Bruce Watts Krucke*
7352 Toogoodoo Rd.
Yonges Island, SC 29449
Before you read another word, go to your calendars and mark May 30-June 1 as our 60th Reunion! I expect nearly all of you to be there!
The class sympathies go out to the three daughters on the death of Joy Bennett Hartshorn. Joy died in April a year after Danny. Here is a nice except from her obit: “Joy was predeceased last April by her husband of 57 years, Daniel. She is survived by 3 daughters, Heidi Hartshorn McPherson, Tandy Joy Hufford and Karen Hartshorn Hilton, their spouses, 6 loving grand-children, 8 devoted grand-dogs, 4 happy horses, and 1 grateful kitty. A graduate of Kent Place School and Sweet Briar College, Joy was a tireless community volunteer and shared her boundless ‘Joie de vivre.’” The girls have asked me to try and sell a painting of five elephants that Danny commissioned me to do for Joy’s birthday years ago. If you know anyone who is into elephants, have them contact me.
Another sadness is the death of my senior year roommate, Cynthia Sinclair Rutherford. She died in Aug, after many years in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s. Here is a nice note that her husband, Bill, sent me: “Her passing is indeed a sad yet ephemeral moment…She was highly respected, loved by her peers and students alike. A most unusual woman and she sought out those of equal intellect. I know I should be mourning, but the loss was repeated day after day over the past 10 years as I watched the diminution of her cognitive skills. Today I feel sadness mixed with relief; it’s really confusing and quite contrary to what an onlooker might expect of the widower… Cynthia hadn’t known who I was for years…but I was reassured a couple months ago when out of the clear blue sky, she said, ‘You’re so kind, you’re kind from head to toe.’” Here are some parts of her obit which tells a lot about her remarkable career: “Cynthia’s life was devoted to teaching, with particular fondness for middle level students. She began her career as a day camp counselor; majored in philosophy at Sweet Briar College; coached Korean executives and military personnel in Seoul on American English; taught primary grades in Illinois; received a degree in education from Wichita State U; taught junior high English; got a master degree in middle level education, also from WSU; and also studied education further at U of Kansas. She served as principal at several high schools in the area and then director of Area II schools in Wichita. After retiring she joined the faculty of Newman College and took great pleasure in teaching new teachers how to teach. After retiring from Newman she was a volunteer reader.” Hope that wasn’t TMI, but it’s nice to see how successful one of our classmates was.
Belated condolences also to Maggie Mohlman Degler, whose husband Bud died last January, also after a long bout with Alzheimer’s.
On to happier times. A nice note from Mary Hill Noble Caperton says: “I’m still enjoying having most of my children nearby. One of my granddaughters took a gap year before starting at the U. of Ga. this fall. She worked as an au pair in Bavaria for a family. The children were beautiful, and she got to learn German. I took a wonderful Viking River cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest the spring before last and did their Portraits of Southern France cruise this last March. I highly recommend the Viking line. Small ships so you meet lots of people from all over and terrific food. The first trip was definitely the best. I don’t see anybody from SBC, but I enjoy taking OLLI (for seniors mostly taught by retired faculty from all over) courses during the academic year. I’m a political junkie and am still on the Charlottesville Historic Resources Committee. I keep pretty busy. I haven’t done any more painting, but will take a course when the right one comes along. Other than new knees and a new shoulder, I’m holding up pretty well. Do water aerobics 5 mornings a week. Those instructors really work us. I’m told I’m holding up pretty well for 81.”
Speaking of pretty busy at 81, Jean “Sissy” Morris Long sees lots of classmates and writes: “Bill and I have moved into a retirement community here in Memphis but have our own home and love it. I am across the street from Anne White Connell, which is perfect. Virginia “Pony” Bramlett Lowrance came to have lunch with her last week and she looked beautiful as usual. Betty Gene Orr Atkinson is pretty much at home now, but is one block from her son and his family and not too far from her daughter. So many grandchildren are living here now and keep her busy with lots of visits. We continue to see Peaches Davis Roane every week. She is doing well and going on a trip with her daughters to Canada and Quebec in the fall. Helen Smith Lewis and I have good telephone conversations fairly often. We speak of ‘getting together’ and actually did that two years ago at Wake Forest, where my two grandsons are (a sr. and jr. this year). I received a call out of the blue last spring from Temple and Barbara Chase Webber. He had read my book “Finding Kate” and discovered that his family was related to mine. Bill and I have our two pianos here and play every chance we get. We enjoy all of the music around us. I am still on the League’s board. We flew to Philadelphia in June to see our oldest son and family. They moved to Medford, NJ, in Jan. for a new position with PHH. They’re the ones with twin boys (6). They love it, so I do, too. They’re only 30 min. from Philadelphia, an hour and 1/2 from NYC and 3 from D.C., where his son begin his first year at American U. My daughter and other son are still in Atlanta, so we’ll have some rescheduling to do for Christmas and Thanksgiving!”
We’ve not heard from Jayne Berguido Abbott in a long time. In answer to my plea for news she sent a nice catch-up note: “I live in Waquoit, a village in the Town of Falmouth on Cape Cod. Last year we had our first Waquoit Day and I was named “honorary mayor of Waquoit”. I received citations from Falmouth’s Board of Selectmen and from the Massachusetts House of Representatives, a plaque, flowers, and several small presents. Needless to say I love living here, and my 3 children and family members just ended visits to return to Cambridge, MA, San Diego and Freeport, ME.”
Like me, Sally Gammon Plummer loves watching birds. Her nice note said: “Birding remains my favorite activity. I help with the monthly day bird trips sponsored by the Denver Museum of Natural History and also volunteer there weekly in the Education Collections Department: a collection that is separate from the general museum collection and is used for the entire adult and children’s classes, touch carts, loans to schools, etc. The museum also sponsors several away trips. Our birding group went to Big Bend, TX, last May for a week and we’re looking forward to the end of Sept., when we’ll visit several of the UT parks on our way south to the Grand Canyon and then stop at the Mesa Verde ruins in southern CO on our way back home. My North American life list of birds is now at 498, so if I’m lucky I’ll pick the next two up then and, if not, maybe next spring at Magee Marsh in OH. I’m in two different book groups, take spring and fall classes through an adult learning organization that offers classes in a variety of areas, and am active in my church. Since my children are widespread -daughter and husband in Portland, OR, son in Missoula, MT, and daughter and husband in Denver area – I’ve started having family reunions every couple of years and hope to have one next summer in Telluride, CO.”
Vaughan Inge Morrissette hasn’t slowed down a bit either: “The last few years I have spent a lot of time traveling across the country on Colonial Dames business and it is so much fun seeing Sweet Briar girls everywhere I go! Everyone here is fine and my second grandchild will get married in Nov., so our family is growing. I only have one grandchild left at home and wish she was a Sweet Briar candidate, but I’m afraid there’s no hope. Her mother, grandmother and aunt were all Sweet Briar girls, but we just cannot get her interested.”
Shirley Poulson Broyles writes: “I hate to always send my travel notes but it is better than nothing! In the past year I have had 2 “grands’ graduate from college and 1 from high school. I have one great-grand, who turned 2 on Aug. 19. We have been to Iceland and Norway, then to Alaska (again) for an 80-50 birthday, then to Disney World (again) to celebrate our 20th anniversary), on to Route 66 from Chicago to Albuquerque, and to London and the British Isles in Sept. South America comes in Jan., then the other half of Route 66, Santa Fe to Santa Monica! And then for Norris’ big birthday we are taking his children and spouses on a trip to the Baltic, which will be during our 60th SBC reunion! I will hate to miss everyone, but I cannot miss the birthday celebration!” Shirley is the only one in our class besides me that I know goes on Facebook. But if you do, please go to: https://www.facebook.com/SBC1954 where I have made us a page and check in to let us know if you plan to go to reunion or will have to miss it. Or put anything else you have on the page, including old or new photographs. Do you recognize those gals that are shown on the page already?
Dallas “Dilly” Johnson Jones writes that she hears from Vaughan and Ann Teachout Collins regularly and that they are fine. Dilly’s grandchildren report is: “Charlie Geddes (Louise’s) is a jr. at Wofford…plays soccer for them. He spent 5 months this past year at U. of Buenos Aires. Giles Geddes (also Louise’s) is a soph. at W&L…plays soccer for them. Sanford’s triplet boys are in 10th grade in Montana….all three play football. Lucia, Louise’s youngest, is a soph. at Holy Innocents in Atlanta.”
Mary Jane Roos Fenn is looking forward to our big 60th reunion. She and her daughter, Susan, had a wonderful trip to the Italian lakes and the Swiss Alps in the beginning of the summer. The scenery was beautiful, the guide was outstanding, and the people were all fun and nice.
Ruth Sanders Smith‘s husband, Norman, has not been well recently, suffering with Parkinson’s Although it has not progressed rapidly, it is debilitating and limits much of their lives. She is happy to report that the grandchildren are all doing well. Scott is in dental school at NYU, Ali at Muhlenberg, Taylor at UC
Boulder and Barrett is a freshman at Cornell. She took Taylor, Barrett and daughter-in-law Lisa to San Juan for a few days of girl stuff and it was great. Ruth had minor melanoma surgery in July, and is happy to report the lymph nodes were OK. She recommends that everyone stay away from baking in the sun. She says she still loves every moment of living in West Palm Beach. She takes several adult classes at FAU and goes to the local theater productions. She stays busy trading the market and managing the household. “Norm cannot do any of it, so I’ve learned to take out the garbage and take care of the cars. It’s amazing what you can do when presented circumstances you cannot change.”
Jerry Driesbach Ludeke always comes through with some interesting news of her busy life. Here’s what she recently wrote: “There have been lots of family tie-ins with both sons and families ending up here at some point during the year and me making multi trips to San Francisco for birthdays, 8th grade graduation, flute recitals and soccer games. I just got back from a two week trip to visit my sister Georgia Driesbach Kegley ’51 in Charlottesville, returning from that via a three night Amtrak train ride all across the country. I love sleeping on the train! I’ve done some fun, quirky little things this year. The San Francisco family went to a taping of Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion. What a master he is with taping and performing all rolled into one. Then for the first time, Indiana University held its long Winter College weekend on the west coast with a stellar list of speakers at the posh Grande Del Mar resort near San Diego. (Not my normal venue!) I took Amtrak almost to the hotel and lived in luxury for three days. In a few weeks I am joining the Archeological Conservancy’s tour of the Cahokia Mounds in southern IL and MO. (Very interesting bit of the earliest settlements in the US. Look it up if you haven’t heard of them.) I have to fly to that one to squeeze a long weekend in with my work schedule. Then I’m back on the train in January to attend the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV. This is the centennial year for Bakersfield College where I still direct the archives. Needless to say that is keeping me very busy looking up facts and preparing speeches. Busy but fun.” She hopes to make reunion too.
Bill and I enjoyed another trip to southern Africa last spring. We went with friends on OAT’s Ultimate Safari tour. Very good, but we still like self-planned trips better—I hope to go again next spring. We had a nice week at North Topsail Island, NC, with my sister, Virginia Watts Fournier ’44, and her family in June. It was fun to have our granddaughter Lauren go with us again. She is a jr. at Emory, where she is on the dean’s list and active with Freshman Orientation. She works in the ceramics lab for part of her scholarships. We keep busy with church stuff, Bill with the Thursday healing service and taking communion to the local nursing home and both with choir. I volunteer at Botany Bay WMA still and I’m often out looking for birds with my camera. Thanks to all those who sent me news for this column. Don’t you wish you had too! Please send me your email addresses and I’ll keep in touch with you for the next news. SEE YOU AT REUNION!
Lamar Ellis Oglesby: 2013 has been an exciting year for my family. We began the year in a villa in Costa Rica, all 19 of us. Yes, I rode the zip line. In March, I decided to make the move to Canterbury Court, a retirement center in Atlanta. I moved 7/1, leaving my home of 48 yrs. Not an easy move, but my children have been wonderful. My youngest grandson Rick (7) had a serious but successful brain operation 8/21. Three grandchildren started college: Auburn, Elon and Clemson. Two granddaughters have just announced their engagements. Life is full and God is good.
My 1st roommate Jeanne Stoddart Barends also lost her husband Fred last year. The class sends sympathies. Jeanne was very sick in Jan. following a knee replacement, but is better now and recently enjoyed a nice 10-day visit with their son and his family in MI. She feels like we do—80 isn’t so bad!