1955

First of all, great thanks to Tinker for doing our class notes so well for so long. Now, I’ll try for a while! So far, it is so much fun! I have loved just finding out who is living where. And each classmate’s notes have been so interesting, expressing varied activities and usually such an enjoyment of life. It has been a major treat for me. Funny how close we all became in those four, short, wonderful years as we learned a lot in a very beautiful place.

Emmy Coxe Winburne: (Savannah, Georgia) Continuing my art classes, which is now sculpturing and I love it, and with French classes and pilates, I stay busy. Going to Paris with daughter Emily and granddaughter Emily Wood in April.

Jane Feltus Welch: (Louisville, Ky.) When my agent retired, I did too. I am keeping the N.Y. apt., however, and still go up regularly to see friends and shows. My present gentleman caller is a Louisvillian and in Jan., we went to Costa Rica with Camille Williams Yow and some of her wonderful friends from Atlanta, where we ziplined in a rain forest (terrifying!) We also went to Aruba where we snorkled (I got sea sick.) When I acted my age—lying on the beach reading and floating around in the Caribbean—I had a glorious time. We are going to Naples, Fla., in Feb.

Camille Williams Yow: (Atlanta, Georgia) My N.Y. granddaughter is a junior at Emory U., which she loves, and just completed a semester at Bosporus U. in Istanbul. My N.Y. grandson, a good runner, is headed to Davidson College next year. They will have a taste of Southern for a few years! In Jan., Jane Feltus Welch and I were part of a house party to Las Catalinas in Costa Rica. It is an exquisite, new “sustainable” town being built by Charles Brewer, who is married to Jane’s niece, Ginny. My volunteer fun is with the Atlanta Symphony and something called The Forward Arts Foundation, which runs 3 businesses and contributes money to the visual arts. Last Nov., 12 of us went to the fabulous new Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Alaska, then from there to Kansa City, Mo., where we visited the Nelson-Atkins as well as the Kemper museums. We also took in Truman’s Library, where we revisited much of our own riveting history. We loved the heartland.

Betty Sanford Molster: (Richmond Va.) Chuck and I are doing all right. Happy in Richmond all these years—our 59th anniversary coming up soon. Our 4 children, spouses and 14 grandchildren are a great blessing and we see and talk to them often, even skyping with the family in London. The grandchildren are ages 5 to 26, so we are trying to keep up with the times and not seem too out of touch.

Bar Plamp Hunt: (Santa Rosa Calif.) All is well here in sunny northern Calif. We think moving to Varenna in Santa Rosa was the smartest move we’ve ever made. It’s not an assisted living or life care place, but a senior living place we bought into and own our “suite” in the main building…will get money back when we die or move. And, there are tons of amenities. And no cleaning, gardening or cooking unless we want to. What’s not to like? George is still working, here and there around Sonoma County, either on Sundays only or, these last few years, being the “Interim Priest-in-Charge” of churches, anywhere from 3 months to a year and a half. Right now he’s on his sixth church. He’s enjoying that, and we are both enjoying the semi-retired life, and feel blessed with reasonably good health.

Lydia Plamp Mower: (St. Louis, Mo.) In Jan., I passed the one-year mile post following a surgery they had warned me would take a year to fully recover from. Guess what, they were so right. Since I am feeling so much better, I have been traveling again—off on Wed. to Santa Rosa (Calif.) for a week with Bar and George. It has been far too long since I have been to that beautiful part of the world. Spent weekend before last visiting son George and his wife Betsy in Atlanta during which time George and I flew up to Raleigh-Durham for a Duke basketball game on Sunday. I love college basketball, it makes the winter bearable. As you know, my daughter, Lauren and her family have moved to Virginia Beach and are settled in nicely. I am still in my own house. Fortunately, Ted and I bought small and on one floor and that has been a Godsend as the years go by. My good friend Gene Smith is in a lovely retirement home. I see her all the time. She looks really great. As I was typing away, the phone rang and it was Ted’s daughter Mary calling from London with dates and requests for passport info. I will fly over to visit them in June. I figure it is my last trip across the Atlantic, but I thought that years ago, so who knows!

Georgia Knoblock Smith: (Tequesta, Fla.) Phil and I keep busy with church, reading, golf, and bridge. No more volunteering at the hospital or traveling, for health reasons. We live full time on the east coast of Fla., and look forward to children’s and grands’ visits. Our 2nd grandson will be married in May, and there will be a grand family reunion.

Mitzi Streit Halla: (Vienna, Va.) Roman is now retired while I continue with my travel clients. Last fall I enjoyed my 14th trip to Australia and my 6th trip to New Zealand. Our sons Kenneth (48) Brian (46), their wives, and 8 children joined us last Aug. for our family week from Prague to Vienna. We went to the small Czech town where Roman’s grandparents lived and his parents were married in 1919. During our Prague days, we enjoyed visits with 3 generations of Roman’s Czech cousins, ages 1 to 60. Roman and I also had a few days in Dresden and in Paris. Kenneth continues as Social Studies Chair at his Alexandria, Va., high school. They live 30 min. from us, so we see them often. About 2 years ago, Brian and his family moved to Chapel Hill. Brian bikes to work at the U. of N.C. Hospital Burn Unit and their 5 children walk to the nearby elementary school. With less than a 5 hour drive, we visit them frequently, too. We are lucky!

Amanda McThenia Iodice: (Rochester Hills, Mich.) I spend time volunteering as a writer and layout person for the local senior newspaper, “Vintage View.” Don is teaching French and his students have asked for another day a week and another month of 2 days, so he is happy. Our grandson (12) qualified for the International karate tournament in Cadiz, Spain, last fall so his parents and sister had a nice trip to cheer him on. I’m hoping to run away to Cleveland for a brief visit with Fritz Merriman Naylor if weather permits.

Elise Wachenfeld Depapp: (Pittsford, N.Y.) I’m in upstate N.Y. It’s not exactly balmy weather up here, but neither is it freezing. Off to Fla. tomorrow for short vacation. I keep busy with my horse and dog, and with “Senior Ed.” at the OSHER Institute. It’s a national franchise—there must be others of you out there who also participate in it. Taking 2 courses right now, one on Ancient Rome—for those of us who remember any western civilization, truly ancient Rome, into 1st century B.C., was a Republic where the wealthy held the power and senators were busy looking out for their own best interests—some things never change. But it did change, and now comes the revolution. Could that be the Occupiers? My other main involvement is with the local chapter of the Hearing Loss Assoc. of America. Have unfortunately become quite hard of hearing and it can be a struggle. None of my offspring live nearby; one is in Philadelphia, one in Boston, and one in Dallas. Oldest grandchild has one year left before college. I had a wonderful trip to Ireland this past fall with Erika, my veterinary daughter, including 3 days riding on the Dingle Peninsula. Only person from our class that I keep in touch with is Ruth Campbell VanDerpoel, who lives in N.J. Before signing off, must add that I am registered on Facebook, not that I know what to do with it. And I have an iPad which I love, altho’ it can surely be very frustrating—doesn’t that make me modern?

Ruth Campbell Vanderpoel: (Morristown, N.J.) I love the townhouse where I moved in early 1998. Plenty of walking opportunities and close to town. Am not playing tennis anymore, but have taken up water exercise at local “Y,” which I am surprisingly liking since I’m not really a swimmer.

Anne Kilby Gilhuly: (Cos Cob, Conn.) My hospital in Africa, Edna’s Maternity Hospital in Somaliland, is thriving. At the moment her special concern is fistula repair; she is still training nurses and midwives and she’s had a substantial effect on the maternal mortality rate. Brought it down at the hospital by over 70 percent and in the city of Hargeisa. So that gives me great satisfaction. But it all grew so in terms of donors that I can’t do it all myself anymore, so I’m letting go of the bookkeeping and correspondence at least. The work was really cannibalizing my life; I feel almost human again. I still give courses for Greenwich Continuing Ed on Greek history and literature and a couple of lectures a year on Shakespeare, with actors, which makes it really fun. Bob is still practicing law full time, which must make him the oldest working stiff in Greenwich. But we do make some very nice trips to visit children and grandchildren, and most recently,Rome. I hadn’t been there for more than a day or two since my junior year in France. And of course the irony is that it hadn’t changed at all! Just slightly more dug up. Next up: Dalmatia in May, if we’re still alive then.

Kay Robers McHaney: (Victoria, Texas) I so enjoy reading what you guys are doing. I am still involved with our family daily newspaper. I’m in my office most days that I’m in town. I still enjoy the excitement of that environment. My youngest son and my son-in-law are now co-publishers, so it’s fun to be a part of their development in this new communication age. Last May, I had hoped to see Shirley Sutliff in the Washington, D.C. area since I was there for the National Spelling Bee, but Shirley was already in Maine by then. Our newspaper sponsors our area representative to the Bee so I took my daughter and grandson to observe. I do love to travel and Jim and I enjoyed a great trip to South Africa last year. When here in Victoria, it’s not dull since 3 of our 4 children live here and 9 of our 12 grandchildren are here. Fourth child with his family of 3 children lives in Austin, so we have a fun place to go and see them.

Didi Stoddard: (Carlisle, Mass.) I am headed to the warmth of Turks and Caicos with my partner, daughter, son-in-law and their son (2 ½) whom we call His Majesty Sir Tyler. We took them last year to St. John and had a wonderful time, playing in the sand and water by day, leaving him with a babysitter at night so the adults could wine and dine in peace.

Petsy Cautier Mezey: (Carol Gables, Fla.) Cliff had multiple surgeries following a 2nd knee replacement that got infected, so no more big time travel. We do go to northwestern N.C. for the summer months and that’s a great break from the Fla. heat. We are active with 13 grandchildren scattered around the country, most of whom get here at least once a year. Generally life is good, and we are grateful.

Phyllis Herndon Brissenden: (Springfield, Ill.) I still live in my house in Springfield and have a Westie and a Cairn, both rescue dogs. Have had hip problems so am not doing my bird watching trips, but still listen to opera and travel many places. I visit Walter’s family in Seattle which is a really fun area. I garden and cook and do volunteer work with our nature center, symphony, and historical society.

Jeannette Kennedy Hancock: (Birmingham, Ala.) Jimmie and I have just sold our home and are moving to a condo. So far, it has been a very happy change. We found just the right place for us and will have some yard so that we can still do some gardening, but on a smaller scale. Our new address is 118 Club Village Drive Birmingham, AL, 35213. Surprising to have 2 grands in college and one heading there next year and then more to come!

Honey Addington Passano: (Baltimore, Md.) Our news is our move 3 weeks ago from Lanvale Street into a most handsome retirement edifice. I was not sure how I would feel until we began to unpack, meet so many nice people and have the very good meals to take the place of my forgotten kitchen skills! Billy and I are definitely happy to have made the move! Our new address and phone: 1055 West Joppa Road, Apt.727, Towson, Md. 21204.

Bexie faxon Knowles: (Naples, Fla.) Bob and I are well and pretty boring as far as telling about adventures, meeting with other classmates and etc. We know that time seems to fly by more quickly than ever. This is made evident as our weekly pill containers have emptied again! We will be lunching with Betty Byrne and Hudnall soon in Fla. We may see Jane Feltus Welch when she comes to Naples. Jane is anxious for Bob to give her a lesson on her iPad. Bob is a total whiz! I was annoyed with him the other day as he took the liberty of signing me up for Facebook while I was at church! My email is clogged with people wanting to be my friend! Actually, I’m busy doing various things at church, teaching ESL, and playing tennis! He thinks it’s funny! I’m not so sure and haven’t even had the time to figure out the system. But, yes, I am grateful that I do have a lot of friends! We continue to enjoy endless summer—Fla. in the winter, Maine in the summer.

Mary Boyd Murray Trussell: (Columbus, Georgia) George and I are doing well, spending a lot of time at the condo in Panama City Beach. One of our sons, Walter, and his family are living in the area down there so we love getting to see them. We had 2 wonderful trips to the Bahamas last year with friends from Winterpark. I’m enjoying a ministry to the homeless at our Prayer Breakfast at Trinity Episcopal Church. They are dear and bless me so much each Sunday morning.

Meta Space Moore: (Charleston, S.C.) Three children: Margaret, husband and 2 children in Princeton where they went to college and Margaret works as director of the Alumnae Association; Susan, husband and 6 children and the oldest, Mclain, graduated from Vanderbilt, then Quantico as 2nd Lieut. and is now in Afghan…and the others are in various colleges, with one still at home in Glenview, Ill.; and thank God, my son lives here with wife and 3 children—Allston 1V, Emily, and Maggie. Allston is at EHS in Alexandria, Va. I’m very involved in the Stephen Ministry and the Garden Club, sports, and travelling each year to different parts of the world. With love to all whom I haven’t seen and to those I have seen.

Catherine Cage Bruns: (Houston, Texas) I had a fainting accident in June and am left with left hand nerve damage. I’m in therapy treatments, which are torture, trying to avoid surgery. My sister, Chaille, died in 2010 leaving me as the oldest in the family. She was my best friend and confidant so it has been hard to adjust. My son is in Minn. I’m praying for a Republican president. We cannot survive under 4 more years of Obama’s policies. Where is the good news? We’re both still alive and kicking! And I long for the peacefulness and good times and friends of Sweet Briar.

Betty Byrne Ware: (Richmond, Va.) Hudnall and I are in Naples for 3 months and will see Jane Feltus Welch when she visits Naples in Feb. and Bexie Faxon Knowles, who lives here most of the year. Also we see Jane Slack Sigloh ’56 and Mary Mead Utt who is Helen Mac’s niece. Mary was at Sweet Briar for just a semester as I remember. I work out at the Fitness Center and play golf and bridge, too.

Retta Jelks Vance: (Bristol, Tenn.) Allen and I have moved back to Bristol from Savannah to be near family. We have a daughter here with her husband and 2 teenage boys, and daughter nearby in Kingsport, Tenn., with husband and daughter, and one daughter in Charlotte with husband and daughter. We saw Dede and her family this summer and will see her next month on a trip to Savannah. So sad. Had a nice phone visit with Meta recently.

Dede Harrison Austin: (Savannah, Georgia) As many know, in May, Dede and Larry were driving from their house in Savannah to their house in the N.C. mountains when a van went through a stop sign and ran into their car. Dede’s spinal cord was broken and she is paralyzed and in a wheelchair. Her story and photos are on caringbridge.org. I know we all send special love to her, a dear Sweet Briar friend.

Ethel Green Banta: (Natchez, Miss.) Ethel lives in a very old historic house, Hope Farm, in Natchez. It has guest rooms in another building or two right there. It is a bed and breakfast really. Some of us stayed there a few years ago and loved seeing Ethel, all of Natchez, and staying in Ethel’s wonderful old four poster beds!

Emily Hunter Slingluff: (Virginia Beach, Va.) Life is good. I still live in a nice old house on Linkhorn Bay and also spend lots of time at the cabana we have on the oceanfront and go in the ocean often in the summer. Son is at the UVA as surgeon and cancer researcher and is happily married; and daughter and her husband live happily 16 houses from me. They have 2 daughters, one a graduate of Princeton, now living in N.Y., and the other in 4th year at UVA. I travel around pretty much, and also write and play bridge and see many friends. Am thankful. “We’re the tops, We’re the greatest!!” (For all reading this who are not class of ’55, that was our class song and we just might really think it!)

(Emily Hunter Slingluff, emilyslingluff@aol.com)