Janet Bishop Butler
116 Oakhurst Road
Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107
I am certain that many of the class correspondents will mention in their columns about the cold weather that we had in Maine in December of 2017, but just in case you hadn't heard, it was unbearable for about eight days with temperatures hovering about zero to +10. I remember having 8:00 am classes in Orono, but believe me, that was nothing compared to what we experienced in December.
Paul and I had much better and more comfortable weather when we visited the Orono campus in October on our trip to Bar Harbor. Our oldest daughter, Julie, was on a year-long sabbatical from her teaching at St. George’s School in Newport, RI. Julie hadn't seen the campus for quite a while, so we (Paul, Julie, and I along with Julie’s nine-month-old golden retriever, Keeper, walked the mall, visited the Memorial Union building (without Keeper), and met some very friendly students. The “Maine Hello” has never failed. Julie had never been to Bar Harbor, which is difficult for me to realize, but we did have fun and had beautiful warm weather.
Bill Leitch established a “nature play area” in memory of his wife, Betsy Pullen Leitch. It was created at the Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary in Barnstable, MA, on Cape Cod, a property of of Mass Audubon. The garden consists of dead tree parts, such as a hollow trunk for crawling through and a variety of climbing challenges, also tree parts, etc. This play area is to amuse and stimulate younger children as parents do environmental courses, bird walks, etc. These natural elements are used in conjunction with other Audubon areas where natural play is an alternative to plastic slides, etc. What a fabulous idea, Bill. I hope that whenever one of our classmates goes to Cape Cod, especially in the Barnstable area, he or she will plan to visit the sanctuary and see what this wonderful project is all about.
It is always so nice to look forward to the arrival of the annual Christmas letter from Ted and Ruth Dow Durst who live in Walnut Creek, CA. Margaret Dow Ricker ’84 Ed.D. and her husband, George ’54, ’68 C.A.S. made a surprise visit to the Dursts, who cherished the opportunity to renew old friendships and revisit many old memories.
Bill ’56 and Mary Atkinson Johnson sent out a great Christmas letter this year with wonderful pictures of theirfamily and references to every month of the year. The highlight of the year for Bill and Mary was in October when they made a trip to Niagara Falls and Toronto.
Many thanks to Ron Sheay for telling me about the death of Sal Scarpato‘s wife, Joanne Barberio Scarpato ’58. Joanne and Sal had been married 61 years. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the Scarpato family.
Donna and Mert Robinson sent an email before they left for their annual stay in Barbados. I believe this might be their 29th year traveling to this great island.
You can now reach me at the following email address: Janetbume@gmail.com. No excuse now for not corresponding with me immediately, if not sooner. In any event, make it very soon.