Class of 1957 Winter 2021 Class Note

When I sat down at the computer to write this article, I thought of Liz Hibbard
Smith, who faithfully wrote our class notes for many years, and decided to pick
up the phone to check in with her. She and husband, Les ’63, are living at
Thornton Oaks Retirement Home in Brunswick. As seems to be the case with
others who are in independent retirement situations, they have been living with
many restrictions: e.g., no visitors, closed dining rooms, limited activities, etc.
Fortunately, some things are easing, such as meals once again being served in
the dining room with safe distancing in effect.

Here’s an update from our president, Jiggs Cecchini ’63G. The very day I
contacted Jiggs, he said that his wife, Bev, and one of their daughters were in
Blue Hill, ME, for the closing on their camp which had been their family’s summer
home since 1962. Jiggs said this was the first summer that he hadn’t spent any
time there. It was a difficult decision to sell, but with most of their friends no
longer there and the work that needed to be done to keep the place the way they
wanted it, it was time to let it go. It’s hard to lose a special summer home with so
many great memories.

Jiggs said, “We finally found the person to take over our Exec. Director of the
Coaches Association and the pandemic really slowed the process for our hiring. I
had a committee of 13 and they wanted to do all interviews in person and not by
Zoom. I was OK with that as this position was too important for our organization.
Now I am his mentor and still the treasurer of the CHSCA and have been since
1984. Not sure when I will ever slow down and retire. Still having too much fun
and Bev thinks I will be bored if I stop.”

Jiggs went on to say that he had spoken to Peter and Joann Hanson
Kostacopoulos, who spend summers until mid-November in East Machias on
the lake. He continued, “Aram Garabedian calls me often because his cousin is
Sara Gideon, who is running for the U.S. Senate from Maine against Senator
Collins. He believes she will win and will be the first Armenian in the U.S.

At Jigg’s suggestion, I reached out to Walter and Judy Dale Macdougall and
was delighted to receive the following email from Judy:
“When I left the university, I expected to be a teacher, and I was for a very short
time. Even after our three boys were born, I substituted in schools now and then.
I was lucky enough to also substitute at the Milo Public Library and enjoyed it
very much. I became the assistant and finally the director. While I was at the
library, I developed the Summer Reading Program and loved it. I continued it for
25 years until I retired 2010.

“In 2020 things have gone crazy and life has changed. We are very lucky to live
in Maine with few cases of COVID-19 and especially fortunate to live in
Piscataquis County with only eight cases so far. We wear masks, which is hard
on old people who also have glasses and hearing aids, all sharing ears. Social
distancing requires so much vigilance that it is sometimes difficult to be social.
But we are all hanging in there.

“For many years in August, we met UMO friends at Dave and Eleanor Williams
home in Belgrade and then at a restaurant in Bangor. It was wonderful to keep in
touch with Joyce and Chris Fuller, Eleanor and Dave Williams, Janet and
David Maxey and others who were in Maine, but this year- too bad — it will not

“Our church opened in July. Of course, we wear masks and can’t sing, but it is
nice to see friends. Early in August, Walter and men from the church made bean
hole beans. It is an old tradition. For years, the church members have baked
beans for suppers; so we have a large fire hole and big, cast iron bean pots. No
suppers in 2020. We sold the beans and pies in our open pavilion. We were very
busy (wore masks, of course) and took in over $1,000. Our minister took three
weeks off in August and for two Sundays we had video ministers speaking on our
pull-down screen. The third Sunday, August 30, Walter spoke. I was so proud of
him as I could hear every word! He put emotion into his voice and appeared to be
speaking directly to each of us. He was using slides in his talk — a sure attention
getter. A church member ran the projector smoothly.

“Malcolm, our second son, has set up a Zoom for the family. I never heard the
word before COVID-19. We’ve been meeting the family Sunday evenings. What
fun! We are all doing well. Walter is writing and doing research for his own
pleasure. I correspond with friends, knit, and read.”

I asked Walter to add a few sentences about his career to add to what Judy
“My thought, as I read your email, is how much the University of Maine has
continually enriched my life. After graduation, I taught English and Science in
middle and high school (Milo, Maine). This change in subject involved a number
of delightful summers taking courses. Then in 1986, I returned to the U. of M as a
graduate instructor in education. My old interest in philosophy kept nudging and I
finally ended teaching the graduate course in educational. My final job at the
university was the greatest experience. For six years I taught and was taught by
my students in the new Honors College at the University of Maine.
“If you ever have time, you might find interesting the article by Dean Francois
Amar on my Honors experience. It was published in the Honors College
"Minerva" (2017) and my own essay written in deep admiration of Dr. Ronald
Levinson who for many years was head of the Philosophy Department at
Maine. That essay is available through the Honors College internet.”

Joyce Lyon Fuller wrote that after graduation Chris and she moved 28 times
while Chris pursued his 20-year Army career, flying helicopters and fixed wing
aircraft. They have been settled in Stratford, CT, for many years and have three
daughters and sons-in law, eight grandchildren, and finally a great grandchild,
Serena. They have always spent summers at their camp in our beloved Maine,
(except for 2020), where they’ve gotten together with classmates Ellie Small
Williams, Dave and Jan Griffin Maxcy, Walter and Judy Dale Macdougall, Elva
Bracket Alden, Judy Foster Howard, Sally Johnson Main, etc., now spread out all
over the state and the country. Last year several of them took a tour of UMO and
were astonished by all the many changes and improvements! Judy said their
oldest daughter also graduated from UMO. After reading Joyce’s email, I wrote
back asking some questions about their years overseas and also about their
camp. Joyce’s answer was really interesting, and I’m adding that below:

“You asked about time overseas while Chris was in the Army. Yes, we all spent
nearly two years in Germany (cut short when Chris received orders for Vietnam
during the war). He also spent another year in Vietnam a year after he left the
first time, as usual, flying helicopters, working in offices, and on and on, and he
also spent a year in South Korea. Those three years were the only times we
couldn’t go with him, so then the daughters and I always returned to Augusta to
be near family.

“As a family we also lived two years in Tehran, Iran while the Shah was still in
command. (I remember flying into the airport on a Friday, and everything was
closed. We were so surprised until we found out that their weekend is Thursday
and Friday, and Friday was their holy day — which left them only Monday,
Tuesday, and Wednesday to do business with the outside world! We found a
rent in a four-story Iranian apartment building that turned out to be a blessing, as
there were three other American families living there (as well as one from Wales
and three Iranians). We took our precious beagle with us, and luckily the
available rent was on the first floor! (BUT we didn’t know that Persians don’t like
dogs, as they believe that getting a dog hair on your clothes will prevent your
prayers from being answered.) Luckily an American family lived across the hall,
and we pulled it off for the two years! There was a Tehran/American High School
and an English Junior High for our three daughters. The culture was so different,
but we loved living there and made many Iranian friends. Just before we left in
’75 the country was beginning to fall apart, and we had to be very careful. We did
love living in Germany, too, in the ’60s. (We bought a Volkswagen camper bus in
Germany that slept five, and we drove to many countries while there.)

“Our camp is on Messalonskee Lake in Belgrade, ME. My Dad built it in 1955,
and over the years it has gotten a second story, etc., and is now a summer home
where our three daughters, their husbands, our eight grands, all their friends, and
we come and go. (This summer Chris and I stayed home for the first time — too
overwhelmed with the virus AND turning 85. How did that happen so fast?) So
we told the whole family to each take a whole week or two, which they did.

Almost all were “working from home,” which also worked from camp! They came
from Maine, Connecticut, New York City, and California. (Our granddaughter
Jessica is a manager at Disneyland and drove all the way to camp from
California and stayed there for a month, while working from home. She worked
besides enjoying the lake and hiking with Maine cousins.)

“Two of our daughters and husbands live right in Stratford. One is a nurse
practitioner and watches us like a hawk, and the other does all our grocery
shopping because of the virus. We are so blessed to have them. The third
daughter and husband live in southern California, and are the grandparents of
our little Serena. Serena and her Mom and Dad live just six miles away from
them. Serena’s Mom (Julia) is Jessica’s sister, and they were both born in
Australia, where Chevron Oil had sent both Susan and Jim to work for two years.
Yes, we also went to Australia twice when our two grandbabies were born, and
also visited them as they moved around to London, Scotland, the Island of
Sumatra, etc. We also lived in several states, some more than once, while in the

While speaking with Liz Smith, she mentioned there was an obituary in the Maine
Sunday Telegram (9/5/20) of our classmate Richard Frederick Bastow. What a
full and amazing life he led. If you have a chance, do read it.