With temps bouncing from single digits to the 50s and back again, it’s challenging to be thinking ahead to a summer publication date for this missive.
For my family, spring brought my daughter’s late April wedding in the Brooklyn (NY) Botanic Garden. The garden has special meaning for Jennifer, a Manhattan resident; she visited there with her dad, who died four years ago. I admire the fuchsia-colored hair that’s become Jen’s trademark, and for her wedding I decided to jump on her bandwagon. A talented colorist at a Lewiston salon has highlighted my gray/white hair with amethyst streaks that match the dress and jewelry I wore. Reactions have been a hoot, with broad smiles and compliments from strangers on the street, patrons and cashiers in supermarkets, students and teachers in schools where I substitute — even spectators at a UMaine hockey game. I just might keep this going for a while! Always did love Jenny Joseph’s poem, “When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple.”
So far, there will be only five of us alumnae at a women’s mini-reunion in Portland this summer: Nancy Troland, Janiece Bacon Oblak, Donna Weaver Stephen, Roberta Jones Mulazzi, and me. If interested, please email me, and list any unavailable dates in your email.
Forgot to mention last time that I happened to sit next to Elwyn Wooster at a fish chowder and pie supper last summer in Searsport. He owns the Unique Rock Shop just up the road on Verona Island. As gemstones and geodes were one of my father’s hobbies, I was eager to chat about his business. When I was a child, my dad dragged us all over Maine, hiking into remote spots to search for semi-precious stones. We never found any. I threatened to write a book called Rocks in the Head.
After living more than 50 years in Meriden, CT, Carol Farley Hartt, my longtime UMaine roommate, has returned to her hometown of Presque Isle, where she purchased the home once owned by her childhood dentist. Despite record snowfalls, she is effusive about her decision. Perhaps you actually can go home again!
Bill Waterhouse and wife, Claudia, spent some time at the summer’s end on Cape Cod, babysitting for their two young granddaughters and helping their daughter and husband, both teachers, relocate from Colorado. Bill and Claudia live only about 90 minutes north of them.
Jake Jakubowycz Gordon has a new granddaughter, courtesy of his daughter Mandy and her husband, who live in Topsfield, MA; Mandy is a nurse at Mass General Hospital in Boston. That makes two little girls for Jake, as well.
Sally Day Brown writes that the high point of her year was the 50th wedding anniversary she and Roger celebrated in August. As Roger’s dementia progressed last year beyond Sally’s ability to care for him, the family made the decision so many face and moved him to a facility only a mile from home, where Sally is able to visit him daily.
Stanley Sloan, an international affairs major, emailed that he couldn’t make Homecoming in October because he was lecturing at the NATO College in Italy, but said his “heart still beats faster when I hear the Maine Stein Song!” He included a link to the text of recent testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in September 2018: https://bit.ly/2U8Gt1b.
Patricia Sheehan Silva and I are in touch by phone fairly regularly; last year she described the horrors of the California wildfires. Although the enormous “Campfire” didn’t threaten her home in Walnut Creek, smaller fires ignited as nearby as just a half-mile up the road. When the town of Paradise burned to the ground, smoke hung in her Bay-area air for a week, she said, and residents were urged to wear masks.
It wasn’t her first fire experience. In October 2017, wildfires in the Northern California Wine Country forced her brother’s family (and everyone else) to evacuate their Napa Valley home; fortunately, their property was spared, but her nephew’s restaurant was put out of business. While her brother’s family moved into a hotel, their dog stayed with Trisha for a week, lying with her nose against the front door — she just wanted to go home.
Next time you’re thinking about charitable donations, please consider a gift designating the Senior Alumni, which annually awards Taverner Fund scholarships to deserving non-traditional students.
As our class’s representative on the Senior Alumni board, I’ve been privileged to judge, with other board members, the Taverner applications of some truly impressive individuals. These people are bright, high-achieving students who, for myriad reasons, had to stop and later resume their educations, and for whom the scholarships make a huge difference.
Finally, a request. Surely you’re noticing that many of the same people appear in this space, issue after issue. Only you can change that — by dropping me a note and telling me what’s happening with you. Do take a moment to call, text, or email me. Please.
Until next time.