Jill Johnson
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Holly Smith is still publishing her magazine for London’s communal garden squares, but recently much of her time has been spent trying to raise money to maintain Sulgrave Manor, the ancestral home of George Washington near Oxford. (ed. note:You may remember that Holly is on the Board.) One interesting byproduct has been getting to know Lord Fairfax and his brother Hugh, and discovering that the family once owned 5 million acres of VA. Holly says that if any classmates know of potential donors who want to support Sulgrave Manor, please get in touch. On the exercise front, she and her husband Neil Osborn swim and play golf to help fight off the effects of being in their 60s.

“Most remarkable news,” writes Susan Snodgrass Wynne. Son and daughter-in-law in Charlotte, NC, are expecting identical twin girls in May, so Susan will be commuting often from Virginia Beach. Three girls under 2 will require help and humor. With 2 other grandchildren in VB, that will make 5 in 4 years! Susan will be in the pink with 4 girls and 1 boy.

Marty Neill Boney continues to have whirlwind visits with Carter Frackelton. The most recent occurred when Carter stopped by on her way to Atlanta, and then “whooshed” back through Marty’s on Fri. on the way home to Fredericksburg, VA.

Mary Phillips Carrera and husband Jim are spending the winter months at their golf community condo in Naples, FL, escaping all the winter cold and snow. Golfing 3 or 4 times a week keeps them busy. They also do quite a bit of inland waterway fishing and boating. Life seems busier than ever. They will return north in May and live at their house in Bethany Beach, DE. They now have 5 adorable grandchildren between 3 and 5 years old—quite a handful. Life is good.

“About 20 seconds after my feet hit the pavement, I fell in love with NY,” Karen Medford says. When she first decided to go to the Big Apple, it was only to be a short time. However, what was originally planned to be a 3-mo. stay segued into 5 and even then she left with great reluctance. She had many fabulous experiences and reports, “I didn’t want to leave a single tourist stone unturned”—an Erhu concert (16th c Chinese instrument which sounds like a violin) at the Met, ceremonial tea in the Japanese wing, working as a docent at the Designer Showhouse, Turandot, Picasso’s Black and White at the Guggenheim, and Sophie Gimbel gowns at Parsons. Her favorite spot in NYC, you ask? Bemelman’s Bar at the Carlyle.

One of the things that made the stay so enjoyable for Karen was looking up fellow SBC grads. Warren Moore Miller, a longtime Upper East Side (UES) dweller, was most helpful, introducing Karen to friends and sharing her favorite restaurant, books and list of preferred things to do in NYC. Susan Norton Allen invited Karen to her fabulous apt. overlooking Central Park. Susan was packing to go to Vietnam on a trip with her husband, and since Karen had been just 2 years ago with Eileen Gebrian, there was much to share. Karen insists that Yes! NY is full of wonderful things to do, places to go, but the most fantastic thing about NY is how wonderful and friendly the people are. Who knew? Karen is already “sublet searching” and intends to return to NY again in the fall.

Beverly Horne Dommerich flew to Washington, DC, for an extended weekend to celebrate the first birthday of a great niece, but instead had lunch with Jill Johnson and Mary Heller in Georgetown and caught the last plane out before Hurricane Sandy roared into town. Totally missed the birthday party! She promises to return this fall. It truly was an incredible lunch.

“Aloha from the North Shore of Oahu,” writes Deirdre Conley. She’s always wanted to see the “Pipeline.” Deirdre and husband have been traveling since 1/5/13, a half way around the world tour. Left Ft. Lauderdale on cruise ship Amsterdam, bound for the epic Panama Canal, Peru and mystical Machu Picchu, endless blue waters of Bora Bora, then debarking in Auckland, New Zealand. Two amazing weeks in NZ, and she can’t say enough about how chilled out the Kiwis are, with lots of good wine always on her list. Te Mata Colraine red in Hawk’s Bay is her favorite. She also enjoyed spectacular locations where The Lord of the Rings was filmed, stark volcanoes including “Mordor,” magic cruise in Milford Sound, a world heritage site in the Fjordlands, impressive Mt. Cook with its glaciers, and superb ferry boat crossings were the highlights. Then she was off to 5 days in Sydney, a vibrant, interesting city, where they watched the dragon boat races in the harbor for Chinese New Year and had great Asian food everywhere, enjoying the huge Chinese Garden, cool local art, Opera House as impressive as the photos and a fun tour to the Hunter Valley for good wine. After a 10-hour flight to Honolulu, Deidre found the Pearl Harbor AZ Memorial very moving. Waikiki is “Cancun,” but all the other beaches are beautiful with spectacular views. She visited the interior thick tropical jungle where Jurassic Park was filmed and the North Shore for the very big, crashing waves she has always wanted to see. Finally, back to Miami for about a month and a half. Deidre writes this trip was part avoidance of the recommended hip replacement surgery. She also reports good news for her retirement project to help Kasserine, Tunisia, where she was a Peace Corps Volunteer after SBC. The French group ICD Afrique has committed to do their next project in Kasserine and has already deployed a 20-person development mission and 3 containers of medical supplies. Deidre hopes Tunisia will get stable government in place soon, as the current unrest prevents consistent development efforts. Finally, she’s looking forward to planting her garden in France in the spring. They have a boat in the spring to Southampton, then 2 weeks in Scotland, before the Alps and “home.” Deidre confides that she always did like living out of a suitcase!

Vivian Finlay and husband are living in Homer, AK, by the ocean, which is a cruise ship stop in South Central AK. She works part time doing psychotherapy and volunteers with her Rotary club and with Hospice. Vivian and Clyde either travel to visit the children (7), grandchildren (22), and great-grandchildren (10), or they travel to their remote cabin, or to remote canoe trips in AK. They also travel internationally whenever they can visiting her family overseas, or staying in their place in Mexico, or just being tourists. Vivan hopes to retire completely this year some time.

With daughter Callie still in San Antonio, Cutler Bellows Crockard and husband get to enjoy 2 grandsons, 4 and 2. Son Bradford is in Houston, and he and his wife had a girl in July named—get this—Adelyn Cutler Crockard. “So honored to have a namesake!” Cutler enjoyed a visit from Susan Waller Nading and Alex last year when they came to Houston to help Liz Clegg Woodard and Woody bottle their latest wine creation. Liz and Woody are seriously into the wine business. Cutler and Doug “have been happy to help them taste” and bottle their delicious wines. Liz and Woody were in Birmingham in Feb. to help daughter Julia after the birth of their new grandson Jack.

In Jan., Kathy Keys Graham and Bill stayed with Cutler and Doug, while attending a wedding in Houston. Cutler reports happy “that Keys has not changed a bit.”

Kitty Howell Riordan has just become a great-aunt. Little Rosalie Margaret Bninski Hoppe was baptized in Charlottesville wearing her Irish great-great-great- grandmother’s 5-foot long gown! Proud moment for all. Kitty and Dave’s 2 sons are busy: Matthew (32) engaged and living in CA near Laguna Beach, holds a good finance operations job and is working with his on-the-side dream of personal training. Paige, his fiancé, has her aerobic dance fitness certification on horizon, and they love sunny CA. Wedding date TBD. Michael (31) loves his 3rd yr. at Albany Medical School in clinical rotations, drawn to internal med/cardiology. Kitty remains devoted to field of gerontology and is part of interdisciplinary team in Rehab Unit at The Virginian Retirement Community in Fairfax, VA. Kitty’s role is activity assessments of residents and maximizing their quality of life—a natural fit. Dave and Kitty are ever engaged in the lives of all their older children and 11 busy grandchildren, especially being active cheerleaders of Team Sean for special needs grandson Sean (19 mos.) Life keeps them hopping!

Marion Walkercontinues to practice labor and employment law in Birmingham and is now Of Counsel with Fisher & Phillips LLC, a national labor and employment firm with 28 offices around the country. Happily, her niece Mary Kathryn and nephews Robert and Michael are in Birmingham. Michael has her adored and pleasantly spoiled grandniece, Mary Knox. With golf, sailing and gardening seasons around the corner, Marion expects to be busy for months. A trip to Los Angeles—Pelican Hill Resort—in May will be followed by a trip to NYC and CT in the summer. Marion reports that life is good overall, even as the inevitable life losses leave their imprints.

Mary Heller attended a niece’s wedding in London in Feb. and said the week’s festivities with her brothers and their families were the trip of a lifetime. I enjoyed it vicariously by helping Mary find her new wardrobe for the cocktail parties and the formal wedding, plus all the accessories, including a new smart phone. (ed. note: My new puppy had eaten mine earlier in the fall so I was able to share my research on the right purchase.)

All is well here in Vienna with weekends in Syria, Madison County, VA. Life is good. It may not be fair, but it is good. I’m sticking with that. Please continue to post and upload photos on our Facebook Group page—Sweet Briar College Class of 1972. It’s such fun to see and share, so I hope you’re enjoying our collective efforts there.