Ginny Bellinger Ollis
4022 Front Street
San Diego, CA 92103
Hello. You all probably know this, but some of our very best friends are those we have had for a long time. Judy Joel Tardiff, my Penobscot Hall roommate for our last three years, and I met in New York City for the second time since our reunion less than a decade ago. Judy lives in Raleigh, NC, and has retired from being the right hand to one of the top North Carolina politicians, and is grandmothering, working generously with her church, and putting smiles and energy everywhere she goes. We had a wonderful time in the Big Apple, including taking me to a fabulous birthday dinner at one of the theatre crowd’s favorite dining treasures. There is never a lack of things to do there, so I try to convince her to meet me at least annually.
Peter Pullen writes that he and wife, Jo Ann, moved after nearly 50 years from Northfield, MA, to Monson, ME, his hometown, where they have had a summer place for almost that long. They were both teachers in Monson, having met at Cornell in grad school. They plan to spend winters in Florida and summers in Maine. Their two boys and families live in Nebraska, Maine, and Massachusetts, and this allows them to visit often and happily.
Peter lamented, “How in the world did we get to be 75?!” I invited him to join my 58-Forever Club. No dues, no meetings. When I turned 70, the number made me FEEL old, so I started this and now there are zillions of members. But don’t ask the DMV to change your license. They are very rude about requiring documentation!
Thomas Longstaff reported that after graduating with all of us he earned his Ph.D. at Columbia and then taught biblical languages and literature at Colby College for 33 years. He then moved from the world of the sacred to the world of the profane (isn’t that clever how he described it?) meaning government as a city councilor for five years. He is now a member of the House of Representatives here in Maine. He says he has always been proud to have graduated from the University of Maine, and it certainly prepared him well for graduate study and college teaching.
Thomas also reminded us that several weeks before Dallas, JFK came to the university and received an honorary degree from our then-President Elliott. Judy and I remember that day well, because I was raised as a Massachusetts Republican and she as a Washington-area Rock Creek Park, MD, Democrat. The morning President Kennedy’s election was announced she pushed me from my bed and said, “Ha!” People from the D.C. area I learned are pretty much involved in politics, or at least have knowledge of it, from their first baby steps.
Please write and tell me what you are doing. It takes me a lot of work to email those whose email I have and ask for information, and it is so fun to hear what you all are doing with your usually-retirement freedom and happy days. One of the on-air baseball announcers for our San Diego major league baseball team is a UMO graduate! Don’t I love it!