Virginia “Ginny” deBuys
H16 Shirley Lane
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Taking your pulse this time I find it still running strong with much enthusiasm for our 50th reunion coming up in 2014. This energy is accompanied by disbelief and wonder that we could be 70+ and almost 50 years past our last year at SBC. Most importantly, your continued work, adventurous travel, and new creative pursuits are a testament to our liberal arts education.
Susie Glasgow Brown is semi-retired as a real estate agent and grandmother of 6, the latest Robbie, born 9/28/12. She is “trying to be disciplined about writing poetry. I’m in a reading group and have taken lots of workshops. Maybe this will be the year I try to get something published!” Linda Lee McAndrew continues to work, but managed to have 2 trips to HI this year, one with her dance improv company in 7/2012 and then another to celebrate her 70th (12/12/2012). “How often do you get to see Santa arrive by outrigger canoe?” Gail Anderson Ramey, Ashton Barfield, and Caroline Tate, checked in to say that they are well, but have no special news. Joan Moore Biddle writes: “We have had a wonderful year highlighted by the marriage of our daughter Virginia “Ginny” to David Moore of Golden, CO (near Denver). We had a wedding reception for them in Port Clyde, ME, where David enjoyed meeting our East Coast family. For 7 years, Nick has been fighting a political battle against a granite quarry that was to be constructed near our home in Temecula, CA. At the last moment, our local Pechanga Indian Tribe bought the land, much to the relief of 200,000 people in our beautiful valley. We have planned a trip in March to Machu Picchu, Peru and the Galapagos. We can’t wait to see the Blue Footed Boobies!” Nancy Lynah Hood is “enjoying the free time of retirement—taking her grandson (2+) for his first visit to the British Museum and the Natural History Museum! This year we have explored Rome (again!), Marrakech, Italian gardens and countryside, and I survived a cold Dec. weekend in Oslo visiting all the Viking and folk museums. At home, I was commissioned to do another photograph book on Oxford Waterways, which came out in time for Xmas. Roger and I walked most of the Oxford Canal to take the photographs. A trip to the USA will have to wait for the next reunion!” Mary Daes Boykin Wortley went to Boykin, SC, before Christmas to help out with their “annual funky Christmas Parade in Boykin—a crossroads in a millpond! Thousands come—the National Guard directs parking. It’s totally home-made—70 or so entries include the fatback queen, mules and wagons, dogs and donkeys, somebody riding a long-horn steer, etc. I keep busy and content with painting, sculpting and trips to visit family. My favorite event is our family vacation at the beach with our gang of kids and grandkids, followed this year by a birthday party in Boykin for me. Now that I’m 70, I avoid mirrors, but I feel good, which is a blessing I don’t take for granted!” Rosamond Sample Brown is in good health and traveling as much as time and money permit. I “celebrated” my 70th in Costa Rica with my sons and my stepdaughter. Buried deep in a rainforest was my way of pulling the covers over my head and pretending I wasn’t really that old. In Oct., my husband and I were in France and had a delightful dinner with Vera LeCraw Carvaillo and Philippe in Paris. Travel plans for 2013 include Greece, Turkey and France. In 2014, we visit Africa. Husband David Banks and I still live between my Dallas townhouse, his Fayetteville, AK, farm and my San Diego house. Keeping track of clothes is sometimes a problem, but otherwise we’re having fun being nomads. Tina Patterson Murray continues to teach at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in NYC. “I had some release time allowing me to be in Sun Valley, ID—a better place to do writing on my research! The skiing out here has been fabulous, and we have great conditions. I had a number of trips to conferences in 2012 with Vancouver, B.C. the highlight. This spring I will give a paper at the International Language Society in Puerto Rico. My friend Mac and I just got back from a trip to MT and WY where we went with a group of friends through Yellowstone National Park on snowmobiles. After years of complaining about the noise, it was the first time I had driven a snowmobile, and I really loved it! It was quite an adventure as we drove by herds of buffalo and saw a variety of wildlife. Kitty Griffith has been staying close to home this year, but did make it to Savannah for a wedding and to VT “for 2 glorious weeks.” Christie Calder Solomon is celebrating 2 new grandchildren (total 11!). “I’m still repairing after the 2nd hurricane in 2 years and tending to some of the aging body parts that many of us are experiencing; but all else is good. Am splitting time between CT and NYC and doing lots of theater, music, various classes and some work on a couple of non-profit boards.” Jackie Nicholson Wysong writes that she welcomed a new hip this year (“only one day in the hospital”). This event made her appreciate living in a condo and being all on one floor. “All of my children are happily married and I am now Grammy to 7, 4 girls and 3 boys. I am no longer working full time but am keeping my hand in with part time work for a friend.” Dottie Norris Schipper and her dancing partner Roy are continuing to make a difference with their Teen Ballroom Dance program called Take the Lead. “We have ‘teens’ from 10-18 who are primarily from underserved households. There are also 3 children with autism and several with diabetes.” Last summer they were rewarded with a standing ovation from the audience in a big competition at the Hyatt. The organizer was so impressed, he is offering free entry to all of his national competitions to teens under 16! My oldest son and family have moved from CT to Greenville. We’re now very lucky to have all of our children nearby in Greenville or Atlanta. I’m also enjoying horseback riding with my brother and learning bridge for a more sedentary future. Meanwhile, I’m dancing on all cylinders many hours a week. Caroline Keller Theus once again hosted a fun get together at her house in Cashiers with Susan Croft and Ed, Susan Baxter, Nancy Green and Holcombe, Harriet Shaffer and Charlie, and Jan and Dottie. Caroline thinks that she and husband Jim are in the top tier of numbers of grandchildren with 13. “That’s not really an accomplishment, but it accounts for how we spend some of our time! We still like to ride horses, and the farm is more and more beautiful as we segue into sustainable farming across the entire acreage. It seems like a miracle to me that we grow organic vegetables in Louisiana and that people are clamoring for them. We deliver to NOLA restaurants that in the past didn’t serve any vegetables! Still able to enjoy hiking, too. When I can no longer hike, they’ll have to take me out and shoot me.” Penny Writer Theis writes that “Last Sept. Stu and I went on a Viking River cruise on the Seine. We highly recommend it. We visited Monet’s home in Giverny, Rouen to see where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, Richard the Lionheart’s castle ruins in Les Andelys, the beaches of Normandy (amazing) and of course all the highlights of Paris. The boat was our hotel and it was delightful.” Ed.: By the time you read this, Penny will be holding grandchild number 7. Nancy Hall Green was in St. Barth for the month of Jan., a 30-year habit. “We’re traveling a lot, back and forth to France, Sea Island, NY, and summer in Cashiers, NC. Atlanta is still home, but we seem to spend less and less time there. Still that is where our old friends are, and we see Harriet Houston Shaffer, Susan Bronson Croft, and Jane Bradley Wheeler with some regularity. We are in the midst of another renovation project in France, which keeps me busy and out of the country a lot. We love going to NY where our 2 boys and their families live. Holcombe and Monica have 2 girls (7, 4), and Frank and Molly one girl. After raising 2 boys, these little girls are truly a delight! I’m in touch with Susan Dwelle Baxter and Caroline Tate regularly as well as a number of others in our class.” Nina Sledge Burke and husband Frank celebrated their 50th anniversary with an oyster roast given by our children last Nov. Frank continues to collect trucks and tractors, and I’m still busy as a Joint Master of Foxhounds for the Lowcountry Hunt. Between Atlanta, Highlands, NC and here we’re fortunate to see quite a few SBC friends of all ages. We enjoy our grandson Will Farris (11) and granddaughter Katherine Burke who celebrated 4 years with a princess party complete with costumes, hair and makeup!” Hedi Haug White from sunny Santa Fe, NM, wrote: “This is the 2nd year that Tom and I have spent a part of the winter in this incredible part of our country. We can ski here too! I have made some progress toward ‘retiring,’ but am not fully there yet. Still running the family real estate business in NYC together with my sister and my son. All are well.” Sally Gump Berryman says her farm is thriving and “I haven’t had to hire a farm aid yet though chores may take a little longer. My 1952 Ford Red Belly Tractor and Sally are the best working antiques on the farm.” Sally keeps several shelter dogs and 2 rescue horses on the farm. She’s very involved with the County Humane society and continues to work with the junior golf program. “Some of the first kids from years ago now have their children enrolled!” Libby Kopper Schollaert and Jim “had a wonderful trip to Sarasota, FL, courtesy of your class of ’64 editor! I highly recommend visiting Ginny and Jerry if you’re in their neighborhood. (ed.: Yes, we had a great time—kayaking among the mangroves a highlight.) Laura Denman-Cutick, Mary FitzHugh Miller and I had a lovely 70th birthday celebration in NY in 6/2012. We enjoyed a fall trip on a Russian cruise down the Volga, from Moscow to Astrakhan, supplemental days in Moscow and St. Petersburg. A wonderful cruise on a fairly small Russian boat, the Volga Dream. In addition to babysitting grandchildren, I’m also busy with occasional work and more French tutoring than I can keep up with. I recently became president of the Reims committee of the Arlington Sister City Association—lots of work especially on the high school student exchange. I started this exchange so I guess I asked for it!” ed.: Shortly after I received this note, Libby’s husband Jim died suddenly in Feb. We send our love and sympathy to Libby, to Kathy Arnold Reed, and Beebe Bolling Downs—all lost their husbands this year. Nancy Gillies is working 16 hours a week and is indeed brave. She with 3 others were to coordinate 11 nurseries for 5+ hours attendance for 83 kids under 4. Your editor wouldn’t last an hour. Marsh Metcalf Seymour and husband Jack are running a family agriculture business (grapes/corn and soybeans) and enjoying grandchildren and living in CA. Joann Soderquist Kramer, Lynne Smith Crow, Margaret Street Wilson and William all went on the SBC Provincial French Countryside trip in Sept. Their first trip together was so good they did it again! Finally, your editor is enjoying 5 months in Sarasota, FL, a fun not-too-big city that we enjoy for the natural surroundings, closeness to the beach and the diverse cultural events. Jerry and I went to Minneapolis, MN to visit friends and saw great fireworks over the MS. In the fall, we went to Santa Fe to see my brother and show Jerry the Southwest. While there we had a delightful visit and dinner with Kathy Arnold Reed. My life is full of surprises and very good.