Class of 1978 Summer 2019 Class Note

Linda Card

Although it seems impossible, our 40th Reunion has come and gone. Back in 1978, who among us would have considered that we would be returning to campus in our 60s? Or considered our retirements while we were still trying to decide what to do with our lives?

One of our recently retired classmates is Bob Bishop, a lieutenant in the Bangor Police Department. In a career filled with incidents, both heartbreaking and funny, one that stands out is when, in the summer of 1986, a 1,800-pound bull broke away from the Bangor State Fair and headed to the Bangor Municipal Golf Course. People were injured at both the fairgrounds and the golf course, and it was Bob, an expert marksman, who eventually was able to put an end to the rampage of Dallas the bull. This sealed Bob’s fate as a firearms instructor at both the Bangor PD and the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. In tribute to Bob’s abilities with a firearm, Bangor named its indoor firing range “Bishop’s Alley.” In 1984, Bob was one of more than 200 graduates of the police academy who took the written exam to become a law  enforcement officer in Bangor; he was one of only five graduates hired by the city. Fellow officers said they would remember Bob for his dry wit, easygoing manner, and his ability to de-escalate a situation with a smile and a joke. Congratulations on a job well done, Bob.

Classmate Mark “Rookie” Letendre of Phoenix was one of 10 people recently inducted into the UMaine Sports Hall of Fame. Mark created the Major League Baseball umpire medical service department in 2000, where he continues to serve as both the director and the only employee. The purpose of the medical service is to promise quality of life to umpires after their years of living on the road, which, according to Mark, can add 10 years to their biological age. Prior to starting this venture, which focuses on all aspects of an umpire’s health, he spent eight years as a trainer with the New York Yankees and fourteen more years with the San Francisco Giants.

For those who follow UMaine football — and what a year of football it was — our own Jack Cosgrove ’84G is now the head coach at Colby College. Two years ago, Jack left the head coaching position at Maine, tired from the demands of the job. He said, “I looked in the mirror and didn’t like what I was seeing. I like to enjoy life, and I felt like I wasn’t. I didn’t feel like I was a great husband or a great father, and it was because I was so absorbed with the coaching. I always used to say that if you’re a bad coach, you can always work at fixing it, but if you’re a bad husband or father, you better stop coaching.”

One difference between coaching at a Division 1 (D1) school like Maine and a New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) school like Colby is the recruiting protocol. Instead of long road trips scouting potential players, most of that function is performed by telephone, email, and having the student-athletes visit the Colby campus. In addition, D1 schools may have their athletes stay on campus all summer to train, whereas NESCAC coaches aren’t allowed to supervise any offseason workouts. This sounds like Jack will be able to enjoy his summers from now on.

Karen Ross Taylor ’91G wrote to the Alumni Association to reminisce about being crowned the 1977 Homecoming Queen, followed by a surprise party with friends and family in her dorm room.

Please send info! Do you have a new grandchild? Have you retired? Have you moved? Your classmates would love to know.