Stuart Simrill
[email protected]

Kay Parham Picha: We’re enjoying 2 grandchildren and expect another girl in July. We enjoy Ocean Isle Beach, NC, visits with family in NC and WA, and other travel for business and fun. David and I had a 1970s SBC mini reunion at the beach last May with Susan Lykes Mueller, Karen Hartnett, Katie Harris, Pam Becker Jones, Heathee Tully Click and their old husbands of 40+ years. I see Fraces Gravely, Molly Woltz Carrison, and Emily Gooch Crenshaw, all NC math geniuses. Is everyone enjoying Medicare? Arthritis? Ulcers? Friends have bionic parts? Enjoying maintenance? Phew!

Sally Adamson Taylor: I’m good. Cancer dance 4 years ago (endometrial) was a great reminder of how sweet and short life really is (though it sometimes appears otherwise). With no husbands or children, and 40 years in the same house perched on top of a hill in San Francisco, I have snuck in 20 years in Asia (based in Hong Kong) covering the international book business for Publishers Weekly; then a decade-long love affair with sailing, which took me all over the world yet again. Now my passion is the old family farm in Powhatan, VA. I’m hunkered in there whenever weather and bugs (it’s a swamp, mostly) allow. Doing sustainable forestry and wildlife management, I’m learning a lot about trees and grasses and eating wonderful wild things, including Pleurotus Ostreatus. Why didn’t they teach us about mushrooms at SBC? My latest edition of “Culture Shock France” should be available shortly on Amazon.com.

Elizabeth Smith Avery: Here in DC, I continue to head up a boutique private equity firm, Kalorama Capital. However, I just launched a 2nd venture in Dec., an Internet travel company: www. SoloTrekker4U.com. We focus on connecting individual business and leisure travelers with luxury hotels/global tours. Otherwise just busy with 2 rescue dogs.

Mary Janet “Bean” Blencowe Murray: Life is good in Little Rock. I’m still an Episcopal deacon assigned to St. Michael’s church. I’m a board member of the Arkansas ACLU and the Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. I retired from state government in 2002 when I had cancer and am a grateful survivor. I’ve stopped working as Murray Consulting. After 15 years mentoring a course from Sewanee School of Theology, I retired from that and am a student in the master in public history program at U of A in Little Rock (trying to keep the brain atrophy away). Public history seemed a good fit since the kids in my classes see me as “living history” anyway. Paul is retired from being a bureaucrat. Last June we went again to the Lake District and Scotland. My family originated in a village named Blencow in Cumbria. This fall, Paul and I are hosting the Blencowe Family Assoc. here in LR at the Clinton Presidential Center. We’ll have distant cousins from wherever the sun used to rise on the British Empire. The family is small, but scattered and the name is spelled about 20 different ways. Our daughters live in Nashville and Alexandria and we have 3 grand-dogs. I haven’t yet given up on grandchildren.

With the rescue trend—we have 2 rescue poodles (they aren’t as smart as the rest of their breed) and an orange cat. Glad Stuart’s first message worked out this way.

Karen Warren Towers: I did a lot of wonderful traveling in the past (and am envious of all the trips I’ve just read about!) but now is a season for me to stay closer to home. My elderly husband has been in the hospital 6 times (for a week each) over the past 18 mos., and we need to be close to doctors. However, my life in Jacksonville is very full, and I feel very blessed! Besides looking after Charlie, I’m busy with 2 Bible studies, a foundation board, garden and reading clubs, church board of elders, yard and house work, running and spending time with family and friends. Charlie and I do spend about 3 mos. of the year at our mountain house in NC, and that’s where my body and soul get restored. God has certainly been good to me! About a month ago I had a good, although too short, visit with Mary Jo Petree Murphy when she and her husband Frank were on their way down to West Palm Beach. They have 2 beautiful homes in Kiawah and CO and spend a lot of time outdoors and with family and friends. Jacksonville has a large SBC contingency, and I see a good bit of other alumnae, but not any from our class. It’s nice to stay connected, though! Let’s all plan on attending our 50th! And thanks for sharing your news!

Joanna Clarkson: John and I are well, have been married 40 years this summer. Many things haven’t changed, home in the Nelson Co. mountains of VA, horses and other adopted animals, enjoy activities involving history, art, music, reading, hiking. The biggest change occurred about 10 years ago, has grown to be the largest focus of our lives. We met a young man from a rural, impoverished community in El Salvador, returned there with him, and began a youth mission to raise the standard of living in that area. We do educational presentations here in VA, raise funds, and travel to ES, taking different volunteer teams with us, addressing needs such as shelter, water, food, education and medical care. Things have changed for the communities we serve, but we and the people who travel with us are changed even more by these most gracious people. I retired in June from 42 yrs. of elementary school teaching and counseling, so I signed up for a beginning Spanish class at SBC. I love being a student again and especially back at beautiful SBC. Much student work is online, so I’m learning computer language as well as Spanish! The Spanish word for retirement is jubilacion—yeah!

Mardane Rebentisch McLemore: I’m still working as an environmental engineer with Hampton Roads Sanitation District in the Tidewater area of VA. I’m not sure when I’ll retire, but probably near 12/2014. I have 2 married sons and 5 grandsons (3-9). I took the oldest to NY around Christmas and had a wonderful time. My daughter went to SBC and loved it. She’s in DC and still having lots of fun. I see Betty Mac (who is also my sister-in-law) a lot. Sadly I lost the love of my life, Jim, in 2009 and was so fortunate to have such supportive friends and family. Planning a trip to Tanzania in early June and my 2nd trip to AK in Aug. Playing a lot of bridge and dominos. Betty and I went to the SBC luncheon in DC and saw Martha Holland and Martha Stewart Crossland—great attendance! Hope we can have a big showing at our next reunion. Oh my—how many years?

Deborah “Debbie” Warren Rommel: I’m alive and well in the Texas Hill Country, enjoying many volunteer opportunities while Ross plays with his olive trees. He has planted 100, all named for friends. If you come visit, you may have one named for you! Had a wonderful surprise when Lucy Lombardi Evans and husband Stew came to visit. They loved the area and are now planning to build nearby! Retirement is good. We’re busier than ever.

Dayna Shah: I retired as managing associate general counsel at GAO after nearly 40 years with the federal government, including a stint as an administrative law judge. I loved the job, but the commute not so much (in the DC area—just announced as the city with the worst traffic in the country, even surpassing LA! The daily drag gradually increased from 45 min. to 1 ¼ hours each way and sometimes much longer). I now enjoy watching the morning TV news in my robe and slippers and congratulating myself for avoiding all the daily traffic snafus. I’m also happily surrounded by travel brochures and am thinking of going with friends this summer to Norway and Iceland, crossing the Arctic Circle. Kinda weird to be thinking of cold weather apparel for July.

Marcia Ragsdale: Occasionally see Emmy and Mary L. I stay busy with 5 grandchildren, which includes 2 sets of twins! Both boys work with Bill in the commercial printing business and I enjoy my book, music and garden clubs along with a new addiction to mahjong. I’ll have my 2nd hip replacement in March so am becoming the bionic woman. Just got back from Costa Rica and hope next year can make the hike to Arenal volcano and do the big zip line. Trying to keep mind and body young!

Kris Herzog: I’ve had a fantastic year. In Jan. I spent a couple of weeks at a painting residency at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts (VCCA) across the highway from SBC. I was getting ready for a solo show at the Arts Club of Washington, DC, in Feb. The Arts Club is housed in a lovely pair of historic townhouses and seeing my paintings in their gallery was fun. For the summer I spent 2 mos. on another residency living in southern Germany, arranged through VCCA. I was with 2 poets and another painter, all from the US. We held a couple of open studios and the local newspapers wrote several articles about us and took lots of photos. I also squeezed in a delightful week in Prague. I got home with only a few weeks to prepare for another solo show in Sept. at the Thayer Gallery in Braintree, MA. The reception was wonderful and among many childhood friends I was thrilled to see Kathy Catlin, Candace Chang, Wallis Wickham Raemer and Suzi Cahill. When I manage to stay home I continue to show at the Art League Gallery in the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria. If you are in the DC area on 11/1/13, 6:30-8:30 p.m. you are invited to the reception for my next solo show at the Arts Club of Washington. The show runs the whole month of Nov., and I’m very excited to be asked back a 2nd time. My website is http://kristinherzog.weebly.com.

Katie McCardell Web: I fear I’m the last to sit down and focus on all these wonderful communications about the accomplished women from our class. Whether those accomplishments are raising fabulous children (the hardest job of all in my opinion), volunteering for great organizations or working for a company, law firm or nonprofit, you guys have one powerful thing in common—you communicate effectively and beautifully (an ability the new generation is lacking) and tell your stories so well. It’s been a real joy catching up with everyone who has responded. I’m also struck by the number of artists the class seems to have produced—perhaps there should be a room at SBC dedicated to ’70 artists. Frankly, communicating this way is a lot more informative and interesting than reading the short snippets in a printed magazine. Maybe we should suggest to SBC that they rethink their alumnae newsletter format. Thanks to Stuart for making this so easy and shame on me for being so tardy. Anyway Gene and I still live in Richmond, VA, where we raised 2 children, both of whom now live in CA. I always wanted them to be independent, but I believe we may have gone overboard on that strength. Due to the arrival of 2 grandchildren who live in Mill Valley in Marin County, CA has become a 2nd home. We find that there are many connections for both of us—friends from high school, college and law school. And thanks to these emails I learned that Bonnie is there also. I feel very blessed that I spend time with many of the classmates from SBC, Wallis, Mary Jane, Lori, Jessica, Connie, Frances, including a series of fabulous trips together. I also get to visit with Sally Taylor who is not only a college friend, but she was my best friend in high school. Sally has become close to our children both from Richmond and San Francisco visits. She’s a great person to be in charge of reunions literally because she puts people together all the time. The best blessing is that May Humphries, my SBC roommate, lives in Richmond also. We do the same kind of work, we raised children together; her son is my godson and I’m her daughter’s adopted godmother. My daughter is May’s goddaughter. The children refer to each other as god-brother and god-sister. George Fox, May’s son, is godfather to our granddaughter Carter who at the ripe old age of 3 has been a flower girl in both May’s children’s weddings in 2011 and 2012. How’s that for a connection? And did I mention we laugh a lot together? Nothing like old friends.

Candace Buker Chang: What is it with so many of you going to MT this year? I’m the only person in the class actually from MT, so I do go there 4 times a year to see my parents, who are in assisted living out on the prairie. Once a year I spring them from the facility and take them on a road trip to Glacier Park, except this summer we’ll go to Yellowstone, as my dad has expressed a desire to see it one last time. Other travels this past year included a couple of trips to the Virgin Islands (my daughter and her family live in St. John, lucky me) and a Saudi Arabian adventure (to Jeddah on the Red Sea) as the guest of an amazing Saudi woman. Story too long to fit here….If it stops snowing long enough, I’m headed to St. John again next week for an extended “girls night out” withboth of my SBC roommates! Laura Sickman Baksa now lives on Cape Cod. Her daughter lives not far from me in Boston, so we recently attended an SBC alumnae event to hear a lecture called “Sharks Are People Too.” It was great fun, so while we were touring the aquarium after the lecture, Laura and her friend Joan decided to come with me to St. John so we could see more fish, and hopefully some sharks. Jo Shaw Robinson and I have been making this trip to St. John together annually for about 10 years. I bring friends from Boston, she brings her friends from Memphis and we do lots of snorkeling and diving. Jo was widowed over 5 years ago, but has wonderful news. She was married on Valentine’s Day on the top of a mountain in Telluride to Bill Lawson, a great guy whom she has been dating for 3 years. So henceforth, she will be Jo Lawson. She and I are making our 2nd dive trip to Fiji in April. Now that she’s married, maybe her husband will come too, but he isn’t a diver yet. This is our old age plan: we went to HI to take up surfing for my 60th birthday (yes, we both stood up), but didn’t really love it, so then we decided to take up scuba diving when we were 61, and we both loved that. I live in hope that taking up new sports in my old age will keep my brain and body active. Meanwhile, in my real life I’m still working with no end in sight. My younger daughter Sonia (the state Senator for Boston) got married in 9/2011. She and her husband are expecting a baby in June, which is great news for me—granddaughter #1 in St. John has made me a big believer in the wonderfulness of grandchildren!

Barbara Offutt Mathieson: I’m sitting by the window, watching a pair of Canada geese and some ring-neck ducks on our pond, feeling very blessed in my life. It’s been nearly 10 years since my cancer scare, quickly followed by retirement from the English dept. at the university here in Ashland, OR, and the ensuing years have been healthy, happy, and much more relaxed. Both of my children were married within the last year outside by our pond—Anna-Rose in 10/2011 and our son Skye in 7/2012. Our first grandchild is arriving in a month, “just down the road” in San Francisco—hurray! I spend lots of time at the Zen Center here in town, do a little hospice volunteer work, garden a lot, and thoroughly enjoy life. Last year Tom and I had almost too much fun, visiting Yellowstone in Feb. for my brother-in-law’s 60th birthday, camping for a week in the mountains of eastern OR, and spending a month in Paris and Spain. I keep in touch with Jane Gott and get to see her sometimes when we visit our son in DC. And a little SBC group has taken shape here in Ashland after all these years. ML “Mimi” Moore lives here now as well as Diane Reiling ’73 and Gene Leyden ’68, and we’ve had lunch together a few times.

Kate Schlech: Getting fuzzy enough that I can’t remember what I might have written last time, so forgive me if this is the same old stuff—anyway, am still at USDOJ Antitrust Division, trying to prosecute criminals, but instead awaiting my sequester furlough. It’s enough to make one want to retire, possibly 1/2014, more likely 12/2014. Two relatively recent adventure trips—Feb. 2011 to Peru to see Lima, Macchu Pichu and such, followed by a week in the Amazon jungle bird-watching and fishing for piranha. And in the “what was I thinking?” category, whitewater rafting and camping on the Flathead River in MT for a few days in 9/2012, followed by a week at a dude ranch outside Whitefish, MT, learning how to herd cattle, rope, and, oh yes, ride. My foremost achievement was that in our little rodeo, I took 2nd place in the goat-dressing competition (use your imagination, but it involves real goats and purple polka dot kid-size bikini panties). I treasure the certificate suitable for framing they gave me. I’m in good health and still have reasonable mental faculties, so that’s all there is to report from the center of the universe. Hugs to everybody.

Denise Mullen: It has indeed been great to hear what everyone is up to. It speaks volumes about the value of digital technology. I’m still in higher ed arts administration as the president of OR College of Art and Craft in Portland. And, yes, Portlandia, is only slightly exaggerated! The journey here covered more years than any of us would like to recount, but the short version is 35 years in NYC working in the NJ state system, the grad program at Pratt Institute, and SUNY Purchase, with 4 years at the Corcoran in DC, followed by a year in Calgary, Canada—an intriguing contrast to the US—at Alberta College of Art and Design, and now back in the states on the west coast. I still manage to have a modest studio practice, though primarily on my iPhone. Travel is mostly business related, to Venice and Berlin, China, Brazil. My personal life these days is focused on managing the care of wonderful 90ish parents on the east coast.

Kathy Cummings Catlin: Chip and I just celebrated our 40th anniversary at Stowe, VT, where we met back when we were in college. Our 2 sons surprised us with the gift of that weekend. They had always laughed at our story of how we met while skiing with Chip hiding in the trees to see if I was a decent enough skier to continue any sort of relationship. I guess I passed the test, and we’re still skiing as a family with a trip out west every year. We just returned from Jackson Hole last week, and we’re off to Vail later in March.

We have lived in the Boston area since college and love being here. One of our sons, Reed, lives in the city and is about to be married this Sept. Our other son, Jack, lives and works in LA. They both went to UVa and had great experiences there. I started a management consulting company back in ’89 that is still going strong, although I’m only working part time now while my partner is full time and continues to grow the business. Our clients are all CEOs of high-tech, fast-growing, entrepreneurial companies, and we work with them in developing strategies for growth and in running High-Growth CEO Forums. It’s exciting and fun to work so closely with smart, creative people to help them discover the best ideas that will help them grow great companies! I started painting about 10 years ago, first in watercolor and now in oils. I love the creativity and fun of being an artist, always learning and trying new approaches to create dramatic and dynamic compositions. Boston has great museums and galleries so there’s lots of inspiration around here. I see Elsa Jones Forter and Wallis Wickham Raemer regularly. It’s great to have such wonderful lifelong friendships! I’d love to connect with others who come to the Boston area or Martha’s Vineyard where we go every summer. A few years ago I ran into Emmy Moravec Holt on the Vineyard, and we arranged a mini-reunion at her summer home in SC with Betsy Anderson, Marcia Ragsdale, Connie Haskell, Mary Lawson, Elsa and Wallis, so it could happen again! Keep the letters coming! Lots of love and best wishes to all.

Elizabeth Wilson: I’m sitting in my NY apt. in my fuzzy slippers, 2 cats lounging on the desk with me, and haven’t even been swimming in a couple of years. But all of you have been doing such exciting, noteworthy things, I felt rather intimidated to share details of my rather quiet, but pleasant life. After graduation and getting an MA in art history at UVA, came to NY. Worked in various places, the main ones having been the Morgan Library (13 yrs.) and the Metropolitan Museum (5 yrs.), then quit to be a freelance writer—something I always wanted to do—which has been tons of fun, if not particularly lucrative. Did manage to get 2 pieces in the Smithsonian, one was the cover story! And wrote a book on illuminated manuscripts, which didn’t exactly jump off the shelves, but I enjoyed doing it. I’m working on a novel now, set in Italy, where I try to go as often as I can. I plan to spend July in Orvieto, Umbria. If any of you will be in the area, I would love to know. Have been studying Italian for years and still make a muddle of trying to ask where the ladies room is, but the Italians are very forgiving when it comes to their language. They’re stunned that an American even tries.

Susan Holbrook Daly: Married Skip in ’70, had 2 daughters, Andrea (’72) and Stephanie (’76). Andrea went to U. of Richmond, married in ’97 and has 3 little boys (5, 6 ½ and 8) and is in Huntsville, AL. She’s part owner in a new successful business (shameless plug- Spirited Art (voted “Best Painting Classes” in Richmond Magazine’s best of issue). Stephanie went to UVA and then W & L law where she met her husband, and they live in Charleston, WV and have 2 little boys (7 and 9)! No pink in my future! I started in residential real estate in ’82 and am now in my 31st year (yikes!) in northern VA. I wrote online real estate classes and also wrote and taught classes for our local association, and enjoy listing much more than selling these days. Migraines have caused me to pull back from the classroom and hours on the computer. Still trying to get my head figured out. My big news is I’ll be opening a boutique with a friend of mine who has designed women’s clothing for 40 years (primarily in Europe and for American dept. stores) on 313 Cameron St in Old Town, Alexandria. The shop is nearly set up. We’ll have an appt. only format so will be a relaxed atmosphere. We’re too old at this point to do something high pressure! It’ll be primarily womens’ jackets of all types—fabulous if I do say so! My learning curve is going straight up! Lots of fun and great people to meet—please stop by of you find yourself in Old Town!

Connie Haskell: I’m retired, live in Beaufort, SC, travel and tap dance a lot! I’ve traveled to Patagonia, Chile (on the way to Torres del Paine where I hiked for a week). Also Antarctica, Christmas 2011. And now for the laugh! Watch our tap-dance group, the “Beaufortettes” performing last year. Ages range from 64 to 80! It takes a year to learn one dance, and we found someone to let us be the pre-show for a comedy group at the Newberry Opera House, SC. We certainly warmed up the crowd! My niece and nephew cringe with embarrassment when they see this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coQsc7D2qbY Rockette fantasies never die!

Heather Tully Click: I’ve enjoyed the several SBC Reunions I have attended—a particular fond memory from the last in ’10 was the sweet songs of the Sweet Tones, alumnae version, on the Quad at midnight (yes, we stayed up that late). Mini-reunions are great fun too, and I loved the trip to the beach with classmates previously reported by Kay Parham Picha.

So, Happy 65th Birthdays to most of us! As they say, old age isn’t for the faint of heart. But I think we can all be grateful for lives well-lived and the will to both carry on and pay it forward. Richard and I are 42 years married, simply a nurse and a pilot, with 2 wonderful children both newly married. Ben is a Naval Intelligence Officer who will be spending the next 3 years in HI, married to Vivian, a dentist just finishing her residency in endodontics. Amanda is a librarian pursuing her Ph.D. and married to Josiah who is also a librarian at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Karen J. Hartnett: For the past few years, professionally, I’ve been consulting to banks on executive compensation, succession planning and strategic use of human capital. If that sounds like a marketing statement, it is! It’s an odd time in the banking business, and I confess I’m happy to be out of the main stream, giving advice instead of taking body blows. In my last corporate assignment, as Chief Human Resources Officer, I helped take our company public and got to ring the bell at the NY Stock Exchange, and that was cool. On the personal side, George and I moved 7 years ago to our horse and cattle ranch about 35 miles west of Houston—The GK Ranch. And, yes, I really live here, and we really have livestock, and yes, I’m still only 37 min. from the Galleria. Some things will never change! I find the seclusion very enticing and decided after about 2 years that I like my 4-legged neighbors better than most 2-legged ones. Is this a sign of maturity or malaise? Not sure I care anymore! Last March, we welcomed Sue Lykes Mueller and John, and Kay Parham Picha and David, to the Ranch for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the Wine Auction Dinner, where we saw $125,000 bottles of wine sold. This year, Kay and David return with their daughter and son-in-law, and we may buy one of those bottles this time! Kay and David, George and I also took a glorious cruise to Italy in Oct. this year. If you haven’t sailed on Silversea, you don’t know what it’s like to be royalty, and we decided we like it so much, we should do it every year! Hope you are well and happy and all that.

Nia Eaton: I’ve taken the Transition to Retirement program IBM offered to employees of a “certain age” and service so my last day as an IBMer will be 12/31/13. Plan on working with some of my business partners on the administrivia associated with dealing with IBM—hopefully that will keep brain engaged and coffers lined. My email will be [email protected] (no originality here).My boxer (5) is constant source of joy, comedy and love. Post retirement, I expect to ratchet up my time with MainLine Animal Rescue and other pay-forward activities. Hopefully I’ll be able to spend more time during the shoulder seasons at my condo in Bethany Beach, DE, since it’s rented out during the summer.

Deborah Jones: I plan to retire from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education this summer and am delighted with the decision. Suspect I’ll be even happier with the decision 5 years from now. Being on the road 43 weeks/year for the ACGME has finally caught up with me. John and I were in NM last fall (yes, I travel on my own time, too) and were able to have dinner with Gateley, which was great fun. Other than that, the grandchildren just keep getting older, we continue to enjoy living on the coast of ME, and all is well.

May Fox: Reporting in from Richmond, VA, which has been Charlie’s and my hometown since ’75. Our children, Keely and George, both married within a year’s time—10/2011 for Keely and 9/2012 for George. Lots of excitement there and we adore our extended family. Speaking of extended family, Keely and her husband are expecting their first child in less than a month. So here we go! Grandparenthood! Charlie and I are still managing to work and play. I’m still lobbying and he is still managing money! We travel as much as possible and spend time at our house on the Rappohanock. A special trip for me was last summer’s reunion at Lorie Harris Amass’s beautiful home on Flathead Lake in MT. Lorie, Wallis, Mary Jane, Connie and I had a grand time making lots of new memories. We’re hoping to regroup this year with Katie, Jessica, and Frances to celebrate our 65ths!

Ann Gateley: I’m doing well in sunny, dry NM. Still working at UNM part time taking care of the collegiate athletes. Still running but have badly mangled feet so will need 2 foot surgeries and a knee surgery as well this summer. Trying to transfer to cycling. Will do my 2nd century ride this May then meet friends for hiking in Slovenia before going under the knife. Thought I’d bludgeon my feet to death to get my money’s worth out of surgery (thank god for Medicare). Traveled a bunch last year: Italy 3 times, Germany, Argentina and Chile, England and Holland over the holidays. Love partial retirement.

Susan McGrath Slate: Jim and I are both retired and living the quiet life, visiting with neighbors, etc. My daughter Garnet and grandson Andrew (almost 19 and in college), both live nearby, so that’s a bonus. Our home is near the ocean, walking distance, but hidden enough so that the tourists of summer can’t find us! I’m in regular contact with Jane Gott and Susan Holbrook. Not much travel lately as I suffer from a chronic pain syndrome and have had 6 back surgeries. Our Cocker Spaniel, Charlie, also keeps us home, as we can’t bear to think of him in a kennel. Wherever we go, so goeth he! We have a place in AZ,and, hopefully we’ll be able to get out there next fall/winter.That’s all that I can think of at the moment. Hope all is well with you!

Tricia Hodge Parks: I remain happily in Dallas, TX, and have a company of 28 people, Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com). Parks Associates covers “digital living” across all categories on a global basis; we market our research and analytical services to the many companies across entertainment, communications, energy, home systems and health that develop and market digital products and services to consumers. My brag: in 2013, I was named one of the 20 most influential professionals across years for consumer electronics. It was a surprise and a lovely honor (also the only woman). Sometimes, it’s been hard to keep up the energy necessary to stay profitable and ahead of the market.My husband, Terry Mikelk, is a professor of computer science in the TX college system, having abandoned the corporate world (with some glee) about 10 years ago. He loves teaching. Our children, Rusty and Elizabeth, are both themselves married with children (oldest is 9). Rusty now has 3 children while Elizabeth has 2 and expects another the first week of Aug. Excitement and love for all of us! The amount that my children, now young parents, accomplish every day always amazes me. To my delight and joy, Elizabeth is the VP of Marketing at Parks Associates. That is, as they say, a “priceless joy.”My professional life affords me (and Terry when his schedule allows) the opportunity to travel—occasionally too much, but I do enjoy it. This year takes me to CA multiple times (great opportunity to visit with my son, his wife and their children), London, Sweden, Italy, New York, Boston, occasional visits to other cities and oh, how the tech industry enjoys Vegas. Like Elizabeth Avery, Terry and I find great reward in animal rescue, now up to 5 dogs and 2 cats.

Joanne Hicks Robblee is retired from education and living in Marietta, GA. Last 11 years she was an elementary school principal. Enjoying retirement, traveling, 2 grandkids and her husband of 42 years.

Betty Rau Santandrea: Hello from the Finger Lakes of Upstate NY or as it is known here: the Twin Tiers of PA/NY. I live in Corning, NY, very near the northern PA border where all this hydrofracking for natural gas is going on. Don’t get me started on that one.My husband Bob and I moved here from Santa Fe, NM, in ’07 so that Bob could write the patent on Corning Inc.’s Gorilla Glass, the strong flexible glass used on iPhones and other computer and TV display products. I became a docent at the Corning Museum of Glass and at the Rockwell Museum of Western art, which are both amazing in this little country town in the middle of nowhere. We’re 2 hours or more from major airports like Rochester, Buffalo and Albany, but have over 400,000 visitors a year to the glass museum as we’re a stopping point on bus tours to Niagara Falls. Also, Corning, NY, is one of the top 10 small art towns in the country. My husband is a pastel painter as a hobby and shows at the West End Gallery here in town.My sons and their wives live in Manhattan and DC, and my daughter and her husband in Ithaca only one hour away. They expect their first child in May, so we too are beginning the grandparenting stage of life and are looking forward to it. We went on an Aegean cruise last Oct. for our 20th anniversary and will rent a house on the coast of ME this summer with my daughter, her husband who is a professor at Cornell, and the new baby. We’re excited about that.If any of you ever are on your way to see Niagara Falls, please stop here and we’ll be glad to give you personal tours of the museums. There’s also an amazing glassmaking studio/school that is part of the museum. See the glass museum’s website: Cmog.org, for more info.

Frances G Laserson: I continue to live in NYC and love my work with The Moody’s Foundation which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2012. I participated at the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative where our work in microfinance was recognized and got to say those magic words “ Thank you , Mr. President” on stage at a plenary session. It was a thrill to be in the Green Room hanging out with alpha chicks, Mary Robinson of Ireland and Gro Harlem Brundtland of Norway and then stand behind the stage curtain while President Obama spoke, awaiting my 15 seconds in the limelight. My 2013 resolution was to do more traveling. My significant other, Doug Chalmers, and I spent a week in HI in Jan., I’ve just returned from Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam and am planning a trip to Machu Picchu in June. I see Pat Swinney Kaufman and Mary Jane Hipp Brock regularly for Ladies’ Night dinner. We’re trying to get ourselves organized for a 65th birthday outing, probably a long weekend, as I’m nearly out of vacation days for this year.

Wallis Wickham Raemer: I’ve recently retired from K-12 schools, teaching and administrationin Boston, for over 40 years. I’m enjoying this stage-traveling (presently in Australia wheremy husband is teaching for the month) and part-time consulting withschool districts around the country on resource allocation to make abigger impact on student achievement as well as enjoying spending timewith daughter Maggie (21), who still seems to tolerate mycompany!Have recently had reunions with Lorie, May, Mary Jane, and Connie inLorie’s lovely place in MT and with Jessica and Pat K. at MJ’ssumptuous summer house in East Hampton as well as stimulating outingsto the theater and ballet in Boston with Kathy Cummings Catlin andElsa Fortier who live nearby. We recently celebrated our classmate

Kristen Herzog’s artistic accomplishments and enjoyed attending her show of recent paintings in Boston!

Lori Harris Amass: Well I guess it’s time to swallow my pride and admit I’ve been a stay-at-home mom with none of the glorious careers and achievements the rest of you report. Maybe I’ll open the door for more “me’s” to write in. My dear husband is older and came with 3 children whom we raised and added 2 boys of our own to the mix. All this was in Denver, after meeting in Vail where I moved in ’72. Now that the kids are on their own we’re in Vail most of the time, with a weekly trip to Denver for me to stay in touch there. As others have reported, we now spend our summers on beautiful and peaceful Flathead Lake, in the NW corner of MT. It’s where our kids most like to spend time with us. The 3 big kids have given us 4 grandchildren and our 2, Tim and Ty, a doctor in Providence and a lawyer in NYC, respectively, both married in the last 2 years, and Ty and Kristen had their first baby yesterday, Feb. 28, a healthy boy. I’ve started a love affair, and I haven’t even met him yet! When Ty went to college, I discovered, almost by accident, a talent for sculpture and have made 9 bronzes. I’ve been busy with weddings and the MT house in the last few years so haven’t produced any new pieces recently, but look forward to having time for it in the future. With the new grandson and another coming from Tim and Courtney in Aug., that could be a very unrealistic expectation! As you can imagine, my life in CO has been filled with enjoying our outdoor activities—skiing (even at 80, Bill is still passionate about it!), road biking, golf, the list was longer 20 years ago. And time spent keeping up with friends is very precious to me.

Jessica Holzer: Like Stuart, I’m responding right under the wire. Like many of you, I too have spent a long time in one place. I’m starting my 43rd year at Citigroup/Citibank where I’m a managing director. While I started my career in NYC, I’ve lived for the past 35 years in St. Louis, MO, but have been able to travel around the world multiple times on business and have also spent 2 years commuting back and forth to NY where I have always been able to catch up with my family and with Mary Jane Hipp Brock. Wallis Wickham Raemer and I also remain close and for many years jointly shared beach houses in Cape Cod or Martha’s Vineyard. In addition, Schuyler Gott Andrews also ended up in St. Louis 40 years ago, and we see each other weekly, at least. Schuyler has just emailed me a shrimp recipe given to us by Put Mundy Ebinger when we all lived in NY in the early 70s! I’m still very busy at work, although now can work from home as all my staff are scattered around the world. It doesn’t matter where I sit. My son Pete (29) graduated from Harvard, finished his Ph.D. in Chemistry at Berkeley and is in his 2nd year as a Post Doc in Germany. I also keep busy as Chairman of the Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, and as chef for many dinner parties and fund raisers. Mary Jane, Wallis and I are working on a short trip to Paris in June to celebrate my birthday, and we’re also planning our 65th group celebration for this fall with May, Katie, Lori, Connie and Frances.

Kate Pinner: I, too, have been a slacker. But it has been fun reading all the news. After grad school at Yale Drama, I moved around a bit before settling in NJ. A couple of different theatre gigs in NJ and NYC, then feeling burnt-out, I took a hiatus from the theatre and worked at the Princeton Art Museum. It was supposed to be a 2-3 year breather, but I woke up one morning and it was 10 years! After looking after other peoples’ art for that long, I felt I had to get back to mine. A job opened up at a local community college only 7 miles from my home that would allow me to design costumes as well as sets, and I’ve happily been being busy for over 20 years now. They just started a fashion program so I’m teaching in that program also.A few years ago my husband, Lou Stalsworth, and I started our own small production company, PinnWorth Productions, and we produce a couple of shows a year locally. My favorite shows let me design and build period costumes: Amadeus, 18th c; Sunday in the Park with George, 1880s; Shakespeare. I love making corsets and bustles and farthingales, but it has put a damper on travel. We don’t even get to the house in the Poconos much anymore. I’m now learning to make bras for Cabaret! My daughter Jordan lives close in Philly. No grandkids there yet, but the 2 kids Lou brought into my life have given me 7!Summers are spent in my garden and around the pool. I love trying lots of different varieties of tomatoes, beans, squash, corn, eggplant, cukes, peppers of all kinds, herbs, etc. We even harvested a pineapple last year in NJ!

Jane Gott: I just moved my mother to assisted living last Wed. in Leesburg, VA. My father (96) died in Dec. of pancreatic cancer. Ron and I have spent the last 9 mos. traveling to Hilton Head, SC, to take care of my parents and their house, which needed major repairs. My father got wonderful care from hospice and 24-hour caregivers and was able to die in his home, which was his wish. I worked for 23 years in pharmaceutical sales for Sanofi Aventis. After retiring in 8/2005, Ron and I have taken some wonderful trips. I have studied watercolor at the Art League School in the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria for 21 years. I was juried into a professional watercolor society several years ago, the Potomac Valley Watercolorists. I’m now on the board and program chair. I spent 2 weeks in Italy in 2006 with a group of artists painting in Italian hill towns in Umbria. Ron and I have cruised the Mediterranean and the Caribbean multiple times.We go to lovely Kauai often to snorkel and relax. In 2011 we spent 2 weeks in May in Paris. I was dreaming in French once again as I did while spending the wonderful SBC Junior Year in France. I’ve taken up quilting, and I’m currently working on a baby quilt for the grandson expected soon of Barbara Offutt Mathieson. I’ve remained in close contact over the years with Barbara, Laura Sickman Baksa, Candace Buker Chang, Jo Shaw, Kris Herzog, and Susan McGraft Slate. I’ve made it back to several reunions, which are always great fun. I wish more of you would get on facebook regularly!

Bonnie Palmer McCloskey: I got an MBA at Wharton ’72, then helped build a business and life with my husband. I had 4 children with Tom. We’ve been married 42 years. We lived for a few years in FL, then 30 years in Aspen, CO, where we mostly now reside only in the summer. Recently we live much of the winter in San Francisco and travel some to Cabo (in the development, Querencia) and to Kauai. If any of you travel to these places please let me know, as it would be great to connect.I’ve done a lot of volunteer work (once ran a planetarium and enjoyed it enormously) and have been on various boards including Women’s’ Foundation of Colorado, SBC board and Nature Conservancy of HI Board. Presently I’m on only one board- active on the Aspen Institute Board for 12 years.We have 2 sons and 2 daughters. Three of our children live in San Francisco and one lives in Aspen. The daughters have 3 children. Love our 4 kids, and we see them often. Our family is close and it’s been my main work in life! But grandchildren are The Best! A total reward.To everyone, thank you for your notes, and I know any of us could be great friends. I read your updates, and I can identify in many ways with you. Although like Lorie Harris Amass, I must say I’m duly impressed with all your accomplishments and careers!The world is small, so I hope some of you come out west, and so I can see you somewhere. A couple fun anecdotes, if you’re still reading: I still ride horses. We have horses in CO and ride up high in the mountains, and I ride in Kauai. My oldest granddaughter is named Palmer, and she looks exactly as I did at her age.

Suzanne Yates Cahill: Reporting from the Boston suburb of Westwood where we have lived for the last 27 years. We’re planning a return to the Old Dominion, Richmond in particular. Our daughter Laura is finishing law school at U. of Richmond this spring. She and her fiancé have settled there, with Justin in a downtown law firm and Laura about to begin a 2-year clerkship with a judge in the VA Court of Appeals. Bob and I are excited by our new adventure.After 40+ years of working I’m happily retired. The last 28 years I was the director of special U. events at Brandeis U. It was a great job for years running commencements, inaugurations for 4 presidents, black tie dinners for hundreds of guests and untold numbers of small events. One of the best parts was handling and working with the VIPs who came for honorary degrees from Barbara Streisand and Steven Spielberg to the Dalai Lama and the Chancellor of Germany. As others have mentioned Kristin Herzog’s show was wonderful. Check out her website to see her work. It was nice to see some Boston area alumnae in the crowd: Candace, Wallis and Kathy Cummings. I keep in touch with Katy Harris and Betty Brewer although we don’t get together enough. I’m also in touch with Gin Ranney’s brother Joe who lives in Atlanta and has 2 daughters who look so much like Gin. I finally have time to take watercolor classes I have been meaning to get to for 25 years! I volunteer at Meals on Wheels and love being with my rescue dog Clifford. Congrats to Stuart for getting this started. It’s such a good way to get to know our long-ago friends. Come see us in Richmond!

Elsa Jones Forter: It’s great to hear all the amazing things everyone is doing. I have to say my life sounds pretty mundane in comparison. After 25 years of doing echocardiograms, and Rod and I buying a sailboat, I decided to teach and taught in a private preschool for 10 years so we could cruise to ME and points south in the summer. As Rod said I was prepping for grandmotherhood and now have 3 with another on the way so I’m busy traveling to Durham, NC, to see my daughter’s children and my son’s in Cambridge, MA. Still substitute teaching in the elementary schools in Beverly, which keeps me active to say the least. See Katherine Caitlin and Wallis Raemer quite often, which is great. Won’t be long before our 50th!

Mary Jo Petree Murphy: I married Frank in July after graduation. Taught 2 years while he finished law school at Vanderbilt. Then we moved back to Winston-Salem where we reared our 3 children (a girl and 2 boys). In June 2007, we left our lifetime hometown to move to Kiawah Island, SC, for the winters and Carbondale, CO, for the summers! It’s been so exciting to meet so many new friends from all over the world at this stage in our lives. I’ve volunteered for my “career” and enjoy outdoor activities. Hiking in CO in the summers is wonderful. Our 2 grandchildren (our daughter’s) live in Glenwood Springs, CO, so we’re able to see them while we’re out there. The boys are in Atlanta and Chapel Hill where we can drive to visit while at Kiawah. Katy Warren Towers taught our children in Winston-Salem at Summit School. She was an excellent teacher! We’ve kept up through the years and enjoyed having Charlie and her to visit us a few summers ago in CO. I have much white hair now—does anyone else? Happy 65th birthday to everyone!

Lawson Calhoun Kelly: A few years after graduating from the Patch, I married Frank Kelly, a fun 3rd year medical student in my hometown of Augusta, GA. We traveled from TX to TN, getting the rest of his orthopedic education and ended up in Macon, GA, his home town. Along the way, I picked up 2 masters, one in education and another in marriage and family therapy, as well as 2 precious children, Will (37), an electrical engineer, and Carter, my daughter, who counsels like her mom, but as a clinical social worker in Charter Schools. They have given us equally precious grandchildren, all 3 of whom live in the Atlanta area.Both Frank and are still working, but travel to Cashiers, NC, often in the summer and more often to Atlanta to see the grandchicks. We hope to retire in the next couple of years so it would be wonderful to reconnect with all of you. Take care and be blessed!

Francess Dornette Schafer: After SBC I went to Cornell Law School and then found a job at the Internal Revenue Service in Cleveland. I transferred to the IRS National Office after 4 years and after a variety of jobs in various tax areas I retired from the IRS in 2003. I then worked in the National Tax Office of KMPG (the accounting firm on Phil Mickelson’s visor) for over 5 years before moving to a similar position at Grant Thornton. I retired from Grant Thornton at the end of July, but continue to do consulting work for them. I also continue to serve at the Chair of the Trusts, Estate and Gift Tax Technical Resource Panel for the AICPA.My wonderful husband Tom was an attorney at the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. He died of pancreatic cancer 15 years ago. Our son William moved to Bozeman, MT, (yes another MT connection Candace) in Aug. He purchased a lovely house with gorgeous views that he’s in the process of fixing up while he attends MT State U. Our dog and I miss him a lot, but I have certainly enjoyed visiting—the scenery and wildlife in Yellowstone are spectacular.

Claudia Forman Pleasants: I’m still in Upper Montgomery County, MD, with my wonderful husband of 22 years, Don Pleasants. We’re blessed with a daughter, Casey, from this marriage, ready to graduate from high school and attend Auburn U. in the fall. From our other children, we have now 12 grandchildren, all wonderful! My son Ross has just had his 2nd boy, and how delightful to receive those first smiles! You all are so right when you say the grandchildren make all the years of parenting worth it!For the last 20 years I’ve been working as a real estate broker for the in-house brokerage for our family real estate development business. I completed my graduate business degree from Johns Hopkins just before our daughter came along, and previously worked as a real estate Group VP with several regional banks. I can say I miss the banking world, but not the over-regulation. I currently serve on independent school boards, and also at Hopkins, as well as community nonprofits. My favorite haunt is our 2nd home in Beaufort, SC, but we certainly don’t get there as much as we’d like. If any of you are passing through, please email me as I’d be happy to share a cool drink on our porch!My year at SBC was a great freshman year, and I only wish I could persuade our daughter to attend!

Elizabeth Holloway Playforth: I hesitated to write as I was a classmate for only 2 years and graduated from the U. of KY in ’70. After marrying I was also a stay-at-home mom who raised a son and helped raise grandchildren and horses. I regretted not graduating from SBC but, as my life unfolded, I’ve been so blessed my regret now is that I missed the 2 additional years getting to know more of you! I’ve loved reading all the letters, and I agree it’s wonderful to read the “rest of the story” from each of you. After returning home I galloped steeple-chasers for my father, finished college and became an Intensive Care and a Surgical nurse, moved to DC for 6 years working at the Georgetown Hospital. I returned to Lexington, met and married the love of my life, and we’ve been married for 32 years. After Herman retired as a cardiovascular surgeon we have continued with our passion of riding horses, foxhunting and farming. We’re very active in our hunt where we hunt mainly coyote—fast and fun. Herman has 3 daughters and we’ve a son and 9 grandchildren. Our first grandchild is finishing a master’s at American U. in DC and she and our son are happily the same age. Kathy, Herman’s oldest, teaches learning disabled children; Salli is a hospice physician; and Karen is a maternal and fetal medicine physician caring for high risk pregnancies all in this area. John graduated from Harvard and Harvard Law and now works in DC for Covington and Burling and Krupa his wife is finishing her residency at Georgetown (my old stomping ground) in pediatrics. We had Karen and John’s weddings on our farm. The day John and Krupa married, we had both an Indian ceremony and an Episcopal ceremony and were blessed with perfect weather and a gorgeous sunset. I served on the Board of The Lexington School mainly in development, for 10 years—great fun and a challenge. We had several events each year and I enjoyed the challenges of overseeing large events. Today we ride, hunt, raise a big garden and hay, run a few cows and have a tree nursery of native KY trees. I have stayed in touch with Katie Harris through Christmas cards and hope to continue to read more from each of you. I returned to SBC one spring several years ago for a seminar and it was such fun to be back on campus. Perhaps I’ll try to attend a Reunion. One of my best friends who also hunts is an alumna.

Carey Cleveland Swan: Here I am enjoying the illusion that I have a fulfilling, wonderful life, and then I read what you all are doing. That ruined my weekend. As I survey my existence, I realize the only professional success I’ve experienced over the past number of years is acting as Pres/CEO of the SBC ’70 Slackers Society. How does one describe job qualifications?Picking out a needlepoint stitch for an already painted canvas will reflect my acute artistic skill. Talking with our 6 grandsons (7-13) provides plenty of intellectual stimulation. (I always loved fraternity parties.)Yoga for seniors is all the cardio I need. Wait! That isn’t true. I walk our boxer pup every day. He provides the drama and humor.Actually, I have spent a lot of time at Bayou Bend—the American Decorative Arts Wing of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. But that does not even pay for dog food!Segue? It was great to hear from all of you, and, like Katie, I am so proud of your vast and varied achievements.

Stuart Davenport Simrill: I too retired this year in the 42nd year of teaching etc., in elementary education. My final position was the media specialist and that was a blast. We’d been in MN for 10 years with Spenser as the dean of the cathedral. We had a lot of fun traveling around the Anglican Communion meeting new people working on various evangelical projects. Our 3 kids are great. Son Spenser teaches at U. of GA with yearly stints in either Costa Rica or Cortona, Italy, so we go visit when we can. Helen is studying at the CA Institute for Integral studies in San Francisco and hopes to touch women on the fringe. Stephen is in his 2nd year of Teach for America in Minneapolis. We’re thrilled to be back in Atlanta renovating a house in our old neighborhood and reconnecting with old friends and family here. I’m working on the house, painting gourds for a fiesta garden, installing my mosaic friezes and playing the cello. I took it up again when I stopped singing this year. It’s a great thing to do, and it helps me not miss music.