1951

Mary Pease Fleming: Happy New Year to you, and just wanted to tell you that your trouble with the left margins makes me feel right at home. I think my computer woes are worse than yours! I was happy to have holiday greetings from some of my dear friends from SBC. Barbara Birt Dow and Bill were heading to their winter nest in Vero Beach, Fla., on 1/2/12, flying this time, so they couldn’t stop with us in Richmond as they have in the past. They will be coming to Richmond in May, though, for their grandson’s graduation from U. Richmond. Jean Duerson Bade writes from Louisville that she is doing aerobic swimming 6 days a week to deal with her “arthritic body,” and still enjoying her house and canine friend, Buddy. Also heard from Joan Davis Warren and Eugenia Ellis Mason who seem to be doing OK. Not the case with Ann Sheldon Campbell who lives here at Westminster-Canterbury Retirement Community with her husband, Bill. Ann stepped out of her apartment door to retrieve the morning paper and cracked a bone in her foot! She has been pretty immobile in the healing process, but is now walking gingerly. She and Bill actually rode the train to SC Christmas week with Ann’s son Jay Taylor! She’s a trooper. Rives and I had a joyous holiday with some of our children, starting at Thanksgiving! Big news here is the approaching June wedding of another granddaughter, Ellen McCully, in N.C. I didn’t go to the SBC gathering recently, too much going on. I’m giving all extra time to making a quilt for the bride!

Jean Randolph Bruns: I lived next to Anna Leslie Coolidge Richardson freshman year and well remember the logistics of her to-ing and fro-ing between Texas and college with a harp. This has been almost too eventful a year: my 2 Thai-American granddaughters graduated from U. Fla. and from Stuart Hall in Staunton, Va. My Thai step-grandson was naturalized as a U.S. citizen and married a young woman from Argentina, here on a green card. One American grandson, Marine veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq and now a nurse, will make me a great-grandmother in March (his wife also from Argentina). My Thai daughter-in-law died of liver cancer in May in Thailand where it is endemic from exposure to Hepatitis B. My daughter’s daughter, a N.Y. lawyer, is taking off for South Africa and projects there. I am once again wintering on Fla.’s Redneck Riviera, where my daughter and lots of in-laws live. Home in mid-March to enjoy springtime in the mountains of Va.

Susan Taylor Hubbard: I am sorry to hear we have lost another classmate. I am very well and active except for deafness and forgetfulness! We had a gathering on Sweet Briar Day here in Norfolk which was most successful. I was the only member from ’51, but had a number of friends from other classes. There were many prospective students and their parents as well as current students—a lovely affair. All is going well at SBC. I had a grand Christmas in Richmond with my daughter Jane and family. Highlight was the oysters on the half shell from the Lynnhaven River here. Luscious.

Anne Sinsheimer: It was such fun being with you and Dick at Reunion. In Sept., I went to Ireland, which is beautiful, but I rarely saw the sun. I came home for that.

Sue Lockley Glad: Not much news here. I am settling in to my new quarters in Bend, Ore., and learning to be a widow, which isn’t easy as many of our classmates know. Touchmark is a very friendly, busy place. Taking Tai Chi, doing a lot of walking along the Deschutes River and finding the Ore. winter not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. The family will all come to Black Butte Ranch again this summer, and I am looking forward to that. Best to all.

Carolyn Sample Abshire: Was so sorry to learn of Anna Leslie Coolidge Richardson’s death. We had just gotten back together via email earlier last year. She was a grand, thoughtful and upbeat roommate, and we were together in Reed and Carson. It still seems amazing that once a month (I think) she would load her harp on the train and travel to Washington, D.C., for lessons with Sylvia Meyers, the principal harpist with the National Symphony. Then at Junior year she transferred to SMU where she met and married Shelby Lee Richardson. I was in her wedding in Helena and visited her in Texas in the 50s. Life’s changes: last summer we sold our house of 42 years and moved to the Episcopal Retirement Home, Goodwin House, here in Alexandria (so same phone number). Our address is 4800 Fillmore Ave., apt. 458, Alexandria, VA. 22311. We have a great apartment in the tree tops, looking out over Washington and the National Cathedral. David is still working, and my life is still active, minus all the home owners chores. There are several alumnae here. Ann Petesch Hazzard is one. We were the first to be able to bring a dog, so our Sophie is known as “First Dog.” She is pushing 16, so fits right in up here.

Lynne McCullough Gush: I have no news beyond having survived 5 performances of Piazzolla and Gershwin in Dec. and many dinner parties. Kensington is not invited to formal affairs and is privileged to enjoy a spa weekend at the kennel—shampoo and pedicure. The travels of our classmates impress me greatly. I enjoyed it when one abandoned the wardrobe to a minion at the curb and boarded the plane where the nice lady presented a cocktail, a blanket and a pillow. Such was not the case during my last 2 flights. When wanderlust strikes, I now re-arrange the furniture, move the bibelots, and change the lighting. Then I purchase concert tickets. The last 3 weekends Gerstein played all the Rachmaninoff concerti! I well remember Anna Leslie Coolidge Richardson who periodically loaded her harp in a taxi and took off somewhere for a lesson. This is quite a feat! I shudder with anxiety when moving my harp from one room to another. The final week of Jan., we had the drought, of course, followed by a tornado, a flood and a freeze. Today I am running the AC. The plants know not what to do, and I know not what to wear. Tonight we rehearse Dvoraks Legends, duets which we play on 2 pianos, thereby avoiding stepping on one another’s fingers.

Margaret Fitzsimmons Jones: You are great to do this job. I know everybody appreciates it. Bob and I are presently living in a retirement community 2 miles from our old house. Just had our 23rd anniversary at 82 and 83. Our combined 8 children and 20 grandchildren all live within reachable distance so we spend lots of time with them. No more big traveling. We were fortunate to do lots of it when we were able. Love to everybody, Fitz. Dr. & Mrs. Robert Jones, 120 Lakes at Litchfield Dr., Apt 320, Pawleys Island, SC 29585. Phone 843-237-4455. Email-mpdjones@gmail.com.

Angie Vaughan: Regretted I could not be at the reunion last spring, but husband Bob’s sister wanted to visit then. As she lives in Zurich, it is a bit of a chore for her so we want to be accommodating. I do love seeing the old school and remembering the faces and places of yesteryear. It is still a place of such great beauty, and I appreciate that so much more now I did then. We had quite a gift. Bob and I continue in our chosen paths—daily he goes down to his studio in the basement and I go to my office near the kitchen. He creates art and I do small business accounting and taxes. We’re quite a mix, aren’t we? We both stumbled into these careers later in life. Bob had a show last summer, and 2 the year before. A very busy life for both of us. We take trips when we can—Southwest last summer. Our 5 children seem to be in “good places” at this time. Malcolm and partner are in Worcester, Mass. He is a musician and does church music, conducts a local choral society and does piano performances. Culver is an attorney, married, and has 2 young red-headed boys. Jane is a musician who never stands still—is currently learning to play the viola da gamba and plays violin in a jazz trio. Paul is married, lives in Charlottesville, is a prof at UVA. He has 3 boys and won an award in England last year for his book on Habeas Corpus. Much excitement—10,000 British pounds, presented by Princess Anne. Marion, an attorney, has 2 boys, is divorced, works in Philadelphia, and commutes back to Louisville to be with her children whenever possible. We also spend time with the boys at their mother’s house. Unusual situation, but seems to be working rather well. In summary, we have 7 grandchildren—all boys!

Patty Lynas Ford: To backtrack, in the summer of 1948 when I arrived home in Calif. after my first year at SBC, my mother told me that she had made arrangements for me to go to Yellowstone Park (with a couple of my friends) to sell salads in the cafeteria at West Thumb. So I got on the Union Pacific train to go to West Yellowstone, Mont. West Thumb was the smallest and least developed tourist site in the park. Our cabins had wood floors, wood frames on the sides and wooden supports for the canvas roof. There was a faucet outside that the bears fancied, and I don t remember where the toilets and showers were but certainly not next door! We had a wood stove, which had to be lit at 5:30 a.m., our rising (but not shining) time. At 7800 ft, the nights were not balmy. We had to be at the cafeteria at 6:30 a.m., eat and prepare for the Dudes (tourists) to come to breakfast. We were on duty for 3 meals a day, 1 day off a week. During that time, I faithfully wrote to my mother in Claremont (east of Los Angeles) on Yellowstone stationery. I returned home in late Aug. accompanied (in the baggage car) by a feral cat that I knew would not survive the Yellowstone winter. Fast forward to 2003 to columns in the San Francisco Chronicle written by a naturalist living in Yellowstone. I wrote to him, commenting on his well-written and informative articles and telling him of my summer experiences in 1948. We became friends and I sent him copies of the letters to my mother. He was delighted to read about how the park had changed and about my experiences. He asked for copies, saying that the archivist would like to have the originals. Dick and I went to Yellowstone for a week in July 2005. By then, Jerry and his wife had moved to Wash., but he kindly introduced us to people there. Now, fast forward to Jan. 2012. I received a letter from the Yellowstone Archivist asking me for the originals. We had a lovely correspondence and I sent them off by Certified Mail. Now I am awaiting the contract to sign. I have been told that these letters are treasures to be included in their collection as there is nothing like them, as far as content and revelations of employees’ life.

(Patty Lynas Ford, patella2@sonic.net)