Hello and good health to everyone in our class and their families. This year has
turned out to be a difficult one, to be sure. Those of us who live rather quiet lives
are grateful indeed to have a place to be among the pines and birches here in
Maine. Our usual summer home full of visitors had to be restricted this summer
and fall because of the COVID-19 virus. No one imagined that this would happen
all over the world, and we, like all of you, are astounded at the changes in
everyone’s travel and vacation plans. We are sending good thoughts your way,
and hoping that you have been able to remain in good health throughout this
Hal Booth was at our planning meeting for Reunion 2021, when we planned pre-
pandemic for the event. He is still living in Hallowell and he happened to mention
that his father graduated from the University of Maine in 1941, and his daughter
Helen graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 2004. USM, as it is
now called, has grown into an amazing place that you might want to look into as
a choice for a friend or a family member. I can’t even begin to tell you all of the
programs that now exist here in the Portland area, but I’m sure that you recall
losing all of our nursing students after two years so that they could finish in
Portland. Now we have a very select full-time program in Portland and another
one in Orono. Ah, so many changes in only 50 years!
In recognition of her inspirational achievements with Maine women, the 2020
Maryann Hartman Award was presented to retired director of the University of
Maine’s Women’s Resource Center, Sharon Barker ’87G of Bangor. The
ceremony was sponsored by UMaine’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Program, and the Rising Tide Center.
Mark Alan Leslie’s latest novel, Torn Asunder, could certainly appear to be taken
from the current headlines. It’s an action thriller, available on Kindle and through
Amazon.com. Mark has painted this picture of a world in moral darkness and
economic tumult headed toward oblivion, a planet starved for righteous leaders.
Mark has won six national magazine writing awards. He was a longtime journalist
with Portland, Lewiston, and Waterville newspapers and the founding editor of
the national golf industry publication, Golf Course News (now Golf Course
Industry). He and his wife, Loy, live in Monmouth.
Not just any farmer, your classmate Will Bonsall is a subsistence farmer in
Industry. He is the winner of the Seed Saver Award from the 2020 Source
Sustainability Awards for his work as a master seed saver. They have recognized
his dedication to plant-based, self-reliant gardening and farming and his unique
place in the world of seed saving, where he has achieved exalted status. He has
made himself a self-sufficient, homestead-based life, earning income from selling
seeds, speaking engagements, and writing. Will is a native Mainer who has lived
mostly a quiet life on a small, hilly farm since 1971.
Former pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Bangor, Rev. Frank J. Murray
retired effective August 1st with a group of friends and family members. His
parishioners celebrated with an outdoor drive-by event with decorated cars, due to
the pandemic. Frank’s ordination as a Catholic priest in June 6, 1981, at St. John’s
Catholic Church in Bangor was a community celebration.
The South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club, with an emphasis on helping
Maine’s veterans, has provided $1,016 this year to the Durham Warriors. They
are a nonprofit organization that covers costs for disabled veterans, active duty
military, and their families to stay at Maine Forest Yurts in Durham. The charity
was instituted by our classmate and Survivor winner Bob Crowley. This is all
about homeless veterans who have difficulty getting to appointments and
obligations, job interviews, and are looking for housing. These men and women
have served our country, and providing them with help through the Rotary Club
and the VA is a privilege.
Where are the rest of you? Everyone wants to know what you’re doing, even if
you are staying inside to avoid the chances of having to deal with the pandemic.
You have the time! Drop me a line, please.