Class of '62
Happy New Year! Even though you may not receive this until February, the newness of the year can't have lost its luster already. New travel plans, new grandchildren, new homes, new beginnings of all kinds make this latest chapter in our lives as adventuresome as any other. I'm counting on all of you to make an odyssey out of the daily miracles we have come to take for granted.
Chances are Sandy Berge Bearson won't be seeing much of her son Darren until after November 4; he works in the White House personnel and campaign department. I suspect he'll be busy dodging a little mud, slinging a few arrows and negotiating the narrow path between winning and playing nicely with the opposing team.
Evelyn Gustafson Davenport had a great summer traveling from the Atlantic to the Pacific Coast, then back home to Houston, TX. Surely there was some person, place or thing you found in the vast expanse between two coasts that you could have shared with us, Evelyn. We all enjoy vicariously the thrills and chills of travel.
Carol Harvey Schutte is continuing to do holistic healing work, including lymphatic therapy and iridology. For those of you without a medical dictionary close at hand, the lymphatic system is a sort of secondary circulation, intertwined with the vascular circulation of the blood. The tissue spaces surrounding cells are bathed in tissue fluids, which filter out from circulating blood plasma through the capillary walls. Any excess fluids must be returned to the circulation promptly, lest tissue become hopelessly waterlogged. Carol, where were you in those water-logged pre-menopausal years when we really needed you. As for iridology, my medical books declined to define.
Val Whipple is beginning his 32nd year of coaching basketball in Ivanhoe, MN. We could sure use his expertise out here on the left coast. The Warriors haven't had a winning season since the '60s, when they and the flower children were into some major scoring.
James Swanson will retire in October after 30 years as pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Indiana. What then, James? I suspect a man of the cloth will be forever dressed to deliver the Word of God.
Last October Carmen Jones Knoble and Jim '61 visited their daughter in Tulsa on their way to Florida, where they will be until May. They also went to Nova Scotia. Maybe it's just me, but vacationing in a place sailors called the "Graveyard of the Atlantic" (because so many shipwrecks occurred off the southern coast) sounds iffy. It is also nicknamed "Canada's Ocean Playground," which sounds more inviting. My only recollection of that watery province was wading through Evangeline, Longfellow's protracted poem set in Nova Scotia.
Ed Blair is now subbing in the local school system in Payson, AZ, and claims that the easiest group to each was composed of ten humble students huddled in the "In School Suspension" room. With self-deprecating humor, Ed says that it is also quiet when he occasionally preaches for the vacationing pastor in Payson. May we surmise that being in your presence is a humbling experience, Ed?
Karen Noren Talle climbed some of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks with her son Alex and his wife Sarah in preparation for her African trek. She is fortunate to have her chicks nesting now in Denver after relocating from Seattle. To foster further feathering, a grandchild will be added in June.
Faithful Floyd Flowers once again came through for me from Dekalb, IL. He is tickled that at his age he can expand on the truth, because there is no one his age around to contradict him. He promises us that the best is yet to come with the arrival of grandchildren, great trips and some unlikely perks. Please elaborate on what those unlikely perks may be, Floyd, because I haven't even encountered a whole lot of the likely ones: unless you consider senior discounts for pain medications.
Ben and Ruth Ann (Johnson) Leadholm made two trips to Colorado last winter and spent the summer playing golf and visiting friends in at least seven states. Researching the best modes of travel, they toured Sicily by car, the Amalfi coast by both bus and boat, and the sights in Rome by foot.
Joan Rahm Roy and Bob are by now knee deep in Deer Isle, Maine, snowdrifts, through which Bob drives the ambulance and Joan treks to the local theater to costume all the aspiring actors and actresses. Who would have thought that Joan would prefer cutting and splitting wood for winter fires to gingerly pouring champagne and providing caviar and comfort to Pan Am's first class passengers?
Audrey Kylander Kramer enjoyed beef fondue, artichokes and white sugar cookies on Christmas Eve. That menu bares no comparison to my Minnesota family's Christmas traditional fare. Ours required removing life-threatening bones from the lutefisk while idly wondering what else besides the silverware the fish was turning black.
Aud is into her third year of retirement from teaching and fills her days with lunches with friends, edifying classes at St. Thomas, hiking at the U of M Arboretum, working out with the machines and weights, and threshing at Kelly's Farm by Anoka. Threshing??? Jan Hoomani mentioned that she was hoping to see Aud in February but she is leaving for Florida the same day Jan arrives in Minnesota. Traveling with three tennis-playing female friends, she plans to stay at a tennis club and beat the pants off other members and guests. She also enjoys watching the birds and noticing their issues. And here I thought only disgruntled ducks had issues.
Diane Kolander Loomer is blessed with husband, Dr. Dick, who writes the Christmas letters, sings in the men's choir she directs (Chor Leoni) and publicly and privately thanks God for his beautiful and talented wife. They'd love to see any or all of us in Vancouver, so make your plane reservations early.
Sharon Maurer Edberg and Gordy will celebrate 40 years of marital bliss in 2004. That and the birth of their first grandchild should make it a banner year.
LouAnn Eckberg Reese and Larrie had a great 2003. They upgraded their 19" TV set, but they refused to succumb to cable. Instead, they bought new bicycles, on which they have already logged 3,000 miles -- some of those miles in Provence, France. On December 26, 2002, they celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary. Their present was grandson number three, Eli Orion Hooker Reese. Wish him luck writing that name on the top of all his first grade homework.
Roz Johnson Anderson and Mark '60 took a three-week road trip to Arizona last fall via Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas, etc., seeing old friends and new sites along the way. They invite visitors to both their homes in Arizona and Aitkin, so have your travel agent incorporate that with the Loomer/Vancouver trip.
I have permission via Karen Talle, to whom this email was written, to read about the adventures of our own Joan of Africa.
Happy New Year 2004!
Spring is here! As you are bedding down to winter, I am growing flowers, tomatoes, green peppers and a few herbs. The longer I'm here the more difficult it seems to write these emails. I feel, when I do, that I am trying to have a foot in two worlds. I feel very settled in here. And, time is running out! I'll be back in just a few months, and then I know I will take a few more months to re-enter. I haven't devoted enough words for the staff here at the museum. There isn't a conversation about ANYTHING that I've not had with someone here. What a gift! These are my friends: Tii: She is 30 years old, married with two daughters. Speaks the most impeccable English! She is the Archivist, also an artist. Fills me in on anything I ask about. We laugh, share books and thoughts and hugs. Massa: She is 30 and married with two daughters also. Massa has such grace! She's quiet, yet a dynamo underneath. Her sense of humor has had me laughing most days. She is our receptionist, tour guide and very artistic. Thabo: He is 37, married with 3 daughters. He is Mr. Mom as his wife teaches in the southern part of Lesotho. A dear father to his girls and a kindred spirit to me. We seem to know what each other is feeling. We kid each other relentlessly, gripe at each other and again, laugh a lot. He's our resource person. Pusetso: Our deputy curator. 35 years old. So talented! Very gentle. Comes from a terrific family of achievers. Artistic and intelligent. Stephen: The curator. Originally from America, now Basotho. The Basotho here say he knows more Sesotho words than they do. So well respected in this country! Knows the history of just about everything! Married to Linday, who is from Zimbabwe. One daughter. Stephen is so kind and fair to everyone. I have learned so much from him. Leaooa: Young, single and a real catch for someone! He's our IT person. Knows all the software. I am learning from him. Needless to say, I have the BEST Peace Corps site in the land! Part of Peace Corps is about the culture we can bring to our host country. In doing my part for cross-culture, I had my entire family of six to my little house for TACOS! Those teachers among you will be pleased that I also made some visual aids for their orientation before we ate. I also found pappadums (poppers for those who know India and her foods.) I served Rorisang (seven years old) and cooked them over a flame as my cousin Marianne showed me. He said he loved them though I think he was most taken that I could cook them that way! Perhaps that's called a cross-cross-cultural experience. Thabang (age 12) and I also did a facial peel mask. (Hollywood culture?) Can you imagine her beautiful skin and then mine! Saturdays here are for funerals. There are now so many that meetings and gatherings cannot ever be planned for that day. Seems everyone is at a funeral. So I think about this beautiful country and realize that five years from now, one-third of the people here will be dead. Wow. I am constantly humbled by the devastation of HIV/AIDS. The other factor is that they kill a cow for a feast at a funeral. Now there are fewer cows. It's too expensive and the Basotho are faced with a cultural change that is huge to them. The Morija Arts and Cultural Festival was a big hit again this year. We even had fireworks. Good ones, too. While Thabang, Rorisang and I were waiting for them to begin, some women walked by and asked Thabang who I was. She said I was their grandmother to which they said, "She is not your grandmother, she is a white English lady. Rorisang and Thabang laughed and laughed. It feels good to be such a part of life here. I wrote a grant that has allowed us to buy computers, scanner, laser printer, etc. We now have Internet service for the public. That means I can have better access, so let me hear from your part of the world. Hopefully, I'll be better at responding. I took 15 kids swimming last week. None knew how to swim and none had ever seen a swimming pool. They had a fantastic time. Peace to you this 2004. Sala hauntle, Joan
Let us know when to hold the "Welcome Home" party, Joan.
This letter is beginning to read like a travelogue. As well it should, since being of a certain age and enjoying a certain amount of economic freedom, most of you are of the peripatetic persuasion. But not all. Faithful readers, as you know, I am not as well traveled as you because I do not travel well: an understatement akin to observing that the Hindenburg experienced some mechanical difficulties. The manner in which I minimize those difficulties in travel is by motoring to nearby Carmel, Napa, Lake Tahoe, and most recently southern California, where George and I viewed on video a "beautiful budding baby boy" sloshing around in the womb; one who will emerge as our grandson come June. We know it to be a boy because my son Matthew, with poorly disguised pride, pointed out the "bud."
Sue Schreiber Kokal has also decided to emerge as, in her words, "A real blast from the past." And it's about time she turned up and identified herself as a gleeful former teacher of 32 years. Whether she is gleeful about being a "former" teacher or having spent 32 years filling young heads with great gobs of knowledge she doesn't make clear. She does say she is enjoying life in Cary, North Carolina, Money Magazine's recent pick as the hottest spot to live on the East Coast. She is totally enthralled with the Carolina beaches and mountains, long summer and fall seasons and the two-week winters. She is doing some substitute teaching to help support her shopping/golfing/traveling habits. The fact that her daughter and her three beautiful granddaughters also live there might account for much of her new-gotten glee. She does get back to Minnesota during that small window of opportune weather to visit her son and his two handsome young sons. She still stays in touch with Marcia Grann O'Brien and, in fact, toured Ireland with her not too long ago. The trip was complete with a police escort out of Cork, she adds with an air of mystery. And if she thinks we're going to let that go without a complete explanation she has another think coming. We all know there are consequences to our actions, Sue, so what exactly did you and Marcia do to require a police escort. OUT of Cork!!!
Jan Hoomani has recently returned from an Alumni Board meeting and a Gustavus Choir concert, so I know she will have some scintillating things to report. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jan! Having you as a co-agent makes this literary labor of love stress-free. Now I can just ramble on without having to make a point, or even any sense.
My warmest regards,
Judy Flom Hill
1962 Co-class Agent
It was so much fun to be back in Minnesota for the February Alumni Board meeting. Beautiful fluffy flakes of snow fell (just for me, I'm sure) the night of my arrival. Walking on campus I enjoyed the cold wind on my face as it conjured up memories of our days on campus―the long windy walk from Wahlstrom or the slippery slide to Rundstrom. With classes in session on Friday I took the liberty of peeking into classrooms as well as observing students working on computers in the library (quite a different scene from our day). I especially enjoyed exploring the Schaefer Fine Arts Center―the wonderful Anderson Theatre with its thrust stage (which brought back memories of the Little Theatre and its LACK of facility), the Bjorling Recital Hall (memories of the clangy-bangy old Auditorium), a pottery class in session, the sounds of piano behind doors in a practice room.
The campus is different but Gustavus is the same. At the Friday meeting the Alumni Board talked about the enduring quality that IS Gustavus. We were asked for our thoughts and suggestions with regard to the project of revising the Gustavus Mission Statement. The question, "What differentiates Gustavus from other small liberal arts colleges?" brought forth suggestions of qualities that distinguish Gustavus. Board members range in age from the class of '49 to the class of '02 and by a significant majority in a diverse group of ages and eras, "atmosphere," "warmth," "inclusiveness," "the feeling," "the spirit" were the words mentioned most as that which Gustavus has that most others do not. Several people cited this "atmosphere" as that which made them choose Gustavus over other schools when they were making application to college. I was fascinated and quite moved by the fact that this unique quality that IS Gustavus is so enduring and has been felt so deeply and for so many decades.
The Saturday meeting in February is the most substantive of the Alumni Board year. The meeting began with a "state of the college" informal talk from Owen Sammelson '58, Vice President for Administration. Sam was called upon at the last minute because President Peterson '64 was called away. I was blown away by the fact that Sam sat and without a single note and told us facts and figures, details past and current. I learned that Gustavus is not only alive and well but on the cutting edge, as well it must be to remain competitive. The budget for this coming year is $55 million and tuition supplies only a small part of that. We learned that there is serious need to strengthen the Gustavus endowment. The endowment is currently at $73 million. It needs to be at a minimum of $150 million and some, including President Peterson, see $300 million as a necessary number. Fortunately the market has been improving and that helps the fund to grow, BUT it must be fed. And this is where we can help by giving generously to the Class of '62 Endowed Scholarship (endowment) and to the Gustavus Fund (budgeted expenses). We as a class and as individuals have helped significantly in growing the endowment. Thank you for your gifts! Let's continue to be leaders.
One of the responsibilities of the Alumni Board is to select those individuals who will receive the annual awards, The Greater Gustavus Award, the Distinguished Alumni Citations and the First Decade Award. And what a task that is! Each of the people nominated has remarkable and extensive records of high achievement. The Greater Gustavus Awards and Distinguished Alumni Citations will be made on campus during Commencement Weekend on May 29. And the First Decade Awards will be given at the Homecoming Banquet on October 2. The recipients are:
Greater Gustavus Awards
Richard Hillstrom '38, Edina, MN, recognizes his life-long support of the Christ Chapel Endowment, Lund Arena, Folke Bernadotte Library, and the Hillstrom Museum of Art.
Steve Wilkinson, St. Peter, MN, recognizes his development and success of the men's tennis program, and bringing resources to the College to enhance its physical plant.
Distinguished Alumni Citations
Kenneth Dragseth '67, Edina, MN, superintendent of Edina schools, Minnesota and 2003 National Superintendent of the Year.
Linda Gulder Huett '66, Melville, NY, president and CEO, Weight Watchers International, Inc.
Peter Krause '87, Los Angeles, CA, actor, HBO's "Six Feet Under."
Don Swanson '55; Robbinsdale, MN, former teacher/coach, director of sports medicine, NovaCare.
The First Decade Awards
Susan Haddox '94, Decatur, GA, editorial assistant, Journal of Biblical Literature; doctoral candidate in philosophy, Emory University, Atlanta.
Nathan Funk '94, Bethesda, MD, assistant professor, Elliott School of International Affairs, Department of Political Science, George Washington University.
You will be able to read all about these outstanding people in the Fall Quarterly.
Jim Isaak '86 reported on the Gustavus Fund and noted that Phonorama will be April 25-29. I encourage you to volunteer to call. It is really a lot of fun to talk with old mates of '62. Just call Joyce at 866-487-3863 or 507-933-6664 to offer your time. Jim announced that the Gustavus Directory will be available on line in March. Hard copies will be available upon request.
Steve Waldhauser '70, Director of Publications and editor of the Quarterly, reported that the Quarterly has a circulation of 30,000. He encouraged everyone to send in news (via mail, e-mail, phone or fax). He said the Quarterly can not include advertising (IRS regulations). However, you are encouraged to send information about yourself, your business, your award, your philanthropic project; printed as news as this information is not advertising yet it does give exposure and information to 30,000 households―and what better place to network than among Gusties!
Many board members expressed a willingness and a desire to, as a Board member, be called upon in more ways to serve the college. Scott Anderson '89, president of the Alumni Board brought greetings from his father Jim Anderson '60 who is chairman of the Gustavus Alumni Fund. Brad Hanson '76 was elected president-elect of the Alumni Board.
I listened and I learned in the meetings and then I concluded a productive day by attending the homecoming concert of the Gustavus Choir in Christ Chapel. It was a splendid concert and the delight of my day.
Again I urge you to contact me with your questions, comments, suggestions. email@example.com 919-556-6162.
The inauguration of President Jim Peterson '64 will be April 15-18, 2004. Details and schedules of events will appear in your Quarterly. You may want to mark on your calendar now Sunday, April 18. Beginning at 1:30 the Alumni Office is hosting a reception for alumni, honoring President Peterson, at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. At 4 o'clock the Gustavus symphony orchestra and VocalEssence will appear in concert at Orchestra Hall. Tickets for the concert are available through the Orchestra Hall box office.
Most of us are not wealthy but our lives are rich, much of that richness thanks to our Gustavus experience and a continuing connection. Choose to give the gift of Gustavus by giving generously of your financial resources. Give back to Gustavus by giving of your time and your talents. And remember Phonorama April 25-29: Call Joyce @ 866-487-3863. Phonorama is fun!
My best to you,
1962 Co-class Agent
P.S. I came home with some good Ole and Lena jokes but on my e-mail I found something from my neighbor here in Raleigh. I share the Raleigh, North Carolina story with you:
One dark night outside a small town in Minnesota, a fire started inside the local chemical plant and in a blink it exploded into massive flames. The alarm went out to all the fire departments from miles around. When the volunteer fire fighters appeared on the scene, the chemical company president rushed to the fire chief and said, "All of our secret formulas are in the vault in the center of the plant. They must be saved. I will give $50,000 to the fire department that brings them out intact." But the roaring flames held the fire fighters off. Soon, more fire departments had to be called in as the situation became desperate. As the firemen arrived, the president shouted out that the offer was now $100,000 to the fire department who could bring out the company's secret files. From the distance a lone siren was heard as another fire truck came into sight. It was the near-by Norwegian rural township volunteer fire company composed mainly of Norwegians over the age of 65. To everyone's amazement, the little run-down fire engine, operated by these Norwegians, passed all the newer sleek engines parked outside the plant and drove straight into the middle of the inferno. The other firemen watched as the Norwegian old timers jumped off and began to fight the fire with a performance and effort never seen before. Within a short time, the Norsk old timers had extinguished the fire and saved the secret formulas. The grateful chemical company president joyfully announced that for such a super-human feat, he was upping the reward to $200,000, and walked over to personally thank each of the brave, though elderly, Norsk fire fighters. The local news reporters rushed in after capturing the event on film asking, "What are you going to do with all that money?" "Vell," said Ole Larson, the 70-year-old fire chief, "da furst ting ve do is fix da brakes on dat truck."