Class of 1965 Winter 2022 Class Note

As I write this, people in a great swath of Florida are fighting back after devastation wrought by Hurricane Ian. We were lucky in DeLand, about an hour northeast of Orlando and 30 miles or so inland from Daytona Beach — Ian passed over us, but most of the resulting damage was only to trees and other flora. However, the southwestern barrier islands (Sanibel, Fort Myers Beach, Pine Island) may never be the same.

This summer, Pam Gay, who grew up in Rockland and was a classmate for our first two years at UMaine, helped choose the 2022 Maine Sea Goddess at the Rockland Lobster Festival in August. Pam, who finished her degree at George Washington University in Washington, DC (which subsequently also lured away UMaine President Lloyd Elliott), was the 1961 Maine Sea Goddess. Now Pam Gay Donehower, she lives in Middleburg, VA. She was also a judge for the 2011 Lobster Festival.

According to the notes on the 2022 Maine Lobster Festival website, Pam has managed thoroughbred horse businesses and properties and been involved in thoroughbred racing, breeding, and equine sporting pursuits. She now focuses on the conservation and preservation of Northern Virginia open space.

In June, family, friends, and brothers of Beta Theta Pi celebrated the life of Bill Waterhouse, appropriately, outdoors at Geary Brewing Co. in Portland. Although Bill was renowned for his gourmet cooking skills, his beverage of choice was not vintage wine, as one might expect, but beer. Bill remained close to his Beta brothers all his life, sharing family vacations with them in Maine, stepping up to help them when needed without ever being asked. With his favorite country and western music playing, we shared stories, toasts, and hugs.

Carol Farley Hartt, who was without a cat after losing hers to old age, kindly adopted one of our remaining two felines. We weren’t anxious to part with him, but the reclusive boy really needed to be in a one-cat family, and we feared he would not do well traveling in the car from Maine to Florida with our other cat and a dog. He has settled into her Presque Isle home and seems very content with all the attention he’s getting!

Our summer move was fraught with problems, beginning with our buyer bailing out two days before closing at the end of June. We were fortunate to go under contract again just a few days later, rescheduled our closing in Florida, and finally headed south August 1. I won’t bore you with all the gory details, but one story bears telling.

On an overnight stop in New Jersey, our mischievous black cat somehow escaped the car. We walked and drove around the area, calling, but no Jett. Reluctantly, we headed south — we had movers to meet at our new home. I reported our loss to Animal Control in Parsippany, NJ, and was sure to mention that he was wearing a flea collar, thinking that would differentiate him from feral cats they might pick up.

A month later, Heidi called from Parsippany Animal Control, exclaiming they’d found him. It seems that after four weeks (yes, FOUR weeks) on the lam, he sauntered into an office building not far from the motel where he’d escaped, and walked into someone’s office. Heidi’s colleague came in and told her she’d picked up a cat and surprisingly, he was wearing a flea collar! Heidi thought back … flea collar, flea collar … and then remembered. She asked about a couple of other identifying features I’d mentioned, they checked, and yes. “We’ve got Jett!” she exclaimed to her colleague — and phoned me. 

After exploring possible ways to get him to his new home, I booked my husband on a cheap flight to Newark with a carrier and a cat tranquilizer. Jett clung to us devotedly when he got home, rubbed his scent glands on every moving box and piece of furniture within reach and showed absolutely no desire to venture outside. 

Until next time.