Class of 1974 Winter 2020 Class Note

Diantha Hawkes Grant

Another summer in Maine came to a close and we journeyed back to Florida, anxious to enjoy some more sunshine and Florida fall weather. It was a great summer as Don and I continued our work as tour guides at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village. Hundreds of people come through the Village each summer, including visitors from at least 15 foreign countries. As always, we love our Florida winters, but long for the summer days of Maine. Stay warm and cozy, folks!

There was a nice story about Jeffrey P. Evangelos G and his work in the Maine legislature as an Independent (one of seven) and with perfect attendance despite having cancer. He said he was inspired by Senator Angus King’s public disclosure of his prostate cancer and that convinced him to also go public. He has both leukemia and prostate cancer. He went for treatment at the Alfond Cancer Center in Augusta for radiation and made it to his desk in the House before the 10 a.m. sessions. He works tirelessly on issues like criminal justice and Native American sovereignty.

Jeffrey represents House District 91, which includes Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington, and part of Union. He served two prior terms in 2012 and 2014, took time off to work on the presidential campaign for Bernie Sanders, and was then re-elected in 2018. He serves on the Judiciary Committee and the State and Local Government Committee. He thinks politics was his destiny, as he was born on Election Day in 1952. He became an activist in the ‘60s and ‘70s and he earned his master’s degree in government at the University of Maine.

It takes a lot of Moxie to write a book about Moxie, but that’s just what Dennis Sasseville G has done. Dennis and his co-author, Merrill Lewis, have published The Definitive History of Moxie Soda: 1885 to Present. Originally called Moxie Nerve Food, it was guaranteed to cure nervous exhaustion and a host of ailments. Created by Dr. Augustin Thompson of Union, ME, Moxie even outsold Coca Cola at one time, but is now owned by Coca Cola.

Dennis and his co-author are card-carrying members of the New England Moxie Congress, a group of aficionados who revel in the Moxie mystique. His master’s degree was in geological sciences; he has enjoyed a long career in environmental sustainability consulting and has worked on dozens of environmental projects for the Maine Department of Transportation.

An email from Michael Gross gave us a summary of his life since graduation.

“After a multi-award-winning career in radio news, healthcare PR, and higher education communications/marketing and nearly eight years of it as the communications specialist for UMaine’s Agricultural & Forest Experiment Station, I retired this past July after nearly 24 years as director of college communications from Cape Cod Community College. I was very humbled to be awarded Emeritus status, something quite rare for an administrator.

“As the PR career evolved, big band jazz and swing percussion, and American musical theater percussion performance and musical direction did as well. My college mates will remember me dragging a set of drums in and out of Corbett and York halls, and playing for numerous college productions, and later for many regional productions and local bands, while living in Veazie and working at UMaine.

“Here on Cape Cod, I’ve been lucky enough to play for many touring national artists and theater companies, numerous big bands, and great jazz ensembles. In retirement, I’ll enjoy playing even more.”

A quick congratulations to the Pi Chapter of Phi Mu for reaching quota during fall recruitment.

That’s all the news for now.