31-C Archdale St.
Charleston, SC 29401
Our class co-presidents Betty Stanly Cates and Allie Stemmons Simon want to remind you to put the dates of our 50th reunion on your calendar—please save May 31 through June 2, 2013. Do it now! We’re counting down and hoping for a huge turnout!
The artists among us have been busy contributing to our cultural life. Irene Pschorr Belknap wrote that she is getting ready for a show in Paris in Sept.; her son was going to be married in her garden in July; her step-daughter lives in Wash. and has a one-year old, and her daughter is moving back to Manhattan to take the job she couldn’t refuse as a manager for The Book of Mormon folks who are overwhelmed. Jean Meyer Aloe received three awards from the National League of American Pen Women and the Biennial Celebration in D.C. in May: one for a prose poem, one for a free verse poem and one for a one-act play. Then she was invited to read her poetry at the Library of Congress. She and Ed enjoyed a trip to Turkey earlier in the year. She loves living in Va. and is doing gardening, Tai Chi, poetry workshops, and is due to start a pottery class in Sept. In July two of Nerissa vom Baur Roehrs’ piano pieces were performed in Leipzig and were reviewed in the local paper as “poetically rapturous,” which was a lovely surprise. In Dec. 2013 the famous St. Thomas Boys Choir (Bach’s church) will perform a four-part Christmas carol with organ accompaniment. A couple of her art songs were sung recently in Beijing, Shanghai and Sydney; her two songs for contralto will be sung in recital in Zwickau (Schumann’s birthplace) in March 2013. She has CDs of her music and next year will make a four-CD version of collected works taking the best of each and adding a couple of new things.
Echoing how many of us feel about Reunion, Sue Jones Cansler wrote, “How, oh how, can this be our 50th?” She and Chuck will also mark their 10th year of retirement and relocation to St. Simons Island (Ga.) They treasure their new friends in the community and keep busy with volunteer activities including the regional symphony and the St. Simons Land Trust. This year they traveled to Australia and New Zealand then visited Israel for two weeks with a small group from their church. This summer they were back on the road again (literally) as they took two of their grandchildren to a family reunion in Leesburg, Va., and then on to Gettysburg and Williamsburg with several historical stops in between.
Allie Stemmons Simon and Heinz continue to go back and forth between Texas and Colo., splitting their time about 50/50. You can tell where they are by taking a look at Texas weather—if it’s hot they’re in Colo.! Ann Clute Obenshain has been trying to keep her gardens alive during the hot, dry summer in Ky. She had a great family reunion at their cottage on Seneca Lake in upstate N.Y. and is planning a trip to Paris and London over the holidays with daughters Liza and Meg.
Ginger Cates Mitchell came to Charleston for the Spoleto Festival with Laura Lee Brown and Cecil Collins Scanlan in tow—great fun! She and Mitch had a wonderful adventure in the Arctic this summer watching polar bears, walrus, and millions of birds, hiking on the tundra and in the Norwegian fjords among fields of wildflowers—and all so deliciously cool! Back in Ga. they have welcomed their son Edward and his family back from years in Mexico. They’re starting an organic food operation on their farm while their daughter (7) helps teach Spanish to her classmates. Their other two children continue with their own entrepreneurial endeavors in N.Y. and N.C. while raising three more precious grandchildren.
Susan Scott Robinette wrote that since she retired from real estate sales in Litchfield, S.C., married her husband and moved to the Clemson, S.C. area, her life has been pretty simple. They live with four dogs and two donkeys on a 37-acre farm near Clemson where they try to exist as sustainably as they can (without being unreasonable). They hike, go boating on nearby lakes, and attend concerts and lectures at the university and in Greenville and Atlanta. They travel a lot, mostly to Europe, and try to get back to the beach at least twice a year.
Cynthia Hubard Spangler wrote that she thought if she didn’t celebrate it, she wouldn’t really turn 70, but her son and daughter-in-law decided differently and treated her to a glorious 70th birthday dinner party. That was followed by a family vacation at her partner’s, Charles Askew, family cabins in Glacier National Park, Mont. They had all daughters, spouses and grandchildren along with her son and grandchildren. They all had super fun hiking, swimming, boating and thoroughly enjoying the absolute beauty of that park.
Mary Trabue Meyer went to Teotihuacan, about an hour’s drive from Mexico City, in June to see the wonderful excavated temples and pyramids of the Toltec and learn some of their spiritual practices. Her daughter Molly opened a yoga studio, Studio Dakini, in Nashville; her son Will has an architectural business in N.Y., Meyer Davis Studio that designs stores, restaurants, hotels and residences. She continues with her artwork and is working in watercolor. Her mom (95) is still a big part of her life.
Marta Sweet Colangelo had a lovely visit with Cathy Detmar Nicholls and her wonderful husband Peter prior to traveling around in England, Scotland, and Wales in May and June. Cathy looks and sounds wonderful and lives in the most beautiful place in all of England, near the coast in Somerset. In summer 2011, Marta and Susan Terjen Bernard had a delightful trip to Greece and Turkey.
Lee Kucewicz Parham, Stevie Fontaine Keown, Kathy Caldwell Patten and May Bowers Morris are going on a “girl” trip to Sedgwick, Maine, in mid-Sept. and will stay at Kathy’s home there. Lee is still involved in the DAR as is Keitt Matheson Wood who is regent of her chapter in Louisville. Lee is also in two very active book groups so she does a lot reading; when she and Stevie walk in the mornings they talk books!
This is the last year of teaching history at UNC-Greensboro for Rinda King deBeck. She wrote that since she doesn’t play bridge or golf she will probably pester her grandchildren with lots of visits in her retiring years. Betsy Parker McColl and Jim enjoyed many beautiful days in Blowing Rock (N.C.) during the summer with lots of tennis away the way for her. Their two granddaughters in Charlotte (4 and 2 ½) are a true joy. Nancy McDowell wrote that she is still working and still working to work less! She has cut her clinical hours to about 20 per week and no longer sees kids, teenage girls, or couples. She’s still struggling with health issues; last year she had spine surgery and now has two rods, 10 screws, and a bone fusion in her back! She thinks she’s the bionic woman!
Lynn Gabel-Brett is retired, but her spouse Leslie is supporting both of them and is the director of education and public affairs for Lambda Legal, the largest gay rights legal organization in the U.S. They have an apartment in Park Slope and a home in West Hartford, Conn. She alternates between the two and visits her mother in Rochester who just celebrated her 101st birthday and is doing well. They have three granddaughters; the oldest is at Hampshire College (Mass.) and the youngest is Jasmine (4).
I want to thank everyone for contributing to the column, and I hope to see you at Reunion.