got together at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston for a French film about dressage riders, NOT a documentary. It managed to be provocative—after all, French! We are both going great guns, T.G., as my Irish cousins would say (T.G. means “Thank God!” Another favorite abbreviation is “G.W.” I’ll let you guess…). I just acquired a 3 ½ month old Jack Russell puppy. It’s like having a toddler again. My two granddaughters started high school this week, Julia at Green Hills in Dallas, and Katherine at Hamilton-Wenham here in MA. Kevin graduated from Hanover, MA, High School in June, and Emmet goes into 8th grade and plays football. Emmet is the smallest on his team, but like my Jack Russell, fast and tenacious.
Our classmate Norma Jansen Phelan passed away on 5/13 in Cape Giradeau, MO. She is survived by her husband, Robert J. Phelan Jr., 5 daughters and 13 grandchildren. On 8/19, Nell Dumas Herff of San Antonio died. I’m sorry to have to end this on such a sad note, but at this stage in our lives we get this news more often than we would like.